Tag Archive: ishtar


Goddess Inanna

“Inanna – Goddess of Goddesses” by book-of-light

“Inanna’s themes are the sky, Universal Awareness and Law, movement, peace, unity, love and leadership. Her symbols are roses, lions, wands encrusted with stones and dates.  The Sumerian Lady of the Heavens looks down upon the world, seeing it in wholeness and unity. Her gentle tears wash from heaven, putting out the emotional fires that keep people apart in this world, or anywhere in the Universe. Inanna oversees matters of love, divination, wine making and leadership just to name a few. In works of art, She is depicted wearing a horned headdress and sprouting wings.

On August 20, 1977, Voyager 2 was launched into space, bearing a message of peace and welcome to any alien lifeforms that might find it. As it travels, are reminded of what a truly big place the Universe is and of the importance of making our part of it better under Inanna’s guidance and care.

To make yourself an Inanna wand for directing magical energy designed to manifest peace, oneness, love or leadership, take a large rose twig (or any fallen branch) and let it dry. Encrust this with an amethyst. During spells and rituals, point the crystal in the direction you want the energy to travel.

Finally, leave Inanna an offering of wine at dawn (She is the morning star) to attract Her power to your day.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

“St. Ishtar” by ~TerezBellydance

Thalia Took tells us “Inanna, which means ‘Queen of Heaven’, is the Sumerian Great Goddess and forerunner of the Babylonian Ishtar, with whom She shares similar legends. Sumer was a culture located in what is now the southern half of Iraq, between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, known as the ‘Cradle of Civilization’. It was one of the earliest civilizations on this Earth.

Inanna is the First Daughter of the Moon, and the Star of Morning and Evening. Like Anat and Aphrodite (who is believed to have a Phoenician origin) She is linked to the planet Venus and is a love-Goddess.” [1]

Patricia Monaghan tells us that “the Sumerians knew how civilization had come to the ancient Near East, and here is how they told the tale.

Across the immeasurable distances of the sweetwater abyss lived Enki, god of wisdom, and with him were the Tablets of Destiny and other magic civilizing implements. These were his treasures, and he kept them from humankind. But Enki’s daughter–Inanna, the crafty queen of heaven–took pity on the miserable primitives of earth and fitted Her boat to travel to Her father’s hall. There She was grandly welcomed with a banquet of food and wine. Wise he may have been, but Enki loved his daughter beyond wisdom, so much that he took cup after cup from Her at table and then, drunk, promised Her anything She desired. Instantly Inanna asked for the Tablets of Destiny and 100 other objects of culture. What could a fond father do but grant the request?

“Semiramis” by ~kk-graphics

Inanna immediately loaded the objects onto the boat of heaven and set sail for Her city, Erech. Awakening the next day from his stupor, Enki remembered what he had done–and regretted it. But he was incapacitated by a hangover as massive as the previous evening’s pleasure, and he could not pursue his daughter until he recovered. By then, of course, Inanna had gained the safety of Her kingdom, and even the seven tricks Enki played on Her did not regain him his treasures.

And the Sumerians knew how the various seasons came to the desert in which they lived. It started long ago, when the lovely queen of heaven had two suitors, the farmer Enkidu and the shepherd Dumuzi. Both brought Her gifts; both wooed Her with flattery. Her brother urged the farmer’s suit, but the soft woolens that Dumuzi brought tipped the scales of Inanna’s heart. And so Dumuzi became the Goddess’ favorite, in a tale like Cain and Abel‘s that must have recorded a common dispute in the days when the new agricultural science was gaining ground from the nomadic culture of the cattle and sheep herders.

It was not long before Dumuzi grew arrogant in his favored position. But that leaps ahead in the story, for first Inanna–compelled, some say, by curiosity, while others accuse the Goddess of ambition–made plans to descend from Her sky throne and visit the underworld. She arranged with her prime minister, Ninshuba, that if She did not return within three days and three nights, he would stage mourning ceremonies and would appeal to the highest deities to rescue Her. And then Inanna began Her descent.

“The Decent of Inanna” by ~Blazesnbreezes

At the first of the seven gates of the underworld, the Goddess was stopped by the gatekeeper, Neti, who demanded part of Her attire. So it was at each gate. Piece by piece, Inanna gave up Her jewelry and clothing until She stood splendid and naked before Eriskegal, the naked black haired Goddess of death, who turned Her eyes of stone on the Goddess from the upper world.

At that Inanna lost all life and hung for three days and three nights a corpse in the realm of death. When Inanna failed to return to Her sky kingdom, Ninshuba did as instructed. Enki, the Goddess’s father, came to Her aid. Fashioning two strange creatures, Kurgurra and Kalaturra, from the dirt beneath his fingernails, he sent them into the wilderness of the afterlife with food and water to revive the lifeless Inanna.

But no one can leave the underworld unless a substitute be found to hang forever naked in the land of doom. And so demons followed the Goddess as She ascended to Her kingdom. One after another, the demons grabbed the gods they met. Each in turn Inanna freed, remembering good deeds they had performed for Her. But when Inanna reached Her holy city, Erech, She found that Her paramour Dumuzi had set himself up as ruler in Her stead. Angered at his presumption, the Goddess commanded that he be taken as Her substitute to Eriskegal’s kingdom. Luckily for Dumuzi, his loving sister Gestinanna followed him to the underworld and won from Eriskegal her brother’s life for half each year-the half of the year when the desert plants flower, for Dumuzi was the god of vegetation.

“Innana, Queen of Heaven” by buechnerstod

In some versions of the tale it was Inanna Herself, not Gestinanna, who freed Dumuzi. But Gestinanna’s name incorporates that of the other Goddess, and Inanna Herself was sometimes said to be Dumuzi’s mother, while Ninsun claimed that role in other versions. All these apparent contradictions cease to be problematical, however, if one extends the ‘three persons in one god’ concept to this trinity of Sumerian divinities. Then we see that the mother, the lover, and the sister were all aspects of a single grand figure: the queen of heaven, who may have been the lifegiving sun itself, as able to parch the earth into a desert as to reclaim vegetation seasonally from beneath the earth’s surface” (Monaghan, p. 160 -161).

“Inanna’s descent to the Underworld is similar to the journey of the later Goddess Ishtar, with some important differences–Inanna goes to the Underworld to learn of the wisdom of death and rebirth. To be released from Death She must choose a substitute, and offers up Dumuzi, who in Her absence has not mourned. With Dumuzi gone, His sister Geshtinanna, Goddess of Wine, went frantically searching and eventually a bargain was struck: Dumuzi would remain half the year in the Underworld, and Geshtinanna would take His place in the Land of the Dead for the rest of the year.” [2]

“Inanna” by Hrana Janto

 

ASSOCIATIONS: (From my the results of my Goddess Archetype Quiz taken at Goddessgift.com)

General: Ringposts, gates, planet Venus (morning and evening stars), eight-pointed star/rosette, breastplate, bundle or reeds, bow and arrow, Friday and the number 15.

