Forseti is the god of justice and reconciliation in Norse mythology. He is identified with Fosite, a god of the Frisians. Jacob Grimm noted that if, as Adam of Bremen states, Fosite's sacred island was Heligoland, that would make him an ideal candidate for a deity known to both Frisians and Scandinavians, but that it is surprising he is never mentioned by Saxo Grammaticus. Grimm took Forseti, "praeses", to be the older form of the name, first postulating an unattested Old High German equivalent *forasizo, but preferring a derivation from fors, a "whirling stream" or "cataract", connected to the spring and the god's veneration by seagoing peoples. It is plausible that Fosite is Forseti a folk etymology. According to the German philologist Hans Kuhn the Germanic form Fosite is linguistically identical to Greek Poseidon, hence the original name must have been introduced before the Proto-Germanic sound change via Greek sailors purchasing amber; the Greek traveller Pytheas of Massalia, who describes the amber trade, is known to have visited the region around 325 BC.
According to Snorri Sturluson in the Prose Edda, Forseti is the son of Nanna. His home is Glitnir, its name, meaning "shining," refers to its silver ceiling and golden pillars, which radiated light that could be seen from a great distance, his is the best of courts. This suggests skill in mediation and is in contrast to his fellow god Týr, who "is not called a reconciler of men." However, as de Vries points out, the only basis for associating Forseti with justice seems to have been his name. The first element in the name Forsetlund, a farm in the parish of Onsøy, in eastern Norway, seems to be the genitive case of Forseti, offering evidence he was worshipped there. According to Alcuin's Life of St. Willebrord, the saint visited an island between Frisia and Denmark, sacred to Fosite and was called Fositesland after the god worshipped there. There was a sacred spring from which water had to be drawn in silence, it was so holy. Willebrord defiled the spring by killing a cow there. Altfrid tells the same story of St. Liudger.
Adam of Bremen adds that the island was Heiligland, i.e. Heligoland. There is a late-medieval legend of the origins of written Frisian laws. Wishing to assemble written lawcodes for all his subject peoples, Charlemagne summoned twelve representatives of the Frisian people, the Āsegas, demanded they recite their people's laws; when they could not do so after several days, he let them choose between death, slavery, or being set adrift in a rudderless boat. They chose the last and prayed for help, whereupon a thirteenth man appeared, with a golden axe on his shoulder, he steered the boat to land with the axe threw it ashore. He taught them laws and disappeared; the stranger and the spring have traditionally been identified with Fosite and the sacred spring of Fositesland. Modern scholarship, however, is critical about this hypotheses, as the attribute of the axe is associated with Thor, not with Forseti; the German neofolk band Forseti named itself after the god. Poetic Edda The dictionary definition of forseti at Wiktionary Media related to Forseti at Wikimedia Commons
Grímnismál is one of the mythological poems of the Poetic Edda. It is preserved in the AM 748 I 4to fragment, it is spoken through the voice of one of the many guises of the god Odin. The name suggests guise, or mask or hood. Through an error, King Geirröth tortured Odin-as-Grímnir, a fatal mistake, since Odin caused him to fall upon his own sword; the poem is written in the ljóðaháttr metre, typical for wisdom verse. The work starts out with a lengthy prose section describing the circumstances leading up to Grímnir's monologue; the monologue itself comprises 54 stanzas of poetic verse describing the worlds and Odin's many guises. The third and last part of the poem is prose, a brief description of Geirröth's demise, his son's ascension, Odin's disappearance; the prose sections were most not part of the original oral versions of Grímnismál. Henry Adams Bellows suggests that they were added in the 12th or 13th century and based on some sort of narrative tradition regarding the poem; this is not certain.
