28 November 2008

Gods of Gluttony

Warning: Not Work Safe image below.
Fitting, don't you think?

Or not, based on the straining of my seams today.

Yesterday, we feasted. There were 11 dishes on the Thanksgiving dinner table, not to mention the two desserts. Seven people had no hope of consuming even a quarter of what was made. Dh and I tend to, umm, cook for leftovers. I predict that at this rate, we may finish the leftovers just in time to make Christmas dinner.

Anyway, the way we're waddling around the house today put me in mind of the venial sin of Gluttony. Over-indulgence. Greed. Rapacity. Of ravenous appetite. Pigginess. Even edacity.

Did you know that there are gods of gluttony? It seems reasonable, in fact. Gods were typically aggrandized versions of humanity. Their sins or nobility amplified a thousandfold. Surprisingly, however, there are only two reliably mentioned gods who symbolized indulgence in food.

The first is the minor goddess Adephagia. There is very little documentation about her, but while some sources list her as a goddess of gluttony (phagos means "a voracious man, a glutton.") there are others that hail her as a goddess of bounty, rather than excess. Unfortunately, her name is also synonymous with bulimia: adephagia.


Japan, on the other hand, gives us the shapeshifting Tanuki. Comical and round, the Tanuki is "plump, comical brother of the fox, equally prone to mischief and
shape-changing and the deception of humans."

Tanuki is round and tubby, often depicted holding a big bottle of sake. He can make leaves look like coins, so he doesn't have to pay for his indulgences and yeah, those are his testicles. The money he tricks people with is used to pay for wine and women, so those are...wow. Kind of distracting!!

Modern statues of the Tanuki often leave out this, er, little detail. *gg* But he's a very popular figure in front of bars and stores. No doubt the shop-owners hope that their patrons will pay out in real money what the Tanuki pays out in yard trash and IOUs.

Gods do depict human frailties, and our sins are no exception. Nevertheless, enjoy the after-turkey glow while you can!
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