Assorted moon myths from the Creative Minds Mythology and Literature Page

Hera - Pre-Hellentic Myth

On the morning of the new moon, the women of Argos left their homes and walked together to the Stream of the Freeing Water. They bathed and then gathered branches from the nearby lygos bushes, which they laid in a large circular bower. On this ring they sate throughout the day, each seated with the women of her mother's clan. With the blessing of the Goddess, the lygos encouraged the flow of their sacred blood that would complete the cleansing they had begun in the esteem. Although the women fasted, their mood was not somber. They talked of their crops, their herds, their children and listened to stories told by the elders. As twilight approached, they began chants and songs that summoned Hera in Her manifestation of the new moon. When Hera appeared as a pale sliver climbing a out the horizon, the women responded by lighting a fire in the center of their circle and continued the songs. Gradually Hera drew forth the blood of purification and renewed fertility. Gradually the chanting increased in tempo. Those who had received Hera's gift shared it with the young, the pregnant, and the old women by painting a reed crescent moon on their foreheads. All rose, giving praise to the Goddess, and returned to a torchlit procession to their homes.

Hidden in the foothills nearby, the spring called Kanathos flowed secretly, silently from the Earth's womb. Each year Hera appeared to the Argive women at the spring. She bathed in the cool water and emerged with Her virginity renewed once again - One-In-Herself, the Celestial Virgin. The women received the blessing of Hera's grace and crowned one another with wreaths of aster, blossoming with the Goddess' starflowers. They fooled Hera to a broad terrace on the side of Mount Euboia, Her sacred ground.

The Goddess looked down onto the plain stretching out before Her. All the people of Argos, all the animals, all the colors of spring had come together for the Sacred Marriage. Hera presided over the joining of the lunar cow and the solar bull. Then She looked out over the assembly and blessed the Argives with unfailing fecundity of field and womb. They celebrated the promise of their survival with dances and feasting. On that day began again the homage to Hera which continued throughout the year.

Every four years the benevolence of the Goddess was celebrated at the feast of the Heraia. At Olympia Hera watched the footraces run in Her name. The races were run by girls divided into three age groups to represent the three phases of the moon and the corresponding three stages of woman's life. The winners were awarded an olive wreath and the horo of resembling the Goddess most closely. As Hera crowned the youngest winner, the girl addressed the crowd: I am the new moon, swelling with magic, pure in my maidenhood, ever growing stronger. The second winner spoke: I am the full moon, complete in my powers, making people with my rhythms, bathing them in light. The third said: I am the waning moon, shrinking into peace, knowing all that went before, I am the old one.

Song of the Sun and Moon - a Navajo Creation Myth

The first man holds it in his hands, He hold the sun in his hands. In the center of the sky, he holds it in his hands. As he holds it in his hands, it starts upward.

The first woman holds it in her hands, She holds the moon in her hands. In the center of the sky, she holds it in her hands. As she holds it in her hands, it starts upward.

The first man holds it in his hands, He hold the sun in his hands. In the center of the sky, he hold it in his hands. As he holds it in his hands, it starts downward.

The first woman holds it in her hands, She holds the moon in her hands. In the center of the sky, she hold it in her hands. As she holds it in her hands, it starts downwards.

A Norse Myth

There was a giant living in Giantland called Narfi. He had a daughter named Night. She was dark and swarthy, like the family to which she belonged. Her first marriage was with a man called Naglfari, their son was called Auo. Next she was married to Annar, their daughter was called Earth. Last, Delling married her, and he was of the family of the gods. Their son was Day, he was bright and beautiful like his father's side. Then All-father took Night and her son, Day, and gave them two horses and two chariots and put them up in the sky, so that they should ride round the world every 24 hours. Night rides first on a horse called Hrimfaxi, and every morning he bedews the earth with the foam from his bit. Day's horse is called Skinfaxi, and the whole earth and sky are illumined by his mane.

It came to pass that a man named Mundilfari had two children, a boy named Moon and a girl named Sun. He was an arrogant man and the gods took his children from him and placed them in the sky. The gods made Sun drive the horses which drew the chariot of the sun that the gods had made to light the worlds from a spark. Moon governs the journeying of the moon and decides the time of its waxing and waning.

There are also two wolves, which force the Sun and the Moon to move through the heavens. One is pursuing the Sun, who is called Skoll; she fears him and he will ultimately catch her. The other that runs in front of the Sun, is called Hati Hroovitnisson, and he wants to catch the Moon and will in the end.

The Book of Revelation; Chapter 12, Verses 1-6

And a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; she was with child and she cried out in her pangs of birth, in anguish for delivery. And another portent appeared in heaven; behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems upon his heads. His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven, and cast them to earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to bear a child, that he might devour her child when she brought it forth; she brought forth a male child, one who is to rule all the nations which a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne, and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which to be nourished to 1260 days.

Hina-i-ka-malama - Hawaiian Moon Goddess

Hinaikamalama (Hina in the moon), worked day after day at beating and creating tapa (cloth made from bark). Finally, tiring of this ceaseless labor, she packed her ipu (gourd) and travelled by the "rainbow path" up to the sun. This proved far too hot to be her new home, so she climbed to the moon, although her husband tried to force her to stay on Earth. Today, when the full moon shines, Hina can still be seen on the moon.

The Monkeys and the Moon - Tibetan Tale

In long-past times there lived a band of monkeys in a forest. As they rambled about they saw the reflection of the moon in a well, and the leader of the band said: "O friends, the moon has fallen into the well. The world is now without a moon. Ought not we to draw it out?"

The monkeys said, "Good; we will draw it out."

So they began to hold counsel as to how they were to draw it out. Some of them said, "Do not you kow? The monkeys must form a chain, and so draw the moon out."

So they formed a chain, the first monkey hanging on to the branch of a tree, and the second to the first monkey's tail, and a third one in its turn to the tail of the second one. When in this way they were all hanging on to one another, the branch began to bend a good deal. The water became troubled, the reaction of the moon disappeared, the branch broke, and all the monkeys fell into the well and were disagreeably damaged.

A deity uttered this verse: "When the foolish have a foolish leader they all go to ruin like the monkeys which wanted to draw the moon up from the well."

Polynesian Lunar Calendar

[N.B. The Mad Hatter also seems to have used a lunar calendar. Click
here to find out what I'm on about. For year round lunar calendars, click here, More beliefs of this kind can be found on the Lunar gardening page - Ian]

Polynesian information from 'Hawaiian Religion & Magic" by Scott Cunningham. All other myths came from "Moon Lore" edited by John Miller and Tim Smith.

Links to other sites on the Web

Reproduced with kind permission of the
Creative Minds Mythology and Literature Page

Days of the moon
A middle English Poem similar to the Polynesian Lunar Calendar

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