Why we won’t see a black moon on Halloween

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The black moon is typically used in rituals that involve the moon goddess Hacate.

By Felicia Mora

sac-ranger@alamo.edu

There will not be a black moon on Halloween, at least not in this part of the world.

Astronomy Professor David Wood explained what a black moon is.

The moon’s phase cycle is 21 1/2 days long, and so that means it will go through its entire cycle of phases in the course of a calendar month.

But because it’s 29 1/2 days and some months are 31 days, it is occasionally possible to get a new moon that occurs twice in the same month.

Usually it would be on the first of the month or the 30th. You would rarely see one on the second and the 31st of the month. So it’s those rare occasions that you would get two new moons that occur, Wood said.

This means a black moon is the second new moon in a lunar phase.

Wood explained why this is called a black moon:

“It’s mostly just a mythos, but you won’t ever see a new moon because a new moon has none of its front face lit. So the entire far side of the moon is lit, none of the near side, so you can’t see it.”

The black moon will not be available to see in the United States.

“The United States is about the very last country to experience a new day, a new month, or a new year because we run right up to the far western side of the international dateline,” Wood said.

“But when you cross the international date line, you basically go across the strait of Alaska, then straight across to Russia, and all of a sudden you are in a whole new day, and they are 24 hours ahead of us,” Wood said.

Countries that would be able to experience the black moon are in the Far East, such as Australia, China or Russia.

Even though a black moon will not take place in the United States, there are still religious beliefs people have about this event around the world.

“As far as its significance it’s really going to be in forms of neo- paganism and Wicka,” said, Dr. Ryan Lozano, full-time adjunct professor of philosophy and religion.

“The black moon is used typically in rituals that involve Hacate. She is one of the Greek goddesses that’s usually portrayed as a triple goddess. Sometimes she is going to be paired with Artemis, the huntress on Earth, Hacate the moon goddess herself, and then Persephone, the destroyer from the underworld,” Lozano said.

Other goddesses, like Hacate, are associated with the black moon.

In Norse mythology, there is the goddess Hel as well as in Sumerian mythology with Tiamat. Another Goddess in Hindu mythology is called Kali. They similarities reflect an overlap in world religions, he said.

“The black moon’s real significance is that it is considered something rather unusual,” Lozano said.

There is nothing to fear on Halloween from these religions or black moon rituals, he said.   “Rituals that they are practicing are not bad. Witches are not evil. They are not Satanists. For the most part, the rituals they are trying to recreate have been around for thousands and thousands of years,” Lozano said.

“Anybody who comes from a European background and that would be Hibernians, the Spanish, as well, as Celtic, this is part of their history, so there is nothing to be scared of, but certainly something to be curious about,” Lozano said.

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