Tuesday, January 26, 2010

January Art Challenge: Wolf Moon, Old Moon

Wolf Moon

What do the Old Moon and the Wolf Moon have in Common? Well, they're both names for the full moon of January. And they're both fair game for this first FAE Team Forum Monthly Art Challenge! But why is the January moon given such names?

Why is the first moon of the year should be called Old? Wait, the ever creative and shockingly scholarly Mermaiden has an answer already, under the light of her version of this lovely Luna:

"Certainly the Moon IS old, like 4.6 billion years old. But the peoples who made the designation most likely didn't base their decision on a such a concept.

What did ring true for me has to do with Earthshine. Reflected sunlight illuminates the Moon's night side so that along with the full bright of the crescent, a pale glow of the remaining surface is visible. This phenomenon (thank you Mr. DaVinci for pointing it out) has come to be called the old Moon in the new Moon's arms. And indeed, it is as if the crescent is a cradling arm in the darkness."

And Erthefae also gives a face to this romantic story:

as well as some thoughts of her own!

As for the Wolves, January is the middle of winter-- in the Northern Hemisphere, it's the hard season, the time of cold and scarcity, when wolves were most likely to be driven by hunger to visit human flocks and come near human settlements to find food.

But there's no need to fear this beautiful creature, sighted by Aquariann:

And Wolf Moon or Old Moon, they're both inspiration for some wonderful work from the FAE team!


  1. I'm always amazed at individual interpretations of a subject; it's fascinating to see which ways minds wander. (that's the shocking scholar in me ;P)