Moon Gods and Moon Goddesses

Index of Moon Gods and Goddesses

Apollo and Artemis
Apollo and Artemis. Clipart.com

Westerners are familiar with (female) moon goddesses. Our word lunar, as in the lunar cycle of full, crescent, and new moons, comes from the feminine Latin Luna. This seems natural because of the association of the lunar month and the female menstrual cycle, but not all societies envision the moon as a woman. In the Bronze Age, the East, from Anatolia to Sumer and Egypt, had (male) moon gods [Source: "The Myth of Europa and Minos," by P. B. S. Andrews. Greece & Rome, Vol. 16, No. 1 (Apr., 1969), pp. 60-66]. Here are some of the moon gods and moon goddesses of major ancient religions.

Arma

Nationality: Hittite
Moon God

Arma is the name of a Hittite lunar personification whom some think is connected with the Greek god Hermes.

Reference: "Hittite Ritual at Sardis," by Noel Robertson. Classical Antiquity, Vol. 1, No. 1 (Apr., 1982), pp. 122-140.

Artemis

Nationality: Greek
Moon Goddess
In Greek mythology, the sun god was originally Helios (whence words like heliocentric for our sun-centered solar system) and the moon goddess Selene, but over time, this changed. Artemis came to be associated with Selene, just like Apollo with Helios. Apollo became a sun god and Artemis became the goddess of the moon.

Bendis

Nationality: Thracian
Moon Goddess
Bendis was a goddess of the moon and hunt, associated by the Greeks with Artemis.

Source: "Balkan mythology" The Oxford Companion to World mythology. David Leeming. Oxford University Press, 2004.

Coyolxauhqui

Colossal Head of Aztec Moon Goddess Coyolxauhqui, discovered at Tenochtitlan
Colossal Head of Aztec Moon Goddess Coyolxauhqui, discovered at Tenochtitlan. De Agostino / Archivo J. Lange / Getty Images

Nationality: Aztec
Moon Goddess
Coyolxauhqui means "Golden Bells." Coyolxauhqui is the sister of the Sun god, Huitzilopochtli.

Diana

The Goddess Diana
Statue of Diana, Gallery of Statues, Ducal palace, Lucca, Tuscany. Image by A. Pistolesi/De Agostini Picture Library/Getty Images

Nationality: Roman
Moon Goddess

Heng-O

Nationality: Chinese
Moon Goddess
Heng-O was the mother of the 12 moons and 10 suns.

Ix Chel

Sacul Vase Portraying Ix Chel As Young Moon Goddess
Sacul Vase Portraying Ix Chel As Young Moon Goddess. Simon Burchell

Nationality: Maya
Moon Goddess
Lady Rainbow was a moon goddess for the Maya, with aspects of both young and old women. 

Khons/Khonsu

Thoth_1500
Thoth the scribe is associated with the moon's mysteries. Image by Cheryl Forbes/Lonely Planet/Getty Images

Nationality: Egyptian
Moon God
Amen's consort was Mut. Together they had a son, Khons or Khonsu the moon god. His name means "the wanderer." He may have been believed to be capable of flying.

Other Egyptian moon gods:

  • Thoth
  • Osiris
  • Min
  • Duau

Shu and Khnum are also associated with the moon.
Source: Hathor and Thoth, by Claas Jouco Bleeker.

Mawu

Nationality: African, Dahomey
Moon Goddess
Also spelled Maou. Female.

Mên

Nationality: Phrygian, Western Asia Minor
Moon God
Male

Mên is a Phrygian lunar god also connected with fertility, healing, and punishment. Characteristically, Men is depicted with the points of crescent moons on his shoulders. He wears a Phrygian cap. Mên carries a pine cone or patera in his outstretched right hand and rests his left upon a sword or lance.

Source: "Three Images of the God Mên," by Ulrich W. Hiesinger. Harvard Studies in Classical Philology, Vol. 71, (1967), pp. 303-310.

Selene or Luna

The Moon-goddess Selene
The Moon-goddess Selene. Marie-Lan Nguyen/Wikimedia Commons.

Nationality: Greek
Luna in Latin.
Moon Goddess
Actually, Selene/Luna is a moon Titan (since she's female, that could be Titaness), and the daughter of the Titans Hyperion and Thea. Selene/Luna is the sister of the sun god Helios/Sol.

Sin/Nanna

Nationality: Sumerian
Moon god.

Tsuki-Yomi

Nationality: Japanese
Moon God
A Shinto moon god.

Yarikh

Nationality: Ugarit
Moon God
Yarikh or Yarih ​was the lover of Nikkal -- a Sumerian sun goddess.