Shrines To Food Goddesses
When the Shinto moon god Toyuke Ōkami was sent to visit Earth by his sister, the sun goddess Amaterasu, Ukemochi no Kami (Japanese: Goddess who possesses food) welcomed him with abundant food. She turned toward the sea and from her mouth came fish, she turned towards the land and from her mouth came boiled rice and game. Offended that she had offered him food from her mouth, essentially her vomit, he drew his sword and murdered her. He returned to a furious Amaterasu who swore never to meet him face to face because of what he had done. And so became night and day. Amaterasu sent a messenger to look for Ukemochi no Kami’s body. Far from extinguished, life erupted from her dead body with gifts for the Earth. From her head came the ox and the horse, from her forehead came millet, from her eyebrows came silkworms. Panic grass sprouted from her eyes and rice from her belly. Wheat and beans came from her genitals.
We’ve created modern shrines to ancient food goddesses: Ukemochi no Kami, the Mayan goddess of chocolate/cacao Ixcacao, the Indonesian goddess Dewi Sri who watches over the rice paddies in Bali, and Nikkal the Canaanite goddess of orchards where olives, figs, dates, pistachios, walnuts and almonds grow. Every night her husband, the moon god Yarikh brings the dew to water her trees.