19 January 2012

waxing & waning

as a kid a long, long time ago, i remember a fascination with the moon. how did it change shape. why was it not consistently orange or yellow, large or small. and how could it follow us at night on rides home from my grandparents.

the fascination continues still. on full moon nights, i stand in the window, mesmerized, reluctant to give up the luminosity and go to bed. i check the moon phases on calendars and in almanacs. i sometimes watch and wait for moonrise.

but with all this attention to the moon, i still get confused with the terminology. i know that gibbous is the opposite phase of crescent - but when is the moon waning? when is it waxing? this part i just can't seem to keep straight, no matter how hard i try. but recently i found this little rhyme written by blogger susan branch:
when the moon is a sliver...
horns to the east, soon to be increased
horns to the west, soon to rest
so using this saying as a guide, i'm going to start paying more attention to the names of the phases the moon goes through each month. i really want to understand and get it right. now all i have to do is remember which way is east and which way's west. 

8 comments:

Nora said...

That's a handy rhyme and I'll try to remeber it when I look at the moon. I don't get east and west nearly mixed up as often as north and south :o)

Star said...

Lovely picture, lovely memories, thanks for sharing.

Kathleen Botsford said...

A dear friend of mine has made the Moon her way of life. You can check out her wonderful website for lots of creative rituals revolving around the moon, fabulous articles and even workshops geared to your own personal moon time!
Moon circles.com

Johnnny said...

i like that little poem too. now i have something to share with my mother-in-law. the best thing about the moon is all the cheese. thanks, johnnny

~she~ said...

That's a lot of information! I just love it when it's low and yellow in the fall.

Debra said...

I really like that little poem. My backyard is the Pacific Ocean and as the moon changes, the tides do as well. Living by the changes in the moon doesn't seem like it would be such a bad way to live, as Kathleen's friend does!

This is my first visit to your site and I will be back!

Near the Streams of Our Blessed Star - Muir said...

thanks for the little poem - one of those ones I will remember - why don't we have more like this?

another poem goes something like

red in the morn sailors mourn but red at night is sailor's delight

meaning nice weather to come

Also there is one for the months that my mother used to repeat again and again but I never learned in school in the 60's - ah those were the days - well in some ways...

Luna said...

Oh I've had trouble with that myself. Thanks for the tip :)
Luna