"Man is in his mirth / dear to his kinsman / although each shall / depart from the other / for the lord wants to commit / by his decree / that frail flesh to the earth" (Anglo-Saxon Rune Poem; see Elhaz)
The rune name mannaz is a close cognate to the god Mannus of the Germanic tribes. Mannus was the son of Tvisto, who had sprung up from the earth, and the father of the three races of humanity (slaves, the greeborn and the noble). The same story is told of the Celtic Mannan Mac Lir and of Agni in the Rig Veda. In the Norse legends, the place of Mannus is taken by Heimdallr under the name of Rigr, which is the Celtic title meaning king. Whether the story was passed fro the Irish to the Norse or grew independently from Indo-European roots, it still tells the tale of humanity´s descent fromt he gods as well as from earth ("the increase of dust" as mentioned in Elhaz). As the warder of Bifrost, Heimdallr is also the linkder of humand and the gods, both genetically and consciously, as described in the Rigsthula. After Heimdallr has fathered the three races of men, he returns to teach Earl, first of the line of nobles, and to show him the way to conquer his inheritance. In Germanic mystical tales, the reference to nobility is a code speaking of those people who are able to awaken and use the night within themselves. Thus it was written that "Walking Rigr came, taught him the runes / and take possession of Udal Vales and old halls.... He rode forth on bhis horse, swung his sword... fought for the land," "He contended in runes with Earl Rigr / He bathed him in wits, and knew the runes better. / So he came to have for himself / the name Rigr and runelore". The key to this inheritance is the power of the mind, especially as shown through the runes. Note that Rigr´s true second heir in the second generation is not the first of Earl´s son, but Kon, the youngest. This is an inheritance that can only be won by those who are worthy.
Mannaz is the rune of the rational mind, of the intelligence which is the greatest might of human beings. It shows the interaction of Huginn and Muninn, or Hoenir and Mimir, both embodiments of the faculties of hugr, thought, and minni, memory, left brain and right brain respectively. Mannaz is the rune of the perfect intellect which melds reason and intuition. As the rune of consciousness, it is particularly associated with Mimir. Odin´s maternal uncle and teacher, and in particular, with the story of Mimir´s severed head. The tale of Odin preserving the head with herbs and spells and getting redes from it in his hours of need is actually a hint towards a ritual of reaching and learning from your "race-memory", the transmitted wisdom of your ancestors. In this aspect, mannaz is closely related to othala, as hinted by the reference o the "udal lands" (entailed by primogeniture) in the Rigsthula.
The god Heimdallr is, in one sense, the ordering and weal-working side of Odin´s being as All-Father and teacher, as set against Heimdallr´s foe Loki, the embodiment of Odin´s capricious and woe-working nature. Heimdallr is spoken of as the highest-minded and brightest of the gods. He may be likened to the ever watchful eagle of Yggdrasill´s crown, and Loki to the ever-gnwaing serpents at its roots - Odin, of course, melding the night of both. Mannaz is the rune of his high-mindedness, emphazising the highest elements in the human nature, as the goal and source of the vitki´s self-knowledge and self-control.
Mannaz is used in all matters of the mind, both in strengthening intelligence and memory and in awakening and guiding the force of psychic abilities.
This rune makes you more aware of the hallowed inheritance you share with the rest of the human race and brings you into relationships with other wights ho not only partkae of this kingship but also have actively taken it up and are setting out to claim its full might.
In workings of woe, Mannaz can bring a sense of being "chosen" or somehow better than other human beings simply by the fact of brith or potential power. You must remember that alhtough the myth of inheritance is always ultimately true, it is an inheritance in which all humans can potentially share.
In ritual workings, mannaz is the rune of the vitki her/himself. Mannaz represents the perfect human being, balanded and self-guided, with a full knowledge of the workings of his/her own mind - for only a person who is in complete control of her/himself can work magick successfully, especially the magic of the runes, which depends so greatly on the shape given it by the spoken glard as well as on the runes themselves. Without full and complete self-knowledge, the subconscious will twist your workings to fulfill drives that may lead to self-destruction as easily as success.
Used with other runes, mannaz guides their workings into the realm of the mind or, at need, to affect the brain.
The stone associated with mannaz is amethyst, which of all stones is traditionally the most powerful concerning reason, memory/intuition, and the capability to effectively meld the two. It brings clearness of mind and aids in the guidance of passion by reason. Its name means without drunkenness (Greek) and it shows its might as a moderator and balancer, which is among the best of wisdoms, according to the Havamal, and well shown forth in the nature of Heimdallr. Amethist is a sky-oriented stone, fitting for this rune, whose stave-shape shows the marriage of heaven and earth.