Animals: Sheep, lions, owls, serpents, and scorpions.

Plants: Pomegranate, Tree of Life, grains, reeds and rushes, hemp, cedar, cypress, lotus blossom, monkshood and all herbs.

Perfumes/Scents: Frankincense, myrrh, lotus, amber oil, cedar wood, cypress, cinnamon, and bitter orange.

Gems and Metals: Silver, carnelian, obsidian, lapis lazuli, moonstone and copper.

Colors: Silver, gold, blood red, and green.

Element: Air

 

 

 

 

Sources:

Monaghan, Patricia. The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines, “Inanna”.

Took, Thalia. A-Muse-ing Grace Gallery, “Inanna“.

Turnbull, Sharon. Goddess Quiz – Inanna.

 

 

Suggested Links:

BellaDonna. Order of the White Moon, “Erishkegal, Lady of Shadows“.

Bianca. Order of the White Moon, “Inanna: Queen of Heaven and Earth“.

Goddess-guide.com, Ereshkigal“.

Goddess-guide.com, “Inanna“.

Goddessgift.com, “Inanna, Ancient Goddess of Sumer“.

Ishtara. Order of the White Moon, “Inanna“.

Laurel. Goddessschool.com, “Inanna“.

Moon, Mary Scarlett & Callista Deep River. Inanna.virtualave.net, “INANNA: Journey to the Dark Center“.

Mydailygoddess.blogspot.com, “Inanna: Embracing the Shadow“.

PaganNews.com, “Inanna/Ishtar“.

Revel, Anita. igoddess.com, “Inanna: self-discovery queen“.

Stuckey, Johanna. Matrifocus.com, “Inanna, Goddess of ‘Infinite Variety’“.

Wikipedia, “Inanna“.

Goddess Aphrodite

“Aphrodite” by LinzArcher

“Aphrodite’s themes are love, romance, passion, sexuality, luck, fertility, beauty and pleasure. Her symbols are roses, copper, turquoise and sandalwood.  Since 1300 B.C.E., Aphrodite has been worshipped as the ultimate Goddess to inspire passion, spark romance, increase physical pleasure, augment inner beauty and improve sexual self-assurance. Consequently, many artistic depictions show Her naked, with erotic overtones. Aphrodite’s name means ‘water born’ or ‘form born’, intimating a connection with the ocean’s fertility.

Follow the Greek custom of Rosalia and shower whatever Goddess image you have at home with rose petals, or dab it with rose-scented oil. If you don’t have a statue, poster or painting, any visually beautiful object can serve as a proxy. This gesture honors and entreats Aphrodite, who responds by granting good luck, especially in matters of the heart.

Another tradition is bathing yourself in rose water to emphasize Aphrodite’s comeliness (both within and without). Rose water is available at many Asian and international supermarkets. Or you can make it easily be steeping fresh rose petals in warm (not hot) water and straining. If you don’t have time for a full bath, just dab a little of the rose water of the region of your heart to emphasize this Goddess’s love and attractiveness where it can do the most good – in you emotional center.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

Patricia Monaghan tells us that “one of the most familiar of Greek Goddesses, Aphrodite was not originally Greek at all.  She was the ancient mother Goddess of the eastern Mediterranean who established Herself first on the islands off Greece before entering the country itself.  There, Her journey with the sea traders who brought Her across the waters was expressed in a symbolic tale” (p. 50).

“The Birth of Venus” by Sandro Botticelli

“In the Iliad, She is the daughter of Zeus and the Titoness Dione, though the usual legend is that She was born from the blood and foam on the surface of the Sea after Ouranos was castrated by Kronos.” [1]  “[Kronos’] penis fell into the ocean and ejaculated a final divine squirt.  The sea reddened where it fell, and then the foam gathered itself into a figure riding on a mussel shell (whence the epithet Anadyomene, ‘she who rises from the waves’).  She shook off the seawater from Her locks and watched drops fall, instantly turning to pearls at Her feet.  She floated to the islands off Greece, for which She is sometimes named Cytherea or Cypris.  She landed at Cyprus and was greeted by the lovely Horae, who provided attire worthy of Her beauty and who became Her constant companions.

The story of Her birth is an obvious description of this Near Eastern Goddess to Her new home in Greece.  It is also allegorical: the sky god impregnates the great sea womb with dynamic life, a story that the Greeks reiterated in the alternate version of Aphrodite’s birth by sea sprite Dione and the sky god Zeus” (Monaghan, p. 51).

“Birth of Venus” by Brenda Burke

“Graceful and gorgeously seductive, Aphrodite possessed a magic girdle that made Her irresistable to all who saw Her (and which She often lent out to other Goddesses such as Hera). She was officially married to Hephaestos, the crippled god of the forge, though Her numerous affairs resulted in numerous children. By Ares She bore Phobos (‘Fear’) and Deimos (‘Terror’); by Hermes, Hermaphrodite; by  DionysosPriapos; and by Anchises, a mortal, the hero Aeneas.” [2]  Aphrodite also had fallen in love with a beautiful young man named Adonis (click here to read their story).  This story bears many similarities between the story of Ashtart and Adon, or Inanna and Dumuzi.

“In their attempt to assimilate the alien Goddess, the Greeks converted Aphrodite into a personification of physical beauty.  But She remained so problematic that Plato distinguished Her by two titles: Urania, who ruled spiritualized (platonic, if you will) love; and Aphrodite Pandemos, the Aphrodite of the commoners, who retained Her original character in debased form.  in this form, She was called Porne, the ‘titillater.’

It was this later Aphrodite who was worshiped at Corinth, where the Near Eastern practice of sacramental promiscuity deteriorated into a costly prostitution about which the Greeks warned travelers, ‘The voyage to Corinth is not for everyone.’ However degraded the practice became in a patriarchal context, the ‘hospitable women’ (Pinder) who engaged in it were highly valued, serving as priestesses in public festivals, and of such rank and importance that at state occasions as many hetaerae as possible were required to attend” (Monaghan, p. 51- 51).

Born from the Sea, She is also Goddess of sea-voyages who protected sailors and seamen and She represents the creative powers of nature and the sea.

Offerings to Aphrodite include flowers and incense.

Some of Her myriad epithets include: Doritis (‘Bountiful’), Pontia (‘Of the Deep Sea’), Pasiphaë (‘Shining on All’, also the name of the mother of Ariadne), Ourania (‘the Heavenly’), Aphrogeneia (‘Foam-born’), Anadyomene (‘Rising From the Sea’), and Pornos (‘Whore’).” [3]

To read Her tale, go here.

