RELIGIONS AND CULTURES OF MOON WORSHIP
compiled by Dee Finney
Feng Shui Facts:
Li is the sun and Kan is the moon. Kun is the dark moon. Qian is the full moon."
THIS IS THE REAL THING - NOT FAKE!!!
THE FULL MOONS OF THE YEAR
Although the moon has not had great prominence in the history of religion, the worship of it has been known since earliest recorded timein the oldest literatures of Egypt, Babylonia, India, and Chinaand still exists today in various parts of the world, particularly among certain African and Native American groups. Moon worship is founded on the belief that the phases of the moon and the growth and decline of plant, animal, and human life are related. In some societies food was laid out at night to absorb the rays of the moon, which were thought to have power to cure disease and prolong life. Among the Baganda of central Africa it was customary for a mother to bathe her newborn child by the light of the first full moon. The moon was frequently equated with wisdom and justice, as in the worship of the Egyptian god Thoth and the Mesopotamian god Sin. In general, however, the moon has been the basis for many amorous legends and some superstitions (madmen were once considered to be moonstruck, hence the term lunatic) and is particularly important in the practice of astrology.
Many ancient peoples regarded the Moon as the chief of the two luminaries. The sun was of smaller importance than the moon in the eyes of the Babylonian astrologers.
The Assyrians and the Chaldeans referred to the time of the Moon-god as the oldest period in the memory of the people: before other planetary gods came to dominate the world ages, the Moon was the supreme deity. Such references are found in the inscriptions of Sargon II (ca. -720)(2) and Nabonidus (ca. -550).(3) The Babylonian Sinthe Moonwas a very ancient deity: Mount Sinai owes its name to Sin.
Assyrian art reflects this moon influence far more strikingly than that of Panammu I.The figure of himself which he caused to be carved in relief on the left side of the palace-inscription is in the Assyrian style , and so too is another of his reliefs from Zenjirli. On the latter Bar-rekub is represented seated upon his throne with eunuch and scribe in attendance, while in the field is the emblem of full moon and crescent, here ascribed to "Ba`al of Harran", the famous centre of moon-worship in Northern Mesopotamia.
The Moon, appearing as a body larger than the Sun, was endowed by the imagination of the peoples with a masculine role, while the Sun was assigned a feminine role. Many languages reserved a masculine name for the Moon.(4) It was probably when the Moon was removed to a greater distance from the earth and became smaller to observers on the earth, that another name, usually feminine, came to designate the Moon in most languages.
HEBREW MYTHOLOGY OF THE DELUGE, CHANGE IN THE SUN AND MOON AND MANKIND
Hebrew mythology assigns to the period preceding Adams expulsion different geophysical and biological conditions. The sun shone permanently on the Earth, and the Garden of Eden, placed in the East, was, it must be conceived, under perpetual rays of the Dawn. The earth was not watered by rain, but mist ascending from the ground condensed as dew upon the leaves. The plants looked only to the earth for nourishment. Man was of exceedingly great stature: The dimensions of mans body were gigantic. His appearance was unlike that of later men: His body was overlaid with a horny skin. But a day came and the celestial illumination ceased: The sun . . . had grown dark the instant Adam became guilty of disobedience. (3) The flames of the ever-turning sword terrified Adam (Genesis 3:24). In another legend it is told that the celestial light shone a little in the darkness. And then the celestial light ceased, to the consternation of Adam. The illumination of the first period never returned. The sky that man was used to see never appeared before him again: The firmament is not the same as the heavens of the first day. The day of Genesis, as I have already noted, is said to be equal to a thousand years.
It was after the fall of man, according to Hebrew tradition, that the sun set for the first time: The first time Adam witnessed the sinking of the sun, he was seized with anxious fears. All the night he spent in tears. When day began to dawn, he understood that what he had deplored was but the course of nature. It was also then that the seasons began. This is told in the following story: Adam noticed that the days were growing shorter and feared lest the world be darkened . . . but after the winter solstice he saw that the days grew longer again.
