31 Days of Devotion – Days 9 and 10 for Mani
9. what are some Common mistakes about this deity
I think perhaps the most common mistake is that our moon God is female. Seriously, I’ve seen this come up (when a simple wiki search would show otherwise) quite frequently. I think Pagans are so used to the typical IE model of a moon goddess and sun god that when they get to the Norse it’s confusing at first. There are other traditions that also have a moon God/sun goddess, Romuva –Lithuanian polytheism—for instance. And there is a moon god in Kemeticism, and in Sumerian polytheism to name but a few but for those of us most familiar with classical pantheons (Greek and Roman), it can be a bit of a surprise and perhaps even seem like an anomaly.
I think perhaps second to that is simply lack of knowledge that He is a God with a working cultus. Odin, Thor, Frigga, et Al get all the attention and while Sunna is honored more frequently than Her brother ( perhaps because She is mentioned in the Merseburg charm and we have some evidence of sun veneration amongst our ancestors), we don’t really have a whole lot of evidence for Mani’s cultus in the past. I find it incomprehensible though that an agricultural community – and our ancestors were largely agricultural in the northlands—wouldn’t have venerated both the sun and the moon.
10 .what are common Offerings – historical and UPG
Well, I don’t know about historical offerings as we simply don’t have surviving records, but modern offerings are many. Off the top of my head: beads and jewelry, cookies and sweets (particularly anything with marshmallows), cheese cake, other pastries, Sambuca, marshmallow and other flavored vodkas.
Here’s something I wrote in “Dancing in the House of the Moon” about proper offerings:
Some of these suggestions are fairly obvious; others are drawn from my own personal experience both as a priest and ritual worker, and as a devotee of Mani. This list should in no way limit your own explorations and devotional work. Use it as a jumping-off point. I offer it to help, not to hinder. They are not based on lore, but on personal experience.
Symbols: obviously anything shaped like the moon or with the moon on it, hour glasses, old watch parts, knots, time pieces, calendars, mathematical equations, musical scores, beaded necklaces, mirrors, abacuses, beads, a flute.
Colors: blues, silver, black, purple/lavender, pale white.
Rune: Dagaz (I also happen to see Ehwaz with Him)
Stones: moonstone (obviously), labradorite, selenite, quartz, amethyst.
Food and drink: Sambuca, cookies (especially ones with marshmallows or odd shapes), angel food cake, peppermint flavored sweets, and I have found that He adores marshmallow flavored vodka.
Other Offerings: jasmine, carnations, night-blooming flowers, highly aromatic flowers, white flowers, mugwort, blue sea glass, any volunteer work or donations that benefit abused children or the mentally ill.
Things not to do: harm or abuse a child in any way; mock the mentally ill.