First of all, the hippopotamus is not a cuddly creature. Get the romanticized western notion out of your head. Like many chubby creatures, its actually quite dangerous. A fierce hippopatumus can bite a man in half. And in ancient egypt on their small reed boats, this was totally a thing. If you don’t believe me, here are some bloody hippopotamus pictures to prove my point.
Not sure if this here is just some kinda ritual, but you see those teeth and the strength of that jaw. It’s no wonder they can bite a man clean in half.
They sometimes go after lions, even. So you get the idea. If you see this, your best bet is to pray and run like… like….run like a hippo is chasing you.
The Ancient Egyptians have a story about Hathor, the goddess of love. The gods could take many forms. Long ago, she took the form of a hippopotamus. She tore open a man and so tasted his blood. Soon she was maddened by the blood, and could not be satiated. Thousands upon thousands fell, and soon the earth was filled with the blood of mankind. Even the great god Ra could not stop her in the might of her frenzy. Finally the other gods, fearful that she would destroy the entire human race, took great quantities of beer and stained it with red ochre dye. They flooded Egypt with this, and waited. By moonlight, Hathor mistook the red beer for blood and drank it. Finally, she fell into a drunken stupor, and as she lay there in the form of a hippopotamus, the other gods were able to transform her back, into her beautiful female form. And so the danger passed.
It isn’t a stupid story at all. In the Greco-Roman myths after all, the goddess of love Aphrodite-Venus might be married to the crippled blacksmith, but her main, long-time lover is Ares-Mars, the god of war.
Love is a beautiful thing, these myth-makers seem to be telling us, but beware! The goddess of love can be a consuming and rapacious goddess! There is a darker side to fertility, desire, romantic love — and the cost of such joys is high!
Look, this is all wrong. It is an, ancient, ancient lie — that the gods of love are cruel. That you must suffer, that you must offer your heartsblood and your first-born on its fires. That you must tear your heart in half, and endure great shame and great torments.
Some things do not change. People still believe it nowadays. And in recent years devotees have been paying high costs: all those undergrad hookups and later messy sexual semi-relationships initiated, because “you have to kiss alot of frogs to find your prince.” Firstborns lost, physical pain and humiliation endured, excruciating heartsicknesses, broken bond after broken bond after broken bond, all these sacrifices made for the ravenning goddess of love—all for hopes of that final happy romance that will make all these libations of your heartsblood worth it in the end.
No. Don’t. Don’t. The god of love is a gentle and steadfast god. He does not require your firstborn, he does not require your flesh or your hearts blood. He ordains all things in their times: and if he has destined you for sexual love, he will bring the right one in his time. Let it be. You do not need to submit yourself to torments. He requires no libations of you and no bleeding sacrifices. You have suffered too much. Let him stand beside you, and be still. Listen to his voice, for he is gentle and steadfast, and his yoke is easy and his burden is light.