In the beginning, the Sun and Moon kept an orderly dance, perfectly in step with each other. Then the Sun's gaze fell upon a beautiful maiden named Cactus whose beauty was as pure as the linen she sewed. The Sun gave his light joyfully to her, as her beauty reflected back to him. Cactus loved the Sun in return, singing to him each day. Each time the Sun passed her home, he would pause for a while to visit.
These visits grew longer and longer, until the Sun never left, staying in her garden to grow her flowers and listening to her songs. The earth began to burn from the force of his fire on one side, while the other side was dark, with only the moon to light them. The people prayed to the gods, pleading for them to restore balance. The Moon circled the earth, listening to their cries as the Sun continues his infidelity. She visited the Sun many times, ordering, pleading, intimidating and bargaining with him to return to his duties, but he would not budge.
Cactus became tired of this intervention, and she planned to defeat the Moon and free the Sun. Cactus prepared a feast with the Moon and Sun as guests of honor. No expense was spared. She baked twelve loaves of sweet spiral bread. She roast four ducks, two ibex, and a pelican. She seasoned them with salt, cumin and poppy seeds. She churned four skins of goat cheese. She gathered many baskets of figs, dates, grapes, jujubes, and plums for dessert. She collected many pots of honey, both dark and light. She brewed three great pots of beer: the black, the red, and the sweet.
Cactus prepared a song in honor of the Moon and Sun, singing of their brilliance and majesty. She danced around them in a coil, sharing the center with each of them in turn. The Moon was pleased with the food and relaxed by the drink, and let down her guard. At the climax of the song, Cactus removed a needle that was hidden in her skirts, made of her own virgin finger bone, and she stabbed the Moon deep in her belly. The Moon bled and bled for six days before she finally died.
The Sun was free to stay with Cactus in her garden, sharing her songs and watching her dance. Around this garden, the land became arid, burnt by the harsh light of the Sun. The families fled from this place, clinging to the side of their Mother.* Away from the garden, it was dark and cold, where no crops could grow and the water was frozen.
The Moon could not truly be defeated. She wandered the land of the dead. The darkness was no match for her light. The heat was no match for her cold. Deep in the depths of the God, she searched until she found the Goddess' tail. She climbed and climbed until she reached the end of the tail, clasped in the mouth.
"Great Mother, I have been betrayed," said the Moon to the greatest head, the head of Truth. Mercy shone from the Mother's eyes, and pain at the death of her dear child. The Great Serpent cried a single tear which bathed the Moon until she was pure and white, white as bone, white as death. The Moon began to climb again, onto the scaled back, She walked until she saw light in the distance. She walked until she could see the Sun's shining head. She waited patiently until Cactus was alone in her home, preparing a meal for the Sun.
Furious, the Moon transformed Cactus into a plant with many needles all over her skin, so that no one could bear to touch her. "Sun, my lover, I have returned out of my love for you," the Moon lied. The Sun smiled at the Moon nervously. "Moon, my beautiful wife, I have missed you," the Sun lied. The Moon kissed the Sun, and with that kiss the Moon drew his power into her, stealing some of his light and heat. Too late, the Sun realized her vengeance, and fled.
No longer would the Sun and Moon dance together in the same step. The Sun circles quickly, searching for his lost maiden, while the Moon waits and watches in her cold fury. Cactus fills with tears that can never be shed, watching the Sun circle the earth searching for her, she turns her face to follow him in the sky. The Moon waits for the Sun to grow tired, so that she can kiss him again, stealing his light each time. She turns slowly, observing the land of the living and the land of the dead each in turn. She judges men for their fidelity, and women for their honesty.
*Mother River, the back of the Great Goddess herself, which winds through the land.