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55. Moon Goddesses (Themed Episode #11)

In today's episode themed episode, we discuss moon goddesses from different cultures around the world. We talk about the Maya Moon Goddess, Selene (Greek mythology), Mayari (Filipino mythology), Coyolxāuhqui (Aztec mythology), Huitaca (Muisca mythology), Kuutar (Finnish mythology), and Mama Killa (Inca mythology).


Sources

The Moon Tarot - Biddy Tarot

Encyclopedia of Goddesses and Heroines, Vol. I and II by Patricia Monaghan

Maya Moon Goddess

“Xbalanque's marriage : a commentary on the Q'eqchi' myth of sun and moon” by H.E.M. Braakhuis

“The Story of the Sun and the Moon: A Kekchi (Q'eqchi') Folk Story from Southern Belize”

Selene

Selene - Wikipedia

Mayari

“Quarrels and Enmity between the Sun and the Moon. A Contribution to the Mythologies of the Philippines, India, and the Malay Peninsula” by Rudolf Rahmann

Kapampangan Origin of Day & Night | Apolaki vs Mayari • THE ASWANG PROJECT 

Mayari - Wikipedia 

Huitaca

Huitaca - Occult World

Coyolxaūhqui

Coyolxaūhqui - Wikipedia

Kuutar

Finnish Folk Poetry Epic by Matti Kuusi, Keith Bosley & Michael Branch

Päivätär and Kuutar | Finnish Folklore Wiki | Fandom 

The Pre- and Proto-historic Finns, Both Eastern and Western by John Abercromby

The Kalevala: the Epic Poem of Finland, by Elias Lönnrot

Mama Killa

Mama Killa - Wikipedia

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Our cover art is by Helena Cailleaux.  You can find her and more of her work on Instagram @helena.cailleaux.illustratrice. Our theme song was composed and performed by Icarus Tyree. To hear more of their music, check out icarust.bandcamp.com.

Transcript

[musical intro]

 

Lizzie 

Hello and welcome to Mytholadies, the podcast where we talk about women from mythology and folklore all over the world. We're your hosts.

 

Zoe 

I'm Zoe.

 

Lizzie 

And I'm Lizzie. And how are you today, Zoe?

 

Zoe 

I'm all right. I'm pretty tired, actually. It is finals week--about to start.

 

Lizzie 

Wow.

 

Zoe 

 Next week is finals week. I finished my classes yesterday. Pretty wild.

 

Lizzie 

That's crazy.

 

Zoe 

Yeah.

 

Lizzie 

That's so early.

 

Zoe 

It is early! It's not even May yet, like what the heck. And also, I'm, like, done--almost done with my sophomore year of college, which is pretty crazy.

 

Lizzie 

Yeah, you're gonna be like an upperclassman now.

 

Zoe 

Yeah. But you know, we're pushing through. I only have a few big projects I have to do. So that's good. Very excited for that. Not really, but anyway (laughs). It'll be fine. How are you?

 

Lizzie 

Um, I'm good. I am--my big news in my life is that I finally got this ADHD evaluation (Zoe gasps) that I've been waiting for for like six months.

 

Zoe 

Right!

 

Lizzie 

And I have ADHD.

 

Zoe 

Yay! Yay, on the ADHD.

 

Lizzie 

Yay. I tried to make ADHD cupcakes. So like cupcakes that I wrote ADHD on.

 

Zoe 

Uh huh.

 

Lizzie 

And then I tried to do the lettering and gave up (laughs).

 

Zoe 

Why?

 

Lizzie 

And then--because the bag--the pastry bag kept breaking and I was like, this was not worth it (laughs).

 

Zoe 

Oh, that is annoying.

 

Lizzie 

And then I had like, one cupcake that had A on it.

 

Zoe 

Mm hmm.

 

Lizzie 

And whatever. And then, my friend was like, that's like, so ADHD (laughs) to stop doing the lettering, and I'm like, fair enough.

 

Zoe 

Yeah.

 

Lizzie 

Like, it was--I got, like, really cheap pastry bags. And it was hard.

 

Zoe 

Yeah.

 

Lizzie 

They say ADHD in my heart.

 

Zoe 

That's true.

 

Lizzie 

They don't literally say ADHD on them.

 

Zoe 

Mm hmm. What kind of cupcakes were they?

 

Lizzie 

Earl Grey.

 

Zoe 

Oh, that sounds really good. Ugh.

 

Lizzie 

It was--it was--yeah, it's very good. But they're caffeinated, so--

 

Zoe 

Yep.

 

Lizzie 

Yeah.

 

Zoe 

So you can't eat them at bedtime.

 

Lizzie 

Yeah, not so much. Um.

 

Zoe 

Yeah.

 

Lizzie 

Um, so before we begin, we finally have a bonus episode! Which is a--

 

Zoe 

Yes! This episode has a bonus companion episode.

 

Lizzie 

Oh, yeah. It's a companion episode to this. So--oh, we didn't introduce the topic yet.

 

Zoe 

We can say it. They know what it's about.

 

Lizzie 

Okay, whatever (laughs). So today's episode is about moon goddesses. And this bonus episode is a discussion of the book Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan, which is about the goddess Chang'e, who we talked about in an earlier episode.

 

Zoe 

Mm hmm.

 

Lizzie 

And that is now available on our Ko-fi page.

 

Zoe 

Yeah!

 

Lizzie 

And you should pay us and then listen to it.

 

Zoe 

Yeah! So if you--yeah, if you want to give us some money and listen to that episode, it's very fun. We talk a lot about the concept of retellings of myths. And--

 

Lizzie 

Yes.

 

Zoe 

--yeah, so--and that's something we'll be doing more often. We have a lot of books that we want to read and discuss, and how they talk about myths and stuff. So yeah! Um...

 

Lizzie 

Yeah, we're--we're starting a bonus series called Mytholadies Book Club, where we talk about adaptations of myths and folklore and all that.

 

Zoe 

Mm hmm. So get excited, it will be there.

 

Lizzie 

Yes.

 

Lizzie 

Great. So what is today's episode is about.

 

Zoe 

Yeah! And also on our website, we have transcripts, our resources for all our episodes, so feel free to check that out. Mytholadies.com. And yeah!

 

Zoe 

Okay, well, yeah, today's episode is about Moon goddesses, as established--

 

Lizzie 

As we said. I still wanted the reveal.

 

Zoe 

Yes.

 

Lizzie 

Cause it-it's good. It's fun.

 

Zoe 

Yes. In case you skip the intro, because you don't like to hear us talk about ourselves (Lizzie laughs). Sometimes happens.

 

Zoe 

Yeah, so the moon goddess. The moon. So, the moon--it's most commonplace for--in mythology for the sun to be viewed as a masculine symbol and the moon to be viewed as a symbol of the divine feminine. Obviously, that's not 100% true all the time. We have a whole episode about sun goddesses, so obviously those exist, but moon--the moon tends to be associated with femininity, women, goddesses, while the sun tends to be associated with masculinity men, gods. The moon itself is a symbol associated with emotion, changefulness, and fluidity, and those are traditionally feminine traits that are in line with society's expectations for women. But, as Patricia Monaghan, who is the creator of The Encyclopedia of Goddesses and Heroines, which I got a lot of my sources from this episode, "Moon goddesses who are passive, dependent and fickle are rare in world religion." Moon Goddesses are often playing active roles in stories involving them, sometimes even causing harm to the people or gods around them. And even lists of moon goddesses can sometimes include figures whose domains include much more than the moon, such as Diana or Artemis, or Juno. These women are associated with the moon, but they also are associated with a lot of other things besides the moon, and scholarly biases limited their domains considerably in order to make them seem less powerful and significant. And so for this reason, as well as a few others, we won't be discussing Artemis in this episode because she could probably have her own episode. And also she is associated with things besides the moon as well. And we see that--you know, we've talked about that before in mythology, the sort of flattening of female figures in mythology to a specific trait like beauty, or love, or the moon in order to take away the power that they were given in mythology.

