To Be Wrong or Uncertain is a Learning Opportunity

Full Moon photograph taken 10-22-2010 from Madison, Alabama, USA. Photographed with a Celestron 9.25 Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope. Acquired with a Canon EOS Rebel T1i (EOS 500D). Found at Wikipedia.

A few nights ago, I went to a friend’s house for game night.  During the course of the evening, we started to play Cranium.  My husband and I, as a team, were on a roll.  We were lucky enough to get only the creative and performance tasks as we progressed.  We eventually found ourselves at the end of the game.  However, to win, we would have to pass tasks randomly selected by the other teams.  Sensing my desire to stay away from the data-driven questions (which can involve my dreaded foe math), they pounced on that opportunity.  One of the questions was a true-false about the lunar phases.  Basically, it asked if the lunar phases were caused by the Earth’s shadow.  My husband decided I should be the expert since the moon is spiritually important to me.  Knowing it had something to do with the location of the Earth, I said true.  FALSE!  What I was thinking of was the lunar eclipse.  Feeling very sheepish, I realized this was an example of my being a Ditzy Druid.

Ditzy because I didn’t really know and was kind of assuming.

Druid because, after the fact, I had to find out exactly how it works.

It’s the sort of thing you learn about in school.  Usually 4th, 5th, or 6th grade.  Then it gets left behind for other concepts.  I felt a real sense of “shame on me” because if I utilize the moon in my magical practices, I should know more about the science behind it.  Druids were the learned class of ancient Celtic society.  With such erudite role models, I couldn’t abandon my search for knowledge after merely reading the explanation on a game card.

Some searching online brought me to this website,  It offers various moon-related software but also has articles – including an explanation on the phases.  It’s very easy to understand and I now have a very good visual in my mind.  What I found most interesting is that “the moon’s orbit about the earth is about 5 degrees off from the earth-sun orbital plane.”  This is why we can see the full moon as we do rather than a shadow of the Earth – like we would during an eclipse.

So it does have something to do with the position of the Earth and sunlight, but it’s not exactly how I thought.

Some of you may be saying, “Well, duh!” but I know there are plenty others who just aren’t sure.  There’s not shame in not knowing or not fully understanding concepts.  Don’t ever feel embarrassed to say you don’t know or that you were wrong.  These are learning opportunities!  Sometimes we don’t realize we’re missing a piece of the puzzle until we’re put in silly situations – like trivia games.  The important thing is what you do after you realize you are lacking in the information department.  Do you shrug and leave it at that?  Or do you go out and find more information?

I hope you’re like me and that you go for the latter.  Personally, I’m curious to learn more about the moon!  Book or documentary recommendations anyone?!

Published by M. A. Phillips

An author and Druid living in Northern NY.

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