Secrets of the Moon

Myth and Mysticism, History and Science

Non-Fiction - Education
264 Pages
Reviewed on 05/18/2023
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite

Secrets of the Moon: Myth and Mysticism, History and Science by Andrew Osiow examines the connection between the moon and humanity throughout history with an assortment of riveting facts. The moon has fascinated people for centuries with legends and theories found in mythology through moon gods and the beliefs of ancient civilizations. The evidence presented touches upon the space race, the Julian calendar, and the connection the moon has to the sea. The book explores what we know and don’t know about the moon through a historical lens and attempts to answer why astronauts strove to get to the moon first, how the moon affects our planet, and what it is about the moon that has intrigued so many people throughout history.

This will appeal to those intrigued by the legends, superstitions, and effects linked to the moon as Andrew Osiow explores two major narratives - looking at the moon in terms of our survival and viewing it as a multifaceted cornerstone. The contents are organized by month with each section exploring various themes and incorporating legends. Woven throughout are facts about the moon such as that it wobbles, that Russia beat the U.S. to it, that a harvest moon can last for days, and that there are seas on the moon. The book is rooted in real history such as the space race of the 1960s and a group called ‘the Scientists’ that were selected even if they did not have any flying experience. A common motif in several mythologies, the moon is represented by various gods, and examples are provided as to how far back the connection between mankind and the moon goes. There is also the moon-woman bond addressed as a recurring theme, specifically in the chapter focused on June, which explores female kinship with the moon prevalent in multiple cultures.

There is a lot of attention to detail regarding research and the arrangement of the facts which makes it easy to find various moon-related topics that will interest anyone. Several fun tidbits are included such as delving into the notion of the man in the moon that is personified with a face on its side. This is merely one of several examples which also include the concept of a plurality of worlds and crediting the moon with two formidable powers - the ability to affect the mind and the ocean tides. Secrets of the Moon is an interesting resource dedicated to understanding the moon in relation to society through the use of history, legends, myths, and facts.