Moon Goddess’ from most cultures

The Moon Goddesses are important in many cultures around the world where they form a central role in mythology. The moon is associated with the divine femine as in many tribal societies the feminine cycles were linked to the phases of the moon. The Moon was important in ancient calendars, helping people to measure time and to determine when the best time was for planting and harvesting crops. This fertility aspect of the lunar Goddess is reflected in large numbers of the entries below.

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Many of the lunar Goddesses, like Hecate and Cerridwen are also associated with magic and the intuitive nature of women.

Night Deities are great to do a trio with a moon and star goddess for a triple goddess ritual!

Aega (Greek) – A beautiful moon deity. Her mother Gaia, the ancient earth Goddess, hid her in a cave during a Titan attack on the Olympic deities to prevent her from being taken away.

Aine(Celtic) – Goddess of love, growth, cattle and light. The name of this Celtic Goddess means “bright” as she lights up the dark. Celebrations to this Goddess were held on Midsummer night

Anahita (Persian) – A river Goddess who was also Goddess of Venus and the moon. Her name means “pure” Or immaculate one” as she represented the cleansing and fertilizing flow of the cosmos.

Andromeda (Greek) – Although today she is linked with the stars many scholars believe that Andromeda was a pre-Hellenic moon deity.

Anunit (Babylonian) – Goddess of the moon and battle. She was also associated with the evening star and later became known as Ishtar.

Arianrhod (Celtic) – Goddess of the moon and stars, her name means “silver- wheel” the wheel of the year and the web of fate.

Artemis (Greek) – The Greek Goddess of the hunt, nature and birth. This maiden Goddess is symbolized by the crescent moon.

Arawa (African) – Lunar Goddess of the Suk and Pokot tribes of Kenya and Uganda. Her parents were the creator God Tororut and his consort Seta.

Athenesic (Native North American) – A moon Goddess of several north central Native American tribes,

Auchimalgen (South American) – This moon Goddess was a Deity of divination and a protectress from evil spirits.

Bendis (Greek) – Bendis was the consort of the sun God Sabazius. Her cult flourished in Athens during the fifth century BCE.

Britomartis (Crete) – In addition to her lunar attributes she was also the patron Goddess of Cretan sailors.

Candi (Indian) – The female counterpart to Chandra, ancient Hindu lord of the Moon. The two were said to take turns: one month the Candi would become the moon and the next Chandra fulfill the role.

Cerridwen (Celtic) – This crone, Goddess is most famous for her cauldron of wisdom. She was the mother of the great bard Taliesin, and is deeply linked to the image of the waning moon.

Chang- O (Chinese) – The Chinese Goddess who lived on the moon She is celebrated to this day on full moon night of the 8th lunar month.

Coyolxauhqui (Aztec) – Aztec moon Goddess, her name means “Golden Bells.” She was the daughter of the Earth goddess, Coatlicue and the sister of the Sun god, Huitzilopochtli

Dae-Soon (Korean) – Moon Goddess

Diana (Roman) – Diana was the Goddess of the hunt and wild animals. She later took over from Luna as the Roman Goddess of the moon, responsible for fertility and childbirth.

Gnatoo (Japanese) – One of twelve Buddhist deities called the Jiu No O, adopted from Hindu mythology.

Gwaten (Hindu) – She is derived from the Hindu God Soma, and is portrayed as a woman holding in her right hand, a disk symbolizing the Moon.

Epona (Roman/Celtic) – This horse Goddess was associated with the night and dreams. In western Ireland,legends still abound of hearing the hoof-beats of her horse as she rides west to escape the rays of the rising sun. She was also a Goddess of magic, fertility and feminine power.

Hanwi (Native North American) – Goddess of the Oglala Sioux, she once lived with the sun God Wi. Due to a transgression, she was forced by him to become a creature of the night.

Hecate (Greek) – A crone Moon Goddess, deeply associated with the waning and dark moons. She is depicted as haunting crossroads with her two large hounds, and carrying a torch, symbolic of her great wisdom.

Hina Hine (Polynesian) – This Hawaiian Goddesses name means ‘woman who works the moon’. In her myths it is said that she grew tired of working for her brother and fled to the moon to live in peace.

Hina-Ika (“lady of the fish”) Once again we see the link between the lunar Goddess to the tides.

Huitaco (South American) – This Colombian Goddess was a protectress of women as well as a deity of pleasure and happiness who was always battling with her male counterpart Bochica, a God of hard work and sorrow.