 

Lizzie 

Fair enough.

 

Lizzie 

Mm hmm.

 

Zoe 

And in culture, moon goddesses often have relationship to the deities of the sun in their culture as well. It's often a marital relationship, but it's not always. They can be a brother or sister relationship. They can be married and also be brother and sister.

 

Lizzie 

Yep.

 

Zoe 

This happens a lot. And also in some cultures in--such as in some Korean and Indian mythologies, the sun and moon are two twin sisters, which I think is really cool.

 

Lizzie 

That is nice.

 

Zoe 

There's also stories in which they're rivals and where one body is pursued by the other for eternity. Mainly the moon is being pursued by the sun.

 

Lizzie 

Yeah.

 

Zoe 

I'm pretty sure. You know.

 

Lizzie 

In fact, that's the only one I've seen, yeah.

 

Zoe 

Yeah. And also in stor--there are stories in which the moon was once the sun, but had their light diminished voluntarily. And that is particularly the story of the Pueblo goddess Pa'áh-hlee-oh. And many Moon goddesses can also be associated with the ocean and water in general, which is of course--

 

Lizzie 

Makes sense.

 

Zoe 

--related to the moon's

 

Lizzie 

Tide.

 

Zoe 

--relationship to the ocean and tides. Ancient people noticed that, and they were like, yes. Water. Moon.

 

Lizzie 

Mm hmm.

 

Zoe 

And of course, the moon is associated with pregnancy birth and periods because the period is a monthly--

 

Lizzie 

Monthly. Yeah.

 

Zoe 

--thing, tied to the lunar cycle. And also, um, as related to pregnancy, the waxing and waning of the Moon was considered a symbol of the growth of bellies during pregnancy, um...

 

Lizzie 

Ohhh.

 

Zoe 

Which is cute. And the phases the moon also led to its association with shapeshifters in witchcraft, those able to change reality at will, you know, and to change shape, because the moon changes its shape. Or you know, its looks like some--you know, we've all seen the moon.

 

Lizzie 

You mentioned in some episode that, like, a lot of, like, whatever werewolves and like, I don't know, mermaids--

 

Zoe 

Mm hmm.

 

Lizzie 

--are changed at the moon. I'm thinking of H2O, but yeah.

 

Zoe 

Yeah, we--that's what talked about. Was that in the mermaid episode?

 

Lizzie 

I feel like it was in the Iara episode, wasn't it?

 

Zoe 

Oh, it could have been in the Iara episode.

 

Lizzie 

I feel like I talked about H2O in the Iara episode.

 

Zoe 

Yeah.

 

Lizzie 

Yeah.

 

Zoe 

And in genera--I think she was also related to the moon, though. Um, which is cool.

 

Lizzie 

And you told me that the word lunacy comes from--

 

Zoe 

Yes! It does. It does come from the word for moon. Fun facts. And in general Moon goddesses were viewed to have power over chaos and order and rule over the uncertainty of life. And an interesting symbol I have with that is the moon card in the tarot deck, which I have a brief thing about.

 

Lizzie 

Oooh. And what does that say?

 

Zoe 

The moon is the 18th card in the Major Arcana deck of the Tarot, which is a section of cards in Tarot that don't have a suit. And upright--when you pull it and it's upright, like, um, facing you, it traditionally represents fears, illusions, uncertainty, femininity and intuition. And reversed, it traditionally predicts the end of negative energy from fears, anxiety and illusion, and calls you to listen to the messages of your subconscious. And I think that represents a lot of what I was sort of saying with the ideas of the moon. It kind of represents uncertainty, unpredictability. Um, but it also sort of represents like, well, in a way, like the sort of feminine tradition of, like, the intuition and listening to yourself.

 

Lizzie 

Yeah. I feel like a lot of those kind of like 90s books about like, oh, your inner goddess--that was all about, like, finding different pre-Christian goddesses and like relating it to whatever.

 

Zoe 

Mm. Mm hmm.

 

Lizzie 

Femininity, feminism, that kind of stuff.

 

Zoe 

Yeah.

 

Lizzie 

I feel like a lot of it was definitely, like, moon-focused. Yeah, I

 

Zoe 

Yeah. I mean, I think the moon became, like, a big symbol, because, first of all, it's very obvious. And the sun was, like, this big masculine symbol, and everyone was like, well, then the moon! But also because of the Moon's association with, like, periods and stuff.

 

Lizzie 

Yeah.

 

Zoe 

I think it became, like, a very, like, feminist symbol, almost, which--

 

Lizzie 

Yeah.

 

Zoe 

--you know, it's its own thing. Um, but yeah, I mean, it is traditionally associated with, uh, femininity, and that's sort of why.

 

Lizzie 

Which makes sense.

 

Zoe 

So who is our first woman today?

 

Lizzie 

Okay, so first we're going to talk about the Maya Moon Goddess.

 

Zoe 

Okay.

 

Lizzie 

So in Maya myth, the moon is typically viewed as female. So one version, the version told in the text Popol Vuh.

 

Zoe 

Yes.

 

Lizzie 

 You know...that?

 

Zoe 

Yeah, I've definitely read about it before. Yeah.

 

Lizzie 

Yeah, it's about these, like, hero twins who, um--it contains the twins becoming the sun and the moon.

 

Zoe 

Ah!

 

Lizzie 

And--yeah, in this version, like, the sun and the moon are envisioned as male, obviously--

 

Lizzie 

--but their transformation into the sun and moon could also be seen as, like, a literary expression of their political predominance, rather than an expression of the Maya cosmology.

 

Zoe 

Uh huh.

 

Zoe 

Mm hmm. Interesting.

 

Lizzie 

Um, however, there are some Maya peoples who do envision the moon as male.

 

Zoe 

Hm!

 

Lizzie 

But not in this figure. Okay, so.

 

Lizzie 

So--also the goddess Ixchel is sometimes confused with the moon goddess because they have shared associations with fertility and procreation.

 

Zoe 

Mm hmm.

 

Zoe 

Mm hmm.

 

Lizzie 

If you google, like, 'Maya moon goddess,' a lot of Ixchel will come up.

 

Zoe 

Mm hmm.

 

Lizzie 

But there's no direct evidence that Ixchel was associated with the moon. The Maya Moon Goddess I'm talking about today is sometimes called K'ana Po, "Lady Moon," or li Po, "the moon." Or it can also be referred to as Matactin or Mat'actani. And that is different than Ixchel, who has different domains than the moon.

 

Lizzie 

So the tale we're talking about today is the Q'eqchi' tale of sun and moon, where the moon is a daughter of the earth god and the sun is her husband. And I'm going to tell kind of an abridged version of the story because it's a bit long. Um, also worth noting, this is A version, not THE version.

 

Zoe 

Cool.

 

Zoe 

Mm hmm.

 

Lizzie 

There's definitely variations.

 

Zoe 

Yeah.

 

Lizzie 

Every day the Sun passed by the house of the Moon on his way to hunt. He always killed an antelope or deer and stopped by the Moon's house to show her that he's a good hunter.

 

Zoe 

Mm (Lizzie laughs). That's really funny.

