The ancient Greek goddess, Selene, was worshiped for her role as the goddess of the moon. Her powers and influence spread to various cultures and mythologies in the region. She is still often invoked in literature and art today. Goddess of the moon Selene and her brother Helios had powers to manage the sun’s and moon’s movements in the sky.
She was the granddaughter of Father Sky Uranus and Mother Earth Gaia. Selene was one of the Titans, the immortal children of Gaia and Uranus, and the daughter of their son Hyperion.
This article will provide an overview of the life and times of Selene, the celestial goddess of the moon. We’ll look at her origins, role in ancient mythological stories, importance in the lives of the Greeks, and the powers attributed to her.
If you’re interested in learning about other deities associated with the skies in Greek mythology, we have an article that explores 9 Famous Sky gods and goddesses of Greek Mythology. From the king of the gods Zeus to the god boreas, this article covers the most well-known sky deities in ancient Greek mythology.
These powerful and awe-inspiring figures have been the subject of countless myths and legends and have captivated the imagination of people for centuries.
Who is Goddess of the Moon Selene ?
Selene is also known as Mene. Her name derives from the Greek word ‘selas’, meaning light. She was frequently depicted as a woman driving a chariot driven by two four-horse teams, symbolising her command of the nocturnal sky through the cycle of the moon. Selene wore a crown with a crescent moon. Some painters embellished their portrayals of the moon goddess with golden wings or tiny horns.
Selene rose in prominence during the 5th century BC. She was one of the key figures of the ancient Greek pantheon. Romans titled her Luna, derived from the moon goddess’s Roman name. This name describes objects associated with the moon, such as lunar landers. Later, other Greek goddesses,
- Artemis, the goddess of the hunt
- Hecate, the goddess of witchcraft
would be associated with Selene’s function as a moon goddess.
Origins of the Greek Goddess of the Moon
The exact origins of Selene are unclear. Her myths and stories were passed down through oral tradition through the generations. It is generally accepted that she was closely connected to Helios, the ancient Greek god of the sun. That means the two gods rose and set each day in the heavens together. Some scholars theorize that the two gods were offspring of the Greek Titans Hyperion and Theia, who were the Titans of light and sight.
Selene and Endymion
Selene was closely associated with Hecate, the ancient Greek goddess of magic, mystery, and witchcraft. The two goddesses were close allies, as Hecate was the protector of the moon as well and often accompanied Selene on her travels in the night sky. Selene was also closely tied to Endymion, a mortal hunter, and shepherd. Endymion was said to be the father of Selene’s fifty children.
There are various mythological tales. According to some stories, Endymion’s passion for Zeus’ wife, Queen Hera, caused Zeus to curse him. However, in other renditions of the Endymion story, Selene pleaded with Zeus to grant immortality to her lover so that they would live eternally.
Selene and Zeus
In Greek mythology, Selene’s relationship with Zeus (the supreme god of the Greek pantheon) is also a subject of fiction. Even though the goddess Hera was Zeus’ wife. There are numerous stories of his extramarital affairs in Greek mythology.
According to the Homeric Hymn to Selene, Selene and Zeus had a daughter named Pandeia, also known as All-brightness. Greek poet Alcman states that Ersa—also known as the morning dew—was the child of Zeus and Selene. According to some other traditions, the nymph Nemea was their offspring.
Other Love relationships of goddess of the moon Selene
Despite the widespread myth surrounding him, Selene had other lovers besides Endymion. Zeus was not the least of the Greek gods with whom Selene is said to have had relationships. According to tradition, she gave birth to him two children:
A daughter named Pandia, and another, a nymph named Nemea.
According to the Roman author Virgil, Selene also had a romantic relationship with the satyr Pan. However, because of Endymion’s position as a shepherd, Pan was occasionally thought to be an insult directed at him. According to legend, Selene even had four children—the Horae, or seasons—with her brother Helios. This is not unusual in Greek mythology.
Powers of the Greek Goddess of the Moon
Selene was known to own several supernatural powers. She was said to be able to heal wounds and bring peace and harmony to those who prayed to her. She had the ability to know the stars and their alignment, allowing her to bring fertility and growth to the land below. Her powers also extended to the sea, as she could bring calm to the waters when needed.
Legacy of the Greek Goddess Selene
Selene is a goddess that has had a lasting legacy throughout the centuries. She is still featured in art and literature today. As the Greek goddess of the moon, Selene is a symbol of the power and strength of nature and the influence of divine forces over humanity. Many of her powers are still invoked in modern-day rituals, such as in the opening ceremony of the Olympics. Her iconic chariot is still used as a symbol of the moon.