Nov 30, 2010

Deity a Day: Day 5 and 6


Coatlicue
(Mexican)

(From: HERE)

Coatlicue was the mother from whom all things came.  She was both positive and negative, both womb and grave; she produced and she devoured.  As the earth, she was the gigantic mother apable of supporting all life, but she also caused famines and earthquakes.  She is variously represented as a serpent, the great crocodile Cipactli, and as a giant frog.  Her cult was linked with that of the jaguar.

"She of the serpent skirt" was especially reverenced by the common folk, who depended on the earth for their survival.  But one could never be sure of her; sometimes she was fruitful, sometimes the dealer of disaster.  All one could do was worship her and hope for the best.  Coatlicue's gigantic dragon-like jaws are the symbol of the first day of the Mexican clendar, for the earth is the beginning of everything.

Kvasir
(Nordic)

(From: HERE)
Wisest of the Nordic gods; he was created from the spittle of both the Aesir and the Vanir, the two great divine families.

When Loki's mischief had gown too damaging for the gods to bear, they looked for a suitable net in which to bind him.  Kvasir inspeted the ashes in Loki's grate and from them deduced that a net had been burned.  He worked out that Loki had destroyed the net because it was of the special pattern which was a danger to him.  Kvasir reconstructed the design of the mesh from the ashes and the gods were able to make a similar net which would catch and hold Loki.

Kvasir's name is connected with Kvas, "strong beer" or "crushed fruit".  He was slain by two malicious dwarves who mixed his blood with honey to make the mead of inspiration.  Anyone who drank of the mead could thereafter compose poetry and utter wise words.

From: A Guide to the Gods, compiled by Richard Carlyon

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