Skip to main content

10 Interesting Myths and Legends About the Moon

I enjoy writing about the ancient myths and stories that have shaped our collective history.

Countless legends and myths have been told about the moon throughout history.

Countless legends and myths have been told about the moon throughout history.

Moon Myths

The moon is a powerful force of nature. Just step outside in the middle of the night, when the sky is clear and the moon is full, and look it for a moment. You won’t be able to deny its intense, magical power. And people throughout time haven’t been able to deny it either. In fact, the moon is a central part of many myths and legends across different cultures precisely because of it.

Take a look at these ten moon legends to get a better sense of how different people see its beauty and wonder.

10 Legends About the Moon

  1. Chang'e
  2. Moon Rabbit
  3. Selene/Luna
  4. Tecciztecatl
  5. Anningan
  6. Mawu
  7. Soma
  8. Rona
  9. Ixchel
  10. Werewolves

1. Chang'e (China)

There is a very famous Chinese myth about a woman who is said to live on the moon. There are different variations of the myth, but the basic story is that she and her husband were once immortal beings who were made mortal because of their bad behavior. They then attempted to achieve immortality again through the use of a pill, but Chang'e got greedy and took too much of the pill and ended up floating up to the moon where she remained stuck forever. She is the subject of much Chinese poetry and is one of the central reasons for celebration each autumn during the Chinese Moon Festival.

2. Moon Rabbit (China/Korea/Japan)

This is an interesting myth because it crosses across several different cultures. The moon rabbit or jade rabbit is said to be one of the companions that Chang'e eventually was allowed to have with her on the moon. However, it is also a symbol that shows up in myths about the moon in Korea and in Japan.

A statue of Luna, the Roman equivalent of Selene, holding a torch with the crescent symbol of the moon on her forehead.

A statue of Luna, the Roman equivalent of Selene, holding a torch with the crescent symbol of the moon on her forehead.

3. Selene/Luna (Greek and Roman)

These are the names of the Moon Goddess in Greek and Roman mythology, respectively. In the myths associated with these goddesses, the goddess is paired with the god of the sun (Helios in Greek mythology, Sol in Roman mythology). He travels throughout the day, and she takes over the journey at night. She is typically considered to be a passionate goddess who takes many lovers and who represents the desire associated with the moon.

A drawing of Tecciztecatl from the Codex Borgia, an ancient Mesoamerican manuscript.

A drawing of Tecciztecatl from the Codex Borgia, an ancient Mesoamerican manuscript.

4. Tecciztecatl (Aztec)

Not all of the deities associated with the moon are goddesses. This is an example of a male god that is associated with the moon. What is interesting about the myths surrounding him are how many of the same symbols from different moon myths are found in the stories about him. Although he was an Aztec god, there are associations with the Asian cultures (he was a rabbit, for example, associating him with the aforementioned Moon Rabbit) and even associations with modern-day moon myths like the story of the “man on the moon.”

5. Anningan (Inuit)

The Inuit people of northern regions like Alaska and Greenland have a rather horrifying myth about the moon. They believe that Anningan (also called Igaluk or Aningaaq), the Moon God, raped his sister, the Sun Goddess. Worse, they believe that he is still trying to chase her down to possess her. That’s why he follows her in the sky every day. The waxing and waning of the moon is explained as Anningan chasing her until he is starving and then disappearing for a bit to hunt for food to have the energy to come back to chase her again.

6. Mawu (Africa)

A much happier couple-based story about the moon is this myth from Africa which says that Mawu is a moon good who is forever linked in unity with the sun goddess Liza. It is believed that lunar and solar eclipses are related to the lovemaking times of the celestial couple. This myth is clearly about the power of the moon, the sun, the sky and love and desire.

7. Soma (Hindu)

This is a Hindu god that is associated with the moon. It’s interesting because of the fact that there are several additional symbols that we see here that are commonly associated with the moon. In Hindu art, Soma is sometimes an embryo and sometimes a bull. Fertility is frequently associated with the moon. The bull is also a symbol that has shown up as related to the moon across cultures. The main thing about Soma though is its link with the moon as an elixir. Soma is the name of a drink said to be consumed by the Gods. Interestingly, the moon rabbit who lives on the moon with Chang’e in the Chinese myth is also an elixir-making symbol.

