31 Days of Devotion – Days 13, 14, 15 for Mani
- What modern cultural issues — if any—are closest to this deity’s heart? (this is a question that I’m not overly thrilled with. It presupposes that the Gods give a rat’s ass about our “cultural issues” but maybe some of Them do and if They don’t, we can talk about that too, always with the caveat that it is insofar as we as individual devotees have sussed out).
Well, the only thing that I”ve sussed out in venerating Mani is that He watches out for neglected and/or abused children, and has a particular protectiveness over those who have emotional wounds, trauma, or those who are mentally ill. So I would extrapolate that taking better care of the weakest and most vulnerable in our communities would be something that He might care about deeply. I mean, we shouldn’t have to be told: ‘don’t abuse your children’ or ‘treat those who are wounded inside or out with dignity and compassion’ but sadly, we have a long way to go before that ‘shouldn’t’ is actual reality. If I had to pinpoint any issues that were especially dear to Mani, (and with the caveat that this is speculation. I’d precede any action with divination and prayer), I would say that preventing child abuse, caring for those who have been abused, caring for those emotionally wounded, and caring for the mentally ill would top His list. Again, this is speculation and extrapolation drawn partly on what little we know of Him in the lore, and partly on my own experience of Him both in devotion and in group engagement.
- Has worship of this deity changed in modern times?
Well, we don’t really know how He was worshipped in pre-Christian times so I guess the easy answer here is that now, He is gaining an active and devoted cultus. He may have had this in the past, but we don’t know. Now, He has a following and a slowly growing cultus and that is wonderful.
- Are there any mundane practices that are associated with this deity?
I …have no idea how to answer this. I know people who have associated sailing, beading, knot making, gardening (one offering to Mani – a possible offering for people with green thumbs—is keeping a garden of night blooming flowers), baking but I wouldn’t associate any of these things specifically with Him as a rule. I’d love to hear from other people who honor Mani regularly to see what y’all come up with. I’m at a loss here. My first answer was ‘huh? None that I can think of.’
(I’d also like to give another shout out to luxettenebris, who came up with all of these questions. I stumbled across her (?) blog by accident and thought the questions made for good contemplation. Thank you, thank you for getting the ball rolling. That site may be found here).