Tag Archive: queen of heaven


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 Juno

“Juno’s themes are femininity, love, relationships, romance, kinship, time, protection (women and children) and leadership. Her symbols are the cypress, peacocks, cuckoos, luxurious clothing, figs and the moon (or silver items).  The supreme Goddess of the Roman pantheon, Juno offers a helping hand in every aspect of our relationships, especially the safety and happiness of women and children in those settings. Juno is also a very modern minded Goddess, taking an active role in public life and finances. Beyond this, She rules women’s cycles, giving Her connections with the moon. Art depicts Juno always wearing majestic clothing befitting the ‘Queen of Heaven.’

According to Roman folklore, marrying today ensures a long, happy relationship. So if you’re planning a wedding or an engagement, or even moving in together, Juno can bless that commitment if you time the big step for today! As part of your devotional ritual, don’t forget to wear special clothing (perhaps something your partner especially likes) to invoke Juno’s attention and loving energy.

If you’d like to connect with Juno’s feminine force, Her leadership skills or Her sense of timing within yourself, eat some fig-filled cookies today (or just some figs), saying,

‘Juno, bring_______to my spirit, my wish fulfill. By your power, through my will.’

FIll the black with whatever aspect of Juno you most need to develop.”

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

“Hera – Queen of Olympus” by Umina

Patricia Monaghan tells us that Juno was “a very ancient Italian Goddess, [and] was originally quite different from the Greek Hera; both, however, were essentially Goddesses of women.  When the Greek sky queen came to Rome during the days of cultural assimilation, She merged with the Roman Goddess and Her legends were told of Juno.  Juno’s separate mythology was lost, except for the tale that, impregnated by a flower, Juno bore the god Mars – a story never told of Hera” (p. 174).

According to Thalia Took “Juno, or to spell it the Latin way, Iuno, is the Roman Great Goddess, the Queen of the Gods, Sky-Goddess, Protectress of Women, Mother of Mars, Wife of Jupiter, She of the many epithets and a long long history of worship in Rome. She was one of the Capitoline Triad, with Jupiter and Minerva, Who were considered the three main Deities of Rome; She was widely worshipped among the Latins, and Her cult was also important among the Etruscans, who called Her Uni or Cupra. She was an especial protectress of women in marriage and childbirth, and many of Her epithets relate to that aspect, but She could also have a more civic or martial character as protectress of the Roman people.

“Hera” by Canankk

Juno’s name may derive from an Indo-European root with connotations of vitality and youth, and if so would suggest that Her aspect as Birth-Goddess is one of Her oldest. Alternatively, Her name may come from the Etruscan Uni, which means ‘She Who Gives’, and which would refer to Her capacity as a benevolent Goddess of abundance who answers the prayers of those in need.

As each man was believed to have a protective guardian spirit called a genius, so each woman had one called a juno. These guardian spirits (in the plural, junones) may have originally been the ghosts of the ancestors who were believed to watch over and protect their descendents. They were usually represented as snakes (probably relating to the chthonic or underworld aspect of the Dead), and were given offerings on the individual’s birthday at the household altar.

The first days of each Roman month, the calends, were sacred to Juno, as was the entire month of June, which is still named for Her. Five cities in Latium (the region of the Latin tribe) also named a month for Her: Aricia, on the Via Appia; Lanuvium, where She was worshipped as Juno Sospita (‘Juno the Saviouress’), Praeneste (modern Palestrina), Tibur (modern Tivoli, the resort town of Rome), and Laurentum, located between Lavinium and Ostia on the coast. And as Juno is the Roman Goddess of Marriage, it is no coincidence that June is still considered the proper month for weddings.” [1]

“Juno–Supreme Goddess of Women” by MiiSweeTesTSiN

“One of Her most famous names was Moneta, ‘warner’, which was earned many times over: once when Her sacred geese once set up such a squawking that the city was warned of invading Gauls, another time when an earthquake threatened and Juno’s voice from heaven alerted the city, and finally when the underfunded Roman generals came to Juno’s temple for advice and were told that any war fought ethically would find popular (and financial) support.  This last effort made Her matron of the Roman mint, which was located in Her temple, and turned Her title into a word for ‘money’.

