The Moon Goddess: Luna

24 Mar 2017  Fri

‘Shine on these sacred rites with prosp'rous rays, and pleas'd accept thy suppliant's mystic praise.’ – Orpheus.

Luna, as the Romans called her, was the beautiful and bewitching Goddess of Moon. Together with Diana and Hecate, she formed a triad that represents heaven, earth, and the underworld.

Luna is also called Selene and Artemis in Greek mythology. This Moon goddess is often represented as the crescent moon on sculptures or coins. The above-mentioned trio of moon goddesses represent the feminine polarity as well as the three phases of a womankind; childhood, married life and old age.

The concept of the trinity is also seen in Christianity and Hindu Philosophy which is an embodiment of three in one. Luna is often depicted as pale women riding in a silver chariot across the sky. Her temple on the Aventine Hill in Rome was destroyed in the Great Fire around 64 C.E.

This Roman Republic silver Denarius depicts Goddess Luna with crescent near her head; she is riding a Biga (chariot with two horses or bulls) with initial ‘PVR’ of moneyers (Furius) Purpurio inscribed. The legend ‘Romano’ is depicted in the exergue.

Goddess Luna is said to be the Queen of heaven and wildwood in Roman mythology and is also titled as the Divine Huntress, Protector of animals and the Lady of Beasts. In many other cultures, moon is depicted by a God e.g. Mao the Lunar deity in Kushan Coins.

In Hindu, mythology moon is represented by the God ‘Soma’ or ‘Chandra’. Lord Shiva, one of the Hindu Trinity, has a crescent on his head and is also called ‘Chandrasekhar’ which means ‘as bright as the moon’ (referring to his most beautiful incarnation on the day of his marriage).

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