The earth also underwent changes: Independent before, she was hereafter to wait to be watered by the rain from above. (4) The variety of species diminished. Man, according to Hebrew legends, decreased in size; there was a vast difference between his later and his former statebetween his supernatural size then, and his shrunken size now. (5) He also lost his horny skin. The whole of nature altered its ways.
Quoted in Athanasius Kircher, Turris Babel sive Archonotologia (Amsterdam, 1679), p. 134.
The very angels and the celestial beings were grieved by the transgression of Adam. The moon alone laughed wherefore God . . . obscured her light. Ginzberg, Legends, I, 80.
Daoism is based on a book written by Lao Zi who lived around the same time as Confucius. Daoism teaches that achieving the balance of the yin and yang is the key to achieving spiritual peace.
Origin of the Stellar Sovereigns of the Five Planets and Seven Stars
The Stellar Sovereigns of the Five Planets and Seven Stars1 are seven Daoist deities. The Five Planets are the Year Star (Jupiter)1, the Sparkling Deluder (Mars)2, the Grand White Star (Venus)3, the Chronographic Star (Mercury)4, and the Quelling Star (Saturn)5. Together with the sun and moon, they are called the Seven Stars. Daoism worships the Seven Stars as spirits and calls them Stellar Sovereigns. In early ancient times, people began to worship the sun, moon and stars. In the Han Dynasties, Esoteric Speculations6 used to foretell the outcomes of human affairs. Daoism regards the sun as Essence of Yang7 and calls it, in a male image, 'Bright, Red and Glorious Supreme Yang Sovereign of the Sun Palace'8, or 'Immortal King of Filial Piety and Supreme Yang Sovereign of the Sun Palace"9. Daoism regards the moon as Essence of Yin10, and calls it, in a female image, 'Supreme Yin Primordial Sovereign and Holy Queen of the Yellow Colour, White Light and Original Essence of the Moon Palace"11, or 'Bright Queen of Filial Piety and Supreme Yin Sovereign of the Moon Palace"12. According to the section 'On Stars'of the Seven Slips of a Cloudy Satchel13, each of the Five Planets has its own name and style: in the East, the Perfect Imperial Sovereign of the Year Star14 (or Perfect Sovereign of the Virtue of Wood)15 is named Chenglan and styled Qingning. In the South, the Perfect Imperial Sovereign of the Sparkling Deluder16 (or Perfect Sovereign of the Virtue of Fire)17 is named Haokong Weichun and styled Sanrong. In the West, the Perfect Imperial Sovereign of the Grand White Star18(or Perfect Sovereign of the Virtue of Metal)19 is named Haokong Debiao. In the North, the Perfect Imperial Sovereign of the Chronographic Star20(or Perfect Sovereign of the Virtue of Water)21 is named Qiyuan and styled Jiyuan. In the Centre, the Perfect Imperial Sovereign of the Quelling Star22(or Perfect Sovereign of the Virtue of Earth)23 is named Cangmu and styled Danyan.
2. The Shangqing Cosmology
Shangqing Daoists believed in a celestial realm that was populated by gods, immortals, demon kings, converted spirits and ancestors. These beings were arranged hierarchically according to a celestial bureaucracy. Furthermore, the human body was seen as a storehouse of these divine agencies, palaces and figures, and patterned according to the constellation of the stars. For example, the divinities of the Northern Dipper lived simultaneously in the body as well as in the stars.
3. Visualization in Shangqing Daoism
The Shangqing self-cultivation group of the mid 4th century CE preferred visualization over all other meditative techniques. Visualization, however, was always accompanied by other practices such as breath control, fasting and reading from sacred texts. Interestingly, the Shangqing method of visualization was never practiced in the same way by later Daoist traditions.
Robinet describes the various earthly and cosmic excursions that meditators went on through visualization. Through earthly excursions, practitioners could explore extraordinary, supernatural places where they could find magical plants, talismans and sacred texts to aid them in their quest for immortality. Excursions to the sun and moon generally encompassed three features. The meditator would accompany the stars on their heavenly journey, nourish in their effluences and play around in the paradises they protected.