Most important, Juno was the Goddess of time.  Daughter of Saturn, She was a symbol of the menstrual cycle as time’s indicator; Goddess of the new moon, She was worshiped by Roman women on the Calends, or first of each lunar month.  In addition to these monthly celebrations, Juno was honored in two festivals: the unrestrained Nonae Caprotinae on July 7, when serving girls staged mock fights under a wild fig tree; and the more sedate Matronalia on March 1 when married women demanded money from their husbands to offer to the Goddess of womanhood” (Monaghan, p. 174).

Like Jupiter, Juno was believed to have the ability to throw thunderbolts.

Also called: Junonis or Iuno.

“Hera’s Eyes” by *Ravenhart

Here, then, is the index for as many of Her aspects as I could find, treated individually; they range from simply descriptive titles such as Conciliatrix that may not have had a use in Her cult, to the more important and unusual facets of Her like Curitis, all the way to separate Goddesses who were assimilated to or equated with Juno, such as the Dea Caelestis of Carthage.

AbeonaAdionaCaelestisCaprotina, Cinxia, Cioxia (ruler of the first undressing by the husband), Conciliatrix, Conservatrix, CubaCuninaCupraCuriatiaCuritis, Comiduca, Dea Caelestis, Dea Statina, Domiduca,EducaEdulicaEmpanadaFebrutis, Fluonia, Gamelia, Inferna, Interduca, JugaJugalis, Juno of Falerii, Lacinia, Lanuvina, Levana, LucetiaLucinaMartialis, Maturna, Matrona, Moneta, Nacio, Natalis, Nundina, Nutrix, Nuxia, Opigena, Ossipaga (who strengthens fetal bones), Panda, Perficia, Pertunda, Perusina, Populonia (Goddess of conception), Potina, Prema, Pronuba (arranger of appropriate matches), QuiritisReginaRumina, Seispita, Sispes, Sororia, Sospita (the labor Goddess), SupraUni, Unxia, Vagitanus, Virginalis, Viriplaca (who settles arguments between spouses), Volumna.” [2]

Sources:

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

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

Suggested Links:

Goddess-Guide.com, “Juno“.

Goddess School, Healing Arts and Pagan Studies with GrannyMoon, “An Hymn to Juno“.

Qu’Aryn Teal Moon. Order of the White Moon, “Juno“.

Revel, Anita. igoddess.com, “Juno: mutual mojo“.

Roman Colosseum, “Myths About the Roman Goddess Juno“.

Wikipedia, “Juno“.

Virgin Mary

“Mary’s themes are miracles and the sun.  Her symbols are the sun (or yellow/gold items) and rosary beads.  It is no coincidence that many of the world’s Goddesses have ‘ma’ as part of their name, being mothers of humankind. The virgin Mary became the maiden, virginal Goddess archetype in Christianity, faithfully interceding for people with the gods and attending to our needs.

If you feel like you need a miracle, be sure to wear yellow- or gold-colored items today. As you don each one, say:

 ‘Mary hear me
Mary see me
Mary free me’

This date commemorates the appearance of Mary in Fatima, where children praying for peace began a cycle of visitors all looking for this Goddess to appear again. According to the story, when seventy thousand people were gathered there on this day, the rain stopped and the sun began to dance for joy as if guided by Mary’s hand. Whenever the sun shines again today, it is a sign of Her blessing.

To make your own prayer beads (to beseech Mary or any Goddess), cook rose petals in a little water in an iron pot until nearly black and pasty. Add a little orris powder and rose-scented oil, and shape the beads to two times the size you want them to be when dry. Pierce them with a needle and string tem, turning them regularly until they’re dry. Bless them in a manner suited to your path, then use the beads to energize your prayers by holding them as you entreat the Goddess.”

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

 Judaeo-Christian theology attempted to bury Our Mother God, but She reappears as the Blessed Virgin Mary, capturing the hearts of Her Children.

“It is well known that the earliest human civilizations known to archaeology are dominated by the iconography of the Supreme Mother God [see The Feminine Heritage].  Gradually, as the feminine-centered civilization weakened, She was depicted with decidedly inferior male consorts (often lunar or earthly in symbolism contrasting with the Solar and Heavenly iconography of the Supreme Mother).

