Why do I do the above ritual? Why do I happen to think the moon holds some God like power?
In Shakespeare’s “Othello,” Emilia tells Othello that the moon has “drawn too close to the Earth” — and driven men insane.
The idea that full moons hold power, can disrupt emotional state of minds, and might even cause physical illness or changes, is a very strong belief for generations and even in today’s generation.
In fact, one study says that nearly 81 percent of mental health professionals believe that the moon has the power of making some people ill.
Here’s what researchers have found about the moon’s effects on human bodies and behavior.
As far back as 400 B.C., physicians and philosophers blamed behavioral changes on the pull of the moon. The word “lunatic,” after all, came from the idea that changes in mental state were related to lunar cycles.
The connection between the two is even supported in historic legal treatises: Famed British jurist William Blackstone wrote that people gained and lost their ability to reason according to the moon’s shifting phases.
The possibility that humans could be affected by the moon’s cycles isn’t entirely groundless.
The ocean’s tides rise and fall in time with the moon’s phases, and several marine species — including reef coral, sea-dwelling worms, and some fish — have reproductive cycles that are roughly timed to lunar cycles.
Because the moon’s cycles are known to influence natural phenomena like the tides, some cultures have developed a persistent — but mostly incorrect— belief that lunar phases also influence human emotions, behaviors, and health.
For the most part, a full moon doesn’t cause people to become more aggressive, violent, anxious, or depressed.
There does seem to be a link between the phases of the moon and changes in symptoms of bipolar disorder. There’s also some evidence that a full moon can lead to less deep sleep and a delay in entering into REM sleep. In addition, some studies have shown a slight change in cardiovascular conditions during a full moon.
Scientists continue to study how the moon influences various physiological and psychological systems. For now, though, it appears the effect of this heavenly body on your body is less powerful than once believed, but not totally disproven. More research needs to be done. However, what we are seeing now is beginning to confirm some truth behind the ancient rumors.