The poem itself was composed in the first half of the 10th century. Odin and his wife, were sitting in Hlidskjalf, looking out on the worlds, they turned their eyes towards King Geirröth, reigning in the stead of his late father, King Hrauthung. Geirröth and his older brother Agnarr had been raised by Frigg, respectively; the god and goddess had disguised themselves as a peasant and his wife, had taught the children wisdom. Geirröth returned to his father's kingdom where he became king upon his father's death, while Agnarr dwelt with a giantess in a cave. In Hliðskjálf, Odin remarked to Frigg that his foster-child Geirröth seemed to be prospering more so than her Agnarr. Frigg retorted that Geirröth was so parsimonious and inhospitable that he would torture his guests if he thought there were too many of them. Odin disputed this, the couple entered into a wager in this respect. Frigg sent her maid Fulla to Geirröth, advising him that a magician would soon enter his court to bewitch him, saying that he could be recognised by the fact that no dog was fierce enough to attack him.
Geirröth heeded Fulla's false warning. He ordered his men to capture the man the dogs wouldn't attack. Odin-as-Grímnir, dressed in a dark blue cloak, allowed himself to be captured, he stated that his name was Grímnir. Geirröth had him tortured to force him to speak, putting him between two fires for eight nights. After this time, Geirröth's son, named Agnarr after the king's brother, came to Grímnir and gave him a full horn from which to drink, saying that his father, the king, was not right to torture him. Grímnir spoke, saying that he had suffered eight days and nights, without succour from any save Agnarr, Geirröth's son, whom Grímnir prophesied would be Lord of the Goths, he revealed himself for who he was, as the Highest One, promising Agnarr reward for the drink which he brought him. Shifting from prose to poetry for Odin-as-Grímnir's monologue, Grímnir describes at great length the cosmogony of the worlds, the dwelling places of its inhabitants, himself and his many guises. Grímnir turns to Geirröth and promises him misfortune, revealing his true identity.
Geirröth realized the magnitude of his mistake. Having learned that he is undone, he rose to pull Odin from the fires, but the sword which he had lain upon his knee slipped and fell hilt down, so that when the king stumbled he impaled himself upon it. Odin vanished, Agnarr, son of the dead King Geirröth, ruled in his father's stead; the 12th album of the comic Valhalla is loosely based on the poem. In the 2017 Starz television adaptation of Neil Gaiman's American Gods, the character Mad Sweeney refers to Mr. Wednesday as Grimnir. Mr. Wednesday emulates Odin's reveal of his identity through his various names when revealing his own true nature. Grímnismál in old Norse and Henry Adams Bellows' translation, at voluspa.org
Mímir or Mimir is a figure in Norse mythology, renowned for his knowledge and wisdom, beheaded during the Æsir-Vanir War. Afterward, the god Odin carries around Mímir's head and it recites secret knowledge and counsel to him. Mímir is attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources, the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson of Iceland, in euhemerized form as one of the Æsir in Heimskringla written by Snorri Sturluson in the 13th century. Mímir's name appears in the names of the well Mímisbrunnr, the tree Mímameiðr, the wood Hoddmímis holt. Scholars have proposed that Bestla may be Mímir's sister, therefore Mímir Odin's uncle. Mímir is mentioned in Sigrdrífumál. In Völuspá, Mímir is mentioned in two stanzas. Stanza 28 references Odin's sacrifice of his eye to Mímir's Well, states that Mímir drinks mead every morning "from the Father of the Slain's wager." Stanza 46 describes that, in reference to Ragnarök, the "sons" of Mím are at play while "fate burns", that the god Heimdallr blows the Gjallarhorn, that Mímir's severed head gives counsel to Odin.
The single mention in stanza 14 of Sigrdrífumál is a reference to Mímir's speaking, decollated head. Stanzas 20 and 24 of the poem Fjölsvinnsmál refer to Yggdrasil as Mímameiðr. In chapter 15 of the Prose Edda book Gylfaginning, as owner of his namesake well, Mímir himself drinks from it and gains great knowledge. To drink from the well, he uses the Gjallarhorn, a drinking horn which shares its name with the sounding horn used by Heimdallr intended to announce the onset of Ragnarök; the section further relates that the well is located beneath one of the three roots of Yggdrasil, in the realm of the frost jötnar. Chapter 51 relates that, with the onset of Ragnarök, "Heimdall stands up and blows the Gjallarhorn with all his strength, he wakens all the gods who hold an assembly. Odin now rides to Mimir's Well, seeking council for both his followers; the ash Yggdrasil shakes, nothing, whether in heaven or on earth, is without fear."In the Prose Edda book Skáldskaparmál, Mímir's name appears in various kennings.