 

Lizzie 

Isn't it? (laughs)

 

Zoe 

It's like flexing, like, oh, look at this deer I caught. Isn't that--

 

Lizzie 

Just trying to impress his crush.

 

Zoe 

--so cool, you know? Like I barely even had to lift a finger, I'm just so good at hunting.

 

Lizzie 

Yeah, exactly (laughs). And so the Moon found out that he wasn't actually killing all these antelopes (Zoe gasps) but often carried around an empty antelope skin to make her think he was a great hunter.

 

Zoe 

No way!

 

Lizzie 

And so she laughed at him when she realized that (laughs).

 

Zoe 

Yes!

 

Lizzie 

Which hurt his feelings, you know.

 

Zoe 

No!

 

Lizzie 

So he decided to trick the Moon by turning into a hummingbird and flying around her tobacco flowers in her house.

 

Zoe 

Hmm.

 

Lizzie 

The Moon asked her father to kill the hummingbird because she wanted to use it in a design she was weaving.

 

Zoe 

Okay.

 

Lizzie 

Her father injured the bird with his blowgun, and the Moon took pity on the bird and put it in her bed.

 

Zoe 

Okay! (laughs)

 

Lizzie 

When she woke up in the morning, the hummingbird was a man (Zoe gasps). The Sun!

 

Zoe 

Shocking! Twists, turns.

 

Lizzie 

Yeah (laughs). It's like a--such a-a fun start. It's very, like, teen romance.

 

Zoe 

Mm hmm.

 

Lizzie 

Drama. It's fun.

 

Zoe 

Mm hmm.

 

Lizzie 

So the Sun repeatedly asked the Moon to run away with him, but she said that if they ran away together her dad would kill them with his blowgun. So basically, what they end up doing is that they trick her father, the Earth god, by putting pepper into his blowgun so that when he tried to-to blow it, like the pepper, like, sh--you know, shot in his face or whatever so that they had time to escape.

 

Zoe 

Yeah, yeah, very clever.

 

Lizzie 

Yeah, so they did that. They escaped. And then um, he--the father asks the thunder and lightning to strike the two of them. And the Sun and Moon tried to protect themselves by taking cover underwater by hiding in a turtle shell and a crab shell respectively. So the-the Sun hides in a turtle shell. The Moon hides in a crab shell.

 

Zoe 

Mm hmm.

 

Lizzie 

And so the turtle shell, like, sinks to the bottom of the lake or whatever easily.

 

Zoe 

Yeah.

 

Lizzie 

But the crab shell isn't as effective, and the moon ends up being killed (Zoe gasps). Yeah. And, um, so when the Sun surfaces, he finds the Moon's blood covering the water. So the Sun gathered up the bits of her blood and put them in 13 jars. And after 13 days, the Sun opened the jars to find that they were each filled with different insects and snakes.

 

Zoe 

Oh!

 

Lizzie 

Yeah. However, the last box contained his wife, the Moon, who had been reborn.

 

Zoe 

Yay! Interesting.

 

Lizzie 

Yay. Yeah. And so next what happens is that the Moon is stolen away by the devil. And the Sun has to get her back.

 

Zoe 

Wow.

 

Lizzie 

It ends up--yeah, when they say the devil I wonder why what that means because--

 

Zoe 

Yeah.

 

Lizzie 

--obviously it's not, like, the Christian Bible version of the devil, but...

 

Zoe 

Mm hmm.

 

Lizzie 

Anyway, so the Moon was stolen away. The Sun has to get her back. And he does. But then the Sun and the Moon decide to separate and the sun went--(both laugh) div--a divorce.

 

Zoe 

Yeah.

 

Lizzie 

Divorce, the Sun and the Moon...

 

Zoe 

So I forgot about the--I guess, the section of myths in which the Sun and the Moon are divorcés.

 

Lizzie 

(laughs) They're both married and enemies.

 

Lizzie 

So--well, not really enemies, I guess.

 

Zoe 

Wow.

 

Zoe 

Yeah.

 

Lizzie 

They're just divorced.

 

Zoe 

Mm hmm.

 

Lizzie 

Anyway, so the sun went up high in the sky, and the moon went a little bit lower to get away from the devil.

 

Zoe 

Uh huh.

 

Lizzie 

The sun does his work in the day because he's so bright. But the moon isn't as bright, so she does her work at night. And when the moon is covered up in darkness, sometimes it's because the devil is chasing her.

 

Zoe 

Mm, I see. Wow.

 

Lizzie 

The end. That's quite fun.

 

Zoe 

That's quite a story.

 

Lizzie 

There's actually more if you read, like, the whole thing. I was obviously, you know, summarizing a bit, but this one's cool. Because you get the origin of the sun of the moon, and the origin of menstruation.

 

Zoe 

Oh, because of the blood.

 

Lizzie 

Exactly.

 

Zoe 

Ohhh, yeah. And then the bugs. Ooh.

 

Lizzie 

Yeah. Yeah. I don't know quite what to make of the bugs. I think I might have skimmed something that said that it was kind of about--sort of the idea of a menstruating woman being punished, I guess.

 

Zoe 

Mm, yeah.

 

Lizzie 

Or, like, I don't know. Anyways, though. So according to H.E.M. Braakhuis, the symbolism of the jars full of menstrual blood is related to "the Mesoamerican metaphor of the rain-bringing moon, that of a water jar cyclically filled and emptied."

 

Zoe 

Mm hmm.

 

Lizzie 

So the moon cycles, and like the woman--and like a menstrual cycle, have a shared imagery of being full and then emptied, like a jar being filled and then emptied of water.

 

Zoe 

Mm hmm. Yeah.

 

Lizzie 

And as for the number thirteen, It's not totally clear what the significance is, but Braakhuis theorizes that the thirteen jars represent the second half of the lunar cycle, from waning moon to new moon. So...

 

Zoe 

Yeah, that makes sense.

 

Lizzie 

Yeah. So, "the inclined lunar jar signaling the outpour of menstrual blood." So it's kinda like what you were saying before, about the moon's phases representing--well, you said pregnancy, but kind of similar.

 

Zoe 

Yeah! I mean, yeah. I--yeah. When you talked about, like, the moon dying, I was like, well, I guess that's kind of like the new moon because the moon's not there anymore. Like, it's dead.

 

Lizzie 

Yeah! Yeah.

 

Zoe 

Yeah.

 

Lizzie 

But yeah, and also among the Maya peoples who believe the moon to be male, the moon is still tied to the origin of menstruation.

 

Zoe 

Interesting!

 

Lizzie 

The moon is then made into a womanizer whose first visit to a woman results in menstrual bleeding.

 

Zoe 

Wow.

 

Lizzie 

Somehow. Um, obviously, there's variation. But yeah,

 

Zoe 

Uh, yeah. I mean, it's interesting that it's still tied to menstruation, even in--with a male figure.

 

Lizzie 

It is, yeah.

 

Zoe 

Yeah. I guess it just shows the power of that symbolism.

 

Lizzie 

Yeah, definitely.

 

Zoe 

So even though we're not talking about Artemis, I still wanted to talk about a Greek figure. So today, we're going to talk about Selene, who is the early Greek goddess of the moon. And so unlike Artemis, who is associated with the moon but is also associated with a lot of different things, Selene is basically considered to be, like, THE moon, or like, the symbol of the moon, the embodiment of the moon. And she's the daughter of Thea, who is the titaness of light, and Hyperion, who is the titan personification of the sun. And she's also the sister and/or wife of Helios, the god of the sun.

 

Lizzie 

Makes sense.