8. Rona (New Zealand)

This is a story that comes from the Maori tribe in New Zealand. The story is about a young woman named Rona who displeased the moon so the moon seized her and took her away. In the myth, she grabs on to a tree and drags it with her to the moon. It is believed by some that the tree is said to represent fertility, further linking the moon with this symbol.

9. Ixchel (Mayan)

The Mayan people have several stories about different moon goddesses. One goddess frequently associated with the moon is Ixchel who is associated with the moon because she is a fertility goddess. However, it is believed that she may actually be the “grandmother of the moon” and represent aging and the drying up of fertility in old age so she is most commonly linked with the waxing of the moon and not the moon at all times.

Scroll to Continue

Read More From Exemplore

Werewolves have been depicted as fearsome creatures that prey on humans during a full moon.

Werewolves have been depicted as fearsome creatures that prey on humans during a full moon.

10. Werewolves

One of the creatures that we often see depicted in movie myths and legends is the werewolf. This creature is, of course, affiliated with the full moon. Typically it is believed that these are creatures that have human form but that morph into wolf-like (typically violent) creatures when the full moon is in the sky. Some legends state that if you get bitten by a werewolf, you will also become one during the full moon. In other tales, the only way to kill a werewolf is with a bullet made of silver. There are many different variations on this because of all of the books and movies that have been made about werewolves.

The Magic of the Moon

These are just 10 examples of some of the powerful stories that people across time and across the world associate with the moon. Using many different forms of symbolism, the moon itself has become a symbol of love, desire, change, passion, fertility, and violence.

© 2009 Kathryn Vercillo

Comments

DarthDominus81 on May 07, 2020:

"Myth", "legends".....both are synonyms for bullshit

zamoria on November 09, 2016:

I really like it wow

BJGBN on November 07, 2016:

ITS REALLY INTRESTING

baller on October 26, 2016:

saw dude. great facts

juju on October 26, 2016:

that was awesome! thx!

Allie on October 23, 2016:

Very interesting and cool! Thank You!!!!

my name is Jeff on October 10, 2016:

having a moon shaped like a banana is really weird at day and night

RBOB on October 07, 2016:

Nice!

its ya boi on September 29, 2016:

cool

Samantha Erickson on September 28, 2016:

Having a moon shaped like a banana is really weird at day and night

Hi on July 31, 2016:

Good

diamond carroll on April 15, 2016:

this is good information thank you

Awesomeness on March 10, 2015:

Thank you!!!

BumbeeBee and Catscat[aka Zara] on March 10, 2015:

really Zack did you even read the hole thing I did

zack on March 09, 2015:

zack is awesome

BumbeeBee on March 09, 2015:

Catscat and BumbeeBee is the same person

My mine craft name is bumbeeBee on March 09, 2015:

It was very educational!! It was so fun to read. So much reading and facts. they NEED to add more then ten facts. I know one!! A god,[ I forgot his name!] banished a man to the moon, and the man was remembered as the man in the moon!

The ten facts were fun to read, a BIG shoutout to Kathryn Vercillo

; }

Catscat on March 09, 2015:

It was very educational!!

; }

Kyl/nic/nel on May 05, 2014:

This is all so awesome my report will be done soon thanks

roblox on February 09, 2014:

useful :)

tom on December 18, 2013:

cool. Great for my graphic novel research, cheers

InfiniteLlover on November 11, 2013:

I loved this! It helped me on my homework a lot and I just wanted to thank you =)

harrystyles on November 04, 2013:

I love this imforfamtion

Twiggy2 on September 26, 2013:

Very cool facts! It helped me a lot! Thx

Home my Heaven on June 10, 2013:

Some cool myths about myth. Really wonderful things for a myth lover like me.

www.homemyheaven.co.uk

Loki on April 24, 2013:

Cool, way into the moon. Plan to use these stories to freak my science teachers mind (she thinks i never read anything)

Ausseye on April 22, 2013:

Hi Kath:

What a moon you make though thoughtful knowledge

I just sees it as apiece of space junk

That left a dinosaur’s less earthly

But then that was a bit before human fantasies

But you make a light that shines in the dark

Love you hard work on flashing a Moonie

Am in awe of your hard work and loved the read

Hope it never decides to return to earth

No pill would cure that headache

Kalmiya from North America on March 10, 2013:

The moon is an endless source of lore and fascination. When I look at it on a summer night, especially when it's full, it seems almost strange that some celestial body can hang in the sky so close to earth. I believe in the moon and wrote a hub about timing activities by her cycles. Strangely, there are some theories around the internet that the moon was created and planted there for specific hidden agenda purposes. If such a thing proved true, all us moon lovers would have a shock! Thanks and voted up.

