Moon Mythology

Forever the book pilgrim today I discovered a little treasure for 99 cents, Curious Myths of the Middle Ages, written by, Rev. Sabine Baring-Gould 1834-1924 Edited by, Edward Hardy (1987). Below is an excerpt from The Man in the Moon myth. The book illustrations are all Albrecht Duer.

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In Scandinavian mythology Mani, the moon stole two children from their parents, and carried them up to heaven. Their names were Hjuki and Bil. They had been drawing water from the well byrgir, in the bucket Soegr, suspended from the pole Simul, which they bore on their shoulders. These children, pole and bucket, were placed in heaven ‘where they could be seen from earth’. This refers undoubtedly to the spots on the moon, and so the Swedish peasantry explain these spots to this very day (1866) as representing a boy and a girl bearing a pail of water between them. We are once reminded of our nursery rhyme:

Jack and Jill went up the hill

To fetch a pail of water;

Jack fell down and broke his crown,

And Jill came tumbling after.

This verse, which to us at first sight seems nonsense, I have no hesitation in saying has a high antiquity, and refers to the Eddaic Hjuki and Bil. The names indicate as much. Hjuki, in Norse, would be pronounced Juki, which would readily become Jack; and Bil for the sake of euphony, and in order to give a female name to one of the children, would become Jill. The fall of Jack and the subsequent fall of Jill simply represent the vanishing of one moon-spot after another as the moon wanes.

But the old Norse myth had a deeper significance than merely an explanation of the moon-spots. Hjuki is derived from the verb jakka, to leap or pile together, to assemble and increase; and Bil from bila, to break up or dissolve. Hjuki and Bil therefore signify nothing more than the waxing and waning of the moon, and the water they are represented as bearing signifies the fact that the rainfall depends on the phases of the moon. Waxing and waning were individualized, and the meteorological fact of the connexion  of the rain with the moon was represented by children as water-bearers.

 

Baring-Gould, S. (1987). Curious Myths of the Middle ages. (E. Hardy, Ed.) New York: Crescent Books.

My Way

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 My Way

Hey friends. My Mythology essay is done. Yea! OMG I have books all over the place, I have had 10 browser tabs open at once. Still not done with finals, but that is done. A breath of relief. I sure have a list of books to buy that I could not get my hands on for this paper, I am certain I will visit these literary areas again once I go to ASU, and I do love feminine and psychological critiques.

Oh it’s almost Summer break…. Yea! Happy Mother’s Day to all of you lovely mothers, also to all of your mothers.

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Sindy
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Painting

Waterhouse

Flora

Waterhouse Flora and the Zephyrs

Flora and the Zephyr; takes its subject from Ovid’s Fasti, which is a verse chronicle of the Roman calendar, and which incorporates the mythologies and historical legends of Rome where they can he associated with specific times of the year. Fasti V, vv.195-375, spoken by Flora herself, tells the story of her abduction and marriage to Zephyr, god of the wind:’I who now am called Flora was formerly Chloris … a nymph of the happy fields where, as you have heard, dwelt fortunate men of old. Modesty shrinks from describing my figure; but it procured the hand of a god for my mother’s daughter. ‘Twas spring, and I was roaming; Zephyr caught sight of me; I retired; he pursued and I fled; but he was the stronger, and Boreas had given his brother full right of rape by daring to carry off the prize from the house of Erechtheus. However, he made amends for his violence by giving me the name of bride, and in my marriage-bed I have naught to complain of. I enjoy perpetual spring; most buxom is the year ever; ever the tree is clothed with leaves, the ground with pasture. In the fields that are my dower, I have a fruitful garden, fanned by the breeze and watered by a spring of running water. This garden my husband filled with noble flowers and said, “Goddess, be queen of flowers.” Oft did I wish to count the colors in the

beds, but could not; the number was past counting.’ (Translated from the Latin by James George Frazer, 1951) Flora goes on to describe the different flowers she gave to the world, born from the wounds of gods and mortals, and of her power to propagate and inseminate. She speaks also of her command over the harvest and the vintage, and her gift of honey to the world. Her story ends when she is asked the question: “‘Why, instead of Lybyan lionesses, are unwarlike roes and shy hares pent in thy nets?” She replied that her province was not woods, but gardens and field, where no fierce beast may come.’

Waterhouse’s painting shows the moment when Zephyr first set eyes upon and fell in love with Flora, as she gathered flowers in the fields with her maidens and children. He flies down to her, accompanied by his winged companions. and captures her by casting a garland of white flowers around her.

Flora and the Zephyr

London, Royal Academy, 1898. no.64;
London. Royal Academy. Minter Eichibithm. 1909, no.66.

 

Painting

John William Waterhouse

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Sindy

Juno

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In looking for a post inspiration, since all my stored images are in my currently defunct computer, I read an article by Dirk Vander Ploeg of UFO Digest, it is a really well written enjoyable article. Here is an excerpt:

Valentine’s Day started in the time of the Roman Empire. In ancient Rome, February 14th was a holiday to honor Juno.2 Juno was the Queen of the Roman Gods and Goddesses. The Romans also knew her as the Goddess of women and marriage. The following day, February 15th, began the Feast of Lupercalia.

The lives of young boys and girls were strictly separate. However, one of the customs of the young people was name drawing. On the eve of the festival of Lupercalia the names of Roman girls were written on slips of paper and placed into jars. Each young man would draw a girl’s name from the jar and would then be partners for the duration of the festival with the girl whom he chose. Sometimes the pairing of the children lasted an entire year, and often, they would fall in love and would later marry.

I knew parts of this but not all. Dirk tells much more in the article. I have been studying Art History all week and really have part of my consciousness in the 14th century, I have such an imagination, when I am reading about Duccio, Raphael, Michelangelo, Giotto, it is really endless and damn those Italian Renaissance artist name are long. I digress, or when you are ready a great novel…you are bi-locating, splitting your consciousness. Although I am in the current world, I am also in their world in Florence, Venice and Pisa. The Renaissance artist moved to the Humanist philosophy and revisited the ancient cultures of the Greeks, and  Romans.

So the Goddess Juno is my inspiration today. I have posted before on my other blog regarding a message I received that felt tied to Olympus. I think there is something very real from those myths, or just like the ancient Vedas, something very real.

Queen of the Gods. Jupiter’s wife and sister, sister to Neptune and Pluto, daughter of Saturn, mother of Juventas, Mars, and Vulcan. Protectress of the Roman state. She was the guardian of the Empire’s finances and considered the Matron Goddess of all Rome. The Matronalia, her major festival is March 1-2. Her other festival, on July 7-8, was called Nonae Caprotinae (“The Nones of the Wild Fig”). The month of June was named after her.

Read Dirks article on Valentines.

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Happy Valentines Day

Sindy