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Elune/Mu'sha
Elune.jpg
Art belongs to Athena-Erocit

Titles:

The Moon Goddess
The Mother Moon
The Night Warrior
Moonwoman

Gender:

Female

Race:

Goddess

Relatives:

Cenarius (Son)
Malorne (Lover)
Remulos (Grandson)
Ordanus (Grandson)
Zaetar (Grandson)
Lunara (Granddaughter)
Keepers of the Grove (Grandchildren)
Dryads (Grandchildren)
Magnataur (Grandchildren)
Centaur (Great Grandchildren)
Celebras (Great Grandson)
Cavindra (Great Granddaughter)
An'she (Brother) Tauren mythology

Students:

Tyrande Whisperwind

Status:

Active

Elune (Also known as Mu'sha by the Tauren) is a major deity of the Kaldorei. She is also one of the oldest deities worshipped by the sentient beings of Azeroth, dating back more than 14,000 years or so. While the Tauren also believe in Elune, they believe her to be the left eye of the Earthmother. She is believed to be the mother of Cenarius, as well as being associated with the larger of Azeroth's two moon (The White Lady).

The Moon Goddess is coveted by all who may worship her as a protector and caretaker to all that is living.

Ancient times


Originally, the people that would become known as night elves were a tribe of dark trolls who migrated to the heart of ancient Kalimdor and settled upon the shores of the Well of Eternity. The energies of the Well transformed their bodies, elevating their stature and granting the trolls great intelligence and virtual immortality. It was then that the tribe's mystics first began worshipping the moon goddess, "Elune", whom they believed slumbered in the Well's depths during daylight hours.

The night elf goddess Elune was said to be disappointed in the Wild God Goldrinn's feral insistence. It was his unwillingness to tame his savagery and bloodlust that overshadowed his noble heart. When Elune's great moonlight illuminated the dark during the full moons, it was as if her eyes glared down upon him in judgement. His anger at her conviction caused Goldrinn to become even more bloodthirsty and indomitable than ever.

Recorded night elven history shows that formal worship of Elune dates back to at least 14,000 years. However, it is certain that the moon goddess was being revered through more primitive and decentralized methods long before this. The first known center of devotion to Elune was established by the Sisters of Elune within the ancient kaldorei capital of Zin-Azshari. The Sisterhood at one point relocated this temple to the Temple of Elune in the city of Suramar after it became evident Queen Azshara and the Highborne increasingly distanced themselves from the tenets of the moon goddess. After Suramar itself had fallen to the onslaught of the Burning Legion, Elune became a profound source of hope and humility to all night elves as they witnessed the Ancient Guardians of Azeroth rally under the blazing moon to come to the defense of a world being put to the flame over their civilization's mistakes.

Recent times

In the era between the War of the Ancients and the Third War, a period known as the Long Vigil, devotion to Elune had essentially become universal among the kaldorei but was practiced without centralized places of worship, much like in ages past. The Sisters of Elune founded a new temple for the moon goddess however, the first of its kind since the complex at Suramar itself: the Temple of the Moon within the recent night elven capital city of Darnassus. Elune's chosen, Tyrande Whisperwind, resided here both as high priestess and as head of the kaldorei government, and by her side stood many priestesses (and for the first time, several male night elven priests) ready to venture out and soothe a war-weary Azeroth with the Mother Moon's healing light.

At one point, a piece of one of Draenor's moons fell into a pool on the far side of the Shadowmoon Valley woods. Such a thing was perfect for use in the dedication of a moonwell to Elune in Starfall Outpost.

During a visit to Darnassus by the draenei prophet Velen, he explained that the kaldorei's description of Elune, as well as the demonstrated powers of the goddess, matched his experiences with powerful naaru. He began to offer advice regarding how to commune with powerful naaru, but Tyrande thanked him for his opinion, then cordially requested that he refrained from making such outlandish claims when in Darnassus or in the presence of Elune's priesthood.

The Night Warrior

Strongly associated with healing, tranquility and harmony, Elune is a goddess of peace, but she is not always a pacifist, as she does not advocate peace at all costs. One of her aspects is the Night Warrior, who takes the valiant among the dead and sets them riding across the sky as stars. The Night Warrior is the incarnation of Elune's wrath. The ritual to become the avatar of the Night Warrior is extremely dangerous, and even witnessing it puts you in danger. Legend says that long ago, the Night Warrior was used by the night elves to carve out their empire. None who have attempted the ritual since then have survived, for Elune's raw power tears them apart.

