Welcome to one of our newest features, “Moon Sedai knows (Almost) Everything.” As many of you know, I’ve been the primary writer for Land of the Nerds for close to two years, and in that time, I’ve written about a variety of topics. I’m by no means the smartest person in the world, but I know quite a bit about a lot of stuff. Call it a side effect of my massive education and experience.
In this column, I will answer questions from our readers, explore new areas of Nerddom, and discuss whatever random stuff that comes to mind these days. These blogs will represent me pouring my mind down on digital paper, spewing out a lot of what I know about the topic/question of the week.
Since this is my first issue of “Moon Sedai Knows Everything” I don’t have a question to answer, so I am going to pick a topic.
Today, Moon Sedai will tell you a little bit about …
The Moon. Why not?
Yesterday, NASA revealed this video, showing us the Dark Side of the Moon.
I, for one, was almost sad it didn’t look like this:
Cheesy? Yeah Cheesy.
Speaking of Cheese, there was an old fable of the ‘Simpleton’ who saw a reflection of the moon in a pool of water and thought it was made of green cheese.
Guess what? It’s not. (As the astronauts who landed in the Apollo mission could tell you, it’s made of rock).
Speaking of Apollo…. there’s more to the moon in myth and legend than the idea of Green Cheese.
In Greek Mythology, the goddess Artemis was the Goddess of the Moon, twin of the Sun, Apollo. She was a maiden huntress, and had a crown shaped like a crescent moon (a Lunate crown), seen on other Moon goddesses, like the Roman Diana.
Her bow was shaped like the waxing moon.
A popular story of Artemis was that she helped her mother Leto deliver her brother Apollo, and later became a goddess of Childbirth, helping women deliver despite her eternal virginity.
Another story of Artemis involved one of her sacred animals, the bear. She had a holy bear, tamed for the people of Athens. After girls of the city agitated the bear, it attacked, and was killed by the brother of one of the girls. She sent a plague for vengeance, and to stop the plague, the young women of Athens had to “play the bear” for the goddess.
Whatever that meant. Why do I bring up the Bear part? Because this is the cool part.
The latin word for “Bear” is “Ursa,” as we see in the names of constellations like Ursa Major and Ursa Minor. (Big Dipper and Little Dipper).
It is also the root of the name Ursula.
I’m thinking about this Ursula:
This is Phoebe and Ursula, the twins played by Lisa Kudrow in the TV Show Friends (and in Mad About You).
Phoebe is a feminine version of Phoebus, the epithet/Name of guess who?
Artemis’s twin, Apollo. The sun and moon are often tied together as twins (or siblings) in mythology: the Mayan Hero Twins, Sol and Mani to the Norse (Sol is female, Mani the male), and Amaterasu(Female Sun) and Tsuki Yomi (Male Moon) in Japan, to name others.
But my point with that is that when you’re watching Friends, in the few episodes with Phoebe and Ursula, you can see twins named for the Sun and Moon… kind of.
Another fun thing about Bears… And a tie-in to my novel (cough #shamelessplug). The name Arthur means “Bear.” (Arthur is the name of my male Artemis in my book series, Phoebe is his sister.)
But, Back to the Moon
The Moon is tied to women’s fertility in mythology: Artemis may be a Goddess of Childbirth, but Juno (Roman Hera, also a childbirth goddess) is also a lunar goddess.
And women’s fertility cycles are 28 days long: the length of a lunar month.
Insanity is linked with the moon (hence Lunacy) and to the transformation of werewolves (a storytelling symbol of mental and physical instability… a subject for a later blog).
When I was a child, I asked my dad why we can see the moon in the daytime.
He said “It’s how you know your daddy is watching you.”
A little weird, I know.
But actually, it’s some boring science reason that I could tell you, but won’t. Cause I like my new answer better.
It’s because the Moon wakes up early and wants to go outside and play with the Sun.
Why all this random facts of information about the Moon? I don’t know. Maybe it’s because it is Monday, maybe it’s because it’s part of my handle, and maybe it is just because I saw this cool video and thought about the Moon. The Moon is beautiful, the moon is primal, the moon is awesome.
So that’s it… That’s what Moon Sedai knows about the Moon.
If you have any questions you would like me to answer, please feel free to contact me via email or our Contact Us form!
Think of this like an Ask Me Anything… Ask me, and I’ll answer.