►Greek Mythology: “Selene, Goddess of the Moon”:
►Poetry: “Selene Awakens”, by Christy Birmingham:
Selene is the Greek Goddess of the Moon. She is the daughter of the Titans Hyperion and Theia.
Besides, Selene is sister of the Sun-God Helios, and Eos, Goddess of the Dawn.
Just as Helios, from his identification with Apollo, is called Phoebus (“bright”), Selene, from her identification with Artemis, is also commonly referred to by the epithet Phoebe (feminine from the name is of Greek origin, it is likely connected to the word selas (σέλας), meaning “light”.
Both Selene and Artemis were also associated with Hecate, and all three were regarded as Lunar Goddesses, although only Selene was regarded as the personification of the moon itself. Her Roman equivalent is Luna.
Like her brother Helios, the Sun god, who drives his chariot across the sky each day, Selene is also said to drive across the heavens.
The moon chariot is often described as being silver. And while the sun chariot has four horses, Selene’s usually has two, described as “snow-white” by Ovid, or was drawn by oxen or bulls.
Selene is commonly depicted with a crescent moon, often accompanied by stars; sometimes, instead of a crescent, a lunar disc is used. Often a crescent moon rests on her brow, or the cusps of a crescent moon protrude, horn-like, from her head, or from behind her head or shoulders. From the Hellenistic period onwards, she is sometimes pictured with a torch.
Several lovers are attributed to Selene in various myths, including her brother Helios, with whom she had four daughters, known as the Horae, the four Goddesses of the seasons. The Horae were Goddesses of time, seasons and natural cycles. They were originally the personifications of nature in its different seasonal aspects, but in later times they were regarded as goddesses of order in general and natural justice.
Also Pan, the God of the wild, shepherds and flocks, was Selene’s lover.
Even Zeus, the God of the sky and ruler of the Olympian gods, was her lover. As a matter of fact, some sources report that the Nemean lion, which fell to the earth from the moon was the result of an affair of Zeus and Selene.
However, among all of them, the mortal Endymion was Selene’s most well known lover.
Selene fell in love with the shepard, Endymion, and seduced him while he lie sleeping in a cave. Her seduction of Endymion resulted in the birth of fifty daughters, one of which was Naxos.
Their daughters represented the fifty lunar months of the Olympiad, or period of four years marking the beginning of the Olympic games in ancient Greece.
But Endymion was human, and so susceptible to aging and eventually death. Selene could not bear that fact. According to one of the most well known versions of the myth, she made certain that Endymion would remain eternally youthful by casting a spell that would cause him to sleep forever. In this way, Endymion would remain alive for always, sleeping eternally.
►Gallery: “Selene and Endymion”:
►A Poem By Christy Birmingham:
Selene is moving fast,
Driving across the heavens in a
Lane of her own, behind the reins, in a
Moon chariot that lights up with her determination,
Pulled by two horses and a faith in Greek spirits larger than Earth.
Watch for Selene overhead, with her head shining brightly, bearing
A crescent moon that reaches from her forehead to
Your heart, as you watch her in hopes that
She will know the secret to why the
Sun chooses to sleep at night,
While she awakens and
You yearn for
©2014 Christy Birmingham.-
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►About Christy Birmingham:
Christy is a canadian freelance writer, poet and author.
You can check out Christy Birmingham´s writer portfolio here.
Feel free to connect with Christy at Twitter too.