The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

gibbous glow

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- photo by Mitch Waxman

Since Hurricane Sandy and the accompanying storm surge were made a few degrees worse by the full moon and it’s accompanying tidal forces, it occurred to me that in addition to having somehow pissed off Poseidon- New York might have angered a lunar deity as well. There are lords of the sea, and lords of the sky, after all.

from wikipedia

The pregnancy of Coatlicue, the maternal Earth deity, made her other children embarrassed, including her oldest daughter Coyolxauhqui. As she swept the temple, a few hummingbird feathers fell into her chest. Coatlicue’s child, Huitzilopochtli, sprang from her womb in full war armor and killed Coyolxauhqui, along with their 400 brothers and sisters. He cut off her limbs, then tossed her head into the sky where it became the moon, so that his mother would be comforted in seeing her daughter in the sky every night.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

More often than not, the moon is represented by a goddess in the west, which ties the waxing and waning of the Earth’s anomalous astronomic companion to the female cycle of menses. In the near and far east, the moon was interpreted somewhat differently.

from wikipedia

In Cook Islands mythology, specifically of the Hervey Islands, Avatea also known as Vatea (meaning ‘bright’) was a lunar deity and the father of gods and men in Mangaian myth of origin.

According to one myth, Vari-Ma-Te-Takere (The primordial mother) created six children from her body. Three were plucked from her right side and three from her left. The first of which was Avatea, the first man, who was perceived as a moon god. As he grew he divided vertically into a hybrid being; the right half was a man and the left half a fish.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

The pagan, as in historical pre Christian religious beliefs, would see the moon as a threatening and sinister celestial sign. This is a hold over from the old days of wicker kings and female priesthoods, of course, if you subscribe to the theories of Robert Graves. One would suggest that in the future, New York City take the lunar cycle a bit more seriously, lighting beeswax candles and offering appropriate ablutions.

from wikipedia

In ancient Roman religion and myth, Luna is the divine embodiment of the Moon (Latin luna; cf. English “lunar”). She is often presented as the female complement of the Sun (Sol) conceived of as a god. Luna is also sometimes represented as an aspect of the Roman triple goddess (diva triformis), along with Proserpina and Hecate. Luna is not always a distinct goddess, but sometimes rather an epithet that specializes a goddess, since both Diana and Juno are identified as moon goddesses.

In Roman art, Luna’s attributes are the crescent moon and the two-yoke chariot (biga). In the Carmen Saeculare, performed in 17 BC, Horace invokes her as the “two-horned queen of the stars” (siderum regina bicornis), bidding her to listen to the girls singing as Apollo listens to the boys.

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Written by Mitch Waxman

November 10, 2012 at 2:34 pm

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