List of lunar deities

In mythology, a lunar deity is a god or goddess of the Moon, sometimes as a personification. These deities can have a variety of functions and traditions depending upon the culture, but they are often related. Some form of moon worship can be found in most ancient religions.

Selene and Endymion, by Albert Aublet

Moon in religion and mythologyEdit

Many cultures have implicitly linked the 29.5-day lunar cycle to women's menstrual cycles, as evident in the shared linguistic roots of "menstruation" and "moon" words in multiple language families.[1] This identification was not universal, as demonstrated by the fact that not all moon deities are female. Still, many well-known mythologies feature moon goddesses, including the Greek goddess Selene, the Roman goddess Luna, and the Chinese goddess Chang'e. Several goddesses including Artemis, Hecate, and Isis did not originally have lunar aspects, and only acquired them late in antiquity due to syncretism with the de facto Greco-Roman lunar deity Selene/Luna.[2][3] In traditions with male gods, there is little evidence of such syncretism[citation needed], though the Greek Hermes has been equated with the male Egyptian lunar god Thoth[relevant?]. Nyx is the goddess of night and is sometimes associated with or symbolized by the new moon.[relevant?]

Male lunar gods are also common, such as Sin of the Mesopotamians, Mani of the Germanic tribes, Tsukuyomi of the Japanese, Igaluk/Alignak of the Inuit, and the Hindu god Chandra. The original Proto-Indo-European lunar deity appears to have been male, with many possible derivatives including the Homeric figure of Menelaus.[citation needed] Cultures with male moon gods often feature sun goddesses. An exception is Hinduism, featuring both male and female aspects of the solar divine. The ancient Egyptians had several moon gods including Khonsu and Thoth, although Thoth is a considerably more complex deity.[4] Set represented the moon in the Egyptian Calendar of Lucky and Unlucky Days.[5]

Many cultures are oriented chronologically by the Moon, as opposed to the Sun. The Hindu calendar maintains the integrity of the lunar month and the moon god Chandra has religious significance during many Hindu festivals (e.g. Karwa Chauth, Sankashti Chaturthi, and during eclipses).[6] The ancient Germanic tribes were also known to have a lunar calendar[citation needed].

The Moon features prominently in art and literature, often with a purported influence in human affairs.

List of moon deitiesEdit


Name Image Mythology / Religion Details
Abuk Dinka Goddess of fertility, morality, creativity and love
Amesemi Kushite Protective goddess and wife of Apedemak, the lion-god. She was represented with a crown shaped as a falcon, or with a crescent moon on her head on top of which a falcon was standing.
Ayyur Berber
Gleti Dahomean
Mawu Dahomean
Iah Egyptian
iNyanga Zulu Goddess of the Moon
Khonsu Egyptian The god of the moon. A story tells that Ra (the sun God) had forbidden Nut (the Sky goddess) to give birth on any of the 360 days of the calendar. In order to help her give birth to her children, Thoth (the god of wisdom) played against Khonsu in a game of senet. Khonsu lost to Thoth and then he gave away enough moonlight to create 5 additional days so Nut could give birth to her five children. It was said that before losing, the moonlight was on par with the sunlight. Sometimes, Khonsu is depicted as a hawk-headed god, however he is mostly depicted as a young man with a side-lock of hair, like a young Egyptian. He was also a god of time. The centre of his cult was at Thebes which was where he took place in a triad with Amun and Mut. Khonsu was also heavily associated Thoth who also took part in the measurement of time and the moon.
Thoth Egyptian God of wisdom, the arts, science, and judgment
Ela-Opitan Yoruba


