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History and Stories
of the Goddess

And next, sweet voiced Muses, daughters of Zeus, well-skilled in song, tell of the long-winged Moon. From her immortal head a radiance is shown from heaven and embraces earth; and great is the beauty that ariseth from her shining light. The air, unlit before, glows with the light of her golden crown, and her rays beam clear, whensoever bright Selene having bathed her lovely body in the waters of Ocean, and donned her far-gleaming raiment, and yoked her strong-necked, shining team, drives on her long-maned horses at full speed, at eventime in the mid-month: then her great orbit is full and then her beams shine brightest as she increases. So she is a sure token and a sign to mortal men.

~~ Homeric Hymns 32.1 ~~

"The Radient", "The Well-Dressed Queen". Greek moon goddess and teacher to the magicians and sorcerers or sorceresses. She was a beautiful woman with long wings and a halo of gold. Daughter of Hyperion and Theia, sister of Helios and Eos. She symbolizes the moon. Also known as Phoebe.

~~ From The Book of Deities ~~

Selene, the moon goddess, is known for her countless love affairs. The most famous of her loves is the shepard Endymion. Other affairs of Selene's include involvement with Zeus with whom she had three daughters, and Pan who gave her a herd of white oxen. Some sources report that the Nemean lion, which fell to the earth from the moon was the result of an affair of Zeus and Selene. She was involved in many love affairs, however, not as many as her sister, Eos, the dawn.

She resembles a young woman with an extremely white face who travels on a silver chariot drawn by two horses. She is often shown riding a horse or a bull. Selene is said to wear robes, carry a torch, and wear a half moon on her head. She was not one of the twelve great gods on Olympus, however she is the moon goddess. After her brother Helios completes his journey across the sky, she begins hers. Before Selene's journey across the night sky she bathes in the sea.

Selene's parents are the Titan Hyperion, the sun god, and Theia, the sister of Helios. Some sources report that she is the daughter of the Titan Pallas, Helios, or Zeus. Helius, who is the sun god as well as his father Helios, is the brother of Selene. Eos, the dawn, who is known for her numerous love affairs is the sister of Selene.

The seduction of Endymion is the love affair that brings Selene the most fame. She fell in love with the shepard, Endymion, and seduced him while he lay sleeping in a cave. Some sources say Endymion was a king or a hunter, rather than a shepard. Her seduction of Endymion resulted in the birth of fifty daughters, one of which was Naxos. Since Selene was so deeply in love with Endymion she asked Zeus to allow him to decide his own fate. Zeus granted Selene's request, and Endymion chose never to grow old and to sleep eternally. However, Endymion's eternal sleep did not prevent him from Selene giving birth to his daughters. Endymion was visited by Selene every night and kissed by her rays of light.

Selene is a favorite of many poets, especially love poets. A moonlit night brings the feeling of romance. It is said that Selene's moon rays fall upon sleeping mortals, and her kisses fell upon her love, Endymion.

~~ From Encyclopedia Mythica ~~

Evelyn De Morgan
(British, 1850-1919)

The Greek goddess of the moon and daughter of Hyperion and Theia. Her twin brother is the sun-god Helios and her sister is Eos (dawn). At night, she rose from the ocean and with her chariot, drawn by white horses (or oxen) she rode through the sky. She had 50 daughters by Endymion and three by Zeus. Selene, also called Mene, wasn't worshipped much, unlike her Roman counterpart, Luna, who was far more popular.

Selene is considered the softer side of Diana (Artemis). As Diana, the twin sister of Apollo was born on Mount Cynthus in the island of Delos. Latona, the future mother of Diana and Apollo, flying from the wrath of Juno, had besought, one after another, the islands of the Aegean to afford her a place of rest; but they feared too much the potent queen of heaven. Delos alone consented to become the birthplace of the future deities. This isle was then floating and unstable; but on Latona's arrival, Jupiter fastened it with adamantine chains to the bottom of the sea, that it might be a secure resting place for his beloved. The daughter of Latona is, as her name indicates, a virgin goddess, the ideal of modesty, grace, and maidenly vigor. She is associated with her brother, the prince of archery, in nearly all his adventures, and in attributes she is his feminine counterpart. As he is identified with sunlight, so is she, his fair-tressed sister, with the chaste brilliance of the moon. Its slender arc is her bow, its beams are her arrows with which she sends upon womankind a speedy and painless death. In her prerogatie of moon goddess she is frequently identified with the daughter of Hyperion, just as Apollo is with Helios.

