a reply to: johndeere2020
There's no simple way to answer this question without reducing thousands of years of religious progression down to a few gross generalizations. Take
everything below with a grain of salt, because the influence of the Moon and Venus on human spirituality is far more complex than I can convey in
The Moon, alongside Venus and the Sun, are signposts along the year. The Moon waxes from New to Full, and then wanes from Full to Dark, over the
course of 28-30 days. This phenomenon is cyclical, and ancient cultures soon realized that you could divide the year up based on the Moon's journey.
This process lead to the implementation of lunar calendars. These calendars divided the year up into 12 or 13 lunar cycles. Most commonly it was 12
cycles, with an "inter-calary month" added at various intervals; a process too complex to discuss here. Additionally, women of these ancient cultures
also discovered that the monthly lunar cycle coincided with their own menstrual cycle, a topic with its own diverse history worth studying if you're
interested in connections between human biology and celestial phenomenon.
The Sun, wasn't mentioned by you, but is worth noting here, simply for the fact that solar cycles also became more obvious as ancient peoples got more
observant. The steady ascension of the sun at zenith in the sky from mid-winter to mid-summer; followed by it's steady declination from mid-summer to
mid-winter gave rise to the solar calendar, arranged around the solstices (Vernal and Autumnal), which originates from astrological observations over
the course of 360-365 days. A topic, once more, too complex to explain in a few sentences on here. Lunar and solar cycles are, as you likely know, the
basis for our modern calendars and methods of telling time.
Venus has a different cyclical system. For 263 days Venus is observable in the pre-dawn hours, leading the Sun in its rise. During this phase Venus is
known as the Morning Star, due to its diurnal activities. On the 264th day though, Venus is absent. For a total of 50 days Venus does not manifest in
the night sky. After this 50-day absence Venus once more appears, this time as the planet (star to ancient peoples) trailing the Sun as it sets. In
this phase, which lasts for another 263 days, Venus is known as the Evening Star, due to its crepuscular activities. Once again, on the 264th day,
Venus disappears entirely. For the next 8 days Venus cannot be seen in the night sky, before beginning the cycle anew by rising in the pre-dawn hours
for 263 more days. This pattern is known as a Synodic Period, and was useful to ancient astronomers because 5 Synodic cycles were almost exactly equal
to 8 Earth years. Longer periods of time could be calculated and measured if the Synodic Period of Venus was used as the foundation.
2. Astronomy and Astrology
All of these observations, of course, gave rise to the idea that natural phenomenon occurring on the Earth had its equivalent occurring in the
Heavens. The passage of seasons for example, from Spring to Summer to Autumn to Winter, happens to coincide with the Sun's ascension and declination
in the sky over the course of a year.
The Moon, meanwhile, could be used to predict solar and lunar eclipses, which many ancient cultures believed were times of violence and evil, with
demons overwhelming the Moon and running amok in heaven, because eclipses interrupted the otherwise natural cycles, disrupting Divine Law.
Venus' actions, meanwhile, gave rise to something known as The Descent Myth, which coincided with Venus' absence as well as the Sun's declination.
Descent Mythology is very complex, and there's no way for me to do it any justice in a simple reply post here. Almost every ancient culture featured
some variation on it though: Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, the Norse, etc.
As ancient observers became more attuned to these phenomenon, they started mapping the Heavens: creating constellations, the zodiac, the mansions of
the moon, and more. These celestial cartographers soon developed folk-sciences for reading the Heavens, and interpreting the placement of celestial
luminaries through means of divination to predict the fortunes of the country or individual. These observations soon lead to the acknowledgement of 4
other planets—a term originally denoting a wandering star—Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn.
3. In conclusion
The Moon and Venus allowed early humans to measure time, map the Heavens, and discover the cyclical phenomenon of Nature. These observations gave rise
to an entire "science" (belief) about the connection between Man, the Earth, and the Heavens, which would manifest in later religions and philosophies
which built upon these observations and the interpretations of them.
~ Wandering Scribe
edit on 7/2/16 by Wandering Scribe because: typos