If you enjoy stargazing, then you may have had the opportunity to witness the breathtaking sight of a ring around the moon.
If you have never seen one before, then it may look like something outer-worldly.
No, the moon is not broken or being orbited by extraterrestrial beings. This stunning sight is scientifically known as a lunar halo (also known as a moon halo).
Although this celestial phenomenon is not uncommon, it is definitely a sight that you will never get tired of seeing.
But could there be a deeper meaning?
Is it just the light playing tricks on our human eyes or is it a sign from the universe about something bigger?
For centuries, different religions, cultures, and traditions have had special interpretations when it comes to the activities of the moon.
From the Bible having the moon as a symbol of divine epiphanies to Mohammed splitting the moon in the Quran.
Not to mention our beloved new moon and full moon rituals, like cleansing crystals under the moonlight.
The moon is a central focus for millions (if not billions) of people around the world. With that in mind, it is probably a good idea to look further into the different phenomena that come with the moon.
In this article, we are going to explore the deeper meanings of seeing a lunar halo. We are going to look into the different meanings of the moon halo depending on different beliefs around the world. Even after centuries of mankind being on Earth, the moon is still such a mystery for us human beings.
Let’s take a dive into this celestial journey.
Biblical Meaning Of A Halo Around The Moon
The moon holds a lot of importance in the Bible and Christianity.
The halo around the moon is seen as a very unique and powerful sign from God for His creation.
It is said that a halo appeared around the moon right before the beginning of the 7 year period of tribulation. Revelations 6:17 reveals this period as “the great period of his wrath.” In the book of John, he talks about this period as the beginning of a time of pain and suffering. Because of the darkness of this period, many believers feel that when a lunar halo is seen, one should pray and practice gratitude for the life you have and ask for God to have mercy on the world. It is also said that it is a sign for the coming of Christ and that one should try to prepare themself (on a spiritual level) for the day that they meet him.
Ring Around The Moon: Native American Meaning
In Native American traditions and cultures, the moon and the moon halo hold a major part in the belief system.
Several tribes have their own beliefs regarding the moon halo. In many tribes, a ring around the moon is seen as a sign of good luck on the horizon. In other tribes, the lunar halo is believed to be a sign or message from the spirits.
And in other tribes, a lunar halo symbolizes balance and harmony.
However, some tribes have certain beliefs that are very particular. For example, the Ojibwe people believe the moon halo symbolizes the presence of the Great Spirit. Whereas the Sioux people view a lunar halo as a reminder of how much power the moon holds and how much balance it brings to the world.
It is clear that there are several interpretations, but one thing that is clear is that lunar halos are very positive in Native American traditions.
Islamic Meaning Of A Moon Halo
The moon is a central part of the Islamic religion. Not only is the symbol of the religion adorned with a crescent moon. But the entire Islamic calendar is based on the moon’s cycles. The most noteworthy example of the importance of the moon in Islam is the Holy Month of Ramadan, which begins and ends with the sighting of the moon. Every year, Muslims around the world take time to look up at the night sky to find the new moon. This will signal the start of the fasting period. 29 to 30 days later, the process is done again, but this time, it’s to close the fasting period.
Lunar halos in Islam are frequently associated with blessings and divine protection. Because of this interpretation, many Muslims view the sighting of a moon halo as a very positive experience. Many choose to do extra prayers during the time that it is witnessed. Some even say that you should pray for all of the things that you want God to bless you with in your earthly life when you see that there is a halo around the moon.
It is seen as an omen that should inspire a lot of gratitude in the believers.
How Does A Lunar Halo Form
A lunar halo is not just important in different traditions and religions. It is also a very interesting and intriguing scientific phenomenon.
Lunar halos are formed when moonlight is reflected, and scattered through ice crystals on Earth. These light crystals are generally found in clouds that are in higher altitudes. These clouds are called cirrus clouds. Cirrus clouds are transparent and can cover large areas in the sky that are thousands of miles long.
When the moonlight hits the ice crystals in the cloud at a certain angle, it creates a circle of light around the moon. Because of the shape of the ice crystals, which are usually shaped like prisms, the white light may get separated from the colors. This is why sometimes you may see light tints of color along with the lunar halo.
On one very rare occasion, a lunar halo with 4 rings was sighted in Madrid, Spain in 2012. This is known as a quadruple lunar halo. According to NASA, seeing a quadruple halo is in fact extremely rare.
Since cirrus clouds are often signs of rainfall coming, there was folklore tied to the clouds back in the day.
They would try to predict the weather using the clouds.
They also tried to predict how many days before the next rainfall by counting the stars around the halo. More stars meant more days whereas fewer stars meant that you should get ready for a downpour.
This was a pretty smart system.
Unfortunately, even though the cirrus clouds can be a sign of rainfall, that is not always the case. So you can’t rely on them to fully predict the weather.
How Rare Is A Ring Around The Moon
According to Space.com, a lunar halo is actually not that uncommon. Matter of fact, if you are lucky, you may even see several rings around the moon. Best of all, moon halos can be observed from various parts of the world if they have the right conditions.
However, they are rare compared to other atmospheric phenomenon.
You have a higher chance of seeing a lunar halo if you live in a region with colder climates and/or higher altitudes. It is also crucial that there be high-altitude clouds that have ice crystals to reflect the light. If you live in a warmer or drier climate, you have a much lower chance of seeing a lunar halo.
So even if the phenomenon is fairly rare, if you live in the proper environment you will have a much higher chance of seeing a moon halo. Just keep in mind that moon halos are also transient, meaning they do not last forever. Depending on the clouds, lunar halos may come and go very fast. So if you see one, do your best to be present and take it all in before it fades away.
Another natural phenomenon you might want to check out is the meaning of a sun shower.
When it comes to spirituality and superstition, seeing a lunar halo or moon halo has been a source of curiosity and intrigue for centuries.
There have been several different interpretations across different cultures, traditions, and religions. Rings around the moon have always sparked fascinating thoughts in our human minds.
When it comes to spirituality, it is clear that moon halos have a generally positive meaning. Not only are they beautiful to look at, but they are also a significant reminder of the beauty of life. More importantly, they show us how little particles like ice crystals can have such a prominent impact as to create something as grand as a lunar halo.
But isn’t that what life is all about?
Realizing that you, as a small tiny little human being in this vast galaxy, can shine a light so bright that it can have a greater impact on the world around you.
Not only do ice crystals have to be present in order for moon halos to form, but they have to work together in order for the phenomenon to occur.
This serves as a great reminder that if we work together as a collective, we can create a big change in the world.