image: Wikimedia commons (  link  ).

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

Congratulations to the people of China, whose space program appears to have successfully landed a spacecraft on the far side of the moon, which has never been done before.

The mission and craft are known as the Chang Er 4, named after the immortal moon goddess 嫦娥 whose name literally means "Chang the Beautiful."

Her story is discussed in this previous post from 2015.

The myth of the goddess 嫦娥 is significant, because it falls into a myth-pattern found around the globe, of a pairing of a mortal and an immortal, usually appearing as one of the following combinations:  a mortal husband and immortal wife, or a mortal wife and an immortal husband, or a living husband and an undead wife or vice versa, or (very commonly in the world's myths) a set of twins in which one twin is mortal and the other is divine.

I am convinced that these myths are intended to convey profound and important truths for our understanding -- truths which are beneficial to our present condition in this incarnate life -- and that these lessons include the reality and accessibility of our spiritual nature, our divine nature, our  Higher Self, and our inner connection with the Infinite.

Other previous posts dealing with this important subject include:

Returning to the landing of the Chang Er 4 on the surface of the moon's far side (near its southern pole), this recent article gives some additional detail. It does not mention, however, the detail provided in this other recent article, which states that the Chang Er 4 lander carried with it six live species from earth: cotton, rapeseed (aka "canola"), potatoes, a flowering plant species called arabidopsis, and fruit flies! 

I'm not sure why that little detail was not more widely reported, since it seems like a fairly noteworthy item. Personally, I'm not sure its such a good idea to send fruit flies, which breed notoriously rapidly, up to the moon -- but, as they say in many science fiction and horror stories, "Really, I mean, what could go wrong?"

What has been getting a lot of reporting is the fact that the so-called "dark side of the moon" is a misnomer (as owners of the famous Pink Floyd album have already known for years, since the album itself informs us that "Matter of fact it's all dark"). The moon turns on its axis just as the earth does, allowing the sun to illuminate the entire surface in turns, just as we on earth experience night and day. The mechanics of that process, as well as some interesting detail on why we are actually able to view about 60% of the moon's surface from our vantage point on earth (not all at once, of course) are included in this very first episodeof the "Exposing PseudoAstronomy" podcast from Stuart Robbins (archives here).

Returning briefly to the goddess 嫦娥 to finish this brief discussion, note that in the painting above, a poem about Chang the Beautiful has been inscribed in the upper-right area of the artwork. The calligraphy reads as follows (according to a translation provided with the image on Wikimedia commons):

She was long ago a resident of the Moon Palace,
Where phoenixes and cranes gathered and
Embroidered banners fluttered in heavenly fragrance.
Change E, in love with the gifted scholar,
Breaks off [for him] the topmost branch of the cassia tree.

This beautiful poem may contain hints of celestial elements, since this story (I believe) is based upon celestial metaphor, as are virtually all of the world's other ancient myths, scriptures, and sacred stories.

The phoenixes and cranes would probably refer to the constellations Aquila and Cygnus (respectively). The Moon Palace itself may refer to the constellation Ophiuchus, which sometimes plays the role of a tent, a pavilion, a great gate, a house, or a palace. The breaking off of a branch of the cassia tree may refer to the beautiful constellation Coma Berenices, discussed in this previous post. If so, that would indicate that Chang Er might be associated with the constellation Virgo, the Virgin (at least in this poem), since Virgo's outstretched arm reaches towards the nearby constellation of Coma Berenices.

The (mortal) husband of Chang Er is traditionally 后羿 (Hou Yi in Mandarin or Hau Ngai in Cantonese), which means something like King Archer. This name hints that he would either be associated with Sagittarius or Orion, and I would guess Orion might be most likely, since Virgo is rising when Orion is setting on the opposite horizon, and vice versa (meaning that they can never actually be together anymore — a poignant touch to this ancient story).