Then, as true patriarchy takes hold, the male consort is promoted above God the Mother in an attempt to justify male domination on earth with a newly patriarchal ‘heaven’. The Solar and Heavenly symbolism is transferred to the former consort, while the Our Mother is given the Earth and Moon iconography which had been given to the masculine god in the days of his subordinate status; but which had originally belonged to the Daughter.

Eventually, the pantheons of the world were dominated by male gods with Our Mother God and Her various Aspects and Angelic Emanations being represented by subsidiary figures or “Goddesses”, often married, and subordinate, to “Gods”.

Finally, with the Abrahamic religions, we have a return to the pure monotheism of the earliest times, only this time it is as purely masculine as the original Faith of humanity was purely feminine.

Such, at any rate, was the intention. In reality, at every stage, wherever the patriarchy was not strong enough to suppress it – whenever there was even a momentary break in the patriarchal lockdown – the original faith blossomed again and Her children turned back to Our Mother.

As the Prophet Jeremiah angrily records:

“The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the Queen of Heaven.” – Jeremiah 7:18

 The women are by no means ashamed of this, but proclaim:

“We will do everything we said we would do. We will burn incense to the Queen of Heaven and pour out wine offerings to Her.” – Jeremiah 44:17

The Queen of Heaven! Let us note how gloriously Our Mother returns! From the rigid exclusion of Her attempted by the patriarchy, the people do not move shamefacedly back to depicting Her in Her intermediate status as a subordinate Earth Goddess. No, She is the Queen of Heaven, as She was in the beginning.

“The Crowning of the Virgin by the Trinity” by Diego Velázquez

The very words ‘Queen of Heaven’ are an abomination to the prophet. Who, then, would have imagined that a thousand years later, followers of the most widespread branch of the Abrahamic faith would return officially to the worship of the Queen of Heaven? Yet this is the very title given to the Blessed Virgin Mary.” [1]

 

Mary Protectress, Mother, Goddess & Saint

“Mary is celebrated around the world as the Divine Feminine by millions of people, many of them Catholics. Those who are devoted to Mary, honor Her as the mother of Jesus. The Blessed Virgin Mary is known as the dispenser of mercy, the ever patient mother, and protectress of humanity, and special protectress of women and children.

Many believe that with the rise of Christianity and papal power, the Goddess slowly disappeared from western culture and faded into the Mists of Avalon . . . So great was devotion to the Goddess that She was resurrected in the hearts of the people by a new Goddess, Mary, Mother of Jesus, the Christian version of the Green Man.

Officially, the Catholic Church teaches that Mary was mortal and is not a Goddess, but despite this official position, many Catholics honor Mary as a Goddess. Other Catholics revere Mary as Mother of Jesus, but not as divine.

Visions of the Virgin Mary have appeared to thousands of people around the world. Her sacred shrines are at Lourdes in France and Guadalupe in Mexico, as well as many other places. Her apparitions are often to children.

 

Artemis Diana of Ephesus

 

 

Reconstruction of the Temple of Artemis

Mary was declared to be the ‘Mother of God’ by the Christian church in the 7th century at Ephesus, Turkey. Ephesus was the home of a magnificent temple to the Goddess, Artemis Diana, one of whose sacred titles was ‘Queen of Heaven’.  Mary is a more recent and much loved incarnation of the Great Goddess of the ancient Middle-eastern cultures. Mary shares many standard Goddess attributes and symbols.

The Christian church also conferred the Goddess’s title on the Mother of Jesus. They called Her, ‘Mary, Queen of Heaven‘ and ‘Mary, Queen of the Angels’ both are very ancient titles of the widely worshipped Great Goddesses on the Middle-east.

Isis suckling Horus

The Madonna and child have been revered since the earliest times. Isis and Her son Horus, Mary and Her son Jesus, Demeter and Her daughter Kore, all have attracted a devout following. Long before Isis, and long before Mary or Demeter, the human psyche fashioned Madonna and child icons and placed them in sacred shrines. In ritual caves and worshipped the icons as sacred representation  in sacred groves, to honor the Mother & Child. Mary is always shown wearing a head covering like Muslim women today, a head covering was required for women throughout Christian history. In 1983 the rule requiring woman to cover their hair in Church was omitted from the updated official revised Catholic Canon pertaining to such matters.

