Saehrimnir

The Most Bizarre Gods of the Ancient World

Ancient religions contain numerous gods and deities. The world was an unexplored and frightful place. As such, humans had deities for just about everything to worship. When they witnessed terrifying thunder in the sky, the ancients began to kneel before the god of thunder.

But this practice was not limited to powerful natural phenomena, which could change life with their fury. Over time, people began to worship deities that reigned over even the little things in everyday life.

Certain religions developed to the point where their followers had to memorize literally hundreds of deities. Some of these were beyond ridiculous and even hilarious. Read on to find out more.

1. Sæhrímnir - God of eternal bacon

The Vikings knew that their religion would be incomplete if they did not have a god of bacon. Lo and behold, that is how Sæhrímnir came to be - the sinister deity of bacon, whose meat was the most delicious in the entire universe. The myths go that the giant boar was cursed by Odin to eternal life. One night a group of drunk Vikings caught the boar and cooked it for its bacon. The next morning, however, the boar came back to life... only to be killed again that evening. A horrible life, no doubt, but in the world of the Vikings this was the price one paid for being delicious.

2. Matshishkapeu - God of farts

According to traditional Innu beliefs, the spirits have ways of communicating with the living. Some speak through drums, others come to us in our dreams. One of these spirits, Matshishkapeu, speaks through farts. The deity communicated quite often, especially with the men when they were alone - when there were no women around. Innu men believed that every time gas was passed, Matshishkapeu was relaying an important message. The sudden passing of gas required immediate translation, which was why the Innu sought the village shaman to find out what the deity was trying to tell them.

Xochipilli
Picture: Antony Stanley

3. Xochipilli - God of gay prostitutes

A number of religions have a god of homosexuality but only the Aztecs had an even more specific one. For them, it wasn't enough to simply have a deity serving as the patron of those who were attracted to their own sex. They also worshiped Xochipilli - the god who watched over homosexual men who had sex for money. The deity was also known as the "Prince of Flowers" and the Aztecs would plant psychedelic mushrooms and mind-altering plants around its statues.

Poop Gods
Picture: CNG

4. The global pantheon of toilet gods

Almost all ancient religions had a god of pooping. In Japan, for instance, there are dozens of deities and spirits that encourage these natural biological processes. The Chinese worshiped Zi-Gu, the goddess of pooping. Women would draw depictions of her in the toilet, while in turn expecting her to answer their questions, as they gave tribute to further expand her cult.

The Babylonians worshiped the god Shed Bet Ksa - the vengeful god of the latrines, who punished anyone daring enough to have sex near the toilet by cursing them with epilepsy. The Romans had 2 similar gods - Sterquilinus - the god of manure, and Cloacina - goddess of the sewer system.

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