Pursuit of Trivia – Part 1

Only 3%-14% of the sunlight that strikes the moon gets reflected. Because of the moon’s sphericity, not all of that is available for capture here on Earth. Enough is, however, to briefly power an LED bulb using a residential solar array on a clear night under a full moon (so long as several capacitors are enchained). 

Presumably, this set-up could be optimized and scaled: more panels, more capacitance; perhaps even something like a ‘moonshine catchment’ or concentrator. Etc. The vast majority of the incident sunlight that hits the moon is absorbed and re-radiated as infrared light. Unfortunately, photovoltaic cells can’t produce electricity from IR. Yet. There are definitely teams working this angle, though. One in Saudi Arabia recently demonstrated a ‘rectenna’ technique for capturing thermal waste and converting it into electricity that shows, ahem, potential.  

In general, I think the sort of “lunar panel” one might devise if its materiality, modes of capture and transmission, etc. didn’t all need to be optimized in terms of cost-per-unit production is an interesting open question. Something I eventually hope to discuss with a friend of a friend, who has been described to me as an “electricity witch”.

This sort of hypothetical efficiency notwithstanding, I had some preliminary (and admittedly goofy) ideas last year to take advantage of the current state of the art. For instance, I wanted to fly a kite or balloon tethered by electrically conductive wires/fibers to a large desert solar array in order to pulsingly illuminate the body and tendrils of a sky medusa floating high above the sand. Or else to light a spheroid covered in LEDs, like an artificial moon powered by moonlight that floated directly below the actual one: two white orbs divided by black horizon.

Very 70’s album art, I realize. Probably don’t get me started about my idea to trigger a coronal discharge “laser” show in the Coral Triangle under the Milky Way (i.e., to create a planetarium whose stars are the actual stars) while playing Pink Floyd for a bunch of Sama-Bajou sea nomads on their boats.

Anyhow, it also occurred to me last year that the artificial moon could be sited underground instead. 

Which leads us to Hekate. 

Hekate’s Roman name, Trivia, refers to a three-way crossroad (thus uniting her with the lunar deities Selene and Diana; or else, Selene, Diana, and Proserpine in Hekate). Such a crossroads needn’t be planar, of course. It could also be volumetric – i.e., indicating X, Y, and Z axes. Which makes total sense, given Hekate’s role as the psychopomp of anabasis/re-emergence.

That’s a long way of saying that I’ve started working out the practicalities of a lunar-panel-powered installation for the grove (sacred to Diana-Hekate) of Quercus ilex that has surrounded Monte Cuma – the site of the Cumaean sibyl’s oracular complex – since before the Venusian mater of Aeneas dispatched her doves on his behalf to perform an aerial reconnaissance for the Golden Bough. Since before the Cumaean sibyl supplanted her Avernus-based “Cimmerian” predecessor. Hell, since before Avernus itself erupted 4,000 years ago, probably. 

Beneath the full moon, in a clearing of that ‘forest dark’, I want to use lunar panels – black fruiting bodies atop a buried rhizome of capacitors (Leyden jars I blow the glass for myself, ideally) – to feed energy farther down into a subterranean chamber – whether dripping it, like the slow build-up of an electrical karst feature, or decanting it all at once from a hypogeal Marx generator – for purposes of illuminating a chthonic moon. 

Or else, to provide exit lighting from Hades. Or else, to cause the branch of one of the holm oaks aboveground to glow aurically. Or else, to cook with moonlight. Out of obvious aesthetic considerations, I want to boil an egg with the stuff.

4 Responses to “Pursuit of Trivia – Part 1”

  1. prudenceinhell Says:

    Artemis, Persephone, Hecate.
    Diva triformis. That’s my trip.
    A guided one, fortunately.
    @Diacriticon

    Tweet, 12:35 AM, 1/14/22

    The worst and in some sense, the greatest [of years], because the doors of perception were utterly cleansed. I have become my second triune goddess: past Artemis, into Persephone, in training for Hecate. The trivial, non-trivial pursuit.

    Tweet, 4:22 PM, 3/31/22

  2. wchambliss Says:

    Ha! It’s like a disco ball infinitely reflected within a cosmic hall of mirrors up in this mug.

  3. mediapathic Says:

    It’s funny, I did an instinct-steered ritual on the night of the Easter full moon wherein I “realized” the connection between Hekate, with whom I have an established relationship, and the other two moon goddesses mentioned here. Which leaves me to wonder if I knew this already and remembered, figured out logically something that just makes sense when you have all the facts, or if was given this knowledge from above (or below). Doesn’t much matter practically, the ritual went great.

  4. Pursuit of Trivia – Part 2: The Mercy Seat | Chamblissian Says:

    […] what I want to do. To honor Hekate Trivia – in whom Selene (moon), Diana (woods), and Proserpine (underworld) are conjoined – and […]

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