The Moon is Earth’s only permanent natural satellite. It is the fifth-largest natural satellite in the Solar System, and the largest among planetary satellites relative to the size of the planet that it orbits (its primary). It is the second-densest satellite among those whose densities are known (after Jupiter’s satellite Io).
The Moon is thought to have formed about 4.5 billion years ago, not long after Earth. There are several hypotheses for its origin; the most widely accepted explanation is that the Moon formed from the debris left over after a giant impact between Earth and a Mars-sized body called Theia.
The Moon is in synchronous rotation with Earth, always showing the same face, with its near side marked by dark volcanic maria that fill the spaces between the bright ancient crustal highlands and the prominent impact craters. It is the second-brightest regularly visible celestial object in Earth’s sky, after the Sun, as measured by illuminance on Earth’s surface. Its surface is actually dark, although compared to the night sky it appears very bright, with a reflectance just slightly higher than that of worn asphalt. Its prominence in the sky and its regular cycle of phases have made the Moon an important cultural influence since ancient times on language, calendars, art, mythology, and apparently, the menstrual cycles of the female of the human species.
The Moon’s gravitational influence produces the ocean tides, body tides, and the slight lengthening of the day. The Moon’s current orbital distance is about thirty times the diameter of Earth, with its apparent size in the sky almost the same as that of the Sun, resulting in the Moon covering the Sun nearly precisely in total solar eclipse. This matching of apparent visual size will not continue in the far future. The Moon’s linear distance from Earth is currently increasing at a rate of 3.82 ± 0.07 centimetres (1.504 ± 0.028 in) per year, but this rate is not constant.
The Moon is the symbol of imagination, illusion, and dreams. She has no light of her own, but borrows her light from the Sun. Without the light of the sun the moon would be cold and dark; without the power of the Will the products of the Imagination are without life. Thoughts become powerful only when they are infused by the will; they become luminous only when they are illuminated by love; they can be wise only if permeated by wisdom. Under the influence of the moon are said to be especially dreamers and mediums, persons who live a great deal in the realm of imgination and fancy, ladies of rank, pleasure seekers and travellers; it is said to govern things in which there is little firmness and stability, especially water and ships. In the mineral kingdom the Moon is represented by silver, in the spiritual kingsom by Luna, the queen of the night.
In ancient Roman religion and myth, Luna is the divine embodiment of the Moon (Latin luna; cf. English “lunar”). She is often presented as the female complement of the Sun (Sol) conceived of as a god. Luna is also sometimes represented as an aspect of the Roman triple goddess (diva triformis ), along with Proserpina and Hecate. Luna is not always a distinct goddess, but sometimes rather an epithet that specializes a goddess, since both Diana and Juno are identified as moon goddesses.
In Roman art, Luna’s attributes are the crescent moon plus the two-yoke chariot (biga ). In the Carmen Saeculare, performed in 17 BC, Horace invokes her as the “two-horned queen of the stars” (siderum regina bicornis ), bidding her to listen to the girls singing as Apollo listens to the boys.
Varro categorized Luna and Sol among the visible gods, as distinguished from invisible gods such as Neptune, and deified mortals such as Hercules. She was one of the deities Macrobius proposed as the secret tutelary of Rome. In Imperial cult, Sol and Luna can represent the extent of Roman rule over the world, with the aim of guaranteeing peace.
Luna’s Greek counterpart was Selene. In Roman art and literature, myths of Selene are adapted under the name of Luna. The myth of Endymion, for instance, was a popular subject for Roman wall painting.
In Greek mythology, Selene is the goddess of the moon. She is the daughter of the Titans Hyperion and Theia, and sister of the sun-god Helios, and Eos, goddess of the dawn. She drives her moon chariot across the heavens. Several lovers are attributed to her in various myths, including Zeus, Pan, and the mortal Endymion. In classical times, Selene was often identified with Artemis, much as her brother, Helios, was identified with Apollo. Both Selene and Artemis were also associated with Hecate, and all three were regarded as lunar goddesses, although only Selene was regarded as the personification of the moon itself. Her Roman equivalent is Luna.
