List of lunar deities
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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.
Moon in religion and mythologyEdit
The monthly cycle of the moon, in contrast to the annual cycle of the sun's path, has been implicitly linked to women's menstrual cycles by many cultures, as evident in the links between the words for menstruation and for moon in many resultant languages, though this identification was not universal as demonstrated by the fact that not all moon deities are female. Many well-known mythologies feature female lunar deities, such as the Greek goddess Selene, the Roman goddess Luna, and the Chinese goddess Chang'e.
Male lunar gods are also frequent, such as Sin of the Mesopotamians, Mani of the Germanic tribes, Tsukuyomi of the Japanese, and Igaluk/Alignak of the Inuit. The ancient Egyptians had several male moon gods, for example, Ibis and Khonsu of Thebes. Thoth was also a lunar deity, but his character is considerably more complex than Ibis and Khonsu. Set represented the Moon in the Egyptian Calendar of Lucky and Unlucky Days of papyrus Cairo 86637. These cultures usually feature female sun goddesses. An exception is Hinduism; both its solar and lunar deities are male.
The original Proto-Indo-European lunar deity appears to have been male. Several goddesses, like Artemis or Hecate, did not originally have lunar aspects, and only acquired them late in antiquity, due to syncretism with Selene/Luna, the de facto Greco-Roman lunar deity. In traditions with male gods, there is little evidence of such syncretism, though the Greek Hermes has been equated with the male Egyptian lunar god Thoth. In Greece proper, remnants of male moon gods are also seen with Menelaus.
Also of significance is that many religions and societies are oriented chronologically by the moon, as opposed to the sun. One common example is Hinduism in which the word Chandra means "moon" and has religious significance during many Hindu festivals (e.g. Karwa Chauth, Sankasht Chaturthi, and during eclipses). The ancient Germanic tribes were also known to have a lunar calendar.
The moon features prominently in art and literature and also has a purported influence in human affairs, a belief that consistently remains a feature of astrology, though beliefs such as this are classified as pseudoscience.
List of moon deitiesEdit
- Goddess Ala (Igbo mythology)
- Goddess Gleti (Dahomean mythology)
- Goddess Mawu (Dahomean mythology)
- God Iah (Egyptian mythology)
- God Khonsu
- God Osiris (only due to syncretism with Iah)
- God Thoth
- Goddess Ilargi (Basque mythology)
- Goddess Losna (Etruscan mythology)
- Goddess Kuu (Finnish mythology)
- Goddess Selene (Greek mythology)
- God Máni (Norse mythology)
- God Elatha (Irish mythology)
- God Meness (Latvian mythology)
- Goddess Luna (Roman mythology)
- Goddess Mano (Sami mythology)
- God Hors (Slavic mythology)
- God Kunnechup Kamui
- Goddess Chang'e
- Goddess Chang Xi
- Goddess Han Ying
- God Jie Lin
- Goddess Su'e
- God Tu'er Ye
- God Wu Gang
- God Napir
- God Chandra or Soma
- God Tsukuyomi
- Goddess Dae-Soon
- God Tõlze
- God Aglibol (Palmarene mythology)
- God Baal-hamon (Carthaginian religion)
- God Sin (Mesopotamian mythology)
- God Ta'lab (Arabian mythology)
- God Wadd (Minaean mythology)
- God Yarikh (Canaanite mythology)
- God Ay Ata
- God Andriambahomanana (Malagasy mythology)
- Goddess Lona (Hawaiian mythology)
- God Avatea (Polynesian mythology)
- God Fati (Polynesian mythology)
- Goddess Hina (Polynesian mythology)
- Goddess Mahina (Polynesian mythology)
- God Marama (Polynesian mythology)
- God Bahloo (Australian Aboriginal mythology)
- God Kidili (Mandjindja mythology)
- God Ngalindi (Yolngu mythology)
- Goddess Menily
- God Abaangui
- Goddess Arasy
- God Muuya
- Goddess Hanwi
- God Pah
- Goddess Jaci
- God Kalfu
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Lunar deities.|
- Harding, Esther M., 'Woman's Mysteries: Ancient and Modern', London: Rider, 1971, p. 24.
- Thoth, the Hermes of Egypt: a study of some aspects of theological thought in ancient Egypt, page 75
- 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.
- Dexter, Miriam Robbins. Proto-Indo-European Sun Maidens and Gods of the Moon. Mankind Quarterly 25:1 & 2 (Fall/Winter, 1984), pp. 137–144.
- S. Quirke and A.J. Spencer, The British Museum Book of Ancient Egypt. London, The British Museum Press, 1992
- "Libulan: Moon Deity". Visayan Mythologies of the Phillipines. 2013-05-08. Retrieved 2018-11-23.