These kennings include "Mím's friend" in three places, "mischief-Mímir", among a list of names for jötunn. Mímir is mentioned in chapters 7 of the saga Ynglinga Saga, as collected in Heimskringla. In chapter 4, Snorri presents a euhemerized account of the Æsir-Vanir War. Snorri states that the two sides tired of the war and both agree to meet to establish a truce; the two sides exchanged hostages. Vanaheimr are described as having sent to Asgard their best men: Njörðr—described as wealthy—and his son Freyr in exchange for Asaland's Hœnir—described here as large and thought of by the people of Vanaheimr well suited to be a chieftain. Additionally, the Æsir send Mímir—described as a man of great understanding—in exchange for Kvasir, who Snorri describes as the wisest man of Vanaheimr. Snorri continues that, upon arrival in Vanaheimr, Hœnir was made chief and Mímir gave him good counsel. However, when Hœnir was at meetings and at the Thing without Mímir by his side, he would always answer the same way: "Let others decide."
Subsequently, the Vanir suspected they had been cheated in the exchange by the Æsir, so they seized Mimir and beheaded him and sent the head to Asgard. Odin took the head of Mímir, embalmed it with herbs so that it would not rot, spoke charms over it, which gave it the power to speak to him and reveal to him secrets; the head of Mímir is again mentioned in chapter 7 in connection with Odin, where Odin is described as keeping Mímir's head with him and that it divulged information from other worlds. On the basis of Hávamál 140 – where Odin learns nine magic songs from the unnamed brother of his mother Bestla – some scholars have theorized that Bestla's brother may in fact be Mímir, Odin's maternal uncle; this means that Mimir's father would be Bölþorn. In the theories of Viktor Rydberg, Mímir's wife is Sinmara, named in the poem Fjölsvinnsmal. According to Rydberg, the byname Sinmara refers to "Mímir-Niðhad"'s "queen ordering Völund's hamstrings to be cut". Mimir, a 1980 bronze and concrete sculpture in Portland, Oregon Nine Herbs Charm, an Anglo-Saxon charm featuring Woden and herbs.
In Norse mythology, Sleipnir is an eight-legged horse ridden by Odin. Sleipnir is attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources, the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson. In both sources, Sleipnir is Odin's steed, is the child of Loki and Svaðilfari, is described as the best of all horses, is sometimes ridden to the location of Hel; the Prose Edda contains extended information regarding the circumstances of Sleipnir's birth, details that he is grey in color. Sleipnir is mentioned in a riddle found in the 13th century legendary saga Hervarar saga ok Heiðreks, in the 13th-century legendary saga Völsunga saga as the ancestor of the horse Grani, book I of Gesta Danorum, written in the 12th century by Saxo Grammaticus, contains an episode considered by many scholars to involve Sleipnir. Sleipnir is accepted as depicted on two 8th century Gotlandic image stones: the Tjängvide image stone and the Ardre VIII image stone. Scholarly theories have been proposed regarding Sleipnir's potential connection to shamanic practices among the Norse pagans.
