Sacred Texts  Miscellaneous  Index  Previous  Next 
Buy this Book at

The Unicorn, a Mythological Investigation, by Robert Brown, [1881], at

p. 33



THE moon-power, owing to the influence of the Greek Artemis-Selênê, the Latin Diana-Luna, is generally feminine in our thoughts; but this aspect, though also occasionally occurring elsewhere, e.g., in Peru, is really exceptional. Thus among the Germanic nations the moon is masculine and the sun feminine. It is the daughter of Sôl, the Norse Sun-goddess, who in the regenerated world 'shall ride on her mother's track when the gods are dead'; 1 and it is the god Mâni, 2 who at Ragnarok, 'the-Twilight-of-the-gods,' shall be devoured by the Wolf of darkness, Managarmr, 'Moon-swallower,' a reduplication of the terrible wolf Fenrir. 3

In Egypt again, 'Chons is the personification of the moon, and in this character he is called Chonsaah or Chons the moon. His name seems to mean

p. 34

[paragraph continues] "the chaser," or "pursuer,"' 1 the Unicorn who, as we shall see, 2 chases the Lion-sun. Another Kamic-lunar personage is Teti (Thoth), the weighing and measuring god, lord of knowledge and writing. 3 'The crescent is found followed by the figure of Thoth in several hieroglyphic legends, with the phonetic name Aah.' 4

'The Arabs to this day, consider the moon masculine, and not feminine.' 5

'In Sanskrit the most current names for the moon, such as Kandra, Soma, Indu, Vidhu, are masculine. The names of the moon are frequently used in the sense of month, and these and other names for month retain the same gender.' 6

In Asia Minor was widely established the cult of the Moon-god Mên, 7 the Lunus of the Romans, who, to a great extent suppressed his ritual.

The Babylonian and Assyrian Moon-god is Sin, 8 whose name probably appears in Sinai. The expression, 'From the origin of the god Sin,' was used by the Assyrians to mark remote antiquity; because as chaos preceded order, so night preceded day, and the enthronement of the moon as the Night-king marks the commencement of the annals of kosmic order.

The Akkadian Moon-god, who corresponds with

p. 35

the Semitic Sin, is Aku, 'the Seated-father,' as chief supporter of kosmic order, styled 'the-Maker-of-brightness,' En-zuna, 'the-Lord-of-growth,' and Idu, the-Measuring-lord,' 1 the Aïdês of Hesychios. 2 Idu is the equivalent of the Assyrian Arkhu, 'month,' Heb. Yerakh; and is expressed in archaic Babylonian by the ideograph = the circle, (solar or) lunar + (10 + 10 + 10), i.e., the thirty days of the month. also stands for the Moon-god as the god-thirty. Amongst the Finns Kuu is 'the male god of the moon,' 3 and exactly corresponds with A-ku. It is singular to find also Kua as a moon-name in Central Africa. 4

'Among the Mbocobis of South America, the moon is a man and the sun his wife.' 5

Amongst the Mexicans, Metztli, the Moon, was a hero. 6

According to an Australian legend, 'Mityan, the Moon, was a native cat [male], who fell in love with some one else's wife, and was driven away to wander ever since.' 7

'The Khasias of the Himalaya say that the moon [male] falls monthly in love with his mother-in-law, who throws ashes in his face, whence his spots.' 8

Ra Vula, the Figian Moon, is male. 9

The Ahts of Vancouver's Island regard 'the Moon as husband and the Sun as wife.' 10

p. 36

In Japan 'the Moon-god was worshipped under the form of a fox.' 1

The Unicorn is represented as male, being 'maiden' with respect to chastity. 2


33:1 Vide R. B. Jr., R.M.A. sec. xvii.

33:2 Proto-Aryan root ma, to measure, whence Sk. mâs, Zend mâo, Lith. menu, Gk. mênê, in Ulfilas mêna, Anglo-Sax. môna, Swedish mane, Eng. moon. These words, except perhaps mâo, are all masculine. From the same root come the Sk. mâsa, Goth. menoth, Anglo-Sax. monâdh, Gk. mên, Lat. mensis, Eng. month. The Moon is the Month-measurer.

33:3 Vide R.M.A., secs. xii. xv. 'The sun and moon were addressed as Frau and Herr, Domina and Dominus' (Thorpe, Northern Mythology, i. 281).

34:1 Dr. Birch in Wilkinson's Anct. Egyptians, iii. 174-5.

34:2 Sec. XII. subsec. 2.

34:3 Vide G.D.M. ii. 121 et seq. In voc. Teti.

34:4 Wilkinson, Anct. Egyptians, iii. 105.

34:5 Ibid. 39.

34:6 Prof. Max Müller, L.S.L. i. 7.

34:7 Vide Strabo, XII. iii. 31; viii. 14.

34:8 'Sin is used for the Moon in Mendaean and Syriac at the present day; and it was the term used for Monday by the Sabæans as late as the ninth century' (Prof. Rawlinson, A.M. i. 124, note 5).

35:1 Id, a measure, + U, lord.

35:2 Ἀϊδὼ Ἀϊδὴς· ἡ σελήνην παρὰ Χαλδαίοις (Hesychios, in voc.).

35:3 Lenormant, Chaldean Magic, 249.

35:4 Vide Tylor, P.C. ii. 272.

35:5 Ibid. i. 260.

35:6 Ibid. 262.

35:7 Ibid. 320.

35:8 Ibid.

35:9 Ibid. 321.

35:10 Ibid. ii. 272.

36:1 Vide Tylor, P.C. ii. 273.

36:2 Cf. Shakspere:—

'Thou maiden youth, be vanquished by a maid.'
                                   (1 Hen. VI., A. iv. S. 7.)

Next: V. The Lunar Phases