The Norse people had different beliefs that they used to explain natural phenomena. According to the Norse Mythology, there was the god of the moon and the sun. The moon and the sun are among the most prominent features in the sky.
Since ancient times, these two had a significant influence on Norse Mythology. In this article, we will discuss facts regarding the god of the moon and the sun according to the Norse people. Enjoy!
What is sol and mani god in Norse mythology?
The Norse people believe that mani and sol are the divinities of the moon and sun. They view mani as a male god and sol as a female god. These gods have been described in different poems, such as the Poetic Edda.
The gods from Muspelheim made the sky and created the sun from molten sparks. Muspelheim was known as the land of fire. When the gods finished creating the sun, they set it up in the sky to give light to the world. According to Norse mythology, the gods were also responsible for creating the moon.
While one story suggests that mani and sol were brothers, another claims that the two gods never met. The two emerged during the creation of the cosmos.
At first, they did not understand their roles on earth until gods met and came up with the moon phases and the parts of the year and day. The Norse people believed the gods were responsible for creating nighttime and daytime.
Mani and Sol were responsible for driving the moon and the sun in their courses in the sky. According to a particular story, mani and sol were good-looking kids that played together as kids.
Who Is Sol?
Most people living in Scandinavia believed that Sol was a goddess created when the cosmos was created. Some Norse people also referred to Sol as Sunna. According to Prose Edda and Poetic Edda, Sol was Mani’s sister.
She was a beautiful goddess that was named after the sun.
Her destiny was to be the goddess of the sun. When the gods gave Sol this responsibility, they also gave her a chariot of horses that she could use to ride in the sky.
The conception of the goddess of the sun riding a chariot was not only popular among the Norse people but also among the German People. This is evident in most Scandinavian artifacts, including rock carvings famous during the Bronze age.
Sol had horses called Allsvinn, which meant swift, and Avark, which meant early riser. According to Poetic Edda, Sol rode alongside a figure called Svalinn in her chariot. This figure held a shield between the earth and the goddess of the sun. He prevented the sea and land from being consumed in flames.
Her duty, however, came with challenges since she was forced to race across the sky while being chased by an evil wolf that was called Skoll, which meant Mockery. The wolf managed to get too close to Sol’s chariot on different occasions, causing a solar eclipse.
Unfortunately, the wolf overtook Sol’s chariot of horses during Ragnarok. This represented when the cosmos descended into chaos since the wolf swallowed the sun.
Who is Mani
According to Norse Mythology, Mani was the god of the moon. He was the brother of the goddess of the sun. He was a good-looking god with silvery eyes and black hair and preferred the night more than the daytime. He used his silvery eyes to illuminate the forest for the hunters during the night.
Mani drove the chariot of horses that carried the moon across the sky. Unlike Sol’s horses, Mani’s horses did not have names. According to specific accounts, Mani kidnapped a girl called Bil and a Boy named Haruki, who were human kids of Vidfinn.
He took them when they were leaving a well and compelled them to travel with him to the moon. The kids had an evil father who kept on sending them to the well when they encountered Mani.
As Mani flew through the sky using his chariot of horses, Hati the wolf, would chase him. The wolf was the son of Fenrir, and its name meant Hate. The Norse people believed that the lunar eclipse occurred because the wolf got too close to Mani’s chariot. Since this caused consternation, people made noises to scare the wolf away.
Though the wolf tried hard to catch Mani’s chariot, it did not manage this until Ragnarok. When this happened, Hati swallowed the moon, turning earth into darkness. All the stars disappeared, and the forces of evil and good almost began. After Ragnarok, the Norse people believed that the earth was reborn, which marked the beginning of a new generation.
Those who suggested that Mani and Sol were siblings believed that they had a father called Mundilfari. His name means the one that moves based on particular times. The father believed that no creature was more beautiful than his children apart from the sun and moon. This led him to name sol and mani after the moon and the sun.
This move, however, did not please most of the gods since they felt that Mundilfari was arrogant. That is why the gods forced his children to drive the moon’s and sun’s chariots. Sources also reveal that Sol was the wife of Glen, which meant opening in the clouds.
The two gave birth to a beautiful daughter that took after her after Ragnarok through the heavens. According to a particular story, some people believed that Sol had a sister called Sinthgunt who sang charms.
Like Sol, Sinthgunt was also a goddess that was responsible for the shifting of power and flow of time. Many people considered her a powerful and magical goddess.
Sol and Mani appear in Old Norse literature. According to the Norse people, these two played an essential role in the sky since they drove the chariot of the sun and moon. Unfortunately, wolves swallowed Mani and Sol during Ragnarok.