Through time, the names and sometimes the images of the Madonna and child have changed, but the location of these shrines and the wide devotion to them has remained constant. in many cultures.  Image of the Madonna & Child are central to Catholicism, as they were often central to the Pagan worship of the Goddess Isis and other Goddesses in the ancient world. Below are Demeter and her daughter Kore.

 Demeter and Persephone / Kore

 


One of the most beloved images in all Christianity is The Black Madonna. Devotion to the Black Virgin has never been stronger; Her shrines attract thousands of worshippers each year. The Black Madonna is revered throughout the world, particularly in France, Poland, Italy, and Spain. She is the Blessed Virgin Mary of the Crusades and holy pilgrimages. There are thousands of these beautiful sacred Madonna Icons.

The Black Madonna is honored as a true Goddess figure, and has been since Christianity entered Europe. She is honored by many as Isis, Gaia, Kali, Mary, “the Other Mary” (Mary Magdalene), Diana, Sheela Na Gig, and the Ancient Primal Earth-Mother Goddess.  All are beloved all are revered; each region has their own traditions.

For many European Christians, the blending of their ancient Goddesses with the Blessed Virgin Mary has been a well-accepted fact of their faith for centuries, there is no conflict. The holy Black Madonna, be She called Isis, or Mary, or Kali, or Diana, embodies all the aspects of Female Divinity for many millions of people. Mary’s blessings and intervention are still sought daily by millions who pray to the Mother.

Mary Magdalene

Mary Magdalene is believed by many to have been the wife of Jesus, or his most favoured Apostle, though most Catholics today vigorously reject this idea. At the very least, Mary Magdalene was Jesus’ chief Apostle and a Priestess of early Christianity in her own right. Church fathers have tried for two thousand years to erase Mary Magdalene as a woman of importance, spirituality and power. They have failed, Mary Magdalene remains a figure of  importance for women. The Apostle Mary Magdalene is not a fallen woman, she is a free woman, and one of the “Three Marys” of the New Testament who shared the life and labors of Jesus.  Fragments have survived of ‘The Gospel of Mary‘ written in the first century or two of Christianity.  We will probably never recover a copy of the complete Mary Gospel, but what has been found  profoundly alters our perceptions of the role of women in early Christianity.  Women were church leaders and teachers in the early years after the death of Jesus; Mary Magdalene and Phoebe were among them.


Pope John Paul II was deeply devoted to the Blessed Mother and did much to bring honor and vitality to Her worship. Many millions of Catholics around the world share his deep devotion to Mary. It is because of the love for Mary that the Church considered elevating the Blessed Virgin Mary to the role of Co-Redeemer with her son Jesus Christ. This is a controversial issue in the church.” [2]

“In Christianity, you see, the patriarchal doctrine is carefully sealed. There was and is no room doctrinally for a Co-Redeemer, let alone a Creatrix and officially, the importance of the Blessed Virgin Mary is simply that She was the physical vehicle of Christ’s incarnation.

However, both Her titles and Her iconography tell a different story. Despite the official theology, the image of the Supreme Mother is returning to the West.

She was called Mother of God – an extraordinary title which logically implies that She is antecedent to, and the Cause of, any other Divinity.

 

The ancient titles of the Supreme Creatrix were bestowed on Her – Queen of Heaven; Star of the Sea; Rose of the World. She was pictured ‘clothed in the Sun’ like the Solar Mother, with the moon at Her feet. She was depicted crushing the head of the serpent just like Eurynome, the Mother-Creatrix of ancient European religion.

Even theologically, the Divinity of the Blessed Virgin Mary was hard to suppress. The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception means that She was conceived without sin. Now, according to Christian doctrine, all humans are conceived in original sin, and only Christ can redeem that sin. But the Blessed Virgin Mary, before the incarnation of Christ, was sinless, unlike any human being, and made the redemption possible.

Within the strict patriarchal economy of Christianity, the Blessed Virgin Mary cannot be recognized as God; but in Her iconography, Her titles and Her devotional cultus (none of which have a great deal to do with the biblical and historical Mary), She is clearly God the Mother.

Western devotees of Our Mother God look upon the statues of the Blessed Virgin Mary with love and devotion: easily and naturally recognising Her as Our Lady. The question that then arises is: ‘Can we, and should we, take these beautiful images back? Or, since they are made within a patriarchal tradition that denies Her Divinity, would that be wrong?’

