On my journey to realign to the natural world, I’m delving into the names of the week and their origins. Today, being Monday, I’ll share what I’ve learned about this first day of the week, a day many dread because it begins the work week.
My first thought when thinking about Monday was that it originally was Moon Day. Well, I wasn’t wrong. In Middle English it was monedai, which came from Old English mōndæg. This was the contraction of mōnandæg “Monday”.
Mōnandæg translates to the “day of the moon”. It comes from mona and dæg. This compares to Old Norse manandagr, Old Frisian monendei, Dutch maandag and German Montag.
In Spanish, Monday is known as Lunes. Italian and French share a similar spelling with Lunedi and Lunid respectively. The root for these words is luna, which translates to moon.
This day is dedicated to the moon and more specifically to the moon goddess. Which goddess, you ask? Well, there are several. However, in general, there are three, and they represent the three cycles of a woman: maiden, mother, crone.
Each culture had its own goddess of the moon. The Celts had several, including Rhiannon (also Rigantona), the goddess of fertility, the moon, night and death. The Celtic goddess Cerridwen represented the crone, who was known for her cauldron of wisdom. As nature would have it, she is linked to the waning moon.
Selene was the Greek goddess of the full moon, and she is widely worshipped today by Pagans.
I’ve saved the best for last. All my life, I’ve heard of Diana, the Roman goddess of the hunt, wild animals and the moon. She represents fertility and childbirth.
Happy Moon’s Day.