The moon, the largest and brightest object in the night sky, has long inspired curiosity and wonder. It appears at night, the time of sleep and dreaming that sometimes seems to approach the borders of death and the afterlife. Radiating an air of mystery and magic, the moon is also associated with love and often serves as a symbol of unattainable beauty.
Unlike the sun, the moon does not present the same face every day. It waxes, or grows larger, until it becomes a glowing silver-white disk. Then night by night it wanes, or shrinks, to a curved sliver until it vanishes altogether. A few days later a slender new moon appears and begins to grow again in an endless cycle that
* See Names and Places at the end of this volume for further information.
repeats each month. In ancient times, people used these phases of the moon to measure time.
Themes and Beliefs. The moon’s waxing and waning have made it a symbol of time, change, and repetitive cycles around the world. One such cycle is the constant alternation of birth and death, creation and destruction. People have linked the moon with both birth and death.
The Polynesian islanders of the Pacific Ocean said that the moon was a creator goddess named Hina and that women called wahines were her representatives on earth. In ancient Persia*, the moon was Metra, the world mother.
For some people the moon had a destructive aspect. The Aztecs of Mexico called it Mictecacuiatl and believed that it traveled through the night skies hunting out victims to consume. The Maori people of New Zealand referred to the moon as “man eater.” Africans and Semitic* peoples of the ancient Near East also feared this terrifying aspect of the moon.
In certain cultures, the moon had a gentler association with death. Some ancient Greek sects thought that the moon was the home of the dead, and early Hindus believed that the souls of the dead returned to the moon to await rebirth. The moon could even symbolize birth and death at the same time. The Tartars of Central Asia called it the Queen of Life and Death.
In mythology the moon is often female, a goddess who may be paired with a sun god. The Incas of South America told of a brother and sister, the moon maiden and the sun man, who were the ancestors of the royal Incas. In the Mayan writing system, a symbol showing the moon goddess seated inside the moon was used before the names of noble women. The Greeks associated the moon with the goddess Artemis*, sister of Apollo. They also called it Hecate, Cynthia, and Selene. The Roman name for the moon was Luna. Native American names for the moon include the Old Woman Who Never Dies and the Eternal One.
Sometimes, however, the moon is male. The Inuit of Greenland picture the moon as a hunter sitting in front of his igloo. Norse* mythology speaks of a moon son and a sun daughter, and Mrs. Sun and Mr. Moon are part of German folklore.
sect religious group
Other legends explain the appearance of the moon, whose mottled surface has suggested various shapes and identities. The “man in the moon” is one common interpretation thought to have originated from the biblical book of Numbers, which describes a man carrying a load of sticks. People have also interpreted the shapes as frogs and toads, and rabbits
in the moon occur in many mythologies. In China and Japan the lunar rabbit is said to mix a potion that gives immortality.
The Moon in Myths. A Native American myth says that the sun and moon are a chieftain and his wife and that the stars are their children. The sun loves to catch and eat his children, so they flee from the sky whenever he appears. The moon plays happily with the stars while the sun is sleeping. But each month, she turns her face to one side and darkens it (as the moon wanes) to mourn the children that the sun succeeded in catching.
The Efik Ibibio people of Nigeria in West Africa also say that the sun and the moon are husband and wife. Long ago they lived on the earth. One day their best friend, flood, came to visit them, bringing fish, reptiles, and other relatives. Flood rose so high in their house that they had to perch on the roof. Finally he covered the house entirely, so the sun and moon had to leap into the sky.
According to the Greek myth of Endymion and Selene, the moon (Selene) fell in love with a handsome young king named Endymion and bore him 50 daughters. One version of the story says that Selene placed Endymion in eternal sleep to prevent him from dying and to keep him forever beautiful.
In a myth of the Luyia people of Kenya in East Africa, the sun and moon were brothers. The moon was older, bigger, and brighter, and the jealous sun picked a fight with him. The two wrestled and the moon fell into mud, which dimmed his brightness. God finally made them stop fighting and kept them apart by ordering the sun to shine by day and the mud-spattered moon to shine by night to illuminate the world of witches and thieves.
