The Goddess complicate Part III
Goddess worshipping started to spread from one culture to another, due to the new ability to travel across seas and international trade. One goddess title that they passed on from one culture and mythology to the next was the title, Queen of Heaven. The following list of goddesses shared that title:
• INANNA: Sumerian Goddess of Love, Fertility, War, Morning and Evening Stars.
• ASHERAH: Canaanite Mother Goddess
• ASTARTE: Greek Goddess of Fertility, Sexuality and War
• ANAT: Canaanites Virgin Goddess of War and Strife
• ANTIT/ANTI/ANANT: Egyptian War Goddess
• ISIS: Egyptian Goddess Patron of Magic and character
• HERA: Greek Goddess of Women and Marriage
• JUNO: Roman equivalent of Hera, Goddess Patron of Women
• FRIGG: Norse Goddess of Marriage and Motherhood
Other goddesses were changing in titles and the way the cultures perceived the female deity. Up until the Cucuteni-Trypillian 2750 BC the goddess titles were of a non war-like in character such as mother, earth, sun, fertility, love, healing, pregnancy, plants, agriculture and rivers. The Sumerian worshipped one of the first love and war goddesses in addition as a sky goddess. The Canaanites also worshipped a sky goddess, war goddesses and additional several moon goddesses to their pantheon.
•Canaanite Religion 3300BC – 5 AD and Phoenician Mythology 2300-1200BC
A lot of the Canaanite goddesses information came from the major anthropology find called the Ras Shamra, an ancient vault found by a Syrian peasant farming in a sixty-five foot field located near Minet-el Beida (White shelter) in northern Syria. It was identified as the ancient Canaanites city of Ugarit, a Mediterranean port. The city itself overlies series of Bronze Age Chalcolithic and Neolithic settlements. This dig contained five levels.
• In the fifth level they found flint and bone implements dating back to 6000-5000 BC
• In the forth level they found decorated Halafian ware dating back to 5000-4500BC.
• In level three they found Khirbet ware that had been destroyed by fire dating back to 4500-2100BC.
• In level two they found high commercials centers with of economic exchanges from the twelfth dynasty of Egypt dating back to 2100-1600BC.
• In level one they found the cuneiform document. It was the greatest literary discover from ancient times. The cuneiform helped in deciphering the Hebrew Bible. They also found another important piece of literature, the Baal Cycle, the basis for the religion and culture of the Canaanites. And in addition, they found the oldest piece of annotated ancient music dedicated to the Moon Goddess Nikkal. This level of artifacts dated back to 1600-1200BC
Some of the other artifacts found included:
• Family houses
• Two temples dedicated to Baal and Dragon,
• Administration and economic documents
• Priests library
• holy Texts
• Seal impressions in Hittite hieroglyphics
• 12th century BC cuneiform signs using a 32 lettered alphabet.
The following is a list of the main Canaanite and Phoenician goddesses:
• ANAT: Ugarits Virgin Goddess of War, Hunt, Savagery and Strife, from Mesopotamias female style of ANU or his consort ANTU. The Phoenicians changed her name to ANATH. She was also found in Egypt, Greece and Rome
ANAT is also known as: Antit, Anti, Anant, Ceres
She was one of the major goddesses, who played a large part in the Baal Cycle. ANAT was daughter of El and was both sister and mate of Baal Hadad. The Virgin title is considered to average an independent woman, as she was said to have bore Baal seventy-seven calves after copulating in forms of a cow and a bull. As she was not Baals consort she lived separately in a mansion located in Ughar or Inbab. Sometimes presented as an archer. Both her and Athirat were nursemaids to the gracious gods. The Ugarit community gave her the name, Sister-in-law of the People.
• ARSAY: Canaanites Goddess of Earth and Underworld, is related to ALLATUM, Mesopotamians Underworld Goddess of the Under-earth who was modeled after Mesopotamians goddess, ERESHIKIGAL. The Phoenicians changed her name to ARETSAYA, whose name has been interpreted as the Daughter of abundant Flow and Daughter of the Wide World.
She was the youngest sister to Pidraya and Talaya, the third daughter of Baal. Together they were known as the renowned brides in the Epic of Baal. Her name method she of the earth.
