Saturday, May 10, 2014

Pagan Festival Shout Out: Offerings To Manea

1Sunday May 11th is a time when offerings are presented to Manea, the goddess of death and insanity. She, along with Mantus, ruled the underworld. She was said to be the mother of ghosts, the undead, and other spirits of the night, as well as the Lares and the Manes. Her name links her to the Manes, Mana Genita, and Manius. This symbolic ritual works in the Lemuralia, a time when we rid our homes of malevolent forces. Giving offerings to Manea is away to receive the goddess’ favor in ridding our homes from these evil spirits, of which she is ruler.

She is called the mother of the Manes, the souls of the dead, who became her children when they descended to the Underworld. Manea is not the same goddess the Greeks paid homage to although the names are the same and both goddess’ ruled over death and madness. She was also later said to be the mother of the Lares. Her image was hung over doors to frighten away evil spirits.

Manea may be compared to Hindu 'Maya,' the Virgin Goddess whose name was "power," and Arabic 'Monat,' the Virgin Goddess whose name was "fate"and who represented the Triple Moon. In archaic Europe, Mana was the Moon-mother who gave birth to the race of man--that is of woman, which is what man originally meant.

Manea or Mana became a common name for the Great Goddess as Creatress and Queen of Heaven (moon) because it was intimately connected with the mysterious powers of women, like the moon itself. Scandinavians called the Goddess's sky-realm Manavegr, "the Moon's Way." Celts called it E-Mania, or Hy Many, the land ruled by the Triple Goddess. Sometimes it was Emain Macha, the moon-land of Mother Macha.Cormac's Glossary.

Manea was not solely a spirit of death or madness, however, in classical times. Her "moon-madness" or "lunacy" was viewed as a revelation of the divine, to be received with gratitude. Socrates said, "The greatest of our blessings comes to us through mania...Madness coming from [the deity] is superior to sanity of human origin." In other words, Mana-Manea was the Muse. Gnostics said Mana is "the divine spirit in man"; and the Great Mana, or Mana of Glory, is "the highest godhead."

As far as actual offerings to Manea today, present flowers to an image that represents Manea. Place the image and the flowers that symbolize death on the alter. Light black candles to ward off evil, burn incense that protect against malevolent forces and perform the second day rituals for Lemuralia while focusing on Manea as your guide. That is how I intend to honor the goddess of death, by incorporating her into my ritual celebration of Lemuralia. (Lilies, orchids, carnations, poppies and deadly nightshade are all flowers that symbolize death.)

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