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The Art of Timing


There is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune.



When you decide to row a boat, it is easier to row in the direction of the current rather than against the flow.  So if you time your trip to row upstream with the incoming tide, then to return home downstream with the outgoing tide, you don’t have to row as hard or to think as much to accomplish your task. The highest tides are always at the Full and at the Dark of the Moon, or when the Moon and the Sun are in a direct line.

Throughout history, most people knew that the Moon’s influence in our lives helped weave our fate and fortune. To the Celtic islanders, the natural cycle of the tide, the ebb and flow, was important to note at the time of birth of a child.  Good fortune flowed from the flood tide, and never from the ebb.  These two opposing tides of life were known as luck of the flood (rath an lionadh) and of the ebb (roaad an traghaidh).  A traditional Hebridiean chant celebrating the ebb and flow is:

With the ebb

and with the flow

As it was

As it is

As it shall be evermore

With the ebb

and with the flow

As well as a daily ebb and flow of the tides, the Moon’s cycles also work with a monthly ebb and flow, as the Moon grows towards the Full Moon and wanes towards the Dark Moon.