• ASHERAH: was a Canaanite Mother Goddess from the Mesopotamian Mythology known as ASHRATUM. In Ugarit, Phoenicia her name was changed to ATHIRAT. She was also known in Arabia, Greece and Hattusa
Asherah is also known as, or identified with: Ashratum, Ashratu, Ilatu, Atirat, Atiratu, Elat, Ilat, Sherah, Hera, Asherdu(s), Ashertu(s) Aserdu(s), Asertu(s)
She is a major Semitic goddess referred to as the Walker of the Sea, who was mentioned in the Akkadian writings.
She was the one of the goddesses who assisted in Baal in his escape from the underworld
In Phoenicia, she was called Creator of Gods who is associated with the Tree of Life, and the goddess on the Greek carved on a famous ivory box-lid of Mycenae, which was found at Ugarit, dating 1300 BC. This carving shows her wearing an elaborate skirt and jewelry. She is topless and her hair is delicately dressed. Asherah is smiling, as she is offering wheat sheaves to a pair of goats.
ATARGATIS: A Phoenician Great Mother and Fertility, Goddess of the Earth and Water, originally from Syria, known as ATARATHEH and spread to Greece and Rome. In the Ugarit cuneiform tablets she was referred to her as Goddess of the Sea
Atargatis was also known as: Aphrodite Derceto, Dea Syriae sometimes referred to as one information Deasura
Doves and fish were holy to her; they represented fertility and life of the waters. She was sometimes presented in simple woman form, or as a mermaid. In the temple of Ashkelon, Israel and in Diodorus Siculus history books she was a mermaid. She established and taught the people social and religious procedures in addition as inventing useful appliances. In her capacity as Heavenly Goddess, she is concerned with astrology, divination and fate.
Atargatis was also worshipped in Ascalon, Syria modern day Manbij, 40 miles south west of Jerusalem. Here she is said to have the oldest temple to Aphrodite (her Greek name). The temple of Atargatis was described as richly decorated with a golden ceiling, doors and the statue of Atargatis with her consort Hadad, was also made of gold. He was enthroned between two bulls and she sat on two lions, holding a scepter in one hand and a tool used in spinning fibers in the other. Her waist was girdled with the magic belt that made her irresistible when worn. She wore a tower shaped crown covered with gems and jewels from all over, with a great red jewel that lit up the room. And no matter where you were in the room, the statues eyes always looked directly at you.
Not far from her temple was a holy lake stocked with many varieties of fish. Some of the fish were adorned with jewels encased in their fins. The fish knew their own names and would come when called and would snuggle up to people to be pet. In the middle of lake was an altar, which people would swim to and make offerings. It was taboo to eat or touch the fish unless you were in the priesthood.
There was also another temple referenced in 1 & 2 Maccabees at Carnion in Gilead (modern day north west Jordan), where Atargatis appears as the wife of Hadad. Both are the protecting deities of the community. Atargatis is the ancestor of the royal house, wearing a mural crown.
She also appeared with her consort Hadad in temples located in Palmyra and Dura Europos as Artemis Azzanathkona. And among the signs they found were Atargatis spindle, scepter and fish-spear. There are two well-preserved temples in Niha Lebanon dedicated to her and Hadad and numerous Nabatean bas-relief busts of Atargatis in temple ruins of the early first century AD. On these busts the eyes and lips were lightly veiled and a pair of fish confronting each other were above her head, with her wavy hair parted in the middle suggesting water.
Atargatis of Ascalons image was carved on coins in the first century BC, her body stylized in a tight sheath dress with her arms sticking out at the sides at right angles. She wears a veil that reaches to the floor and holds a flower or an ear of corn in one hand. Her shoulders are two wheat or barley sheaves, her dress is textured with grains of barley and an unidentified oval at the center perhaps representing the magic belt. At Palmyra she appears on the coinage with a lion and the crescent moon with an inscription of her name.
The worship of Atargatis was practiced with song, dance, and music made with flutes and rattles, the worshippers would work themselves into a frenzy. The worship of Atargatis spread to other parts of the Mediterranean, mostly brought by Syrian slaves.
• ATTART: A Goddess of Love and War. She originated from the Sumerian and Mesopotamian Mythology as Inanna In Phoenicia they changed her name to Ashtart in the cities Sor, Tyre, Sidon, Zidon, Byblos and Gubla. She was also found in Egypt, Greece, Rome, Estruia and Hattusa.
