In Part 4 of the Mythical Menagerie series, Ambrose is up against the clock as he races to stop something bad from happening on the next Blood Moon. Now, I picked a blood moon because it’s a memorable event – it’s not every day that you see a red moon hanging in the sky – and because it happens fairly infrequently, and yet frequently enough that people should know what a blood moon is.
It occurred to me that there might be some mythological background or legends concerning a blood moon, so I delved a little deeper to find out more. As it turns out, blood moons are not that frequent at all (the previous one was in 2015 and the next one will only be in 2032) and they’re most frequently associated with the Hunter’s Moon that takes place in October.
So I thought, great, this moon might be linked to Artemis the Huntress or something similar, but as it turns out, it has a much more practical history. Apparently, ancient cultures gave their full moons (i.e. every month) a specific name to indicate what time of the year it is. The Hunter’s Moon is so called because October is the month in which Northern Hemisphere people used to hunt, collect and preserve meat for the coming winter. I was born in June, the Strawberry Moon, named after those yummy berries ripening at this time of year. You can read more about full moon names here.
For the purposes of my story, the Hunter’s Moon won’t work, because it is set in March, known as the Worm Moon (or as I prefer, the Crow Moon). The Blood Moon also needs to be a more frequent occurrence, maybe every six months or so. And it has to be a little more ominous than stretched out light waves or dust particles in the air.
I guess this is where poetic license comes in.
And just how much fun is it to invent my own lore around a Blood Moon? A whole helluva lot, I can tell you. If you see me staring off into the distance, you’ll know I’m dreaming up my own myths and legends that might just become as mainstream as sparkling vampires one day…
Do you know of any cool myths and legends surrounding blood moons? What is your full moon called?