A Prayer to Mani, God of the Moon

photo by Kevin Burkett via Creative Commons
photo by Kevin Burkett
via Creative Commons

When I first began writing prayers for my morning and evening devotionals, the first idea I seized upon was to honor the sun and the moon.  I wrote a rising prayer for Sunna, which always felt so perfectly right – stepping into my kitchen with its big east-facing window as the light streams in is such a powerful way to start the day.  I wrote a corresponding prayer to say to Mani, God of the Moon, in the evening; but it just never seemed ‘right’ in that same way.

I am a little bit of an astronomy geek; not enough that I’ve taken to learning the complex math behind it, mind you, but enough that I know a bit about the phases of the moon.  Contrary to popular belief, the moon does not mirror the movements of the sun through the sky; predictably rising at sunset and setting in the wee morning hours.  Actually, during the course of a month the moon is eager enough that it will sort of “lap” the sun – by the time the new moon comes around, it’s actually rising at sunrise and setting at twilight!

I think this is the reason that a night-time prayer to Mani never worked for me.  Half the time, He just wasn’t around when I was trying to address Him.  Inspired by the structure of Raven Kaldera’s Moon Phase prayers, I decided to write a set of mini-devotionals to Mani that could be said at anytime I spotted Him, day or night, with hints to help me remember when to go looking.

This new way of honoring Him has been very effective – I find myself much more aware of the actual lunar cycles, rather than just conflating He and the Night together.

public domain
Crescent Moon, public domain

First sighting
Hail to Mani, sliver of silver,
glimpsed in this liminal time
as the light of day is dawning (or waning).
You who rise with your sister
and follow Her to your silver-gold home.
On this night (or day) of all nights,
look down on me with blessings just beginning.
Hail to Mani, brilliant sickle of the sky.

Waxing
Hail to Mani, silver crescent,
beautiful jewel of the morning (or evening),
hanging in the cerulean sky.
You who grow greater each rising,
and later each day, heavy with light.
On this night (or day) of all nights,
look down on me with blessings growing.
Hail to Mani, brilliant sickle of the sky.

First quarter

Hail to Mani, now half full,
half of the day and half of the night,
God of the spaces in-between.
You who are highest as the day wanes,
Half in light and half in dark,
On this night (or day) of all nights,
Look down on me with blessings budding.
Hail to Mani, half-full light of the sky.

Gibbous
Hail to Mani, beaming silver,
growing great in the darkness,
shining among the stars.
You who grow greater each rising,
and later each day, heavy with light.
On this night (or day) of all nights,
look down on me with blessings blooming.
Hail to Mani, gleaming globe of the sky.

Full
Hail to Mani, shimmering silver,
flooding the dark night
with white light blazing brilliant.
You who appear in the evening,
whole and holy on the horizon.
On this night (or day) of all nights,
look down on me with blessings full and finished.
Hail to Mani, perfect pearl of the sky.

Waning
Hail to Mani, beaming silver,
great globe in the darkness,
shining among the stars.
You who leave lesser each setting,
and later each day, shedding your light.
On this night (or day) of all nights,
look down on me as troubles wane.
Hail to Mani, gleaming globe of the sky.

Last quarter
Hail to Mani, now half empty,
half of the day and half of the night,
God of the spaces in-between.
You who are highest as the day dawns,
Half in light and half in dark,
On this night (or day) of all nights,
Look down on me as troubles decline.
Hail to Mani, half-empty light of the sky.

Slivering
Hail to Mani, silver crescent,
beautiful jewel of the morning (or evening),
hanging in the cerulean sky.
You who leave lesser each setting,
and later each day, shedding your light.
On this night (or day) of all nights,
look down on me as troubles fade.
Hail to Mani, brilliant sickle of the sky.

Dark of the Moon
Hail to Mani, hiding your face,
secret silver disk of the day,
lost in your sister’s golden glow.
You who are dark and distant,
living in the sun’s great light,
On this day (or night) of all days,
look down on me with blessings waiting.

Hail to Mani, silent wanderer in the sky.

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