The crescent as a neo-pagan symbol of the Trip...

The crescent as a neo-pagan symbol of the Triple Goddess. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ishtar (Babylonian) – Some myths say she is the daughter of the moon, others the mother.

Isis (Egyptian) – This powerful and widely worshipped Goddess was not only a moon deity, but a Goddess of the sun as well.

Ix Chel (Mayan) – A Central American moon Goddess and the lover of the sun. Poisonous snakes were her totem animal. She was also Goddess of childbirth

Izanami (Japanese) – This Goddess controlled the tides, fishing, and all destructive sea phenomena

Jezanna (Central African) – Goddess of the moon and healing.

Juna (Roman)- A Goddess of the new moon . She was worshipped mainly by women as she was the Goddess of marriage, pregnancy and childbirth. Her Greek equivalent was Hera.

Jyotsna (Indian) – A Hindu Goddess of twilight and the autumn moons.

Komorkis (Native North American) – The Blackfoot tribe celebrated her as the Goddess of the moon.

Kuan Yin (Chinese) – A Buddhist Goddess. Modern feminist Pagans believe she far pre-dates Buddhist origins. She was a Goddess of the moon, compassion, and healing,

Lasya (Tibetan) – A Goddess of the moon and beauty who carried a mirror.

Lucina (Roman) – A Goddess of light with both solar and lunar attributes. She was Christianized as St. Lucia, a saint still honored at Yule in many parts of Europe.

Luna (Roman) – An ancient moon Goddess, the namesake for the Latin word luna meaning ‘moon’. Her name also forms the root of the English words ‘lunar’ and ‘lunatic’.

Mama Quilla (Inkan) – As the Goddess of the moon she was the protectress of married women. A large temple to her was erected at the Inkan capitol of Cuzco. She was associated with the metal silver. Eclipses were said to occur when she was eaten and the regurgitated by the Jaguar Woman.

Mawu (African) – She ruled the sky with her twin bother, the sun God Lisa. To her people she symbolized both wisdom and knowledge.

Metzli (Aztec) – In Aztec mythology mother moon leapt into a blazing fire and gave birth to the sun and the sky.

Rhiannon (Celtic) – A Goddess of fertility, the moon, night, and death. Her name means ‘night queen’. She is also known as Rigantona.

Sadarnuna(Sumerian) – Goddess of the new moon

Sarpandit (Sumerian) – Goddess of moonrise. This pregnant Goddess’s name means “silver shining” referring to the reflective quality of the moon.

Sefkhet (Egyptian) – According to some myths this lunar Goddess was the wife of Thoth. She was also the deity of time, the stars, and architecture.

Selene (Greek) – A mother Goddess linked to the full moon. She is widely worshipped by Pagans today,

Sina (Polynesian) – This moon Goddess was the sister of the sun God Maui. She was sometimes called Ina.

Teczistecatl (Aztec) – A Goddess of sex, symbolized by the four phases of the moon: dark, waxing, full, and waning.

Xochhiquetzal (Aztec) – This magical moon Goddess was the deity of flowers, spring, sex, love, and marriage. She was the wife of storm God Tlaloc. She is also the patroness of artisans, prostitutes, pregnant women and birth.

Yemanja (Native South American) – She was the Brazilian Goddess of the oceans symbolized by a waxing crescent moon. Yemanja was also considered to represent the essence of motherhood and a protector of children.

Yolkai Estsan (Native North American) – A Navajo moon deity fashioned from an abalone shell by her sister Yolkai, the Goddess of the sky. She was the Navaho Goddess of the earth and the seasons, and is also known as White Shell Woman.

Zirna (Etruscan)- A Goddess of the waxing moon. She is always depicted with a half-moon hanging from her neck, indicating that she was probably honored at the beginning of the second quarter phase of the moon.

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Cunning Folks

The Cunning Man

The Cunning Man (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cunning folk – Traditionally the cunning man or cunning woman was a person who, healed, worked magic, created herbal remedies, provided charms, anti-witch measures, spells, and fortune telling services, they were paid a fee for their work. Cunning (knowledgeable) or (wise), originated from an Old English term kenning, this referred to professional or semi-professional practitioners of magic. Some acquired their gifts through heredity, their magic was a mixed bag of folk medicine and occultism, folk magic was passed along in oral tradition, and embellished along the way, they employed practical remedies for specific problems. It was believed they could work with supernatural power in order to increase the effectiveness of their work. In most instances someone could set themselves up as cunning folk, with no particular background or training, although some did come from a background of magical practitioners.