In modern times, Sleipnir appears in Icelandic folklore as the creator of Ásbyrgi, in works of art, software, in the names of ships. In the Poetic Edda, Sleipnir appears or is mentioned in the poems Grímnismál, Sigrdrífumál, Baldrs draumar, Hyndluljóð. In Grímnismál, Grimnir tells the boy Agnar in verse. In Sigrdrífumál, the valkyrie Sigrdrífa tells the hero Sigurðr that runes should be cut "on Sleipnir's teeth and on the sledge's strap-bands." In Baldrs draumar, after the Æsir convene about the god Baldr's bad dreams, Odin places a saddle on Sleipnir and the two ride to the location of Hel. The Völuspá hin skamma section of Hyndluljóð says that Loki produced "the wolf" with Angrboða, produced Sleipnir with Svaðilfari, thirdly "one monster, thought the most baleful, descended from Býleistr's brother." In the Prose Edda book Gylfaginning, Sleipnir is first mentioned in chapter 15 where the enthroned figure of High says that every day the Æsir ride across the bridge Bifröst, provides a list of the Æsir's horses.
The list begins with Sleipnir: "best is Sleipnir, he is Odin's, he has eight legs." In chapter 41, High quotes the Grímnismál stanza. In chapter 43, Sleipnir's origins are described. Gangleri asks High what there is to tell about it. High expresses surprise in Gangleri's lack of knowledge about its origin. High tells a story set "right at the beginning of the gods' settlement, when the gods established Midgard and built Val-Hall" about an unnamed builder who has offered to build a fortification for the gods in three seasons that will keep out invaders in exchange for the goddess Freyja, the sun, the moon. After some debate, the gods agree to this, but place a number of restrictions on the builder, including that he must complete the work within three seasons with the help of no man; the builder makes a single request. The stallion Svaðilfari performs twice the deeds of strength as the builder, hauls enormous rocks to the surprise of the gods; the builder, with Svaðilfari, makes fast progress on the wall, three days before the deadline of summer, the builder was nearly at the entrance to the fortification.
The gods convene, figured out, responsible, resulting in a unanimous agreement that, along with most trouble, Loki was to blame. The gods declare that Loki would deserve a horrible death if he could not find a scheme that would cause the builder to forfeit his payment, threatened to attack him. Loki, swore oaths that he would devise a scheme to cause the builder to forfeit the payment, whatever it would cost himself; that night, the builder drove out to fetch stone with his stallion Svaðilfari, out from a wood ran a mare. The mare neighed at Svaðilfari, "realizing what kind of horse it was," Svaðilfari became frantic, tore apart his tackle, ran towards the mare; the mare ran to the wood, Svaðilfari followed, the builder chased after. The two horses ran around all night, causing the building work to be held up for the night, the previous momentum of building work that the builder had been able to maintain was not continued; when the Æsir realize that the builder is a hrimthurs, they disregard their previous oaths with the builder, call for Thor.
Thor arrives, kills the builder by smashing the builder's skull into shards with the hammer Mjöllnir. However, Loki had "such dealings" with Svaðilfari that "somewhat later" Loki gave birth to a grey foal with eight legs. Hermóðr agrees to ride to Hel to offer a ransom for Baldr's return, so "then Odin's horse Sleipnir was fetched and led forward." Hermóðr mounts rides away. Hermóðr rides for nine nights in deep, dark valleys where Hermóðr can see nothing; the two arrive at the river Gjöll and continue to Gjöll bridge, encountering a maiden guarding the bridge named Móðguðr. Some dialogue occurs between Hermóðr and Móðguðr, including that Móðguðr notes that there had ridden five battalions of dead men across the bridge that made less sound than he. Sleipnir and Hermóðr continue "downwards and northwards" on the road to Hel, until the two arrive at Hel's gates. Hermóðr dismounts from Sleipnir, tightens Sleipnir's girth, mounts him, spurs Sleipnir
Heathenry (new religious movement)
Heathenry termed Heathenism, contemporary Germanic Paganism, or Germanic Neopaganism, is a modern Pagan religion. Scholars of religious studies classify Heathenry as a new religious movement, its practitioners model it on the pre-Christian belief systems adhered to by the Germanic peoples of Iron Age and Early Medieval Europe. To reconstruct these past belief systems, Heathenry uses surviving historical and folkloric evidence as a basis, although approaches to this material vary considerably. Heathenry does not have a unified theology but is polytheistic, centering on a pantheon of deities from pre-Christian Germanic Europe, it adopts cosmological views from these past societies, including an animistic view of the cosmos in which the natural world is imbued with spirits. The religion's deities and spirits are honored in sacrificial rites known as blóts in which food and libations are offered to them; these are accompanied by symbel, the act of ceremonially toasting the gods with an alcoholic beverage.
