More aggression at the full moon?

The word “aggression” derives from the Latin verb “aggredi” which means »approach, attack«. This is interesting, because it does not only contain a destructive energy, but also a proceeding, solution-oriented energy. We also speak of tackling problems or approaching a task. During the course of the centuries, the component of attacking and destroying appears to have become dominant, so much so, that we judge aggression nowadays negatively and see the result to be destruction, violence and war. It is easily understandable now, why people are having such a difficult time to deal naturally with their aggressions that they express or restrain. We have put a negative mark on it. And we neither want to carry something negative inside us, nor do we want to voice it.

Many people say that they are irritable and aggressive at the full moon, in fact more than during other lunar phases. Apparently, it leads quite easily to arguments, the aggressions erupt. Is there actually a connection to the moon phases?

So, we took a look at some researches to see whether more crimes, attacks and assaults have taken place at the full moon. The result: generally no increase of incidents can be determined. There is for example a study from Germany, where 23,142 cases of grievous bodily harm were investigated, during the course of seven years and no correlation could be found between the attacks and the phases of the Moon:

“No significant associations between full, absent, and the moon’s interphases and serious crimes of battery could be detected.”

Biermann T, Asemann R et al.
Comprehensive Psychiatry. 2009 Nov-Dec;50(6):573-7.

Almost all studies provide similar results: no correlation to the full moon. And even though, researches exist, which detect a connection (i.e. Lieber AL. The Journal of clinical psychiatry. 1978 May;39(5):385-92), these results could not be confirmed in follow-up studies or they were completely disproved by meta-analysis – meaning the synopsis for several comparable researches.

So, it looks pretty bad with regard to making the full moon responsible for our aggressions. There are probably various other aspects in our lives that make us boil inside. Until we have gained more knowledge about this, it might surely help to try and learn a new way of dealing with aggressions in general. Certainly a demanding task …


  1. Kate | 11 February 2017

    I used to work in the emergency department. Full moon nights were definitely the busiest, with more mental related issues…ie psych patients coming in those nights. Every time. The nurses and doctors would always comment, oh its a full moon tonight, that explains it.

  2. Stojanovich | 18 June 2016

    I drive a lot in my sales work and I notice drivers are more aggressive during a full moon. We live a block from a major hospital and we also notice more ambulances in a full moon week. I think there’s a connection regardless of what the experts say.

  3. maat | 23 March 2016

    Yes. I am certain i am so aware Im irritable but I dont care, one of my daughters is the same

  4. janet | 5 June 2012

    I am in total agreement with Kermit. I have observed 2 different phenomena over the years with 2 of my 5 children. A day or 2 before the full moon, one will become very touchy and aggressive, the other child will have sleeping problems. This is so very regular that there is no question in my mind if it has something to do with the full moon or not.

  5. Kermit | 3 June 2012

    I don’t beieve this study. Ever since I was a kid in the first grade I knew that nothing went right starting approximatly one week before the full moon. I don’t care how many master degrees these so called experts have. Look at what the experts in our government have done to the world. They don’t have a very good track record. I think it’s time that we start using some common sense. As a police officer I saw terrible crimes during the full moon. The so called experts were sleeping at that time. Besides if the experts gave in to the thought that the full moon caused these problems they wouldn’t have a job. You can take all the calanders away from me and I can loose track of time but when I wake up approximatly one week before the full moon I know it. It’s like there is a stack of bricks on my shoulders and nothing goes right. Sometimes during that week I will have one or two good days but then it hits again. Then I can tell when it starts to lift, I start have split seconds of positive thoughts and feelings. Eventually it goes away and everything is normal. In the past when I have worked with other people, at first they think that I’m crazy but before long they start seeing the same thing happening to them. I think it all boils down to learning to get in tune with your body. It’s easy to drown our feelings in caffine and other drugs. Some people just ignore it and brush it off. I really enjoy reading the full moon blog but I wish more people would express how they feel during the full moon.

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