The Story Behind the Moon

The Moon archetype represents our instincts and feelings, how we respond to life without thinking, the instinct to nurture and care for others and ourselves, and to give birth to something. The Moon is the ruler of Cancer. The symbol is the crescent of the soul which represents the subconscious.

MoonKeywords for the Moon:
  • Receptive
  • Soul
  • Interdependence
  • Home
  • Unconscious
  • Family
  • Mother

Moon Myths

There are many goddesses associated with the Moon from cultures all over the world. The Babylonians had Ishtar, a virgin Moon goddess, and Tiamet, a mother goddess, portrayed as a giant sea monster. Tiamet’s son, Marduk, carved up her body to create the physical universe. The Phoenician’s had Atargatis who is a Moon and fertility goddess with a fish’s tail; and the Celts had Brigentis, a triple goddess who rules over the three phases of the Great Mother Anu or Annis.


The Egyptians had Isis, Moon goddess and Queen of Heaven. Originally seen as androgynous, Isis was referred to as ‘My God and My Goddess,’ and she was paired with her brother/husband Osiris. Together they ruled over the Moon until the rise of the patriarchy and the solar gods, and Osiris found himself dismembered and resurrected, transforming himself into a Sun god.

In Greece there was Artemis and Hekate. Artemis is a virgin Moon goddess and huntress, and twin sister to the Sun god Apollo. She is associated with the waxing Moon. Aphrodite is linked with the full moon, and we’ll meet her again when we look at Venus myths. Hekate is goddess of the Moon, witchcraft and magic, and ruler of the Underworld. She is linked with the waning Moon, and also rules over crossroads (not the TV show!).

Moon Myths on Film

Secrets and Liesis a bittersweet comedy that tells the story of Cynthia’s family and what happens when the past catches up with her. Cynthia, played by Brenda Blethyn, is an unmarried and unhappy mother to daughter, Roxanne (Claire Rushbrook). Cynthia’s brother Maurice, played by Timothy Spall, is a wedding photographer married to stuck-up wife, Monica (Phyllis Logan), who can’t have children. Hortense, played by Marianne Jean-Baptiste, has just lost her adoptive parents and sets out to find her birth mother – Cynthia. When Maurice and Monica throw a party for Roxanne’s 21st birthday, Cynthia brings Hortense along, and the secrets and lies of the past are revealed.

Kramer vs. Kramer © 1979 Columbia Pictures
Kramer vs. Kramer © 1979 Columbia Pictures

Kramer v Kramer tells the story of a couple fighting over their son after a heartbreaking divorce. Ted Kramer, played by Dustin Hoffman, loves his family but spends most of his time at work. Unable to take anymore, his wife Joanna, played by Meryl Streep, leaves him to take care of their six-year old son while she goes off to find herself. Ted struggles to balance his work and home life, but slowly grows into his new nurturing role as a single parent. But then Joanna returns and she wants her son back. Ted has to fight to maintain the bond he has nurtured with his son, and stop his ex-wife destroying everything he has worked so hard for.

>Read the rest of the series here

Image: Artemis

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