The moon holds the memories
Nothing ever dies
Oneness is eternal
It is all here now
Though we cannot say what exactly the Moche Moon Priestesses of San Jose de Moro believed, or know specifically what the Icamiabas were doing with the muiraquitãs or what their rituals entailed, we can be certain that these women were in deep relationship with the moon.
With Moon Mind, one is synched with the moon who creates time and rhythms; cycles of life, cycles of death, cycles in the sky. It is an understanding of the tides of life, the cycles of the ocean and the weather, when to plant, when to harvest and when to rest.
Moon Mind enables transpermeable consciousness. Objects become subjects, they are alive and animated. The cosmos is interactive, fostering the understanding of the need for reciprocity, giving back for all we are given and more important for all we take.
But the moon also created mind. Many words that mean moon emerge from variations of the word mind as does menses. The moon created math and division, allowed humans to begin to notice recurring cycles and begin to count.
Catch up with this narrative by reading these previous posts:
Moon Priestesses, Crescent Moons and the Shapeshifting Reality of the Watery Realms of Creation
Becoming Fish: Sacred Offerings to the Whirlpools of Neolithic Serbia
The Moon Priestesses of San José de Moro, Peru
“La Señora de Cao”: A Powerful Female Leader in Pre-contact Peru
The Lure of the Amazon by Eduardo Barros Prado: Further Information on the Amazon Women or Icamiabas of Brazil
The Goddess Diana, Lake Nemi and the Mirror of the Moon South of Rome
Icamiabas: Amazon Warrior Women in Precontact Americas
The evolution of biological life was largely influenced by the tempo of the moon cycling around the earth, pulling at the tides of the waters, creating rhythm and pulse. The Moon’s presence created periodicy, interval and recurrence which allowed for growth patterns, memory and complexity to arise.
“The root word for both “moon” and “mind” was the Indo-European manas, mana or men, representing the Great Mother’s “wise blood” in women, governed by the moon. Its derivative mania used to mean ecstatic revelation, just as lunacy used too mean possession by the spirit of Luna, the moon. To be “moon-touched” or “moon-struck.” meant to be chosen by the Goddess; a “moon-calf” was one carried away by love for her. When patriarchal thinkers belittled the Goddess, these words came to mean mere craziness. The moonstruck person was described as “silly,” a word that formerly meant “blessed,” possibly derived from Selene, the Moon” (Walker 670).
Moon mind includes the dark and the unseen. It includes the dead.
“The Moon-goddess created time, with all its cycles of creation, growth, decline, and destruction, which is why ancient calendars were based on phases of the moon and menstrual cycles” (Walker 670).
The moon is the record keeper. Our minds can access her mind and therefore all records of events on earth. She holds all the stories and memories of events that happen on earth. She bears witness.
Moon Goddess as Goddess of the Harvest: The Moon and the Scythe
In several of the stick divinations I have done over the years, certain people have been told they have the “power and permission to cut.” In the divination they are called “the keeper of the sacred scythe”; told they have permission to harvest. It turns out that each of these people had a sacred relationship to plants, being herbalists or master gardeners. They know how to talk to the plants, how to ask and how to listen for when to cut, and how much. They are told this is a sacred role they are performing. It is also a lineage they carry. They are advised, now that they know this, to be even more intentional with their cutting and to acquire a special scythe in recognition of the role.
Inherent in the Moon Goddess’ power is the harvest. Her designated priestesses are the ones who can cut; the ones who can take, cull, grind. They are the ones who”know the bones.” This is another function of the Moon Goddess and her priestesses. The crescent moon is a boat. It is also a scythe.
In Moche culture it was the owner of the tumi knife. We find the tumi knife represented in their artwork, held by the one called “the decapitator,” the Moon Priestesses as well as The Lady of Cao and the Lord of Sipan. The keeper of the scythe and the tumi understand what to cut when, how much to take, how much to leave. In the Moche culture this role extended out to animals as well as human sacrifice.
The Great Grain Goddesses also held this function, following the cycles of the moon as their cue. The Grain Goddess is also the reaper. She devours as she leads us into the darkness.
But we can only properly engage this part of the Moon and Grain Goddess’ power when we have achieved Moon Mind. You only take those who offer themselves as gift. You must know how to hear that.
As barbaric as we in the modern world may think human and animal sacrifice are, equally barbaric is our current treatment of animals and plants and the energy of this planet, including minerals. Equally barbaric, if not more, is the way that we take without ever giving.
I am not condoning or advocating for animal or human sacrifice but I am advocating for consciousness around what we take and finding a way to offer back.
If we listened, the moon would teach us how.
© Theresa C. Dintino 2023
Walker, Barbara G. The Women’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets. Harper & Row, 1983.