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The Moon Watcher's Compan­ion is ideal if you love the moon and can't get enough of Her, or Him, as the case may be; Henes informs us that in some cultures, the moon is consid­ered male. Ac­tually, Henes educates us about an awful lot in this beautiful reference book.

 

There is a moving ode to Diana in her chapter on "Lunar Invoca­tions" as well as poetry sprinkled throughout. I particularly like:

The Moon rises Stealing the sun's light Between her thighs The man steals her nectar Between her thighs

~ Folk Song, Chhattisgarh, India (p. 61)

 

Sexy! Henes’ writing is always entertaining: "Two of the names of the Roman Moon goddess were Luna and Mana. Her devotees, lu­natics and maniacs, were condemned by the Church as mad, crazy, or 'silly' - a word which had formerly meant blessed." (p. 55)

 

And this brought back shades of Judy Bloom for me ("I must. I must, I must increase my bust!"):  “. . .the women of Naples, Italy, would pray to the ripening round moon for a bigger bo­som. Standing alone and naked, arms raised in petition, they in­toned nine times

Santa Luna, Santa Stella               /        Holy Moon, Holy Star

famnii crescere questa mammella” /        make this breast grow for me

 

Astronomy buffs are not left out. Henes includes the names of lunar seas, the names of the ten largest craters, and other information re­garding the silvery orb.

 

Oh, here's another interesting fact: Moon Watcher's Companion is intended to accompany the "moon watch." What is that? It is a watch that constantly shows the moon's phase on its dial. Got $1200 burning a hole in your pocket? (That four-digit number is NOT a typo.) Then check it out at www.moonwatch.com. Oth­erwise, I'm content with the book at $14.00.

 

~review by Diane Saarinen

Author: Donna Henes, 2002

128 pp., $14.00

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