Some practitioners engage in rituals designed to induce an altered state of consciousness and visions, most notably seiðr and galdr, with the intent of gaining wisdom and advice from the deities. Although many solitary practitioners follow the religion by themselves, members of the Heathen community assemble in small groups known as kindreds or hearths, to perform their rites outdoors or in specially constructed buildings. Heathen ethical systems emphasize honor, personal integrity, loyalty, while beliefs about an afterlife vary and are emphasized. A central division within the Heathen movement concerns the issue of race; some groups adopt a "universalist" perspective which holds that the religion is open to all, irrespective of ethnic or racial identity. Others adopt a racialist attitude—often termed "folkish" within the community—by viewing Heathenry as an ethnic or racial religion with inherent links to a Germanic race that should be reserved explicitly for people of Northern European descent or white people in general.
Some folkish Heathens further combine the religion with explicitly racist, white supremacist, far right-wing perspectives, although these approaches are repudiated by many Heathens. Although the term Heathenry is used to describe the religion as a whole, many groups prefer different designations, influenced by their regional focus and ideological preferences. Heathens focusing on Scandinavian sources sometimes use Vanatrú, or Forn Sed; the religion's origins lie in the 19th- and early 20th-century Romanticist movement which glorified the pre-Christian beliefs of Germanic societies. In this period, organised groups venerating the Germanic gods developed in Austria. In the 1970s, new Heathen groups emerged in Europe and North America, developing into formalized organizations in order to promote their faith. In recent decades, the Heathen movement has been the subject of academic study by scholars active in the field of Pagan studies. Scholarly estimates put the number of Heathens at no more than 20,000 worldwide, with communities of practitioners active in Europe, the Americas, Australasia.
Scholars of religious studies classify Heathenry as a new religious movement, more as a reconstructionist form of modern Paganism. Heathenry has been defined as "a broad contemporary Pagan new religious movement, consciously inspired by the linguistically and ethnically'Germanic' societies of Iron Age and early medieval Europe as they existed prior to Christianization", as a "movement to revive and/or reinterpret for the present day the practices and worldviews of the pre-Christian cultures of northern Europe". Practitioners seek to revive these past belief systems by using surviving historical source materials. Among the historical sources used are Old Norse texts associated with Iceland such as the Prose Edda and Poetic Edda, Old English texts such as Beowulf, Middle High German texts such as the Nibelungenlied; some Heathens adopt ideas from the archaeological evidence of pre-Christian Northern Europe and folklore from periods in European history. Among many Heathens, this material is referred to as the "Lore" and studying it is an important part of their religion.
Some textual sources remain problematic as a means of "reconstructing" pre-Christian belief systems, because they were written by Christians and only discuss pre-Christian religion in a fragmentary and biased manner. The anthropologist Jenny Blain characterises Heathenry as "a religion constructed from partial material", while the religious studies scholar Michael Strmiska describes its beliefs as being "riddled with uncertainty and historical confusion", thereby characterising it as a postmodern movement; the ways in which Heathens use this historical and archaeological material differ. Some, for instance, adapt their practices according to "unverified personal gnosis" that they have gained through spiritual experiences. Others adopt concepts from the world's surviving ethnic religions as well as modern polytheistic faiths such as Hinduism and Afro-Americ
Geri and Freki
In Norse mythology and Freki are two wolves which are said to accompany the god Odin. They are attested in the Poetic Edda, a collection of epic poetry compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources, in the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson, in the poetry of skalds; the pair has been compared to similar figures found in Greek and Vedic mythology, may be connected to beliefs surrounding the Germanic "wolf-warrior bands", the Úlfhéðnar. The names Geri and Freki have been interpreted as meaning either "the greedy one" or "the ravenous one"; the name Geri can be traced back to the Proto-Germanic adjective *geraz, attested in Burgundian girs, Old Norse gerr and Old High German ger or giri, all of which mean "greedy". The name Freki can be traced back to the Proto-Germanic adjective *frekaz, attested in Gothic "covetous, avaricious", Old Norse frekr "greedy", Old English frec "desirous, gluttonous, audacious" and Old High German freh "greedy". John Lindow interprets both Old Norse names as nominalized adjectives.