Attart is also known as or identified to: Ashtart, Ishtar, Astartu, Ishtar in the form of Astartu, Hadad, Astarte, Venus,
In addition to the above titles she was also called:
o Goddess of Fertility, War, Love and Sex
o The Morning Star
o Goddess of War and Hunt
o The Evening Star
o Moon Goddess
Attart was also the deity of the planet Venus and a Fertility Goddess. Her cult was known in its practice of Temple prostitution.
Phoenicias Ashtart is shown as an archer and beside her stands a lion and the snakes on the cypress tree were holy to her
Several gold coins from Ugarit show her naked beside a tree growing from her pelvic triangle that may symbolize the Near Eastern Tree of Life.
In the legends of Ugarit, found in the Ras Shamra, Attart and Anat restrained the young God Baal from killing the river god Yam. But when Yam is taken captive, Baal killed him. Attart rebukes Baal and leaves the garden.
Attarts chief temple was found in Ascalon, Philistia, near Jerusalem. In Sidon, Phoenicia there was another temple of Attart who was titled the moon-goddess. This temple was holy to the Phoenician princess, Europa, daughter of Oceanus and Tethys.
• BAALAT: Canaanites Goddess of Healing first mentioned as BELILI in Mesopotamias Akkadian writings. Phoenicia changed her name to BAALAT GUBUL and in the city Byblos to BAALAT GEBAL. She was also worshipped in Egypt, Greece and Rome.
Baalat was also known as or identified to: Baalit, Belit, Balthi, Hathor, Aphrodite, Venus
In addition to her above titles they also called her:
• Sky Goddess,
• Mother Goddess of Love, Beauty, Motherhood, Foreign Lands, Mining and Music
• Goddess of Love Beauty Pleasure and Procreation
• Goddess of Love Beauty, Sex, Fertility, wealth and Victory
Very little known about BAALAT, she was the wife or female style of Baal and a chief deity. She was the main goddess in Gubla or Byblos, modern day Jbeil in Lebanon. In legends of the very ancient city of Gubla, it was said to be the first city of the world. Her shrine in Gubla dates back to 2700BC. There is evidence that the settlement existed in 5000BC and had long history of trade with Egypt. She was the goddess who watched over and protected the city of Gubla and the royal family.
ELISHAT: One of Phoenicias Moon Goddesses, in Greece known as ELISSA, in Rome as DIDO. Her names average The Wanderer or The Fugitive, referring to the Moon wandering over the sky during a month. She is also Deity of the city of Qart-hadasht (New city); her title was the Queen of New City referring to the city she protected. The New City is more commonly knows by its Romans name, Carthage.
• ISHAT: Goddess of fire and heat, called the bitch of the gods. In the epic of Baal referred to as an enemy of God who was slain by Anat. Her title was the Fiery, who represented the burning heat of summer that causes the plants to wither and die.
• KOSHARTU: Canaanites Skillful Goddess, her name method skillful and clever, wife or feminine version of the God Kothar-wa-Khasis, a magical craftsman of the Gods. It is thought that she may have had mystical powers like her husband but very little is known about her
• KOTHARAT/KOTHAROT/KATHIRAT: Ugarits group of Goddesses of Marriage and Pregnancy, in Phoenicia their name was changed to KOTHIRAT. Their names average, skillful ones.
This goddess group is associated with conception and childbirth. Described as the swallow-like daughters of the crescent moon. They are also associated with the new moon.
• MALIDTHU: Canaanites Goddess of Love, Fertility, Childbirth and the Fragrant Myrrh-tree, known in Greece as MULITTS. Mother of Kinnur or Kinaur, who is known as Adonis by the Greeks,
Other spellings of her name: Mldth or Mr in the Ugarit texts; Mulitts, Mu Allidta, Mirru; among the Greeks
Her shrine was located at the spring of Aphek (modern day Afka), near her shrine was a holy lake which a meteorite or fire had once fallen. This was said to revive the youthful beauty of the goddess. The lake would sustain any amount of weight put on it.
• MARAH: Canaanite Water Goddess, benevolent and merciful daughter of the Great Mother Goddess Athirat of the Sea and twin sister of Anat.
