Feeling called to by the moon is not exclusive to witches! Humans have been called to it for generations; from ancient philosophers studying the constellations and planetary structures to traveling to this tremendous celestial body herself, the moon has allured. It’s been the muse of poetry, songs, and even life decisions. But past its artistic appeal, the moon directly affects life on Earth and will affect baby too! Baby girl, boy, and gender-neutral names that mean “moon” will help baby have that lunar swagger any time of day.
How was the moon formed?
Like so many good things, the moon was formed from an unexpected situation—otherwise known as a massive, cataclysmic collision. The latter half is certainly less relatable, but sometimes the unexpected is exactly the shake-up life needs. A Mars-sized planetoid collided with the Earth approximately 4.5 billion years ago, which was approximately 30–50 million years after the solar system formed. This collision knocked massive chunks off of that version of the Earth, and as a result of Earth’s gravitational pull, the chunk that would become the moon became “tidally locked.” Tidally locked means that the moon eventually settled its rapid spinning and stabilized with the same portion always facing the Earth. This relationship is largely symbiotic, with the Earth’s rotation and the moon’s rotation benefiting equally; they stabilize each other.
What does the moon mean in different mythologies?
Due to its lofty height and consistent nightly presence in the sky but its seemingly ever-changing ways, the moon is a pillar of many different mythologies and cultures. In many Western and Asian cultures, the moon is associated with femininity, with the sun being a male counterpart. The moon is sometimes seen as a god, guide, or timekeeper. Before the age of discovery and conquering, people around the world formed tribes and civilizations with their own beliefs, and many looked to the celestial bodies in the sky. In Indigenous cultures in North America, people used the moon cycle as a timekeeper, believed it to be a source of wisdom, and also in myths where the moon was kept as a hostage with a nightly release across endlessly warring skies. In Greek mythology, the moon was tied to some of the beloved gods like Artemis and Hecate—goddess of the hunt and childbirth and goddess of witchcraft and lifecycles, respectively. In Africa, though, some rare Egyptian male gods were associated with the moon, representing wisdom, magic, and hidden meanings.
How does the moon affect the Earth?
If you’ve ever wondered about the myriad ways in which the moon affects the Earth, you wouldn’t be the first! Though a shocking 239,000 miles away, the moon manages to affect Earth’s stability, waves, climate, and more. The moon, as discussed earlier, is responsible for slowing Earth’s rotation in mutual stabilization. Due to its locked position in orbit, the moon affects the tides. Throughout the day, the tides coming in and out can be noticed at a planetary level; this is due to the moon's gravitational pull, enticing the oceans to stretch toward it every day. This tidal tendency, in turn, affects life directly in the world’s water and, of course, indirectly all of life on Earth.