The Moon has been worshiped for centuries by many different cultures around the world. She affects weather patterns, creates the tides, influences earthquakes and is even said to affect the moods of people. This influence over our environment is why many cultures see the Moon as so powerful.
Women are especially attuned to the Moon. She is seen by many as a goddess, the female counterpart to the male Sun god and has been called by names such as Diana, Freyja, Isis, Luna, and Selene. The lunar month is approximately 28 days long, the same as the average menstrual cycle. The Moon’s phases have also been said to affect fertility.
Pagans see the Moon as a goddess with three faces, the Maiden, the Mother, and the Crone. These faces symbolize the waxing, full and waning phases of the moon. During a lunar cycle, each phase presides over a different type of magic and influences the different spells performed during each phase. Moon phases are defined as:
- New Moon – When the crescent Moon is visible (horns facing left)
- Waxing Moon - The period where the Moon appears to grow larger in the sky.
- Full Moon - When the Moon is the fullest
- Waning Moon – The period where the Moon appears to be fading
- Dark Moon – When the Moon is not visible from earth
The Great Flood is a tale told in many cultures, each with a slightly different twist. One of these tales attribute this deluge to the ‘goddess in the sky’ becoming angry with the people of earth. So angry in fact that she ‘plucked out her own eye and thru it at earth’ causing the Great Flood.
|Some scientists have also found evidence to support the 2 Moons of Earth theory. Many take the ‘eyes of the goddess in the sky’ to be proof of the presence of an ancient 2nd Moon. By the goddess plucking out her eye and hurling it towards the earth, many believe this is indication of our 2nd fall from orbit, striking the ocean and causing the Great Flood.
Many ancient calendars used the moon’s cycles to keep track of time. The Celtic Calendar is one such calendar and is based on the 13 lunar cycles in a year. Each month is referred to as a ‘tree month’. Each tree month is associated with the earth’s energy and the natural ebb and flows in nature. These months are:
- Birch Moon – December 24 – January 20
- Rowan Moon – January 21 – February 17
- Ash Moon – February 18 – March 17
- Alder Moon – March 18 – April 14
- Willow Moon – April 15 – May 12
- Hawthorn Moon – May 13 – June 9
- Oak Moon – June 10 – July 7
- Holly Moon – July 8 – August 4
- Hazel Moon – August 5 – September 1
- Vine Moon – September 2 – September 29
- Ivy Moon – September 30 – October 27
- Reed Moon – October 28 – November 24
- Elder Moon – November 25 - December 23
Through this series we will explore the moon phases and the 13 different tree months and how different cultures around the world celebrate the Moon Goddess. To be alerted to new articles in this series or future articles by the Atlanta Alternative Spirituality Examiner
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*Photo Credit: Oliver Stein, GNU License 1.2