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OLD-TURKIC DEITIES
Rafael BEZERTINOV
From his book TENGRIANIZM � RELIGION OF TÜRKS AND MONGOLS
Naberezhnye Chelny, 2000
Chapter III: Deities

Excerpt

Moon (Ai). Ancient Türks� mythology regarded Moon as a daughter of Sky God Tengri and Earth. Ancient Türks perceived goddess Moon dually: Moon frightened them and at the same time they loved Her.

The moon was represented as a Lady and as a symbol of the night. The night is darkness, when the malicious spirits emerge from all holes. All feasts and jamborees of malicious spirits occur at night. The rituals and hypnotic sessions of witches were always conducted according to the phases of the Moon and, mainly, in a full moon. At night the illnesses amplified, causing more often deaths at this time. Robberies, murders are done mainly at night. On the other hand, the Türks trusted the magic force of the Moon. She was a sole night lantern. To please Moon those born during full moon were given names as such: Aisylu, Aituly, Ainir, Aizirek, Ainaz, etc. [or Ainur! - Ainur]

From ancient times the Türks noticed that woman and moon have the same secret force. The female cycles, her mysterious bleedings, coincided with the monthly phases of the moon. Female pregnancy lasts about nine lunar months, and more often women deliver during a full moon.

[Mysterious bleedings, indeed! Scientists today state that the human menstruation cycle of 28 days, coinciding with the lunar month's 28 days, is pure coincidence. Besides, for thousands of years the female cycle was interrupted by frequent pregnancies and the consequences of malnutrition. According to the Italian health & women's magazine Starbene, a woman at the beginning of the 20th century, without contraceptives, with 7 children, would have experienced her period 96 times - compared with a childless woman's 490 times. And, due to individual irregularities and variations, menstruation rarely coincides with any peculiar lunar phase among women - i. e. the case of a woman always menstruating during, say, full moon, must be extremely rare. The history of menstruation is an interesting chapter of cultural history. Please read more at this fascinating site, created and maintained by a man who isn't mystifying the female body (what a great guy!): Museum of Menstruation and Women's Health - Ainur PS: More interesting is the fact (or is it a myth, too?) that women living closely together tend to 'synchronize' their cycles. My experiences of this may just have been coincidences, too. I would love to hear some proof or counter-proof of this theory... But I digress. Back to the moon.]

Three phases of the moon also had their signs. It was believed that at �ai naazy� (new moon) the moon symbolized a young girl, who grew day to day. She is pure and modest. At �ai toly�, �tuly ai� (complete moon) Moon personified a mature woman � mother. In this period she is good-natured and favorable. At �ai karty� (old moon) the Moon aged, became wise, but at the same time quarrelsome and malicious. Before death Moon reigned in absolutely dark night, She was not visible. In these three nights, it was believed, life and death meet together. After the meeting they separate, to meet again in a definite period. The old Moon died, a new one was born, and together with Her a new life, new cycle, new round was born, and so on indefinitely.
I found this interesting text at The Tatar Gazette

Read more about Tatars, a Turkic people, on my Tatarstan page.

Last revised: 2002-11-01

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