The cult of the moon

Through the teachings of Aradia, it is clear that she once taught her followers that the souls of the deceased went to the Moon. The cult of the Moon was primordial. Even though practitioners today agree that it is a symbol she used to signify that they were going to an astral world or realm, the concept was not unknown in several other ancient cultures.

Moon Cult

Moon Cult

That the moon is the resting place of the dead is a very old belief. Example, in the Book of the Respiration of the Egyptians, translated at the Louvre from the original, Isis inspires the wish for her brother Osiris so that “his soul may rise to paradise in the disk of the moon”. Plato even wrote: “for these souls the moon is the element, because these souls merge, dissolve in it, as their bodies do in the earth”.

Aridian system initiates instead believed that Aradia used the symbol of the moon to represent the astral plane. Be that as it may, the phenomenon of the moon influencing humanity is the "consequence" of its phases, waxing and waning. Many ancient cultures saw a link between its phases and gain or loss, fertility, age (aging) and death.

The origin of the lunar cult is undoubtedly linked to its changes of form each month, to its luminosity during the night. The moon herself became the main object of lunar cults and was seen as the Goddess herself.

At Diana's shrine, Lake Nemi, the moon is seen as the place of power for the Goddess Diana, and even the resting place for witches/wizards who have ended their physical lives on earth. According to the old beliefs of the Strega, the shadowy parts of the moon were the sacred forests of the goddess Diana, where she went to hunt, while the bright parts were plains.

The Witches/Wizards of the Janarra, descendants of the Witches/Wizards of Nemi, practice a form of lunar ritual dating back to antiquity. The ancient theme of "becoming like the moon" is found in the initiation rites of the Janarra. Initiates who choose to become priests/priestesses are stripped naked and painted white, usually with white powder, applied all over the body, including the hair.

Moreover, the initiation rites are linked to the phases of the moon: the first degree is "New moon", the second "Half moon", and the third "Full moon". Moreover, physical death is called "waning Moon", also considered as an initiation into the great Mystery.

Ritual worship and religious consideration of the moon vary in all corners of the world, depending on cultures. The regions between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Tropic of Cancer consider the moon to be feminine in nature while the aborigines from australia, the pygmies of congo, the Chaco Indians, the African Bushmen as well as certain Brazilian tribes see it as masculine in nature. However, they all saw a connection between the phases of the moon and the rhythm of nature, human cycles of fertility, life and death.

Even for some cultures, the three days when the moon is black, it was believed that it was evil creatures that devoured it. And when those monsters regurgitated her, she gradually reappeared. As for the lunar eclipse, it was believed to be the Goddess (the moon) and the God (the sun) who unite with the purpose of giving birth to new stars in the heavens, in order to replace those which were fallen.

Throughout human history, the moon has played a great role in helping them calculate the weather, signaling the best time to sow and harvest mundane or magical plants, linked to the waxing and waning of the moon. . Moreover, according to the tradition of witches, magic herbs are often planted at the new moon, in order to promote their growth and thereby increase their powers.

Then, the harvest was to be done on the full moon, where their forces are at their peak. It is a verifiable fact today that the moon actually influences the growth of plants and that its phases accentuate their pharmaceutical nature.

During the Christian persecution of witches, a superstition said that anyone touched by the light of the full moon would go mad. It was undoubtedly invented in order to dissuade people from joining the pagan moon rituals. It is even written in the Bible that to send a kiss to the moon by the hand was a sin against God. However, this same gesture was a very old and well-known pagan ritual to greet the moon (the Goddess).

The ancient moon tree glyph appears in the Old Religion. We also find this symbol in the ancient art of Etruscans, Romans, Greeks and Assyrians. Trees have long been seen as bridges leading to other worlds. In European folklore, the entrance to the fairyland was often found at the base of a tree. In certain mythologies, the tree becomes a transmitter of knowledge, as was the case for Woden who had hung himself on a tree for nine days before discovering the runes.

This theme is also recalled with the Tarot card “the hanged man”. Often trees bear forbidden fruit or in some way hold the key to knowledge, to higher knowledge (as in the myth Judaic/Christian of the Garden of Eden). The moon's association with trees is very ancient and tied to the deity herself, as are her themes of forbidden fruit and knowledge.

When witches once met at the Temple of Diana, Lake Nemi, two wooden pillars were erected vertically and supported a cross beam, forming a doorway on the northeast shore of the lake. The witches would kneel in front and wait for the full moon to come and "sit" on the beam (seen from their angle). At this time, they stood up and passed through the door, symbolizing their entry into the lunar realm. This door refers to the moon tree or the moon portal.