By Kveldulf Gundarsson, Teutonic Magic, 1994, Llewellyn Publications, Saint Paul, Minnesota
You stand in a dark cave by a stone well. Drops of moisture drip from the tree-roots
writhing throught the cave´s walls. A faint white light glows from a ledge
at the rim of the well.
As your eyes grow used to the dark, you see the low-browed, broad-skulled head of Mimir on the ledge, his white beardbeard stainded with streaks of brownish read and white hair faintly discolored by madder and other preservative herbs. His whithered eyelids are closed. A circle glows faintly around the head, an interwoven pattern of bind-runes written within. The only one you can make out clearly is the rune mannaz on the outer border of the circle.
You draw a small knife from your beld and prick your forefinger with the point.
As the blood wells, you trace over the rune with it, intoning the rune-name
mannaz. Where your blood touches it, the rune betings to glow dark red, warm
Mimir´s wrinkled eyelids lift and his deep ancient eyes stare into yours. He does not speak, but you can feel the wisdom flowing silently from his mind to yours. At last he closes his eyes again.
Acting as your know you should, you walk around behind the well. A smallwoden door opens from the roots and their twisting shadows in front of you. You pass through it, walking up a long spiral of stone steps, up and around for what seems like hours. Finally, you can see light above you, the faint glow of late day. You hasten up the stairs.
Coming out, you see that you stand alone on the peak of a high mountain. It seems that all the world is visible below you, cities and towns spread out over the land. Soem are hazed by smog or clouds, but none are hidden from your all-seing-gaze. You find that you can narrow or widen your sight at will, looking down to watch the movements of inididual humans or up to the see patterns of motion that shift around the earth with the slow course of the sun.
You see two black specs flying up towards you: looking at them closely, you can tell that they are two great ravens. One moves more swiftly, but often wavers off course; the other flies steady and straight, though now and again it droops a little. Each time it drops, your heart catches with fear. You know that these are your Huginn and Muninn, your thought and memory, and that if one or the other should fail, you are doomed. But they fly straight up to you without fail, swift Huginn landing on your left shoulder and Muninn on your right. You feel the streams of might flowing between them, through your head, and X of energy with the corss-point in the center of your forehead. The nexus becomes warmer, tingling with awareness; you feel your sight turning inward to that point. You know that you are actually looking into yourself to see your origin.
You recognize the place where your parents lived when you were conceived. A man walks up to the door. He is well-dressed and handsome. You see a radiant nimbus like a silver crown about his head, and just beneath his skin you sense the hidden brightness of the fairest of the gods. He knocks on the door; your parents invite him in and feed him well, clearly charmed by this bright stranger. When the lights go out for bed, he lies between them. You sense the moment when he plants the spark of godly might in your mother´s womb like a seed in the nurturing earth. He stays three days, then walks on again.
In the course of nine months, your mother delivers Heimdallr´s child.
You watch the birthing. As the child comes forth, red and sprinkled but shining
with hidden might, you know that it is yourSelf.
Turning your eyes outward again, you are dazzled by the blinding white light around you. Only slowly do your eyes pierce the veil of brilliance to see Rig in his full glory, the White God crowned in silver with a great amethyst at the center of his forehead. You realize that this is your godly father and begin to bow to him, but he stops you with his hand, embracing you instead:
"You are my child and heir", he tells you. "It is time for you to go forth and win your father's powers, the udal lands and ancient manors of wisdom and might". He places a sword in your left hand; in your right he sets a wand with the runes carved around it. Lastly, he raises a plain circlet of silver with the rune mannaz graven in the middle. "I give you this as a sign of the might within you, my child.", Heimdallr says. "You must earn the greater crown for yourself." He sets the circlet on your head, the rune over the tingling center of your forehead.
The shining god embraces you again and disappears. As you look out over the
earth again, you see a few other faraway mountain peaks, each bearing a single
woman or man who, like yourself, bears the sign of their god-father. You know
that these are the siblinul with whom you long to meet and talk as friends.
The signs of kinship cannot be mistaken. You are sure you will know them again
when you meet in the flesh.
Slowly you descend the mountain and return to your own body, feet firmly planted on the earth, knowing the power of your holy heritage which you can always reach through the rune mannaz.
I am the Son/Daughter of the Stars, the seed of the Spirit realised in this Flesh One More Time
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