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In Norse mythology the Moon, Máni, was the male part of a sibling pair, in which the female was named Sól and represented the Sun. They each rode a horse-driven chariot across the skies and could never slow down in their flight, as they were pursued by the two raging wolves "Mockery" and "Hate". When Ragnarök (the end and rebirth of the world) arrives, Máni and Sól will be overtaken and devoured by the pursuing beasts and darkness will engulf the world.
Interestingly, in most agricultural societies, the lunar deity tends to be female and the solar deity male. In hunter-gatherer societies the opposite is often true. This could suggest that Máni and Sól are really old as celestial deities go, and that they predate the Germanic tribes' transition to settled agricultural societies.
The connection has sometimes been made between the relative loss of gender equality and the transition from a moon-centric more female oriented society to a sun-centric male oriented one. The theory holds that this transition coincides with the Neolithic revolution and the emergance of sedentery life as the new norm for human existence. If this connection holds true, one could speculate that the fact that the Sun is personified by a woman in ancient Germanic society could say something about the role and station of women in the Scandinavia of old.
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