Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: Philosophy/Mythology ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Philosophy/Mythology
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: mr152-ga
List Price: $200.00
Posted: 22 Sep 2004 16:48 PDT
Expires: 22 Oct 2004 16:48 PDT
Question ID: 405026
Are G. I. Gurdjieff's mythological concepts of the moon similar to any
past culture's mythology?  In particular, the concept of souls feeding
the moon and, also, the moon's influence on man's mechanicality in
ordinary life.  His theory of the origin of the moon is now the
accepted scientific theory; however, his mythological ideas seem to
have no precedence (some similar ideas may be found in the Vedas).
Subject: Re: Philosophy/Mythology
Answered By: adiloren-ga on 24 Sep 2004 20:23 PDT
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Thanks for the question. There are many connections between
Guardjieff's theories on the moon and ancient lunar mythology. I have
outlined them below by category, with some background information on
the views of Guardjieff himself regarding the moon.


Statements Regarding the Moon by Georges I. Gurdjieff:

G. I. Gurdjieff

"All evil deeds, all crimes, all self-sacrificing actions, all heroic
exploits, as well as all the actions of ordinary life, are controlled
by the moon."

Fushion Anomaly

"Everything living on the Earth...people, animals, food
for the moon. All manifestations of organic life on Earth are
controlled by the moon. The mechanical part of our life depends upon
the moon, is subject to the moon. If we develop in ourselves
consciousness and will, and subject our mechanical manifestations to
them, we shall escape from the power of the moon."
- Georges I. Gurdjieff


Lunar Relation to the Soul:

Like Gurdjieff, many ancient myths support the idea that the Moon is a
very powerful force. Many have drawn specific connections between the
Moon and the human "soul".

In Hindu mythology, the Moon is thought to house the elixer Soma,
which, when drank by the gods would give them power and immoratality.
They would draw these powers from the moon itself.

In Etruscan mythology, the Moon, or "Luna" is the Underwold, where
souls go to rest and the production of new souls begins.

Soma (Hindu)

"According to Hinduism, every part of the cosmos is seen as an action
of a god. Time is the endless repetition of the same long cycle where
gods, demons and heroes repeat their mythological actions. In Hindu
mythology, Soma represents the god of the Moon. He rides through the
sky in a chariot drawn by white horses. Soma was also the name of the
elixir of immortality that only the gods can drink.

The Moon was thought to be the storehouse of the elixir. When the gods
drink soma, it is said that the Moon wanes because the gods are
drinking away some of its properties. Some people think that the Moon
is inhabited by a hare. That is why all hares are viewed as
incarnations of Soma."

In Greek mythology, apon death, the soul was absorbed by the Moon.



"When the gods drink soma, it is said that the Moon wanes because the
gods are consuming its immortal properties. Some people think that the
Moon is inhabited by a hare. That is why all hares are viewed as
incarnations of Soma."

SOMA - The Moon
"The Sun is the indicator of the soul, and the Moon is the vehicle of
the mind that receives the light of the soul."

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

"However the god 'Soma' later evolved into a lunar deity, and became
associated with the underworld. The moon is the cup from which the
gods drink Soma, and so Soma became identified with the moon god
Chandra. A waxing moon meant Soma was recreating himself, ready to be
drunk again. Alternatively, Soma's twenty-seven wives were daughters
of Daksha, who felt he paid too much attention to just one of his
wives, Rohini. He cursed him to wither and die, but the wives
intervened and the death became periodic and temporary, and is
symbolized by the waxing and waning of the moon."

Etruscan (Pre-Roman Italy)
Moon Mythology

"The Moon was often associated with the Underworld and death, and, in
Italy, "Luna" was the resting place of souls, and where all the coming
and going of souls takes place. To the peoples of old, the Moon seemed
to have been "reborn" every month from the shadows, grew larger, then
grew smaller and disappeared."

Etruscan Mythology

Greek Mythology
Moon Mythology

"In Greek mythology, humans had two deaths. One occurred on earth
(Demeter), where the body, and the soul and psyche are separated, and
then the soul and psyche go to the Moon. They then went to the
Underworld, where Persephone, Queen of the Underworld rules causes the
second death, where they are then separated. The soul goes to the
Moon, and the psyche goes to the Sun. The psyche is then absorbed by
the Sun and gives birth to a new soul."