People once believed that moonlight had a powerful effect on human behavior. Those who acted strangely were said to be “moonstruck,” and lunacy, a term for madness, comes from Luna, the Latin name for the moon goddess. The Japanese believed that the moon was a god with powers to foretell the future. Priests would study the moon’s reflection in a mirror, believing that if they gazed directly at the moon, it might drive them mad. Superstitions about the moon’s evil influence made some people refuse to sleep in a place where moonbeams could touch them. In the 1200s, the English philosopher Roger Bacon wrote, “Many have died from not protecting themselves from the rays of the moon.”
lunar relating to the moon
immortality ability to live forever
A myth from the Indonesian island of Java tells how Nawang Wulan, the moon goddess, came to earth to bathe in a lake. A man stole her cloak of swan’s feathers so she could no longer fly back up into the sky, and she stayed on earth and married him. Nawang Wulan used her magic powers to feed the household every day with just a single grain of rice. When her husband discovered her secret, she lost her magic power and had to gather and pound rice every day like all other wives. However, she did find her swan-feather cloak and used it to return to the sky. She stayed there at night but spent the daylight hours on earth with her husband and daughter.
Have you ever felt like the torn out page of a coloring book left in the rain outside while the children hide as their mothers tears pour. Maybe it’d because the rain makes me cry and I used to wish the raindrops didn’t fall as I watched them slide to their doom on the window of the car as I stared out into a world that made no sense…and still doesn’t. But once I swore reality reversed and I saw the entire universe upside down and the rain was flyinh upwards while I was stuck like an ace pinned to the ground a cartoon on a page filled with rage waiting for all the colors to be washed out.
A central premise of US media coverage of the Israeli attack on Gaza - beyond the claim that Israel is justifiably “defending itself” - is that this is some endless conflict between two foreign entitles, and Americans can simply sit by helplessly and lament the tragedy of it all. The reality is precisely the opposite: Israeli aggression is possible only because of direct, affirmative, unstinting US diplomatic, financial and military support for Israel and everything it does. This self-flattering depiction of the US as uninvolved, neutral party is the worst media fiction since TV news personalities covered the Arab Spring by pretending that the US is and long has been on the side of the heroic democratic protesters, rather than the key force that spent decades propping up the tyrannies they were fighting.– Glenn Greenwald, "Stop pretending the US is an uninvolved, helpless party in the Israeli assault of Gaza" (2012)
We didn’t talk about anything heavy or light. We were just there together. And that was enough.– The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky (via ibecamethesun)
I can’t deny the past. I can’t forget the times I saw beyond a prison bar’s glance of the future. Or betweens. Or appearances and vanishings. Not the kind where you are disappeared, more like a phantasmic whispering, where some defiant sickness finds her way into your mind, spilling its secrets like blood red wine. An adventure forgotten. Reincarnation’s histories, a golden key to the door beyond the doors. Every door leads to another. When the sheet of white winter’s amnesia is spread over my eyes, like a veil of starlight it shimmers with my tears and my sighs, my questions of just because’s and why’s.
We say eternity is madness, we say survival of the fittest. Earth is a field of wild flowers in bloom. I realize to see the light you must catch flares when in despair, of hope of promises, no more doubting those mistakes. Drops of Crystalline powder fall from the sky, a wintry story of something I cannot decry or defy. But she is a distant star, ever watching eternity spin and she wrote of her blackness like the outer spaces, and she kneaded more than this God loving world had given. A slave ship full of abused memories. Her words spiraled out— my dark sister’s refusal. Against the tyranny at the shark’s disposal. But as we know, the waters thin up top but down below, a greater beast brews. It brews truth and our ministry’s arrival.
Unraveling below the fountains, painful in our multiplied dimensions.
Forever flowing down the river in this cruel hypoxia.
Eyes open in the bright blistered sunlight
a woman’s purpose, hidden under fabric thick in winter
flakes fall madly, the snowy whispers of God and God’s mystery
I found a book and opened her pages, within it a secret
This crazy divined poetry about the history of war and slavery….Or had this strange book found its way to me, and opened my eyes?Eyes searching between the pages, searching yearning
For answers to the questions that kept haunting me for ages
Wondering about that ship lost at sea, see the ship sailing
Signed, but yet no recollection of this book did I find.
Pieces of Peace. History’s release
nothing is lost
no one is deceased.
Emotional and Lovely Music