By John Kearney and Hilde Olsen
On January 19, 2019, a 6.7 magnitude earthquake struck in South America affecting Chile and Argentina, with the epicenter nine miles from Coquimbo, Chile. Subsequent reports indicated two deaths and structural damage. Was this earthquake caused by the Super Blood Wolf Moon that will occur on January 21, 2019? There has been speculation for years that full and new moons may impact earthquakes. Several major earthquakes have occurred during full and new moon time periods but that doesn’t necessarily mean there is a connection.
First, what the heck is a Super Blood Wolf Moon? Over the years, our fascination with the moon has led to the creation of a variety of monikers, or nicknames, for our closest heavenly neighbor. Different names have been attributed to the full moons that occur for a particular month or season, and the “Wolf Moon” is the name given to the full moon that occurs during the month of January. The tradition of naming the full moons is believed to have originated with several native American cultures and early colonials used the names associated with the Algonquins, who lived on the east coast at the time. One theory suggests January’s full moon was named after wolves because the wolf breeding season begins in January, and thus, howling wolves may have been heard more often during this time.
A full moon is called a “supermoon” when the moon is at (or near) the closest point in its rotation around the earth, creating the appearance that the moon is slightly bigger and brighter than usual. The term “blood moon” is used due to the reddish color the moon turns during a lunar eclipse, which will also occur on the 21st of January. During a lunar eclipse, the sun, moon, and earth are aligned in a straight line with the earth positioned between the moon and the sun and blocking the light. The brightness of a typical full moon darkens as the moon enters the shadow created by the earth. The moon turns a reddish color as it enters the moon’s shadow and the earth prevents the Sun’s light from hitting the moon. However, a portion of light still manages to reach the moon because the light bends or refracts around the edges of the earth. Part of the light is also filtered out by the earth’s atmosphere to create the “blood” color. The redness is actually similar to the colors seen in our sunrises and sunsets, and it is influenced by the amount of dust in the atmosphere from volcanos, forest fires, and pollution. If we had perfectly clear skies, there would not be a blood moon, as it would only appear grey.
Now, let’s delve into our question: did the Big, Bad, Super, Blood, Wolf Moon cause the earthquake in Chile on January 19, 2019? What does research say about other earthquakes caused during full or new moons? Well, the answer as Forbes recently said in an article discussing earthquakes and full moons –may depend on who you talk to. Scientists wouldn’t be scientists if they didn’t have something to disagree about (as demonstrated here in an article regarding whether trees and plants have cognition) and they can’t seem to agree as to whether the moon affects seismic activity.
There is evidence suggesting that the tidal effect of the moon on the Earth can impact seismic activity, but there is also evidence that it does not. The gravitational pull from the moon stretches and compresses water across the earth causing high and low tides in the ocean. The moon’s gravitational pull on earth is also strongest during the alignment which takes place between the sun and moon during the full and new moon phases. Similarly, the moon also creates a slight pull on the Earth’s crust. This pull has caused experts to suspect that the moon’s gravity could be strong enough to act as the deciding factor, pulling at a fault in the earth’s crust which was already close to failing or slipping, and causing an earthquake to occur.
It is known that a fault does not go from fixed to sliding in an instant, according to Nicholas Van Der Elst, a seismologist with the US Geological Survey, who published a study in 2016 which found a connection between moon phases and small earthquakes that took place along the San Andreas fault in California. “It can take hours, days, or even longer for the fault to really come
Ide’s study was published in Nature Geoscience and found that the number of high magnitude earthquakes went up globally as tidal stresses rose and that large earthquakes like the Sumatran quake in 2004, the 2010 Maule earthquake in Chile, and the 2011 Tohoku-Oki earthquake in Japan occurred near the time of maximum tidal strain when the moon was new or full. The study evaluated more than 10,000 earthquakes of around magnitude 5.5, and found, an earthquake that began during a time of high tidal stress was more likely to grow to magnitude 8 or above. Ide was also careful to point out that further research was needed, especially with earthquakes below 5.5.
In 2018, along came that additional research, and it, of course, reached the exact opposite conclusion as the one found by Ide. A 2018 study performed by Susan Hough from the U.S. Geological Survey reached the opposite conclusion, “No,” there is not a connection between earthquakes and phases of the moon. Or, at least, that is how Hough’s study was reported. Hough evaluated the dates and lunar phases of 204 magnitude-8 or higher earthquakes dating back to the 1600s. Hough found that the data was completely random and the incidence of earthquakes had no relationship with the position of the moon. Hough’s data seems to suggest that if an earthquake occurs during a full or new moon it is just a coincidence because many other earthquakes have occurred during other phases of the moon. However, even Hough found an impact caused by the moon could occur and stated as much about her own data: “It makes sense that tidal forces might in some cases be the proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back. *** But the studies note that the modulation is small, such that the effect is of no practical use for prediction.” Hough’s concern seems to be that the data isn’t useful in predicting earthquakes because of the large number of factors that could possibly contribute to causing an earthquake. But Hough did not conclude that the moon isn’t a factor in some earthquakes.