• NIKKAL-WA-IB: Ugarits & Phoenicias Goddess of the Moon, Orchards and Fruit, originating from the Sumerian goddess NINGAL.
As Ningal, she is presented before a date tree and other important fruit trees of the Sumer area. Her title was the Great Lady and her names method the Lady of the Temple.
Nikkal is sometimes called the daughter of Dragon of Tuttul, the Deity of Fertility and Agriculture. The orchards in her area are olive, fig, apple, pistachio, walnut and almond trees. Her title was the Great Lady and bright.
The Hurrian Song, dedicated to Nikkal was the hymn found at Ras Shamra and played on nine-string instrument.
• PIDRAYA: Canaanites Goddess of Light or Mist, the eldest daughter of Baal, one of the Perfect Brides. Her name translates to Flashing or bright, daughter of Light and Mist. One of her titles is Maiden of the Light. She is considered a fertility or character Goddess as her rain brings nourishment and quickens the crops growth.
The different spellings of her name are: Pidray, Pidrai, and Pdry
• QADESHTU: From the Canaanite religion, her name method Holy One. She was a fertility goddess of holy ecstasy and sexual pleasure, in Egypt known as QETESH.
Her city of worship was Kadesh.
It was shared practice for the Canaanites and Egyptians to merge different deities into a single entity. Qadeshtu on the Triple Goddess Stone was inscribed Qudshu-Astarte-Anat.
On the Qadeshtu stele limestone painting she is naked holding snakes in one hand and a lotus flower in the other as signs of creation.
She was also associated with Asherah and the Goddesses of Myceneae, of the Minoans of Crete and certain Kassite goddesses of the metal trade.
different spellings of her name are: Quadshu, Qudshu, Qodesh, Qadesh, Qadashu, Qadesha, Qedeshet, Kedesh and Kodesh
• RAHMAYA: Canaanites Mother Goddess of Health and Nurses. Her name method the Merciful. She is one of the two wives of El, the King of Gods. Rahmaya is also a high tempered War Goddess, who likes to smash the heads of the enemy soldiers.
Alternate spellings of her name are Rahmay, Rachmay and Rohmaya.
• SHAPASH also transliterated SHAPSHU: Ugarits/Canaanites Goddess of the Sun, daughter of El and Asherah. She is an important goddess, which comes for the Mesopotamian sun God, SHAMASH. She is known as torch of the gods and may be related to the deity at Ebla named Shipish and to Shams or Chems a pre Muslim Arabic sun deity who was worshipped at sunrise, noon and sunset.
Alternate spellings of her name were Sapas, Shapas and Shaph.
Shapash acts as messenger or representative on Els behalf. She has some ruling over the shades and ghosts of the netherworld. She interacts with all the main characters in the Epic of Baal. Shapash was also the deity of justice.
• SHATAQAT: The Phoenician Healing Goddess who is mentioned in Ugaritic texts when she cured Keret, King of Sidon. She is described as winged and sometimes called a female demon that is strong in magic and can excursion away illness.
• TALAYA: Canaanites Rain goddess and Goddess of the Summer Dew, She was one of noble brides and second daughter of Asherah and Baal. In the epic of Baal she had a beautiful palace which prompted the envious Baal to build his own.
Alternate spellings of her names are Talay, Talai, Talliya, and Tly.
• TANIT: The Phoenician Lunar Goddess also worshipped as the Great Goddess of Carthage, Sky Goddess and Virgin Mother Goddess who was a symbol of fertility.
She was consort and wife of Baal-Hamon who watched over and protected Carthage, a city.
Tanit was a chief goddess and worshipped in Carthage who spread to Western Mediterranean from Malta to Gades, Spain, Sardinia, Sicily, Tunisia, Ancient Libya, Egypt, Nubia, Greece and Rome where she achieved many titles. In addition to the above titles she was called:
• Ruler of the Sun, Moon and Stars
• Goddess of Weaving
• City Patron Deity of Sais
• Great Goddess Mother and Patroness of Childbirth
• Goddess of Fertility, Sexuality and War
• Goddess of Love and Beauty
• Goddess of Harvest
• Goddess of Hunt, Moon and Birthing
• Goddess of Light and Childbirth
• Heavenly Virgin
• Heavenly Goddess
• Great Mother
• Mother of the Gods
• The Lady of Carthage
• The Lady of the Sanctuary
• confront of Baal
• Tanis the Greek
• Fruitful Goddess
Also known as, or identified to:
• Juno Lucina
• Virgo Calestic
• Dea Caelestis
• Kybel (Cybele)
In Carthage the worshipping of Tanit dates back to 5BC. Most of the city was completely destroyed by Rome in the Carthage wars but somehow the Sanctuary of Tanit and Baal managed to survive. It is nearby to the childrens cemetery. There she has been presented riding a lion and carrying a long spear or spectre wearing a diadem or a crown with wheat sheaves bound in her hair as a wreath with a crescent moon behind.
