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Adoring the Harvest Moon

As I was driving home from school this evening, I rounded a corner and ran into a glorious site: the most stunning harvest moon that I have seen in a very long time. Well, it wasn’t quite a full moon—but it was a breathtaking half moon gleaming and gold, partially concealed in the evening’s wispy fog (or maybe clouds – I was too distracted by the moon itself to tell, I only know it hung, nestled in a bevy of wispy whiteness) and it took my breath away. As there was no one else on the road, I was free to admire for a bit before continuing my drive home. The moon, after all, is a manifestation of a God that I adore, deeply and utterly and I consider such unexpected glimpses of such loveliness as I saw tonight to be small gifts, tiny blessings, ineffable grace notes that brighten the sometimes weary process of living.

The small shock of such a moment of unexpected beauty shook me out of the lazy ennui of my evening. It brought me back to a sense of connectedness with the ancestors, the Gods, the world—such an insignificant thing and yet so important for me tonight. I should add that our moon God is beautiful, He and His chariot suspended as they are in the night’s inky darkness reek of a beauty so immense and at the same time so strange that the word itself seems little more than a brittle, shallow container for the reality of what on our tongues it is asked to hold. He is everything of sensuality, longing, mystery, delight, flirtation, danger, abandon, mystery - evocative and inspiring in a thousand ways large and small.  In the meanderings of my imagination, I could see Him easily dining on ambrosia with Dionysus or riding fierce and mad in a hunt more ancient than that of Odin. These are but my own imaginings though and they vanish easily in light (pun very much intended) of the outward manifestation of His mysteries: the moon itself. At least tonight.

Moments like these are one of the things that call my mind back to the Gods and ancestors. When I’m tired and overworked, it’s easy, tempting even, to tune out, unplug, disconnect. I’m grateful for those moments that remind me not to do that. It’s happened before, always with something seemingly insignificant, something that would likely have no meaning for anyone else but me: when I am least expecting it, I stumble across something that shocks me back into mindfulness, into connection. It’s usually something very simple, very pleasant, and often quite lovely. Sometimes, like tonight, it’s something that reminds me of a specific God or Goddess that I adore and Whose veneration I hold dear. As I grow older, I find myself more willing to pay attention to these little gifts, and more adept at recognizing them when they come my way (after all, there is more than a little truth in the old adage about being able to lead a horse to water but not make him drink…).

Mani, our moon God isn’t the only God to Whom I’ve connected in this way either (it first happened with Sigyn), it’s just that I am usually in a quieter mood late in the evening when I’m coming home from school or work. I am more prepared to touch the necessary contemplative headspace just a little at these times; and the moon itself is something visually powerful, obvious, and difficult to ignore. It rather catches the attention on nights like tonight. The upshot of all of this, and why I share it with you now, as rambling as it may seem, is that in the end, the entire world has the capacity to become one great mnemonic device, calling our minds, hearts, and spirits back to adorations of our Gods. That is the most beautiful thing of all, at least for me.

I choose to read the sacred into everything. It’s a conscious choice, and something that I nourish. It’s certainly there in a multitude of ways large, small, and everything in between for those who take the time to look. Sometimes, like tonight, it smacks one in the face and demands acknowledgement. All I can say to that is Hail to the Holy Powers, above, below and everywhere in between. They are multitude; They are magnificent; They simply are. Sometimes I like to say ‘thank you.’

Hail to Mani too. He is the ineffable, (to many) darling moon God of the North. He is both gentle and dangerous, carefully controlled by His own hand, His own demeanor, pleasant, exotic, but never, ever tamed. A very wise woman once told me that for all He seems playful and gentle, almost childlike in His delight at our embodiment, she had the sense that once, very long ago – so long perhaps even the Gods have forgotten—He was not always quite so gentle. In some place, some time, very long ago, He was not always so controlled, so loving, so wise. Mani’s gentleness I suspect –for I agree with this assessment—is very likely a choice too. There is a terrible longing I sense in Him sometimes –and yes, this is total UPG—hidden behind His carnival brightness. On nights like tonight, there is something in me that wants to honor the Gods for Their choices, especially the ones that allow Them to move Their hearts (or whatever the Divine equivalent may be) to care.  


That’s all for now. I’ll shortly be sharing an article on honoring the dead but I wanted to post something to tide my readers over in the interim.

For those interested in learning more about Mani, check out some of these links:


Adorations to Mani:


A virtual shrine to the House of Mundilfari (Mundilfari is Mani’s father):


My page in honor of Mani:


The devotional anthology for Mani and His family that I had the pleasure of editing: To my knowledge this is the only devotional to this particular family of Gods available.


If anyone knows of other resources for Mani, Sunna, and the rest of Their Family, please feel free to post here.  

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 Galina Krasskova is a Heathen priest, author, and Northern Tradition shaman. She holds a Masters degree in Religious Studies and is currently working toward a PhD in Classics. Galina is the author of several books including “Essays in Modern Heathenry” and “Skalded Apples: A Devotional Anthology to Idunna and Bragi.”
(Photo by Hudson Valley photographer Mary Ann Glass.)


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