 

Zoe 

Her name comes from the Greek selas (σέλας), meaning light, brightness or gleam. She's also called mene (meh-neh) or mene (mee-nee), which is the Greek word for moon, and Phoebe, which is a feminine form of Phoebus, which both Helios and Apollo are called. And it means 'bright.'

 

Zoe 

So like her brother, Selene is charged with driving the moon chariot across the sky at night, bringing light to all humankind. So Helios drives the sun chariot across the sky, bringing light, and Selene drives the moon chariot. Her chariot's drawn by white horses, and she's said to have white wings and wear a crown of light. And in an Orphic hymn she is described as having horns, which is so fun.

 

Lizzie 

Oh.

 

Lizzie 

That is fun.

 

Zoe 

Yeah. And also she's like, associated with cows in general. Like in some stories, her, um, chariot is drawn by cows instead of, um--instead of horses, and stuff.

 

Lizzie 

Do you know why that is?

 

Zoe 

I think that it might be because cows are viewed as, like, a motherly animal or like a--you know, nurturing animal, and the moon--

 

Lizzie 

Are they?

 

Zoe 

Yeah.

 

Lizzie 

Like, fertility, milk, I don't know.

 

Zoe 

Yeah, well, like, the cow is one of Hera's symbols. So I would say that it's definitely a-a feminine symbol in Greek mythology.

 

Lizzie 

I mean, that's cool, the idea of a chariot being pulled by cows.

 

Zoe 

Mm hmm. But also, aside from driving the moon chariot, Selene gets around.

 

Lizzie 

Ooh.

 

Zoe 

I guess with the moon chariot (both laugh). Um. She's known for having several lovers and children. So according to her Homeric Hymn, she's sired Pandia, the goddess of the full moon, with Zeus, although some people think that Pandia used to be, like, another epithet for Selene, and then eventually became associated with its own figure. But either way, her and Zeus had a kid. The goddess of the full moon. And then another Greek poet said that she and Zeus were also the parents of Ersa, the goddess of dew, and they were also said to be the parents of the nymph of Nemea. As in, like, the place Nemea. Home of the lion. You know,

 

Lizzie 

Yeah. Yeah. That's all I know (Zoe laughs). Is that there is a lion.

 

Zoe 

Yeah. Poet Quintus Smyrnaeus wrote that Selene and Helios were the parents of the Horae, the goddesses of the changing seasons.

 

Lizzie 

Nice.

 

Zoe 

So, yeah. She had a lot of kids, and her most famous love affair is with the beautiful shepherd mortal named Endymion, whom she first saw while flying her chariot across the sky one night. And through various means that differ depending on retellings of the myths, Endymion is granted eternal life through eternal sleep. And during times of the new moon Selene is able to visit him. She has fifty children by him, according to some myths, and some say that includes Narcissus, who is of course famous for being--

 

Lizzie 

Ahh! Narcissism.

 

Zoe 

 --vain and beautiful.

 

Lizzie 

Yeah. That's cool.

 

Zoe 

Yeah.

 

Lizzie 

Good for her.

 

Zoe 

Yeah.

 

Lizzie 

I suppose if you travel around the whole world, you see a lot of people.

 

Zoe 

Yeah. And she, like saw this one guy and was like, that's the guy for me and then would, like, stop and, like, look at him and they were like, Hey, uh, you gotta drive the moon.

 

Lizzie 

That's quite romantic. It's--I like it.

 

Zoe 

Yeah.

 

Lizzie 

Good for him.

 

Zoe 

Yeah, various ways she put him to sleep for--and through eternity, and he's there. And the satirist, um, like, satirical writer, Lucian wrote a story about the relationship between Selene and Endymion being disrupted by a chatty girl named Muia, who constantly bothered Endymion and woke him up. And in her rage, Selene transformed the girl into a fly. And she still bothered sleepers to this day.

 

Lizzie 

Ooh!

 

Zoe 

So, if you've ever been bothered by a fly in your sleep--

 

Lizzie 

Flies are very annoying. She's right about that. Yeah,

 

Zoe 

Yeah. That is who to blame. Um, and she also had a love affair with Pan, the satyr god of the wild.

 

Lizzie 

Wow.

 

Zoe 

Who seduced her with a "snowy bribe of wool." I don't know what that means (Lizzie laughs). But--yeah. You know, they-they had a thing.

 

Lizzie 

Good for her. She sounds fun.

 

Zoe 

Yeah. And so of course, with all these children, it is natural that she was associated with childbirth. And the full moon in particular was believed to be a time where birthing pains would be the least painful. So they would, um--

 

Lizzie 

Oh.

 

Zoe 

--people would try and give birth during the full moon. She was also associated with love spells, um, and would, you know, be praised for doing love spells. And she's also associated with Hecate, isn't she?

 

Lizzie 

Is she?

 

Zoe 

I thought so. Like, isn't she one of, uh, the triple goddesses?

 

Lizzie 

Oh, she might be. Yeah, I think you're right about that.

 

Zoe 

Yes. And she's also linked with other mythological figures, including, of course, Artemis.

 

Lizzie 

Naturally.

 

Zoe 

Aphrodite, Hecate, as I said, Pandia, Pasiphaë--

 

Lizzie 

Oh!

 

Zoe 

--and Eilithyia, who is the goddess of childbirth. And so--

 

Lizzie 

That sounds really fun.

 

Lizzie 

Nice!

 

Zoe 

All of those makes sense. Actually, there's a fun story--or, like, that was written where basically, uh, Selene and Aphrodite were talking and they were like, complaining about their love for mortal men, and Selene was talking about Endymion, and Aphrodite was talking about Adonis. And that just sounds like a lovely piece of, like, literature.

 

Zoe 

Yeah. And she's also, like, mentioned--she doesn't have a ton of like, myths that are all about her. Um, but she's mentioned in myths and--of important events in olympic god history, such as the Gigantomachy and the fight with Typhon. The giant, like, monster guy. You know, that guy.

 

Lizzie 

The titan? Was he not? I don't know.

 

Zoe 

I think he was more than a--

 

Lizzie 

You know--you know what I'm thinking of is the Hercules movie. One of them's like a cyclone.

 

Zoe 

Yeahhh....

 

Lizzie 

Nevermind.

 

Zoe 

I think you're thinking of a different thing. Um.

 

Lizzie 

I realized that now, just thinking of Hercules Disney movie, where the titans are, like--

 

Zoe 

You can't trust the Hercules Disney movie--

 

Lizzie 

I know.

 

Zoe 

--to be a good source of Greek mythology. I used to complain about it as a child.

 

Zoe 

Yeah. Mm hmm. I was like, where are the twelve labors? (Lizzie laughs) This sucks!

 

Lizzie 

(overlapping) Yeah, no, that's-that's what I was--same. Same. I was pretentious. Like, oh, this isn't right. But I still watched it.

 

Lizzie 

Exactly.

 

Zoe 

But yeah. So that is Selene, who is the actual Greek goddess of the moon. And yeah, I think she's a-she's a-she's a rollicking good time, I would say.

 

Lizzie 

She sounds really fun.

 

Zoe 

Yeah. She has a good time.

 

Lizzie 

Yeah.

 

Zoe 

That's all I gotta say,

 

Lizzie 

Yeah. She really does. And like you were kind of saying about her most of the moon goddesses aren't as, like, demure as they are purported to be like yeah, she's awesome.

 

Zoe 

Yeah, she's definitely not demure, like--

 

Zoe 

--you think she's demure, but she is partying. Like she's--she had an affair with Pan, who was like THE party guy. So--

 

Lizzie 

She's partying.

 

Lizzie 

(laughs) Yeah, definitely.

