It’s a full moon and I’m fighting with the sandman. He doesn’t come to visit so I’m wide awake at 2:14 am. The moon is amazing outside my office window….
So I decided to goggle myths about full moons. I wanted something besides vampires and werewolves or shape shifters of any kind.
I was surprised by all the moon rabbit myths. Am I the only person who has never heard of this myth? Several different cultures – Korea, Japan, American Indian, and Chinese have moon rabbits.
Of course there are the Greek and Roman Moon Goddesses. In the myths associated with these goddesses, the goddess is paired with the god of the sun. He travels throughout the day and she takes over the journey at night. She is typically considered to be a passionate goddess who takes many lovers and who represents the desire associated with the moon.
The Aztec’s have a moon god – Tecciztecatl. This is an example of a male god which is associated with the moon. What is interesting about the myths surrounding him are how many of the samy symbols from different moon myths are found in the stories about him. Although he was an Aztec god, there are associations with the Asian cultures (he was a rabbit, for example, associating him with the aforementioned Moon Rabbit) and even associations with modern day moon myths like the story of the “man on the moon”.
The most disturbing myth goes to Anningan. The Inuit people of northern regions like Alaska and Greenland have a rather horrifying myth about the moon. They believe that Anningan, the Moon god, raped his sister, the sun Goddess. Worse, they believe that he is still trying to chase her down to possess her. That’s why he follows her in the sky every day. The waxing and waning of the moon is explained as Anningan chasing her until he is starving and then disappearing for a bit to hunt for food to have the energy to come back to chase her again.
My favorite is Mawu. This has everything a romance writer with insomnia needs to set the muse churning plot rabbits (grown up bunnies). A couple-based story about the moon is this myth from Africa which says that Mawu is a moon good who is forever linked in unity with the sun goddess Liza. It is believed that lunar and solar eclipses are related to the lovemaking times of the celestial couple. This myth is clearly about the power of the moon, the sun, the sky and love and desire.
Do you have a favorite moon myth?