This article is by S. Yurvati.
Okay, so we all know the moon isn’t really made of cheese—which really bummed me out as girl born in Wisconsin. However, it’s the most transcendent of all heavenly bodies and certainly offers copious sources of fanciful fodder for an author.
Ancient cultures and mythology typically portray the moon as mystical and capable of influence over Earth. The moon is also generally portrayed as feminine, which makes perfect sense considering the attributes listed above. Lovers consider the full moon romantic; after all it offers soft luminescence to an otherwise dark night (and what woman doesn’t appreciate flattering lighting?). And those flickering stars frame the moon like twinkle lights, and who doesn’t enjoy a little bling mixed in with romance? Preferably on the left hand, please.
Not so many years past, the moon became a tempting dessert to the hungry ambitions of scientists, meteorologists, and engineers—exploration soon became fruition. When Astronauts ventured into space they haughtily assumed proprietorship and planted a flag, which might indicate we are a pompous and rude bunch. Neil Armstrong’s words became infamous, as he proudly declared, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”
Sadly those ‘small steps’ into space exploration left a ‘giant’ carbon footprint. The moon’s surface was left littered with everything from plastic bags of urine and feces to tons of machinery. You might say humans make terrible houseguests, or that we aren’t house broken!
But wait . . . let’s back up eons of calendars ago before mankind ventured to the skies, when Gods and Goddesses ruled. Deities were neither gentle of hand nor merciful of heart. In fact their gene pool seemed, shall we say, a wee bit polluted?
Technology became addictive. New discoveries became more valuable to man than archaic memories of celestial deities. After all, why trek bushels of fruit to the base of an idol when Amazon delivers, right? Eventually Gods faded from the minds of humans altogether, much like outdated VCRs, folding road maps, and pagers.
Despite advances in science, some still consider a full moon the courier to mayhem. Others consider moonbeams capable of beckoning the rise of evil creatures to do vile deeds. And if a full moon creates suspicion, how ominous is a moon the color of blood? A blood moon. Not that anyone in this century is superstitious or afraid of what might lurk in the dark, then again, what is under the bed, other than a dust bunny and that lost slipper? Want to reach under and find out?
This fable explains the birth of blood moons.
At the close of each day the Sun God takes his leave from Earth, often in a rather spectacular show of color, as males are wont to do. Some say if the flaunting Sun God were a bird, he’d be a peacock.
Only after his leave does the Moon Goddess lift her luminous face to the planet below. Alone and bored she spends uncounted hours watching the lives of mortal men and how they share passion with their females. When they couple, they oft beget children. This fascinates her and the Goddess considers human women fortunate to know the tender touch of a man and to bear his offspring. After millenniums, times millenniums, of watching, the Moon Goddess grew obsessed by that which she lacked—a man’s affection. The desire feels essential to her, as does the craving for a man to fill her womb with his seed.
Object of desire
One night, when the moon was fullest and therefore closest to Earth, the Goddess broke the Laws of Nature and visited the planet in the form of a woman. Silvery-white silken hair swept to her ankles and strands swayed as if the gentle breeze had invisible fingers that caressed her hair. Her eyes were a crystalline blue only found in the heavens.
She began to wander through villages until she came upon the most handsome human man she’d even seen. Thinking him magnificent, the Goddess wanted to be pleasured by him—and she was. This was the first time she’d felt a human’s touch and it was exquisite. Knowing this was a forbidden, the Goddess could not stay with him, only visit on the fullest moon when she could easily reach Earth unnoticed. At daybreak she made a promise to return at the next full moon to rekindle their passion.
Alas, the jealous nature of the Sun God interfered with her plans. Always he’d lusted for the beautiful Moon Goddess and could not tolerate her dalliance with another—certainly not with a mere inconsequential human. The Sun God threatened the Goddess, saying she must remain in the Heavens, as was her place, never to return to her human lover, else he’d divulge her liaison.
They argued much about it.
The Sun God sulked and refused to show his face to Earth for a week of days, then with a flare of anger he treated the Earth harshly with heat beyond any the world had known. Anger and jealousy caused turmoil and ruined crops.
Meanwhile, the Moon Goddess studied the ways of man and craved for her lover’s seed to grow within her. Then she too could share the joy of conceiving a child—a babe to love and hold to her bosom. The decision required she risk another visit to the human male, which she freely and unwisely did the following full moon.
The male welcomed her beauty and filled her womb many times with his seed until she felt certain it would take root within her. Now she too would share the blessed gift of birthing life, as women of Earth did.
The risks from the Sun God’s threats to expose her dalliance was well understood, therefore she dared not return to see her lover for nine moons—until the day she was ready to give birth.
When the Sun God learned of her mating and conceiving with a lowly human male spawn, jealousy and grief besieged him. Always he’d coveted the Moon Goddess and felt she should rightfully be his. He held the pride of a God and could not tolerate the thought of any halfling born from the womb of the Goddess he loved.
