Selene - Incense of the Moon
An incense to gain the favor of the Moon Goddess...
A magickal synchronicity ...
Recently I came across a translation of a Greek Magical Papyri with the formula for creating an incense beloved of Moon Goddess Selene (Greek Pronunciation: Seh - Lee - N-ee):
Offering for the rite of Selene, For doing good:
“offer incense of storax, myrrh, sage, frankincense, a fruit pit. “
It just so happen that within a few days of discovering the formula, I harvest my first “crop” of wondrously aromatic Greek Sage. The scent translated perfectly on the heater and I was thrilled to find a formula in which to use it.
The resins and prescribed botanicals blended together in a wonderful
way, so this blend not only has a history and a mystery but is a uniquely beautiful and fragrant incense!
- Our finest blend of Myrrhs, Yemeni, Suhul and Red Kua
- Fresh Greek Sage (one of my new favorite aromas)
- Greek Sage Essential oil, distilled in Crete
- Black Storax bark ground with Liquidambar
- Omani Frankincense
- you will have to provide your own Fruit Pit….I recommend Cherry:)
It is best burned on the heater, but for outdoor use good charcoal is fine…
Full Moon Ceremony
To ask a favor or blessing of the Moon you can simply burn this lovely incense when it is full and hold your intention in your heart. Or if you are more ceremonially inclined, try the following ritual…
- On a full, or near full Moon, go to a secluded place and create a small altar.
- Upon it place your censer or heater, Selene Incense, some Fruit (with pits preferably), perhaps a white rose or other white flowers, and a chalice of white wine (Greek Retsina in a silver cup is excellent)
- Take some time to meditate and commune with the moon
- Place some Selene incense on the censer
- Hold your request or intention firmly in your mind, hold the beauty of the Moon in your heart
- *If you like, do as the ancients did and read aloud a hymn to the Goddess of the Moon, Selene, asking her favor and presence
- Speak aloud your request to the Moon
- Place more incense on the censer
- Hold the chalice of wine up to the moon and if you are lucky, catch the moon’s reflection in the cup.
- Drink the Moon blessed wine, but be sure to save a bit to offer Selene, pouring some onto the earth
- Enjoy, feel the lunar communion…breath in her light…know your request has been heard
- Gather up your altar, but leave a flower on the spot where you poured out the wine on the earth and give thanks to the Moon
*To Selene: (to be recited while offering aromatics).
Hear, Goddess Queen, diffusing silver light, bull-horned, and wandering through the gloom of night.
With stars surrounded, and with circuit wide night's torch extending, through the heavens you ride: female and male, with silvery rays, you shine, and now full-orbed, now tending to decline.
Mother of ages, fruit-producing Moon, whose amber orb makes night's reflected noon: lover of horses, splendid queen of night, all-seeing power, bedecked with starry light, lover of vigilance, the foe of strife, in peace rejoicing, and a prudent life:
Fair lamp of Night, its ornament and friend, who givest to nature's works their destined end. Queen of the stars, all-wise Goddess, hail!
Decked with a graceful robe and amble veil. Come, blessed Goddess, prudent, starry, bright, come, moony-lamp, with chaste and splendid light, shine on these sacred rites with prosperous rays, and pleased accept thy suppliants' mystic praise."
- Orphic Hymn 9 to Selene (trans. Taylor) (Greek hymns C3rd B.C. to 2nd A.D.)
On the Goddess Selene:
Selene, Goddess of the Moon, truly represented the moon itself to the Greeks.
Selene is a Titan goddess. Titan gods and goddesses were actually the divine beings that preceded the Olympian gods and goddesses. The first of these divine beings emerged from the primordial and originally called Gaia mother and Uranus father.
Selene is depicted in ancient art wearing a moon symbol (usually crescent.) While she is most often shown as riding horses, some portrayals have her driving an oxen team. When this happens, her crescent moon is formed from the bull’s horns.
Selene’s Distinction Among Moon Goddesses
Additionally, although the ancients considered Hecate (Waning Moon) and Artemis (Waxing Moon ) counted as lunar goddesses, only Selene was the Full moon itself. She is said to have driven the moon chariot. This heavenly vehicle got its power from white horses. It drove across the sky, providing the night with its light.
The moon goddess loved a mortal man named Endymion. It is said that Selene watched him while he slept within a cave. According to some legends, the pair had 50 daughters. In other stories, it is said that it was Zeus himself who gave Endymion immortality.
This divine magic trick made Endymion forever young. However, it came with a cost. Endymion was given the choice (by Zeus) of when he would die. The mortal opted for eternal sleep, thus granting him his youth, but it was a youth he could not enjoy. Selene visited Endymion each night in his place of rest near Mount Latmos.
Titans and Mystery Religions
Scholars who study the Titans say that some of the rituals and stories associated with gods and goddesses like Selene existed to support ancient shamanistic/cult practices.
She was renown for assisting magical work (like Hecate) due to her nocturnal nature
As Selene’s Greek identity morphed into its Roman one, Selene became Luna. Although some legends say that she along with Hecate and Artemis were a triune of lunar goddesses
A mystery cult revering Luna/ Selene rose up. This would support the assumption that the stories of goddesses like Luna/ Selene were part of ancient cult rituals in daily life.
These rituals started first in families and clans and then were adopted by society itself until they were celebrated nationwide within the city-states of the ancient world.
“Lost Goddesses of Early Greece” - Spretnak
“Gods of the Greeks” - Kerenyi