Other Tanit artifacts found were:
• Her shrine in Sarepta, southern Phoenicia showing Tanit with a lions head.
• A sculpture of Tanit was found is at Kerkoane, in the Cap Bon peninsula in Tunisia.
• The written Canaan origins of Tanit were found in Ugaritic written supplies.
• Her image carved on coins in the 4th and 3rd century BC, riding a lion with and lance in her hand.
In Egypt, Tanit method the Land of Neith and the goddess NEITH dates back the first dynasty 3100-2890BC and long survived long after the fall of Carthage.
The Ancient Libyan Berber Mythology has connected Tanit with the Amazons dating back to the Trojan War of 1193-1183BC.
Tanit is nevertheless respected in Northern Africa under the Latin name of Juno Caelestis.
Her signs were:
• Dove connecting her to Astarte
• Grapes and Pomegranates (symbolic of fruitfulness and fertility)
• Palm tree, representing the Tree of Life and Tree of Life symbolized the life force of the Earth
• Lion for warrior quality
• Snake is what her name method. In the Phoenician/Punic language her name method Dragon or Serpent Lady
• Spears and lances for warrior quality
• Spectres represented her title as Star goddess and she was said to have an Oracle
• Crescent moons symbolized her as the Lunar Goddess
• Triangle with a course of action at the top with a horizontal line between the two. Sometimes shown with two vertical lines coming from the horizontal. This signs was found on many stone carvings but only found in Phoenicia and were interpreted to be an altar or a woman in a long dress.
• UM PACHAL: The Canaanite Goddess of Healing, Serpents, Magic and Horses from the Ugarit text.
Her title was, the Mare and her name method the Purposeful Goddess.
She was the daughter of the Sun Goddess, Shapash and wife of Choron. Her marriage gave her a connection to the Underworld. The name of her home was The House of Incantations. She had strength of speech and spell casting. Her role as the Horse goddess represented fertility and sexuality.
• YBRDMY: From the Ugarit text, Goddess of Love and War, the beautiful single daughter of Asherah, in Phoenicia as YABARODMAY in Greece as ASTARTE, the Goddess of Love and War and Baal.
• ZEBUB: Canaanite Goddess of Fire or Flame found in the Ugarit texts, in Phoenicia known as ZABIB, the daughter of El who was slain by Anat in the same battle that she killed Ishat.
Her name translates into the insect known as a fly. Which is important knowledge for guessing her rank. In Egypt the Golden Fly was awarded to soldiers with exceptional valor and was given to women in Egypts 18th dynasty ruled by Queen Aahhotep, which might average she was considered a fierce opponent of Baal.
The Canaanite culture goes back to 6200BC, divided into groups:
• The Eastern group who spoke Akkadian, the language of the Assyrians and Babylonians, who inhabited the Tigris and Euphrates river valleys.
• The South Western Semites inhabited Arabia and Ethiopia, who spoke Semitic.
• The North Western Semites occupied the Levant – the regions of today that includes: Palestine territories, Syria, Israel and Lebanon. They also spoke Semitic
The Persian history books stated that the Phoenicians/Canaanites were originally from the eastern part of the Arabian Peninsula, on the shores, of the Erythraean Sea, todays Yemen and Gulf of Aden, where there were similar gods, goddesses, cemeteries and temples. It was written that they had a quarrel and sailed across the sea.
They were a hunter-gatherer civilization with agriculture and domestication capabilities. The Canaanite religion was strongly influenced by the Sumerian, Pre-Islamic Arabian polytheism and Egyptian mythology. The Canaanites settled and practiced their beliefs in ancient Levant and in addition to the above areas mentioned in the North Western group they also settled in parts of Cyprus, Turkey, and Iraq and remained there from the Bronze Age to the first centuries of the shared Era.
