Of Moon And Moon-Day – A Brief Look At The Interpretatio Romana Of Monday In Indo-European Traditions

It is Monday [Moon-Day], known in Greek as Hemera Selenes, Latin as Dies Lunae, and in various Indian languages it is likewise Chandra’s Day, or Soma’s Day, or Indu’s Day [and more on that in a moment].

But it is also Lord Shiva’s Day – well, one of them. And that helps us to see some of the intriguing issues with the direct and uncritical application of the over-familiar Interpretatio Romana framework to the rest of the Indo-European sphere.

For a start, in both the Greek and Roman schemas – the figure of the Moon that has been referenced, is female. This is not so for the Nordic/Germanic nor the Hindu understanding – and, as I have explored in previous articles, the Classical notion of Lunar Female axiomatic linkage is really quite the odd one out amongst the Indo-Europeans.

This does not mean that we don’t find some Lunar associations for Goddesses elsewhere in the IE sphere – Devi as ChandraGhanta is a brilliantly radiant example. But the essential and more exclusive linkage of Moon and Women is not the archaic Indo-European position nor is it found in a number of more recently living perspectives of the Indo-European faith.

Its saliency everywhere outside of the Classical World amidst the modern age just goes to show how incredibly pervasive and influential those civilizations have been. Often to the fairly active detriment of other – and just as authentic – mytho-cultures.

Because we think that the Classical setup must be the ‘baseline’ – and anything which doesn’t align closely with this must be the ‘derangement’ or the ‘innovation’ rather than the other way around.

But speaking of Interpretatio Romana and its subsequent broadening out to also incorporate the Hindu denomination as well as the Germanic – experienced observers shall note another point of controversy.

Per the mythology, the theology, we know that Odin and Shiva are the same deity. Except Odin’s Day is, of course, Wednesday. So what’s happened here?

Well, one likely possibility is that the promulgation of a seven day week heading both North to the Germanics, and East to India, lead to some misalignments as it went. We can see that with, for instance, Thursday [‘Thor’s Day’] being linked to Dies Iovis / Hemera Dios [i.e. Jupiter’s Day, Zeus’s Day] … despite the fact that Thor, as the Indo-European Striker/Thunderer Deific is, properly speaking, the Son of the latter. [The Hindu understanding for Thursday, in case you were wondering, links to Brihaspati – a Sky Father understanding – so upon this, at least, there is an alignment]

Meanwhile, the linkage of Odin with Shiva is somewhat substantiated via the less commonly encountered identification of Wednesday in the Hindu reckoning with Soumya – the Bringer of Soma. This is a figure of Shiva’s that is quite directly cognate with Odin bringing the Mead of Poetry [see my previous works upon the subject]. And, for those of you paying close attention – you will have noted that Soma , Soumya is also correlate with Monday.

[The identification of Buddh with Wednesday as the more usually encountered Graha for the occasion may align with Hermes / Mercury being the Classical linkage – although how this may pertain to the Sky Father deific or the immediate family thereof, I shall leave for another article]

Ultimately, it is worth bearing in mind that approaching the situation of the Days of the Week and the Planets (or other celestial bodies) associated with same – as having one-to-one linkages to particular Gods, is a relatively difficult position. Each heavenly body is what we would term in Sanskrit to be a ‘Graha’ – an ‘influencer’, so to speak [the actual comparative etymology links to modern English ‘Grab’ – as in, the Graha is something which ‘grabs’ you to exert its influence], or something which exerts a ‘gravity’ upon the life and our world in its circumstance.

Multiple Graha may be aligned to a single God – or, indeed, to multiple Gods Each. So, as we have seen, Thursday appears frequently to have Sky Father associations (although not exclusively, viz. the misunderstanding around Thor by later, post-Christianization Roman authorities). Except as we have seen in previous works – the Sky Father is often directly correlate with The Sun (along with the Sun God Who is the Son of the Sun; the Sun Goddess that is the female Celestial Consort of the Sky Father – the Radiant Queen of the Heavens; and even, in some conceptry, an element of artifice that is not, itself, a God).

So the situation of Shiva being linked to Monday – does not contradict Shiva’s co-identification with Odin, nor Shiva’s co-identification with Zeus and Jupiter.

Although the Lunar reckoning of days rather more pervasive, in any case – the twenty eight day cycle (with a ‘bright fortnight’ and ‘dark fortnight’) is much more immediately useful for ritual-religious purposes.

One thought on “Of Moon And Moon-Day – A Brief Look At The Interpretatio Romana Of Monday In Indo-European Traditions

  1. Pingback: Of Moon And Moon-Day – A Brief Look At The Interpretatio Romana Of Monday In Indo-European Traditions – Glyn Hnutu-healh: History, Alchemy, and Me

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