Thursday, May 6, 2010
Mayahuel, the Goddess of Tequila
(Just as there are legends about the origins of the Earth, the Sun, the Moon, Corn, Tequila had one of its own)
The origin of the Agave goes back to the time of the Aztecs and their deities. Mayahuel is the many breasted Goddess of fertility and the Goddess of the Maguey plant, the plant from which tequila is derived. She is the mother of many rabbit gods and it is said that She feeds Her children from her 400 breasts, all of which produce the alcoholic beverage. Thus, they say that the rabbits are responsible for the many forms of drunkenness. She rules the Earth, the night sky, hallucinations, as well as drunkenness.
Legend has it that when the earth first began there was a Goddess of the heavens who was called "Tzintzimille". Now, She was an evil one, a Goddess who devoured the light and plunged the Earth into darkness so She could force mankind to offer human sacrifices in order to obtain just a little light from Her. Quetzacoatl/Ehecatl, the God of Redemption, grew tired of Her games and decided that he was going to do something about it; he ascended up to the sky to do battle with the evil one, but instead, he came across Mayahuel, the evil one's beautiful young granddaughter. Quetzacoatl fell madly in love with Her and, instead of slaying the evil one, he persuaded Mayahuel to return to the earth with him and become his wife.
When the evil one discovered this, She was furious and began searching all over for the couple, and the two lovers were forced to run from one place to another in order to hide from Her. Then, one day they grew tired of running; besides, there was no place left where they could hide, so the pair decided to become trees, one beside the other, close enough so that when the wind blew, their leaves would caress one another.
And as the story goes, the pair lived like that for awhile, but eventually the evil one found them; Mayahuel was eaten up by the stars and Her remnants buried in the ground. Quetzalcoatl flew off into the sky and killed the evil one. The light was finally returned to the earth, but Quetzalcoatl had lost the one he loved. Each night he would go to Her grave and cry. The other gods, seeing this, decided that they should do something for him. At the burial site, a plant had begun to grow, and the gods decided to give very special properties to this plant...hallucinogenic properties that would comfort Quetzalcoatl's soul. Hence, from then on, he could drink the magical elixir that came from the plant and find comfort.
And, from that point on, the nectar from the Agave plant became a ritual beverage and a cermonial offering for the Gods and other Holy beings.