Selene

SELENE Story by Brandon L. Parsons (2015)
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SELENE (Thalia Took)
On a cold, winter night, rising above the pristine snowy ground, laying a silvery shine to all it touches, the moon fills the sky with an almost supernatural light. Long the subject of legends, myths and stories of loves gained and lost throughout many cultures, its no surprise that the ancient Greeks thought of the moon as a magical, honored object. Which is why, of course, they had a beautiful and much-loved deity to represent it in their mythology! Even though sometimes Artemis, the goddess of the hunt, got partial credit for the silvery-grey globe in the night sky, the real power behind Earth's satellite was SELENE, the Goddess of the Moon.


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Selene (Meredith Dillman)
Selene, like so many who get put into the “goddess” category, isn't even truly a goddess, but a being much older than an Olympian; she's a Titan, who stayed out of the way when Zeus and his Olympian siblings duked it out with her brothers and sisters, the Titans, in a war called the Titanomachy (War Between the Gods). When the dust settled, Selene and several of her non-combatant family members were granted honorary membership as Olympians and were allowed to continue their former jobs. Selene was the daughter of Hyperion, the Titan of Light and Theia, the Titaness of Sight, and went on to do her parents proud as the deity of the moon. Her fellow Titan-siblings Eos (Dawn) and Helios (Sun) also played major role in the daily existence for the ancient Greeks.

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Selene and Endymion (Edmund Dulac)

As being the moon would kind of suggest, Selene was gorgeous. She was always described as being a beautiful young woman with long, blonde (almost silvery-white) hair and extremely pale, alabaster skin, who usually was decked out in dark robes and a half-moon crown n her head. Getting across the sky each night was done with the assistance of a finely-built silver chariot drawn by two unearthly, pale flying horses. In some of the tales she shows up in, she’s also seen cruising around on the back of a lone horse or a large bull. And as it turns out, Selene was quite the flirt; no one should be surprised that she had a brief-yet-steamy affair with Zeus, the King of the Olympians (because hey…who hadn’t?). That far-flung fling resulted in a daughter, Pandia, whose name meant "all brightness," and from all accounts, the young lady was quite the looker too, a chip off the old block. But Zeus had absolutely nothing on Selene's true love, a shepherd-king from a city-state called Elis named Endymion. With Endymion, who was supposedly quite the man-hunk, she managed to have FIFTY daughters AND the beyond-handsome Narcissus, whose natural vanity and full-of-himselfness would someday get him killed. (wow...think of that! One brother with fifty sisters? Forget getting into the bathroom in the morning!)


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Selene and Endymion...
The story of Selene and Endymion is actually quite a weird, tragic tale (but its Greek mythology, so no real shocker there!). Endymion was a shepherd, out with his flock of sheep on a daily basis and causing no one any problems, and as we already know, from all accounts he was smashingly handsome. Certainly handsome enough to come to the attention of the moon goddess, who made it her mission in life to get noticed by the hunky guy. That certainly didn’t take long! Soon, a budding and glowing relationship was kicked off. Selene was so into Endymion that she begged Zeus, the king of gods, to offer the shepherd eternal life so that she could be lovey-dovey with him for all eternity. Zeus granted that wish, but it didn’t turn out quite like Selene had planned it; while he’d live forever, Endymion would be immortal while sleeping for all time. He’d never age, never get sick and never kick the bucket, but he would never enjoy that gift awake. Leave it to Zeus to sour an entirely decent request! So, with all of that going on, Selene decided to make the best of a bad situation. She watched over the perpetually snoring Endymion each night from the sky, longingly, tenderly and not without a few tears, as she went about her nightly business as the moon, kissing him gently with the rays of light she put off as she passed overhead. That’s dedication! Of course, that’s not the end of the story; as we said, Endymion gave her fifty daughters and a son! You’ll have to use your imagination on the whole “how” part, but in the end, Selene and Endymion managed to have those kids the natural way, even with him being fast asleep the whole time. Yet another in a long line of weird (and sort of creepy) events in the pages of the love department in Greek mythology!



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Selene watches over Endymion...

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Pan puts the moves on Selene...
As if that wasn’t bad enough, it turns out that Pan, the goat-footed, gnarly-horned nature god, had the hots for the moon, too. To show his affection, Pan went all out and gifted her an entire herd of white oxen. How romantic, right ladies? Just what any woman would want! Selene wasn't too cool with Pan's attentions (nor interested AT ALL, as she was still very emotionally messed up from her true love being put to sleep for all time…) and so he had to rely on a little godly extra magic to snag himself a night out with her. He managed to change her mind by pulling a fast one on the goddess; he disguised his hairy, black goatishness with a magical white fleece. One day as Selene was wandering through the forest without a care in the world, Pan offered her a ride on his back, posing as a fluffy, cute sheep. Completely unaware of who he was, she climbed aboard and Pan proceeded to work his boyish charms and woo her with his cuddly demeanor until she gave in. Kind of creepy that a goddess would find a sheep attractive enough to...well, you know. Yet it happened. Such are the bizarre tides of Greek Mythology. Better not to think of hows and whys! After that whole affair, it’s probably a sure bet that Pan had to steer clear of the moon for a long, long time…or maybe not? Maybe Pan’s many unlikely plusses put her sadness to rest and allowed her to move on in the dating world? Whatever the case, she went on leading the moon across the sky each night without fail!

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The brilliance of the moon...