Her Roman counterpart was Venus.

“Aphrodite” by lilok-lilok


ASSOCIATIONS:

Pantheon: Olympian

Element: Water

Sphere of Influnce: Love and beauty

Best Day to Work with: Friday

Best Moon Phase: Waxing

Strongest Around: Litha

Suitable Offerings: Pomegranates, limes  [4]

General: Scallop shell, seashells, mirrors, golden apples, the Evening Star (planet Venus), number 5, the ocean, the triangle and heart.

Animals: Dolphin, swan, dove, sparrow, bees and goats.

Plants: Rose (especially any fragrant rose), quince, myrtle, mint, grape (fruit, leaves and vines), apples, artichokes, laurel, ash and poplar trees.

Perfumes/Scents: Stephanotis, musk, verbena, vanilla, incense, vervain and rose.

Gems and Metals: Pearls, gold, aquamarine, rose quartz, jade, sapphire, silver and copper, pink tourmaline, emerald (pink or green stones), garnet, smoky quartz.

Colors: Red, pink, violet, silver, aqua, pale green (seafoam), and any shade of light blue.  [5]

 

 

 

Sources:

Goddessgift.com, “Goddess Symbols of Aphrodite“.

Monaghan, Patricia. The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines, “Aphrodite”.

Pagannews.com, “Aphrodite/Venus“.

Took, Thalia. A-Muse-ing Grace Gallery, “Aphrodite“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Aspen Willow. Order of the White Moon, “Aphrodite“.

Goddessgift.com, “Aphrodite, Greek Goddess of Romance and Beauty“.

Revel, Anita. igoddess.com, “Aphrodite: self-acceptance to self-love“.

Full Strawberry Moon – June

“Rose Moon” by thamuria

The Farmer’s Almanac tells us that June’s full moon is known as the Strawberry Moon.  This name was universal to every Algonquin tribe. However, in Europe they called it the Rose Moon. Also because the relatively short season for harvesting strawberries comes each year during the month of June . . . so the full Moon that occurs during that month was christened for the strawberry!

According to the Wise Witches Society, this moon is known as the Mead Moon.  During late June and most of July the meadows were mowed for hay.

“June’s moon is also known as Mead Moon, Strawberry Moon, Honey Moon and Flower Moon. This moon is the moon of summer, and we can start looking forward to the warm nights to come. This is also the time for lovers. Before the height of summer use this time to strengthen your weaknesses. The zodiac association is Gemini.” [1]

JUNE: Mead Moon (June) Also known as: Moon of Horses, Lovers’s; Moon, Strong Sun Moon, Honey Moon, Aerra Litha (Before Lithia), Brachmanoth (Break Month), Strawberry Moon, Rose Moon, Moon of Making Fat
Nature Spirits: sylphs, zephyrs
Herbs: skullcap, meadowsweet, vervain, tansy, dog grass, parsley, mosses
Colors: orange, golden-green
Flowers: lavender, orchid, yarrow
Scents: lily of the valley, lavender
Stones: topaz, agate, alexandrite, fluorite
Trees: oak
Animals: monkey, butterfly, frog, toad
Birds: wren, peacock
Deities: Aine of Knockaine, Isis, Neith, Green Man, Cerridwen, Bendis, Ishtar
Power Flow: full but restful energy; protect, strengthen, and prevent. A time of Light; Earth tides are turning. Decision-making, taking responsibility for present happenings. Work on personal inconsistencies. Strengthen and reward yourself for your positive traits. [2]

 

 

 

 

 

* Check out Mooncircles.com every month, or better yet, subscribe to their monthly newsletter to get the scoop on each month’s Full and New Moons, find out more about Moon Astrology  and read blogs.  They even have a different 3-Minute Moon Ritual for each Full Moon!  

 

 

Sources:

The Celtic Lady. The Olde Way, “Individual Moons Explained“.

Farmers’ Almanac, “Full Moon Names and Their Meanings“.

Willow Grove, “The Witch’s Esbats“.

Wise Witches Society, “Full Moon Names and Their Meanings“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

The Fine-Arts and Bluesband & Poetry Press, “The Names of the Moons“.

National Geographic, “Full Moons: What’s In A Name?

The Old Farmer’s Almanac, “Full Strawberry Moon“.

What-Your-Sign.com, “Symbolic Native American Full Moon Names“.

Goddess Ashtart

“Ashtart’s themes are love, prophecy (especially by stars), hope, protection, victory and romance. Her symbols are the star, fire, red and white items and the lion. A Lebanese Goddess for the lovelorn, Ashtart fell from the heavens as a star and landed in Byblos. She became the city’s patroness, renowned for Her prophetic insight, assistance in relationships and protectiveness, especially when one faces a difficult battle. This tremendous power explains the artistic depictions of Ashtart riding a lion (a solar/fire symbol) or having the head of a lion.

International music festivals have been held in Byblos since the late 1960’s to celebrate it as one of the oldest towns in the world with ongoing inhabitants (and an ever-present Goddess!). It was here that a forerunner of the alphabet developed, inspired by the papyrus export trade. With this in mind, take a piece of onionskin paper and describe your emotional needs on it with red ink or crayons. Burning this releases the wish to Ashtart and begins manifesting the magic.

Honor Ashtart and gain Her insight by star-gazing tonight. If you see a falling star and can repeat your wish for love three times before it disappears, folklore says it will be granted. If you see a meteor shower, count the sparks you see while thinking of a suitable binary question for this Goddess. An ever-numbered answer means ‘yes’, an odd-numbered answer means ‘no’.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

“Ishtar” by Selina French

“Ashtart (either ‘the Star’, or ‘She of the Womb’), is better known by the name Astarte, the Greek version of Her name. Ashtart is a Semitic Goddess of Love and War and the Canaanite Great Goddess who is the cult partner of Ba’al (“the King”). Semitic describes a group of languages, and by extension, kindred cultures of the Near East and Africa which include Phoenician, Arabic, Hebrew and Assyrian. She is the Deity of the Planet Venus and a Fertility Goddess, and Her cult was known throughout the ancient world for its practice of temple prostitution. She was the main Deity of the cities Sor (more familiarly Tyre), Zidon (Sidon) and Gubla (Byblos), and is frequently shown as an archer either beside or standing on a lion, much like the Babylonian Ishtar, who is quite similar. Snakes and the cypress tree are sacred to Her; and, like the related Arabic Goddess Al-Uzza, whose name, “the Mighty One”, is an epithet of Ashtart, the acacia tree is also Hers.