Up until the mid nineteenth century there were several thousand cunning folk working in England, and although there was a higher ratio of men, the women were successful in their role. Many of the cunning folk working in Britain kept their ordinary line of work, while earning money as a professional cunning man or woman to boost their income. Most cunning men and woman were solitary practitioners, and employed a variety of magical implements.

Some kept animal familiars and supernatural entities, known as familiar spirits, they were considered to be benevolent and helpful.  It was believed the familiar spirit took the cunning person on a visionary journey to a place called Elfhame, (elf- home). In this trip the cunning folk’s soul would go with the familiar on a journey into a hill, to a great subterranean fairy hall, while there they would encounter fairies led by the king and queen, and take part in a feast.

As most local clients were poor, fees for magical services were small. Their fees were much higher when a member of the aristocracy sought them out, and this was often to do with matters associated with love, money and bewitchment. The cunning men and cunning women who worked for the aristocracy, were much better off financially than those who only treated villagers. Some cunning folk received annuities, and others took a percentage of all stolen goods found through divination.

They were particularly popular for their charms, which they recited during their spell casting and divination work. They also created specific and very expensive charms for the aristocrats,  writing down magical words in order to conjure, love, money, fertility and prosperity. The charms were sometimes written on parchment or paper, sewn into a bag, and either placed in the clients home, or carried about by them. By employing a variety of divination tools the cunning person was able to tell a person’s fortune and divine the name of their future love. They were often consulted to cast spells or charms to ensure a spouse’s fidelity and to find lost items. Some cunning folk claimed to have the ability to locate lost treasure, the cunning man or woman was called upon to overcome through magical means, the demon, spirit or fairy that was guarding it.

The cunning folk were especially adept in creating charms that would repel or break the spells of other witches blamed for bewitchment. They were the only healers to offer a package of anti-witch measures and were especially effective curing malevolent sorcery. They were also called upon to protect, heal and locate lost animals, and to care for crops. The cunning folk used a wide variety of methods to heal their clients, using various herbs, plants the laying on of hands, and conducting elaborate ceremonies. They practiced folk magic, known as low magic, and ceremonial magic known as high magic, their role was to attend to the physical and spiritual needs of their client.

Cunning folk flourished up until the late 17th century, this was a time when belief in magic was high, they took the role of unofficial police and were believed to be a deterrent to crime, as when crimes were committed a cunning man or cunning woman was consulted to divine the guilty party. From the 18th century onwards their place in society continued, and carried on into modern times, especially in rural areas. Many cunning folk operated in a very competitive market, and would often travel great distances to visit their clients, their profile was very important to them. They used crystal balls and scrying bowls in their work and astrology. A Grimoire was a most coveted item and those who owned one added to their profile. Although they were predominantly solitary practitioners, there were some families who approached it as a magical business.

British Cunning folk were referred to as wizards, wise men, wise women, conjurers, pellars charmers and white witch, and in the Late Medieval and Early Modern periods Britain was a place where folk magic was very popular. In France, the terms devins-guerisseurs and leveurs de sorts were used to describe cunning folk. In the Netherlands they were referred to as toverdokters or duivelbanners, in Germany Hexenmeisters, and in Denmark kloge folk. In Spain they were curanderos and in Portugal they were known as saludadores. Cunning folk and their use of white magic for healing and as a protection against black magic, was widespread in Germany. The primary role of the Italian cunning folk was healing, with the use of herbs and spiritual healing, their spiritual healing was believed to come from an inner power, known as la forza (power), la virtu (virtue) or il Segno (the sign), they were also consulted to remove curses.

Because of the usefulness of cunning folk, they were able to practice their magic as an open secret, and quietly conducted their business in such a way they avoided anti-magic and anti-witchcraft laws. They met with little interference from authorities, who chose to ignore them unless there was a specific complaint. The cunning folk were often denounced during religious gatherings, but because of their popularity and usefulness, were never pursued. During the time of the Inquisition, cunning folk became vulnerable targets, but in spite of this there was a huge amount of public support for them, because they were so important to those who required their services.

The disparity between witches and the cunning folk, was that witches were seen to do harm, and cunning folk were useful and provided a valid service. Cunning folk were active from the Medieval period through to the early twentieth century when it is believed the declining belief in malevolent witchcraft, did away with the need for anti-witchcraft measures, which was a primary service offered by the cunning folk.