Friday, March 25, 2011


No, I’m not talking about some tasteless adolescent bum shot and prank, rather a once in just about every eighteen year event when the earth’s only natural satellite is closest to our planet. Last Saturday night our moon was also in full phase and was bigger and brighter than usual, in fact, absolutely brilliant. This was the moon in Super Perigee and given its significant almost two decade interval good Friends John and Susan thought this yet another legitimate excuse to meet and party. Indeed, we did. After a great shared meal we gathered at their abode and set up our lawn chairs in their front yard at the end of an east facing cul-de-sac in far north Dallas.

At around 8:15 PM CT a large yellow to orange ball framed by two winter oaks dominated the horizon and looked more like some surreal scene from an earlier Star Trek. This was all real, however, and made even more enjoyable with the consumption of a 2009 Bogle Sauvignon Blanc in tribute to Patty Bogle with a 2007 Smoking Loon Syrah waiting in the wings – just in case. We recommend this as the accompaniment to any lunar event especially in the southwest – seems to fit.

All this was the precursor to the Vernal/Spring Equinox that fell on the next day. We hip hopped into Spring noting the learned observations of our ancestors including the Mayans and, of course, those persistent Druids and Celtic Peoples who were once again busy celebrating at Stonehenge and many other stone circles in Europe. As most educated folks know by now many pre-Christian cultures placed great significance on the equinox and celebrated with a wide variety of rituals some of which were carried over in the modern Christian Church. They must have gone nuts when their full moons were also in perigee…

No we aren’t going to entertain a cavalcade of cultural paradigms validating that fact but we will let you ponder the capital letter, “E”. Hint: The ancient Saxons in Northern Europe worshiped the Goddess Oestre at the time of the Spring Equinox. The Celts and others in the northern hemisphere celebrated Ostara, the coming of the light out of darkness (winter), fertility and the renewal of life (of bunnies and eggs).

Those who know me also note my celebration of the Maya Culture and they put yet another spin on the vernal equinox. Even the most radicalized evangelical will concede the great astronomical knowledge of the Maya even to the manipulation of the rays of the sun and moon – just like the ancient Druids. The Mayan city state of Chichén Itzá is home to the Pyramid of Kukulcán where every March 21 the rays of the setting sun shine across the stepped northwestern corner of the pyramid ultimately casting a zigzag shadow much like a diamondback rattlesnake in profile, connecting with the carved stone snake's head at the foot of the balustrade. The feathered serpent lives again.

Like the ancients before us, we celebrated the beauty of Mother Nature and the wonders of our universe while some idiots in Y2K mode huddled in their caves, fearful that the earthquakes, floods (tsunamis) and storms striking the planet Earth were “caused by the super moon”. Well, we welcomed Spring and the only thing we dread is the inevitable 110+ temperatures that Summer will bring to Texas. Tell that to Michiganders who are enduring yet another heavy ice and snow storm as of this writing.

Celebrating the beginning of Spring and the rebirth of life appears to be among the oldest holidays in human culture. Seems that things haven’t changed all that much, maybe somewhat though with the addition of a good California Sauvignon Blanc…


Ned Buxton

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