A further support for the ‘inversion’ possibility is granted via looking at the actual mythology of the main Greek figure – Selene. As aforementioned, Selene is usually identified as one of the Daughters of Hyperion and Theia, although with two other possibilities which occasionally come up – the paternity of Pallas (a name that does quite a lot of work for the Greeks – potentially meaning the Spear-Wielder/Shaker, or the Cloaked/Covered One, contingent upon which etymology we’re going with), or of Helios. In either case, it would not be hard to connect these to our previously ‘stablished Indo-European typology of the Solar Goddess in question being a Daughter of the Sky Father; as the Sky Father also having Radiant Solar characteristics in the Daylight Sky, and frequently also being a Spear wielder and for that matter, cloaked (or even concealed), is well attested.
She has three romantic pairings spoken of within the realms of the Classic canon, one to Endymion, one to Helios, and one to Zeus. The former of which features Selene sojurning at night to be with Her sleeping beloved. And which already begins to suggest there’s something else going on here than a Lunar deity – after all, we should ordinarily expect a Lunar deific to be in the sky at night, rather than otherwise engaged with a mortal elsewhere. The Sun, meanwhile, we would not be anticipating to be in the Heavens at such an hour. Having, you might perhaps suggest, gone to bed.
The middle pairing is interesting, for a number of reasons. First and foremost, because the idea of the Sun marrying the Moon is a remarkably common one within the Indo-European mythologies – and more usually goes the other way in the archaic renditions of the typology. We have already briefly mentioned the RigVedic accounting of the Marriage of Suryaa to Soma , and this is joined by another prominent Baltic legend that is almost certainly similarly derived. I would also add to this scale the marriage of Helen to Menelaus, as previously indicated, but I appreciate that this is an as-yet speculative identification, particularly around the potential Lunar-Kingship deific associations of Menelaus. So, the Greeks managing to preserve a consortship of Sun and Moon … yet presenting this as the Solar Husband and Lunar Wife [but, importantly, in other Greek expressions of the typology that we have aforementioned, retaining the consistent other features of the specific marriage in question such as particular progeny], helps to firm up the likely explanation for what has happened here of a ‘flipping’ of the celestial associations for each partner, rather than the invention or incorporation wholesale of another deity.
A further element to the pairing of Helios & Selene that is worth mentioning, are Their children – the Horae. These are more usually ascribed to the parentage of Zeus & Themis [‘Divine Law’, ‘Custom’, ‘That Which Is Placed’]; and variously represent a number of concepts pertaining to regulation (whether of time or custom): such as the Seasons, the custodians/presiders of Order in the world and the affairs of men, and the material abundance (including of agricultural production) resultant from same. It is not hard to see how these Daughters would also have quite the Solar connotations – as in addition to the Solar-Order and Solar-Rulership axials, the linkage between the Sun and the Seasons via which time and the year is regulated, and the Sun and the flourishing of plants and life, is manifestly obvious. However, it is important to note that the main account for Helios – Selene being the justly proud parents of such Daughters of the Sun, is a relatively late one of the latter 300s AD; which, along with the more usual ascribing of the parentage of the Horae to the similarly (if somewhat subtly) solar-aligned Themis and Zeus, means that it is understandable to perhaps be a bit more circumspect as to its reliability. Even though its author, one Quintus Smyrnaeus, was a deliberately close study of Homer in the course of his own work and output.
The third pairing we have Greek support for, however, is much more ancient – and predates the above by perhaps a thousand years or more. This being the linkage of Zeus and Selene, resulting in the progeny of Pandia (as attested in the relevant Homeric Hymn) and, in a roughly contemporary work of Alcman, another daughter by the name of Ersa.
Now, “Pandia” is especially intriguing, for our purposes, due to the complex network of associations with the Deific of the Daylight Sky which are either directly in evidence, or may be reasonably inferred. The term is usually translated as “All-Light”, however I do not think that that quite does it justice. The “Dia” is a rather more specific connotation – resonating more with Sanskrit ‘Dyu’ than ‘Deva’, I would suspect : that is to say, the term for the bright, fiery-energized daytime sky and its Heavens … rather than the more broadly connotated “Deus”/”Deva”/”-Tyr” of “Divinity” (although this is a ‘cousin’ term, as we know, effectively meaning “Shining One”, that does implicitly have Solar connotations in its Celestial connexion). This is supported further via the tentative identification of the Athenian (or, perhaps, Pan-Greek) ‘Pandia’ festival with Zeus by a number of sources both ancient and modern. It is possible to challenge the identification and connotation, however – and some have alternatively suggested that the notion of an “All-Bright” child of the Moon Goddess ought logically to connote a Full Moon, thus rendering the Pandia a Full Moon observance. But there is little evidence to support such a contention – and in any case, it would seem rather curious were a term that has fairly consistently come to refer to the Brightly Radiant Heavenly Father [‘Zeus’ – ‘Dios’ in adjectival form, and ‘Dia’ in the feminine construction thereof] and which takes its derivation (and its cross-linguistic resonancy) from one(s) to refer to the Daylight Sky … to speak about an event of the Night-Time. A Full Moon may be Bright, but it is rarely sufficient to be ‘All-Bright’, ‘Pervasively Brightening’ in the manner of the Sun of the Day.
What this means, in effect, is that the pairing of Zeus & Selene to produce the Radiant Daughter that is Pandia – more overtly mirrors (by which I mean, it has various things exactly the wrong way around) various of the previously encountered mythic occurrences of a Solar Marriage. Either the prominently attested ‘Vedic’ (but also Baltic) style of incidence wherein the Female Solar deific marries a Lunar male divinity (and it should be remembered that there is a prominent and recurrent linking of the Lunar deifics and the Sky Father – the most prominent of which, of course, being Lord Shiva Himself, variously hailed as Chandrasekhara [‘Moon-Crowned’], Chandra [‘Moon’], ‘Soma’ [the actual Moon deific married by Suryaa in the relevant RigVedic hymnal upon the subject], and other such terms besides; and/or the notion of the Moon or Lunar figure as an arriving Prince/King in pursuit of a suitable wife – consider Lord Rama, for instance, or the aforementioned Menelaus) … or alternatively, the typology we have earlier explored around Hyperion and Theia – wherein the Sky Father, likely in Solar aspect, marries and sires with a Solar Goddess at least one inheritor of the Mother’s Radiant Beauty (an attribute that, entirely uncoincidentally, the Daughter Pandia is prominently ascribed in the relevant Homeric hymnal; and which we also find in occurrence for Helen, Tapati.).