Dr.S.P.PADMA PRASAD from Tumkur on January 11, 2013:

Good collection of myths. but I would like to add something:-

1. 'Soma' is another name for moon himself.In ancient Indian literature(whether Hindu,Jain, or Buddhist) Moon is regarded as male.Soma, Shashanka,Chandra,Indu- etc, are the other names of Moon-all of Samskrut origin.

2. Drink soma is different one. It is another meaning of the same word. but that has no connection with moon.

3 In Indian astrology, moon is a planet influencing on the minds of people.The zodiac sign in which moon lies at the time of birth is called

'Janma Rashi' or birth sign.

Esmé San Bonaventura from Seattle, WA on December 26, 2012:

Awesome and beautiful. Voted up!

Jimmy on June 15, 2012:

Another myth is water on the moon. Many NASA scientists are claiming it. But that’s impossible! Why? Because the vacuum of space abhors water. What’s more, ethereal objects such as the moon also abhor water. Only earth-things like Earth are properly hydrophilic. That’s why we have water here on Earth. It’s so obvious!

But why are NASA scientists really trying to claim the moon has water? Well, let me tell you a side story. 15 quintillion years ago the Reptilians lived on the moon (yes, the moon really is that old). Reptilians are literally the only beings without a single ounce of water in their body. In fact, they can’t stand water as chronicled in that documentary Signs. So it would make sense that they would live on the moon, a place without any ounce of water. So is it any coincidence that NASA is trying to revise proper understanding of history? They’re just trying to make it look like Reptilians could never have lived on the moon. It’s obviously a desperate attempt on their part to cover their asses.

So do these Reptilians still live on the moon? Not anymore. Because NASA is slowly putting water droplets on the moon even though celestial objects are not supposed to have water. There goes NASA destroying the balance of nature, as usual!

Anyway, the Reptilians got smart 8 quintillion years ago because they knew that Earth had a hollow that they could live in. In this hollow of the Earth, there is no sign of water whatsoever. It is a perfect place for Reptilians to live.

The hollow Earth model also explains why Reptilian spacecraft often are sighted entering the ocean. It’s obvious that the Reptilian spacecraft are going subterranean.

Anyway, NASA, stop with the bullshit and finally admit your Reptilian Fed Controlled connections!

sam23 on May 29, 2012:

the moon seems so much more interesting now thanks a billion

alejadro on May 24, 2012:

dood work

Beatrix on April 19, 2012:

This is interesting stuff.

Reve from Dhaka on March 21, 2012:

Never heard about those myths before. They seem to be pretty nice stories. Thanks a lot for sharing with us :)

princesswithapen on March 06, 2012:

From romantic outdoor dinners in the moonlight to theatrical plays, the moon and the mysterious aura surrounding it has always had an exotic appeal. These legends and myths about the moon make for an intriguing read.

Princesswithapen

brian january on February 28, 2012:

I'm fascinated by the lunar/goddess mythology! In my thriller "Silver", one of the lead characters speculates on the moon goddess Ariadne being the Minoan Snake Goddess of ancient Crete. Love this stuff!

Brian January

Hamlet on February 24, 2012:

Interesting Myths. Thank you.

http://www.flowingevents.com/

tim on February 14, 2012:

stupid

Andrew chavez on February 06, 2012:

The moon and the sun chase eachother around and around

Shwetha Shetty on February 03, 2012:

That's awesome. I enjoyed reading it. Thanks for sharing

Liz Rayen from California on December 26, 2011:

Very interesting. Looking forward to reading more.

Blessings,

Lisa~Rustic Living

myfish on October 17, 2011:

This is very interesting thank you for my new use of knowledge

RalphGreene on September 19, 2011:

I love myths. Interesting topic.

Ravi Singh from India on August 18, 2011:

SO many interesting facts.. I love moon more now. thanks

hana on August 09, 2011:

very good information i would love to visit this website again

Yu on July 27, 2011:

there's also a legend in vietnam about the moon. In it a man was sitting on a tree then the tree flew to the moon w/ him on it.

JohnnyNobody on July 02, 2011:

)O( We all come from the Goddess... Enjoyable read.