Mani: Moon Ruler in Norse Mythology

Did you know that Monday or Moon day is named after the Moon?

Looking up at the full moon has always intrigued folks. Those shadowy spots on the moon look different depending on your cultural background, for instance in India the spots on the moon look like a rabbit, written about in the Jakata Tales. Many people also feel the moon represents the feminine nature while some see a man in the moon.

In Norse Mythology, Mani is a giant and is the son of Mundilfari, his sister is  Sól or Sunna which is known as an Old high German goddess, of the Sun. Mani is pursued by the giant wolf Hati who is known as the “Moon eater.”

Sól is chased by the enormous wolf Sköll who will consume her over time.

Old Gaulish Coins depicting Mani & Sól Wiki Commons

According to Norse mythology Mani was a Moon ruler of the last quarter. Mani abducts a couple of youths named Bil and Hjúki, offspring of Vifinnir as they departed from the spring Byrgir hoisting over their shoulders the pole Simul, where the pale Sægr was hung. They followed the moon as one views it from Earth.

Source & References:

  • Byock, Jesse (Trans.) (2005). The Prose Edda. Penguin Classics. ISBN 0-14-044755-5
  • Orchard, Andy (1997). Dictionary of Norse Myth and Legend. Cassell ISBN 0-304-34520-2 
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