Full Moon Lunacy

As I examined the night sky tonight and with the reminder from a fellow teacher, I realized the full moon is upon us. Whether or not it directly affects people as once thought remains to be seen. But heading into mid-week with a couple of classes of elementary students, it’s at least worth making note of for reference.

I did a bit of research and came up with this historical basis from the History Channel’s website:

Full moons make you crazy.

Since ancient times, full moons have been associated with odd or insane behavior, including sleepwalking, suicide, illegal activity, fits of violence and, of course, transforming into werewolves. Indeed, the words “lunacy” and “lunatic” come from the Roman goddess of the moon, Luna, who was said to ride her silver chariot across the dark sky each night. For thousands of years, doctors and mental health professionals believed in a strong connection between mania and the moon. Hippocrates, considered the father of modern medicine, wrote in the fifth century B.C. that “one who is seized with terror, fright and madness during the night is being visited by the goddess of the moon.” In 18th-century England, people on trial for murder could campaign for a lighter sentence on grounds of lunacy if the crime occurred under a full moon; meanwhile, psychiatric patients at London’s Bethlehem Hospital were shackled and flogged as a preventive measure during certain lunar phases. Even today, despite studies discrediting the hypothesis, some people think full moons make everyone a little loony.

And best I can figure, the History Channel is to be trusted, so it does indeed have a historical basis. I’ll keep that in mind tomorrow for my half-day of teaching young minds. If there is bizarre behavior, I will be able to contribute it to nothing more than the current moon phase. I don’t need to take it so personally…..This too shall pass.

David Lee

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Published by David Lee Moser

I am a sixty-three year old semi-retired elementary science teacher.

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