When people lived with Nature, the changing seasons had a great impact on religious ceremonies. The Moon was seen as a symbol of the Goddess. Because of this, the light of the Moon was considered magickal, and a source of energy. Wiccans often practice magick at a Full Moon to tap into this energy thought to exist at this time.
Plutarch once said "Egyptian priests called the Moon the "Mother of the Universe," because the moon, "having the light which makes moist and pregnant, is promotive of the generation of living beings." The Gnostic sect of Naassians believed in a primordial being known as "the heavenly horn of the moon." The Moon was the Great Mother.
Menos meant "Moon" and "power" to the Greeks. To the Romans, the morality of the Moon Goddess was above that of the Sun God.
In many cultures the Moon Goddess and the Creatress were the same.Polynesians called the Creatress Hina, "Moon." She was the first woman, and every woman is a wahine, made in the image of Hina. Scandinavians sometimes called the Creatress Mardoll, "Moon Shining Over the Sea."
Ashanti people had a generic term used for all their deities, Boshun, meaning Moon. Sioux Native Americans call the moon The Old Woman Who Never Dies. Iroquois call her " Eternal One." Rulers in the Eritrean zone of South Africa held the Goddesses name "Moon." The Gaelic name of the Moon, gealach, came from Gala or Galata, the original Moon-Mother of Gaelic and Gaulish tribes. Britain were called Albion, the milk-white Moon-Goddess. The Moon was called Metra, which means Mother, "whose love penetrated everywhere." In the Basque language, the words for deity and moon are the same.
The root word for both "moon" and "mind" is the Indo-European manas, mana, or men, representing the Great Mother's "wise blood" in women, governed by the Moon. The derivative mania used to mean ecstatic revelation, like lunacy used to mean possession by spirit of Luna, the Moon. To be Moon-Touched or Moon-Struck meant to be chosen by the Goddess. When patriarchal thinkers belittled the Goddess, these words came to mean craziness.
Orphic and Pythagorean sect viewed the Moon as the home of the dead, a female gate known as Yoni. Souls passed through on the way to the paradise fields of the stars. Greeks often located the Elysian Fields, home of the blessed dead, in the moon. The shoes of Toman senators were decorated with ivory crescents to show that after death they would inhabit the Moon. Roman religion taught that "the souls of the just are purified in the Moon." Wearing the crescent was "visual worship" of the Goddess. That was why the prophet Isaiah denounced the wearing of lunar amulets by Zion women.
Because the moon was the holder of souls between reincarnations, it sheltered both the dead and unborn, who were one in the same. If a man dreams of his own image in the Moon, he would become the father of a son. If a woman dreamed of her own image in the Moon, she would have a daughter.
The Moon Goddess created time, with all its cycles of creation; growth, decline, and destruction. This is why ancient calendars were based on phases of the moon and menstrual cycles. The Moon still determines agricultural work in some parts of India. Indonesian moon priestesses were responsible for finding the right phase of the moon for every undertaking.
The Moon was to have been the receptacle of menstrual blood by which each mother formed the life of her child. This sacred, taboo moon-fluid kept even the Gods alive. The moon was "the cup of the fluid of life immortal, quickening the vegetable realm and whatsoever grows in the sub-lunar sphere, quickening also the immortals on high."
The Moon was supposed to rule life and death as well as the tides. People living on the shores were convinced that a baby could only be born on an incoming tide and a person could not die until the tide went out. It was often said birth at a full tide or a full moon meant a lucky life.
Girls in Scotland refused to wed on anything but a Full Moon.
Witches invoked their Goddess by "drawing down the Moon." It is said to be a rite dating back to moon worship in Thessaly, centuries before the Christian era.
The moon has an elliptical orbit. This means that at times it is further away from the earth than at other times in its orbit. It also rotates on its own axis in the same time period as it revolves around the earth. Because of this, we always see the same face of the moon.
~various sources, Maat's Book of Shadows