 

Zoe 

Like she-she is having a ball.

 

Lizzie 

Well, good for her.

 

Zoe 

Yeah.

 

Lizzie 

So my next lady is Mayari from the Philippines.

 

Lizzie 

So, she's a moon goddess in the Philippines, specifically the mythology of the Kapampangan people and the Tagalog people.

 

Zoe 

Mmm.

 

Zoe 

Mm.

 

Lizzie 

So in my research, I also came across a moon goddess referred to as Buan, but I believe they refer to the same figure. Buan means "moon" in Tagalog. So, yeah.

 

Zoe 

Mm hmm.

 

Lizzie 

Also there wasn't like a crazy amount of good research. So this isn't, like, super long. But--okay. So Mayari has a brother, Apolaki, who is the god of the sun, and they are the children of Bathala, the creator god and supreme being. Some stories also include Tala, the goddess of the morning and evening star, as either a sibling of Mayari or her daughter. So the first variant I have is from the Kapampangan people. So Bathala loved his children, the sun and moon, and was always with them. When he became old and weak, he could no longer spend all his time with them and requested they come visit him.

 

Zoe 

Mm hmm.

 

Lizzie 

But they didn't obey his wish.

 

Zoe 

Uh oh.

 

Lizzie 

Bathala died suddenly without leaving a will.

 

Zoe 

Interesting.

 

Lizzie 

Very. So this resulted in Apolaki and Mayari fighting, as both of them wanted to rule the earth. They fought for a long time with bamboo clubs. Eventually Apolaki injured Mayari, resulting in her losing an eye. He felt terrible for what he did to his sister, and said that they can exercise equal power, but at different times. Since then, Apolaki rules the earth during the day and Mayari rules the Earth at night. Mayari's light is fainter than her brother's because she only has one eye.

 

Zoe 

Mm, that makes sense.

 

Lizzie 

So yeah, a little sibling rivalry, which is fun.

 

Zoe 

Yeah.

 

Lizzie 

So, okay. So this other variant, um, the sun god, Arao, so the sun--

 

Zoe 

Mm hmm.

 

Lizzie 

--and the moon goddess, Buan, each had a numerous family of stars.

 

Zoe 

Mmm.

 

Lizzie 

Those of the sun god were a golden-yellow color and extremely bright. And those of the moon goddess were silvery-white with no heat emanating from them.

 

Zoe 

Mm hmm.

 

Lizzie 

The moon goddess was worried that her stars would be unable to withstand the heat and light of the sun and his stars, so he made a pact with the sun god. They would both destroy their stars as a measure of safety. The sun devoured all his stars, and the moon hid hers--

 

Zoe 

Mm!

 

Lizzie 

--in the obscurity of the clouds.

 

Zoe 

Clever.

 

Lizzie 

Classic con. When the sun learned of this deception, he was enraged. Because of this, the sun is always in pursuit of the moon to get revenge--

 

Zoe 

Ahh!

 

Lizzie 

--for tricking him.

 

Zoe 

Cool!

 

Lizzie 

Sometimes, the sun gets close enough to bite her, which results in an eclipse.

 

Zoe 

Oh! Yeah.

 

Lizzie 

When you get to their creation story where it's like this is because of this, this is to get to this, like, always, like, oh! So cool!

 

Zoe 

Yeah! Uhh.

 

Lizzie 

Eclipse.

 

Zoe 

I do love that. Mm hmm.

 

Lizzie 

Time heals the wound, as the moon is always waxing and waning.

 

Zoe 

Mm hmm.

 

Lizzie 

It was also because of this that the stars disappear during the day because the moon hides them and only brings them forth when her eldest daughter, Tala, the morning and evening star says it's safe. The end.

 

Zoe 

Oh. Yeah. I mean, that's really interesting. I think it's interesting that there's, like, more of a violent relationship between the sun and the moon in this-in this, uh, particular instance.

 

Lizzie 

Yeah.

 

Zoe 

I don't have, like, analysis, but I just think it's interesting that, you know, like, in some stories they're married. And it's like, yeah, they both spread light. And others it's like no, one's chasing the other. Like, that's--

 

Lizzie 

Yeah, like, I wonder if that has to do with, like, sort of positive to negative feelings about, like, going to the night, going to the day, you know.

 

Zoe 

Yeah. Interesting.

 

Lizzie 

Like, how-how negative can you really feel about it being night?

 

Zoe 

Yeah, I--

 

Lizzie 

Maybe very. I don't know.

 

Zoe 

Yeah, I mean, I think that the night is generally just--you know, it's a scarier time, as we know, everyone's afraid of the dark. Or not everyone, but like (Lizzie laughs), most people are afraid of the dark to some extent.

 

Lizzie 

(overlapping) I mean, I know I was.

 

Zoe 

I feel like if--even if someone says they're not afraid of the dark, in certain circumstances, you will be afraid of the dark.

 

Lizzie 

I mean, the-the dark is objectively a spookier time.

 

Zoe 

Yeah, and, like, the moon is--comes out at night, and, like, it provides light but not as much as the sun. And I think that's also one of the reasons why it's more uncertain. And it's also because, you know, some times the moon doesn't shine as brightly as others. Um, so it's, like, less certain, and--

 

Lizzie 

So it's like--yeah, you can't necessarily rely on the moon every night.

 

Zoe 

Yeah. Mm hmm.

 

Lizzie 

But also maybe it's not always meaningful to, like, the culture. Maybe it's just sometimes, like a fun story--

 

Zoe 

(overlapping) Like, a fun story. Yeah, that's very true (Lizzie laughs). Who's to say?

 

Lizzie 

Yeah.

 

Zoe 

Um, but yeah, it's interesting that you have these, like, sort of more violent stories, because I also have a few stories that are a little more violent when it comes to the origin of the moon, which I think is really interesting and fun.

 

Lizzie 

Those ones are a little funner. Yeah.

 

Zoe 

Yeah. Um, and so the first one I want to talk about, um, is Coyolxāuhqui, who is the Aztec goddess of the moon, and her name means "painted with bells," which is interesting.

 

Zoe 

Um, and she was the leader of her brothers, uh, who were the Cenzton Huitnahuas, who were the gods of the southern stars. And in one story, it says that with her brothers, she launched an attack against her mother, Cōātlīcue, the Earth Mother Aztec deity. And that was because their mother was pregnant and they were embarrassed, and they thought that she was like--

 

Lizzie 

Cool!

 

Lizzie 

Embarassed?

 

Zoe 

 --shaming all of them by being pregnant. Um, not the best motivation for attacking your mother.

 

Lizzie 

Wait, why--why would that be bad? They had--she had to be pregnant when they were born.

 

Zoe 

But, like, maybe it was illegitimate, you know, like, I don't know.

 

Lizzie 

Oh, it was not, like, all the details. Okay.

 

Zoe 

Yeah. Um, and others say they were afraid she would sire an heir that would overpower them all, which makes a bit more sense.

 

Lizzie 

Very fair. Yeah.

 

Zoe 

Yeah. And they were right to be afraid because her new child was Huitzilopochtli, the Aztec god of war, and he led the fight against them and defeated them roundly. So yeah, they were right

 

Lizzie 

Sucks. Yeah.

 

Zoe 

And he threw Coyolxāuhqui from the top of their home, which was Coatetpec, or Serpent Mountain, and she fell, scattering to pieces as she did. And he also scattered her brothers from the top of the mountain, and I'm guessing they became stars, but I don't know if I read that. And then some stories say that he cut off her head and threw it into the sky where it became the moon, although it's possible this detail was added by writers later. So yeah, that is a story. There's another version of the story in which Coyolxāuhqui knew about her siblings' attack, but did not join them. She was not the leader. Instead, she tried to warn her mother. And when her siblings found out, they were the ones that cut off her head to kill her.

