The world is full of fascinating symbols, some of them ancient and mysterious, some of them invented in the last few hundred years. People tell many stories about these symbols. The runes have been called a secret language used by an inherited priesthood. The ogham is said by some to be a magical alphabet used by the druids in the time of Stonehenge. And these moon glyphs are all over the internet pretending to be an ancient set of symbols used for moon magic by matriarchal civilizations long past.
Of course, all of these stories are wrong in some way. We don’t know everything about the use of the runes, but we do know that they were used in very mundane ways in addition to their magical uses. Stonehenge predates the Druids by centuries. And as it turns out, the moon glyphs are a modern invention by an author/artist on DeviantArt.
History of the Moon Glyphs
According to this post by the author, the glyphs were first uploaded to the site in 2012. In 2013, they made their way to Facebook, and seem to have exploded from there. Amusingly, the glyphs were featured alongside some runes in an episode of Arrow in 2015 (season 4 episode 5) as a mysterious magical language! I’m fascinated by the way certain things propagate through pop culture like this, gaining an air of occult mystery as their origins are forgotten.
As for the author himself, he’s very clear about the origin of the symbols: his own creativity. But he’s very open to others using them without compensating him; stating only that “As long as they are used for benign purposes and give the users positive vibes and/or energy, I’m all up for it”. A few users of the symbol set have found Zapphyre’s DeviantArt page, but I’d wager most have no idea where these symbols originate.
I discovered the Moon Glyphs from an artisan on Etsy while browsing for rune makers. I am always intrigued by symbol sets, and once I did some research and discovered the story behind them I was hooked. They’re a fun set for moon magic and for divination. I particularly like the two-part division between the “meanings” symbols and the “moon phase” symbols. For questions requiring a more precise timing, this system works wonderfully.
To test out their divinatory usefulness, I drew four tiles from the whole set, without dividing between the symbols and the moon phases. I drew the Waxing Gibbous, Death, Horse, and Power. The moon won’t hit this phase until about two weeks from now, so I interpreted this reading as representing the next two weeks of time. It seems like it will be a time of loss (Death) and change (Horse), but it will help me to grow in my own Power.
I haven’t used these symbols for any magical workings; for that I almost always stick with the runes. But the tumblr tag for moon glyphs has some good suggestions, most of them related to moon magic. These glyphs, while they may seem a bit frivolous because of their origins, can teach us a valuable lesson. Just because something is new doesn’t mean it isn’t useful or good for your practice. Like all things, discernment is important; but newness shouldn’t be an automatic disqualifier.