Why Did We Stop Believing in Our Moon Mother?

Mother Moon Goddess appearing as a waxing Moon emerging from a pink cloud

I tend to (affectionately) call her “Grandmother Moon”, but go back far enough, and the concept of the “the Moon Mother” is deeply rooted in ancient cultures around the world.

But to the ancestors, the Moon was literally the Mother. The cosmic Mother, Goddess and giver and taker of life.

So much more than a concept… Because the mothering qualities of the Moon emerged through the body of every woman too – through her blood and her sex, the swelling of her belly and the miracle of new life that emerged from between her legs.

Moon cycles and menstrual cycles

Long before artificial lighting and the electrical interference of our biological rhythms, the cycles of pregnancy and menstruation aligned closely with the cycles of the Moon. Much more closely than they do today.

Women bled at the dark Moon

In ancient times women experienced their bleeding times under the dark Moon.

When bleeding they would retreat together into dedicated and protected spaces where they dropped deeply into the mystery.

This time was sacred, and unlike some more recent interpretations (and how this ritual changed) the women weren’t banished because they were seen as impure.

No. It was understood that at these dark, bleeding times the goddess offered wisdom that could not be accessed at any other time.

Women ovulated at the full Moon

Just like the rising sap and the swelling of buds, women’s sexual and creative energy also rose UP under the light of the full Moon

To the ancients, conception wasn’t something necessarily connected with sex – they believed it was the silvery light of the full Moon impregnating their wombs, giving the gift of life.

The moon was mother: Fertile and generous.

(And yes, this seems ridiculous now – so primitive, so ignorant to misunderstand something so fundamental as human reproduction, right?

Or maybe we are the foolish ones?

Maybe we misunderstand the sacred portal offered by the Goddess? Maybe the full moon does open a channel to the kind of cosmic conception we modern humans have lost access to?

Many moons ago, the ways of the ancestors were SO different. It’s all but impossible to peer into the past without the modern lens we have today..)

Full Moon rise over Ocean with pink sky

Under the full Moon, life thrives

It wasn’t just women’s bellies swelling under the gaze of the full moon, agriculture thrived under full moon light too.

In the Great Cosmic Mother, Monica Sjöö and Barbara Mor, describe the searing heat of equatorial earth in matriarchal times, and write how the daily sun would “scorch young shoots, burning leaves and the soil into arid dust… Early people saw the sun as lesser fruit of the Mother Sky; it was a female night with her cool moisture and magical moonlight, that gave life and fertility”.

Moon mother and water

The moon’s gravitational pull has long been recognized as a powerful force shaping the Earth’s tides.

Ancient civilizations observed the rhythmic rise and fall of the ocean’s waters, attributing this phenomenon to the moon’s influence. And it followed that all of Earth’s waters also fell under her domain.

Why wouldn’t the Goddess also hold sway over the springs, streams and rivers as well as the rain and the morning dew, infusing all with sacred and life-giving properties?

And as we already know, the bodies of women are mirrors of the Great Mother, so the fluids of human bodies also came under her domain. In a physical sense – the blood, saliva and tears, for example – and the emotional waters too.

Through her rhythms, phases and ever-changing states, the Moon still offers us a blueprint for emotional healing.

Our emotions need to flow.

When emotions get stuck, trauma stays unprocessed, and pain solidifies and anchors into the body, it’s a sign – I think – that we’ve forgotten how vital movment is, to our emotional selves.

Life is all about movement, change, and the transformation that comes from leaning into our edges. This is the medicine of the Moon, and when we forget this, we stagnate.

Why did we stop believing in our Moon Mother?

In these ancient, matriarchal civilizations that I’ve just touched on, women held the positions of power and authority. Women embodied the connection between humanity and the natural world, not as a concept but as a fact of daily life.

But with the rise and domination of patriarchal societies, there came a shift in values and beliefs. People began to prioritize mind over matter, intellect over animism.

Logic and reason were valued above all else, even (and especially) the intuitive knowing of the feminine. This emphasis on the mind led to a disconnect from the rhythms of nature and the wisdom of the body.

Instead of honouring the cyclical nature of life, society became fixated on linear progress and technological advancement.

The sacred connection to the earth and its cycles was replaced by a desire to conquer and control nature for human gain.

The sanctity of the earth, the body, and the sacred cycles of life were gradually replaced by systems that instead prioritized dominance, control, and exploitation.

Over time, this shift led to the marginalization of women and the suppression of the ancient wisdom that formed the bedrock of humanity’s way of being, and our connection to the Moon Mother.

This shift in consciousness severed the deep bond between humanity and the natural world, leading to environmental degradation and the spiritual impoverishment we see around us today. The loss of our connection to the sacred cycles of life has left a void in the human psyche, resulting in the sense of alienation and disconnection so widespread today.

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