4. The Northern Dipper
The Northern Dipper (Northern Bushel / Big Dipper / Ursa Major) was and is the central object of important visualization techniques and one of the main divinities of Daoism. It is the center and source of all things, establishing the inherent order of the universe and foundation of the world. The Dipper is seen as the pivot of all creative transformations. It is the vertical axis of the universe that is aligned with the spleen in the human body. It establishes the rhythms of the seasons, distinguishes good and evil and controls good fortune and disaster. Perhaps most importantly, the Northern Dipper is seen as the gate of access to the heavens. Believers must invoke its divinities to pass from death into life.
The Dipper is the symbol and home of the Great Unity, the god Taiyi. It is part of a triad formed between the sun, moon and stars. The Northern Dipper is made up of 9 stars (2 visible only to skillful practitioners), each star inhabited by a particular male divinity. In addition, each star in the Dipper has a corresponding location in the human body. For example, the first star is located in the heart. Moreover, the Northern Dipper has beside it a corresponding counterpart/mirror image made up of "black stars." The spouses of the male divinities of the Northern Dipper live in these stars. This "black" constellation forms the material and spiritual soul of the Northern Dipper.
Shangqing scriptures also view the Northern Dipper as having a corresponding carriage in the south. While the Northern Dipper represents the realm of the underworld the Southern Carriage leads the skillful practitioner to eternal life. The divinities of the Northern Dipper are invoked to help the believer pass for registration in the Southern Carriage, where the true registers of immortality are kept.
P947:4, 85:5.1 The worship of rocks, hills, trees, and animals naturally developed up through fearful veneration of the elements to the deification of the sun, moon, and stars. In India and elsewhere the stars were regarded as the glorified souls of great men who had departed from the life in the flesh. The Chaldean star cultists considered themselves to be the children of the sky father and the earth mother.
P947:5, 85:5.2 Moon worship preceded sun worship. Veneration of the moon was at its height during the hunting era, while sun worship became the chief religious ceremony of the subsequent agricultural ages. Solar worship first took extensive root in India, and there it persisted the longest. In Persia sun veneration gave rise to the later Mithraic cult. Among many peoples the sun was regarded as the ancestor of their kings. The Chaldeans put the sun in the center of "the seven circles of the universe." Later civilizations honored the sun by giving its name to the first day of the week.
P947:6, 85:5.3 The sun god was supposed to be the mystic father of the virgin-born sons of destiny who ever and anon were thought to be bestowed as saviors upon favored races. These supernatural infants were always put adrift upon some sacred river to be rescued in an extraordinary manner, after which they would grow up to become miraculous personalities and the deliverers of their peoples.
MOON WORSHIP BY ANCIENT CULTURES - FOUND BY ARCHAEOLOGISTS
DISCS IN THE AIR, BUT ALSO IN ANCIENT BARROWS AND BURIAL MOUNDS
All around our world there are numerous ancient disc shaped burial barrows, tumuli, or mounds that were built to bury our ancestors. When I flew for the Air Force, I noticed many mounds from the air in many parts of the world. Ohio, West Virginia, Illinois, Florida, the Middle East, and the area around Stonehenge in England have many examples that still exist. Thousands were built in America, and 18,000 were built in Britain 5000 years ago during the Bronze Age. Both in Great Britain and America thousands of flint discs have been found inside the American Indian and British burial mounds.
