Tonight, January 20th when a Super Blood Wolf Moon with an eclipse will be viewed by folks in Europe, West Africa, Northern Russia and the Americas North, Central and South.
This extraordinary moon with its’ dark reddish hue will look larger than life contrasting in the dark sky. What is a lunar eclipse you ask? A lunar eclipse happens when our planet Earth travels between our Moon and Sun and aligns with them to block the Sun’s light that normally would reflect off our Moon.
According to the Farmer’s Almanac, “There are three types of lunar eclipses: total, partial, and penumbral, with the most dramatic being a total lunar eclipse—when the Earth’s shadow totally covers the Moon. A lunar eclipse can occur only when there is a full Moon: January’s Wolf Moon turns 100% full on the 21st at 12:16 a.m. EST.”
NASA explains the red blood hue of the super moon. “During a total lunar eclipse, white sunlight hitting the atmosphere on the sides of the Earth gets absorbed and then radiated out (scattered). Blue-colored light is most affected,” NASA officials wrote online. “That is, the atmosphere filters out (scatters away) most of the blue-colored light. What’s left over is the orange- and red-colored light.”
Some call it a Super Blood Blue Moon while the indigenous people of North America call it a Super Blood Wolf Moon. This term predates the Super Blood Blue Moon phrase.
The indigenous people or First Nations people named the Super Blood Wolf Moon to reflect the hungry wolves that would gather and howl with hunger at the January full moon outside the villages. The climate was harsh and cold and many creatures would perish or nearly starve to death during these severe winters.
The Super Blood Wolf Moon will definitely be a Werewolf motivator!
The Werewolf Myth may have originated from a disease called Hypertrichosis occurs when one’s body grows an unusual amount of hair which may occur at birth or happens later in an adult’s life.
Above picture: Petrus Gonsalvus, “The Hairy Man” by Joris Hoefnagelfrom his “Elementa Depicta” in Public Domain.
Belief in werewolves developed in parallel to the belief in witches, in the course of the Late Middle Ages and the Early Modern period. Similar to the witchcraft trials as a whole, the trial of supposed werewolves emerged in what is now Switzerland (especially the Valais and Vaud) in the early 15th century and spread throughout Europe in the 16th, peaking in the 17th and subsiding by the 18th century.
In folklore, Werewolves are famous wedding crashers and will easily rush into a wedding snatch the bride and scurry into the night. The bride was never seen again. Folklore cites that Werewolves do not change under a full moon they transform through black magic. The full moon morphing was introduced by Hollywood movie scripts. To kill a werewolf it is best to shoot it with a silver bullet.
Illustration of Werewolf by Nifty Bryn Buckles
Enjoy the Super Blood Wolf Moon January 20th.
Sources & References:
*Farmers’ Almanac, https://www.farmersalmanac.com/january-2019-lunar-eclipse-33826
*Google books: squochee kesos The New England historical & genealogical register and antiquarian journal: v. 10
*James, William; Berger, Timothy; Elston, Dirk (2005). Andrews Diseases of the Skin: Clinical Dermatology (10 ed.). Saunders. p. 769. ISBN 0-7216-2921-0
*Rose, C. (2000). Giants, Monsters & Dragons: An Encyclopedia of Folklore, Legend and Myth. New York: Norton. p. 230. ISBN 0-393-32211-4.