Who is a Selenophile?
A selenophile | se· le· no· phile
is a moon lover;
A lover of all phases of the moon
Whether it waxes or it wanes
With a particular inclination for one or more of the moon’s phases.
Sometimes called a philoselene, a moon lover absolutely, positively loves the moon and undoubtedly has selenophilia—a deep fondness for the moon.
You might be thinking, “great, I now kinda know what selenophile means, but I’m still not sure where exactly the name selenophile comes from?”
You and me both…at least up until a couple of days ago.
One evening after a long day of drooling over and dreaming about spellbinding celestial jewelry…I found myself Googling “moon jewelry.”
After another endless session of scrolling and bookmarking, I found myself going down another Google search rabbit hole (do you do this too?)..
This time, I was searching “moon quotes.”
Some interesting pictures came along, but not interesting enough to make me stop and wonder.
Before I knew it though, in one millisecond, I had thoughtlessly clicked over from Google’s search list to my beloved Pinterest.
Scanning through the positively overwhelming, colorful array of pins, my eyes were lured in.
Almost like a gentle Internet whisper (yes, that’s a thing lol)
This pin called me…and it felt “right.”
It was titled “selenophile” with a large boho/bohemain font commanding my attention—placed on what I can best describe as an other-worldly. richly-colored and artsy background.
The background was a lil’ somethin’ like this:
Beautiful, don’t you think?
Instantly my mind stopped;
curious, I rushed over to Google again—this time to get an actual definition because this was a mysterious, strange word I honestly didn’t know the mean of.
Now, it was interesting enough for me to dive deeper into its meaning.
At this point, I knew nothing—I mean didly-squat—about the word, even though I consider myself an avid reader—a loving, nerdy bookworm.
But after going through the first set of definitions, I finally began to learn and understand.
If you’re familiar with ancient Greek mythology, you most likely know that different deities (“gods and goddesses”) are responsible for and are in control of different earthly elements and celestial bodies (i.e planets, stars, constellations, and satellites)
In this case, the word selenophile draws heavily from Greek moon mythology where Selene sits on the throne as the Greek goddess of the moon.
#bossbabe (is that what the kids are using these days? *shrugs*)
At this point, it started to make even more sense for me how this word came to be (read that again because a little rhyming goes a long way :D)
I continued to go through the readings and lists in my spare time; feeling encouraging that lots of people knew what selenophile actually meant
And also that they were actively using it and building a community around it…albeit a slightly new community…
As I kept reading, I kept learning.
Even going as far a deconstructing the entire word selenophile into its most basic pieces.
Are you ready for it?
The suffix –phile in selenophile comes from the Greek philos, meaning loving.
Combining both the moon goddess’ name—Selene—and the suffix gives us selenophile—moon lover.
Honestly, it doesn’t matter whether you follow or believe in Greek mythology (I definitely don’t); it has no effect on whether you can identify as a selenophile or not.
As you can see by now, I invested quite a bit of my spare time learning and understanding where selenophile came from.
But despite all that time invested, the nerd in me didn’t stop there hahaha 🙂
She just kept going, and going, and going…
So I took it one step further and looked to see what other words people use in place of selenophile.
While not as popular, people also use philoselene (mentioned earlier) to mean selenophile.
But unlike selenophile, philoselene is not as popular or widely used…
It’s just a small rearrangement of the original word but has the same exact meaning as selenophile.
At this point, I felt that this pretty much wrapped up my “research” to better understand what selenophile means and how it came to be.
Buuuuut, being a passionate and curious woman kept me from just stopping there.
I continued in my quest, my journey to uncover even more! *evil laugh* ok – stop!
Now all I needed was to start finding other names, in addition to philoselene, that people were using in place of selenophile.
Moon child is that name.
Ladies use moon child in a similar way they use selenophile and philoselene.
Read on in an upcoming post to discover more about moon child and how it relates to being a selenophile.
What kind of characteristics does a selenophile have?
A selenophile’s characteristics honestly vary from selenophile to selenophile;
just like fruits springing from the same tree have similarities, they also have slight differences that make them individually unique.
The same is true for selenophiles.
I won’t take the cookie-cutter approach to labeling and packaging a selenophile’s characteristics.
So, I invite you to entertain the idea of exploring a few ways selenophiles show up in the world 🙂
So besides selenophilia, there are at least 3 common characteristics that selenophiles share with varying degrees of intensity
A selenophile is a:
Contemplative; deep thinker
Observant; seer of truth, lover of life
All in all, selenophiles come from all walks of life…and have varied interests—with a shared love and adoration of the moon.
What kind of environment do selenophiles thrive in?
Much to no one’s surprise, each selenophile is unique and expresses herself in various ways.
Like every individual, a selenophile can be either introverted of extroverted….
And just to dispel some vague myths and misunderstandings I’ve heard through the grapevine, ladies let’s get real.
