Approx. Reading time: About 5 Minutes
SUNNA & MANI
The story of Sunna and Mani is one of siblings born of the gods to mortals. Sister Sunna and brother Mani become the Sun and Moon, riding chariots across the sky. Mani forever chasing his sister, Sunna. The pups of Fenrir and his mate end up chasing the chariots when the passing of the Sun makes the day too hot to play, and the passing of the Moon makes the night impossible to hunt. The wolves cause the siblings to speed up and slow down as the chase continues forever, creating our length of days and nights.
Once upon a time in a small village there lived a mother and father who had two beautiful children. A girl who was blonde of hair with golden curls that looked like rays of sunshine. A boy with raven black hair and silvery eyes who seemed to prefer the night, the girl was always pleasant and kind as was her brother and they played contently as children.
One day they decided to take them to the village elder so that they might find fitting names for them. They entered the hut of the elder, who after looking at the children thought a few moments and said: “the runes say these two are not just your children, but that of Sol the Goddess of the sun sent to us for a short time”.
The parents just looked at one another and asked the elder, “What shall we do if they are the decedents of the Gods?”
The elder looked grimly at the parents “it will be for them to decide” and with that she sprinkled sacred herbs over the fire and called the name of Frigg and Odin “come great mother and father and tell us what to do”.
Sparks flew from the fire and a voice appeared from now where: “Children of the sun and moon we give you the gift of two names…Sunna of the sun and Mani of the moon, when these two reach their eighteenth birthday they must come to this hut once more and leave their earthly home for a life among the Gods”.
The parents were saddened by this, but they had no choice. They raised them well and the village revered and love the Goddess children. Sunna like the ‘sun’ was always kind and generous to her people brining light wherever she went. Her brother Mani lit the way for the hunters at night illuminating the forest with his silvery eyes.
When they were eighteen, they again entered the hut of the elder.
“You have returned children of the sky”, she said. This time the fire burned brighter and out of the flames walked Frigg.
“Children it is time”, she said reaching out her hand. And with that Sunna and Mani were taken to the world of the Gods. There in the largest hall of the Gods they were brought by Frigg to receive their ‘duties’.
There in the hall they met the Goddess Sol, their mother who looked at the children with pride and love.
Sol smiled and said: “Sunna here is your shield, may it keep the rays of sun from the Earth as you ride. Take this with your chariot and steed. For ever after this day shall you ride across the sky and to Mani, here is your shield, may it shine forever across the sky as a reminder to the Earth of the nightly journey in which travels the Moon. For ever after this day, you shall chase your sister across the sky”.
At this she shed a single tear and held them both saying, “For never shall you see one another again, for as one rises, one sets, as one travels across the sky the other hides in the underworld, never again shall you see each other except for times when the moon and sun rest together in the sky.”
And so, with sadness Mani and Sunna boarded their chariots and rode off in the sky together for a short while until they departed forever.
But this was not the end…. for deep in the dark forests of Ironwood, there among the wolves there sleeps two little cubs whose father was Fenris the great wolf, the bane of Odin.
The wolf cubs woke to a bright light moving across the sky. “What is that light mother?”, they asked.
“I am unsure my cubs we shall go and ask your father” she replied.
But they could not go outside of the cave for the light was so bright it illuminated their fur, making it hot and uncomfortable to walk. It was so hot in fact the cubs could barely stand longer than a second in its bright rays and so their mother tucked them back into the cave until nightfall.
However, that changed nothing, that night when the mother wolf went out to hunt, she found the light of the moon shone so brightly she could not hide and thus all in the wood were able to flee from her hungry jaws.
This angered the wolves! No longer able to walk out in the day to roll in the long grass, no longer able to hunt they were trapped like rats in the cave.
The mother wolf finally decided to do something about this and so one night she stuck her head out of the cave and howled the loudest howl she could manage, so loud it was that several miles away the great father of the cubs Fenris stirred and woke.
Fenris then made the journey despite the heat and the light toward the cave. Fenris looked at his wife and said” It seems my dear we have need to act, although it angers me to have to do this now, but what choice do we have, this constant light is enough to drive one mad”.
“It is true Fenris we must do something, but what.” she replied.
The cubs came out and looked deep into their father’s eyes. “Send us father” they said, “for we are strong and no one in the nine worlds has seen us yet, they won’t be looking for us”.
“We shall go” they said, “chase the sun and her brother the moon and catch them in the sky as the move, thus ending the light in the woods and enabling us to sleep once more.”
Fenris and his wife agreed. The two wolves would be sent into the sky. The little cubs were kissed and cuddled and leapt strongly into the sky.
As soon as they saw the chariots in the sky, they gave chase. Sunna rode her chariot faster as the wolves grew closer but still, they ran, still they followed. No matter how fast she ran they were there nipping at her wheel, they tried to run between her and her brother but the two could not keep up with the chariots and seemed just one tooth away from each chariot.
However occasionally the wolves would catch the sun or the moon, but Sunna and Mani would struggle and pinch them until the set them free and so each time you see the sun black, or the moon red know that the sun and moon are within the jaws of the wolves and thus it is our duty to raise our voices and convince those rogues to release them, so with your loudest voice yell out:
Hail Sunna, Goddess of the Sun!!
Hail, Hail, Hail!
Hail Mani, God of the moon!!