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Mani

Mani

In Norse mythology, Mani is the son of Mundilfari and is the god of the Moon and the brother of Sol, the Sun goddess.

The creation of the moon is described in the creation story. This tells how everything started. Before anything else existed, there was cold Niflheim to the north and burning hot Muspelheim to the south.

Between these was a great chasm, Ginnungagap, in which the primeval giant Ymir was formed. From him came all life in the world. The three gods Odin, Vili and Ve killed Ymir and from his body created the world itself: earth, mountains, sand, gardens, etc.

They set up his brain shell as the firmament above the earth and on this they threw up embers from Muspelheim like the stars. The two largest pieces of Muspelheim were given special places as sun and moon respectively. Both the sun and the moon are pulled across the sky in chariots with horses harnessed to them.

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The mythical character Mani was the son of Mundilfari. He thought they were so beautiful that he named his daughter after the Sun and his son the Moon. The gods hearing started boasting in arrogance, so as punishment they placed Sol and Mani into two chariots that pulled the moon and sun across the sky, so they could control the horses harnessed to the chariots.

The two chariots rush across the sky for both Sun and Moon are afraid. Far to the east in the Iron Forest of Jotunheim, the giantess Hyrrokken gives birth to giants in wolf form and two of her children hunt in the sky.

The two wolves are called Skoll and Hati. He called Skoll runs after Sol and will swallow her and Hati runs after Moon with his mouth open. Hati is possibly identical with the wolf-like giant called Moonegarm (the Moon Devourer), who will devour the Moon at Ragnarok. When the earth is resurrected after Ragnarok, the daughters of the Sol and Mani will take their place in the firmament.

The two horses pulling Sol's chariot are called Alsin and Arvak, but the names of the Moon's horses are unknown. These horses are not to be confused with Day's horse Skindfaxe or Night's horse Rimfaxe.