And so he plotted until he found a manner to extract vengeance.
Come the day of birthing, the Moon Goddess bore twins. A male and female, and they were said to be perfect, beautiful babes beyond compare. Her limited time on Earth was waning and despite great love for her young, her lover begged she leave them with him until returning on the following full moon.
The thought was heartrending but she agreed he might have them the first month and then she the next. Admittedly, the Goddess knew nothing of the care of infants or nurturing of humans. Her lover swore to care for their babes and for her to return as quickly as possible so they could have a proper naming ceremony for their twins.
Not a god to let his male pride be bruised, the Sun God made a pact with the Earth Mother who had always longed for his attention. He was considered extremely handsome of form and she found his godly power alluring. Verily, the Earth Mother could never consort with the Sun God due to his fiery nature. To do so meant the sacrifice of her entire domain and all life within would perish, engulfed in flames. The liaison could never be, her deep longing for him never fulfilled.
The Sun Good and Earth Mother rationalized that the Moon Goddess had done an unnatural act therefore they were justified as they conspired, deliberated, and deemed their plan unbiased. And so night after night the sky remained cloaked with inky clouds. Earth was shuttered from the Moon Goddess. Not even her stars could light the way to the land below due to the blanket of dark clouds that snuffed all light.
Daylight hours were no less punishing as sand-saturated wind pelted the Earth. The ongoing assault against the land kept the Goddess from gazing upon her babes. She fretted and was impatient to return to her beloved babes and man. The moon cycled to its fullest and she descended to Earth ready to be in her lover’s arms and embrace her beloved twins.
What she beheld shocked her soul.
Proof of the Sun God’s jealousy in consort with the covetousness of the Earth Mother was evident. During the Moon Goddess’ time away all crops had withered from unrelenting heat, pitiless lack of rain, and constant dry winds. How difficult to believe that her sister goddess, the Earth Mother, had sacrificed her own creations and allowed destruction of her land out of malice and jealousy. How bitter the Earth Mother must have been to condone destruction to that which she nurtured from her very bosom. No life remained within the wind battered village, now likened to a titan tomb.
The Goddess walked through the desolate land and saw only remnants of life it once held. What had been healthy animals were now rotten carcasses. Human bodies were strewn carelessly as if broken dolls. It seemed no life had been considered precious enough to shield.
How could any living form survive when all life within Earth Mother’s domain required water? The Sun God and Earth Mother had transpired against the Moon Goddess in a cruel manner. Once she’d believed them friends, no longer.
When the Goddess opened the door to the small house where she’d birthed the twins and witnessed their first breathes of life, she saw two tiny dried husks wrapped in swaddling. The same cloth she’d wrapped her precious babes in. Her newborn babies, like all this land, had suffered without milk or sustenance. Lives of innocent beauty and soft cooing sounds were replaced by mummified silence.
What had been done broke her heart and she questioned when deities had become so cold of heart, so dispassionate about mankind? Her query was met with the heavy silence of death.
Mourning and steeped in despair, the Goddess carried her dead babes into the night sky. The twins were interred amongst heavenly stars. In this manner she could gaze upon the twin stars and remember the miracle of birthing her young. Reminisce on what might have been.
Pain occupied her and copious tears flowed from her crystalline-blue eyes. When tears ran dry they were replaced with blood, which ran freely from her tear ducts. Blood covered her hands and gown; eventually it encased the entire surface of the moon turning the surface red. Her grief was evident for all to behold and she vowed to display her loss of motherhood proudly.
Unable to extract revenge, for she had indeed broken the Laws of Nature, she decided to confer a gift to mankind. The Moon Goddess maintained a kind but wounded heart. Her gift to mankind would signify that which selfish Gods had stolen from her—deities who no longer understood love, or the wonder of creation between a man and woman.
Eons later and still the Goddess mourn her babes. When the grief becomes too punishing she sends a blood moon to all women who crave to hold a child to their breast. The blood moon creates a night of intensified passion and heightened fertility, and on that night no man can refuse his woman his seed. It is said that if a blood offering is made to the Moon Goddess she bestows twins to the couple.
Despite the painful loss, her heart still bestows kindness towards mankind. And when the moon turns red all know that she still grieves with tears of blood, even as she provides the gift of the blood moon to other females.
Whether we peer upward to the celestial heavens or down to beneath a fallen leaf, the opportunities to devise worlds or characters is endless. Imagine all the untold story opportunities from bygone ages. Sometimes a writer might realize that a fable can present a far more interesting method of explaining a topic of interest. Consider these thoughts:
If a Goddess wished to conceive a child with a human what lengths might she go to?
The Moon Goddess suffered severely for her indiscretion and the Sun God’s jealousy. The outcome could have been much different.
How might the Moon Goddess respond to the impertinence of mankind at leaving their refuse at her doorstep?
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