Recent evidence has also uncovered an ancient alphabet that appears to have been used throughout the ancient world. The burial barrows are constructed to a precise plan, where the periphery of a circle is marked by posts and stakes and is called a palisade. Now, 5000 years later, the barrows still maintain their basic structure unless destroyed by grave robbers or modern construction projects. Within this palisade the dead were buried and a discoid shaped structure was built that looks remarkably like present day UFOs. Not only was a disc shape used in construction but also, each dead body was buried with its own carved disc. Sometimes these small discs came from a hundred miles away and were often carved or chipped from flint stone. Archaeologists claim these disc barrow builders were worshipers of the sun and moon. I asked investigator John Thompson his opinion. He stated, our ancestors saw "things" in the sky and intuitively, but probably incorrectly and as modern man is doing, decided that Gods from space were/are visiting us. They, however and more astutely than us, made the death-heaven connection. Why bury models of UFOs with themselves if they didn't think that these entities "aboard them" were not connected to the so-called spirit-world they were entering? Its obvious they saw linkage between what they observed in the sky and where they believe they were going after dying.
The archeologists maintain that the discs represented sun or moon worship. Drawings and carvings have been made of the sun and moon for ages, the sun is usually represented as a circle with lines or rays and the moon is generally crescent shaped. So we can hypothesize that our ancestors, like Ezekiel who saw a UFO in the sky, probably worshipped or at least prayed these craft would take them to heaven or at least keep their souls alive. Discs are clearly depicted in the 2,500 year old palace of Darius at Perseopolis in Iran. I think we can assume the depiction's of disc craft with triple landing gear are accurate and it makes good sense to assume they were in our skies in ancient times.
These UFO discs have been depicted in 18,000 years old ancient caves in France. The Egyptians believed a metal craft with a metal door carried the souls of the dead who had led a good life. Many of the objects found in the barrows carry out the disc theme and its importance to the people. Clothing and capes were fastened over the upper chest with a disc measuring two inches in diameter. Jewelry, early armor and even the chief structures of worship carried out the disc theme. Stonehenge itself covered by wood would make a nicely shaped disc. Ancient sites such as New Grange in Ireland, believed to be the world's oldest structure is shaped as a disc. It is similar in appearance to the Mound of Kinowth and both have the disc shape with a rim and representations of windows that faithfully imitate the real object. If the ancients intended to imitate either the moon or the sun their structures would look very different. Almost everywhere in the world myths, customs, and religion claim their individual ancestors came from space. I suggest the history or the world is very different if we recognize the importance of disc UFOs.
MOON WORSHIP BY PAGANS
|Moon worship preceded Sun worship in every primitive society.
The names given to the Moon Goddess areeceded un worship in every imi
Artemis : Virgin Huntress
Aphrodite:~ Goddess of Love
Hera: Mature Mother
In Ancient Egypt she is Isis, Hathor, and Seshat
The Eskimos called her Sedna
The Chinese named her Shing Moon
The Celts called her Morgana
All over the world, rituals were held in her honor.
|Pagans celebrate her on the following
dayse her on the following
Winter Solstice: December 20-23
Candlemas: February 2nd
Spring Equinox: March 20-23
Beltane: May Day
Summer Solstice: June 20-23
Lughnasadh: August 1st
Fall Equinox: September 20-23
Samhain (Halloween): October 31
In Hindu, "Shiva" is the witness, consciousness, vibration (also called Ma/heshv/ar the remover of death) which is symbolized by the Moon of Night.
In ancient Sumeria this symbol of the 8 ray star was the symbol for God, and the earliest Islamic symbols used this same eight ray star with the crescent moon to represent their faith under the Evening Star.
Clearly is the mention of the thousand years in the watch of the NIGHT (Psalm 90:4) & we see his nemesis Satan the theif claim in (1 Thessalonians 5:2) & (2 Peter 3:1) That he comes as a thief in the Night. Interesting enough so too does the Babylonian Mystery Religion deity of Mithra who was the angel of the rays of (luciferous) Light between the sun and earth, his enemy was the Night.
Ur = "flame" 1) city in southern Babylonia, city of the Chaldeans, centre of moon worship, home of Abraham's father, Terah, and departure point for the Abraham's migration to Mesopotamia and Canaan
The Moon in the Talmudic tradition represents the Messiah.