I use introverted to mean a selenophile who feels energized when she’s alone or in small groups of people.
Think of it less as gal who’s afraid of people and more of a lady, a soul who’s refreshed in solitude.
I use extroverted to mean she thrives when she’s around others and prefers being in others’ company for extended periods of time.
No, not as an overly talkative person who wants to be the center of attention…but a lady, a soul who’s energized being around others.
Most people mistake introversion for shyness or anti-social behavior.
That’s totally a lie.
Introverts are simply people who feel energized when they spend time alone…
They enjoy socializing and love people, but feel drained when they don’t get alone time to recharge;
usually this alone time is more extended and intense in introverts than it is in extroverts.
Extroverts are also mistaken to be loud, confident, and outgoing.
While they thrive and feel energized around people, not all extroverts are confident or loud.
Some are shy and more introspective, but thrive in large groups and lots of company for long, long periods of time.
So depending on whether a selenophile is an introvert or an extrovert, her environment for thriving is exceptionally unique.
Of course, if she’s in an environment with moon adornments, pictures, or decorations, introverted or extroverted, she feels a sense of belonging and ease and will most likely crack a smile ear to ear.
Where is selenophile from and how long has it been around?
Hmm isn’t it interesting to look at the origin of words?
And how they come to be?
It is to me..I always wonder what was this person thinking when they chose this word…this combination of letters?
Again being a curious cookie, I decided to research where selenophile was first used and who actually started using it.
To be honest with you, I was genuinely surprised at what I found
Getting in my time machine, I dialed it back a few notches and BAM!
I sifted through the all the writings about selenophile…well, all that I could bare
Which, let me tell you, is strangely A LOT.
Looking around, I bumped into some interesting things.
So, it turns out…the first ever recorded (on the Internet) use of selenophile was in 2015, but before that was selenophillic waayyy back in 2012.
7 years ago!
February 14, 2012 – ahh Valentine’s Day
According to good ole Google, on February 14 2012, an article was written by a community college’s board…
Do you even remember what you were doing on that day, February 14 2012? Just take a second and look back…
Do you remember? My memory’s all fuzzy, will need a few more minutes to still my mind to really remember that day, but that’s for another time.
Anywhoo, this community college’s board used the word selenophillic.
Selenophillic is closely related to selenophilia, kinda obvious…but is not used with the same meaning.
Their board meeting memo was all about a bunch of stuff I have no idea about lol
Including approving a biomedical research grant for cutting-edge research into the health and environmental impact of a family of fungi. They call them selenophillic fungi…OK.
Ahem…are you still with me here?
They were using it to mean critters that love, I mean LOVE selenium, one of the chemical elements created by mama earth.
Long story short, I was a bit surprised that they would use selenophillic it in that way.
So I kept looking….and looking and looking. And found another time selenophile or a similar word was used
And this time it was the actual word selenophile not selenophillic. YAY!
Buuuuut, they used it not to mean moon lover. Aww
When was selenophile first used?
Similar thing happened with a paper I found, written by several scientists on October 5, 2014. Published October 16, 2014.
The entire paper was about sciency stuff; won’t bore you with the tedious details, but just know their work was about using selenium for the good of human health 🙂 and for treating cancer
In their paper, they dedicated their work to a doctor who they called a lifelong selenophile…in their case, someone who loves selenium.
Yeah. Not what I expected, but alas…I kept digging!
Turns out that by January 2015, people had started using selenophile to mean moon lover…there was an actual blog called selenophile (probably the first one?) with a bold logo in black, gothic fancy letters.
Not sure what caused this sudden change in meaning, but it’s kind of interesting to know why the word shifted so much and so quickly.
Looking deeper, I found that by June 24, 2015 and definitely by August 25, 2015 people were picking up selenophile.
And using it to mean moon lover.
I still didn’t find why all of a sudden, selenophile went from meaning selenium lover to moon lover *shrugs*
By 2017, selenophile was being used exclusively to mean moon lover…at least on a large scale.
And even today, I have only found one place that uses selenophile to mean selenium lover…and that’s Merriam Webster dictionary.
Looks like their meaning of selenophile is still on the selenium side, but most of us are using selenophile in a completely different way.
To us selenophile is a person, but one with a passionate, fondness of the moon.
Where is selenophile from? Tying it all together!
As defined earlier, selenophile is a combination of two different parts: a name and a suffix.
Namely, Selene, the Greek goddess of the moon and the Greek suffix philos.
Sometime people use philoselene to mean moon lover, just as they would use selenophile.
Now, I wonder if Webster will take note and finally add our widely used definition for selenophile in place for what they have now:
“a plant that when growing in a seleniferous soil tends to take up selenium in quantities greater than can be explained on a basis of chance.”
Sealed with a moon kiss
Over to you: do you feel like a selenophile? if so, why? before this, did you know where the word selenophile meant and came from?