We are here to explore the many definitions, scientific facts (a somewhat loose term, in my experience) superstitions and haunting legends of the moon. We want to know what he/she/it means to us and how it/she/he affects us in our physiological, emotional and imaginative well being.
It is a wonder we presume to know so much about genders, as we obviously cannot even agree, after thousands of years, if the moon is in fact, male or female. We are shown the awkward resemblance to a jolly old man’s face in the pitted surface of the moon and it is explained to us that we are looking at the Man in the Moon. Yet when sailors lose their way at sea they sing scathing ballads to their unfaithful temptress Lady Moon. We are told by the Irish (who should know) that the Moon is a harsh mistress….Who’s right? Is she the wild wooing enchantress that makes up the solid scaffolding of all our love poems and songs? Or is he the chuckling old round cheeked bald man who seems to enjoy cheese so much that he’s begun to look like it?? They say we are what we eat, and I for one, have no reason not to believe them.
I suggest we look at this practically. Those who believe her to be a woman are speaking from folk lore, emotional experience, the hear-say of the Irish, and the French language; which, if you ask me, makes a pretty solid case. Those who believe the moon to be a fat, disinterested old man, are basing their theory on two things; what they see with their eyes, and the assumption that all things female and representative of feminine essences are, and forever will be, beautiful. That’s right, because our eyes see a face that is old, pot-marked and bald, we assume that we are looking at a man. We do not seem to be able to believe think that anything feminine could be ugly. This appears to be naught but a blatant inability for us to face reality. Realistically, the person who is or represents the moon is, numerically speaking (whether Roman or Latin) quite old. Assuming for a moment that the Irish are right (it’s happened) and the moon is feminine, we can also assume that, judging by her agelessness and the fact that she’s a moon, she is also and foremost, a witch.
I believe I can speak for the experience of humankind in general when I say that we know witches come in all different shapes, ages and degrees of physical attractiveness. Sometimes they come in all of them at once. But certainly the older the witch the more multi-layerd she is and the more difficult for us to understand. And this, I believe is where the answer to our problem lies, (because obviously I have just solved a 3000 year old point of contentious conflict and confusion) for there are times we look at the sky and see a cackling old woman who’d just as soon play a trick on us as notice us, and sometimes we see a young lady of astounding beauty who leaves us aching for a world we know nothing about, and sometimes we only see clouds, as she hides herself a way like a frightened child.
Of a night – any night that has darkness to it – we look at the moon, see a woman with more layers to her than a french pastry, and are forced to admit that in the end the Irish were right.