'Wolf Moon' lunar eclipse this Friday will have werewolves looking to form packs — or so the myth says

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'Wolf Moon' lunar eclipse this Friday will have werewolves looking to form packs — or so the myth says
Many myths and legends surround the January 'Wolf Moon'Pixabay
  • A 'Wolf Moon' lunar eclipse will grace the skies on January 10.
  • The 'Wolf Moon' is a nickname given the first full moon of the year and is associated with myths and legends.
  • In today's pop-culture, the 'Wolf Moon' is regarded as the second most dangerous moon when it comes to werewolves.
It's not uncommon for the moon to be associated with a multitude of legends and myths. One of which is the 'Wolf Moon' — the first full moon of the year.

This Friday, not only will there be a Wolf Moon in the sky, but it will be shining during a penumbral lunar eclipse. This will be the first lunar eclipse of 2020. Although it may be difficult to spot since a penumbral lunar eclipse is difficult to tell apart of an ordinary full moon.

'Wolf Moon' lunar eclipse this Friday will have werewolves looking to form packs — or so the myth says
Penumbral lunar eclipseRobin Cook/NASA

Some people believe it's the night when a person is most likely to turn into a werewolf or make dogs go wild. Scientists, on the other hand, haven't been able to draw any correlation between the moon and the behaviour of wolves — or other canines for that matter.
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Werewolves — Tracing the myth of the Wolf Moon
The myth, however, is shrouded in interesting stories. The power of the moon, it is believed, transforms werewolves from humans to super-wolves. Stephen King's Cycle of the Werewolf, Remus Lupin in Harry Potter, Twilight series and, of course, Teen Wolf and Grimm are only a few examples that show how 'key' werewolves are in today's pop culture.

'Wolf Moon' lunar eclipse this Friday will have werewolves looking to form packs — or so the myth says
Remus Lupin as a werewolf in Happy Potter and the Prisoner of AzkabanHarry Potter Fanzone

According to folklore, the Wolf Moon is regarded as the most dangerous of all full moons for werewolves — second only to Halloween's Blood Moon. The legend goes that werewolves, normally known to be solitary, tend to wander in a pack during a Wolf Moon.

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Native American stories say that tribes harnessed this power. Instead of looking upon it with fear, they made it their own. This allowed them to fight off any potential invaders that posed a threat.

'Wolf Moon' lunar eclipse this Friday will have werewolves looking to form packs — or so the myth says
Werewolves depicted in Native American folkloreHistory Daily/ Weird Worm ​

The werewolf, as we now know it, first appeared in Ancient Greece myth. Greek writings tell the story of a man named Lycaon who displeased Zeus. The God of Thunder was so angry that he turned Lycaon into a wolf.

However, the oldest recorded account of a man turning from man to wolf is found in the Epic of Gilgamesh which dates back to 2,100 BC.
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A solution to cannibalism
Historians believe that the concept of the 'werewolf' originated as a way to fend off cannibalism. Communities would shun individuals who ate human flesh, casting them to be wild beasts. Over time, the theory of cannibals being akin to animals slowly transformed into cannibals being animals themselves — like the werewolf.

Even in the legend of King Lycaon of Arcadia, Zeus was offended because Lycaon tried to force him — a god — to indulge in cannibalism.

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'Wolf Moon' lunar eclipse this Friday will have werewolves looking to form packs — or so the myth says
The Greek myth of the King of LycaonAncient Origins

Another popular theory is that the werewolf originates from the Balkan era when men dressed in wolf skin for rituals. They also imitated the animal out of respect for its hunting prowess.

Werewolves don't exist, but wolves do
Wolves and the Moon have nothing more in common than the night sky. Scientists have been unable to find any indication that the Moon's phases play a part in wolf behaviour. But it's easy to see why a few cultures drew their own conclusions.

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'Wolf Moon' lunar eclipse this Friday will have werewolves looking to form packs — or so the myth says
A wolf heads out to hunt at dusk <span></span>Piqsels

For one, wolves are nocturnal animals. They're generally more active at night, hunting for prey that might be able to see as well in the darkness.

'Wolf Moon' lunar eclipse this Friday will have werewolves looking to form packs — or so the myth says
Wolves howl looking towards the skyPxfuel

In addition, wolves point their heads upwards as they howl. They may be facing the Moon — since it's an inevitable part of the sky — but they're not calling directly to it. The reason they face the sky is simply for better acoustics. The more open the air, the better the voice will carry.

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Howling is also more common at night since it's a form of navigation. It allows wolves to warn the rest of the pack if there any threats around and keep track of everyone's location.

'Wolf Moon' lunar eclipse this Friday will have werewolves looking to form packs — or so the myth says
Pack of Canadian wolves in the wildPxfuel

January is when wolves tend to howl a lot more than usual. This is probably because during the first few months of the year is when wolves start mating.

The January moon is also called the Old Moon and the Ice Moon is some cultures.
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See also:
There will be four lunar eclipses in 2020 - starting this week

Solar eclipses in 2020 — twice a year that the Moon will try to block out the Sun

6 stunning pictures you must see if you missed the 'Ring of Fire' solar eclipse
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