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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Full Moon Names

English: Moon over cumulus clouds

English: Moon over cumulus clouds (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Full Moon Names and Meanings

Many human cultures have given names to the full moon throughout the year. Different full moon names can be found among the Chinese, Celtic, Old English, and New Guinea cultures, to name a few. In addition, Native American tribes often used moon phases and cycles to keep track of the seasons and gave a unique name to each recurring full moon. The full moon names were used to identify the entire month during which each occurred.

Although many Native American Tribes gave distinct names to the full moon, the most well known names of the full moon come from the Algonquin tribes who lived in the area of New England and westward to Lake Superior. The Algonquin tribes had perhaps the greatest effect on the early European settlers in America, and the settlers adopted the Native American habit of naming the moons. They even invented some of their own names that have been passed down through time.

The names given below aren’t the only ones that have been used. Every full moon, with one exception, had variations on its name among various Algonquin tribes, not to mention other tribes throughout North America. But the names below are the most common. Some of the variations are also mentioned.

January: The Wolf Moon
In January snow gathers deep in the woods and the howling of wolves can be heard echoing in the cold still air. Some tribes called this moon the Snow Moon, but most often it was used for the next month.

February: The Snow Moon
Snow piles even higher in February, giving this moon its most common name. Among tribes that used this name for the January moon, the February moon was called the Hunger Moon due to the challenging hunting conditions.

March: The Worm Moon
Snow slowly begins to melt, the ground softens, and earthworms show their heads again and their castings or fecal matter can be found. Other signs of spring gave rise to other variations: the cawing of crows (the Crow Moon); the formation of crusts on the snow from repeated thawing and freezing (the Crust Moon); and the time for tapping maple trees (the Sap Moon). Christian settlers also called this the Lenten Moon and considered it the last moon of winter.

April: The Pink Moon
Flowers begin to appear, including the widespread grass pink or wild ground phlox. Other variations indicate more signs of full spring, such as Sprouting Grass Moon, Egg Moon, and Fish Moon (common among coastal tribes).

May: The Flower Moon
Flowers come into full bloom and corn is ready to plant. Also called the Corn Planting Moon and the Milk Moon.

June: The Strawberry Moon
Strawberry-picking season reaches its peak during this time. This is one of the few names that was universal to all Algonquin tribes.

July: The Buck Moon
Buck deer start growing velvety hair-covered antlers in July. Frequent thunderstorms in the New England area also resulted in the name Thunder Moon. Some tribes also used Hay Moon.

August: The Sturgeon Moon
The sturgeon, a large fish common to the Great Lakes and other nearby bodies of water, is most easily caught during this month. The reddish appearance of the moon through the frequent sultry hazes of August also prompted a few tribes to dub it the Red Moon. Other names included the Green Corn Moon and the Grain Moon.

September: The Harvest Moon
Many of the Native American tribes’ staple foods, such as corn, pumpkins, squash, beans, and rice, are ready for gathering at this time. The strong light of the Harvest Moon allowed European farmers to work late into the night to harvest their crops. The Harvest Moon does not always occur in September. Traditionally, the name goes to the full moon closest to the autumn equinox, which falls during October once or twice a decade. Sometimes the September full moon was called the Corn Moon.

October: The Hunter’s Moon
After the fields have been reaped, the leaves begin to fall and the deer are fat and ready for eating. Hunters can ride easily over the fields’ stubble, and the fox and other animals are more easily spotted. Some years the Harvest Moon falls in October instead of September.

November: The Beaver Moon
At this time of year the beavers are busy preparing for winter, and it’s time to set beaver traps and secure a store of warm fur before the swamps freeze over. Some tribes called this the Frosty Moon.

December: The Cold Moon
Winter takes a firm hold and temperatures plummet at this time. Sometimes this moon is also called the Long Night Moon as the winter nights lengthen and the moon spends more time above the horizon opposite a low sun. The full moon name often used by Christian settlers is the “Moon before Yule”.

Blue Moon
Note that due to the 29-day lunar cycle the exact dates of the full moon move every year. Most seasons have three full moons, but because of the variation some seasons have four full moons. The term “blue moon” was used to identify one of these extra full moons. A mistaken definition in the March 1946 edition of Sky and Telescope magazine claimed the blue moon fell on the second full moon of the calendar month. This mistake caused widespread misunderstanding until it was finally corrected in 1999.