The Left Eye
by Dr. Emily K.
A lovely eye complete with lid
Rolled in Niflheim’s frosty gems
Blinks time by in days and weeks
And winks at mortal stratagems
Mani we hail, who travels heaven
To visit sisters sun and stars
Mani we hail, the watchful dancer
Whose gaze the deathless gate unbars
Both submissions are by Vanessa
Mani’s Playlist on Spotify:
1) Blue Moon, Frank Sinatra (my american grandfather loved Frank Sinatra)
2) Barcarolle, Offenbach (reminds me of His Melancholy)
3) A window to the past, Prague Philharmonic Orchestra (reminds me of His Compassion)
4) Clair De Lune, Debussy (reminds me of His Gentleness)
5) Recognizer, London Music Works (He can be Fierce too)
6) Adagio for Tron, Gautier (His Sweetness)
7) Moon, Bjork (the lyrics!)
8) Holdrejtek (Moon Shrine), The moon and the night spirit (in Hungarian, because of my ancestors)
9) Meditation, Massenet (He Likes this one, reminds me of His Passing through the night Sky)
10) Child of the Moon, The Rolling Stones (the lyrics!)
11) Alfonsina y el mar Zamba de mi esperanza, Andrés Calamaro, in Spanish (two Argentinian zambas, one about a poetess that drowned in the sea and another zamba about hope)
12) Luna Tucumana, Atahualpa Yupanqui, in Spanish (beautiful argentinian zamba-folk music dedicated to the Moon, Luna in Spanish)
13) Lisa, Cerati, in Spanish (Argentinian rock, about a girl that lives in the sea and is in love with the Moon)
14) Rhapsody on theme of Paganini n43, Rachmaninoff, Garrett (He Trully really Likes this one, if I had to pick just one song for Him, I definitly would pick this one)
15) Fly me to the Moon, Frank Sinatra (dedicated to my adored grandfather again)
16) Morning sun reprise, Robbie Williams (“Who am I to rate the morning sun?”)
17) Satellite of Love, Morrissey (I find it to be a very powerful ending, and well… Satellite of Love…says it all)
Prayer for Mani
Oh Sweet and Gentle Mani,
Lord of the Moon,
Teach me to be kind and humble as You
Reflecting on other’s light,
Softly giving quiet guidance in the world’s night.
Teach me to value and radiate
The noble virtues of my ancestors past.
Teach me to fully see, hear and accept
Myself and others for what we truly are-
Without judgments, but through compassion and love.
Teach me to give generously
What I have received.
Teach me to be grateful, brave and diligent
In embracing the changing tides of my wyrd
Even when times may be difficult for me
And pain may be all I perceive.
Help me discern and do what’s right to do
Be it hard or easy Help me do what I have to
With a calm determination, perseverance and an absolute faith
On prevailing in the end.
Give me the grace of thinking in myself
Each day less and less.
Whenever my ego or my pain or my stupidity blind me
Remind me Mani of my humanity
And my proper place before the Holy,
Before the worlds and before my kin.
“As Living Nectar”
You are not Soma
but You are soma
sweet nectar of compassion,
You are comfort,
the only One
who will absorb into His own orbit
(though slight-fragile-delicate Yourself)
there is never hesitation–
to guard us
to guide us
to illuminate the way
but I know Your secret:
You are the strength of night
how could anything
Eons and Eons Ago
Sometimes when Mani watches,
Children playing on Midgard,
He remembers a time,
Eons and eons ago,
When He and His siblings,
He stood at Ymir’s head,
While Sunna stood at Ymir’s feet.
They threw the moon and sun back and forth,
To one another,
Two glowing globes racing across the sky.
While They did this,
Sinthgunt danced on Ymir’s belly,
Whirling around and around,
Singing her strange little charms.
Ymir smiled in His deep, deep sleep.
Mundilfari said in his voice as soft as sand running in an hour glass:
“Oh, my children! My beautiful children! How I love you so!
Look at how Our Ancestor smiles. You make Him so happy.
Blessed are those who love their Ancestor,
And to those who bring Him joy.”
Those were such happy times,
Before Mundilfari made an unbreakable deal,
With a young warrior called Odin,
And then disappeared through the mists of time,
Never to be seen again.