Name Image Mythology / Religion Details
Arianrhod[citation needed] Welsh
Artemis Greek Artemis is the ancient Greek goddess of the hunt, wilderness, wild animals, chastity, and now the Moon. There are no records of the Greeks referring to her as a Moon Goddess as their Moon Goddess was Selene. But her Roman analog Diana was a moon goddess so as time went on they merely considered Artemis a moon goddess for the sake of convenience, even if not historically accurate.[7][8] She is the daughter of Zeus and Leto and the twin sister of Apollo.[9] She would eventually be extensively syncretized with the Roman goddess Diana. Cynthia was originally an epithet of the Greek goddess Artemis, who according to legend was born on Mount Cynthus. Selene, the Greek personification of the Moon, and the Roman Diana were also sometimes called "Cynthia".[10]
Artume Etruscan
Ataegina Lusitanian
Sen Mesopotamian Religion
Bendis Thracian
Diana Roman Diana is a goddess in Roman and Hellenistic religion, primarily considered a patroness of the countryside, hunters, crossroads, and the Moon. She is equated with the Greek goddess Artemis (see above), and absorbed much of Artemis' and Selenes mythology early in Roman history, including a birth on the island of Delos to parents Jupiter and Latona, and a twin brother, Apollo,[11] though she had an independent origin in Italy.
Elatha[citation needed] Irish Elatha was a king of the Fomorians in Irish mythology. He succeeded his father Delbáeth and was replaced by his son Bres, mothered by Ériu.
Hecate Greek While associated with the Moon, Hecate is not actually considered a goddess of the moon.
Hors Slavic
Hjúki and Bil Norse
Ilargi Basque
Kuu Finnish
Losna Etruscan
Luna Roman
Mano Sámi
Máni Norse Máni is the personification of the Moon in Norse mythology. Máni, personified, is attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources, and the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson. Both sources state that he is the brother of the personified sun, Sól, and the son of Mundilfari, while the Prose Edda adds that he is followed by the children Hjúki and Bil through the heavens.
Meness Latvian
Phoebe Greek
Selene Greek Selene was the original Titan goddess of the moon. She was depicted as a woman riding sidesaddle on a horse or driving a chariot drawn by a pair of winged steeds. However when the Romans created Diana they referred Artemis as a Moon Goddess. So as later cultures looked back they conflated Artemis as a moon goddess when the Greeks never referred to her as such. To this day Artemis is still referred to as The moon goddess instead of Selene.
Triple Goddess Wicca


Ainu mythologyEdit

  • God Kunnechup Kamui


Chinese mythologyEdit


  • God Napir


The Hindu moon god Chandra, riding his celestial chariot


Indonesian mythologyEdit

Japanese mythologyEdit

Korean mythologyEdit

  • Goddess Myeongwol[15]

