DISCLAIMER/OVERVIEW: So, I'm kind of cheating for this year's A-to-Z blogging challenge, and I'm having others write it for me (minus a couple of days which I'll write myself). I'm having various writers from Expanded Petty Gods write feasts/holidays that celebrate/honor/involve a god penned by that person. Unfortunately, the posts will be sporadic and completely out of order; the idea came to me late, I've been really slammed with work lately, and I'm dealing with contributions (which is why this is actually post #3, on day #7, for letter #3). Whether I get caught up, get enough contributions and write enough entries to actually complete this challenge remains to be seen.
My goal at the end of the month is to collect these feast days into a free PDF that will supplement Expanded Petty Gods. If it's long enough, and if I can get some illustrations for them, I'll also consider putting out an "at cost" print edition as well.
Today's post comes from Matthew Schmeer who, in deference to his hiatus from blogging, has penned this feast in honor of Curdle, the petty goddess of blind milk maids. I will reserve my judgement on the twisted things that Matthew has been writing lately, instead allowing others to comment for themselves.
The Blinding of the Second-Born
BY MATTHEW W. SCHMEER
God Honored: Curdle, the Petty Goddess of Blind Milk Maids
It is common practice in many villages that the oldest daughter is given in marriage but the second daughter is given to the gods. In isolated farms that still venerate Curdle, the petty goddess of blind milk maids, the second-born female is offered in oblation to the goddess.
Once the child is born and her sex revealed, the child is allowed to suck from its mother's breast just once before a midwife removes the child's eyes with a blessed jagged-edged spoon made from the bone of a mule mare. The midwife then chews a handful of swamp milkweed seeds into a paste and applies this salve to the child's wounds, where it must remain for three days until the flesh begins to heal. During this time, the child may not drink of its mother's milk but only that of a wet nurse.
The newborn's eyes are then added to fresh curd, pressed into a cheese, and the cheese allowed to set and age until a cow is with calf or a goat with kid. In the final weeks of the beast's gravidity, it is fed the eye-cheese so that the child's sight might pass to the calf or kid.
If the newborn calf or kid is female, the daughter will be given in service to Curdle herself; if the beast is male, the child will be pledged to Cowie, Curdle's symbiote.
After the beast has been allowed to live for three days, it is slaughtered in a solemn ceremony attended by the entire family. The animal is trussed in a white gunnysack with only its head unveiled and placed on a wooden altar built for ritual slaughter. Using a sharp dagger or short sword, the farmer quickly beheads the animal, catching as much blood from the body as possible. The farmer takes a wooden cup (hewn from the same timber as the altar) and drinks of the blood of the sacrifice; each member of the family drinks in turn. The remaining blood is taken to the family shrine and poured over or before an image of the goddess, sealing the blood oath of the family's pledge.
The animal is then disemboweled and its entrails removed. The altar is lit aflame and the sacrifice allowed to burn to ash while the family offers prayers and adulations.
The entrails are then cleaned in clear spring water and boiled to make broth that is feed to the newborn child for three days.
The animal's head is nailed above the home's doorway until nothing but the skull remains.
In this way, the second-born daughter is pledged to the Order of Amilken and will one day join the sisterhood in their home chapel. It is said that families that pledge a daughter to the goddess in this way will be blessed with fertile cows and goats which give the sweetest milk until the daughter meets her mortal end.