XV: One, two, three . . . twenty-nine!


To those who may be receiving one of these post-notifications for the first time: This is not a blog; it’s actually part of a book, and will make little sense to you without knowledge of what has come before—which you can easily obtain, along with a goodly amount of satirical theatre as matters progress, by simply entering ttgftyri.org into your web browser, opening the menu, and starting at page one. J.J.


Scene 4

Well, if there was anything left to be discovered up there after all that, Gaim reckons and lets out a deep breath as he finally climbs on, he can’t imagine what it might be—but he figures he should make sure anyway.

And as it turns out, the next priest that he meets can hardly wait to advise him, “I think while you’re up here ogling all these stars, you should take a real good look at the moon.”

* * *

“For should you observe that far more generous night-light—say, late some afternoon way over on the western horizon,” the priest begins as Gaim sighs and duly makes himself comfortable, “—you’ll find it emerging from the gathering dusk as little more than a thin, pale crescent: a shape that neatly fits the arc of your right thumb and forefinger as you stand facing it, and that we might accordingly call the ‘right-handed moon’.

“And of course, moving westward as all things do up there, it’ll barely have time to gain a little color before following the sun over the edge of the earth.

“But then the next evening, it’ll come out a little later—and a little further east—than the night before.

“And the next evening, even more so; and then the next—and meanwhile, the crescent will gradually fill out; until after awhile, you’ll see the moon come out about dark all full and spectacular just above the eastern horizon, and then take all night to reach the western!

“After which, it’ll come over the eastern horizon after dark—later, and then later—while gradually becoming reduced to a thin crescent again; except now, it’ll fit the arc of your left thumb and forefinger. While in the end, it’ll just rise before dawn and quickly become lost in the growing daylight.

“Where it’ll unfortunately remain—ever so deathly pale—until after a few dark, moonless nights, it’ll re-appear in the west, again just before sundown and back in its right-handed configuration, and start the whole thing all over!

“Now then, just how long do you think this new, lunar cycle takes?” the priest asks Gaim when he’s done describing it.

But Gaim has no idea.

“I mean, as a man, I scarcely know what her ‘period’ is all about,” he admits, “—but it’s certainly plain enough to me that She who created woman in her own image, and no doubt controls everything else down here, is none other than Our Lady of the Moon!”

“Well I’ve been keeping track of it,” the priest assures him, “and the fact is, it takes about twenty-nine days to get from one new moon to the next—which just happens to be about the same amount of time that woman takes to go from one of her periodic, mysterious vaginal bleedings to the next.

Scene 5

Then he notes that in light of the lunar cycle, his new, more sophisticated calendar naturally divided the year into distinct moon-periods, or months—as in ‘moon’ and ‘menses’.

“Let the first new moon after the arrival of the rain-constellation be the first month,” he declares further, “—and of course, the beginning of the lunar year. While we’ll call that month February: from an old root denoting smoke, as in the traditional springtime purification of the world by fire.

“And then three months later will come May—really just another word for mother—thus marking the beginning of summer. Whence people will likely come to celebrate the first day of that month, or ‘May Day’, as entering that most bountiful season.

“Whereas six months after that—precisely on the last day of summer, or eve of fall—they’ll probably tell their children some wild story about how they’d actually seen the Earth-mother leaving in her new guise as the Hag, oh yes appropriately clad in black and all hatted up in this triangular symbol of the Great Mountain of it all as she finally rode her old, worn broom off into the west, accompanied by her personal black house cat, squarely against the last moon of her season.

Scene 6

“However, I hadn’t been using my new, lunar calendar very long,” the priest continues more seriously after a moment, “before I discovered that it actually had a few problems.

“For instance, eventually I had to admit that the lunar cycle really lasted twenty-nine and a half days; and so for practical purposes, I soon found myself forced to settle for alternating ‘months’ of twenty-nine and thirty days in order to keep up with everything.

“And then, inasmuch as the visible moon was divided into three main phases—the right-handed moon, full moon, and left-handed moon—I sought to divide the month itself into three weeks: a word simply meaning ‘to change’.

“But while the thirty-day months readily submitted to that,” he noted further, “of course, the twenty-nine proved much less cooperative.

“And so I finally had to settle for three nine-day weeks, plus a short, two or three day end-of-the-month intercalary period that I declared was to be associated with the Moon-lady’s own death and passage through the underworld.