“Ishtar” by Lisa Iris

As with many of the other Near Eastern Goddesses of the planet Venus, two of Her aspects are that of the Goddess of War and the Goddess of Love. As Venus the Morning Star, Ashtart is a Goddess of War and Hunting; and as the Evening Star, She is the Goddess of Love, Sex, Fertility and Vitality, depicted as a nude woman. In Her role as Goddess of Love She was honored with sexual rites, especially in the city of Sidon or Zidon, and some of Her priests and priestesses there were chosen from the royal family.

In the legends of Ugarit (the modern Ras Shamra on the coast of Syria) of the 14th century BCE, Ashtart is mentioned with the virgin Warrior-Goddess Anath (Anat) as restraining the young God Ba’al, who wishes to overthrow the River God, Yam. When Yam is taken captive, Ba’al kills him, and Ashtart rebukes him for the murder, cursing Him with His own name. She is sometimes called “Ashtart-Name-of-Ba’al” which may refer to Her magical knowledge of His secret name in which His power resides; the idea of a secret or cult name of a Deity, known only to the initiated, was not uncommon in the area: Jehovah is supposed to possess a secret name of power, uttered by Lilith when She left the Garden; and in a legend of Isis, the great Egyptian Goddess, She brings about the downfall of the aging God Ra by speaking his hidden name.

Gold pendant, possibly Astarte. Ugarit. 1500-1200/1150 BCE. Drawing by Stéphane Beaulieu

Several gold pendants from Ugarit, dating to about 1300 BCE depict Ashtart in a highly stylized manner. From a flat gold plate, roughly teardrop-shaped, Her face and breasts emerge; and Her pubic area is depicted as a triangle with dots, I assume representing hair. There is also, however, what appears to be a stylized tree ‘growing’ from that triangle and which ends just below Her navel. This ‘tree’ is perhaps to be equated with the Near Eastern Tree of Life.

Ashtart was worshipped with the young God ‘Adon, son of Malidthu, in the town of Aphek or Aphaca in Palestine, the modern Afka. ‘Adon is a title, rather than a name (as is common among the Phoenicians) meaning ‘Lord’, and He may actually be Eshmun, the young God of Health. The site of the town Aphek was known for its stunning beauty, as it was situated high on a cliff from which a river issued to fall in a great torrent. Under the Greek name Adonis (which also means ‘Lord’), He was a young and very beautiful God with whom Aphrodite (the Greek equivalant of Ashtart) fell in love. Alas, one day while out hunting He was killed by a boar and the Goddess mourned terribly for Him. He represents the young vegetation/crops that are killed in the droughts of the dry season, and the river at Aphek was said to run red with His blood in the rainy season. He had a famous festival in midsummer celebrating His death and resurrection that eventually spread with His worship to Greece, Egypt and Rome, and which was celebrated primarily by women.” [1]

“Astarte” by Christian Brinton

Patricia Monaghan tells us that “Astarte (‘womb’ or ‘she of the womb’) was the Goddess who appears in the Old Testament as Ashtorth, a non-name formed by misreading the Goddess’ name with different vowels so that the word becomes ‘shameful thing.’  What seems to have been shameful to the patriarchal Hebrews was the untrammeled sexuality of the Goddess, one of those who ‘conceived but did not bear’ offspring for Her partners.  In this, Her identity as the Canaanite version of Ishtar becomes more clear, in the ancient eastern Mediterranean the spirit of sexuality was the Goddess who ruled the planet Venus.  As the morning star Astarte was like Anat, a war Goddess robed in flames and armed with a sword and two quivers full of death-dealing arrows, flying into battle like a swallow.  But as the evening star, a Goddess of desire, Astarte descended to the Underworld to reclaim a lost lover, thereby causing all human and animal copulation to cease until She returned” (Monaghan, p. 57)

“For some time Ashtart under the name Ashtoreth seems to have been worshipped side by side with the Hebrew God as His consort; He was early on called Ba’al, a general title meaning ‘Lord’, used in the area to refer to each people’s particular patron God, though their real (and sometimes secret) names were different. This fell out of favor in time as the Hebrews transitioned to monotheism. Apparently they had a hard time with this, though, as Jehovah is forever chiding His people for ‘backsliding’ and returning to the worship of Ba’al and Ashtoreth. Ashtoreth in the Bible is worshipped in groves called after Her asherah and may have been honored as a pillar of wood, or as manifest in the grove itself. In one tale from the Biblical book Judges, Jehovah has Gideon destroy his own father’s shrines to Ba’al and Ashtoreth, which he does in the middle of the night under cover of darkness, as he was too scared of the repercussions to do it in broad daylight.

King Solomon, famous for his great wisdom, was said to have had 700 wives, many of whom were from neighboring Pagan tribes. To accommodate their religions, he built for them temples to their Gods, including a sanctuary to Ashtart in Jerusalem. Jehovah, known far and wide for His jealousy, couldn’t tolerate this and brought about Solomon’s death. On other occasions when the Hebrews reverted to the old religion, Jehovah in a divine fit of pique ‘gave them over into the hands of their enemies’ (also from Judges).

Ashtart also had temples in Ascalon in Philistia, about 40 miles southwest of Jerusalem, and Beth-shean, or Scythopolis, near the Sea of Galilee. She is also said to be the mother of the maiden Yabarodmay, by Ba’al.

The Goddess Athirat-of-the-Sea, who also features in the Ba’al legend, is the wife of El, the Father of the Gods; She has much in common with Ashtart and the two may be aspects of the same Goddess. Some sources make Athirat the Goddess worshipped by the Hebrews as Jehovah’s consort; the two are quite confused, both by modern scholars and the ancients.

Ashtart’s name has many variations depending on the language or city in which She was worshipped. Some examples: She is Astarte to the Greeks, Ashtoreth or Ashtaroth among the Hebrews, Attart or Athtart in the city of Ugarit, Astartu in Akkadian.

Epithets: ‘Goddess of Heaven’, ‘Ashtart-Name-of-Ba’al’, ‘Ashtart-of-the-Sky-of-Ba’al’, ‘The Strong One’, ‘Ashtart-of-the-Fields’, ‘Ashtart-of-the-Battle’; and Kbd, ‘Glory’.” [2]

“Inanna” by Hrana Janto

“Her colors were red and white; in Her honor the acacia tree produced flowers in these colors, so She called it Her emblem.  She also loved the cypresses of Her native country and the stallions that She rode, the first fruits of the harvest, the firstborn of the womb, and all bloodless sacrafices.  In some pictures, Astarte stands small-breasted and naked on the back of a lioness, with a lotus and a mirror in one hand and two snakes in the other.  At other times, to show Her fierce and hungry nature, She was shown with the head of lioness” (Monaghan, p. 57).