The crescent moon and Star as the NIGHT , is the symbol for Islam and Rammadan
Allah - the Moon God
The Archeology of The Middle East
The religion of Islam has as its focus of worship a deity by the name of "Allah." The Muslims claim that Allah in pre-Islamic times was the biblical God of the Patriarchs, prophets, and apostles. The issue is thus one of continuity. Was "Allah" the biblical God or a pagan god in Arabia during pre-Islamic times? The Muslim's claim of continuity is essential to their attempt to convert Jews and Christians for if "Allah" is part of the flow of divine revelation in Scripture, then it is the next step in biblical religion. Thus we should all become Muslims. But, on the other hand, if Allah was a pre-Islamic pagan deity, then its core claim is refuted. Religious claims often fall before the results of hard sciences such as archeology. We can endlessly speculate about the past or go and dig it up and see what the evidence reveals. This is the only way to find out the truth concerning the origins of Allah. As we shall see, the hard evidence demonstrates that the god Allah was a pagan deity. In fact, he was the Moon-god who was married to the sun goddess and the stars were his daughters.
Amon, the God of Empire
Lunar Worship--The Great Mother of Darkness.--Anion as a Moon God--Fusion with Ra--Ptah a Form of the Theban Deity--Fenkhu--"and "Fenish" Artisans--Osiris and Amon--Veneration of Religious Pharaohs--Amon's Wife and Concubine--Conquests of Thothmes I--Rival Claimants to the Throne--Queen Hatshepsut--Her Famous Expedition--Rise of Thothmes III--A Great Strategist--His Conquests--The Egyptian Empire --Amon's Poetic Praise--The Emperor's Buildings and Obelisks.
THE moon god Ah comes into prominence during the Egyptian War of Independence. This ancient deity must have been closely associated with the Theban religious cult which Ra Apepa, the Hyksos king, singled out for attack, because the name of the queen mother, Ah-hotep, signifies "Ah is satisfied", and that of her victorious son Ah-mes, "born of Ah".
It is highly probable that Ah was the son of the great Mother deity Apet, who was identified with the female hippopotamus Taurt, "the mighty one", goddess of maternity, and "mother of the gods". At Thebes and Ombos, Osiris was regarded as the son of the sacred hippopotamus. As we have seen in the Introduction, he was, like Ah, identified with the moon spirit, which symbolized the male principle. The Apet hippopotamus was the animal incarnation of the Great Mother; as a water goddess, therefore, Apet links with Nut, who rose from the primordial deep and was "the waters above the firmament".
At the beginning there was naught save darkness and water. The spirit of the night was the Great Mother, and her first-born was the moon child. Life came from death and light from darkness. Such appears to have been the conception of the worshippers of the sky-and-water goddess and the lunar god.
On the other hand, the worshippers of the male earth spirit believed that the firmament was made of metal which was beaten out by the Great Father, Ptah, at the beginning. Ere metal came into use it may have been conceived that the sky was made of stone. Hathor, the sky goddess, was significantly enough "the lady of turquoise", and Ra, the sun god, was in the Fifth Dynasty symbolized by an obelisk.
Osiris, the human incarnation of primitive Nilotic deities, absorbed the attributes of the moon spirit and the male earth spirit. Isis, on the other hand, apparently absorbed those of Nut, the sky-and-water goddess, and of Neith, the earth goddess, who symbolized growth.
As moon worship was of greater antiquity in Egypt than sun worship, and was associated with agricultural rites, the Theban cult must have made popular appeal, and helped to rally the mass of the people to throw off the yoke of the Hyksos Ra and Sutekh worshippers. The political significance of Apepa's order to slay the hippopotami is therefore apparent.
When the influence of the southern conquerors extended to Hermopolis, Ah was merged with Thoth, who was originally a lunar deity. In fact, as we have shown in our Introduction, he was another form of Khonsu. With Mut, "the mother", who is indistinguishable from Apet, Khonsu and Thoth formed a Theban triad. In Nubia, where archaic Mediterranean beliefs appear to have been persistent, Thoth was the son of Tefnut, the lioness-headed goddess, who was given arbitrary association with Shu, the atmosphere god, by the theorists of Heliopolis. Mut was also depicted at Thebes with the head of a lioness.
