Best. Goddess. Ever.

There is an Aztec goddess called Mayahuel who is the goddess of agave. (The usual mythological thing where somebody dies and is buried and comes up as a plant. You get that a lot. It’s one of the acceptable ways to die if you’re a god.)

Mayahuel has four hundred breasts, lactates pulque (the fermented drink made from agave nectar) and has four hundred drunken rabbit children, the Centzon Totochin, each of whom is responsible for a different kind of drunkenness. (Ometochtli–“Two-Rabbit”–is the chief of the Centzon Totochin.)

Dude. Why was I not aware of this? I have met some of those rabbit gods.  (And if I ever get my hands on the little bastard responsible for a sambuca hangover…)

There’s a variant myth that tequila was the gift given by the spirits to Quetzalcoatl to assuage his grief over the death of Mayahuel, but as tequila was a substantially later invention, I can’t speak to the accuracy. Nice thought, though. And probably one of the Centzon Totochin shows up the next day.

(Googling “Aztec agave goddess” will get you various dueling websites on the topic, though most of them agree on these basic facts–I can’t tell you if any are more accurate than any others, since this was never even remotely my field of study. Though I did very much enjoy a book about Aztec mythology with the elegant title ‘This Tree Grows Out Of Hell.”)

I have agaves in the garden, although it must be said that none of them are very happy (nor are any of them the specific species that produces pulque.) There’s a couple of native agaves that will grow here, but I haven’t sited them right or something. I wonder if fervent invocations to Mayahuel would help, or if I’ll just get a plague of bunnies bearing cocktail shakers.

4 thoughts on “Best. Goddess. Ever.

  1. octopod says:

    Well, what other form but rabbits would you expect for the deities of getting drunk and screwing? 🙂

    Identified astrologically with the Pleiades, IIRC.

  2. Tom West says:

    My inference was that the Aztecs clearly spent a lot of time classifying the various kinds of drunkeness in order to have 400 mini-gods covering each kind…

Leave a Reply