“Inanna” by Lisa Hunt

She is the western Semitic equivilant of the Eastern Semitic Inanna, of the Sumerians and Ishtar of the Babylonians; the Greeks identified Her with their Aphrodite, who may have Her origins in Ashtart anyway, as She was believed to have come from the East. Atargatis is confused or equated with Her, and may have originally been the same Goddess; Ba’alat, ‘the Lady of Gubla’ (Byblos) is likely a title for Ashtart. She was equated by the Etruscans with their Mother and Sky Goddess Uni, and is related to Tanit of Carthage.” [3]

* A note on Goddesses of the Near East – “It is often difficult to distinguish the like-named Goddesses of the ancient Near East, partially because the persecuting Hebrews blurred the distinctions between them and partly because over the ages tribes identified their native Goddesses with those of conquering or neighboring peoples.  Such is the case with Astarte, ofter fused or merged with Anat, Asherah, even Atargatis.  Whether She was origionally an independent deity whose identity grew indistinct, or whether Her name was at first a title of Asherah or another Goddess, may never be known.  But Astarte was probably the West Semitic (especially Phoenician) version of that Goddess named, in other languages, Ishtar and Aphrodite” (Monaghan, p. 56 – 57).

Sources:

Monaghan, Patricia. The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines, “Astarte”.

Took, Thalia. The Obscure Goddess Online Directory, “Ashtart“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Crystalinks, “Astarte“.

Enkidu, Leah. Shrine, “Return of the Holy Prostitute“.

Ishtara. Order of the White Moon, “Ishtar“.

Mikha, Abbey. Assyrian Voice,One Goddess With Many Names“.

Monaghan, Patricia. Encyclopedia of Goddesses and Heroines, “Ashtart“.

Revel, Anita. igoddess.com, “Astarte: survive and surmount life’s battles – goddess of victory“.

Stuckey, Johanna H. MatriFocus Web Magazine for Goddess Women, “Goddess Astarte: Goddess of Fertility, Beauty, War and Love“.

Took, Thalia. The Obscure Goddess Online Directory, “Phoenician“.

Wikipedia, “Astarte“.

Goddess Nejma

“Nejma’s themes are protection, health, courage, and organization.  Her symbols are caverns and water.  In Morocco, Nejma oversees all other health and healing spirits, organizing their efforts to ward off spring colds and other maladies. Local legends claim that She lives in the grotto of d’El Maqta, which is likely representative of a motherly womb in which our spirits are made whole.

On the first day of summer in the Moroccan region, locals use the solar symbolism to avert evil and danger. We can adapt their customs by taking baths, which invoke Nejma to strengthen the body, and by staying awake longer than usual, which purportedly raises courage. Additionally, eating carrots, turnips, beets, or other vegetables internalizes Nejma’s protective qualities for year-round well-being.

You can honor Nejma, inspire Her energy, and help yourself by seeing to matters of personal health today. Get a checkup, eat well-rounded meals instead of junkfood, review your diet, take a healthy walk, start an exercise program, let some fresh air into the house or smudge it with sage for purification, visualize yourself being washed clean by white light. And don’t forget to think positively! An upbeat mental outlook puts you much closer to the goal of being whole in body, mind and spirit.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

During my research for this entry, I found no mention of this Goddess except in Encyclopedia Mythica.  It states that Nejma is “a healing spirit in Moroccan folklore. She is the chief of the healing spirits that inhabit the grotto of d’El Maqta.” [1]  Now, this entry from Encyclopedia Mythica is dated 2006 with no sources or references listed; whereas Telesco’s book is dated 1998 – so I can’t help but assume that Lindemans’ source of information may have been Telesco’s book and not from another independent source – make of that what you will.  Of course Nejma could be mentioned in a book somewhere that I don’t have access to at this moment, but it seems as though I would’ve found mention of Her somewhere on the internet when I Googled Her…If anyone reading this has any info from outside sources, I’d love to hear from you! 🙂

“Female siren” by ~XiaoBotong

I also could find no mention of a place (village, town or city) called d’El Maqta, let alone a grotto located in said place in Morocco.  The only mention of any Moroccan deity I could find was that of a female mythological figure called Qandiša.  “Qandiša is known in folk tales either as a Goddess of lust, or simply as a female demon who lives in springs and rivers.  She is said to seduce young men and then drives them insane.  On the summer solstice, sacrifices are made to Her.  Qandiša is a possible version of an older Goddess such as Astarte.” [2]  So, They have the water aspect in common, but driving young men insane is anything but healing…

                   

Upon researching the name “Nejma“, I came across a variant – “Nejmah” meaning “‘star’ in Arabic and refers to the eight pointed star that is a common repeating motif in Islamic art.” [3]  Hhmmm, an eight pointed star is also a symbol of Inanna, Ishtar and Venus…Interesting…..

Sources:

Kimball, Carolyn. Etsy.com: KimballPrints, “Nejmah“.

Lindemans, Micha F. Encyclopedia Mythica, “Nejma“.

Wikipedia, “Qandisa“.

Goddess Ishtar

“Ishtar” by Selina French

“Ishtar’s themes are love, fertility, passion, sexuality, and the moon.  Her symbols are a star, the moon, lions and doves.  In Babylon, Ishtar encompasses the fullness of womanhood, including being a maternal nurtures, an independent companion, an inspired bed partner, and an insightful advisor in matters of the heart. Having descended from Venus (the planet that governs romance), She is the moon, the morning star and the evening star, which inspire lovers everywhere to stop for a moment, look up and dare to dream. Saturday is Ishtar’s traditional temple day, and Her sacred animals include a lion and a dove.

Babylonians give Ishtar offerings of food and drink on this day. They then joined in ritual acts of lovemaking, which in turn invoked Ishtar’s favor on the region and its people to promote continued health and fruitfulness. If you’d like to connect with this fertile energy but have no bed partner, a magical alternative is using symbolism. Place a knife (or athame, a ritual dagger often representing the masculine divine or the two-edged sword of magic) in a cup filled with water. This represents the union of yin and yang. Leave this is a spot where it will remain undisturbed all day to dray Ishtar’s loving warmth to your home and heart.

If you have any clothes, jewellery or towels that have a star or moon on them, take them out and use them today. Ishtar abides in that symbolism. As you don the item, likewise accept Ishtar’s mantle of passion for whatever tasks you have to undertake all day.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

“Semiramis” by kk-graphics

“Ishtar is the Babylonian Goddess of Love and War, embodied in the two aspects of the planet Venus–as Evening Star, She brings lovers to celebration and bed; and as the Morning Star, She brings the fiery sword of War. She represents one of the many faces of the ancient Near Eastern Great Goddess, among them the Phoenicians Asherat or Ashtoreth (in Greek Astarte) and Anat, Sumerian Inanna, Phrygian Cybele, and Greek Aphrodite, most of whom share legends of dying and resurrected lovers.

