Tag Archive: beer


Goddess Meme

 

“African Spirit Series II” by Ricardo Chávez-Méndez

“Meme’s themes are ghosts, joy, health, offerings, longevity and the harvest. Her symbols are beer and corn. The Ugandan creatrix of life, Meme was also the first woman of the region. In Her human form She taught shamans the art of healing, and She continues to be called upon to aid in all matters of health and well-being.

The Misisi Beer Festival in Uganda takes place right after the millet harvest, with a plethora of beer, plantain, bullock and chicken. Any of these foods can be added to your diet today in thankfulness for Meme’s providence.

Follow Ugandan custom and join with your family or friends. The eldest member of the gathering should pour a libation to the ground in Meme’s name and then offer the rest to those gathered. This mini-ritual ensures long life and unity for everyone. It also ensures a good harvest the next year (of a literal or figurative nature).

To inspire Meme’s health or request her aid in overcoming a specific fall malady, carry a corn kernel with you today, and consume corn during your dinner meal. Bless the corn beforehand to ingest this Goddess’s vitality.

Alternatively, take a small bowl of beer and place a finger into it. Channel your negativity and illness into the beer (visualize this as dark, muddy water leaving your body), then pour it out to disperse that negative energy and give it into the Goddess’s care.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

I couldn’t find anything at all at first on today’s Goddess.  I thought that Meme was perhaps another name for the Goddess Mawu at first, as She is described as a supreme deity and creatrix of the universe and life; or even Her daughter, Gbadu who was the first woman that Mawu had created…or even Nowa – an African shaman Goddess.  I finally did though come across Meme’s name while doing a search in Google Books.

“Mother Nature IV” by Anthony Burks

In African Mythology, A to Z, Meme is mentioned under an entry on about a god named Adroa.  “Adroa is a god of the Lugbara people of central Africa. Adroa has two aspects: one good and one evil. He is the creator of Heaven and Earth, and he appears to those about to die. His good and bad aspects are depicted as two half bodies: the evil one is short and coal black while his good aspect is tall and white.” [1]  “Adroa created the first man and woman – a pair of twins, Gborogboro [‘the person coming from the sky’] and Meme [‘the person who came alone’].  Meme gave birth to all the animals and then to another pair of male-female twins.  These first sets of twins were really not human; they had supernatrual powers and perform magical deeds.  After several generations of male-female miraculous twins, the hero-anscetors Jaki and Dribidu were born.  Their sons were said to be the founders of the present-day Lugbara clans” (Lynch & Roberts, p. 4).

 

 

 

Sources:

Lynch, Patricia Ann & Jeremy Roberts. African Mythology, A to Z, Adroa“.

Wikipedia, “Adroa“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Middleton, John. Lugbara Religion: Ritual and Authority Among an East African People.

Newuganda.com, “Lugbara People and Their Culture“.

Wikipedia, “Lugbara Mythology“.

Goddess Ninkasi

* For today’s entry, Patricia Telesco names “Braciaca” as today’s Goddess. However, my research revealed that Braciaca is “an obscure god of Roman Britain remembered in an inscription at Haddon House, Derbyshire” [1]  and was associated with Bacchus (Dionysus) and Mars [2].  I was going to do an entry on his consort if he had one, but apparently nothing is known of him except for a single inscription on an altarstone found at Haddon Hall, Derby, Derbyshire. [3]  Since Braciaca was associated with malt and is pretty much accepted to be a god of brewing, I am focusing today’s entry on the Goddess Ninkasi, the Sumerian Goddess of beer.

“Ninkasi is the ancient Sumerian matron Goddess of the intoxicating beverage, beer.

Her father was Enki, the lord Nudimmud, and Her mother was Ninti, the queen of the Abzu. She is also one of the eight children created in order to heal one of the eight wounds that Enki receives. Furthermore, She is the Goddess of alcohol. She was also borne of ‘sparkling fresh water.’ She is the Goddess made to ‘satisfy the desire’ and ‘sate the heart.’ She would prepare the beverage daily.

 

Sumerian Beer Recipe, 3200 BCE

The Sumerian written language and the associated clay tablets are among the earliest human writings. Scholarly works from the early 1800s onward have developed some facility translating the various Sumerian documents. Among these is a poem with the English title, ‘A Hymn to Ninkasi‘. The poem is, in effect, a recipe for the making of beer. A translation from the University of Oxford describes combining bread, a source for yeast, with malted and soaked grains and keeping the liquid in a fermentation vessel until finally filtering it into a collecting vessel.” [4]

 

 

Woman brewing beer in ancient Egypt

In a detailed article entitled Nin-kasi: Mesopotamian Goddess of Beer, Johanna Stucky writes, “Not only was Nin-kasi Herself the beer — ‘given birth by the flowing water…’ (Black, Cunningham, Robson, and Zólyomi 2004: 297) — but She was the chief brewer of the gods. So it is not surprising to learn that, in early times in ancient Sumer (southern Mesopotamia), brewers were usually female. Women made beer at home for immediate consumption, since it did not keep. It is possible also that temple brewers were priestesses of Nin-kasi. Later, when beer production became an industry, men seem to have taken over the process, but women still made beer for home use (Homan 2004: 85). Perhaps because they brewed the beer, women were often tavern keepers. For instance, Siduri, a minor Goddess whom Gilgamesh met at the end of the earth, was a divine tavern keeper.” [5]

 

 

 

 

 

“Ishtar” by Lisa Iris

I did find references that She was associated with wine as well.  On one site, it stated that She actually somehow became “incorporated” into the Goddess Ishtar [6] though I could find no reason or explanation as to how and why.  However, my guess is that because according to Patricia Monaghan, “Ninkasi has been described as another form of Siduri” [7]; and Siduri (meaning “young woman” in Hurrian), maybe an epithet of Ishtar. [8]

 

 

 

Sources:

Answers.com, “Braciaca“.