 

Lizzie 

Rough!

 

Zoe 

And in mourning, her mother placed her head in the sky, and it shone as the moon in remembrance, basically.

 

Lizzie 

So mean to their mother.

 

Zoe 

Yeah. But this time, she was, like, trying to warn her mother and was like, listen, they're gonna attack you and her siblings were like, no, don't tell our mother, and then, you're betrayed us, so now we're gonna cut off your head. Yeah. Not-not nice.

 

Lizzie 

No!

 

Zoe 

Also, it's interesting. It kind of reminds me of the Zeus/Chronos story.

 

Lizzie 

Oh, yeah, yeah.

 

Zoe 

Because it's like, oh, you're gonna sire someone that's more powerful than you and he's gonna defeat you and then cut you into pieces.

 

Lizzie 

Well, I like--I like stories where it's, like, some natural thing happens where, like, oh, this has become the sun now. Like, her head is the sun now.

 

Zoe 

Yeah!

 

Lizzie 

Or, I guess the moon.

 

Zoe 

Makes sense.

 

Lizzie 

 That's kind of fun. I like when the moon and the sun are, like, made of stuff.

 

Zoe 

Yeah, like it's round. It makes sense.

 

Lizzie 

Yeah.

 

Zoe 

And she may have also been, like, related to the older Aztec moon deity, Metztli, who had two phases, one for growth and one for stagnation. And she's associated with midwives and sweat baths, both of which, to me, makes sense.

 

Lizzie 

Sweat baths?

 

Zoe 

Like hot houses or whatever.

 

Lizzie 

Okay, cool.

 

Zoe 

And so my other lady, um, is Huitaca, who is the Chibcha goddess of the moon and intoxication.

 

Lizzie 

Cool!

 

Zoe 

And so the Chibcha are an Indigenous confederation centered around the Altiplano Cundiboyacense, and the modern-day Colombian Andes Mountains, um, and they're also called the Muisca. And, um, in many myths, Huitaca is viewed as an evil goddess of indulgence and drunkenness sent to destroy civilization. Like, kind of like the devil/trickster/spirit sort of figure. And she was married to Bochica, who was the conservative chief of the gods. And while he taught the Muisca people useful crafts, she worked against them, undoing all his work and teaching men evil. And one day she created a flood to drown all of his followers, and he was so angry at her that he threw her into the sky, where she became the moon.

 

Lizzie 

Nice.

 

Zoe 

So, similar story, you know, they both got thrown into the sky and became the moon through violent means.

 

Lizzie 

Cool.

 

Zoe 

And she's also depicted with the face of an owl, and several species of spiders have been named after her. Fun facts.

 

Lizzie  

Ooh! That is cool.

 

Zoe 

Yeah. And that's all I really have on her, but I thought it would be interesting to talk about her alongside Coyolxāuhqui because it's a similar story, you know, them fighting and being thrown into the sky by someone and becoming the moon in that way.

 

Lizzie 

Yeah! They are very similar.

 

Zoe 

Mm hmm.

 

Lizzie 

So my next one also has kind of a similar-ish thing of the moon being formed by something.

 

Zoe 

Mm hmm.

 

Lizzie 

It's really--it's really not that similar (Zoe laughs). So (laughs) my next lady is Kuutar from Finnish mythology.

 

Zoe 

Ooh.

 

Lizzie 

And--yeah, so she's known as Kuu or Kuutar. 'Kuu' just means moon.

 

Zoe 

Nice.

 

Lizzie 

And--yeah, Kuutar is, like, 'lady moon.' Her solar counterpart is Päivätär, who is also female and whose name means 'lady day.' They both appear in the Finnish epic poem, the Kalevala, and in some other folk poems as well. But you read that, didn't you?

 

Zoe 

I did read it. I didn't read all of it.

 

Lizzie 

Do you remember there being moon references?

 

Zoe 

No. But I'm sure there were.

 

Lizzie 

Fair enough (laughs). So, do you remember the creation myth?

 

Zoe 

The egg!

 

Lizzie 

Yes! Exactly the egg! Okay, so the Finnish creation myth involves a goddess named Ilmatar, the daughter of the sky, coming to the waters and becoming pregnant. She gestated for a long time, but was unable to give birth.

 

Zoe 

Mm hmm.

 

Lizzie 

One day, a goldeneye, which was a type of duck, flew onto Ilmatar's knee and laid a bunch of eggs. Ilmatar was burned by the heat of the eggs incubating, and caused them to fall into the water and shatter. From the lower part of the eggshell formed the land. And from the upper part of the eggshell formed the sky. The egg white formed the moon and the yolk became the sun.

 

Zoe 

Isn't that lovely?

 

Lizzie 

I mean, when you--when--you know how you can call fried eggs sunny-side-up?

 

Zoe 

Yeah.

 

Lizzie 

Same thing. The yolk looks like a sun. And so as Ilmatar walked along the waters, her footsteps became pools for fish. And when she pointed, she created contours for the land. And eventually she-she gave birth to Väinämöinen.

 

Zoe 

Yes.

 

Lizzie 

Who is the hero of the Kalevala, whose name I think is really fun.

 

Zoe 

Yes.

 

Lizzie 

Väinämöinen.

 

Zoe 

So many umlauts.

 

Lizzie 

Yeah (laughs).

 

Zoe 

There's, like, three of them.

 

Lizzie 

And--yeah, there is three. And in some versions, the goldeneye lays its eggs on Väinämöinen's knees instead of Ilmatar's.

 

Zoe 

Boo (Lizzie laughs).

 

Lizzie 

Yeah.

 

Zoe 

But yeah, it's such a fun creation story. I really liked that one. I like the egg a lot.

 

Lizzie 

Yeah, so it's an example of the world egg, which is a mythological motif found in a variety of world cultures where the world is formed from the hatching of an egg.

 

Zoe 

Mm hmm.

 

Lizzie 

Which I think is so fun.

 

Zoe 

Mm hmm.

 

Lizzie 

And it's so interesting that it's found in a variety of different places, too, because it's--I mean, it seems kind of, like, random, right? But like, it's not if so many people, like, looked at eggs and thought about--

 

Zoe 

Yeah.

 

Lizzie 

--you know, the world. I don't know. The world egg is found in the Vedas, in Chinese mythology, and in one version of the creation myth from Egyptian mythology, to name a few examples.

 

Zoe 

Mm hmm.

 

Lizzie 

There's also more examples. But isn't that so fun?

 

Zoe 

It is really fun. And it's--you know, what came first, the world or the egg?

 

Lizzie 

(laughs) So true.

 

Zoe 

Yeah. I--yeah. I just think it's really beautiful, you know? It's nice, like, you know, the world--an egg hatched and the world came out, you know.

 

Lizzie 

Exactly. But you know what, this-this duck existed before the world.

 

Zoe 

Well, so did Ilmatar. Um, so...

 

Lizzie 

Which came first, the duck--

 

Zoe 

And--

 

Lizzie 

--or the world? I don't know.

 

Zoe 

Does it talk about how she became pregnant? 'Cause she gets, like, pregnant in a weird way too. I can't remember how.

 

Lizzie 

No, I don't--I don't know. I just usually--

 

Zoe 

 Like, by the wind or something. Um.

 

Lizzie 

(laughs). Okay.

 

Zoe 

Yeah.

 

Lizzie 

Um, but it's such a fun--I feel like a lot of creation stories are just, like, so fun. Like, they're so creative.

