The Moon Almanac by Judith Hurrell
A book of the moon arranged as a month by month guide, this is an intriguing little book with so much to dip into or indeed read. The Moon almanac proceeds through the lunar, or calendar year, with insights into the way the moon appears on earth, and how it may affect such things as weather in various parts of the world. It offers views from right around the world of what the moon’s perceived shape is at various stages, such as the “Smiling moon” . With poetry and prose quotations for every month, it is possible to trace how important it has been to creative minds over the centuries. There are traditions of gardening to rhythms dictated by the moon, as well as all important farming traditions as the seasons of planting and harvesting were established by an understanding of the lunar cycle. Altogether this is a delightful book and I was pleased to have had the opportunity to read and review this impressive Almanac.
The Introduction offers suggestions how to use this “eclectic collection of lunar lore, wisdom and trivia, with perspectives on the moon from poets, writers and philosophers from all corners of the globe and history.” For non specialists there is a helpful section “Phases of the moon” with small pictures which illustrates the differences between waxing and waning, gibbous and crescent. January begins with the special links between wolves and the moon and the Chinese New Year. February includes details of the Celtic goddess Brigid. March highlights the various religious and cultural events associated with the month, ranging from Lent to Holi, as well as the equinox moon. April reveals the secrets of a moon garden, while the May section reveals the fact that May 2022 “brings a total lunar eclipse”. It also comments on the dangers of moon dust! June of course means the Summer Solstice. July features another Super Full Moon in 2022 and an explanation of the moon and tides. The first harvest is a feature in August, and the secrets of “blue moons”. September is the month of Harvest moons and Michaelmas. In October there is a discussion of “The moon in female archetypes” which is very interesting. November is a time for preparation against the harsh weather to come. December of course features the “Cold moon” and the actual markings on the face of the moon in various cultures.
Altogether this book is filled with little snippets of information that are well presented. I learnt a lot from this book, and it is so well presented it would make an ideal gift or treat for anyone who is fascinated by this aspect of the natural world.