31 Days of Devotion – Days 16-20 for Mani
- How do you think this deity represents the values of their pantheon and cultural origins?
I …find the question confusing. I think that the Gods ARE. We should be worrying more about making ourselves significant to Them than worrying about what They might represent of us.
17, How does this deity relate to other gods and other pantheons?
A good friend of mine has this theory. He talks about all Deities who deal with one specific thing as working in a particular ‘Building.’. Thus he’ll say all the love Goddesses like Aphrodite and Freya (Who are more than just love Goddesses, but for Whom that is a primary area of interest) work in the “pink building,” and all the Gods Who govern Death work in the “black building.” It’s cute, but also an effective way of conceptualizing the relationships between the Gods of various pantheons. So if I had to answer the question of how Mani relates to say Tehuti or Selene or Luna, I’d say They all ‘work in the same building’ so to speak.
Beyond that, my impression of Mani is that He’s relatively easy going when other Gods are on the scene.
18 How does this deity stand in terms of gender and sexuality? (historical and/or UPG) (again, a question about which I could not possibly care less, but I suspect the answers might be interesting).
Mani is male but seems to present in a rather androgynous way. He’s definitely male and actually quite sensual in His masculinity but there’s at the same time a certain androgynous quality to Him, a blending and crossing of boundaries, sort of the same thing I’ve seen with Dionysos (though the Two Deities feel quite different in Presence).
- What quality or qualities of this god do you most admire?
I love Him for all that He is. I love the gentleness that hides something that was once, I suspect, quite fierce. I love the longing He inspires in …almost everyone who has had interactions with Him. I love the wisdom and knowledge of the workings of the universe that He so obviously knows and conceals. I love how interested He seems to be in humanity and I love His remoteness too. It is not a matter of ‘admiring’ Him…we do not venerate Gods out of something as small as human admiration (I would never reduce Them to our level like that), but of raw adoration.
- What quality or qualities of them do you find the most troubling?
Again, to answer this I’d have to drag the Gods down to my human level and I can’t comprehend even wanting to do that. The only thing that troubles me with Mani is the thing that troubles me with every God I love: I wish I could love Them more.