Mythology of the Moon
The Moon rules Cancer, is exalted in Taurus. and in its fall in Scorpio. In astrology it represents
the imaginative, reflective, emotional and subconscious side, as well as being associated with memory.
The Sun represents that side of you that others see, the Moon represents that side of you which
you keep hidden. It also represents that side of you which reacts before you have had time to think. The Moon represents a
separate, but equal side in your personality. The Moon sign modifies your Sun sign and your personality is created from the
blending of these two signs.
In mythology, the Moon goddess ruled in partnership with the Sun god or goddess. In some
civilizations the Moon goddess was more important because it also dispensed wisdom and spiritual knowledge. The Moon has always
been associated with the movement of water and the nurturing of the earth through vegetation. It was by the cycles of the
Moon that the calendar was originally created and it was according to the Moon that crops were planted and harvested.
As the Moon influenced so may aspects of life on earth, and so many aspects of the human
personality, Moon goddess came to be known by many names. Selene, Cynthia, Phoebe, Hectate and Artemis or Diana
were but a few. Artemis was the Roman, and modern astrological name used. There are several stories of Artemis that have her
performing different kinds of acts.
1. She rescued the maiden, Arethusa, from the pursuit of Alpheus, the river god, who was relentlessly
pursuing her, by changing her into a spring of water that flowed through a tunnel under the sea from Greece to Sicily. Arethusa
plunged down and emerged in Ortygia, where the well she sprang up from is considered holy ground to Artemis.
2. She prevented the Greeks from sailing against Troy by sending a north wind that made it impossible
for their ships to sail, until they sacrificed a virgin to her for killing a hare and her offspring. The virgin she wanted,
according to the soothsayer, Calchas, was Agamemnon's daughter, Iphigenia. At great personal sacrifice, but gaining great
respect from his men, the girl was sacrificed and immediately the north wind ceased and the ships set sail against Troy.
3. As the revealer of truth to Theseus, whose wife wrote a suicide note declaring the lie that
his son, (her stepson) Hippolytus, had raped her.
4. As one who without concern, causes death, as in the death of Actaeon, a great hunter, who while
out hunting one day, innocently came upon Artemis as she ascended from her bathing pool deep in the woods. She sprinkled him
with water by the shake of her hand and caused his heart to change into the heart of a stag. His dogs sensing his fear and
smelling the stag, quickly chased him down and tore him to bits.
5. As a murderer of innocents when she and her twin brother Apollo killed the seven sons and seven
daughters of Niobe, who in arrogance, placed herself above Leto and demanded the people bring their offerings to her
in Leto's temple.
6. As a jealous lover, she killed Orion, her chief hunter, whom she loved, because Dawn, also called
Aurora, fell in love with him.
7. As a savior, for rescuing Iphigenia when she was about to be sacrificed, by removing
her from the alter and leaving a deer with its throat slashed in Iphigenia's place. Iphigenia was then taken to a place of
All these stories, and more, are attributed to Artemis, the goddess of the Moon. She was capable
of reacting in jealousy, rage, and ambivalence, but also would could act to save individuals and to deliver the truth.
As we, in our daily lives act and react by those things in our lives which motivate us, cheer us, anger us, sustain us, or
cause us fear, so Artemis, the mythological Moon goddess acted and reacted.
Artemis, the Moon, is the quintessential female archetype. Basically there are three aspects to
the Moon corresponding to its phases. The waxing Moon represents the youthful maiden, the full Moon represents the mother
goddess in full array and the waning Moon, represents the wise old woman or crone. In Neolithic times the Moon goddess' symbol
was the cross of 4 directions, a symbol of wholeness.
Easily seen, but not easily understood, the effects of the Moon must be understood to effectively
understand one's self. KNOW THYSELF was the imperative written on the temple at Delphi in Greece. To know thyself one must
understand the effects of the Moon in the natal chart.
Mythology by Edith Hamilton
Mythic Astrology: Archetypal Powers in the Horoscope by Ariel Guttman & Kenneth Johnson
The Only Astrology Book You Will Ever Need by Joanna Martine Woolfolk
Dictionary of Astrology by Fred Gettings