Friday, March 28, 2008

The Roman Goddess Luna

Diana, or Luna, Roman goddess of the Moon, animals, and hunting

Hi to all you Moon lovers. I decided to so a series of short blogs on the three aspects of the Moon Goddess Luna. I also added some specific info on the relationship between the sun, moon and the earth , and a brief explanation of the Wicca perspective on the Goddess.

The Romans recognized three aspects of her( also called the triad)--as the Moon-goddess, they called her Luna; as an underworld deity of magic Hekate; and as the huntress-goddess, Diana.

Luna gives us “lunar” from Latin lucere, to shine.

Symbol: a crescent Moon.

Luna is a Roman Goddess of the moon. Together with Diana and Hekate, she formed a triad with Luna as the Goddess in Heaven, Diana as the Goddess on Earth, and Hekate as the Goddess in the Underworld.

She is often depicted as a pale woman riding in a silver chariot, and was thus also a patroness of charioteers. Her temple on the Aventine Hill in Rome was destroyed by the Great Fire of Rome in the year 64 C.E.

Called Luna by the Romans, Selene and Artemis by the Greeks, and many other names in other mythologies.

Diana is described as guiding her silvery chariot over the sky at night.

Diana: Roman Goddess of Light, Moon Goddess, Queen of Heaven, Lunar Virgin (note that to the Romans, “virgin” meant a woman who had never been married or pregnant, not a woman who had never had sex), Goddess of Wildwood, Divine Huntress, Protector of Animals, Lady of Beasts.

The Wicca Perspective

(This is just a brief explanation of my knowledge)

The Triple Goddess is a symbol representing the feminine polarity as well as the three phases of a womankind: maiden, mother and crone. It is similar to the Trinity in Christianity in that it is an embodiment of 3 in one; however it is different in that the triple aspect in the Goddess comes in phases. She is not all three things at the same time but rather goes through these phases throughout her existence.
The number three itself has great significance in Wicca and Paganism in that it is a powerful number. There is the "Rule of Three" in which it states that what you do to a person comes back three-fold, which generally is a code for practicing Pagans to not do harm to others. Certain spells involving Witch Bottles and Charm Bags also require an uneven number of objects to be placed inside such as 3, 5, 7 or 9 objects. It is no wonder that the Goddess is represented in 3 phases. The moon itself has many phases and is a powerful element in Paganism and Wicca. The Goddess is represented by the moon whereas the God (the male entity in Wicca) is represented by the sun.

The Triple Goddess is represented by 3 moons, the waxing crescent moon, the full moon, and the waning crescent. The symbol below is often found in tattoos, jewelry, T-shirts, artwork, other adornments or decorations and even store logos.


The Waxing Moon is a symbol of the maiden. This is the first aspect of womankind. A woman is a maiden up until the time that she marries and/or bears children. It is but a sliver, a part of a whole. This is very much like a young woman who has not yet matured or gone through puberty. They are still child and not yet woman, although still female. They are part of a whole.

The Full Moon is a symbol of the mother. Often this phase starts when a woman marries or bears children.The Full Moon is used because this represents the fulfillment of being a woman. A woman in this phase has married, had children, and has matured and they are wiser than in their youth.

The Waning Moon is a symbol of the crone. Despite the stereotype of an "old crone" being a haggard, scraggly and grumpy old woman, the crone is simply the final phase of the woman.This phase is represented by the Waning Moon because a woman in this phase is "on her way out." She is has accomplished what is expected for women to do in life (in the baser more intrinsic needs). She is also a part of a whole much like the maiden and the Waxing Moon because she is no longer of child-bearing years. For many women it is a sad time and leaves them feeling that they are no longer a woman. But in Wicca practice this is not so, it is a time to celebrate. Imagine reaching the final leg of a race, you feel elated, excited, and accomplished. A woman is powerful in this time because she has reached full maturity, and is filled with wisdom that she can share with mothers and maidens. She has "done her duty" to mankind in that she provided a home, provided a mate for another, or raised her children. There is a sense of accomplishment here and self-gratified, self-fulfilling feelings. This phase also signifies death, repose and endings.


"A few scientific facts about the Moon and the Earth"

Moon and Earth, tied together by gravitational attraction, revolve as a double planet.
Total eclipses occur when the Moon and Earth line up perfectly with the Sun.
During a solar eclipse, the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth, hiding the Sun on a small area of Earth.
During a lunar eclipse, the full Moon moves into Earth’s shadow and is blacked out.
Because Earth spins faster than the Moon revolves, the Moon rises an average of 50 minutes later each night.
During the new phase, Moon and Sun rise and set at the same time; but, from then on, the Moon appears in different parts of the sky: in the west as it waxes larger towards gibbous, in the east as it wanes smaller.
The gravitational force of the Moon, and to a lesser extent the Sun, raises the ocean tides on Earth.
A great bulge of water is pulled up on the side of the Earth facing the Moon and held there.
As Earth rotates beneath the bulge, high tides occur and then because of Earth’s rotation, the tide seems to move from east to west.
None of the other planets has a moon like the Earth. Mercury and Venus have no moons at all, and Mars is orbited only by two tiny chunks of rock, each just one ten-millionth the size of Earth’s moon.
Because the Moon rotates on its axis in exactly the time it takes to orbit the Earth, it always presents the same side to us.
The Moon does not emit light. What we see is sunlight reflected from the Moon’s surface as the Moon goes through its familiar phases.