During the Blood War, Tyrande Whisperwind survived the ascension to become the Night Warrior. Not only was she empowered, but many other night elves were as well, forming the Army of the Black Moon. Elune's power shrouded Darkshore in an unnatural, seemingly eternal, night.

The description of the Night Warrior taking spirits of the departed into the sky as stars resembles what happened to Ysera upon her death.

Devotion and Worship


Elune's aspect known as the Mother Moon emphasizes tranquillity and harmony to allow for the greatest nurturing of Azeroth's creatures. However, Elune does not advocate pacifism in the face of threats to her harmony and tranquillity; novices in the Sisters of Elune are trained extensively in tactics and combat under the moon goddess' aspect of the Night Warrior. Elune expects devotion from her priestesses, but never demands they give her every waking moment — the Mother Moon is experienced by her daughters as a nurturing, loving matriarch whose expectations are not oppressive in nature. Whereas Elune is the center of reverence for the Sisters of Elune and the sentinels, the kaldorei druids have devoted themselves to the teachings of Elune's only child; the demigod Cenarius. As such, there exists a deep and intimate link between the spirituality of the night elven druids and priestesses, on which their entire society has been based for over ten thousand years.[citation needed]

In the area now known as Sargeron in Desolace, there were once four shrines known as Elune's Cathedral, Elune's Temple, Elune's Sanctuary and Elune's Palace. Each shrine housed a relic of Elune commonly used by the ancient elves in rituals to their goddess.

  • One could expect special power from washing one's face in the waters of the Cup of Elune, allowing one to see the spirits of ancient elves as part of the Cleansing Ritual.
  • The legends surrounding Elune's Handmaiden has it that in ancient time, after battle, the enemies' weapons were to be cast upon the basin in exchange for a divine gift as part of the Ritual of War.
  • According to ancient legend, Elune's Brazier was placed for the performing of sacrifices. A blessing is bestowed upon the being who places the flesh of Elune's enemies on the brazier's burning embers as part of a sacrificial offering.
  • The ancient elves revered the gems created by the Ancient Vortex Runestone, claiming that they were gifts from the goddess herself. It was believed that they were weapons capable of delivering them from any enemy. The monument's gemstones were imbued with the power to summon a firestorm. The storm could grow to be a mighty weapon either through sustained worship of Elune, or charged by spiritual energies of the fallen.

Sisterhood of Elune

See main article: Sisterhood of Elune

While the goddess of Elune is worshiped by many, a sect of Night Elven priestesses who worship the goddess had led the Kaldorei in faith in the deity, and devote all worship to this Moon Goddess. They worship this Goddess within the Temple of the Moon in Darnassus. A bastion dedicated to the goddess of Elune.

Practice

The night elves use the word "god" in plural ("Gods help us all"; "May the gods have mercy"), and the Temple of the Moon in Suramar had frescoes and murals depicting Elune and many other gods (actual gods, not demigods) shaping the world. We infer that the night elf religion, though centered around Elune, is actually polytheistic (the druids' reverence of certain demigods supports this). Elune's worship therefore is more like a dominant mystery cult than a monotheism, similar to the religions of Ancient Egypt or Ancient Greece on Earth.

The tauren and the earthen were also known to honor, if not outright worship Elune. The earthen were aware that it was she who gave birth to Cenarius, and were surprised to hear that Ysera was regarded as his mother. It's unknown if this means that the earthen worshiped her, or were merely better-informed about the origins of Kalimdor's demigods.

A tauren myth, the White Stag and the Moon, relates how Apa'ro (Malorne) fled the Shu'halo (Tauren) by escaping into the sky, but was entangled by the stars. Mu'sha saw him and fell in love with him, and agreed to free him if he loved her. Mu'sha's actions appear slightly out of character with Elune as understood by the night elves and the earthen, but it might be helpful to interpret it as a "just-so" story that the tauren used to explain the origin of Cenarius.

Partially adapted from Wowpedia

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