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Goddess of the Month: Selene

Updated: Aug 1, 2023

Selene is an ancient goddess of the moon. Little information regarding Selene’s veneration and rituals exists today although she is described as great in music and was supposedly invoked in magic spells. Her parents are Titans, Hyperion, and Theia. Helios, the Sun, is her brother. Many of her functions were later transferred to Artemis.

Selene bathes in the ocean before riding up to the sky in her chariot every night, variously driven by a pair of white horses, bulls, or mules. She pulls the full moon across the sky. Alternatively, she rides a horse sidesaddle. Sometimes Selene must hide from a dragon, indicated by a lunar eclipse or absent moon. Selene is an amorous goddess with many lovers including Pan and Zeus, with whom she had several children. Her most famous love affair is with the young shepherd Endymion, the male sleeping beauty. Selene placed him under an eternal sleep spell so that his entire existence consisted of sleeping and making love to her. Selene spends her days in the Anatolian cave in which Endymion sleeps.

Selene’s name is related to a word meaning ‘light.’ In her guise as the full moon, Selene sheds light on problems and mysteries.

Selene is the matron of magicians, sorcerers, witches, and moon-gazers.

She is the goddess of the moon, but she also is the moon. Selene may manifest as a woman or a cow, but you can also gaze at the moon and see her. As a woman, she is described as being very beautiful. She has wings and wears a diadem. In early depictions, she was seen as a cow whose horns were the crescent moon.

Moonstones and Selenite crystals are associated with Selene.


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