Selene

Selene, Queen of the Starlit Heavens, is the ancient Greek goddess of the moon. She carries the moon across the sky in a white chariot driven by winged horses or bulls. She is the totality of the moon, with its waxing into fullness and waning into darkness. Selene fell in love with a mortal, Endymion. When she descended to the earth to join Endymion, he fell into a deep sleep from which he never awoke. Selene continued to visit him nightly.

In later Greek mythology Selene represented the full moon, while Artemis represented the crescent or waxing moon and Hecate the waning and dark moon; hence Selene is Phoebe, meaning "bright, shining." She is traditionally represented with the crescent moon as a diadem. Selene represents the fullness of life, incorporating all phases of light and darkness in her shining. Selene was worshipped as the source of fertility and as the receiver of the souls of the dead, for death and regeneration are two sides of a coin, two faces of the moon.


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Ⓒ The Susan Eleanor Boulet Trust (illustration)
Ⓒ Text copyright Michael Babcock