 

Zoe 

Mm hmm.

 

Lizzie 

Um, yeah, so there's little information about Kuutar outside of her occasional mention in folk poetry.

 

Zoe 

Mm hmm.

 

Lizzie 

It seems that she and Päivätär weren't some of the most important figures in Finnish cosmology. There's, like, just not that much information about them.

 

Zoe 

Mm hmm.

 

Lizzie 

But there's-but there's also relatively little known about the beliefs of pre-Christian Finns, to my understanding.

 

Zoe 

Yeah.

 

Lizzie 

So they could have been more important. I don't know.

 

Zoe 

Mm hmm.

 

Lizzie 

But, um, Kuutar spins gold thread and weaves clothes out of them while her sister, Päivätär, spins a silver thread, and weaves clothes out of them. And young maidens call upon them to give them silver and gold jewelry and clothes. Isn't that weird that the moon is gold and the sun is silver?

 

Zoe 

Yeah, I was just thinking. I was like, that seems opposite.

 

Lizzie 

Right? And it even was opposite earlier, and I mentioned the-the Mayari, something with gold being the sun. But like, it seems like it would be intuitive that yellow equals the sun equals gold. Right?

 

Zoe 

Mm hmm.

 

Lizzie 

Yeah, I even, like, checked in multiple sources like, that's not right. But it is!

 

Zoe 

Yeah.

 

Lizzie 

I don't know what to make of it, but I think it's fun.

 

Zoe 

Yeah, for sure.

 

Lizzie 

And, um, so Kuutar and Pailatar are said to be the emuus, or origin mothers of bees, wasps and hornets. And people would call on them for protection against bees, wasps and hornets. There's also one folk poem where it suggests that the world tree grew from the gold and silver tears of Kuutar and Päivätär.

 

Zoe  

Interesting.

 

Lizzie 

Yeah. And, um, even though it seems that Kuutar wasn't as powerful as moon deities in other cultures, one takeaway I have from my research is that, like, she and her sister are--like, the sun are always evoked together, and spoken up together. Like, they cried silver and gold tears together to create the tree, you know?

 

Zoe 

Mm hmm.

 

Lizzie 

 Which I think is sweet. Like, it seems like a lot of sun and moon deities are at odds with each other in some way, or like, they're opposites. Um, it's more rare that you see them, like, as siblings who get along. And as girl siblings. They're both girls.

 

Zoe 

Yeah, I think that's really fun.

 

Lizzie 

Yeah, I feel like it sort of stresses the similarities of the Sun and Moon instead of their differences, which is nice. I think they're cool. They're just like best friends. Like me and my sister, haha. Anyway.

 

Zoe 

I think it's really--well, I think it's really interesting. First of all, when the sun and the moon are both women, I actually think that's something that I might have, like, remarked on to myself, when I was reading the Kalevala.

 

Lizzie 

It's very rare. Like, if they're the same gender, like, it's usually men. Or maybe I'm just, like, making that up. Like the Hero Twins, you know? The sun and the moon, that kind of thing?

 

Zoe 

Yeah. I think that's kind of thing. Yeah. Yeah. It's really interesting. And again, I like that they're, you know, friends, they're not fighting each other. Um, they're getting along--

 

Lizzie 

Yeah! They're literally just sisters who spend all their time together. And that's sweet.

 

Zoe 

That is really sweet. I really like that.

 

Lizzie 

And they're always, like, invoked together. Like, they're just, like, besties. It's like, that's nice.

 

Zoe 

Yeah. That's very cool. And so our last lady of the night--or day, whenever you're listening, is Mama Killa, who is the Inca goddess of the moon. And she's also the goddess of marriage, the menstrual cycle, and considered the defender of a woman. So 'killa' is the Quechua word for moon, making her name mean 'Mother Moon,' essentially, which is lovely.

 

Lizzie 

Nice.

 

Zoe 

And she was considered the third deity of the Inca pantheon after Inti, the god of the sun and Illapu, the god of thunder. However, in some coastal areas, she was considered more important than Inti, which is interesting. I couldn't find a reason why; my hypothesis--

 

Lizzie 

Because coastal tide--

 

Zoe 

--yes, my hypothesis was 'tidal movements?' question mark, which is interesting. And I think that, uh, what it means for her to be, like, the third most important one, um, in the pantheon, but in some places more important than the god of the sun. Like the most important, I would say.

 

Lizzie 

It is cool.

 

Zoe 

Yeah! And so she's married to Inti as well as being his older sister. So. And she's a very important goddess, um, as I sort of already said, the third most important god in the pantheon. Inca calendars were based on the lunar cycle, so she was very important for determining time and dates.

 

Lizzie 

Mm.

 

Zoe 

And the timing of many rituals were also based on the lunar calendar. So, like, that was really important. So she was important in that respect, I would guess/say. And she had her own temple in Cusco, the capital of the Inca Empire. And she was imagined as both a human figure and a silver disc. So as, like, a figure and also--

 

Lizzie 

Yeah.

 

Zoe 

--like, as, you know, a moon iconography sort of thing.

 

Lizzie 

Yeah!

 

Zoe 

Yeah. And there's a few short stories associated with her. And the first one is basically-answers the question of why the moon has dark spots.

 

Lizzie 

Cool!

 

Zoe 

In case you've ever wondered. And so the story says that a fox fell in love with Mama Killa because of her great beauty. She's said to be very beautiful, naturally.

 

Lizzie 

Mm hmm.

 

Zoe 

And when he rose into the sky to embrace her, she squeezed him against her. And so the shadow of the Fox against her brightness produced the dark patches on the moon.

 

Lizzie 

That's kind of nice.

 

Zoe 

So, that's the story of that. Very nice, you know, it's kind of a love story.

 

Lizzie 

She hugged him so hard that it just, like--

 

Zoe 

Changed how she appeared like, that's really cool.

 

Lizzie 

Exactly!

 

Zoe 

Yeah.

 

Lizzie 

That's romantic.

 

Zoe 

Yeah. And the story--they had some stories, um, involving lunar eclipses as-as well. And so if the lunar eclipse happened, it was believed that an animal such as a mountain lion or a serpent was attacking Mama Killa. And so if that animal succeeded, they would be left in complete darkness during the night, like, for all of eternity. Um, so it was pretty scary time to have a lunar eclipse, which--understandable. Eclipses--

 

Lizzie 

Yeah, definitely.

 

Zoe 

--are scary, especially when the moon turns, like, red. Um, and so traditionally, um, people would make really loud noises and, like, throw spears to try and chase the animal away, and they were successful--

 

Lizzie 

Ahh!

 

Zoe 

--because we still have the moon today, and it did not get attacked by a lion or killed by a lion. And so she had a very distinguished family. She's said to be the mother of Manco Cápac, who is the first ruler of the Incas. And also, she was the mother of his wife and older sister, Mama Ocllo.

 

Lizzie 

So then the royal line is kind of descended from her.

 

Zoe 

Yeah, basically, the mother--she's basically the mother of the Inca Empire. And basically the royal line is descended from her. So she is like the-the god that the royal family derives their, like, power from. She's their, like, justification for their power, which is really interesting.

 

Lizzie 

Yeah.

 

Zoe 

And shows, like, the amount of power and significance that she had in the culture, I would say.

 

Lizzie 

Definitely. Yeah.

