Journey to the Temple of the Moon Goddess' Daughter
Feb. 5, 2006
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Ages ago, when the Moon was young, she gave birth
to a beautiful baby daughter. Every night, as the Moon
sailed across the night sky, she carried her daughter safely
in her arms and they shone down together to light the
night for the People who lived on the Land.
As the daughter grew, she became the most radiant and
beautiful being in the Heavens, attracting many admirers --
most unfortunately among them, the Lord of the Underworld.
Every night, he would peer up through the caverns that lay
between his world and the Land, watching the beautiful
Moon Goddess' Daughter sail across the sky cradled in her
mother's embrace and knowing that for all Eternity, she
would be out of his reach.
One night, as the Lord of the Underworld weeped and
watched the object of his desire sail high overhead, Jack Rabbit
heard his crying. Always keen to exploit an opportunity, Jack
Rabbit asked the Underworld god why he was crying. On
learning of his sadness, he hatched a plan to curry favor by
luring the Moon Goddess' Daughter down to the Land and
the Underworld. "With my beautiful fur, and long lovely ears,
and fleet feet, I will make the Daughter fall in love with me."
From that night on, Jack Rabbit would run and dance
all night under the Moon, showing off his
speed and grace, leaping over fallen
trees and racing through fields. As the Nights went on,
the Moon's Daughter began to notice Jack Rabbit, and admire
his speed, his grace, his fleet foot. Her admiration for him grew
deeper and deeper, until one night, as he elegantly made his
way up a steep cliff, the Moon's Daughter could bear it no more.
She let herself tumble out of Moon's loving embrace and fell to
Once on the Land, she raced after Jack Rabbit, who pretended
not to notice her giving chase. But he had laid his trap long
ago, and now led the Moon Daughter to a burrow, into which
he quickly disappeared. Daughter followed, but the burrow was
actually a hole into which she fell, straight down into the deep caverns
where the Lord of the Underworld was waiting for her. He kept
her as his bride, and told her she could never return to the Land,
let alone to the Sky where her Mother lived.
This was the story that we unravelled together as we made our way
across the parklands of Howarth, Spring Lake, and Annadel
on a beautiful warm winter afternoon, stopping along the
way for a pony ride and two little picnics -- one in the Wood
between the Worlds, made famous in the Narnia book, The Magician's Nephew.
Wherever we found ourselves
stepping over or around puddles and bogs, we explained that
these were the Moon Goddess' Daughters tears of sorrow and
separation, seeping up from the Underworld.
The goal of our hike was the Outdoor Temple atop the dome hill
in Annadel, where every Harvest season, the People would take a
maiden to offer her symbolically to
the Moon Goddess as a Daughter for the coming year. The People
appreciated the light that Moon gave them against the Darkness,
especially in the Autumn, when the moonlight gave
them extra time to harvest food and hunt before the winter.
When we crossed the stream that separates Spring Lake from
Annadel, we took off our shoes and played in its icy water before heading up the hill,
climbing through the stream and water falls, rather than on the
trail. Finally atop the hill, we found our way to the
crater that was the Outdoor Temple,
where we told of the Sisterhood of the Moon Goddess Daughters,
the secret society of women, each of whom had been taken
from their family on an Autumn night and led to the temple atop
the hill. There, surrounded by bonfires lit to attract the Moon's
attention, each had been dressed in ancient and royal robes
by the Sisters of the Moon Goddess' Daughter -- former maidens,
now priestesses -- who would chant their thanks to the Moon and
offer another daughter for the coming year. As the Moon set in the
West on those nights, the maiden would be given a cherished moonstone,
the secret symbol of the sisterhood, to represent her membership
in their secret and honored society.
Or so we told ourselves, before heading back down the mountain
to Spring Lake, to meet up with Jen and have an early dinner at
Heavenly Hamburger, wrapping up our version of Super Bowl Sunday.