The FUMIGATION from AROMATICS.
HEAR, Goddess queen, diffusing silver light,
Bull-horned and wandering through the gloom of Night.
With stars surrounded, and with circuit wide
Night’s torch extending, through the heavens you ride:
Female and Male with borrowed rays you shine,
And now full-orbed, now tending to decline.
Mother of ages, fruit-producing Moon,
Whose amber orb makes Night’s reflected noon:
Lover of horses, splendid, queen of Night,
All-seeing power bedecked with starry light.
Lover of vigilance, the foe of strife,
In peace rejoicing, and a prudent life:
Fair lamp of Night, its ornament and friend,
Who givest to Nature’s works their destined end.
Queen of the stars, all-wife Diana hail!
Decked with a graceful robe and shining veil;
Come, blessed Goddess, prudent, starry, bright,
Come moony-lamp with chaste and splendid light,
Shine on these sacred rites with prosperous rays,
And pleased accept thy suppliant’s mystic praise.
The FUMIGATION from MANNA.
Hear me, Jove’s daughter, celebrated queen,
Bacchian and Titan, of a noble mien:
In darts rejoicing and on all to shine,
Torch-bearing Goddess, Dictynna divine;
Over births presiding, and thyself a maid,
To labour-pangs imparting ready aid:
Dissolver of the zone and wrinkled care,
Fierce huntress, glorying in the Sylvan war:
Swift in the course, in dreadful arrows skilled,
Wandering by night, rejoicing in the field:
Of manly form, erect, of bounteous mind,
Illustrious dæmon, nurse of human kind:
Immortal, earthly, bane of monsters fell,
’Tis thine; blest maid, on woody hills to dwell:
Foe of the stag, whom woods and dogs delight,
In endless youth who flourish fair and bright.
O, universal queen, august, divine,
A various form, Cydonian power, is thine:
Dread guardian Goddess, with benignant mind
Auspicious, come to mystic rites inclined
Give earth a store of beauteous fruits to bear,
Send gentle Peace, and Health with lovely hair,
And to the mountains drive Disease and Care.
NAME: The Moon we find called by the Ancients, Lucina, Cynthia, Diana, Phoebe, Latona, Noctiluca, Prosperpina; she is neerest to the Earth of all the Planets; her colour in the Element is vulgarly known:
MOTION: She finisheth her courte through the whole twelve Signs in 27 days, 7 hours and 43 min. or thereabouts: her mean motion is 13 degr. 10 min. and 36 seconds, but she moveth sometimes lesse and sometimes more, never exceeding 15 degr. and two min. in 24 hours space.
LATITUDE: Her greatest North Latitude is 5 degr. and 17 min.(or thereabouts) Her greatest South Latitude is 5 degr. and 12 min. (or thereabouts) She is never Retrograde, but always direct; when she is slow in motion, and goeth lesse in 24 hours then 13 degr. and 10 min. she is then equivalent to a Retrograde Planet.
HOUSE: She hath the Sign Cancer for her house, and Capricorn for her detriment; she is exalted in 3. Taurus, and hath her fal in 3 grad. Scorpio; she governeth the Earthly Triplicity by night, viz. Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn.
TRIPLICITY, TERMS AND FACE:
The Sun and she have no Terms assigned them.
In the twelve Signs she hath these degrees for her Decanate or Face.
In TAURUS, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20.
In CANCER, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30.
In LIBRA, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.
In SAGITTARIUS, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20.
In AQUARIUS, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30.
NATURE: She is Feminine, Nocturnal Planet, Cold, Moyst and Flegmatique.
