Mayatl the ancient Zapotec goddess of mezcal is a beautiful woman with 40,000 breasts like agave pines.
Living in the desert surrounded by shadowy holes in the ground, she flowered into being when lightning struck an agave plant – cooking, opening it and spilling the first mezcal across the sand.
The holes are inhabited by the Centzon Totochtin (AKA The 400 Rabbits) on a part-time basis. These rabbit gods live a sedate and sober life when they are in the spirit world, but when they come to the desert they suckle mezcal from Mayatl’s bosom and rampage around creating havoc.
Mayatl herself does not imbibe. As a fertility goddess she loves to nourish others, actually living to give. Feeding her hordes of rabbit children was her only desire until a few centuries after her birth when maguey worms burrowed into her heart, infesting her.
Like the Sick Rose in the…
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