Egyptian Osiris is associated with vegetation and this is what Wikipedia says about him:

Through syncretism with Iah, he is also the god of the Moon.

This is what Wikipedia says about Jarilo, Slavic god of vegetation:

From comparison to Baltic mythology and from Slavic folklore accounts, one can deduce that Jarilo was associated with the Moon. His somewhat mischievous nature, which ultimately results in his betrayal of his wife, was likened to the Moon's changing phases.

Finally, Soma, post-Vedic Hindu god of plants and vegetables, has also a strong relation with the Moon?

Is it a coincidence or there are more patterns like that? What could be a reason for a correlation like that (vegetation vs. Moon)?

  • 1
    I know selene was said to cause dew, which would let vegetation grow
    – bleh
    Commented Sep 5, 2017 at 19:47
  • A 'List of Lunar deities' is a page in wikipedia with more than 50 names; one could check if they (also) tend to be correlated to vegetation.
    – sand1
    Commented Sep 6, 2017 at 9:02

1 Answer 1


In terms of whether lunar deities in general tend to be connected to the moon, my high-level sense is that this is not the case per se, though I'd have to do more digging to be more definitive. However,

In terms of why lunar deities may be connected to the moon:


  • The earliest methods of tracking when to plant was based on lunar cycles

Knowing when to plant could mean the difference between prosperity and starvation, so it was a subject of central importance in agricultural societies from earliest time. The impetus toward astronomy comes out of this practical problem of tracking the seasons.

Lunar calendars have been around for at least 10,000 years, whereas solar calendars are much later innovations, with the Julian Calendar dating back only about 2,000 years.

This would be a likely explanation for association of agriculture with lunar deities, as cycles of generation tend to be a preoccupation of pagan religions in general.

  • Heliacal risings (and solstices) are probably the earliest season markers and they do not need counting i.e. a 'calendar'.
    – sand1
    Commented Sep 7, 2017 at 8:33

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