Tag Archives: moon

Is Isis a Moon Goddess or a Sun Goddess?

After all, the Egyptians seem to have associated the moon with gods: Thoth, Khonsu, Aah. The Greeks, however, saw the moon as feminine, so when the Ptolemies ruled Egypt, Isis became a moon goddess. Isis is a very complex goddess, however, who can’t be defined by any one function or aspect.

Isiopolis

A lovely painting of a lunar Isis by artist Katana Leigh. Visit her site here. A lovely painting of a lunar Isis by artist Katana Leigh. Visit her site here.

Modern Pagans often think of Isis as a Moon Goddess. And, it’s true, in later periods of Her worship, She was indeed associated with the Moon—and, in fact, that’s how She entered the Western Esoteric Tradition. The Isis-Moon connection first started when Egypt came under Greek rule in the 3rd century BCE, following the conquest by Alexander the Great. To the Greeks, Goddesses were the lunar Deities, so as Isis made Her way into Greek culture and hearts, Her new devotees naturally associated Her with the Moon.

In Egypt, Osiris, Khons, Thoth, and I’ah were the Deities most associated with the Moon. Isis, for Her part, was connected with the star Sirius as far back as the Pyramid Texts; the star was said to be Her ba, or soul. Yet Isis is also linked…

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Sonnet of the Moon

Look how the pale Queen of the silent night
doth cause the ocean to attend upon her,
and he, as long as she is in sight,
with his full tide is ready here to honor;

But when the silver waggon of the Moon
is mounted up so high he cannot follow,
the sea calls home his crystal waves to morn,
and with low ebb doth manifest his sorrow.

So you that are sovereign of my heart
have all my joys attending on your will,
when you return, their tide my heart doth fill.
So as you come and as you depart,
joys ebb and flow within my tender heart.

Charles Best 1608

(For the image at the top, click here.)

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The Moon’s my constant mistress

When I short have shorn my sow’s face
And swigged my horny barrel,
In an oaken inn I pound my skin
As a suit of gilt apparel;
The moon’s my constant mistress,
And the lowly owl my marrow;
The flaming drake and the night crow make
Me music to my sorrow.
While I do sing, Any food, any feeding,
Feeding, drink, or clothing;
Come dame or maid, be not afraid,
Poor Tom will injure nothing.

(excerpt from Tom O’Bedlam’s song)

(For the image above, click here.)

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The Moon and Stars – Sappho

The stars that round the Queen of Night

Like maids attend her
Hide as in veils of mist their light
When she, in full-orbed glory bright.
O’er all the earth shines from her height,

A silver splendour.

Sappho, trans. Arthur S. Way

(For the image at the top, click here.)

Hymn to Diana

Queen and huntress, chaste and fair
Now the sun is laid to sleep,
Seated in thy silver chair,
State in wonted manner keep:
Hesperus entreats thy light,
Goddess excellently bright.

Earth, let not thy envious shade
Dare itself to interpose;
Cynthia’s shining orb was made
Heaven to clear when day did close:
Bless us then with wishèd sight
Goddess excellently bright.

Lay thy bow of pearl apart,
And thy crystal-shining quiver;
Give unto the flying hart
Space to breathe, how short soever;
Thou that mak’st a day of night,
Goddess excellently bright.

Ben Jonson

(For the image at the top, click here.)

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Mani, keeper of time

We are used to thinking of the moon and sun as opposites, a fallacy that even pervades astronomy, as Space.com points out. For a single instant in a lunar month (29.5 days) the sun is opposite the moon in the sky. This is the exact moment of the full moon. Apart from this, the two may be anything from 180 to 0 degrees apart, and are often seen in the sky together.

This may explain why Völuspá refers to the moon-god Mani as the sun’s companion or escort. (Depending on translation.) Also, when the two appear in the sky for the first time, their routes are not yet established, so it makes sense that they would be together.

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Turning the Heavens: Mundilfare

We all know that Yggdrasil is the World Tree of Norse myth, and that it holds together the nine worlds. However, the Norse, like the Finns and the Hindus of India, seem to have had some notion of a world mill (or churn) as well, which turned the heavens and could grind out various products. This cosmic mill shows through the confused myths about the sun and moon.

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Our Moon vs. Pluto: Perspectives

Tom.Reding - This picture was composed from File:Enceladus Earth Moon Comparison.png, File:Full Moon Luc Viatour.jpg, and File:Pluto impression.png, by Tom Reding (Wikimedia)

The Moon and Pluto compared to the Earth. This picture was composed from File:Enceladus Earth Moon Comparison.png, File:Full Moon Luc Viatour.jpg, and File:Pluto impression.png, by Tom Reding (Wikimedia)

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Odin’s Eyes: Sun and Moon?

What do the Egyptian god Horus and the Norse god Odin have in common? Both of them are said to have the sun and moon as their eyes. The difference is that this belief about Horus dates back to very early Egyptian religion. As far as I can tell, the same statement about Odin comes from some 19th and 20th century writers.

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new moon in old moon's arms

Khonsu: Divine Child and Devourer of Hearts

When we think of ancient Egypt, the god who leaps to mind is the sun-god Ra, but the Egyptians were also well-provided with moon-gods, including Thoth, Khonsu, and Aah.

Khonsu is probably familiar from the comic Moon Knight, in which he saves the life of mercenary Marc Spector, who takes up crime-fighting to atone for his past. In the comic, Khonsu is said to have four aspects: Pathfinder, Watcher, Defender, and the Watcher of Overnight Travellers, as well as a secret aspect, The One Who Lives on Hearts. (Moon Knight #1)

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