Marvel Studios’ Egyptian-themed superhero show starring Oscar Isaac and Ethan Hawke, “Moon Knight,” just wrapped its first season on Disney+ last week and we’re still wondering if all of this hasn’t changed. was just a dream or a waking nightmare.
Created by Marvel writer Doug Moench and artist Don Perlin, Moon Knight first appeared in the pages of “Werewolf by Night #32” in 1975. His origin story revealed that the Jewish Navy and ex -CIA mercenary Marc Spector had been left for dead after a mission. in Sudan ended in a massacre. Spector is resurrected by mystical powers derived from the statue of Khonshu, the Egyptian moon god.
Reborn as the mummy-wrapped Moon Knight, the “Fist of Khonshu” brings justice to wrongdoers and battles dissociative identity disorder as he comes to terms with his deadly avatar duties.
But Khonshu is not the only moon god in the luminous pantheon of moon-centric deities. Humanity’s fascination with the moon has spawned moon gods and goddesses from Japanese, Hawaiian, Chinese, Aztec, Greek, Indian, Roman, Inuit, and Norse civilizations spread across the annals of time.
Let’s explore nine other pagan moon-themed idols representing our bright pale satellite to find out how they stack up…
Hina – Hawaiian
According to ancient Hawaiian legends, Hina is well known as the graceful and alluring moon goddess. She is a symbol of feminine power and strength and is often aligned with the colors white and silver. Hina was renowned for making the softest Kapa cloth in all of Hawai’i. This premium fabric was in such demand that Hina eventually ran out and left the islands to soar through the skies and light up on a rainbow. Believing that the sun was too hot for her liking, she jumped over another rainbow and traveled to the moon, where she felt instantly at home with her cold beauty and stayed there forever. .
Chang’e – Chinese
Chang’e is the Chinese moon goddess whose name translates to “pretty young woman” and who once lived in the Moon Palace. Her origin story reveals that she drank an elixir of immortality given to her husband, the legendary archer Houyi. Prior to her transformation into a moon goddess, Chang’e was said to be a prized beauty imbued with pale skin, ebony hair, and lips red like cherry blossoms. The moon holds special importance to Chinese culture and its images are found in all their festivals, rituals and ceremonies. When China launched its first lunar probe in 2007, it named the robotic spacecraft Chang’e 1 in his honor.
Artemis – Greek
Represented as a young huntress with a bow and a quiver full of arrows, Artemis is the daughter of Zeus and the twin sister of Apollo. As the guardian of wild animals, hunting and the moon, she resided in the places of nature to fortify herself with her energy and strength. This moon goddess has attracted followers called Amazons, a name which means “women of the moon”, who pray and are devoted to the deity and worship the new phase of the moon. NASA rightly chose the name Artemis for its moon-related program due to the return of humans to the lunar surface by 2025.
Tsukuyomi is the main moon god of Japanese mythology and Shinto religion. He is a deity of order and beauty and was the ex-husband of the sun goddess Amaterasu, whom he continuously follows in the sky every day. Its name comes from the term “moon reading”, which was an activity in the royal courts of ancient Japan where nobles stayed up all night gazing at the moon and reading poems. As a god of serene beauty, Tsukuyomi is often seen as a negative figure in Shinto and Japanese folklore who holds a unique place among moon deities as most are associated with the female form.
Diana – Roman
Diana is the Roman equivalent of the Greek moon goddess, Artemis. Roman artists often depict Diana as a huntress with a bow and quiver, accompanied by a hound or stag. Representing wild animals and hunting, its name is derived from the Latin words meaning “sky” and “bright”. Diana was also considered a fertility deity used by women to aid in conception and healthy childbirth. The phases of the moon are a reflection of the mercurial nature of Diana at the heart of her identity.
Coyolxauhqui – Aztec
In Aztec mythology, Coyolxauhqui was the sacred moon goddess whose name means “Golden Bells” or “Painted With Bells”. As the daughter of the Earth Goddess, Coatlicue, and the Sun God’s sister, Huitzilopochtli, Coyolxauh who tricked her four hundred sisters and brothers into murdering their shameful pregnant mother. To form the sphere of the moon and avoid the plot to kill his mother, the violent warrior Huitzilopochtli cut off Coyolxauhqui’s head and threw it into the sky. This myth of beheading symbolizes the daily victory of the sun over the moon and the stars.
Chandra – Indian
Chandra is the Hindu god of the moon and his name is interpreted as “shining or moon”. It is also known as Soma and is related to night, plants and vegetation. Artists have depicted him as a handsome two-armed man holding a club and a lotus. He drives his lunar chariot across the sky each night, pulled by a team of ten white horses or a single magnificent antelope. Besides being seen with horses and antelopes, the rabbit is also a sacred animal to Chandra, making him also the protector of all rabbits. Another of her duties is as a member of the fertility gods.
Mani – Norse
Norse mythology tells stories of Sol and Mani, sister deities of the Sun and Moon who led celestial bodies on their celestial paths. This sister and brother couple were very beautiful and each drove their own horse-drawn chariot representing the divided parts of the day. Mani is another male moon god and his Norse tale originated as part of the pre-Christian Germanic religion. A certain thread has Mani being chased across the night sky by an angry wolf, with close encounters with the beast being what causes a lunar eclipse.
Aningen – Inuit
Among the Inuit tribes of Greenland, Anningan is considered their main moon god. From her great igloo in the sky, Aningen appears each night to chase her sister Malina, the Sun Goddess, through the darkened sky. To explain the waxing and waning phases of the moon, his obsession with catching his sister often led to distraction when it came to eating regular meals. Aningen is also known as Igaluk in other Inuit regions of Alaska and the Arctic.
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