Siduri 5 - closeout! - 4 left!
Give a Cheer for the Goddess of Beer!
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Patroness of homebrewers, microbreweries, and all beer and wine enthusiasts. The Babylonian goddess of barley-beer with brewing pot was known as Ishtar Siduri, and her secret craft provided beverages for special rituals. Siduri means "young woman" and her domain includes the fermentation of beer, ale, and wine, and also prophesy. She is best known for her appearance in the epic poem of Gilgamesh.
Her message: Carpe Diem! As a character in the early Old Babylonian version of the Epic Gilgamesh, she discourages Gilgamesh from his quest for immortality, advising him to find contentment in the simple pleasures of life:
"Gilgamesh, whither are you wandering? Life, which you look for, you will never find. For when the gods created man, they let death be his share, and life withheld in their own hands. Gilgamesh, fill your belly. Day and night make merry. Let days be full of joy, dance and make music day and night. And wear fresh clothes. And wash your head and bathe. Look at the child that is holding your hand, and let your wife delight in your embrace. These things alone are the concern of men."
[Tablet X, Meissner fragment.]
Siduri has been compared to the Odyssey's Circe. Like Odysseus, Gilgamesh gets directions on how to reach his destination from a divine helper. Like Circe, she dwells by the sea at the ends of the earth. Her home is also associated with the sun: Gilgamesh reaches Siduri's house by passing through a tunnel underneath Mt. Mashu, the high mountain from which the sun comes into the sky. The similarity of Odysseus's and Gilgamesh's journeys to the edges of the earth may be the result of the influence of the Gilgamesh epic upon the Odyssey.
Another possible name comes from the 1800B.C.E. clay tablet "Hymn to Ninkasi." Ninkasi is the Sumerian goddess of brewing and beer and head brewer to the gods themselves. Her name means "the lady who fills the mouth" and her birth was formed of sparkling-fresh water. She who bakes with lofty shovel the sprouted barley, she who mixes the bappir-malt with sweet aromatics, she who pours the fragrant beer in the lahtan-vessel that is like the Tigris and Euphrates joined! Yes, she. Early brewers were primarily women.
[Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, 8th-9th cent. BCE] Terra Cotta Ganges Clay. #SID
see also Middle Eastern items