Selene, the Moon Goddess: Her influence on lunar cycles and legends

In the twists and turns of Greek mythology, Selene shines brightly at night, captivating us with her mysterious aura and cosmic power. Revered as the personification of the moon, the goddess Selene resonates down the centuries, illustrating the cultural and astronomical impact of the lunar star on humanity. This article immerses you in Selene's luminous splendor, exploring her ancient history, astronomical roles and enduring legacy.

Selene in mythology

Origin and genealogy

Selene, daughter of the Titans Hyperion and Theia, is one of the siblings of luminaries, along with Helios, the sun, and Eos, the dawn. Her bond with these radiant divinities forges a celestial trinity, embodying the perpetual cycle of day and night.

Selene and Endymion

The eternal romance between Selene and mortal Endymion is an ode to transcendent love. Legendary, this story evokes the power of divine desire and the quest for immortality through the eternal sleep of Endymion, preserved in ageless beauty.

Representations of Selene

Selene, often depicted riding a chariot drawn by white horses, is said to hold a crescent moon in her hands, symbolizing her influence celestial. Her figure sometimes mingles with that of Artemis and Hecate, creating a rich iconography of lunar goddesses.

The moon in astronomy

The moon and its phases

The phases of the moon form a celestial ballet, from new moon to full moon, embodying its metamorphoses. In ancient times, these lunar cycles punctuated time, forming the basis of ancient calendars such as the Babylonian calendar.

Eclipses and lunar phenomena

Eclipses offer a divine spectacle, where the moon, earth and sun join in a cosmic dance. Other phenomena, such as the blood moon or the blue moon, continue to arouse wonder and curiosity.

The influence of Selene and the moon

Influence on the tides

The moon, like an orchestra conductor, directs the ebb and flow of the oceans, demonstrating its gravitational power and its essential role in the earth's equilibrium.

Influence on agriculture

The ancients relied on the moon for their sowing and harvesting cycles, a lunar agricultural practice perpetuated by some contemporary cultures.

The moon inspires artists, infuses literature with its soft light and reveals itself on the silver screen, becoming a universally recognized cultural motif.

Selene worship and devotional sites

Celebrations and rituals

Nights were enchanted with festivals in honor of Selene, where lunar worship and offerings illuminated the darkness.

Temples and sacred places

Although less famous for its dedicated temples than other divinities, Selene's influence was felt in lunar observation sites and natural places dedicated to her.

Moon legends in different cultures

Cross-cultural comparisons

From the Sumerian goddess Inanna to the Chinese Chang'e, the moon is a universal symbol , worshipped in various pantheons.

Lunar myths and their teachings

Lunar stories deliver lessons of harmony, rebirth and eternity, testifying to the richness of mythological teachings.


Selene, lunar goddess, weaves close links between antiquity and the modern era, demonstrating how myths shape our understanding of the universe. Mythological stories, emblematized by the myth of Selene, endure, illuminating the path to wisdom and admiration for the wonders of the cosmos.