The Moon has been worshipped for centuries. Its powerful effect on the natural world is seen as proof of its energetic powers.
The Moon is more than just a light in the night sky. It affects weather patterns, creates tides, and influences earthquakes. Ancient astronomers were quick to pick up on the phases of the moon as an indication of the cyclic properties of nature, and many attributed magical properties to it.
Witches and pagans worship the Moon as a goddess with three faces - Maiden, Mother, and Crone - symbolising the waxing, full and waning phases of the lunar cycle. Each governs a different type of energy and influences practices that can be performed.
Menstruation and the Moon
Women are especially attuned to the Moon. a lunar month is about 28 days long, the same length as the average menstrual cycle. In some traditions, menstruating women withdrew to focus on developing intuition and creativity in a 'Moon lodge', returning home as the new Moon showed its crescent for the first time.
Traditions across the world link the Moon with madness and transformation. As the human body is majority water we are also under her spell. The legend of the werewolf was reported in Italy as recently as 50 years ago. A condition called lycanthropy, where sufferers develop inhuman strength during the full Moon, is thought to be responsible.
More people suffer mental illness during a full Moon. 'Lunatic' - from 'luna', the Latin word for Moon - describes someone who is moonstruck.
The crime rate rises, more accidents happen and a higher number of people are hospitalised when the Moon is full.
Gods and goddesses of the Moon
Roman goddess of the crescent Moon.
Wash your hair in the light of the waxing Moon and Diana will grant you lustrous locks.
Norse Moon goddess of prophesy.
Pray to Freyja before you sleep and you will dream of the future.
Queen of the dark Moon in ancient Greece.
If you give to charity during the waning Moon, Hecate will make you wise.
Egyptian goddess queen.
Moon phases are depicted on her headdress.
Egyptian god of the Moon, he ruled the tides of the River Nile
Roman goddess of the Moon
Greek diva goddess of the full Moon who enchanted men.
Hang a white, red, or silver dress outside in the Moonlight, and wear it to be irresistible.
When Venus appears beside her crescent, it is time for romance.