273: Moon

Ozark hillfolk have traditionally had a very close relationship to the Heavenly Bodies, especially the moon. Seeds were planted under certain signs of the Zodiac, plants and crops harvested under others. The Almanac was an important item in the cabin, it told the people the best and worst days for cutting hair, buying land, sheering sheep, etc. The phases of the moon are also said to be connected to our health and wellbeing. Warts and cancers were allowed to “lessen” with the waning of the moon, and prosperity was fostered with the growing of the moon. Medicines were often administered at the full moon for most effective healing, and fresh beginnings started when the moon is new. It’s also said that one can become a witch by shooting silver bullets at the moon, and folks always made sure to pull blinds closed so as to not sleep under the rays of the madness inducing full moon.

Silver connection to the Moon – “It is always a good idea to be touching a silver coin whenever you see the moon, and it may be for this reason that rings hammered from silver coins are so popular in some sections.” ~Randolph OMF 330

Medicine and the Moon – “Medicine works best when there is a full moon.” ~Parler FBA II 1376

Moon ritual for warts – “Go outside on a moonlight night and sit down on anything. Look at the moon and concentrate on it. Then after a few minutes, still looking at the moon, reach down and pick up whatever your hand touches. Rub it on your wart. The wart will go away.” ~Parler FBA III 3628

Moon madness – “If you look at the moon too long it will make you go crazy. This is called ‘moon madness.’” ~Parler FBA III 3944

“A person who sleeps in the moonlight will go crazy.” ~Parler FBA III 3945

“Moonlight on the face of a sleeper will cause restlessness, then headache, then neuralgia, and eventually insanity.” ~Parler FBA III 3946

New Moon money ritual – “If you look at a new moon with money in your pocket, turn it over and you will have money all year.” ~Parler FBA V 5908

“Money exposed to a dark moon will grow with the moon.” ~Parler FBA V 5909

Connection to money – “It is unlucky to look at the moon without having silver coins in your pocket.” ~Parler FBA V 5913

Connection to moving – “Move on the new of the moon or when it’s increasing and you will have success or grow. Move when the moon is decreasing and you will never have anything.” ~Parler FBA V 5915


Parler, Mary Celestia – Folk Beliefs of Arkansas
Randolph, Vance – Ozark Magic and Folklore 

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