As Goddess of love and sex, Ishtar is the force that draws mates together and brings fertility, both for humans and animals. She is Goddess of courtesans, and sacred prostitution was part of Her cult. She is Herself a harlot who took many lovers.

A Neo-Assyrian seal (circa 750-650 BC) of Ishtar (at left) standing with her bow on her mythical lion.

As Goddess of war, Ishtar takes part in battle and is shown standing on the back of a lion bearing bow and arrows. She was known for a fiery and fickle temper which usually spelled doom for Her lovers.

“Innana, Queen of Heaven” by buechnerstod

One of Ishtar’s lovers was the grain-god Tammuz (who still has a Jewish month named after Him). He died young (as the grain is cut just as it reaches the perfection of ripeness), and some legends imply that Ishtar had a hand in His death. But Ishtar was inconsolable and determined to fetch him back from the Underworld. At each of the seven gates of the Land of the Dead Ishtar, like Inanna, was required to give over an article of clothing or jewelry until finally She came naked and humbled before Her sister Queen Ereshkigal, who then imprisoned Ishtar.

The world mourned for the lost Goddess of love, and Her father Sin the Moon God sent an envoy armed with powerful magic who successfully rescued Her. Tammuz was eventually also brought back to live in the land of the gods. The Descent of Ishtar was celebrated annually in Babylonian lands.

Epithets: The Star of Lamentation, Lady of Battles, Courtesan of the Gods” [1]

 

ASSOCIATIONS:

Pantheon: Sumerian

Element: Air

Sphere of Influence: Love and fertility

Preferred Colors: Gold and blue

Associated Symbol: 8 pointed star, reed bundle

Best Day to Work With: Friday

Suitable Offerings: Lapus Lazuli

Associated Planet: Venus    [2]

Gemstones: Carnelian, coral, agate, brown jasper (orange stones), quartz crystal, moonstone, garnet  [3]

 

 

 

Sources:

PaganNews.com, “Inanna/Ishtar“.

Took, Thalia. A-Muse-ing Grace Gallery, “Ishtar“.

Revel, Anita. igoddess.com, “Ishtar: unleash the feminine divine“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Andarta, Boudicca. PaganPages.org, “Ishtar“.

Celestial Journey Therapy, “Who Is Goddess Ishtar?

Enkidu, Leah. Shrine, “Return of the Holy Prostitute“.

Ishtara. Order of the White Moon, “Ishtar: unleash the feminine divine“.

Monaghan, Patricia. Goddesses in World Culture, “Queen of Heaven and Earth: Inanna-Ishtar of Mesopotamia” (p. 19 – 38).

Ra-Hoor-Khuit Network, “Ishtar“.

Revel, Anita. igoddess, “Ishtar“.

Took, Thalia. A-Muse-ing Grace Gallery, “The Tale of Ishtar“.

Wikipedia, “Ishtar“.

Pink Moon – April

The Farmer’s Almanac tells us that the name “Pink Moon” comes from the herb moss pink, or wild ground phlox, which is one of the earliest widespread flowers of the spring. Other names for this month’s celestial body include the Full Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon, and among coastal tribes the Full Fish Moon, because this was the time that the shad swam upstream to spawn.

According to the Wise Witches Society, this moon is known as the Hare Moon; the sacred animal was associated in Roman legends with springtime and fertility.

“Madonna Blue” by KAGAYA YAKUTA

 

APRIL; Growing Moon (April) Also known as: Hare Moon, Seed or Planting Moon, Planter’s Moon, Budding Trees Moon, Eastermonath (Eostre Month), Ostarmanoth, Pink Moon, Green Grass Moon
Nature Spirits: plant faeries
Herbs: basil, chives, dragon’s blood, geranium, thistle
Colors: crimson red, gold
Flowers: daisy, sweet pea
Scents: pine, bay, bergamot, patchouli
Stones: ruby, garnet, sard
Trees: pine, bay, hazel
Animals: bear, wolf
Birds: hawk, magpie
Deities: Kali, Hathor, Anahita, Ceres, Ishtar, Venus, Bast
Power Flow: energy into creating and producing; return balance to the nerves. Change, self-confidence, self-reliance, take advantage of opportunities. Work on temper and emotional flare-ups and selfishness.

 

 

Sources:

The Old Farmers’ Almanac, “The Full Pink Moon: April’s Moon Guide“.

Willow Grove, “The Witch’s Esbats“.

Wise Witches Society, “Full Moon Names and Their Meanings“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

The Fine-Arts and Bluesband & Poetry Press, “The Names of the Moons

National Geographic, “Full Moons: What’s In A Name?

What-Your-Sign.com, “Symbolic Native American Full Moon Names“.

Goddess Anahita

“Ishtar” by Lisa Iris

“Anahita’s themes are spring, relationships, equality, fertility and sexuality.  Her symbols are green branches and water.  This Babylon Goddess of fertility embraces the attributes of fruitful, warm waters that flow from the celestial realms into our lives, especially as the earth is renewed. Her name translates as ‘humid immaculate one’, and art shows Her a a strong maiden who creates life and pours blessings. During the height of Babylonian civilization, She was also the patroness of civic prostitutes.

Sacaea – this day marked the Babylonian new year, during which time heaven and earth were considered married. Therefore, this is an excellent date to plan a wedding, hand fasting, or engagement, or just to spend time with someone you hold dear. Bring them a small green branch from a tree to extend Anahita’s love and equality into your relationship.

Traditional roles are often reversed today to emphasize fairness between people. So, if you’re normally passive in your interactions, become a little more aggressive. As you do, feel how Anahita’s passion and energy flow through you.

To increase passion or sexual confidence, take a warm bath before meeting your partner. Perhaps add some lusty aromatics to the water (cinnamon, vanilla, mint or violet) to put you in the right fame of mind. Let Anahita’s waters stimulate your skin and your interest, then enjoy!”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

“Anahita” by Vaezi

One of the earliest of the Great Mothers, Anahita was the ancient Persian Goddess of water, fertility, and patroness of women, as well as a Goddess of war.  She embodied the physical and metaphorical qualities of water, especially the fertilizing flow of water from the fountain in the stars; thus She ruled over all the waters – rivers, streams, lakes, and the sea, as well as the life-giving fluids of mankind, such as semen and mother’s milk. Rivers and lakes were sacred to Her, as they were thought to be the waters of birth. She is depicted as a beautiful young virgin with full breasts. She is dressed in golden robes complete with jewels and a halo crown or diamond tiara, sometimes carrying a water pitcher. Her name means “the immaculate one” and She was viewed as the “Golden Mother” and also as a warrior maiden. The dove and the peacock are Her sacred animals. Anahita is sometimes regarded as the consort of Mithra.