Despising the weakness of love, She imposed upon her nymphs vows of perpetual maidenhood, any violation of which She was swift and sever to punish. Graceful in form and free of movement, equipped for the chase and surrounded by a bevy of fair companions, the swift-rushing goddess was wont to scour hill, valley, forest, and plain. She was, however, not only huntress but guardian of wild beasts, mistress withal of horses and kine and other domestic brutes. She ruled marsh and mountain; her gleaming arrows smote sea as well as land. Springs and woodland brooks she favored, for in them she and her attendants were accustomed to bathe. She blessed with verdure the meadows and arable lands, and from them obtained a meed of thanks. When weary of the chase, she turned to music and dancing; for the lyre and flute and song were dear to her. Muses, Graces, nymphs, and the fair goddess themselves thronged the rites of the chorus-leading queen. But ordinarily a woodland chapel or a rustic altar sufficed for her worship. There the hunter laid his offering--antlers, skin, or edible portions of the deer that She of the golden arrows had herself vouchsafed him. The holy maid, however, though naturally gracious, gentle, and a healer of ills, was, like her brother, quick to resent injury to her sacred herds or insult to herself. To this stern temper, Agamemnon, Orion, and Niobe bore regretful testimony. They found that the "fair-crowned queen of the echoing chase", though blithe and gracious, was by no means a frivolous personage.

Diana was mistress of the brute creation, protectres of youth, patron of temperance in all things, guardian of civil right. The cypress tree was sacred to her; and her favorites were the bear, the boar, the dog, the goat and specially the hind.

Hymn to Diana (Selene)

Queen and Huntress, chaste and fair,
Now the sun is laid to sleep,
Seated in they silver chair
State in wonted manner keep:
Hesperus entreats they light,
Goddess excellently bright.
Earth, let not they envious shade
Dare itself to interpose;
Selene's shining orb was made
Heaven to clear when day did close:
Blessus then with wished sight
Goddess excellently bright.

Lay thy bow of pearl apart,
And they crystal-shining quiver;
Give unto the flying hart
Space to breathe, how short soever:
Thou that mak'st a day of night,
Goddess excellentely bright.

~~ From Classic Mythology by:
Charles Mills Gayley circa 1893 ~~

'Isis of Corinth' by Stuart Littlejohn

The Triple Moon Goddess of Greece

The Greek pantheon contain perhaps the best known of the Triple Moon Goddesses with Artemis (Virgin of the New Moon), Selene (Mother of the Full Moon), and Hecate (Crone of the Waning and Dark Moon) and connecting to these goddesses allows for a further experience of the Moon mysteries. It may be thought that in this material I have neglected my male readers. However the Moon Goddess, because she is the most visible aspect of the Goddess, offers men the opportunity for close relationship with the Lady of the Moon as son and lover, consort and pupil as well as priest when he achieves Her initiation. In coming to know Her he comes to know his soul.

To the phase of the New Moon is attributed the Maiden - Artemis. She is ever-virgin (meaning one-in-herself, belonging to no man). In Artemis' realm wild animals roam free. The virgin forest is a fruitful place that has multiplied without the hand of man. Contrast this abundant wildness to the orderly rows of trees imposed by any country's Forestry Commission!

Artemis was the protectress of the young and especially of young women.
In ancient Greece, girl-children of 9-12 years of age who were called to the cult of the Goddess Artemis were called the 'arktoi', the bear cubs of Artemis. This period apart from the world allowed them a time and place of protection under the mantle of the goddess where they were able to learn skills such as hunting and to fend for themselves. Deep within the woods they danced the dance of emerging animal life, as do rabbits when they dance in the moonlight.

The phase of the Full Moon is attributed to Selene. The Full Moon is the Mother and Queen of the Night shining with beauty and light. She nurtures the soul and gives healing and comfort. She is fertility itself and is both passionate and transformative in her lovemaking.

The final phase of the Waning and Dark Moon belongs to Hecate who is so often misunderstood and misrepresented. She is the Wise One, the Elder, the Guide and Teacher of whatever age who teaches from experience. Her name means the 'distant or remote one' and in our consideration of the dark face of the moon, which is never seen from Earth, it is indeed remote.

Hecate is the protectress of wild and remote places as well as being the guardian of the crossroads. She is a triple goddess within Herself and is often depicted with three faces or in tri-form bearing her sacred symbols - three torches to illuminate the path, a Key (to the Underworld as its guardian and guide), the Scourge and the Dagger, as symbol of ritual power. The latter two symbols have found their place within Wicca as Scourge and Athame.

In this triple aspect she is described as a goddess of the Moon and as such had dominion over the sky but was also walked the Earth as a mistress of magic and resided also in the Underworld from where she bestowed wealth and the blessings of everyday life. She oversaw the mysteries of human life - birth, life and death. Hecate is often depicted with three animal heads of a horse, dog and boar and these animal forms are probably totems a subject considered in Dream Animals and the Moon . These animals also have connections with the Great Goddesses within the Celtic tradition: Rhiannon, Epona and Cerridwen. The owl was Hecate's messenger and the yew tree and willow her trees.

From "The Pillar of Isis"