This is a question that each must consider for herself.” [3]

 

 

 

* A note on the term “virgin” – “The Virgin Mary was also said to have been a temple priestess. In the time, there were hierodules in the Temple of Jerusalem.  Mother Mary is said to have been dedicated to Temple work, she lived there, wove tapestries, altar cloths, and prayed for the betterment of the people. She is repeatedly called a ‘Temple Virgin’. The term ‘virgin’ doesn’t have a connection to her actual physical state. The term ‘almah’ can be translated to mean ‘virgin’ or ‘maiden’ all of which would be used to identify an unmarried girl. In Goddess worship, the term ‘virgin’ means simply that she is beholden to no man, free to love as she chooses; ‘one in herself, to be true to her own nature and instinct. Unexploited, not in man’s control.’  It is interesting how a minor change in translation can change the entire meaning of who Mary, the Virgin Mother was. The connection between the Goddess creation myths and the stories of Mary’s virgin birth are strikingly clear. As Elinor Gadon writes, ‘There is no more matriarchal image than the Christian mother of God who bore a child without male assistance.'” [4]

Sources:

A Chapel of Our Mother God, “The Blessed Virgin Mary – Our Mother God Cannot be Banished“.

Moonwise, Lotus. Order of the White Moon, “Mary: Virgin & Magdalene“.

Willowroot, Abby. Spiralgoddess.com, “Mary“.

Suggested Links:

Acharya S/D.M. Murdock. Truth Be Known, “Who is the Virgin Mary?

Brother Markus. Woman Thou Art God, “The Tradition of Mary, the Great Goddess“.

Burns, Anita. The Messenger, “The Great Goddess – MARY“.

A Chapel of Our Mother God, “The Goddess Mother Mary“.

Esoteric Theological Seminary, “Books About Mary“.

Esoteric Theological Seminary, “Mary as Goddess: Virgin, Mother, Queen“.

Hayhouse.com, “Mary Queen of Angels by Doreen Virtue“.

Goddess Asherah

(This is one of the several Goddesses that Patricia Telesco makes a second entry on in her book.  She spells Asherah’s name as “Aherah” for today’s entry, but I could find no reference to “Aherah”.  You can view my previous entry on Asherah here.)

 

"Goddess of the Tides" by Jonathon Earl Bowser

“Asherah’s themes are luck, health, blessings, wisdom and divination.  Her symbols are a wooden pole and bricks.  Asherah is the Phoenician/Mesopotamian Mother of all Wisdom and Propriestress of Universal Law. On this day She offers Her perspective on the present and the future to begin settling the first quarter of the year sagaciously.

In Iranian stories, Asherah could walk on water, gave birth to over seventy deities, and taught people the arts of carpentry and brick building.

Sizdah Be-dar is part of the new year festivities in Iran. Follow Iranian tradition and generate Asherah’s fortuitous, healthy energy in your life by going on a picnic (or have one in the living room if the weather doesn’t cooperate, but leave the windows open).  It’s bad luck to stay inside today! Or, to make a spring wish, toss any type of spring water sprouts in water while focusing on your goal. If it is meant to be, the wish will manifest before the next Sizdah Be-dar. The alternative to sprouts is any newly sprouting seed, which should be planted afterwards to encourage the magic to grow.

For wisdom, find a small piece of wood or brick to represent Asherah. Lie down and meditate with the token over your third eye (located in the middle of the forehead and reputed to be a psychic center), visualizing purple light pouring through it. Chant:

‘Asherah abide in me
with your wisdom
let me see!’

Carry the token when you need to act judiciously.”

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

Asherah is the wise, loving, giving, Grandmother of Muslims, Jews and Christians.  Over 4,000 years ago, most Canaanites and Hebrew households had altars dedicated to their beloved household Goddess Asherah; She inspired great devotion.  Many Asherah figures have been found, and many of Her altars have been found in the ruins of ancient kitchens. [1]

Asherah Figurines (9th-7th Centuries BCE)

“Archaeologists have found many statues of Goddess Asherah without finding a matching number of male figurines. By the early 1940s, over 300 terracotta figurines of nude goddesses had been unearthed in digs around Jerusalem supporting Her worship was an integral part of their religion.

