The face in the moon has always fascinated me. It has seemed wise and kind to me, never spooky or threatening. I find it reassuring and protective up there in the night sky. So it got me to wondering - what (or who) is the face in the moon?
The Algonquins have a traditional story of the medicine woman in the moon. A powerful healer decides she wants more knowledge, including to know when the earth will end. The Great Spirit advises her to hide from other people, and in time she will be told. So the medicine woman decides to seclude herself on the moon, where she waits for the answer to her question. It is said the face in the moon is that of the medicine woman, weaving and cooking and waiting.
Other traditions hold the image in the moon is a rabbit (East-Asian cultures), a pair of hands (India) or even a tree or a toad. New Zealanders join the Algonquins in attributing the face to a woman, Rona, who disrespected the moon and is serving out her penance there.
Scientists say our moon-gazing brains are basically taking a random image and trying to assign meaning to it. Which, according to them, our brains actually find meaning about 50% of the time. So those would be pretty good odds if you were playing the lottery
"Moon Face" - mixed media on cradled hardwood, 12" x 12". Ready for hanging.
acrylic paint, charcoal, ink, ephemera on cradled hardwood board