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Scoot: Full moon on Friday the 13th! Should you panic?

Today is Friday the 13th, a day considered unlucky in Western culture. Some people are so superstitious, they don’t go to work or make any appointments on Friday the 13th.  Fear of Friday the 13th is not reserved for uninformed, less intelligent people... some doctors have been known to avoid scheduling procedures on Friday the 13th!

Superstition is part of human nature, and the rituals we follow give us a feeling of control over the possibility of something bad happening. While most of us know that any ritualistic behavior we practice will not actually keep us safe from harm, there are those who feel compelled to do - or not do - certain things on Friday the 13th.

If someone has the perception that Friday the 13th is an unlucky day then they are likely to look for things that support their belief that it is a day of misfortune.  The slightest thing might not work out early in the day, and that person now has proof that Friday the 13th is an unlucky day.  The rest of the day, that person will only focus on the negative things that happen, however small they might be, as further evidence that Friday the 13th is unlucky.  This process of focusing on negativity only invites a negative attitude for the entire day.

As we all go through life, we have the option of seeing the positive or the negative.  Negative things do happen and we are challenged to deal with those things, but there are also positive blessings every day that are not always appreciated.  We all know people how have an intrinsic negative nature.  They consider and actually expect only the worst outcomes.

Without suggesting that there is any magical power in having a positive attitude in life, I do think our attitudes do have an impact on our everyday lives.  People are attracted to positive attitudes and I am convinced that having a positive attitude opens doors for opportunities.

When something happens that causes me to run late for a meeting or anything, I am frustrated and find myself making more mistakes to try to make up the time.  That only leads to more delays.  Recently, I have tried to put a positive spin on those little things that happened in our lives – most of them are not significant. If I find myself running late I think, “Well, maybe I’m running late for a reason.”  The difference between getting into an accident or avoiding one is a matter of seconds.  What delayed me at that moment might have caused me to be in a better place the rest of the day. 

I first started to realize that the things we don’t want to happen may not be bad after watching a Gwenyth Paltrow movie, “Sliding Doors.”  In the movie, her character was close to missing the subway.  At that point, the movie showed what would happen if she made the subway and also what her life would have been like if she missed that subway.  The lesson was simple – sometimes the things that we think are the worst things that can happen – end up being the best things that can happen!

Not only is today Friday the 13th, but there is also a full moon!  Even if you can’t see it because of clouds, it is still there! 

The moon has always been a mystical object in the sky to humans and even though man has walked on moon, the mystery of the power of the moon is still present in modern-day life.

The word “lunacy” comes from Luna, the Roman Goddess of the Moon.  One definition of “lunacy” is those moments of insanity believed to be related to the phases of the moon.  A person who is acting in a crazy or abnormal manner is often described as a ‘lunatic.’  In 19th century England, lawyers actually used the defense of “guilty by reason of the full moon” to prove that their clients should not be held responsible for their crime!

The relationship between the moon and human behavior is well documented.  A Roman scientist and military commander believed that the full moon created a heavy dew, which made the brain extremely moist and affected behavior.  The power of a full moon to turn a human into a werewolf has been part of a literary myth since 1941.

It’s easy to understand how the full moon got this image.  Before modern lighting, the light of a full moon kept people awake at night and the lack of sleep led to behavior that was out of the ordinary.  The full moon also provided light for people to carry on drinking and participate in general debauchery well into the night.

The phases of the moon affect the tides of the oceans, and the body is 65% to 75% water.  So, does the moon affect the human body?  Full moons have been blamed for increases in violent crime, suicides, epileptic seizures, sleep deprivation, births and even deaths.  But is a full moon to blame for lunacy and abnormal behavior in humans?  The answer is – no!  

Despite the belief by some police offices, ER nurses and doctors, mental health professionals and the general public that strange behavior increases during a full moon, there are no studies to support the myth that a full moon has the power to make people do crazy things.  There have been a scarce few studies over a 50 year period that established some correlation between a full moon and abnormal behavior, but follow-up studies have proven the original conclusions to be false.

So romanticize about a full moon, but if you actually believe there is a direct relationship between a full moon and human behavior – you’re a lunatic!

I hope this Friday the 13th with a full moon has been a good day and if everything hasn’t been perfect, focus on what went right, not what went wrong today.

Photos via striatic, Rachel Kramer, Flickr

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06/13/2014 12:53PM
Scoot: Full moon on Friday the 13th! Should you panic?
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