Showing posts from April, 2016

Praise the Beers: Ninkasi

Perhaps the earliest goddess associated with beer was Ninkasi, from the Sumerian civilization. Sumer was located in southern Mesopotamia, and was one of the earliest civilizations we know about. Though there are a few older, Sumer was most likely the first to start farming, as early as 5300 BCE, and probably even sooner than that, but because writing wasn’t invented until the start of the Bronze Age—during the latter half of the 4th millennium BCE—that is the earliest definitive record we have. According to Sumerian mythology, Ninkasi was the daughter of Enki, the chief Sumerian god (Enki means “Lord of the Earth”). She was born from “sparkling fresh water” and created to “satisfy the desire” and “sate the heart.” Though references can be found to Ninkasi as long ago as 2800 BCE, the first nearly complete text is a tablet dated to around 1800 BCE and known as “The Hymn to Ninkasi.”
The Hymn to Ninkasi is the oldest record of a direct correlation between the importance of brewing, and…

Beware the Tricks of Loki

God of Mischief, Chaos and Change Master of Magic and adept Shapeshifter  Harbinger of Ragnarok and Rebirth of the Worlds What is it about Loki that has made him so very popular within Western culture when we want to be entertained by a troublemaker within our books and movies? Of all of the gods from the various pantheons that are out there, he seems to be one that has captured people’s imagination the most, and it started before Tom Hiddleston played him in Thor and The Avengers. Possibly it has a little bit to do with the fact that he is someone who is so closely associated with mischief and causing trouble. There are other figures that perform that function as well (like Puck, Anansi, or Coyote), but none of them seem to have latched onto our collective consciousness the same way that Loki has. But there also may be a bit of the fact that he is able to help people get out of trouble as well (though, he’s usually helping them get out of whatever sticky situation that he got them i…