Negative Lunar Representation in Mythology:

Evil and menacing attributes of the Moon have deep roots in many
mythologies. The Moon is thought to be responsible for catastropic
weather and can drive people insane under certain conditions. As a
result, some cultures advise taking measures to ward of the effects of
the Moon.


Mani (Norse)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

"In Norse mythology, Mani was the god of the moon and a son of
Mundilfari and Glaur. Mani pulled the moon through the sky every
night, pursued by the wolf Hati. Lunar eclipses were caused by Hati
coming close to catching Mani; children banged pots together and made
great noise, hoping to scare Hati away from the moon."

Rona (Maori)

"Rona was the daughter of the sea god Tangaroa. She was the Tide
Controller. One night she was carrying a bucket with stream water back
home to her children, when the path became dark. The Moon slipped
behind the clouds making it impossible to see anything. As Rona was
walking, she hit her foot against a root that was sticking out of the
ground. She was so upset that she couldn't see the root, she made some
unkind remarks about the Moon.

The Moon heard her remarks and put a curse on the Maori people. The
Moon grabbed Rona and her water bucket. Many people today see a woman
with a bucket in the Moon. It is said that when Rona upsets her
bucket, it rains. This Maori story symbolizes the influence of the
Moon on the rain and on the waters of the Earth, and especially on the

In a separate Maori myth, a man named Rona went to the Moon to find
his wife. To this day, the two take turns eating each other. This is
how the phases of the Moon were explained."

Ix Chel (Mayan)

"Ix Chel was depicted as an old woman wearing a skirt with crossed
bones, and she had a serpent in her hand. She had an assistant sky
serpent, whom they believed carried all of the waters of the heavens
in its belly. She is often shown carrying a great jug filled with
water, which she overturns to send floods and powerful rainstorms to

Irish Mythology (Druids)
Mythical Ireland

"What appear to be echoes of ancient beliefs are the idea that if a
woman slept in the sunlight she was more likely to become pregnant,
and that the waxing of the moon was a propitious time to undertake new
work, whereas its waning was the opposite. The light of the full moon
was said to make fairies more active in their affairs, and it was also
supposed to cause insanity to some people."

Coyolxauhqui (Aztec)

"Coyolxauhqui was the Moon goddess according the Aztec mythology. Her
name means "Golden Bells." She was the daughter of the Earth goddess,
Coatlicue and the sister of the Sun god, Huitzilopochtli.

Coyolxauhqui encouraged her four hundred sisters and brothers to kill
their dishonored mother. Coatlicue gave birth to Huitzilopochtli after
a ball of feathers fell into the temple where she was sweeping and
touched her. Huitzilopochtli sprang out of his mother as an adult
fully armed and saver her.

Coatlicue regretted such violence. Thus, Huitzilopochtli cut off
Coyolxauhqui's head and threw it into the sky to form the Moon."


The Moon as Related to Wisdom, Agriculture and Mechanics:

Gurdjieff writes much about the influence of the moon on mechanics,
technology and human wisdom. This may be rooted in mythology. Some
myths portrayed the moon as a provider of wisdom and culture. Mayans
believed the lunar god Itzamna to be the teacher of agriculture and

The Persian lunar god Sin was known as the "lord of wisdom" and was
thought of as an omnipitant "creator of all things".

The Egyptian moon god, Thoth, was portrayed as a great organizer, who
brought writing and a calender to the culture.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

"In Maya mythology, Itzamna was the founder of the Maya culture,
taught his people to grow maize and cacao, as well as writing,
calendars and medicine. With Ixchel, he was the father of the Bacabs.
He was associated with snakes and mussels. His father was Kinich Ahau
or Hunab Ku. The city of Izamal was sacred to him."

Sin (Persian)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

"He is commonly designated as En-zu, i.e. "lord of wisdom,". This
attribute clings to him throughout all periods. During the period (c.
2600-2400 BC) that Ur exercised a large measure of supremacy over the
Euphrates valley, Sin was naturally regarded as the head of the
pantheon. It is to this period that we must trace such designations of
the god as "father of the gods," "chief of the gods," "creator of all
things," and the like. We are justified in supposing that the cult of
the moon-god was brought into Babylonia by the Semitic nomads from

"The "wisdom" personified by the moon-god is likewise an expression of
the science of astrology in which the observation of the moon's phases
is so important a factor. The tendency to centralize the powers of the
universe leads to the establishment of the doctrine of a triad
consisting of Sin, Shamash and Ishtar, personifying the moon, sun and
the earth as the life-force."

