May 5, 2012

Supermoon, Vesak, and Cinqo de Mayo

Whenever the universe lines up multiple events, holidays, or astronomical occurrences at one time, everything seems to speed up and become a bit larger than life to bring our priorities to our attention. So, I'm paying attention to all of the magical signs and symbols of synchronistic coincidences, today!

Astronomically, today marks a full moon which while known this month as the flower moon, and in this case one which is also known as a Super Moon. Now, it is not as portentous as the last one that I blogged about as it is not our largest super moon, and so the gravitational pull between earth and moon does not create fear of any severe weather conditions, but it does present us with the opportunity to view a lovey, full and super sized moon in all of her feminine glory.

As tonight's moon will be closer to earth than at any other time this year, (but not in the past two decades as last year's super moon was!) it will still be beautiful and potentially spectacular. Due to the moon's egg-shaped orbit, there are times when our natural satellite is at perigee—its closest to Earth—and at apogee, its farthest. Thus, the term "Super Moon" was coined in 1979 to describe a full moon that coincides with perigee—something that happens about once a year, on average.

During this week's perigee, the moon will be 221,801 miles (356,955 kilometers) from our planet, and that close approach will happen within minutes of the official full moon phase, which occurs at 11:35 p.m. ET. As a consequence, this translates into it appearing as much as 16 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than other full moons of 2012—not a huge amount, but definitely noticeable,

It is also a Buddhist holi-day called 'Vesak' the day which is dedicated to honoring Buddha (Gautama Buddha or Siddhartha Gautama Buddha) the spiritual teacher on whom Buddhist spiritual teachings are founded. The word "Buddha" is a tittle for the first awakened being in an era. In most Buddhist traditions, Siddhartha Gautama is regarded as the Supreme Buddha or awakened one.

In his birth, his holy principles of seeking to lead a noble life according to the teaching by making daily affirmations to observe the "Five Precepts"...commitments to abstain from harming living beings, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying and intoxication.

However, on special days, notably new moon and full moon days, Buddhists observe the Eight Precepts to train themselves to further concentrate on the practices of morality, simplicity and humility.

Wonderful values for any day, but on a super sized kind of day..perhaps even more important to think about. A lovely time to focus on personal values, simplicity and lack of excess in our lives!

And of course we may celebrate 'Cinqo de Mayo' , where in Mexico it is called "El Día de la Batalla de Puebla." ...The Day of the Battle of Puebla. For us in the U.S. is more of a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride, and to commemorate the cause of freedom and democracy during the first years of the American Civil War.

In the Mexican state of Puebla, the date is observed to commemorate the Mexican army's unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín. Contrary to widespread popular belief, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico's Independence Day—the most important national patriotic holiday in Mexico—which is actually celebrated on September 16.

A Super Saturday...a full Super Moon, Vesak, and Cinqo de Mayo. In any language, any belief system, any culture...wonderful things to pay attention to and appreciate!

shown above:
Part of a small format art quilt that I created recently for the Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI) as part of my dedication to donating to that cause.

Michele Bilyeu blogs With Heart and Hands as she shares a quilting journey through her life in Salem, Oregon and Douglas, Alaska. Sharing thousands of links to Free Quilt and Quilt Block Patterns and encouraging others to join in her Liberated Quilting Challenge for the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI) Help us change the world, one little quilt at a time!


♥Duff said...

an other interesting, informative, thought-provoking post! thank you!!

Nellie's Needles said...

Thank you for ALL that I would not have known had you not blogged it. Your moon is incredible and I look forward to seeing the finished piece. I'm in a phase of being fascinated with how moonlight can be represented in my own work ... a challenge to keep my creative life interesting.

Anonymous said...

Wow, this is all so cool. I didn't know a single one of these things! Makes me realize how much I learn just from stopping by here. Love your art quilt. Thanks for all you do. My granny had alzheimer's and it broke our hearts to see what it did to her.

jenclair said...

Great post, Michele! And I LOVE your new piece--such wonderful fabrics!

Lynne said...

You write the most amazing posts - thank you for sharing all that! (PS I've caught up with all your posts now).