Before Odin and His Brothers hacked Ymir to death,
To create the Nine Worlds.
Odin with His two ice blue eyes,
And wild long blonde hair.
Odin seemed harmless enough back then…
Mani sadly sighs when He remembers,
That sweet childhood memory,
Eons and eons ago.
by Thomas S.
Thomas S. says: After reading your prompt for the Sigyn Agon, I sat and wrote the following in one sitting. I suppose I would describe it as imagining what it would have been like for Sigyn and Loki exiting the cavern, from Sigyn’s perspective. Please leave a note that this submission is merely a fiction dedicated to Sigyn, not a claim to any visionary experience of Her life. 🙂
And His chest heaves like a ship trapped against the rocks, each wave cracking the hull deeper yet. The eyes swirl in their sockets as blizzard snow, seeing not even horror now, the whites gone crimson, envenomed tears of mucus coursing down. His mouth is Ginnungagap, not screaming.
I will not speak of why We gained Our freedom, not here.
The coils of Our slaughtered Son’s bowel I sling about My shoulders, and the ropes of My filthy hair begin to drip with His blood. As My Husband twitches upon the slab of his incarceration, the serpent hisses, flickers out its tongue at Us from on high. I meet its gaze, and it yawns out fleshy fangs at Me, its Mistress’ wrath still ensorcelled into its soul. But Sigyn has a power unto Her own, and no more does She carry the weight of this thing’s spit. I hold the serpent in My vision, and wrath cannot match Me now. The serpent is still, a moment… then abandons its post, seeking the refuge of some deeper cavern.
Loki cannot stand. His body transformed, His arms and legs like wind-shook branches, He rolls from the stone and spasms, choking, groaning.
And so I lift Him, carry Him, My Husband. Because I cannot do otherwise. I leave the bowl.
Every step towards the mouth of the cave was beyond My endurance, and yet I endure. The weight of My Child’s torn gut, mantle of heartbreak, is heavier than a chain of iron. My Husband hangs scatter-limbed, crying out without words. My knees should shatter. My elbows ought to tear asunder. They do not. I should be shaking from crown to roots with ache. I ought to be screaming with the struggle of it. I do not.
Beyond the mouth of the cave, a forest. It is midnight, but Máni slowly unveils from beyond a cloud. I am washed in silver. I march down the rocky slope into the midst of pines and spruces. I lay My Husband upon the moss, where, in His fever, He whimpers as if it were a bed of jagged stone. His mad-wheeling eyes catch Máni, and for once, they halt, spell-bound by the white light.
I drop Our Son’s last remnant on the ground, and fall to My knees from relief. A sharp rock, then, to saw through the long matted locks heavy with His blood. It takes time, but I bear with it. Loki gazes at Máni, His mouth still hanging vast with Ginnungagap, silent. At last My hair is cut, and I cast the ropes upon My Son’s gut. I grab at chunks of dried dead moss, mass them with the hair and bowel. Then I stumble about Me, reaching for broken twigs and branches, piling them, slowly, slowly. The world spins around Me in the depth of My exhaustion, but I gather debris and build. Máni rides higher and higher, and as He reaches His zenith, I have built a fitting pyre, rude though it may be.
“Loki,” I whisper, My throat so dry that My voice rattles ghostly as His Daughter’s. “Can You conjure a flame?”
My Husband does not respond.
A sob gasps out, and it is a moment before I realize it is Mine. Perhaps Ginnungagap has swallowed the whole of Him, left Me only this scarecrow. I do not know. I am lost.
Máni steps out of the sky, His mighty mane of hair shining behind Him. Great strides He is taking down a stair that I cannot see, and He glows so mightily that I cannot yet see His face. He is singing, a great throbbing voice that is impossible, thunderously quiet, deafeningly gentle. Loki quakes at His advance.
“I greet You, Sigyn, and You, Loki,” the heavenly God calls. Now He is close, and His light fades–or My eyes strengthen–so that I can see the beauty of His face, somehow boy and youth and aged man, all ages of life there. He smiles. He is in tears. His tears turn to moonstones as they hit the earth. He advances, until His feet are on the earth beside Us.
