Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Lunar maidens

At night the moon was a crescent and pretty bright. Regarded as the waxing moon phase, associated with maidens and magic. The other phases of the moon, gibbous, full moon, waning moon and new moon, are said to symbolise the three phases of a woman's life, maiden/mother/crone, or be an aspect of the triple goddess.

Animals of the moon's mythology go back centuries. It's said that there are rabbits and hares on the moon. Although such beliefs are recorded throughout the Far East and different other parts of Asia, some have found references to these mythical lunar animals among ancient Europeans and Aztecs. In Chinese mythology, a rabbit that lives on the moon creates herbs for the gods to make them immortal. The Chinese lunar rover is called Jade Rabbit.

 In Europe, there are three rabbits often chasing one another in a circle, linked with the lunar cycle and fertility, again associated with the moon and triple goddess and triskelion. These three rabbits dancing are a lunar symbol and appears on coats of arms and can be found across Europe and Asia.

There is a "moon gazing hare" and it's lunar and fertility and rebirth magical meaning. The hare and three rabbits base heavily in late winter and spring, and the moon becomes the image of an ovum and egg. Maiden goddesses, Artemis, Diana, Kore, Elaine, Parvati, Ostara, and Freya are associated with the spring and flowers. As the first flowers of the year bloom and light grows each day, we can witness the early change of seasons shifting from winter to spring.

There are many lunar deities, gods and goddesses of the moon. There are many lunar divinities in Greek mythology as there are a tapestry of different deities and spirits. There is Selene (Luna), the moon mother, Artemis the maiden of the moon, sister of Apollo, and granddaughter of Phoebe. This is where is becomes confusing because Selene's original name was Mene (that means both "moon" and "man"). Ancient Phrygian's worshiped a male lunar god called Men. The name and lunar god is somewhat similar to Mani of the northern Germanic tribes and Meness of the Latvian myths. There is the female moon  goddess Mano of the Sami myths and moon goddess Anumati of the Hindus. So there was a divine lunar twin brother and sister in European and Asian myths as well as celestial twins, god and goddess sun/moon brother/sister AND triplets!

In Germanic myth, there is Mani and masculine god of the moon. Yet there is evidence Mani has two sisters. One is the bright solar goddess Sunna (or Sol). Their sister is the lunar goddess Sinthgunt of the waxing phase, a moon maiden goddess. Sinthgunt "the night walking one", who has the ability to heal and blend herbs and tend the horses.

I could delve deeper into the moon magical mysteries but I've run out of time. This was merely to highlight some of the myths and names of gods and goddesses, less known and well known. The crescent waxing moon and maiden aspect of the triple goddess have messages and lost answers.  What's left are the fragments, traditions and folklore.

(The picture is by visionary artist Gilbert Williams).

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