Most likely, the real problem here is that scientists still don’t know specifically what causes a major earthquake. What takes place during an earthquake is well known: Pieces of the earth slip past one another along a fault releasing built up energy and some of that energy then ripples outward creating seismic waves that shake the earth. But how long it takes for these processes to occur along a particular fault and exactly how the energy dissipates is not well understood by scientists. But one theory speculates that earthquakes begin as smaller fractures that build up via a cascading process. If this is the case, the phases of the moon could play a role in that process. All the research done to this point really has the same conclusion — that more research is needed. The answers are just not clear at this point. Thus, the answer to our original question — did the Big, Bad, Super, Blood, Wolf Moon cause the earthquake in Chile on January 19, 2019 — will probably have to remain a bit elusive, for now. However, I think it is safe to say: Maybe.
Regardless, since there does seem to be a consensus that the moon plays some role in seismic activity on earth, maybe a bigger question is: what effect does the moon play on our bodies. Science has barely begun to tackle this one. If the pull from the moon is strong enough to influence seismic activity and earthquakes underground, surely the moon is capable of affecting individuals standing on that ground. Much less energy would be required for the task. Is the full moon also capable of causing “earthquakes” inside our bodies? Is the pull from the moon strong enough to cause physical changes on our bodies that are capable of being felt?
While much, much, much more research is needed, a few studies do exist. Studies have found adverse effects on sleeping patterns during the full moon. Additional research has found connections between lunar phases and the effects on laboratory rats with regard to taste sensitivity and the ultrastructure of pineal gland cells. Decreased melatonin levels in fish have also been observed.
Anecdotal evidence also suggests that something is going on with our bodies due to the tug of the full moon. We at Tuntrelife have noticed strong effects with each of the full moons over the past few months. Because John is a significant empath he feels everything to extremes. Each recent full moon has produced similar effects, tiredness, fatigue, or an added sense of heaviness. It seems like with every passing full moon the number of similar reports seen on social media is increasing, like the following Tweet indicating some type of adverse health effect caused by the full moon.
I have had no desire to eat solid foods these last few days. Been having lots of water, soups, herbal teas and smoothies… the energies are calling for me to stay light. 🌕⚡✨❤ #fullbloodmoon #lunatic #selenophile— The Moon Goddesss Tarot (@GoddesssMoon) January 20, 2019
But, as the full moon passes, enters its waning phase, we have also noticed upgrades to our energy, which may be produced by the full moon. It is possible that this upgrade occurs due to the charging effects of the moon. The full moon is currently used by modern witches to cleanse and charge, or renew, items like crystals, moon water, and other magic components. Oral tradition indicates these practices are steeped in traditions practiced long ago. It is known from grimoires that the moon was an integral part of ancient magic practices, as evidenced by its use for talisman creation found in the Picatrix and in the magic traditions of the ancient Daoist. It was believed that charging an item under the Full Moon imbued it with the energy of the moon, similar to recharging a battery. Additionally, it was believed that charging those items under the Full Moon gave them the energy that was associated with the astrological sign that the Moon was in. For example, the current Full Moon is in Leo, and, thus, the items charged under it will have a Leo energy charge ( the heads of earthquake scientists everywhere are exploding at the thought of extrapolating out data for the additional forces created by these heavenly alignments and any possible connections with earthquakes here on earth).
Clearly, more research is also needed on the topic of how the moon impacts our bodies. At this point, it is probably all just something to think about. But these are the types of questions we want answers to here at Tuntrelife. We are going to keep exploring these energies and their effects with each new and full moon. You can trust that we will report our findings soon. You can help out by leaving your own experiences with the Full Moon in the comments. Have you felt tired or worn out before the Full Moon? Have you experienced any kind of upgrade once the Full Moon has passed?
An eclipse map to determine if the eclipse can be viewed in your neck of the woods and a list of times to best view the action can be found here. This article from Space.com also has extensive information regarding how to view the eclipse.
A guided meditation utilizing the energies of the full moon.
I hope you have clear skies to enjoy the view and that you enjoy the upgrade you will experience in the days after the moon’s
Super Blood Wolf Moon performance.
You can find additional information on Eclipses and Moon Magic in the Tuntrelife Shop. And, as always, if you purchase one of them through Amazon you are helping to fund Tuntrelife.