“But the problem that really threatened to ruin me,” he sighs, “is that while the traditional New Year’s Day—based as it is on the arrival of the rain-constellation—indeed comes around every three hundred sixty-five days, that number isn’t even remotely divisible by twenty-nine or thirty, or even twenty-nine and a half; meaning that there was little chance of my own New Year’s Day ever coinciding with the original, stellar one.

“Or to put it another way, since twenty-nine and a half goes into three hundred sixty-five twelve times with eleven left over, even the best case scenario will leave an awkward partial month—an unfortunately incomplete thirteenth, if you will—at the end of the year.

“And so I had to come up with some new formula—howsoever exotic—that would keep my own calendar from falling out of step with the seasons!

“Of course, it occurred to me that I might try alternating twelve- and thirteen-month years; but over time, that promised to become very messy, and in the end, hardly more accurate.

“And so I finally came up with the idea of inserting seven extra months at various points over every nineteen years—which is the system now used almost everywhere.”

Scene 7

Then he leads Gaim to a statue of Our Lady with her head neatly framed against the lunar disc—and even offered to exlain one of the moon’s intriguing shadows.

“I’m sorry to report that even after I’d unmistakably identified the moon as the real Divine One,” he sighs wearily, “at least one man around here remained reluctant to give it up as his symbol of the Lord.

“And so she decided to teach him a lesson by allowing that he could indeed keep it for that purpose—if only he might first uproot the Tree of Life from it.

“Whence you may still see him struggling with that today,” the priest points toward the sky, “—since no matter how much he might manage to loosen it during the waning part of the month, of course he always finds it returning to full strength with the waxing of the next.”


While today a number of scientific experiments—including one involving over seven million participants—have firmly established that the lunar cycle and women’s average menstrual cycle are basically equal in length, there’s some controversy as to exactly why that should be.

Among several theories that have been offered down through the years, my personal favorite is the one claiming that it derives from the moon’s influence on the tides, whose monthly rhythm may well have been picked up by the early forms of life in the sea.

Whatever the case, as one might expect—given this startling realization during the Stone Age that there was some kind of correlation between women and the moon—inquiry into the matter of female deities reveals that more of them have been identified with the moon down through the Ages than with almost any other facet of Nature, save only the earth itself.

With some reluctance, I’ve managed to whittle my own collection down to the following.

_________________________

  • Achelois: early Greek moon deity
  • Aega: early Greek moon deity
  • Aialila’axa: early Mexican moon deity
  • Aine of Knockaine: ancient Irish moon deity
1. Aine of Knockaine
  • Anahita: Persian river, stars, moon deity
  • Anatis: early Egyptian moon deity
  • Anchimayén: Mapuche Chilean moon deity
  • Andriamahilala: Madagascar moon deity
  • Anumati: Hindu moon deity
  • Anunitu: Mesopotamian moon deity
  • Aponibolinayen: Philippine moon deity
  • Arava: early Roman moon deity
  • Arawa: moon deity of Kenya’s Suk people and Uganda’s Pokot
  • Arianrhod: ancient Celtic moon deity whose name means ‘Silver Wheel’
2. Arianrhod
  • Asherali: Cannaannite moon deity
  • Ashima: ancient Semitic moon deity
  • Ashtaroth: Phoenecian moon deity
  • Astarte: ancient Syrian moon deity
  • Ategina: ancient Iberian moon deity
  • Athenesic: moon deity of several Native North American peoples
  • Auchimalgen: Chilean moon deity
  • Ayauhteot: Aztec moon deity
  • Belili: Mesopotamian moon deity
  • Bendis: early Greek moon deity
  • Bomo Rambi: Zimbabwe moon deity
  • Borghild: Norse moon deity
  • Brigantis: Celtic moon deity
3. Brigantis
  • Britomartis: ancient Cretan moon deity
  • Bulan: Indonesian moon deity
  • Caelestis: Carthaginean moon deity
  • Cerridwen: ancient Celtic deity of waning moon
  • Chang-o: Chinese moon deity
  • Chang Xi: Chinese moon deity
  • Chía: Chibcha moon deity
  • Chuh Kamuy: Chinese moon deity
  • Coyolxauhqui: Aztec moon deity