“And I you, Máni,” I manage through My parched mouth. I cannot muster fine words now. “We are free.”
“Your Husband’s soul is wandering the Void.” Another moonstone forms upon the moss. “He drifts on the waters of oblivion. It is a relief from His madness.”
“How shall We call him back?” Something in Me holds back against a black howl of despair. I will not collapse into the lethargy of fatalism. I cannot endure it, and yet I endure.
“Sing with Me.”
Our voices rise, His deep and ancient, pulling on the world with all the strength of tide, Mine keening and broken, piercing even into Ginnungagap. We weave together, wife’s love and stranger’s compassion, twirling, skirling, calling, falling, flying, sighing. Yes, We sing. The trees’ souls shiver and weep, and, without the touch of wind, their branches sway and churn.
Loki twitches. He blinks, staring at Máni still. His eyes flick towards Me. Then to the pile of Our Son’s desecrated gut. Then to the forest around us. He sucks a breath deeper than a bellows.
His scream cracks through My soul like the thrust of a sword, and Máni presses a shining hand to His eyes, weeping silently.
Loki jerks upright, panting, gasping. His skin roils and twitches, incipient with mutation, His shapeshifter power rising. His eyes bulge and the pupils turn to slits, fangs jut from his jaw–
Máni puts a hand upon Loki’s cheek. “You know Me, Loki,” He murmurs, gazing into the tiger eyes. He leans in, fearless, and kisses the Mad-God on the lips.
Loki sits motionless as a statue.
Máni turns to Me and nods. “Yours is the power, Blessed One,” He says to Me. Then He steps into the sky. “I am missed from My post. I must return. I wish You both joy.” He walks heavenwards, His song slowly fading, His form reassuming the nature of a sphere.
How I have the strength to dance now will ever be a Mystery. But now I leap into motion about My Husband, My limbs shaking off the weight of accursed subterranean ages, as He gazes at me in still and silent wonder. I call to the pyre, and the spirit of Fire moves through Me, sparks dancing down My arms and legs, leaping into the moss and branches. Smoke begins to unfurl. Warmth awakens.
“You know this dance!” I cry in My ragged voice to Loki, and something almost like a smile steals across that wasted visage.
The trees’ souls cry out to Me in ecstasy. I begin to move through forms of Myself. A girl is before Loki, still crowned in flowers. His newly-wed is here, Her locks braided and tied into a golden crown upon her brow. I am a mother, with tears of joy in My eyes. I am the Bowl-Bearer, face in unbreakable resolve. I am an aged woman as yet unreached. I dance through a witch’s hame, a warrioress’, a queen’s. I manifest forms as mortals cannot comprehend.
Now He leaps to His feet, reels, lurches, but I dance about Him, My hands at His waist, holding Him steady. A curious, blood-chilling laugh sounds from His mouth, but it is Loki, and the Void does not silent-roar from between his teeth.
The fire rises, consuming the defilement of My poor Narvi, releasing that desecration into the purity of smoke and cinder. His holy blood is released, as well, My hair burning but the smell somehow not bitter, instead sweet as juniper incense. Loki begins to dance with Me, around Me. He laughs again, louder, and the trees shout to Him. He roars and He kisses Me fiercely. He sobs and weeps and moans and laughs yet again. I wrap My arms about Him in a close embrace, hold Him again. He howls in adoration.
“Will you help Him?” I cry to the trees.
Their assent comes in a susurrus of shivering limbs. They consent to the offering.
Loki explodes into the nature of Fire. Trees burst as He seethes outwards in all directions, wrapping tongue-limbs around the trees and boiling their sap. He sucks the life out of them. Their bark incandesces into red-hot coals, their limbs into a crackling wave of fire. He races in every direction, sucking the forest into His famished form, and bathing My body in blissful warmth.
When Sunna rises, the earth smokes. We are surrounded by the barest black husks of the sacrifices. Loki’s limbs are full and strong, His eyes steady and clear. His hair flows down in a beautiful mane of red and gold. My own is washed clean, My skin luminous and flushed from My Husband’s touch.
And We stand bright and strong, raising Our hands in grim salute to Sunna, in blessed thanks to Máni as He disappears below the horizon.
We walk in freedom, all the worlds before Us.