MANNERS & ACTIONS, WHEN WELL DIGNIFIED: She signifieth one of composed Manners, a soft, tender creature, a Lover of all honest and ingenuous Sciences, a Searcher of, and Delighter in Novelties, naturally propense to frit and shift his Habitation, unstedfast, wholly caring for the present Times, Timorous, Prodigal, and easily Frighted, however loving Peace, and to live free from the cares of this Life, if a Mechannick, the man learnes many Occupations, and frequently wil be tampering with many wayes to trade in.
WHEN ILL DIGNIFIED: A meer Vagabond, idleperson, hating Labour, a Drunkard, a Sot, one of no Spirit or Forecast, delighting to live beggarly and carefly, one content in no condition of Life, either good or il.
CORPORATURE: She generally presenteth a man of fair stature, whitely coloured, the Face round, gray Eyes, and a little Touring; much Hair both on the Head, Face, and other parts; usually one Eye a little larger then the other; short Hands and fleshy, the whole Body inclining to be fleshy, plump, corpulent and flegmatique: if she be impedited of the Sun in a Nativity or Question, she usually signifies some blemish in, or neer the Eye: a blemish neer the Eye, if she be impedited in Succedant Houses; in the Sight, if she be unfortunate in Angles and with fixed Starres, called Nebulose.
QUALITY OF MEN AND PROFESSION: She signifieth Queens, Countesses, Ladies, all manner of Women; as also the common People, Travellers, Pilgrims, Sailors, Fishermen, Fish-mongers, Brewers, Tapsters, Vintners, Letter-carriers, Coach-men, Hunts-men, Messengers, (some say the Popes Legates) Marriners, Millers, Ale-wives, Malstors, Drunkards, Oister-wives, Fisher-women, Chare-women, Tripe-women, and generally such Women as carry Commodities in the Streets; as also, Midwives, Nurses, &c, Hackney-men, Water-men, Water-bearers.
SICKNESSES: Apoplexies, Palsie, the Chollick, the Belly-ache, Disease in the Left Side, Stones, the Bladder and members of Generation, the Men-stries and Liver; in Women Dropsies, Fluxes of Belly, all cold Rheumatick Diseases, cold Stomack, the Gout in the Rists and Feet, Sciatica, Chollick, Worms in Children and men, Rheumes or Hutts in the Eyes, viz. in the Left of Men, and Right of Women: Sursets, rotten Coughs, Convultion fits, the Falling sicknesse, Kings-evil, Apostems, smal Pox and Measels.
COLOUR & SAVOURS: Of Colours the White, or pale Yellowish White, pale Green, or a little of the Silver-colour. Of Saviours, the Fresh, or without any flavour, such as is in Hearbs before they be ripe, or such as doe moysten the Brain, &c.
HEARBS & PLANTS: Those Hearbs which are subject to the Moon have soft and thick juicy leaves, of a waterish or a little sweetish taste, they love to grow in watry places, and grow quickly into a juicy magnitude; and are. The Colwort, Cabbage, , Melon, Gourd, Pompion, Onion, Mandrake, Poppy, Lettice, Rape, the Linden-tree, Mushroomes, Endine, all Trees or Hearbs who have round, shady, great spreading Leaves, and are little Fruitful.
BEASTS & BIRDS: All such Beasts, or the like, as live in the water; as Frogs, the Otter, Snailes, &c. the Weasel, the Cunny, all Sea Fowls, Coockoe, Geese and Duck, the Night-Owle.
FISHES: The Oyster and Cockle, all She-fish, the Crab and Lobster, Tortoise, Eeles.
PLACES: Fields, Fountains, Baths, Havens of the Sea, Highwayes and Desertplaces, Port Towns, Rivers, Fish-ponds, standing Pools, Boggy places, Common-shoars, little Brooks, Springs.
STONES: The Selenite, all soft Stons, Cristals.
WEATHER: With Saturn cold Ayre; with Jupiter Serene; with Mars Winds red Clouds; with the Sun according to the Season; with Venus and Mercury Showres and Winds.
WIND: In Hermetical operation, she delighteth towards the North, and usually when she is the strongest Planet in the Scheam, viz. in any Lunation, she stirs up Wind, according to the nature of the Planet she next applies unto.
