Monday, May 7, 2012


Le Voyage dans la Lune
Last night was the "waning gibbous moon" which comes between the full moon and the last quarter moon. Something about the "wane" of that moon caused me to pull out a "moonstone" ring an old beau gave me a few lifetimes ago.  The Romans had a thing for moonstones--thought they were born from solidified moon rays.  The ring I have is from the Art Nouveau period and made by the french goldsmith Rene Lalique.  The stone is colorless, with a blue cast that shimmies and shimmers when you move it,--incident light rays refracted and scattered in the stone--an effect known as "adularescence".  In earlier times people believed they could see the crescent and waning phases of the moon in the stone. I squinted real hard, but the only thing I could see was the end of a relationship winking back at me.

But not a bad memento, the "lovers' stone", since Moonstone is reputed to protect true love, as well as soothe and balance emotions= the yin and yang of it all. It's also been called a "visionary stone", said to strengthen intuition, enhance creativity and sensitivity. It amplifies the unconscious and helps the wearer to see situations and people from different angles with more clarity. A stone of protection for travel at sea, pregnancy and childbirth. Also helps in romantic matters and attracting friendship!  The perfect stone to be worn for the Fete de la Lumiere to be held in Brossac this weekend, where I will be reading the cards of  love seekers, souls out of balance, or even ones desiring to make a baby while taking a long sea voyage on Carnival Cruise lines --  I'll be blowing smoke up those mirrors or out of my ass as the case may be (just kidding).  In India, moonstones are holy gems, called 'dream stones' which can bring beautiful visions at night. In Arab countries, women sew the stones into their garments--a hidden symbol of fertility. Physically, moonstones reduce swelling caused by excess fluid in the body, align vertebrae & help with hormonal issues, digestive and pituitary gland ailments. No end to the uses of this stone!
Selene - Moon Goddess

Tiers of Goddesses associated with the Moon, but only Selene, the daughter of Titan, who fell madly in love with a mortal: the shepherd, Endymion, was represented by the old Greek poets as the moon incarnate. The Romans called her "Luna". Although Selene was the earlier moon goddess, seems as though Artemis has muscled in on her territory. Artemis was the "Mistress of Animals", what more does she need?? Synonym for moonstone is selenite from the Greek "selene" (moon)--case closed. 

Selene's got a few basic strengths like the power of giving sleep, lighting the night and control over time plus a few weaknesses like being changeable--just like the moon--at the same time as hating change. The basic myth is that after uniting with Endymion and bearing him 50 daughters, she loves him so much she cannot bear the thought of his eventual death so uses her night magic to put him into a deep sleep forever so he will remain unchanging for all eternity.  She kept herself busy later on as there was also a brief tryst with Pan, then bearing a daughter with Zeus: "Pandia" (all bright) Goddess of the full Moon.  I'm wondering though if the rumor mill got it wrong and Pandia actually emerged from the liaison with Pan? Coincidence?  Moonstones have a weakness too:  a low hardness, sensitive & easily cracked, they  need to be handled with care.

Before I leave the compelling realm of the moon, it is worth mentioning that the first ever Sci Fi film, Le Voyage de la Lune was made in France in 1902 by George Melies and his brother Gaston.  It was based on Jules Verne's "From the Earth to the Moon" and H.G. Wells' First Men in the Moon.
There's a Moon Goddess in this film too.  This one's called "Phoebe".  Turns out Phoebe was a Titan & also the grandmother of Artemis.  Getting more and more complicated. Some say this film was one of the earliest examples of pataphysical film, stating the film aims to "show the illogicality of logical thinking".  Others say Melies wanted to "invert the hierarchical values of modern french society and hold them up to ridicule in a riot of the carnivalesque."  I think I'm going with the second idea since the plot pokes fun at the scientists and at science in general, when upon
reaching the moon, the astronomers find that the face of the Moon is, in fact, the face of a man, and that it is populated by little green men. 

I had to look up Pataphysics:  a philosophy or pseudo philosophy dedicated to studying what lies beyond  the realm of metaphysics. Term coined and concept created by French writer Alfred Jarry who defined pataphysics as "the science of imaginary solutions, which symbolically attributes the properties of objects, described by their virtuality, to their lineaments." Resting on the truth of contradictions and exceptions.
Jarry in Alfortville

You can watch around 11 minutes of the film on You Tube. It is quite delightful-- the opening shots are kind of a cross between a Guignol Wizard of Oz meets Flash Gordon & the Klu Klux Klan.  The film was hugely successful, and Melies intended to release the film in US, but Thomas Edison's film technicians secretly made copies & distributed them throughout the country.  Melies went bankrupt. Martin Scorsese talked with Jon Stewart on The Daily Show about the copyright laws at the time the film was made and how Edison and his associates made dupes out of Melies, taking the film and deciding not to pay royalties. 

I'll leave this moon now, A Moon for the Misbegotten, with O'Neil's words spoken through Larry Slade:  "The lie of the pipe dream is what gives life to the whole misbegotten mad lot of us, drunk or sober."  The moonlight in the scene casts a flattering spell over lovers who have the illusion of a tomorrow, but beyond the night, nothing more exists for them.

As Robert A. Heinlein wrote in his 1966 sci-fi novel about a lunar colony's revolt against the rule of earth:  The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.

When all living things I contemplate,
your sun and stars, your galaxies,
like a flickering candle flame
my soul is overcome,
and just as the moon can only shine
by reflection of its sun, so is my being
only to wane into the unseen,
until it stands
before + thee


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