As we have already suggested, it is possible that Amon was originally the son of Mut-Apet. He may have developed as a symbolized attribute of Ah. Fragments of old hymns make reference to him as a lunar deity, and as a "traverser" of space like Khonsu-Thoth. Indeed, even in his hawk-headed form, he retains his early association with the moon, for he wears the solar disk with the lunar crescent. 1
Amon, like the sons of all the Great Mother deities, represented in his animal forms the "male principle" and the "fighting principle". He became "the husband of his mother" when the Great Father and Great Mother conceptions were fused. This process is illustrated in the triad formed by Ptah, the father, Mut, the mother, and Thoth, the son. Ptah's wife Sekhet, with the head of a lioness, is indistinguishable from Mut) Tefnut, and Bast.
In Kabbalah Judaism, the power of the moon, is the symbol of King David (upon seeing the new moon we say, "David the king of Israel is alive forever").
Similar is The Story told from the Bushmen in Africa who have a lore about the Hare and the Moon where the Moon represents eternity (as the eternal one). Ironically in their lore, this 'Bunny' (like the symbol for the Babylon Easter), is the spoiler or tempest who ruins their chance at eternal life, much like Satan in the Genesis story.
The Mbuti Pygmies believe in a great being of the sky, lord of storms and rainbows, sometimes called Creator, and envisaged as an old man with a long beard. He is named Tore and not only did he make everything but all belongs to him, so that before hunting he is invoked for food. The Pygmies also revere the moon, and some of them say that it was the moon who molded the first man, covered him with skin and poured blood inside. Another story associates the first couple with the chameleon, a reptile that figures in many African tales. The dominant Pygmy belief is in the god of the forest, who is benevolent, and to whom men pay as much respect as they do to their own parents.
The Yaruba of the Gold Coast, Africa
HOW EASTER DEVELOPED FROM PAGANISM
Easter became the Christianized rebirth of mankind through Christ's death and resurrection. Early missionaries hoped to convert the pagan celebrants to Christianity. They chose to spread their message of faith throughout the populations by taking many of the traditions of the Christian observance of the Resurrection of Christ, which occurred at roughly the same time of year, and folding it into the pagan feast of Eostre.
The custom of eating hot cross buns is also said to have Pagan origins. The Saxons ate buns that were marked with a cross in honour of Eostre. The ancient Greeks also consumed these types of buns in their celebrations of Artemis, Goddess of the hunt (known as Diana to the Romans). And the Egyptians ate a similar cake in their worship of the Goddess Isis. There are conflicting ideas as to what the cross symbol represents. One suggestion is that horn symbols were stamped on cakes to represent an ox, which used to be sacrificed at the time of the Spring Equinox. Another theory is that the cross marks on the bun relates to moon worship, whereby the bun represented the full moon, and the cross represents its four quarters.
The timing of Easter Sunday shows its pagan roots, being based upon Sun and Moon worship. It falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon after March 21, the nominal date of the Spring Equinox. It can fall on any date from March 22 to April 25th. The sequence is so complicated that it takes 5.7 million years to repeat a cycle. Eastern Orthodox churches sometimes celebrate Easter on the same day as the rest of Christianity. However if that date does not follow Passover, then the Orthodox churches delay their Easter - sometimes by over a month.
In the aeons preceding this one we have seen the evolution from Moon and Goddess worship, to Sun and Patriarchal religion to now, the aeon of Horus. The aeon of the exaltation of the individual. The crowned and conquering child. The preceding aeons have been marked by our races rising perception of the laws of nature, and evolving view of itself. In Thelemic doctrine the aeons can be percieved as,
A The aeon of Isis: Moon worship, Matriarchal earth based religion.
B: The aeon of Osiris: Sun Worship, Patriarchal authoritarian religion based on the formula of sacrifice for ressurection.
C: The present aeon: The aeon of Horus, the crowned conquering child.
