We’ve been learning about Selene, the Greek Goddess of the Moon. But I believe Moon worship is truly universal no matter what culture or location.
One of the most prominent examples of lunar worship is the symbolism of the Crescent Moon in Turkic and Arab culture. For this week’s Witchy Challenge, I decided to share some information about lunar traditions around the world.
The Turks and the Crescent Moon
Many Islamic nations have a crescent moon on their flags, such as: Turkey, Uzbekistan, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Pakistan, Singapore, Mauritania, Malaysia, Maldives, Comoros, Azerbaijan and Algeria.
The Byzantines were the first to use the crescent moon a symbol of protection and to include it in their flags. Their worship of the moon has its origin amid the expansion and conquest by Christian forces. ✞
The legend tells that Philip II of Macedon was about to invade the city of Byzantium for its strategic location. He opted for a night assault, which would allow him to besiege the city without being seen.
Philip waited for a suitable night and quietly led his army towards the walls of the city. As soon as their climb began, the clouds dispersed in the sky and a crescent moon suddenly shone, exposing their strategy.
As thanks and in commemoration of that day, the Moon became the emblem of the city. Since then there was no ornament, jewel or art in Byzantium that did not bear the Moon as a distinctive sign.
Later, when the Ottoman Turks took over the city, they were fascinated by its elegance. Due to their eternal struggle against the Christians, upon learning of the legend, they incorporated the Moon into their flag and endowed it with magical powers and moral strength. For them, the Moon would shine again whenever they were in danger and its strength would revitalize them.
Moon Worship in Islam
When Islam emerged in the Arab peninsula, it came at a time where many of the desert trade routes were traveled by night because during the day the heat would reach unbearable heights. The moon’s light was enough to help them navigate, and these caravan leaders relied on the moon to tell them what day of the month was and gave them directions.
The concept of Moon Water may have its origins in certain Islamic rituals that revolve around Moon worship. To absorb lunar energy through water, they would fill a silver container (a metal symbolic of the moon) with water where the full Moon would be reflected.
Some historians also have argued that “Allah” was the name of a moon god in pre-Islamic Arabic mythology. The use of a lunar calendar and the prevalence of crescent moon imagery in Islam is said by some to be the origin of this hypothesis. - Source
Other Lunar Deities
Khonsu: Egyptian god of the Moon
Artemis: Greek goddess of the Moon
Diana: Roman goddess of the Moon
Luna: Roman embodiment of the Moon
Máni: Norse personification of the Moon
Wiccan Goddess: Triple goddess of the Moon
Tsukuyomi: Japanese moon god
Coyolxauhqui: Aztec goddess of the Moon
Mama Killa: Incan goddess of the Moon
Chandra: Lunar deity in Hinduism
Chang’e: Chinese goddess of the Moon