Diana Brueton,
The Moon: Myth, Magic & Fact
(Barnes & Noble, 1991)

The Moon: Myth, Magic & Fact is one of my favorite books. I read it from cover-to-cover at least twice each year. It is the best overall book about the moon that I have found. It provides scientific information and the folklore. Since, I am technically a "lunar astrology expert" and write a lot of lunar astrology pieces, I am quite familiar with the available books about the moon. This far exceeds all others that I have found.

There is an introduction written by Col. James Irwin of the Apollo 15 lunar mission. He spent three days on the surface of the moon in the summer of 1971. He tells briefly of the missions to the moon and describes the surface conditions they encountered.

The book is divided into three large sections: "Moon Mysteries" (eight chapters), "Over the Moon" (six chapters) and "Moon Science" (four chapters).

"Moon Mysteries" looks at the history of humanity and the moon. It deals with how the various cultures have associated different things with the moon and the discoveries that have made through the ages. This section is packed with all kinds of lunar folklore and magic beliefs. My favorite chapters are in this section: "Moon Madness," about werewolves, and "By the Light of the Moon," about the lunar rituals and rites.

The second section looks at how the moon affects us today and our modern associations with it. The supporting evidence is related and controversial issues are examined. Some topics that are explored in detail are Stonehenge, astrology, the relationship between flowers and the moon, and the moon in literature.

The last section presents the scientific data about the moon. This is the part of the book that looks at the origin of the moon, how telescopes are employed in lunar study and the technical side of the phases and cycles of the moon.

This book is lavishly illustrated to fill the mind and stimulate the imagination. There are photographs, charts, drawings, reproductions of artwork, symbols and diagrams. An appendix provides a chronology of space travel.

This 256-page, hardbound book is well worth the purchase price. I have used and abused mine in every extreme. It has held up extremely well. One nice perk to this book is that it was constructed to lay flat when you open it. It is an all-around book, providing wonderful and stimulating pleasure reading or quick reference materials. I highly recommend it.

- Rambles
written by Alicia Karen Elkins
published 14 June 2003

Buy it from Amazon.com.