Mari mythologyEdit

  • God Tõlze

Philippine mythologiesEdit

  • Kabigat (Bontok mythology): the goddess of the moon who cut of the head of Chal-chal's son; her action is the origin of headhunting[16]
  • Bulan (Ifugao mythology): the moon deity of the night in charge of nighttime[17]
  • Moon Deity (Ibaloi mythology): the deity who teased Kabunian for not yet having a spouse[18]
  • Delan (Bugkalot mythology): deity of the moon, worshiped with the sun and stars; congenial with Elag; during quarrels, Elag sometimes covers Delan's face, causing the different phases of the moon; giver of light and growth[19]
  • Bulan (Ilocano mythology): the moon god of peace who comforted the grieving Abra[20]
  • Bulan (Pangasinense mythology): the merry and mischievous moon god, whose dim palace was the source of the perpetual light which became the stars; guides the ways of thieves[21]
  • Wife of Mangetchay (Kapampangan mythology): wife of Mangetchay who gave birth to their daughter whose beauty sparked the great war; lives in the Moon[22]
  • Mayari (Kapampangan mythology): the moon goddess who battled her brother, Apolaqui[23]
  • Apûng Malyari (Kapampangan mythology): moon god who lives in Mount Pinatubo and ruler of the eight rivers[24]
  • Mayari (Tagalog mythology): goddess of the moon;[25] sometimes identified as having one eye;[26] ruler of the world during nighttime and daughter of Bathala[27]
  • Dalagang nasa Buwan (Tagalog mythology): the maiden of the moon[28]
  • Dalagang Binubukot (Tagalog mythology): the cloistered maiden in the moon[29]
  • Unnamed Moon God (Tagalog mythology): the night watchman who tattled on Rajo's theft, leading to an eclipse[30]
  • Bulan-hari (Tagalog mythology): one of the deities sent by Bathala to aid the people of Pinak; can command rain to fall; married to Bitu-in[31]
  • Bulan (Bicolano mythology): son of Dagat and Paros; joined Daga's rebellion and died; his body became the Moon;[32] in another myth, he was alive and from his cut arm, the earth was established, and from his tears, the rivers and seas were established[33]
  • Haliya (Bicolano mythology): the goddess of the moon[34]
  • Libulan (Bisaya mythology): the copper-bodied son of Lidagat and Lihangin; killed by Kaptan's rage during the great revolt; his body became the moon[35]
  • Bulan (Bisaya mythology): the moon deity who gives light to sinners and guides them in the night[36]
  • Launsina (Capiznon mythology): the goddess of the Sun, Moon, stars, and seas, and the most beloved because people seek forgiveness from her[37]
  • Diwata na Magbabaya (Bukidnon mythology): simply referred as Magbabaya; the good supreme deity and supreme planner who looks like a man; created the Earth and the first eight elements, namely bronze, gold, coins, rock, clouds, rain, iron, and water; using the elements, he also created the sea, sky, Moon, and stars; also known as the pure god who wills all things; one of three deities living in the realm called Banting[38]
  • Bulon La Mogoaw (T'boli mythology): one of the two supreme deities; married to Kadaw La Sambad; lives in the seventh layer of the universe[39]
  • Moon Deity (Maranao mythology): divine being depicted in an anthropomorphic form as a beautiful young woman; angels serve as her charioteers[40]

