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The roundness of the Full Moon
When the Moon represents an Eye, we find myths built on characters with one eye: Gwukub Kakish, the Maya; the Graeae, "gray witches" (GR = KR), the "old moons" who only had one tooth and one eye between the three of them; and the famous Cyclops.
- a blinding: the three moonless nights that announce the beginning of a new lunar cycle (i.e. the "new moon") make this blind period the signal for ceremonies of the Passage into a new Cycle. Resurgent memories of these impressive sacrificial rites - including cannibalistic practices - inspire many dramatic sequences in which a mythical nocturnal hero is blinded: Maya: Gwukub Kakish, Palestine: Samson, Egypt: Horus (particularly significant myth because the Moon is the eye of Horus; Greece: Orion, of course, holds the Moon aloft, the Three Graeae blinded by Perseus, the Cyclops blinded by Ulysses, Oedipus, etc).
It seems that this concept of a "Lunar regard" periodically blinded and then restored is connected with the names for Ceremonies that "Open a New Cycle". This is illustrated in Egypt by the name of the ostentatious "New Year" ceremonies that mark the transtion into a new period of time, namely:
The very resonance of "Wopa!", which is a call to the divine regard of the Moon and a signal for opening of the festivities, appears to have been handed down with its ancestral integrity intact. It still vibrates in the cry launched by the leader of the Pontic Khorus, the traditional circle dance that came to Greece from the shores of the Black Sea.
When the image of the Moon’s roundness combines with the idea that lunar powers govern the tides, regulate liquids, water, sap and blood, and that they control the distribution of fertile rains, the Moon is seen as the luminous celestial calabash, gourd or pumpkin and myths, tales and rites follow: for instance, Halloween. Just as Egypt maintained the lunar eye more or less intact as its hieroglyph for the measure of volume, the pre-Columbian cultures used a more or less full calabash as their glyph for measurement.
The invention of pottery led to the image of the spherical vessel, an endlessly flowing pitcher (Maya: Ish Mukane, Greece: the Danaides).
The decoration of this large votive recipient of Eleusis (142 cm) depicts the Blinding of the Cyclops with the appearance of Canis Major at its top, and on the bulge a parade of Gorgones with globular jars surrounded by lightening-like serpents. The same ideogrammatic language is found in Mexico: the theme of the inexhaustible jar in the hands of the lunar Power, Ish Mukane (Dresde codex).
In the time of agriculture the combination of a round, white Moon and the concept of fecundity, abundance and food makes the lunar power the protector invoked when working with flour (Pierrot and the Baker) and making ritual seasonal dishes (Crepes that "fly" through the air during the Candelaria, etc):
At the same time, this Shield is…
Khonsou-Ioh (Moon) light of the night,
Urkunden,VIII, cited by Dorchain in "La lune: mythes et rites" (Seuil)