The Moon captures the interest of both layman and scientist. To the latter, moreover, the Moon is an even greater puzzle than to the former. The peculiarities of its age, its motion, its size, its density, its material constitution, its surface features and their history, cause greater differences in opinion than astronomical textbooks usually reveal. And the astronomers, who have always material enough to prove what they say, are not the only learned men to be perplexed by the Moon: the mythologists are in a much more precarious position. There are a great number of lunar and other cosmic myths, and the pantheon of gods contains a host of lunar deities. But how is the mythologist to reconcile his ideas with those of the astronomer? How is he to account for the fact that certain mythological traits point to the Moon - without being regarded as an idle romancer? For the mythologist has never been recognized by orthodox scientific thought.
This book endeavours to bring about a kind of synthesis between the findings of mythology and astronomy, or, rather, between that part of mythology which is concerned with lunar and other cosmic myths, and that part of astronomy which tries to penetrate the mystery of the Moon. For this it is necessary to introduce an element which has hitherto been unknown in mythological works: a theory of the origin of our Moon, and its fate in past and future.