Collection: The Moon Symbol

Indigenous Significance of the Moon Symbol

Often a counterpoint to the Sun, the Moon is associated with transformation, peace, and maternal traits. The Moon provides protection as it offers a guiding light in the night sky and controls the tides (Dawkins). Shamans sometimes call upon the Moon as a spirit guide because of its vast powers.


Although the Moon’s origin is greatly varied between cultures and stories, many northern tribes thank Raven for the gift of Moon. Sometimes, Moon is described as a chip off of Sun, which Raven clumsily dropped (Shearar).


The Nuu-chah-nulth, whose year features thirteen moons, honour Moon, and his wife Sun, as the most powerful of beings. They are the bestower of good luck and plentiful food (Shearar). The representation of Moon among other groups suggests that Moon is a female entity, one who is more delicate and serene than Sun.


Moon is often depicted in association with Wolf because of the creature’s nocturnal habits. Moon also frequently appears grasped in the long, straight beak of Raven, in reference to the famous stories regarding the theft - and eventual release into the sky - of Sun and Moon by Raven (Shearar).

 

Artistic Characteristics of the Moon

Moon is characterized as a rounded face with relatively flat features, often those of a human or a bird. Moon does not have rays, but there is usually a rim or circle around the circumference. At times, the Moon can be distinguished from the Sun by a labret (lower lip ornament), which indicates female nobility (Dawkins).

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