So Sannion just finished a fantastic book on divination — I think it’s probably the most important book he’s written. I’m chomping at the bit for it to be generally available (I got to read the file before he sent it over for formatting and I was blown away). Of course I’ll post about it here when it is available, but I want to share a system that I stole and adapted from his book.
Of course he stole it first from my people. LOL. He adapted this from Anglo-Saxon sources for use in a more Bacchic-Orphic practice, and I took it back and re-adapted it for a Mani-centric practice. This is what happens when you let a Southern Italian Orpheotelest loose in your library. Anyway, here it is (my version) for those who might be interested.
The Mirror of the Moon
When the moon is new on a Sunday, that signifies three things will happen during the month: rain, wind and calm. It also signifies barrenness of cattle and old men’s sicknesses – but health and fitness among the young men. Make offerings to the Mothers.
If it is new on a Monday, that signifies sorrow for those who are born and young men’s heads will ache in that month. Make offerings to Heimdall.
If it is new on a Tuesday, that signifies joy for all men, and grief for the young. Make offerings to Narvi and Vali.
If it is new on a Wednesday, that signifies that peaceful men will dwell among loyal friends. An end to ancient feuds and generational enmity. Make offerings to Mani.
If it is new on a Thursday, that signifies the health of kings through potent drugs. Make offerings to Odin.
If it is new on a Friday, there will be good hunting that month. Make offerings to Frey.
If it is new on a Saturday that signifies strife, and bloodshed, and whoever begins it with the south wind will have the victory. Make offerings to the Nine Daughters of Ran and Aegir.
It’s weird offering to Mani on Wed. and Odin on Thurs. — those aren’t the usual days but I did divination while adapting this and these are the Powers that stepped forward. The placement of the moon signifies the overall influences moving through the month. The diviner extrapolates from the information given. The offerings can be done as a matter of course when this is consulted or in order to better the outcome for the month.
- Share any Art that reminds you of this deity
There aren’t any pieces of art that stand out for me but any photograph that has the moon dripping a bright gold in the sky will often do it for me. Any images of the moon of course bring Him to mind. And of course there are all the Mani prayer cards. 🙂 I like them a lot, each one.
- Share any Music that makes you think of this deity
ARGH. I’ve never been able to put together play lists. I would love it if any of you have Mani play lists that you are willing to share. Please feel free to post. Music is a very, very special thing for me tied up with my experiences as a dancer and I just don’t relate to it in a way that makes it particularly easy to associate with Him. I wish I did have a Mani play list.
- Share A quote, a poem, or piece of writing that you think this deity resonates strongly with
I think of the quotes that I’ve collected that remind me of Mani – and they are many—my favorite is this one:
“There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls.”
— George Carlin
24 Share Your own composition – a piece of writing about or for this deity
I’ve written two books about Him: “Day Star and Whirling Wheel” and “Dancing in the House of the Moon.” The first is about Mani and His family, and is a devotional anthology and the second a pocket devotional all about Mani.
25 Share A time when this deity has helped you.
He comforted me after my mother’s death. I won’t speak more of that here, but Mani comforted me after she was gone and showed me her afterlife.
26 Share A time when this deity has refused to help (i really like this question).
I can’t think of any actually. I try very very hard not to ask for help from the Gods. I know that there’s nothing wrong with doing so once in awhile (and Odin once chided me that I don’t do so enough) but I really don’t like my prayers to be full of requests rather than thank yous. I’m sure He’s refused, but nothing specific sticks out in my mind. If something comes to mind later, I’ll come back and post it here.
- How has your relationship with this deity changed over time?
I think over time I’ve been allowed to see more facets of His nature. I mean, I was utterly infatuated with Him after my initial encounters and I continue to love Him deeply but as with any relationship, the more time you spend engaging, the more each party learns about the other. I think I have a much more nuanced view of Mani now, than I did ten years ago and certainly my devotion has deepened and become more consistent.
- what are the Worst misconception about this deity that you have encountered?
Heh. That He’s female. You’d be surprised how many people assume our moon GOD is female.
- What is Something you wish you knew about this deity but don’t currently?
I really wish that we knew Who Mani’s mother is.
- 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.
- 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).