answer unto her, likewise the tides of all earthly seas, and she ruleth the
nature of woman.
One of the most significant archetypal symbols of the Goddess is the Moon. The
Triple Goddess is seen in the Moon as Maiden (Waxing Moon), Mother (Full Moon),
and Crone (Waning Moon). The Moon Goddess has been known by many different names
in many different cultures. It is said that the Moon Goddess created time and
measurement. Ancient calendars were based on the Moon’s phases. She is
usually seen as the protector of women, and she rules magick and childbirth. In
ancient Thessaly, the Moon Goddess was invoked in a rite called “drawing down
the moon”, which we still practice today.
The Moon Goddess has many different names in many different cultures. In
Finland, the Divine Creatress was called Luonnotar. In Scandinavia, She was
Mardoll, or “The Moon Shining Over the Sea”. Gala or Galata is the original
Moon-Mother of Gaelic tribes. In Britain, an early name for the Moon Goddess was
Albion, or “Milk-White Moon-Goddess”. To the Aztecs, the Moon Goddess was
Mictecaciuarl, the devoured of the dead, and She had the same role among the
Maoris and the Tartars. Several cultures believed that the Moon was the “Land of
the Dead”. In Africa, She is Akua’ba, in China Queen of Heaven, and to the
Ancient Romans she was Luna.
Greek/Roman Moon Goddesses include Artemis, Hecate, Bendis, Brizo, Callisto,
Selene, Prosymna, Diana, and Luna.
Artemis was daughter of Zeus and Leto, and twin sister of Apollo. She was the
Lady of the Beasts, Who roams the forest with her band of nymphs, protecting
pregnant beasts and their young. The Greeks assimilated her to a mistress of
wild beasts. Bears were sacred to her, and the guinea-fowl were her birds. Her
name possibly means “high source of water” (the moon being regarded as the
source and ruler of all waters). She was the mistress of magick, enchantment,
and sorcery. She was a protector of youth, especially of girls, and was called
upon as Artemis Eileithyia by women in childbirth. She is often depicted with a
hound, and carrying a bow and arrows. One of her forms was Callistro. Other
names for her include Delia, Phoebe, Pythia, and Parthenos. She was considered
virginal, which means that she was her “own woman” and did not have a consort,
however this did not mean that she was celibate. She is the Roman equivalent of
Diana. Her tarot associations include nines, the High Priestess, and Temperance.
Her gemstones are quartz, moonstone, pearl, and crystal. Sacred to her are the
herbs mandrake, damiana, almond, mugwort, and hazel. Her animals are the horse,
dog, elephant, and centaur. Other associations of Artemis are magickal weapons,
perfumes, sandals, bow and arrow, and menstrual blood. Her Festival is
celebrated on February 12.
Hecate was a Moon Goddess, Underworld Goddess and Goddess of Magick. She was the
daughter of Perses and Asteria. Other traditions say she was the daughter of
Zeus and Hera. She protected flocks and sailors, and was associated with
crossroads. Her tarot associations are threes and the High Priestess. Her
gemstones include star sapphire, pearl, moonstone, and crystal; her plants
include cypress, opium poppy, almond, mugwort, hazel, and moonwort. Animals
which are sacred to her are dogs. Other associations include perfumes, myrrh,
civet, and magickal weapons.
Bendis was a Moon Goddess and wife of the Sun God Sabazius, and was worshipped
with orgiastic rites. Thracians made her popular in Attica, and in 430 BC her
cult became a state ceremonial in Athens, with torch races at the Piraeus.
Brizo was a Moon Goddess of Delos, to whom votive ships were offered. The name
Brizo may be a form of Brighid.
Selene was a Moon Goddess and daughter of Hyperion and Theia, and sister of
Helios (the Sun) and Eos (the Dawn). She was wooed and won by Zeus and by Pan.
She also fell in love with Endymion and visited him nightly while he slept.
(Zeus granted the mortal Endymion immortality on the condition that he remained
eternally asleep.) She is also called Luna.
Prosymna is the Greek Goddess of the New Moon. She is also known as Persephone,
and is given the title of Demeter as the Earth Mother in her Underworld aspect.
Diana was the Roman equivalent of the Greek Moon and Nature Goddess Artemis,
and rapidly acquired all her characteristics. She is the Goddess of light,
mountains, and woods. She was invoked to protect the harvest against heavy
storms. Diana, whose name means “light”, was originally the Italian Goddess of
the Sun, Moon, and Open Sky. She also bestowed sovereignty and conception. Her
feast day is August 15. Christians adopted her as St. Anne, Mary’s mother, the
“Grandmother of God”.