Although we all talk about the Moon, think about the Moon, look up at the Moon, the Moon still remains a mystery to us, it has been this way for aeons, and will be for aeons to come. Because of the mystery, the Moon holds a fascination for everyone, and who can help being riveted by the beauty of a full Moon and what the Moon can reveal. The light of the Moon seems to contain a magic all its own, yet something that we all wish to share in, the allure of the Moon has a place in our hearts, as it did in the hearts of our ancestors.
The Moon has connotations for many religions, and the word Moon comes from the Greek word meaning “measure”, there are many Christian celebrations with a connection to the Moon on specific dates. The ancient Egyptians discovered that although the Moon shape shifted with precision regularly, it did not provide an accurate measure of the seasons, and there was a miscalculation by several days. The regularity of the Moon’s ability to shape shift was a way for ancient civilizations to be able to keep time, and the cycles of the Moon were the basis of the earliest calendars. Farmers needed to know when to plant and to harvest, merchants needed to know when to expect to have crops for sale. It was also necessary to have an accurate gauge of the season to be prepared for the annual flooding of the River Nile, none of which could take place without an accurate measure of time.
There was an early awareness of the Moon’s connection to the oceans of the world and the cycles of nature, the Moon affects the creatures of the sea, many of which mate and spawn during particular cycles of the tides. Some fish are easier to catch during the full Moon, birds and animals are all affected during the phase of the full Moon, animals are more active at this time. Ancient civilizations used the Moon to predict weather patterns, and it was thought to be magic. It is known today that tornadoes and hurricanes tend to occur during the phases of the New and the full Moon, more than any other time, and there is a tendency for more rainfall during the first quarter of the Waning Moon. The human pregnancy gestation period is calculated by lunar cycles.
Now the question: Does knowing the science behind the moons phases make it any less magical?
Just because we now know how the magic works, we tend to move it into the categories of science.
Can magic and science coexist? Could we even further theorize that magic and science are the same thing?
Our modern, worldview, which likes to explain phenomena purely in terms of cause and effect relationships, has no place for magic. Magic has been expelled from the modern world so thoroughly – at least in theory – that very few people even understand what magic is anymore. Most people think of magic as being a sort of “god in the machine” that miraculously contravenes the “laws” that govern matter and energy. This is, after all, precisely what magic is portrayed as being in popular culture, such as in the Harry Potter series, for example. It makes perfect sense that people whose only (mis)information concerning magic is that which is spoonfed to them by modern culture would think of it as being whatever these sources tell them it is.
What, then, is magic? The best definition to date is almost certainly that of one of the twentieth century’s leading writers on magic, Dion Fortune, who defined magic as “the art and science of causing change in consciousness in accordance with will.”
In Ancient Greece magicians, were seen not only as wise holders of secrets but also as masters of such diverse fields as mathematics and chemistry
So could we not say that the magicians were the first scientist?
The definition of science is the study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.
Did the ancient civilizations not study the behavior of the moon and observe the physical cause and effect of the moons phases?
Let’s take astronomy and physics as an example. As of now, we can only account for 5% of the matter in the universe. The other 95%, in theory, is made up of dark matter and dark energy.
Dark energy is the mysterious force that is accelerating the universe apart, but scientists can’t prove it’s even real much less what it actually is. It’s a theory. Much like our ancestors, we are observing a mysterious act of nature, and using observations to explain the unknown.
So can science and magic coexist, or could they be the same thing.
Could science actually be magic with an explanation?
After all, we now know that the sun does not rise due to magic. It rises do to the earth spinning, and seasons exist due to the tilt of the planet. These facts, however do not make a sunrise or a spring shower, any less magical.