Mōna

Meaning of Name: Mōna is the Old English form of “Moon” and quite literally refers to exactly that. He is known as Máni in Old Norse.

Pronunciation: The ‘o’ is pronounced as per the ‘o’ in ‘sofa’. ‘Moh-nah’

Function: Mōna (Old Norse “moon”[1]) is the personification of the moon in Norse mythology where he is referred to as “Máni”. Máni, personified, is attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources, and the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson. Both sources state that he is the brother of the personified sun, Sól (Or Sunne in Old English), and the son of Mundilfari, while the Prose Edda adds that he is followed by the children Hjúki and Bil through the heavens. As a proper noun, Máni appears throughout Old Norse literature. Scholars have proposed theories about Máni’s potential connection to the Northern European notion of the Man in the Moon, and a potentially otherwise unattested story regarding Máni through skaldic kennings.

Mōna is an important figure in Fyrnsidere praxis, though many will not refer to him directly or make any particular offering to him. His phases govern each of the months of the Fyrnsidere year and inform us of when to make our offerings and celebrate our holy tides. I refer to him when seeking illumination in dark places, both literally and figuratively and have always been in awe of his splendour on clear nights.

Iconography: Mōna is sometimes characterised is Norse literature as being chased across the night sky by the great wolf Hati Hróðvitnisson, meaning “He Who Hates”, or Mánagarmr (Moon-Dog/Hound).

Mōna lends his name to our modern ‘Monday’ from the Old English Mōnandæg.

Contemporary Bīnaman: Gæstlíc-Cyning (Ghostly-King), Æfenléoht (Evening Light), Niht-hopa (Night-hope)

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