Celtnet.org.uk, “Brâg“.

Dl.ket.org/latin3/mores/, “Mars Braciaca“.

Inanna.virtualave.net, “The Goddess Ishtar“.

Monaghan, Patricia. Encyclopedia of Goddesses and Heroines, “Ninkasi” (p. 73).

Wikipedia, “Ninkasi“.

Wikipedia, “Siduri“.

Stuckey, Johanna. Matrifocus.com, “Nin-kasi: Mesopotamian Goddess of Beer“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Beeradvocate.com, “Ninkasi, the Sumerian Goddess of Brewing and Beer“.

Faraci, Devin. Badassdigest.com, “The Badass Hall of Fame: Ninkasi“.

Frothnhops.com, “Ancient Gods of Beer“.

Goddess-Guide.com, “Sumerian Goddesses“.

Peyrafitte, Nicole. Nicolepeyrafitte.com/blog/, “Ninkasi: ‘The Lady who fills the Mouth’“.

 

And just for funNinkasibrewing.com

Goddess Minne

“Minne’s themes are protection, love, luck, devotion and unity. Her symbols are the linden tree, cups, and beer.  Minne is a German Goddess of love and fertility. Her name – meaning ‘remembrance’ – was applied to a special cup for lovers in this part of the world. The cup was filled with specially prepared beer and raised between two people wishing to deepen their love. This gives Minne a strong association with devotion, unit and fidelity.

During the second weekend in July, people in Geisenheim, Germany, celebrate Lindenfest by gathering around an ancient linden tree (six hundred-plus years old) and celebrate the year’s new wine. All aspects of the festival take place beneath the linden’s branches, which in magic terms represent safety and good fortune. The linden flowers portray Minne’s spirit, having been used in all manner of love magic! To protect a relationship, two lovers should carry dried linden flowers with them always.

When making a promise to each other, a couple may drink a wooden goblet of beer today, linking their destinies. Raise the glass to the sky first saying, ‘Minne’s love upon our lips, devotion in each sip.’

Drink while looking deeply into each other’s eyes. Or, exchange pieces of linden wood as a magical bonding that invokes Minne’s blessing. If linden isn’t native to your area, other trees and bushes that promote Minne’s loving qualities include avens, elm, lemon, orange, peach, primrose, rose and willow.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

I really couldn’t find anything on the Goddess Minne.  I thought I had found a reference in the glossary of The Elder Edda of Saemund Sigfusson, “MUNINN, mind; memory, recollection; G. minne, love” [1], but upon further research, Muninn turned out to be one in a pair of ravens who, along with Huginn (‘thought’), flew all over the world and brought the god Odin information. [2]

I found Minne defined as “An ancient Pagan Goddess who is said to have granted women and men permission to engage in lovemaking. Her name was a synonym for ‘love’, and She was often called Lofn (‘Goddess of Love’). In medieval times, Minne (like Melusine) was worshipped as a mermaid tailed Aphrodite by followers known as Minnesinger and Minstrels.” [3]

“Miranda” by David Delamare

Researching the mermaid aspect, I found this description, “Literally Virgin of the Sea, the mermaid was an image of fish-tailed Aphrodite, the medieval Minne, Maerin, Mari, or Marina. Her Death-Goddess aspect, sometimes named Rán, received the souls of those put to sea in funeral boats.” [4]

While researching Her mermaid aspect, I ran across this information and thought was pretty interesting: “The legends of mermaids may have evolved from snake Goddesses such as the ones found at Knossos in Crete, the largest of the Greek islands. Thousands of years ago, the snake was sacred for its ability to transform in the shedding of its skin and to explore the light of day and the darkness of the earth. The mermaid is a fish-tailed Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love who represents the power of creativity inspired by love. She brings visions to the surface and inspires dreams and desires. She is able to move from the receptive watery depths to the focus of firm land.” [5]  I never really thought about the snake/scale/mermaid connection before, but it makes sense.

“Lofn, Goddess of Love” by Thorskegga

Back to the reference to Lofn, Patricia Monaghan tells us that Lofn, “the Scandinavian Goddess of love had a special purpose: She was charged with smoothing over love’s difficulties.  Lofn (‘mild’) received prayers of those separated from their lovers and was empowered to bring together those She favored” (p. 198).

“Psyche” by Granger

I also found that “Lofn (pronounced LAW-ven) is the Norse Goddess of forbidden love. She is one of Frigg’s handmaidens, and serves Frigg (who is the Goddess of marriage) by removing the obstacles that lovers face. She also presides over the marriage of the two that She has brought together. Lofn’s name, which means ‘praise,’ is also seen as Lofna, Lofe, and Lofua.” [4]

This all seems a little scattered to me, though I can make some connections.  Minne is a Germanic/Norse Goddess of love.  Aphrodite was also a Goddess of love associated with the ocean.  Considering how the Wave Maidens came to be identified with mermaids in Norse mythology, I certainly don’t see any issues preventing the identification of Minne with mermaids either.

 

 

 

Sources:

Iliana’s Faery Realm, “Celtic, Roman, Greek, Norse, & Other Goddesses of Europe: Minne“.

Like a Cat Jewelry and Crafts, “Mermaid-Small“.

Monaghan, Patricia. The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines, “Lofn”.

Moore, Mary Ann. Flying Mermaid Studio, “circles, workshops & retreats; flying mermaids writing circles & retreats“.

Sabrina. Goddess A Day, “Lofn“.

Wikipedia, “Huginn and Muninn“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Chalquist, Craig. Terrapsych.com, “Glossary of Norse and German Mythology – Lofn“.

Paxson, Diana L. Hrafnar.org, “Beloved“.

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