ORBE: Is 12. degrees before and after any Aspect.
YEERS: Her greatest yeers are 321. greater 108. mean 66, least 25. in conceptions she ruleth the seventh moneth.
COUNTRIES: Holland, Zealand, Denmarke, Norimberge, Flanders.
DAY OF THE WEEK: Her day is Monday the first hour and the eight, after the rise of the Sun.
These pentacles are usually made of the metal the most suitable to the nature of the planet; and then there is no occasion to observe the rule of particular colours.
Saturn ruleth over lead;
Jupiter over tin;
Mars over iron;
the Sun over gold;
Venus over copper;
Mercury over the mixture of metals;
and the Moon over silver.
They may also be made with exorcised virgin paper writing thereon with the colours adopted for each planet, referring to the rules already laid down in the proper chapters, and according to the planet with which the pentacle is in sympathy.
Wherefore unto Saturn the colour of black is appropriated;
Jupiter ruleth over celestial blue;
Mars over red;
the Sun over gold, or the colour of yellow or citron;
Venus over green;
Mercury over mixed colours;
the Moon over silver, or the colour of argentine earth.
These things are Lunary,
The Moon with Cancer governs Bithivia, Phrygia, Colchica, Numidia, Africa, Carthage and all Carchedonia.
To the Moon, wildernesses, woods, rocks, hills, mountains, forests, fountains, waters, rivers, seas, seashores, ships, groves, highways, granaries for corn and such like.
But all white, fair, curious, green, ruddy, betwixt saffron, and purple, resemble Venus, Mercury, and the Moon.
From the operations of the Moon,
The names of Celestiall souls are very many, and diverse according to their manifold power and vertue upon these inferior things, from whence they have received divers names, which the ancients in their hymnes and prayer made use of. Concerning which you must observe, that every one of these souls according to Orpheus’s Divinity, is said to have a double vertue; the one placed in knowing, the other in vivifying, and governing its body. Upon this account in the Celestiall spheres, Orpheus cals the former vertue Bacchus, the other a Muse. Hence he is not inebriated by any Bacchus, who hath not first been coupled to his Muse.
in the sphere of the Moon, Bacchus, Lyeus, and the Muse Thalia
Moreover they did call those governors of the world, (as Hermes calls them) Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, the Sun, Venus, Mercury, and the Moon, by many names, and epithites;
The Moon is called Phebe, Diana, Lucina, Proserpina, Hecate, Menstruous, of a half form, giving light in the night, wandring silent, having two horns, a preserver, a night-walker, horn-bearer, the queen of heaven, the chiefest of the Deities, the first of the heavenly gods and goddesses, the queen of spirits, the mistris [mistress] of all the Elements, whom the stars answer, seasons return, Elements serve; at whose nod lightnings breath forth, seeds bud, plants increase, the initiall parent of fruit, the sister of Phæbus, light, and shining, carrying light from one planet to another, enlightening all powers by its light, restraining the various passings of the Stars, dispensing various lights by the circuits of the Sun, the Lady of great beauty, the mistris of rain and waters, the giver of riches, the nurse of mankind, the governor of all States, kind, mercifull, protecting men by Sea and land, mitigating all tempests of fortune, dispensing with fate, nourishing all things growing on the earth, wandering into divers woods, restraining the rage of Goblins, shutting the openings of the earth, dispensing the light of the Heaven, the wholsome rivers of the Sea, and the deplored silence of the infernals, by its nods; ruling the world, treading hell under her feet; of whose majesty the birds hasting in the Aire are affraid, the wild beasts straggling in the mountains, Serpents lying hid in the ground, fishes swiming in the Sea;
They will for the most part appear in a great and full body, soft and phlegmatic, of colour like a black obscure cloud, having a swelling countenance, with eyes red and full of water, a bald head, and teeth like a wilde boar. Their motion is as it were an exceeding great tempest of the Sea. For their signe, there will appear an exceeding great rain about the Circle. And their particular shapes are,
TT: The Moon is called in this Hymn both σεληνη and μηνη: the former of which words signifies the Moon in the language of the Gods; and the latter is the appellation given to her by Men, as the following Orphic fragment evinces.
