Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Correlation Between the Full Moon and Lunacy

Fact or Fiction?

Psychiatric hospital admissions and crimes increase during full moons.

While many people believe this phenomenon to be true, there is no scientific proof that the full moon affects anyone in a negative manner. The idea that the full moon affects people has been used throughout history to explain away bad or strange behavior. The very word lunatic is derived from the name of the Roman moon goddess, Luna. Greek and Roman philosophers “suggested that the brain was the “moistest” organ in the body, and thereby most susceptible to the pernicious influences of the moon” (Lilienfeld and Arkowitz, 2009, para 1). This has been proven incorrect for many reasons. One reason is the fact that the moon’s gravitational pull affects only open bodies of water, and another reason being that the moon’s gravitational pull is the same for new moon as it is for a full moon. The belief of the full moon’s influence continued during the Middle Ages. During that time it was known as the lunar lunacy effect or the Transylvania effect.

One of the only possible explanations to the origin of this belief (urban legend) may be that the brightness of the full moon affected the sleep patterns of people who mainly lived outdoors. Lack of sleep affects people’s behavior especially those with preexisting psychological disorders, causing them to possibly act in a bizarre or erratic manner (Lilienfeld et al, 2009).

 These beliefs are still alive and well in the modern world. However, the results of many studies to date have found no correlation between the full moon and the erratic behavior in humans. It seems the misconception may be related to the preconceived notions based on knowledge of what is no more than an urban legend.


Lilienfeld, S.O., & Arkowitz, H. (2009, February 09). Lunacy and the Full Moon. Retrieved from

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Papa Legba/Ellegua/Exu


Papa Legba's Ritual Symbol (Veve)

Legba has his origins with the Fon people of Dahomey (Benin) Africa and is said to be the guardian and trickster of the crossroads and entrances. He is one of the most widely worshipped lwas and is known by several names. In Surinam in Brazil he is known as Exu, in Trinidad, in Cuba he is known as Ellegua, and in Haiti and New Orleans he is known as Papa Legba. Papa Legba is the master linguist, the trickster, warrior, and the personal messenger of destiny. He has the power to remove obstacles and he provides opportunities. All ceremonies begin and end with Papa Legba, and there can be no communication with any of the other loas without consulting him first. His gift for linguistics enables him to translate the requests of humans into the languages of the spirits and lwas.

Papa Legba’s colors are red and black (as worshipped in New Orleans), and some of his favorite things that can be used as offerings include, candy, cigars, rum, and tobacco. He absolutely loves palm oil. His number is three and his day of the week is Monday.

Papa Legba walks with the black sun. He is very powerful as his tales manifest in the crossroads between the visible and the invisible worlds. He is the first to open the doors to the spirit world when called upon, and has the power to remove obstacles. Among many other things, he is known as a storyteller.

Likened to St. Michael and St. Peter, Legba is the guardian and opener of the crossroads of the world. His colors are red and black. His favorite foods are corn, candy, and rum.

Voodoo practitioners place representations of Papa Legba behind the front door of their home in order to clear their path in many ways and to bring His protection and to help accomplish goals.