From ancient times the Turks believed that women had secret lunar powers. The menstrual cycle seemed to coincide with the monthly phases of the moon. Female pregnancy lasts about nine lunar months and women often deliver during a full moon. The three phases of the moon were also symbolic. It was believed that at ‘Ai Naazy’ (new moon) the moon symbolised a growing young girl, who is pure and modest. At ‘Ai Toly’, ‘Tuly Ai’ (full moon), the moon personified a mature good-natured mother. At ‘Ai Karty’ (old moon) the moon aged, became wise, but at the same time quarrelsome and malicious. Before its death, the moon reigned over a totally dark night. The forces of life and death met during these three nights. After the meeting they separated, only to meet again after a defined period. When the old moon died, a new one was born and so on, ad infinitum.
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