Bruce Lincoln further traces Geri back to a Proto-Indo-European stem *gher-, the same as that found in Garmr, a name referring to the hound associated with the events of Ragnarök. In the Poetic Edda poem Grímnismál, the god Odin provides the young Agnarr with information about Odin's companions. Agnarr is told that Odin feeds Geri and Freki while the god himself consumes only wine: The pair is alluded to via the kenning "Viðrir's hounds" in Helgakviða Hundingsbana I, verse 13, where it is related that they roam the field "greedy for the corpses of those who have fallen in battle". In the Prose Edda book Gylfaginning, the enthroned figure of High explains that Odin gives all of the food on his table to his wolves Geri and Freki and that Odin requires no food, for wine is to him both meat and drink. High quotes the above-mentioned stanza from the poem Grímnismál in support. In chapter 75 of the Prose Edda book Skáldskaparmál a list of names for wargs and wolves is provided that includes both Geri and Freki.
In skaldic poetry Geri and Freki are used as common nouns for "wolf" in chapter 58 of Skáldskaparmál and Geri is again used as a common noun for "wolf" in chapter 64 of the Prose Edda book Háttatal. Geri is referenced in kennings for "blood" in chapter 58 of Skáldskaparmál and in for "carrion" in chapter 60. Freki is used in a kenning for "carrion" in a work by Þórðr Sjáreksson in chapter 58 of Skáldskaparmál. If the rider on horseback on the image on the Böksta Runestone has been identified as Odin Geri and Freki are shown taking part in hunting an elk or moose. Freki is a name applied to the monstrous wolf Fenrir in the Poetic Edda poem Völuspá. Folklorist John Lindow sees irony in the fact that Odin feeds one Freki at his dinner table and another—Fenrir—with his flesh during the events of Ragnarök. Historian Michael Spiedel connects Geri and Freki with archaeological finds depicting figures wearing wolf-pelts and found wolf-related names among the Germanic peoples, including Wulfhroc, Isangrim and Wolfgang, Vulfolaic and myths regarding wolf warriors from Norse mythology.
Michael Speidel believes this to point to the pan-Germanic wolf-warrior band cult centered on Odin that waned away after Christianization. Scholars have noted Indo-European parallels to the wolves Geri and Freki as companions of a divinity. 19th century scholar Jacob Grimm observed a connection between this aspect of Odin's character and the Greek Apollo, to whom both the wolf and the raven are sacred. Philologist Maurice Bloomfield further connected the pair with the two dogs of Yama in Vedic mythology, saw them as a Germanic counterpart to a more general and widespread Indo-European "Cerberus"-theme. Speidel finds similar parallels in the Roman Mars. Elaborating on the connection between wolves and figures of great power, he writes: "This is why Geri and Freki, the wolves at Woden's side glowered on the throne of the Anglo-Saxon kings. Wolf-warriors, like Geri and Freki, were not mere animals but mythical beings: as Woden's followers they bodied forth his might, so did wolf-warriors."Bernd Heinrich theorizes that Geri and Freki, along with Odin and his ravens Huginn and Muninn, reflect a symbiosis observed in the natural world among ravens and humans on the hunt: In a biological symbiosis one organism shores up some weakness or deficiency of the other.