 Anahita She was very popular and is one of the forms of the ‘Great Goddess’ which appears in many ancient eastern religions (such as the Syrian/Phoenician Goddess Anath).  She originated in Babylon and spread throughout Asia Minor, India and to Kemet (ancient Egypt), where She was depicted as an armed and mounted Goddess. The Greeks associated Anahita with Athena, Aphrodite and even Artemis.

In the Middle East, She was associated with Anat. Worship of Anahita spread to Armenia, Persia, and various parts of western Asia. Zoroaster was specifically commanded by his male god to honor Her. When Persia conquered Babylonia (in the 6th century BCE), Anahita began to show some similarities with the Goddess Ishtar. She was identified with the planet Venus, showing how She was possibly descended from Ishtar, the chief Goddess of the region in the pre-lndo-European era. Anahita was also the patroness of women and the Goddess of war who rides in a chariot drawn by four white horses representing wind, rain, clouds, and hail.

Statue of Anahita riding a chariot in Fouman-Gilan, Iran. Chariots figure prominently in Indo-Iranian mythology. Chariots are also important in Hindu and Persion mythologies, in which deities are portrayed as charioteers.

Her cult included the practice of temple prostitution. During the reign of King Artaxerxes (436-358 BCE) many temples were erected in Her honor; in Soesa, Ecbatana, and in Babylon.  Ritual prostitution occurred in Her temples in order to “purify the seed of males and the womb and milk of females,” according to Strabo. Armenians called out to Anahita “Great Lady Anahita, glory and life-giver of our nation, mother of sobriety, and benefactor of humanity.”

“Anahita” by Trashcn

Along with Mithra and Verethragna,  She lost much of Her power during Zoroastrian period but She did not completely disappear.  She became known as an important Yazata (‘adorable ones’, a created spiritual being, worthy of being honored or praised; ever trying to help people, and protect us from evil), Aredvi Sura Anahitaliterally meaning ‘strong, immaculate Anahita’, female Yazad personifying water; also known as Aban Yazad. She resides in the starry regions. Her hymn is preserved in Yasht 5.

 

 

 

Sources:

Avesta — Zoroastrian Archives, “Angels in Zoroastrianism“.

Langdon, S. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, January 1924, Vol. 56, Issue 01, “The Babylonian and Persian Sacaea1

Lindemans, Micha F. Encyclopedia Mythica, “Anahita“.

Milo. TeenWitch.com, “Anaitis Anahita“.

Wikipedia, “Anahita“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Enkidu, Leah. Shrine, “Return of the Holy Prostitute“.

Iranpoliticsclub.net, “Persian Mythology, Gods and Goddesses“.


Goddess Ostara

“Ostara” by Asaenath

“Ostara’s themes are fertility and rebirth.  Her symbols are eggs.  The Teutonic Goddess Ostara presides over personal renewal, fertility and fruitfulness. Now that spring is here, it’s a good time to think about renewal in your own life. Ostara represents spring’s life force and earth’s renewal. Depicted as lovely as the season itself, in earlier writings She was also the Goddess of dawn, a time of new beginnings (spring being the figurative dawn of the year). One of Ostara’s name variations, Esotara, slowly evolved into the modern name for this holiday, Easter.

All spells and foods that include eggs are appropriate today. If you’ve been ill, try an old folk spell that recommends carrying an egg for twenty-four hours, then burying it to bury the sickness.

To improve fertility of all kinds, make eggs for breakfast at dawn’s first light, the best time to invoke Ostara. As you eat, add an incantation like this one:

 ‘Ostara, bring to me fertility
With this egg now bless my fruitfulness!’

Or, if you’re feeling down and need a little extra hope, get up before the sun rises and release a symbol of your burden to the earth by dropping or burying it. Don’t look at it! Turn your back and leave it there. Turn toward the horizon as the sun rises, and harvest the first flower you see. Dry it, then carry it with you often as a charm to preserve hope in your heart.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

“Ostara” by Mickie Mueller

The Goddess Ostara, or Eostre, is the Anglo-Saxon Goddess of Spring, the East, Resurrection, and Rebirth, is also the Maiden aspect of the Three-fold Goddess.  She gave Her name to the Christian festival of Easter (which is an older Pagan festival appropriated by the Church), whose timing is still dictated by the Moon. Modern Pagans celebrate Her festival on the Vernal Equinox, usually around March 21, the first day of Spring.

Ostara was an important Goddess of spring to the ancient Saxons, but we know little else of Her other than this. Some have suggested that Ostara is merely an alternate name for Frigg or Freya, but neither of these Goddesses seem to have quite the same fertility function as Ostara does. Frigg, Goddess of the home, wouldn’t seem to be associated with such an earthy festival and Freya’s form of fertility is more based on eroticism than reproduction.

However, Ostara is associated, almost interchangebly, with many different Goddesses.  [Again, purely speculation] She is essentially identical to Freya, for She is the Goddess of the fertile spring, the resurrection of life after winter. She was equated with the Goddess Idunna, who bore the Apples of Eternal Youth to the Aesir, and many believe that Ostara and Idunna are the same, or represent the same principle. She is almost certainly the same as the Greek Goddess Eos, Goddess of the Dawn. (Again, following the threefold theme — Eos is the Maiden aspect of the three goddesses Eos /Dawn, Hemera /Day and Nyx/Night.) As Ostara is Goddess of the Dawn, we can understand why sunrise services have always been an important aspect of the spring resurrection/rebirth observances of other cultures.

Eggs and rabbits are sacred to Her as is the full moon  [though there is no historical record of this], since the ancients saw in its markings the image of a rabbit or the hare. Pagan Anglo-Saxons made offerings of colored eggs to Her at the Vernal Equinox. They placed them at graves especially, probably as a charm of rebirth. (Egyptians and Greeks were also known to place eggs at gravesites). The Goddess of Fertility was also the Goddess of Grain, so offerings of bread and cakes were also made to Her. Rabbits are sacred to Ostara, especially white rabbits, and She was said to be able to take the form of a rabbit.

One myth says Ostara found a bird dying from the cold. She changed it to a rabbit so it could keep warm. Maybe this is why the Easter Bunny brings eggs to children on Easter. Traditionally German children are told that it is the Easter hare that lays all the Easter eggs. [1][2]

“Ostara” by Helena Nelson-Reed

“Part of the story of the Easter bunny is excerpted below, but you can use this link to read the complete version of Easter History and Traditions, including the stories of the Goddesses, at the website: Easter History and Traditions

The Goddess Ostara and the Origin of the Easter Bunny: A Modern Neo-Pagan Tale

Ostara, the Goddess of Dawn (Saxon), who was responsible for bringing spring each year, was feeling guilty about arriving so late. To make matters worse, She arrived to find a pitiful little bird who lay dying, his wings frozen by the snow. Lovingly, Ostara cradled the shivering creature and saved his life.

