The Lunar Cycle

The lunar cycle is key to a life in harmony with nature.

The moon has been known since prehistoric times. It is not just an object of research in science but also appears in the arts, literature, myths, legends, and poetry. In some nature and pagan religions the moon was worshiped as a deity and plays a part in magic traditions. Music and arts praised its magic and beauty. From 1961 to 1969 the USSR and the United States were locked in a history-making race to land the first human on the moon.

The moon has an influence on the history of mankind, the lives of great leaders as well as everyday men and women. It has an effect on all of nature and our well-being, even on our daily activities in multiple areas of life.

The lunar cycle is based on scientific findings and astronomical data. For centuries our ancestors observed the effects of the lunar cycle. 

The Lunar Cycle

The moon is the earth’s only natural satellite and after the sun the second brightest object in the sky. It makes a complete orbit around the earth in approximately 29.5 days. The angle between the earth, moon, and sun changes during the moon’s elliptical orbit. We see this as the cycle of the moon’s phases. Every 29.5 days, the New Moon transits through its waxing phase into the Full Moon and during its waning phase into the next New Moon.

The Rotation of the Earth

Earth completes a rotation around its own axis every 24 hours. Because of the earth’s rotation, the moon seems to rotate once a day around the earth when viewed from the earth. We see the moon every day rising and setting. Depending on the moon’s position during its 29.5-day elliptical orbit around the earth, we see the crescent, the New Moon, or the Full Moon. Due to the tidal effects of the moon, the earth’s rotation is slowing slightly with time. A modern day is about 1.7 milliseconds longer than it was a century ago.

Depending on the moon’s position during its elliptical orbit around the earth, we see the crescent, the New Moon, or the Full Moon from the earth. (Dimensions are not proportional.)

The Tides

The gravitational forces between the earth and the moon cause some interesting effects, the most obvious being the tides. Since the earth rotates around its own axis, each day every spot on the earth comes close to the moon and then moves away again. Because of the gravitational forces, the changing distance from the moon makes a difference on the earth’s surface and causes the tides. This effect is much stronger in the ocean than in the solid crust. The ocean bulges and high tide occurs.

But why do we experience two high tides over the course of a day, once with the moon in its zenith and again nearly 12 hours later? Besides the gravitational pull there is also a force which pulls the ocean layer away from the moon, not unlike what happens to the water in a pail when you swing it in a circle. On the near side of the moon the direct pull dominates and causes the oceans to bulge toward the moon, while on the far side the centrifugal effect dominates and causes the oceans to bulge away from the moon. Any given seaside location will experience a high tide when the moon is at its closest, and then another one about 12 hours later when it is at its furthest.

During its orbit around the earth the moon effects a gravitational pull on the earth’s surface, causing high tides in the areas of the ocean closest to the moon. (Dimensions are not proportional.)
A gravitational pull from the moon and a centrifugal effect cause simultaneous high tides on opposite sides of the earth. (Dimensions are not proportional.)

The gravitational forces between the earth and the moon are not limited to the effects on the oceans. They also have an impact on water in the earth crust and in all living things, plants, animals, and humans. Only the tides are visible to the naked eye.

During the orbit of the moon the distance between the earth and the moon varies. The closest distance at the perigee is 225,622 miles. The farthest distance at the apogee is 252,088 miles.