The Moon to most dwellers of the Earth appears as a large, cool, glowing ball that rises in the East, passes through the sky, and sets in the west, about 1° earlier each day. Only the half of the moon lit by the Sun is visible, so that the Moon often appears as a crescent of light. In former times the Moon was often believed to be a person on some sort of craft, perhaps a boat or chariot, who passed through the sky by day and returned to the east again on a flood of water on the Earth or beneath the Earth. The Moon is considered to be male in some cultures and female in others. In many cultures the Moon was considered to be the second-lowest orbiting of the seven Planetary Gods.
That the Moon’s cycle of 29½ days corresponds closely to the human female menstrual cycle means that mythologically there is often a connection made between the two. In fact this seems to only be a coincidence as in animals that have similar cycles lengths of the cycle vary widely.
The Moon According to ScienceEdit
The Moon is factually a large sphere composed mostly of dark rock. Its diameter is ¼ that of Earth and its mass is ¹∕₈₁ that of the Earth. The Moon orbits the Earth, with approximately 29½ days between phase cycles. The orbit itself is about 27.3 days in respect to the fixed stars. The mean distance of the Moon from the Earth varies from around 356,400 km to 406,700 km. The full Moon from Earth appears to be the almost the same size as the Sun, sometimes slightly smaller and sometimes slightly larger
The Moon’s gravitational attraction is the main cause of tides, but the relationship is not an obvious one.
Moon Gods and GoddessesEdit
The Moon was formerly often thought to be a god or goddess who traveled through the sky. The Moon was thought to be female according to Classical Mythology where she was called Luna, by the Welsh where she is called Lleuad, and by the Irish where she is called Gealach. The Moon is male in Germanic culture where he is called Mōna in Old English and Mone in Middle English. Lawman in his Brut lists Mone as one of the deities worshiped by Hengist.
Sometimes within a mythology there may be more than one moon deity, or at least disagreement as to which deity is really the Moon. The word Lunar is often used of a deity or hero/heroine who portrays some traits of the Sun in his or her story.