The Super Moon swallows the stars: This week on the Storyteller's Night Sky

Jan 1, 2018


The Moon will be full at 9:25 p.m. Monday, January 1st, four hours after it rises in the east as the sun is setting in the west.
Credit MSA

The moon takes center stage here at the start of 2018, dusting off the remains of last year by coming to its closest or “Super Moon” full phase on New Year’s Day. The moon will race on to its next full phase again before January is even over. And you better make ready, because if you miss January 1st's full moon, you won’t see another one until March! That’s because January has two full moons this year, and the next one will be totally eclipsed. Then there’s no full moon in February.

The moon is our closest celestial companion, and it provides ample opportunity for fairy tale, fantasy and actual exploration. The moon is associated with urban legends of increased emergency room visits and crime and is even being considered as a launching pad for future, manned space missions to other planets in our system.

The storyteller’s imagination on the moon is that at full phase it’s not just beaming lunacy our way, it’s actually sending forces that shatter things that are crystalized or stuck. Think of it this way: when the moon is at new phase, we don’t see it, and the stars shine much brighter. As the moon grows from new phase to full phase, it gets brighter and brighter, while the starlight gets dimmer and dimmer; it’s as though the moon is gathering all the starlight into itself to focus and intensify the light as it streams earthward. But then the moon gets so full it bursts, scattering all the light back to its source and giving us all a break from the extreme potency of all that undiluted celestial light. As the moonlight wanes, the starlight increases, and things calm down. 

Now if there’s anything hanging over you from 2017 that you haven’t been able to shake, maybe the moon can lend a hand. It rises in the east at 5 p.m. on January 1st and will spend the next four hours growing toward its largest full phase of the year at 9:25 p.m. So before that moment, get outside and cast all your cares into its shining lap, so that whatever is stuck can burst into star shine and make way for the new!