MODERN CHINESE MOON CAKE CELEBRATIONS
Round and round the story goes
By Majorie Chiew
Pictures by Victor K.K. Ng
THE Mooncake Festival, also known as Mid-Autumn Festival, falls on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month which is Sept 24 this year. Historically, it was a harvest festival for farmers but traditionally, womenfolk worshipped Chang-E, the moon goddess.
Mooncakes are also known as "reunion cakes" as family members gather to partake of the sweet confectionery.
Mooncakes are eaten throughout the month before the actual festival day. They make meaningful gifts for kith and kin.
In the evenings, children gleefully carry lanterns of all shapes and sizes. The bearing of lanterns and the origin of mooncakes date back to a 14th century revolt by the Chinese against the Mongols.
In 1376, the Chinese overthrew the Yuan (Mongol) dynasty (1280-1376) in an uprising brilliantly hatched by lantern-bearing messengers who delivered mooncakes with hidden messages.
Legend has it that the time and place of the revolution were concealed in the mooncakes sent to friends and relatives. The midnight massacre of the Mongols was led by Liu Bowen.
A tiny sachet of oxygen absorber is added to the plastic tray of each mooncake to prevent the cake from turning mouldy.
Today, altars are set up outside the house facing the full moon on the night of the festival. The "harvest moon" is at its brightest and roundest this time of the year.
Offerings of mooncakes, mini yams and water caltrops are laid out for Chang-E, also known as the Moon Lady. Round fruits are offered as the shape symbolises the fullness of the moon and family harmony.
Some women peel pomelos and mini yams in the belief that they will have a flawless complexion. Others pray to the moon goddess hoping to be blessed with good husbands.
The classic tale of Chang-E, the beautiful moon goddess, is associated with the Mooncake Festival. Pictures of her in a flowy gown floating to the moon commonly adorn mooncake boxes.
Folklore has it that she was married to the divine archer Hou Yi, who shot nine out of 10 suns that were causing havoc. For his deed, the Queen Mother of the West gave him the elixir of life. Chang-E stole her husband's potion of immortality, drank it and found herself floating to the moon.
There she lives out her days in the cold lonely moon palace with a furry rabbit for companion.
A slightly different version says that Hou Yi was a tyrannical ruler. Chang-E drank the magic potion to prevent him from becoming immortal.
Mechanisation has eased the preparation of lotus paste. Over 100kg of paste are cooked and blended in these metal cauldrons.
Another myth tells of woodcutter Wu Gang who was banished to the moon and became Chang-E's friend and servant. The Jade Emperor punished Wu Gang by ordering him to cut down a cassia tree. It was a task that could never be completed as the tree is immortal and would grow back each time it is felled.
Moon worship has its roots in China's Sung (960-1127), Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties, when commoners and emperors alike observed the practice.
Imperial chefs made mooncakes over a metre in diameter with designs of the moon goddess, the moon palace and cassia tree. Ordinary mooncakes were several centimetres in diameter.
During the Qing dynasty, mooncakes were renamed "moonflowers." In Mandarin, the word yuebing for mooncakes sounds like "monthly sickness" (or menstruation).
The Empress Dowager Ci Xi staged rituals for an elaborate moon festival lasting from the 13th through the 17th day of the eighth lunar month.
Some Chinese families today still stay up late to observe the occasion - eating mooncakes, sipping tea and gazing at the beautiful moon.
It is regarded the perfect moment if someone catches the moon's reflection in the centre of his or her teacup.
RECIPE FOR CHINESE MOONCAKE
MORE CHINESE MOON CELEBRATIONS AND CAKES
LUNAR DIARY - 2002
FOLKLORE, MYTHS AND LORE ABOUT THE MOON
Ma Kali Puja - 10th anniversary of Kali Mandir's Annual Kali Puja
Traditional New Moon Worship of the Divine Mother
PUGET SOUND MOON WORSHIP CEREMONIES
COMPREHENSIVE NATIVE AMERICAN MOON DATES
THE INFLUENCE OF THE MOON OVER NATURE
DREAMS OF THE GREAT EARTHCHANGES