Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Lunar Perigee (Super Moon) and Solstice Worshipers on Mt Abel, 06/22/13

Thank you nice camera.
This year I was much better prepared for "The Super Moon". A better camera is always a good place to start, as does getting outside of the atmospheric haze of the coast. To that end I proposed to my wife a night on Mt Abel, known nowadays as Cerro Noroeste. I've written of the woodsy Campo Alto and the adjacent "Sunset Point" recently and I figured Ruth might enjoy seeing that sunset and get a big ole bit of moon action to go with it. We did it low key, used the 2-man Hardware this time, didn't scrimp on dinner which was salad and fillet and roasted butter bread, and it all came out very nice.

One thing occurred during our sunset which I could not have predicted, the arrival of a half dozen white people with a ceremonial looking drum and various Chumash-looking accouterments. They set up shop in the setting sun and began with sprinkling tobacco on the drum while wafting sage over themselves. Then the drumming began. They drummed down the sun on that windy peak. 

I have to get something off my chest. I have been to a Lakota pow-wow in Wyoming. I have seen a Hopi kachina dance in Arizona. I have seen a Chumash condor dance in Santa Barbara. I have seen real Native Americans performing real Native American dances and ceremonies. Here's the problem, these people and what they were doing made me really uncomfortable. I found myself observing these folks and came to the conclusion that I don't think very highly of white people practicing rituals and metaphysical nonsense under the pretext of paying homage to traditional Chumash beliefs. In my opinion, people like that should stick to crystals or tarot or Egyptology, and leave the rattles and drums alone. What they were doing seemed to me to be obliviously self serving and rudely insensitive at the same time. Whatever. That's just me. I don't like people who pretend to be something they are not (unless they're JDepp playing Tonto).

Now, let us talk about that amazing moon. The "Super Moon" occurs around every thirteen months and  is scientifically known as Lunar Perigee, which occurs when a full moon coincides with the closest the moon gets to earth in that 13 month cycle. In brief, the moon moves very little in relation to the earth. The earth spins every 24 hours and tilts on her axis back and forth twice a year on her annual trek around the sun. But the moon just follows the gravity of the earth, riding our orbit so to speak. At times we pass by the gravity wells of some of the larger planets which exerts a minor but measurable tug on the moon, pulling her a bit away from us. Eventually earth's gravity pulls the moon back in ever so slightly. At the moon's apogee she is the farthest out on the yo-yo that she gets, and then she is reeled back in to her perigee, which means that if it happens on or near a full moon we get a Super Moon. So Ruth and I got a magically bright evening in the pines of Campo Alto. What a treat.
FYI: The next Super Moon will occur in August 2014.

Campo Alto

Note: turkey feather fan, eagle feather something or other (a felony unless you can prove yourself innocent), sage and tobacco, other stuff.

Note: tobacco in abalone shell, what appear to be ordinary rocks placed at the cardinal points. 

They of the drumming.


  1. As much as I love Cali, but the New Age BS and all that is one thing which one may do without. Wether it's the East Bay haters or the SoCal pseudo spiritualists.

  2. “There is science, logic, reason; there is thought verified by experience. And then there is California.”
    ― Edward Abbey

  3. The new age movement is the continuation of manifest destiny, a real wolf in sheep's clothing.