 

Zoe 

And the foundation of the Inca Empire, their relationship of, um, the rulers, Manco Cápac and Mama Ocllo, was modeled after Inti and Mama Killa's relationship, which shows their importance as well as like the marrying older sister, you know, sort of thing. Also, when the Ichma people were absorbed by the Inca Empire, she became known as the mother of their chief god, Pacha Kamaq. So she basically is, like, the mother goddess figure, as well as, like, the moon goddess figure. And she's kind of like the main goddess of the of the pantheon, it sort of seems to me.

 

Lizzie 

Mm hmm.

 

Zoe 

Um, or one of the main goddesses because she has, like, so much power. And it's just, like, a very important icon. And it's clear that she--like, the moon was very important.

 

Lizzie 

I mean, the moon is really important.

 

Zoe 

Yeah. I think the moon--I mean, I love the moon. Big fan.

 

Lizzie 

Same. Yeah.

 

Zoe 

I think--

 

Lizzie 

She's great.

 

Zoe 

Yeah (laughs). You know, it's really beautiful. And all the different stories of how the moon came to be, or how the--who the moon is, or the moon's relationship with the sun is just really interesting. I thought it was really fun that, like, I didn't even know what your women were like, but I, like, was talking about the relationship and I was like, sometimes one's being chased by the other and sometimes they're twin sisters.

 

Lizzie 

(overlapping) And it was right! Exactly.

 

Zoe 

(overlapping) And you had examples of both of them.

 

Lizzie 

And there was twin sisters!

 

Zoe 

And I was like, whoa, like, yeah (Lizzie laughs), there is so much difference in their relationships. And I think that's really cool. Because--I don't know, I just think it's interesting. I wish, like, I had more of the--an ability to analyze, like, the difference in cultures of why they depict one relationship as opposed to another and like, what that says, you know, I just don't know.

 

Lizzie 

Yeah. Like, maybe it means everything, maybe it means nothing. We don't really know.

 

Zoe 

It probably says, like, something about, like, how they view relationships and stuff, like obviously--

 

Lizzie 

Yeah.

 

Zoe 

--the relationship between Mama Killa and Inti were, like--was, like, important because they modeled their--or, like, the rulers' relationship after it. Um, but, I don't know.

 

Lizzie 

Yeah, and some-some they're, like, a little more symbiotic. Some of them, they're, like, actively opposing each other.

 

Zoe 

Yeah.

 

Lizzie 

Or some of them they get--just get along.

 

Zoe 

Yeah. Or, like, one of them was like, well, why--like, you know, the one with Mayari--

 

Lizzie 

Where they're battling for--

 

Zoe 

Yeah.

 

Lizzie 

--the inheritance of the sky, or whatever.

 

Zoe 

Yeah, like, that's interesting. And like--

 

Lizzie 

It's literally like siblings fighting over their father not leaving a will. That could literally be, like, a movie now.

 

Zoe 

No, it literally is a movie. Like, it's so often--it's like, such--it's so funny. It's like, it's such a popular story.

 

Lizzie 

(overlapping) It's such a human thing, right?

 

Zoe 

Yeah, you know, it's so interesting.

 

Lizzie 

Dad didn't leave a will (laughs).

 

Zoe 

Dad didn't leave a will, and so we're gonna fight it out. Like, yeah.

 

Lizzie 

Exactly.

 

Zoe 

Yeah, I think like, the different relationships in these stories are really cool, is basically what I'm saying.

 

Lizzie 

Definitely. I agree. And it's interesting, that like--I mean, it makes sense. But, like, everyone views the moon in relation to the sun, and vice versa, like that they are considered to be related to each other, if not, like, if not always in a positive way. Like people recognize that the sun and the moon are associated with each other before, like, we knew about the solar system.

 

Zoe 

Yeah. I think it's also interesting that they're sort of viewed as opposites oftentimes?

 

Lizzie 

Yeah.

 

Zoe 

Like, they're viewed as, like, some people would be like, oh, they're as different as the sun and the moon.

 

Lizzie 

Yeah (laughs).

 

Zoe 

It's like, well, the sun and the moon aren't that different, you know, like...

 

Lizzie 

But also, like, I mean, we know this now, that the moon reflects the sun's light.

 

Zoe 

That is true.

 

Lizzie 

Like they-they have to do with each other.

 

Zoe 

Mm hmm, exactly.

 

Lizzie 

But also, I feel like creation stories are just, like, some of the funnest mythological stories out there. Like, they're always so fun.

 

Zoe 

Yeah. And when you're, like, talking about the moon, you're talking about a very, like, basic creation story. You know, we're going back to the very beginning of time because that's--

 

Lizzie 

(overlapping) Yeah, like, the land, the sea, the sun, the moon, the water,

 

Zoe 

Yeah.

 

Lizzie 

Like, these are all the very, very basic components of the creation story.

 

Zoe 

Yeah. And so it's really cool to, like, sort of just peek in and see like, what they're saying about the moon and stuff.

 

Lizzie 

Yeah, it's really interesting. And how for the most part, they're pretty, like, positive. Like, in, um, the Nahua stories, they were, like, pretty violent.

 

Zoe 

Yeah.

 

Lizzie 

Like, not necessarily characterizing the moon very positively. But I feel like most of these were like, neutral to positive.

 

Zoe 

Yeah. I mean--and it also depended on, like, the story to, like, the--even with the Aztec story, like, it depended on which version because one version was like, oh, she was trying to kill her mother and the other was like, no, she was trying to stop her mother from being killed.

 

Lizzie 

Yeah.

 

Zoe 

Very different stories, depending on which one--version you have.

 

Lizzie 

I like when they ascribe a lot of personality to the moon.

 

Zoe 

Yeah.

 

Lizzie 

Same with Selene.

 

Zoe 

Yes.

 

Lizzie 

There was-there was so much going on with her. That's so fun.

 

Zoe 

Yeah, and I mean, I think that's, like, goes back to what I said at the beginning. Like, the moon is a very active figure in mythology, even though, like, we don't necessarily associate the moon as, like, a vague active figure, you know, it's not going to, like, burn you or destroy you, you know, um...

 

Lizzie 

But it's also constantly changing and moving.

 

Zoe 

Yeah. Mm hmm.

 

Lizzie 

So it makes sense to view it, like, more active rather than more passive.

 

Zoe 

Absolutely, yeah.

 

Lizzie 

Like it's different every single night.

 

Zoe 

Yeah, absolutely. It's very true.

 

Lizzie 

I wish this episode was going up during the next full moon. I think the next full moon is on, like, the 16th of May or something, like--

 

Zoe 

Yeah.

 

Lizzie 

Let's all listen to Mytholadies during the full moon.

 

Zoe 

Well, celebrate--yeah (Lizzie laughs). Yeah, celebrate the full moon with Mytholadies, yeah. Well, thank you so much for listening to this episode. If you enjoyed it, check out our bonus episode, companion episodes to this episode.

 

Lizzie 

Exactly.

 

Zoe 

We'll talk more about mythology and the moon.

 

Lizzie 

And reminder that you can also access our bonus episodes with a one-time payment, not just a recurring payment.

 

Zoe 

Very true. And also please leave a review, subscribe. And we'll be back here next--two weeks. In two weeks, with another episode.

 

Lizzie 

The next fortnight.

 

Zoe 

Next fortnight with another episode. Thank you.

 

Lizzie 

Thank you.

 

Zoe 

Good bye.

 

Outro, underscored by music:

 

Lizzie 

Mytholadies podcast is produced, researched and presented by Elizabeth Lacroix and Zoe Koeninger. You can find us on Instagram and Twitter @Mytholadies, and visit us on our website at mytholadies.com. Our cover art is by Helena Cailleaux. Our music was written and performed by Icarus Tyree. Thanks for listening. See you in two weeks.