As in such a symbiosis, Odin the father of all humans and gods, though in human form was imperfect by himself. As a separate entity he lacked depth perception and he was also uninformed and forgetful, but his weaknesses were compensated by his ravens and Munin who were part of him. They perched on his shoulders and reconnoitered to the ends of the earth each day to return in the evening and tell him the news, he had two wolves at his side, the man/god-raven-wolf association was like one single organism in which the ravens were the eyes and memory, the wolves the providers of meat and nourishment. As god, Odin was the ethereal part—he only drank wine and spoke only in poetry. I wondered if the Odin myth was a metaphor that playfully and poetically encapsulates ancient knowledge of our prehistoric past as hunters in
Máni is the personification of the moon in Norse mythology. Máni, personified, is attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources, the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson. Both sources state that he is the brother of the personified sun, Sól, 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, a otherwise unattested story regarding Máni through skaldic kennings. In the poem Völuspá, a dead völva recounts the history of the universe and foretells the future to the disguised god Odin. In doing so, the völva recounts the early days of the universe: In stanza 23 of the poem Vafþrúðnismál, the god Odin tasks the jötunn Vafþrúðnir with a question about the origins of the sun and the moon, whom he describes as journeying over mankind.
Vafþrúðnir responds that Mundilfari is the father of both Sól and Máni, that they must pass through the heavens every day to count the years for mankind: In stanza 39 of the poem Grímnismál, Odin says that both the sun and the moon are pursued through the heavens by wolves. In stanza 13 of the poem Alvíssmál, the god Thor questions the dwarf Alvíss about the moon, asking him what the moon is called in each of the worlds. Alvíss responds that it is called "moon" by mankind, "fiery one" by the gods, "the whirling wheel" in Hel, "the hastener" by the jötnar, "the shiner" by the dwarves, "the counter of years" by the elves. In the Prose Edda book Gylfaginning, Máni is referenced in three chapters. In chapter 8, the enthroned figure of High quotes stanza 5 of Völuspá, the figure of Third enthroned, adds that this occurred prior to the creation of the earth. In chapter 11, High says that Máni and his sister Sól are the children of a man by the name of Mundilfari; the children were so fair that Mundilfari named them "moon" and "sun".
Perceiving this as arrogance, the gods were so angered that they placed the brother and sister in the heavens. There, Máni "guides the path of the moon and controls its waxing and waning."Additionally, Máni is followed through the heavens by the brother and sister children Hjúki and Bil "as can be seen from the earth", whom he took from the earth while they fetched water from a well. In chapter 51, High foretells the events of Ragnarök, including that Máni will be consumed by one of two wolves chasing the heavenly bodies. In the Prose Edda book Skáldskaparmál, Sól is referred to in chapter 26 as "sister of Máni", in chapter 55 names are given for the moon: "lune", "waxer", "waner", "year-counter", "clipped", "shiner", "gloam", "hastener", "squinter" and "gleamer". Kennings in the skaldic corpus for female jötnar have been identified as pointing to a potential marriage or sexual union between Máni and a female jötunn. John Lindow states that if a story about Máni having such a relationship with a female jötunn existed "it has left no other trace in the extant mythology.
Rudolf Simek states that in two skaldic kennings "Máni is a gigantic being in a myth of which we otherwise know nothing". John Lindow theorizes on Máni's fate at Ragnarök in that "as part of the creation of the æsir, that is, the cosmos, Máni must be destroyed at Ragnarök, but this is not explicitly stated, except by Snorri, who tells about Mánagarm, who will swallow a heavenly body that may be the moon". Rudolf Simek connects the account of Máni, Hjúki and Bil found in chapter 11 of Gylfaginning with modern accounts of the Man in the Moon found in modern folklore in Scandinavia and North Germany. Simek additionally points out that a stanza appearing early in the poem Völuspá states that the Æsir had set up the moon "in order to be able to reckon the year", which Simek connects with Germanic computation of time having been directed towards the moon rather than the sun, that shorter amounts of time were given in nights rather than days. Germanic calendar, the lunar calendar of the Germanic peoples Monday, the day of the week named after the Moon Sunna, the sun personified as a goddess in Old High German