4/1/10

Goddess of the Week: Porcina

Illustration of Ēostre by Jacques Reich, origi...Image via Wikipedia

The truth is, this goddess tale is a repeat, but I think you'll like it.

Not much is known about the goddess Porcina,
who was worshipped by the mysterious pig-herding Urdian people, and none of what is known about Porcina comes from the Urdians themselves. The Urdians had no written language. But, as fierce, war-loving people, they did have plenty of enemies, including the ancient Babylonians, who ultimately crushed their civilization.

Alas, the Urdians' loss was posterity's gain because the Babylonians kept records. It's because of them that we know anything at all about Porcina, who they described as portly, pasty and strangely hirsute. She is said to have given the Urdians the pig. And she even told them what to do with it. Says an incomplete Babylonian fragment found near an ancient cooking pit: "And so the Urdians took the beast's back, as Porcina demanded, and butchered it from the shoulder to the rear leg. And this meat they did slice into long strips, which they cooked long and at medium-high heat until there was no pink. For the goddess said, 'he who eats of the pink strips will surely die.'"

The ancient Jews were also enemies of the Urdians, and it is speculated that the the Jewish ban on pork is in direct response to the famous battle at Jeridia, where the Urdians catapaulted flaming dead pigs into that beloved walled city, where the Jews had been trapped, starving, for two months. As the book of Leviticus describes it, "The pigs came and they came, and Josiva said, "Why, God, dost though tempt us with the cloven foot that smells so delicious as it burneth down the temple? Has though forgotten us entirely? But no, we will not surrender. For surely our God is a great God, and we will show our foul enemies that we will smote them down. We will not eat of the cloven hoof, no matter how loud it sizzles and doth makes our stomachs moan as we consume, instead, locusts and crickets and all manner of abhorent grub."

Channel this goddess: When anxious to please overnight guests with an Atkins-happy diet, also on Easter (just around the corner!) when eating of the pig is always recommended, also when making Bacon Explosion or whenever you just need a little help whipping up the cloven footed.
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14 comments:

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Cafe Pasadena said...

A repeat? Have we reached the end of the line of goddesses?
This one doesn't sound like one of my favorite women anyway.

士凱 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
altadenahiker said...

This is actually a favorite of mine. Kicked off one of the most delightful contests I've ever lost.

Lynne said...

This reminds me of your little pig with the long hair, I forget her name. Did you know they have tea cup pigs that make great pets? Pigs are actually smarter than dogs and make great pets so they came up with a tea cup variety! I think your long haired pig and Scout need a friend!

Pasadena Adjacent said...

and happy April Fools day to you.

I had to look up hirsute. Earlier in the day I had to look up merkin

Rois said...

April Fools or not,My husband the Jewish guy in the house loves Bacon,crisp and salty.

P.S How was the walk?

Carrie Rosalind said...

Hi Margaret -

My mom (Deb from PaperTurtle) suggested that I come to you and ask for a goddess. I'm buying a home right now and I've been so stressed with money/getting the perfect house that my mind has not been able to shut off! I'd really love if you can recommend someone that I can look to for guidance. Thanks! :)

-Carrie

Margaret said...

You bet, Carrie. I'll find you a good one.

Petrea said...

O, Porcina! How I do love her and remember her with great fondness.

Stacey Smith said...

Whew. That girl has got it covered.

Bec said...

This is great - you crack me up. Who knew there was a goddess for preventing food borne illness and e. coli? They're pretty practical, these goddesses!

Desiree said...

All hail Porcina!

Star said...

Location! Location! Location! Legend has it that a semi-furry sow (scrofa semilanuta) was responsible for the 6th century B.C. Celts' choice of the location for founding Milan (Italy) in the middle of a fluvial plain (I often ask myself, during HOT and HUMID summers and FRIGID and HUMID winters, why HERE?, but rivers were ancient highways). A fragment of an ancient Roman relief of her was included prominently in one of the arches in the city's new city hall (early 13th century) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/agambaros/3296333076/). Milan has lots of great stuff to offer; it's not just a business town. (Can you tell I love it?!?)