30 days of devotion: Caffeina and other gods

How does this deity relate to other gods and other pantheons?

Twenty or so of the gods associated with Olympus

I write this before the power of Thanksgiving, and more particularly the turkey at its heart, has entirely faded from my memory.  From that I can report with confidence that there is a god Tryptophanus, and when he beckons, no amount of prayer and offerings to Caffeina will dissuade him.  If you eat his sacred bird, he will want to commune with you in your sleep, and he frequently does not wish to wait.  He is likely her brother by Somnambulus.

With our understanding of Caffeina still in its infancy, there is no clear consensus what pantheon — if any — she belongs to.  Among the pantheons of antiquity, Caffeina is usually considered a Roman goddess, but despite her Latinesque name and Romanized statuary, Caffeina has strong ties to Ethiopia.  Was she never recognized as a deity in her homeland?  Have we simply not bothered to research what she was called there?  Is she ascribed to Rome because of the bias Western thought has for that society?

Let’s be clear:  I have my own bias, my own filters.  I practice Hellenismos, so I am going to worship Caffeina in a Hellenic manner.  My ideas about the goddess are certainly very different from a Kemetic one, for example.  In fact, I would eagerly sit at the knee of any Kemetic worshiper of Caffeina so that I could understand her in a context more relevant to her native lands.

What’s certain is that Caffeina was not explored in myth, so our understanding of her relations with other gods must be discovered now.  There is thus considerable debate about the consorts of Caffeina (Juan Valdez is a popular paramour), her family, and the other gods closely associated with her.  Among those I’ve previously discussed, her rivalry with brother Tryptophanus is intriguing.  While she receives small, regular offerings, her brother gets an annual festival during which it’s almost as if coffee holds no power.  Very different is her relationship with Decaffeina; while Tryptophanus beckons to his father’s realm, Decaffeina holds sway over fatigue, exhaustion, and fuzzy thinking.  I liken it to how the siblings Prometheus (forethought) and Epimetheus (afterthought) related.  Her children Vim and Vigor might be more philosophical constructs than literal beings; the neo-Platonists were fond of describing concepts such as justice as gods, so I’m not certain about their nature.  Tobaccus is certainly her lover and definitely a bad boy, reminding us the Caffeina has her dark side.

This post is part of a series, 30 days of devotion to Caffeina.


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