As you look upon the beautiful night sky, picture the beautiful lunar goddess Selene who crossed the sky each night riding her majestic chariot! The goddess’s chariot was a spectacular silver chariot drawn by white animals. Sometimes two winged steeds pulled the chariot, and at other times two white oxen pulled the chariot.
In the black night sky, Selene’s raven flowing hair floated with the glimmering light from her silver chariot, creating a magnificent silhouette. Her beautiful black hair was crowned with a crescent moon, making her look more goddess-like. Selene’s translucent pale skin shone with an inner light and was visible in the pitch-black night sky. Each night she appeared as if she had been bathing in the sea’s waters, and the stars kissed her shoulders as she emerged.
Selene and Artemis
Selene and Artemis were great friends, Selene, although a Titan goddess, precedes the Olympian gods and goddesses. Nevertheless, she found a friend in Artemis, the goddess of the hunt and a minor goddess of the moon.
The Titan gods and goddesses were the generation of gods and goddesses that ruled the cosmos before the Olympian Gods came to power. The Titans are said to have created the universe and the heavenly cycles.
Artemis and Selene would often be seen together as Selene lit up the night sky for Artemis to hunt. Artemis did not hunt for trophies but hunted to cull the animals and to save the animals when they got hurt by falling off a cliff.
Siblings of the goddess
Selene was the beautiful raven-haired daughter of Hyperion and Theia, two of the original Titans. She had a brother and a sister, making them the trio of the god and goddesses of the sky.
Selene’s father, Hyperion, was the Titan God of heavenly light, and Theia represented the clear blue sky. Their children fittingly were created to rule over the three sources of celestial illumination.
The goddess Eos was the goddess of the dawn and appeared every morning to bring shining rays of light to light up the fields, flowers, and trees and to wake all the sleeping animals. Eos glowed with a warming light and appeared just above the horizon before she announced her younger brother, Helios, the sun god.
Helios was the powerful god of the sun, appearing in the east every morning in his glistening gold chariot drawn by four winged stallions. During the day, he crossed the earth from east to west, disappearing underneath Gaia (the ancient name for the planet in Greek) and reappearing in the east the next morning after Eos had called him.
Selene was not only the goddess of the moon but also the embodiment of the moon, the luminescence, the cycle of the moon, who made the earth whole during the night while the son made the earth whole during the night day.
Selene was worshiped in the sky.
The Greek Gods and Goddesses all had temples dedicated to them on earth, where their dedicated followers visited them and brought them offerings. Selene was different as her followers could worship her anywhere in the night sky. She was visible to all the peoples of the ancient world, and offerings were placed at special shrines during the night to honor her.
Several moon goddesses
The moon was cyclical, and the Greek astronomers calculated calendars according to the moon’s cycle. Therefore, they determined that there could not only be one moon goddess but several other lunar goddesses associated with Selene.
Selene was unique in that she was viewed as the moon itself. The other moon goddesses were associated more with other aspects of the night.
Because the night sky was so vast, and Selene had ‘other’ things o her mind, she would often call on the other goddesses in her domain.
The Lunar goddesses
There were times when the lunar goddesses worked together when there were important alignments of the planets in the skies. All the lunar deities brought together their unique influences over the worlds to bring about these wonderous events.
Since Selene was unique and the orb itself, the other goddesses would follow her instructions to bring about these fantastical occurrences.
Hecate and her followers would sometimes approach Selene to help them during ceremonies and especially when they needed her string magic to perform a universal phenomenon.
Hecate – As a goddess, Hecate was known to be a hellish deity using witchcraft and spells. She had the power to make the moon grow lighter or disappear when she was busy casting spells.
Pandia – It is said that Pandia was the daughter of Selene and Zeus, and at times she was also called Selene when she represented the full moon
Artemis was the goddess of the hunt and protector of all animals, but she was also a goddess of the moon, just as her twin brother was a sun god.
Mene – Mene was the word for moon, and she was the personification of the months. The Greek calendar was based on lunar cycles, and Mene was the personification of the months.
Phoebe – is derived from the word ‘bright’ and is used to describe Selene and some of the elder Titanesses.
The Morai or the Fates
Some myths and legends see three aspects of the lunar goddess: the crescent moon, the full moon, and the dark moon. These phases were considered to be the embodiment of the moon.
The importance of the moon in ancient Greece
The ancient Greeks followed the moon as its movement was central to the concept of the sky as it moved across the night sky.
They also believed that the moon played an integral part in the aspect of people’s lives and influenced humans to act a certain way when the moon was in different phases. The moon, it was believed, also had the power to influence gods and goddesses; such is the love story of Selene.