Image source: Flickr
In our hunt for a god of betting, gambling, gaming, or just plain winning, we now head west to the Americas. With numerous different cultural heritages sharing the same landmass we have a goodly range of gods to select from. However, there are a couple which stands out as candidates for us. Could it be that before you hit up online sportsbook sites in the US like Bovada you should be praying to a Navajo carpet bagger or a member of the Aztec ‘Lords Of Excess’? We take a look.
The spirituality of the Native American tribes is legendary. Their famed connection to the natural world around them, is therefore, a tad at odds with a god of betting or gambling. Trees don’t, as a rule, gamble much. However, the Navajo of the Southwestern United States have a god that fits the bill. His name is Nohoipili and is often called “The Great Gambler”, although precisely why is elusive. Whilst very enthusiastic about gaming did seem to somewhat heavily favor himself alone.
A god who descends to teach people gambling games appears, at first glance the right sort of immortal for us. Unfortunately, Nohoipili rather tended to teach people games at which he then beats them. Comprehensively. So much so, he wins everything off them. The property, children, wives, their own bodies. It’s all a bit much. It seems a little unlikely a god of betting or gambling that enslaves people might not help out with a flutter at online betting sites in the US like Bovada.
Bovada Continues Gambling Tradition In The USA
The Navajo tradition has it that the other gods, particularly Hasteyalti, were displeased. So they helped a young warrior eventually defeat Nohoipili and shot him up into the heavens. This isn’t much of a punishment for a deity of any variety. Let alone a god of betting. With help from the Moon, Nohoipili quickly gained a new people to rule over. The Mexicans. This made the Mexicans the mortal enemies of the Navajo, which leaves far more questions than it answers, really.
“A man can’t rich if he takes proper care of his family.”
The first being why worship a god of betting that was so greedy in the first place? It seems wholly bizarre. Sensible, reasoned gambling is great fun, but if you start losing members of your immediate family at the tables it’s time to stop. Of course, in South America the gods were slightly different. Just not so different that anyone who regularly puts a bet on sports in the US would want to actually pray to them. At least Bovada lets you keep the money when you win.
God Of Betting A Bit Dangerous In The Americas
The Aztec god of betting gets off to a good start. He was also responsible for art, song, dance, beauty and flowers. This all sounds very pleasant, until you learn Macuilxochitl was one of five gods who ruled over excess in all things. Far from being the sort of deity who would help you win, this malicious immortal is more likely to trick you into losing. Although, given the Aztec game of Ullamaliztli Tlachtli saw the winners executed as a sacrifice to the gods, perhaps losing has its place after all.
“They tried to bury us. They didn’t know we were seeds.”
Again, one can’t help thinking that assisting those taking advantage of US gambling laws at Bovada might be a bit below his pay grade. Whilst the Aztecs did call upon him prior to playing games, one has to wonder if their heart was really in it. Did they pray to win and lose or lose and win? So hard to know. Certainly, in seeking a god of betting we can probably do better than this. The whiff of human sacrifice, like that of rather suspect anti-Mexican sentiment, rather puts me off.
We take a look at the Americas as we continue our search for a suitable god of betting, gambling, and winning (if at all possible).