Vietnamese mythologyEdit

Semitic mythologyEdit

Turkic mythologyEdit




Aztec mythologyEdit

Cahuilla mythologyEdit

Hopi mythologyEdit

Incan mythologyEdit

Inuit mythologyEdit

Lakota mythologyEdit

Maya mythologyEdit

Muisca mythologyEdit

Nivaclé MythologyEdit

  • Jive'cla

Pawnee mythologyEdit

Tupi Guarani mythologyEdit


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Harding, Esther M., 'Woman's Mysteries: Ancient and Modern', London: Rider, 1971, p. 24.
  2. ^ Adler, Margot (1986). Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America Today, Revised and Expanded Edition. Beacon Press. ISBN 978-0-8070-3253-4.
  3. ^ Sfameni Gasparro, Giulia (2007). "The Hellenistic Face of Isis: Cosmic and Saviour Goddess". In Bricault, Laurent; Versluys, Miguel John; Meyboom, Paul G. P. (eds.). Nile into Tiber: Egypt in the Roman World. Proceedings of the IIIrd International Conference of Isis Studies, Faculty of Archaeology, Leiden University, May 11–14 2005. Brill. pp. 40–72. ISBN 978-90-04-15420-9.
  4. ^ Thoth, the Hermes of Egypt: a study of some aspects of theological thought in ancient Egypt, page 75
  5. ^ Jetsu, L.; Porceddu, S. (2015). "Shifting Milestones of Natural Sciences: The Ancient Egyptian Discovery of Algol's Period Confirmed". PLOS ONE. 10 (12): e.0144140 (23pp). arXiv:1601.06990. Bibcode:2015PLoSO..1044140J. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0144140. PMC 4683080. PMID 26679699.
  6. ^ Christopher John Fuller (2004). The Camphor Flame: Popular Hinduism and Society in India. Princeton University Press. pp. 109–110. ISBN 978-0-69112-04-85.
  7. ^ Shen (2018), p. 60
  8. ^ Sacks (1995), p. 35
  9. ^ Neils (2003), p. 117
  10. ^ Pannen, p. 96.
  11. ^ Larousse Desk Reference Encyclopedia, The Book People, Haydock, 1995, p. 215.
  12. ^ 太上洞真五星秘授经
  13. ^ Overmyer (1986), p. 51.
  14. ^ Fan, Chen 2013. p. 23
  15. ^ Seo, Dae Seok. "Song of Sun and Moon". Encyclopedia of Korean Folk Culture. Retrieved November 24, 2020.
  16. ^ Jenks, A. (1905). The Bontoc Igorot. Manila: Bureau of Printing.
  17. ^ Bimmolog, H., Sallong, L., Montemayor, L. (2005). The Deities of the Animistic Religion of Mayaoyao, Ifugao.
  18. ^ Moss, C. R. (1924). Nabaloi Tales. University of California Publications in American Archaeology, 227–353.
  19. ^ Wilson, L. L. (1947). Ilongot Life and Legends. Southeast Asia Institute.
  20. ^ Alacacin, C. (1952). The Gods and Goddesses. Historical and Cultural Data of Provinces.
  21. ^ Eugenio, D. L. (2007). Philippine Folk Literature: An Anthology. University of the Philippines Press.
  22. ^ Jose, V. R. (1974). Creation and Flood Myths in Philippine Folk Literature. UP .
  23. ^ Fansler, D. S. (1921). 1965 Filipino Popular Tales. Hatboro, Pennsylvania: Folklore Assosciates Inc.
  24. ^ Nicdao, A. (1917). Pampangan Folklore. Manila.
  25. ^ Calderon, S. G. (1947). Mga alamat ng Pilipinas. Manila : M. Colcol & Co.
  26. ^ Jocano, F. L. (1969). Philippine Mythology. Quezon City: Capitol Publishing House Inc.
  27. ^ Ramos, M. (1990). Philippine Myths, Legends, and Folktales. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  28. ^ Pardo, F. (1686–1688). Carte [...] sobre la idolatria de los naturales de la provincia de Zambales, y de los del pueblo de Santo Tomas y otros cicunvecinos [...]. Sevilla, Spain: Archivo de la Indias.
  29. ^ Pardo, F. (1686–1688). Carte [...] sobre la idolatria de los naturales de la provincia de Zambales, y de los del pueblo de Santo Tomas y otros cicunvecinos [...]. Sevilla, Spain: Archivo de la Indias.
  30. ^ Beyer, H. O. (1912–30). H. Otley Beyer Ethnographic Collection. National Library of the Philippines.
  31. ^ Eugenio, D. L. (2013). Philippine Folk Literature: The Legends. Quezon City: University of the Philippines Press
  32. ^ Beyer, H. O. (1923). Ethnography of the Bikol People. vii.
  33. ^ Arcilla, A. M. (1923). The Origin of Earth and of Man. Ethnography of the Bikol People, vii.
  34. ^ Tiongson, N. G., Barrios, J. (1994). CCP Encyclopedia of Philippine Art: Peoples of the Philippines. Cultural Center of the Philippines.
  35. ^ Miller, J. M. (1904). Philippine folklore stories. Boston, Ginn.
  36. ^ Buyser, F. (1913). Mga Sugilanong Karaan.
  37. ^ Cruz-Lucero, R., Pototanon, R. M. (2018). Capiznon. With contributions by E. Arsenio Manuel. In Our Islands, Our People: The Histories and Cultures of the Filipino Nation, edited by Cruz-Lucero, R.
  38. ^ Unabia, C. C. (1986). THe Bukidnon Batbatonon and Pamuhay: A Socio-Literary Study. Quezon City : UP Press.
  39. ^ Casal, G. (1978). The T'boli Creation Myth and Religion. T'boli Art: in its Socio-Cultural Context, pp. 122–123
  40. ^ Talaguit, C. J. N. (2019). Folk-Islam in Maranao Society. History Department, De La Salle University – Manila.
  41. ^ "Menily, the Cahuilla moon goddess (Menilly, Menil, Man-El)". Retrieved 2020-12-11.


External linksEdit