Thoth (Egyptian)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

"Thoth, pronounced "tot", is the Greek name given to the Egyptian god
of the moon (lunar deity), wisdom, writing, magic, and measurement of
time, among other things. As the cycles of the moon organized much of
Egyptian society's civil and religious rituals and events, so Thoth
was also seen as the primary regulator of such things. The original
pronunciation of his name was approximately Tee-HOW-ti. He was a son
of either Ra or Set, but is also said to be the secretary and
counsellor of Ra. Thoth was a close companion of Astennu, a name which
was occasionally used to refer to Thoth himself. He had a daughter
named Seshat."

"Thoth was credited by the ancient Egyptians as the inventor of
writing and the 365-day calendar. He was usually depicted with the
head of an ibis (whose beak looks like a crescent moon) or of a baboon
(a nocturnal animal that has many similarities to humanity).

During the late period of Egyptian history a cult of Thoth gained
prominence, and millions of ibises were mummified and buried in his

"There is a Tarot sometimes referred to as The book of Thoth, as it is
believed to contain ancient knowledge originally brought to man by
this deity."


Other Notable Lunar Myths:

Diana (Roman)

" Diana was an ancient Italian goddess of woodland. In Capua and in
Aricia, a locality near Rome, there are still shrines dedicated to the
old Italian goddess. Diana was the twin sister of the god Apollo. Her
father and mother were Jupiter and Latona.

Diana believed her body was very sacred, and so no man was to see her
naked. One day a wandering hunter came across Diana bathing. She
became very angry, and turned him into a stag.

She was always surrounded by young beautiful attendants, who used to
hunt with her. Romans identified Diana with the Greek goddess Artemis.
As Artemis, she was also a Moon goddess."

Artemis (Greek)

"Artemis was the twin sister of the god Apollo. Her father and mother
were Zeus and Latona.

Artemis and her brother Apollo had fierce tempers. According to a
Greek legend, they killed most of the children of Niobe, who had
insulted her mother Leto comparing favorably his children with the
twins Artemis and Apollo.

Artemis was the goddess of the Moon. She was also known as the goddess
of the hunt."


Additional Resources:

Lunar Gods (Wikipedia category)

Gods & Goddesses

"Thoth, Ancient Egypt
Bridgit the Enchantress, Celtic Ireland
Diana, Ancient Rome
Artemis the Divine Archer, Ancient Greece
Shing-Moo, Ancient China
Cybele, the Lioness, Ancient Phrygia
Sinn, Ancient Babylonia
Hecate, the Dark One, Ancient Greece
Lilith, Ancient Sumeria
Khons the forgotten Egyptian, Ancient Egypt
Caridwen, Queen of the Cauldron
Danu, the Good Mother, Ireland
Isis, Mistress of Magic, Ancient Egypt."

Myth - Moon Gods and Moon Goddesses

Full moon and lunar effects


Google Search Terms:

moon, mythology
"lunar mythology"
moon or lunar and mythology and soul
Gurdjieff, moon

Thanks again for the question. Please don't hesitate to request
clarification if necessary.

-Anthony (adiloren-ga)

Request for Answer Clarification by mr152-ga on 25 Sep 2004 17:10 PDT
I've briefly skimmed over your answer and you've discovered some
interesting connections.  The Hindu Soma stories are fascinating. I am
especially interested in the Greek mythological belief that the soul
is absorbed by the moon upon death.  This is stated in Gurdjieff's
teachings.  This could have come from his father, a greek descendent
going back to Ionian times.  His father was a traditional story in the
oral tradition where long stories were passed on word for word for
generations.  Did you run across any references that may have more
details relating to the ancient Greek mythologies relating to the

Clarification of Answer by adiloren-ga on 27 Sep 2004 21:51 PDT
I have received your clarification request and will respond soon.
Thanks for the kind comments and high rating. I'm glad I could help.

Best regards,
mr152-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars
This has been a very helpful answer with a very good survey of general
moon mythology from various cultures.

There are no comments at this time.

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy