German-Christian Iconography. What does it reveal?

A good friend of the Counter-Jihad had spent some time as a fine arts major in a German University.

She informed me that there is, it seems, a curious tradition in German classical art that many of us may find quite intriguing,

The term for it is “Mondsichelmadonna” which means “sickle moon Madonna.”

The images are of the Virgin Mary, usually holding something like a scepter, and standing on a crescent moon.

The moon, I am told, must also have a specific feature.

The moon must have a face, and that face must look unhappy.



The icons can be seen all over Germany, although they are not so common as perhaps once, they might have been.

Many date back to the late 1600s like this one, which is right at the center of München.



If you zoom in on the statue, you get a better idea. This one is said to be at the geographical center of München and all roads lead away from this point.

PhotoZoom Classic 6ScreenSnapz017

Axis of symmetry was reversed in this enlargement

An interesting set of features. The Virgin Mary, a baby Jesus, a scepter of some kind and standing on an unhappy crescent moon.

Our friend tells us that no one knows what any of this means anywhere. not in the usual literature and certainly no university prof. or purveyor of the narrative has any idea what these things means.

I suppose that means they will be removed soon, despite having been there since the 1500s.

I suppose in a way, this can be thought of as the German equivalent of the classical tradition of iconic art  known as The Pietà, except with the added element of the scepter and the unhappy crescent moon.

They must have a crescent moon. It must have a face, And it must be unhappy.

One wonders why a solidly iconic figure would be portrayed as standing on an unhappy crescent moon’s face in and around the 1500s and 1600s in Germany.

It may be impossible to figure that out. There is, as German art profs insist, “there is simply no way to know.”

And yet there it is all over German art in that period, and represented in magnificent statuary all over Germany.

The moon face on the top image seems to be wearing a cap of some kind.

But that cannot possibly have anything to do with the meaning of the imagery.



No doubt just an ancient teutonic custom from the renaissance with no actual meaning whatsoever to be discarded ad abandoned with last week’s milk. The cost of making these must have been the ransom of a Sultan though, if Europeans where the sort of folks who took Sultans hostage and ransomed them. So it must have meant something to them at the time.

Perhaps if enough grant money is found, and all arts schools can be funded enough to destroy all the research, its possible that the meaning of the unhappy crescent moon with a sad face and a sort of cap on can be forgotten forever in case the facts of history may offend those people currently in the process of rewriting it all.



About Eeyore

Canadian artist and counter-jihad and freedom of speech activist as well as devout Schrödinger's catholic

26 Replies to “German-Christian Iconography. What does it reveal?”

  1. My answer is that it is a symbol of Christianity’s triumph over islam considering the time frame the statues were made.

  2. Gosh, you are serving up some truly fascinating material today, Eeyore. One never goes away empty-handed(brained) from Vladtepesblog 😉

    Even though I was brought up catholic in Germany, I had never known about this. I just asked a non-German friend why there would be such seemingly pregnant silence about the reason behind this nearly obvious iconography. His theory was that Germans probably know about it, but are too polite to spell it out. Hmmmmmmmmm, when I think of “Merkel’s Germans” I think this is somewhat generous.

    From my department of unsolicited information: the drawing (penultimate picture in the article) is by Albrecht Dürer:ürer

  3. The statues obviously referred to the Crusades and ongoing occupation of Europe by the Ottomans at a later time. The Germans have not read their own history. Islam was once prepared to invade all of Europe and now the mad Germans invite the invaders without them firing one shot!

  4. “The so called Luna, half moon, or sickle of the moon, also waning and waxing moon, is a sign of fertility, related to life and death, and thus a popular symbol in many religions. It pinpoints changing seasons, ebb and tide (and related inundations as harbingers of fertility), and the feminine menstrual cycle. The half moon was the attribute of Luna and more specifically of Selene. It was later transferred to Diana (Artemis), offspring of the earth mother, and known not only as virgin but also as protectress of the newborn and symbol of fertility in her own right. Biblical references use the moon symbol to highlight cosmic events, divine epiphanies and the ephemeral nature of human life and history (see, for example, Isaiah 30,26; 60,19; Revelations 21,23). Patristic times saw in the symbol of the moon, or the mysterium lunae, i.e. the three phases of the moon: dying (waning), generating (waxing) and giving birth (full moon) a valid representation of the Church (ecclesia). Ecclesia is virginal and “dying” in the encounter with Christ, the bridegroom; she is maternal and lifegiving in her spousal relation with the redeemer, and resplendent in her grace-filled existence.

    John the Baptist is sometimes connected with the waning moon (Baptistry of Östr Hoby, Sweden, 12c) to explicate his role as the last prophet of the waning Old Testament which is regarded, simultaneously, as a promise of the New Testament. The moon contrasts here the sun as symbol of fulfillment, in other words, the New Testament, more specifically Jesus Christ himself, the sol invictus. The same contrast is used to signify ecclesia and synagoga. The latter is identified with the symbol of the waning moon.

    Mary as the God-bearer is identified with ecclesia. She is standing on the waning moon which points out that the Old Testament and synagoga are the foundations of the Church. No doubt that we have here also the idea of victory of ecclesia over synagoga. The motif of the luna is very old (~820, MS 99 Paris, Valenciennes) and is not used in the beginning as an attribute of Mary but of the Church. It is only in the 14/15c that a lateral transfer takes place, meaning Mary occupies now in iconography the place of the Church and inherits some of its attributes. The Katharinenthal Gradual of 1312 shows an image of transition, where the same feminine figure contains or bears the attributes of the Church, Mary and the Apocalyptic Woman. The figure stands on a personalized half moon. It is true that the visual elements, half moon, stars, sun, are borrowed from Revelations 12,1. Early representations of Ecclesia (10-12c) show her as the apocalyptic woman with the dragon. The motif of the apocalyptic woman is applied in a variety of ways to Mary. [Trier]

    There exists, beginning around 1348, a type of Marian sculpture called Madonna standing on the crescent moon (Mondsichel-Madonna) where the reference to the apocalyptic woman is largely dissociated from the use of the moon symbol (for example, wooden sculpture, Trier, 1480). It sometimes opposes — in representations of the Platytera — the sun born from Mary and the human race in need of salvation (moon) (Katharinenthal, 1312). The crescent moon is used in representations of Mary’s miraculous conception and birth (Joachim and Anna at the Golden Door, da Camerino, Tadino, ~1470). The crescent appears under Mary’s feet in paintings of the Assumption (Meister of the Luzien-Legende, 1485) and signifies her glory and victory over time and space. The most important application of the moon symbol occurred in representations of the Immaculate Conception. The obvious significance of victory over sin is enriched with the ideas of beauty and purity (pulchra ut luna, Litanies of Loreto) (see for example, Francesco Vanni, Altar of the Immaculate Conception, Montalcino, 1588). During baroque times we can observe frequent combinations of the Immaculata motif with that of Our Lady of Victory. In some of these paintings or sculptures Mary stands on a globe combined with the crescent moon.”

    • “A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head.”

      A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. 2 She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. 3 Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on its heads. 4 Its tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that it might devour her child the moment he was born. 5 She gave birth to a son, a male child, who “will rule all the nations with an iron scepter.”[a] And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. 6 The woman fled into the wilderness to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days.

  5. The expressive ability of the human mind in subtextual form, but then cloaked estethically by art, is a great wonder. You put Sister Wendy to shame here PC.

    The artist has the privilege to offer degrees of rebellion against the establishment. He can express politically incorrect judgements upon his king but must do so in a language that hopefully does not get him killed or imprisoned. He can be explicit in his criticism but then deflect his accuser, hopefully, with any subjective “safe” meanings for self-preservation sake.

    The artist then will be understood in his secret language by those who are like-minded, and hopefully ignored or subliminally influenced by those who are not. Mohammed must have feared the artist a great deal to ban all icons. What a weak, sad, inferior belief system is this Islam.

    And so now in our new western tyranny the real artists–those with honest criticisms of the king–must dive back under cloak of deeper subtext to avoid the gulag and death.

    This should mean we are in store for an artistic renaissance. If it only rids us of Rap music I am happy.

    It also makes me wonder how 1.6 billion people go through life without meaningful expression. Surely it is a basic human need. Disallowing it, like a mental constipation, must put the subconscious into some strange spots.

    • “The artist has the privilege to offer degrees of rebellion against the establishment.”

      So has the observer.

    • Of the observer, Johnnyu, I meant those who see older art and then project onto them their own cultural interpretation. Hindu Art being an example of the repressed Victorians being scandalized.

      “It also makes me wonder how 1.6 billion people go through life without meaningful expression. Surely it is a basic human need. Disallowing it, like a mental constipation, must put the subconscious into some strange spots.”

      Disallowing Religious Art, was the removal of the veneration of graven images by the Exiles of Egypt. (Look up Egyptian and Babylonian Gods).

      Islam turned this around into a permitted and repressed art-form, and everything else in their submissive culture, sexuality, and idolatry of Muhammad. Allah is woven into the fabric of the world. The Personality Cult of the male.

      The Catholic Virgin Statues were meant to overload the senses, of guilt, gratitude, veneration and surrender. Everything the Jews from Babylon warned their tribe about being conned into. God is made into a baby of magic. The Personality Cult of the female.

      Neither has it. Put those damn beads down. Nothing is counted.

  6. I meant to say the artist may subliminally influence others. Also, is it possible to have a herniated mind? Is this the violence of Islam?

  7. Vlad – here is an article which was written by Bishop Fulton Sheen in 1952. He is now up for sainthood in the Roman Catholic Church. Devotion to the Blessed Mother and the defeat of Islam goes all the way back to the battle of Lepanto. Here are some other links from EWTN. Of course it speaks of the conversion of the Muslims through Mary. The rosary is the key or “the weapon” as St. Padre Pio once said. See also Our Lady of Guadalupe – she stands on the crescent in the apparition to St. Juan Diego in Mexico – this image was carried into the battle of Lepanto by one of the Spanish Captains.

  8. The key here is the Rosary and Fatima – The apparitions in Portugal in May 1917. Next year will be 100 years. There is an belief that Pope Leo XIII had a vision of Satan – where he was granted 100 years to attack Christianity by the Lord. This resulted in the composition of the famous prayer to St. Michael the Arch Angel. Next year will be the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima where she urged prayer for peace and conversion – particularly by praying the rosary. I don’t know about you – but I’m taking her advice.

  9. Connect the dots and pray the rosary – attend Mass, stay in a state of grace – and stand firm with courage. In the end Her Immaculate Heart will Triumph.

  10. From what I can find out, this image comes from the Revelation of John (Johannes–some disagreement whether this is the John of the New Testament, but the weight is on the negative argument). Also known as the Aureole Madonna or the Apocalyptic Madonna, it is one feature of an extensive series of apocalyptic visions described by the author who calls himself Johannes. It involves a pregnant woman, crowned with stars, clothed in the sun, standing on the moon and pursued by a dragon, who is then a bystander at the apocalyptic battle between the dragon and the Archangel Michael.

  11. So glad many readers see the references to Revelation 12:1 in Scripture. The quick comment so many make about Muslims’ love for Mary must be qualified with why they love her, and how differently they see her faith. I did a series of articles on those differences, archived here:

    I have also outlined a book, “Islam and Women: A Christian Response” but my normal publishers have shied away from it. Pondering what to do next …

    • Welcome Genevieve, 🙂

      Glad to have an authentic feminine genius aboard.

      “According to Muhammad’s account, she said: “‘My Lord! How can I have a child when no mortal hath touched me?’ He said: ‘So (it will be). Allah created what he will. If he decreeth a thing, he saith unto it only, Be! And it is’” (Qur’an 3, 47).
      This is where the Islamic view departs radically from the Christian view — which hinges on Mary’s consent: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word” (Lk. 1:38). To remove Mary’s fiat from salvation history allows God’s will to become manifest without her free assent.”

      Um, aren’t these both everyday accounts of rape-and-marry-me by a Muslim or a Boss mixing it with the staff?

      Mary wasn’t asked for her hand in marriage, given time to think about bearing a love-child, or even given the talk-time to discuss and plan with her cuckolded husband beforehand.

      Mark’s Gospel, the oldest Gospel, doesn’t even mention it.

      Your wisdom therefore, is appreciated for people to see the line you follow – and snap out of it.

      • “In 787 the prelates and bishops again convened in Nicaea. Mary’s continuing promotion was once more on the agenda. Earlier in the century, with relentless pressure coming from Islam, two emperors – Leo III (717 – 741) and his son Constantine V (741 – 775) – had outlawed “idolatry” and its plethora of “holy icons”. But their “iconoclasm” had wiped out much of the income of hundreds of monasteries and shrines and had set the Orthodox Church against the imperial court. Empress Irene, acting as regent for her young son, Constantine VI, caved in to religious pressure and convened the 7th Ecumenical Council.

        The Council energetically endorsed the acceptance of icons, and in particular the worship of Mary:

        “The Lord, the apostles. and the prophets have taught us that we must venerate in the first place the Holy Mother of God, who is above all the heavenly powers. If any one does not confess that the holy, ever virgin Mary, really and truly Mother of God, is higher than all creatures visible and invisible, and does not implore with a sincere faith, her intercession, given her powerful access to our God born of her, let him be anathema.”
        – Varghese, God Sent, p16.

        By the ninth century Mary had all but eclipsed the god-man himself – and Mary could be whatever the Church hierarchy wanted her to be.”

        • “In the 7th century an emerging Islam – which quite happily adopted “prophet Jesus”, Mary and her virginity – made its own contribution to the fabulous legend. According to a tradition of Muhammad every new-born child is ‘touched’ by Satan. But for Mary and her illustrious son, God interposed a protective veil. This notion of Mary’s (and not just Jesus’s) sinlessness percolated back into Catholicism. Wrote Edward Gibbon:

          ” The Latin church has not disdained to borrow from the Koran the immaculate conception of his virgin mother. It is darkly hinted in the Koran, and more clearly explained by the tradition of the Sonnites. In the twelfth century, the immaculate conception was condemned by St Bernard as a presumptuous novelty.”

          “Already a goddess, its hardly surprising that outbreaks of Marian miracles were endemic throughout the Middle Ages (and continue in our own time!) Less than God himself but considerably more than human, blessed as a female with infinite ‘humility’, she was seen as an intercessory to whom mere mortals could appeal on ‘lesser’ matters. She was, quite simply, the most important woman that had ever lived.”

          “Defined by her virginity, lauded for limitless humility and submission, she is the idealized woman of misogynistic fanatics, in her own words a ‘handmaid (i.e. slave) of the Lord’.”

      • The Gospels are to read in concert. That said, if you cannot see the difference between asking for Mary’s consent (God only works within creation by respecting the freedom of human persons) and “raping” Mary (the voluntarist heresy/Muslim view) than I cannot explain it any more than I did in the extensive articles cited above.

        Moreover, Mary’s virginity was not a treasure for her own sake, as a sign of her purity and human integrity, but so that she would be the virgin saved for Muhammed in the afterlife. Repulsive from start to finish.

        • “Mary’s virginity was not a treasure for her own sake, as a sign of her purity and human integrity, but so that she would be the virgin saved for Muhammed in the afterlife. ”

          Thank you, I didn’t know this fact.

          A question to Mary (
          “Can Catholics pray to Mohammad to intercede of their behalf , if Mary is not so inclined?”

          Notwithstanding that a shrine to Mohammad would not have his statue with outreached hands, but a black stone in his place.

          • Of course I’m being facetious about the increasing Saints and Demi-Gods watching over our affairs as sanity goes out the window; but I am reminded that Muslim men and Catholic women are particularly troubled in their duties to do good works for those who have travelled to and returned from the After Life.

          • “”The Messenger of God . said, ‘God MARRIED ME IN PARADISE TO MARY THE DAUGHTER OF ‘IMRAN and to the wife of Pharaoh and the sister of Moses.’ (Tabarani)” (Ibn Kathir, Qisas al-Anbiya [Cairo: Dar al-Kutub, 1968/1388], p. 381- as cited in Aliah Schleifer’s Mary The Blessed Virgin of Islam [Fons Vitae; ISBN: 1887752021; July 1, 1998], p. 64; bold and capital emphasis [the writer’s]).”

            To me, this hadith has the boast of Islam all over it, and the Prophet gets given the pick of three of the best wives in History. As Mosques get built on sacred mounds so too does Muhammad. That’s what Muslims do to other cultures. As the Romans did before them.

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