Episode 51: Cheers to the Moon
Namaste. Happy Lunar New Year from Florida. Let's raise our mimosas and clink a cheers to a bit of connection between work, notices and ads in your inbox. Written with a London accent in my head. Reading with an accent is completely your next best decision.
This weekend marks the Lunar New Year and My Golden Blogday!
What is this new madness, you say?
This is a persuasive essay, and you will join me after reading it.
Yes, you will. (Hands rubbing together.)
The marketing ramp-up for our common Gregorian New Year is hefty.
People don headbands, tooter necklaces and earrings that light up.
War-like fireworks ignite in neighborhoods, while TVs splash with colors in the night, for every time zone on the planet.
Can you imagine that kind of hype for the Lunar Calendar?
What if we weren't Gregorians?
This is not a chicken-egg question.
But Lunar did come first.
Why did we switch?
Blame it on the math-nerd Pope Gregory, whose fascination with numbers converted most of us.
But let's back the truck up. (I am loving that phrase.)
Julius Caesar created the Julian Calendar, which was in place before the Greg.
But did Julius create it? Of course not. He hired some people.
Let's call it the Greek calendar, because it was birthed by Greek mathematicians and astronomers.
Let's give them a lil credit.
Or not. Leap Year is basically their fault.
And the twelve months are named after Gods/Goddesses, Latin numbers, a Roman leader and a festival.
Any-hoo, the Greek calendar was in play, but it was 11 minutes off.
It had an extra quarter day, .25.
Savant Gregory argued it was actually .2422 (SMH.)
So he got his own calendar named after his poptastic self.
(That is actually a word, and my usage here makes me laugh.)
Both the Greek and the Greg were created from one tiny area of the globe. Think about that.
And not everyone conformed to this Mediterranean bandwagon.
There are cultures today who still use the Lunar calendar.
I feel like we should join them.
Did I mention we lost 8 years with the Greg?
Here's what it would look like:
13 months. Lucky thirteen. Bringing thirteen back.
Do you like a bit of drama? The Eastern Orthodox Church still uses the Greek.
Is this a slap in the face to the Popes, or what?
Back to Lunar.
Or lunisolar, depending on who you ask: Vietnamese, Hindu, Thai.
There is a Jewish calendar and it is LUNAR.
The Islamic calendar is LUNAR. Their logo is the crescent moon, with a star.
The Chinese calendar is LUNAR, a brave country for not adopting the authoritarian Greg.
Astronomical observations date back to Paleolithic times.
Why go back, you say?
Less important than the evidence of who is still using Lunar, is the effect of the moon on half of the human population, thereby affecting the entire species.
The lunar cycle has an impact on human reproduction. Fertility, menstruation and birth rate are all influenced by the moon.
The moon is as linked up with human women as it is with the ocean.
And there it is.
Honoring the sun instead of the night.
Honoring the man instead of his wife.
I have made this a man thing.
And why not.
Men, it is written, created the replacements of the original.
Who is to say that women did not have a hand in the creation of this original system?
Their bodies testified of the power and truth of the moon.
Still today, women are banished from the homes they clean while they menstruate or give birth or have post-baby depression. When did this start? And WHY?
Native non-American Tribes honored menstruating women. This is hard for me to imagine.
I'm obviously skewed. (Yes, this has become an exercise in not cringing on men.)
Anciently, a woman's ability to bleed was proof of her other-worldly powers.
Think about it. She bleeds but doesn't die.
If any person was bleeding like that, from anywhere on their body, and had no negative medical ramifications...
Women are amazing. Some thought: Divine.
This is when native men would come with questions or to be more spiritually connected.
Instead of banishment, it was girl time.
What I now call: couchtime.
Periods were art-making, storytelling bliss.
Maybe they weren't banished. Maybe they chose it.
Verbally and actively claimed it for themselves.
Today's Deep Breath: here's a practical juju nugget, a collective Next Best Decision.
Basically, every culture has theorized over the female body's connection to the moon.
Greek definition for menstruation: men = month, menus = moon and power.
Ancient Egyptians drank it.
Greeks used it to fertilize their crops.
Alas, the Goddess cultures evaporated, and men turned away from periods altogether.
But we still love our couchtime.
Less important than bringing back the Lunar Calendar--though I am a fan,
perhaps we could bring back the honor and the reverence for a woman and her body.
Though menstruation huts are illegal in Nepal and among Jews in Ethiopia, they still exist and they are horrible.
Isolation in a prison would be better.
Something sweet becomes detestable, because of choices.
Something sweet becomes abusive, because of fear.
I don't hate men.
But I am really sick and tired of fear.
Happy Lunar New Year.