The artifacts found at Ras Shamra from the Bronze Age showed that the Canaanites entered Ugarit around 3000BC.
In 1800 BC, Ugarit, the Canaanite port city was under Egyptian hegemony and was dominated by Egyptians until 1400 BC.
The information on Canaanite cosmology was written by Greek historians and is saturated with their Cosmology.
Families worshipped ancestral household gods and goddesses, while acknowledging the existence of other deities such as Baal and El. Kings also played an important religious role and in certain ceremonies, such as the holy marriage of the New Year Festival. They may have been revered as gods. At the center of Canaanite religion was royal concern for religious and political legitimacy and the placement of a holy legal structure, in addition as peasant emphasis on fertility of the crops, flocks and humans.
In general, the Canaanites believed that from gods like Chaos, Ether, Air, Wind and Desire produced an egg called Mot. The egg was populated with creatures, which did not move until the sky and heavenly bodies were formed. After the egg opened and water separated from the sky, the gods of El were formed.
The Gods assembly took place at Mt. Lel. The mount was the source for two rivers and two oceans. It was located beneath the wells of the earth, three spans beneath its marshes. It is thought to be a field and not a mountain, where El dwelled in a mansion with eight entrances and 7 chambers.
Targhizizi and Tharumagi are the Twin Mountains, which held the firmament up above the earth-circling ocean, thereby bounding the earth. The underworld and Shapshus grave, was entered by lifting up a rock to a wooded height. Surrounding the entrance was a river-shore land of pasture and fields, known ironically as Pleasure or Delight.
According to Canaanite beliefs, when the physical body dies, the soul departs from the body to the land of Mot. Bodies were buried with goods and offerings of food and drink to ensure that they would not bother the living. Dead relatives were venerated and sometimes asked for help
The Baal cycle was found in pieces and unfortunately some of those pieces have been lost along with the some of the legend. The Baal Cycle is a legend of the god Baal, who is also known as Hadad, the god of storm & fertility. In summary:
• It starts with Yam wanting to rule over all gods. Yam tries to overthrow Baals throne and Yam is killed in the battle.
• Baal resides at Mount Zaphon north of Ugarit.
• Then Baal, Athirat and Anat persuade El to let Kothar-wa-Khasis from Egypt build Baal a palace. When the palace was completed, Baal challenged Mot by roaring out of the palace window.
• While the window is open, Mot enters and swallows Baal, sending him to the Underworld.
• This caused a terrible drought because Baal was not there to supply the Earth with rain.
• Later Anat goes to the Underworld to find Baal to bury his body with great sacrifices and weeping. Anat then attacks Mot with a knife, grinding him up into pieces and scatters him far and wide.
• Anat and Athirat help Baal escape from the underworld and then Baal returns to Mount Zaphon.
• Later Mot also returns and is warned by Shapash that El is now on Baal side, causing Mot to be afraid, so declares Baal king.
The gods in the Baal cycle have been identified with Greek gods: Baal to Zeus, Yam to Poseidon, Mot to Hades, and El to Cronus. The Sumerian Tiamat has been identified to Yam. In Egypt they identified the magical craftsman Kothar-wa-Khasis with their god Ptah. Yam, Baal and Anat were also worshipped in Ancient Egypt, And in Ancient Libya the Berbers worshipped Yam.
Around 1200BC, the Greeks encountered the Canaanites, they renamed them the Phoenikes or Phoenicians, and in their language it method red or purple, a description of the cloth that they traded to the Greeks and Egyptians. The Phoenician era saw a shift in Canaanite religion. Each city had it own pantheon and renamed some of the goddesses.
The Israelite invasion of Eastern Mediterranean led to the abandonment of Ugarit in 1200BC.
Then from 1100BC to 7AD, the following countries invaded Canaan:
• Middle Assyrian Empire
• Egyptian Nubian Dynasty
• Neo Assyrian Empire
• Byzantium Empire
Finally falling to the Arab Islamic civilization.
Three Canaanite/Phoenician goddesses, Anat, Asherah and Astarte, whose names were preserved in the Hebrew Bible along with their title of Queen of Heaven.