After hearing the phrase about time in Equestria being measured in moons, I decided to go through and study some of the lunar cycles in the show. Little did I know that I would soon become even more schizophrenic than before, literally seeing stars. Before I thought it was a visual touch, but now I can't be certain of a grand conspiracy that remains dormant under the fabric of the show. This thread will log every appearance of the moon I found, which was my primary idea for the thread, but will also include oddities such as notable symbols and anomalies that exist. I won't point out every single moon and star symbol or icon in the show, as there are too many. If you found something I missed, please post and feel free to comment on how insane I have become.
Though the moon will be primary, the working theory I will build towards will have more to do with the stars. I will give details and my best idea of what this means, but I was unable to discover any direct explanation in the show. Is this all just overthinking small details, or was there a secret backdrop to the show that was never fully realized?
We begin with the first introduction to the moon. Along with the sun, the moon is the one of the first things we learn about the workings of the world of Equestria. It is in this foundational starting point that it is tempting to overlook the beginning of the show. After all, we have the idea firmly in our heads. Celestia controls the sun. Luna controls the moon. Nothing more to know. Well, if it were that simple, I would have given up on this thread idea.
Referring to image 2, we see Luna not only raising the moon, but moving some stars. A quick study of the actual animation will show that only a select few stars are actually moving, which are the larger ones at the top of the image, three connected ones and a shooting star. The rest of the stars fade in as the moon is raised, which is consistent with the show. All of this to say that already there are elements to the night sky that are not well known to the average viewer. But perhaps these are decorations, meaningless filler to add to the scene to give the art the correct feeling.
The third and fourth images go together as the Elements of Harmony are introduced. Upon closer inspection, the Elements are in a form that I was not able to find elsewhere in the show. They are always depicted in the form shown in image 5, unified in shape. Another interesting tidbit is that a green element is shown that is a strange placeholder which is supposed to be where the purple Generosity element is to then give way for the element of Magic, which is always depicted in the special form of Twilight's star cutiemark. Perhaps the show intended for a seventh element, but it might have been an early revision of the design. There is too little evidence to know if there was ever to be a use for a green element, as it doesn't seem to work well for any of the main pony color schemes.
Regardless, referring back to image three, the stained-glass choice for this scene is also interesting. To the left, we see what appears to be three orbs with crosses, indicating shining stars. They are positioned alongside what appears to be a moon. Underneath them is something shining through what looks like clouds. You can get a better look at this in image 4 as there is a sea present below the shining object. I assume this to be the sun, but you never know if towards the end of the show the artists might signal something completely different, revealing precisely what the object is...
Next up is the center glass and it depicts another glowing thing that has many objects orbiting it and that are orbiting other objects. It is safe to assume they are planets as there is even a ringed planet. This glowing thing appears to be the sun. I haven't seen anything contrary to this throughout the show, unlike the first window, so I think I am safe in that assumption. Image 4 is hard to make out as the Elements are positioned directly in front, but a clearer image will be provided later.
The last glass depicts what appears to be phases of the moon with four stars and a large glowing object with lines forming crosses, which tells me another star, only closer than the others. Another interesting detail is that the full moon has curves on it. It is unclear if this depicts a face, as the moon is never shown as having a face, only a mare when Nightmare Moon is trapped. It looks like a face to me, but perhaps it is meant to represent something else. I haven't figured this out. I actually just notice this as I was typing everything out.
Image five reveals one last minor detail, the Elements reside on a star-like object on a field of stars. Perhaps this was the original story of where they came from? Or perhaps this simply communicates the power they possess over the cosmos?
This is part one of many to come. I will go through each finding I have come across. Again, the primary focus I had going into this is the consistency of the moon's portrayal and will be the bulk of updates to the thread, but now I am so invested I will also post interesting things I find in tangent to this goal. Maybe at the end, we will discover a secret or two to the world that perhaps you never thought about.