Μήσαλο δ᾽ ἄλλην Γᾶιαν ἀπείριτον, ἣντε Σελήνη
᾽Αθάνατοι κλήζυσιν, ἐπιχθόνιοι δέ τε Μηνην·
Ἥ πολλ᾽ ὄυρε ἔχει, πολλ᾽ ἄρεα, πολλα μέλαθρα.
That is, “But he (Jupiter) fabricated another boundless earth, which the immortals call Selene, but Men, Mene. Which has many mountains, many cities, many houses.” Now this difference of names arises, according to the Platonic philosophers, from the difference subsisting between divine and human knowledge. For (say they) as the knowledge of the Gods is different from that of particular souls: so with respect to names some are diverse, exhibiting the whole essence of that which is named; but others are human, which only partially unfolds their signification. But a larger account of this curious particular, is given by Proclus, in Theol. Plat. p. 69. as follows. There are three kinds of names: the first and most proper, and which are truly divine, subsist in the Gods themselves. But the second which are the resemblances of the first, having an intellectual subsistence, must be esteemed of divine condition. And the third kind which emanate from Truth itself, but are formed into words for the purpose of discourse, receiving the last signification of divine concerns, are enunciated by skillful men at one time by a divine afflatus, at another time by energising intellectually, and generating the images of internal spectacles moving in a discursive procession. For as the demiurgic intellect represents about matter the significations of primary forms comprehended in its essence; temporal signatures of things eternal; divisible representatives of things in divisible, and produces as it were shadowy resemblances of true beings: after the same manner I think the science we possess, framing an intellectual action, fabricates by discourse both the resemblances of other things, and of the Gods themselves. So that it fashions by composition, that which in the Gods is void of composition; that which is simple by variety; and that which is united by multitude. And by this formation of names it demonstrates in the last place the images of divine concerns. And as the theurgic art provokes by certain signs, supernal illumination into artificial statutes, and allures the unevnying goodness of the Gods, in the same manner the science of divine concerns, signifies the occult essence of the God by the compositions and divisions of sounds. ↩
TT: Bull-horned. For the mystical reason of this appellation, see note to the third line, of the Hymn to Protogonus. [… and he informs us that the ancient priests of Ceres, called the Moon who is the queen of generation ταῦρος or a Bull (p. 262.) and p. 265 ὡς καὶ ὁ ταῦρος δημιυργόσ ὣν ὁ Μίθρασ, καὶ γενεσέωσ δεσπότησ. i e. “Mithras as well as the Bull is the demiurgus of the universe, and the lord of generation” …] ↩
TT: Female and Male. This is not wonderful, since according to the fragment of Ficinus in this Dissertation, all souls and the celestial spheres are endued with a two-fold power, nostic and animating; one of which is male and the other female. And these epithets are perpetually occurring in the Orphic Initiations. ↩
TT: Who givest to Nature’s works, &c. In the original it is τελεσφορος, i. e. bringing to an end. And Proclus in Theol. Plat. p. 483. informs us that Diana (who is the same with the Moon) is so called, because she finishes or perfects the essential perfection of matter. ↩
Over births presiding. In the original, λοχεία: and Proclus, in Plat. Theol. p. 403. observes that this epithet is given to Diana by theologians, because she is the inspector of natural progression and generation. ↩
0 degrees apart, when with the Sun also known as combust, and in the case of the Moon, is the time of the New Moon. ↩
180 degrees apart ↩
90 degrees apart ↩
It always amuses me when someone plans a ritual for the “full moon” choosing, of course, the day which their calendar claims it occures, and performs it that night by which time it is likely to have already been waning for several hours. ↩