Legend has it that She then made him Her pet or, in the X-rated versions, Her lover. Filled with compassion for him since he could no longer fly because of his frost-damaged wings, the Goddess Ostara turned him into a rabbit, a snow hare, and gave him the name Lepus.

She also gave him the gift of being able to run with astonishing speed so he could easily evade all the hunters.  To honor his earlier form as a bird, She also gave him the ability to lay eggs (in all the colors of the rainbow, no less), but he was only allowed to lay eggs on one day out of each year.

Eventually Ostara lost Her temper with Lepus (some say the raunchy rabbit was involved with another woman), and She flung him into the skies where he would remain for eternity as the constellation Lepus (The Hare), forever positioned under the feet of the constellation Orion (the Hunter).

But later, remembering all the good times they had once enjoyed, Ostara softened a bit and allowed the hare to return to earth once each year, but only to give away his eggs to the children attending the Ostara festivals that were held each spring.” [3]  Again, there is no historical documentation or lore that states this and I really have no idea where the tale originated from.

Variant spellings: Eostra, Eostrae, Eostre, Eástre, Austra [4]

 

 

 

Sources:

Ashliman, D.L. The University of Pittsburgh: German 1500: Germanic Myths, Legends, and Sagas,Ostara’s Home Page: The Germanic Goddess of Springtime“.

The Goddess Gift E-zine, “The Goddess Ostara and the Easter Bunny: The Art of Renewal“.

Took, Thalia. A-Muse-ing Grace Gallery, “Eostre“.

Yvonne. Earth Witchery, “Ostara or Eostre“.

 

 

 

Suggested Links:

Aloi, Peg, Witches’ Voice, “You Call It Easter, We Call It Ostara“.

The Blue Roebuck,”Eostre“.

Cavalorn. Cavalorn.livejournal.com, “Eostre: The Making of a Myth“.

Fox, Selena. Circle Sanctuary, “Ostara Meditation“.

Goddess E-zine, “The Goddess Ostara, the Easter Bunny, and Their History in Easter Tradition“.

Goddessgift.com, “Goddess Ostara: History of Easter Eggs, History of the Easter Bunny, Goddess Ishtar and the First Resurrection“.

Goddessgift.com, “Ostara (Oestre): Saxon Goddess of the Dawn and Spring“.

Love of the Goddess, “Ostara, Celebration of the Goddess of Spring.”

Revel, Anita. igoddess.com, “Eostre: walk with a ‘spring’ in your step“.

Wikipedia, “Ēostre

Goddess Tashmit

"Mary" by Pamela Matthews

“Tashmit’s themes are prayer, blessing, unity and hope.  Her symbols are folded hands.  The Goddess is timeless and eternal, and She has many faces with which She conveys the concepts of truth and beauty to the world’s people. Tashmit, the Chaldean Goddess of wisdom and teaching, in particular, stands ready today. Her name means ‘bearing’; it is She who listens intently to our prayers.

On the first Friday in March, people in over 170 countries join in prayer, and the Goddess asks that we do similarly. Prayer is something that seems to have gone by the wayside in our ‘instant’ world. Yet, it takes only a moment to honor the sacred. This prayer is but one example; change or adapt it liberally to suit your needs and vision:

Lady of Wisdom, Tashmit, I come to you for guidance
Shine on my path today that I might see others in an equal light
That I might walk the Path of Beauty with a loving heart and peaceful spirit
Hear the voices of your people raised together today in oneness
Hear our  prayers
Let us find unity in diversity
Heal the world
Let us know peace and guard it as sacred
With a thankful heart, so be it.'”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

"Deep Thoughts" by Hojatollah Shakiba

“Tashmit was the Assyrian spouse of Nebo.  Her name signifies ‘Obedience’…or ‘Hearing’ and carried the prayers of worshippers to Her spouse.  As Isis interceded with Osiris, She interceded with Nebo, on behalf of mankind.  But this did not signify that She was the least influential of the divine pair.  A Goddess played many parts: She was at once mother, daughter and wife of god; servant of one god or the ‘mighty queen of all the gods’.  The Great Mother was…regarded as the eternal and undecaying one; the gods passed away, son succeeding father; She alone remained.  To Her was ascribed all the mighty works of other days in the lands where the indigenous peoples first worshipped the Great Mother as Damkina, Nina, Bau, Ishtar, or Tashmit, because the Goddess was anciently believed to be the First Cause, the creatrix, the mighty one who invested the ruling god with the powers he possessed–the god who held sway because he was Her husband, as did Nergal as the husband of Eresh-ki-gal, queen of Hades.”

Tashmit was a Goddess of supplication and love who had a lunar significance.  A prayer addressed to Her in association with Nannar (Sin) and Ishtar, proceeds:

‘In the evil of the eclipse of the moon which … has taken place, In the evil of the powers, of the portents, evil and not good, which are in my palace and my land, (I) have turned towards thee!… Before Nabu (Nebo) thy spouse, thy lord, the prince, the first-born of E-sagila, intercede for me! May he hearken to my cry at the word of thy mouth; may he remove my sighing, may he learn my supplication!’
The Goddess Damkina is similarly addressed in another prayer:

O Damkina, mighty queen of all the gods, O wife of Ea, valiant art thou, O Ir-nina, mighty queen of all the gods … Thou that dwellest in the Abyss, O lady of heaven and earth!… In the evil of the eclipse of the moon, etc.

The Goddess Bau is also prayed in a similar connection as ‘mighty lady that dwellest in the bright heavens’, i.e. ‘Queen of heaven’.” [1]

Tashmit is also mentioned in a Penitential Psalm “that was said by a petitioner after singing a hymn of praise to the god Marduk: …’O brave Marduk, destroy my sin, do away my sin. O great goddess Erua, destroy my sin.  O Nabu, of fair name, destroy my sin.  O goddess Tashmit, destroy my sin.  O brave Nergal, destroy my sin.  O ye gods who dwell in the heaven of An‘, destroy my sin…'” [2]

Other names and/or Goddesses that Tishmit has been associated with are: Urmit, Varamit, Ninkarrak and Nisaba. [3]

 

 

Sources:

Budge, E. A. Wallis. Babylonian Life and History at p. 134.

Mackenzie, Donald A. Myths of Babylonia and Assyria at pp. 350 – 351.

Sophia, “Holy Wisdom”.


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