4. Coyolxauhqui
Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City
  • Dae-Soon: Korean moon deity
  • Derketo: Chaldean moon deity
  • Dewi Ratih: Balinese moon deity
  • Duan Luteh: ancient Irish moon deity
  • Electryone: ancient Greek moonmdeity
  • Fatima: ancient Syrian moon deity
  • Gleti: Fon Benin moon deity
  • Gungu: Persian deity of new moon
  • Hanwi: Ogala Sioux moon deity
  • Hecate: ancient Greek moon deity specially associated with its waning and dark phases
  • Hina: Polynesian moon deity
5. Hina
  • Hov Ava: Russian moon deity
  • Huitaca: Colombian moon deity; special protectress of women
  • Hunthaca: Guatamalan moon deity
  • Ilargi: Basque moon deity; held to be a daughter of the Earth-mother, to whom she returns daily
  • iNyanga: Zulu moon deity
  • Ix Ahau: Mayan moon deity
  • Ix Chel: Mayan moon deity
6. Ix Chel
  • Ix Ch’up: Mayan moon deity
  • Ix Chebel Yax: Mayan moon deity
  • Jezanna: Central African moon deity
  • Ka Ata Killa: Peruvian moon deity
  • Komorkis: Blackfoot moon deity
  • Kovava: Morvin moon deity
  • Kueyen: Mapuche Chilean moon deity
  • Kuutar: Finnish moon deity; first three letters of her name = Finnish word for ‘moon’, last three = ‘female’
  • Lasya: Tibetan moon deity
7. Lasya
  • Losna: Etruscan moon deity associated with ocean tides
  • Luna: ancient Roman moon deity
  • Manna: Sami moon deity
  • Marama: Maori moon deity
  • Marina: Slavic moon deity
  • Mawu: Dahomean moon deity
8. Mawu
  • Mayari: Philippine moon deity
  • Metsaka: Huichol Mexican moon deity
  • Nanna: Norse moon deity
  • Nikkal: Syrian moon deity
  • Noctiluca: Spanish moon deity
  • Nsongo: Congo moon deity
  • Pah: Pawnee moon deity
  • Periboriwa: Yanomami Brazilian moon deity
  • Perimb: Brazilian moon deity
  • Poludnitsy: Ukrainian moon deity
  • Quillamama: Inca moon-deity
  • Rhiannon: Celtic moon deity whose name means ‘Queen of the Night
  • Sadarnuna: Sumerian deity of new moon
  • Selardi: Uratu moon-deity
  • Selene: ancient Greek deity of the full moon
9. Selene
  • Sin: Babylonian/Chaldean moon-deity
  • Sina: Samoan moon deity
  • Taio: Lakalai moon deity
  • Tamparawa: Tapirapé Brazilian moon deity
  • Tanit: Carthage moon deity
  • Trivia: ancient Roman deity of full moon
  • Varahi: Hindu new moon deity
  • Xochhiquetzal: Aztec deity originally associated with the moon who eventually came to embody love, marriage, fertility, sex,, sensual pleasure, pregnancy, childbirth, and happiness; specially invoked by Aztec women to make their marriage fruitful
10. Xochhiquetzal
  • Ya’china’ut: Koryak Siberian moon deity
  • Yolkai Estsan: Navajo moon deity
  • Zirna: Etruscan deity of the waxing moon

_________________________

Photo Credits

1: Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/eluneadore/aine-of-knockaine-queen-of-faeries/

2: Amino Apps https://aminoapps.com/c/thehatchlingclan/page/blog/hcccst-arianrhod/z6o1_Z7ZtxuDRDmplr0nY6gewpndKnrnoZZ

3: Time Trips https://www.timetrips.co.uk/rom-art-relief.ht

4: New Lemurians https://newlemurians.wordpress.com/2016/10/08/coyolxauhqui-moon-goddess/

5: Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/pin/61713457364407908/?nic_v1=1beZnqOnY6ddn9p8VtXJSzpMbmDpiXuepfeazTplrBahpAJ4v52aKAb7C%2BPNCAyz5H

6: Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/pin/281193570459425045/?nic_v1=1buhfJU2UUijr%2F3iUoa%2FzQv1aZLKwvIPMrvYgdioPeesvkaJxLC3ZxaPMPR7b2WbN1

7: Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/pin/510032726521028106/?nic_v1=1b02HoomHPml8AJzjUIoPweyHJ96gJSsBFV3lVETBd7Y84ffE3srmqscZ4NkMmUy2h

8: Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/pin/554857616581379730/?nic_v1=1bcXbHJL%2FR%2FvmFEds8%2BuRLboMaBniFsYAYRpUtBErhd67FJlRM9MF5FDE4hTt3rJ0v

9: Wikiwand https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Selene

10. Mythopedia https://mythopedia.com/aztec-mythology/gods/xochiquetzal/

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