As with all Goddess based religions it took a great deal of effort by the male-dominated priesthoods to erase Goddess worship among the common people. As the history of Canaan would change and the Hebrew bible expanded, Goddess Asherah would be mentioned several times as a companion God. Many scholars now weigh the idea of Yehweh actually having a wife? Eventually any mention of Goddess Asherah would be totally discredited from the transcriptions of the ancient writings.

"Morning Star" by Mahmoud Farshchian

As more and more information of Goddess Asherah becomes known, we know Her to be a Goddess of fertility, bringing special blessings to the family, and helping people achieve their goals and dreams. She was the Goddess worshipped by King Solomon, a King that dare worship his choosing rather than bending to the invasion of a War of men in the name of control through God. The many aspects of Goddess Asherah included Ashratum, Atharath, Astoreth, Elath, Eliat, Queen of Heaven, Lady of the Sea and She Who Gives Birth to the Gods. She has been called the mother of the Goddess Anath and Mother of Baʿal. It is well accepted in a time of God dominated worship it was as always the women who kept the Goddess alive.” [2]

“Even though Her name changes, Asherah remains the feminine face of God down through the present day. Her themes are kindness, love, divination and foresight. Her symbols are lions, lilies, a tree or a pole and a triangle on a pole or a cross.” [3]

 

 

“As women and daughters of the Goddess we remember this lost Goddess. Though Her myths are scarce, we know Her well. She is the Maiden, Mother and Crone that has existed since the beginning. She is beautiful, taking on the face of Her people and She is the strength of Her people. She is promise of the future and She is the wisdom of the ancestors. She is the prosperity and peace they know form living tribal in harmony and respect for each other. She is the treasured Mother Earth that sustains them and She is the blood of their life. We only need to turn within to know this Goddess man would try to erase.

"Tree Goddess" by Octavia Cheetham

As women it is through us She lives. In remembering Goddess Asherah we acknowledge our voice of self and the gift we have today to be authentic.  In remembering Goddess Asherah we also acknowledge how easily this can be striped from us by all who would think to program us with their thinking. As in the day of old we must recognize those who would know best for us without giving thought to who we would choose to be and we must not give that of ourselves. It is with open eyes we must take responsibility for ourselves and the magick or chaos we call forth in our life. We must know Goddess to know this truth least we surrender and forget.

As women we must remember or origins back to our primal Goddess of beginnings. In Her there is sanctuary and abundance of self. There is no true sanctuary without Her; there are only repeated patterns of disappointments. As women we gather and celebrate the lost Goddess Asherah that we might be lost as well. Blessed Be to Goddess Asherah and blessed be to the Goddess within.” [4]

 

 

Sources:

Coven of the Goddess, “Goddess Asherah, the Forgotten Goddess“.

Medusa. Order of the White Moon, “Asherah“.

Spiral Goddess Grove, “Asherah Altar“.

Suggested Links:

Carisa. Queen of Heaven, “Asherah, Part I: The Lost Bride of Yahweh” ; “Asherah: Part II: The Serpent’s Bride“; “Asherah” Part III: The Lion Lady“.

Binger, Tilde.  Asherah: Goddesses in Ugarit, Israel and the Old Testament.

Monaghan, Patricia. Goddesses in World Culture, “Asherah: Hidden Goddess of the Bible“. (p. 39 – 54).

PaganNews.com, “Asherah“.

Rankine, David. The Cosmic Shekinah, “The Goddess Asherah“.

Stuckey, Johanna H. MatriFocus Web Magazine for Goddess Women,  “Asherah and the God of the Early Israelites“.

Goddess Asherah

“Lioness” by Karl Bang

“Asherah’s themes are kindness, love, divination and foresight.  Her symbols are lions, lilies, a tree or a pole.  Asherah, a Canaanite Goddess of moral strength, offers to lend support and insight when we are faced with inequality or overwhelming odds. In art, She is often depicted simply as an upright post supporting the temple. This is a fitting representation, since Her name means ‘straight’.

Traditionally, Asherah is a mother figure often invoked at planting time, embodying a kind of benevolent, fertile energy that can reinforce just efforts and good intentions. Beyond this She is also an oracular Goddess, specifically for predicting the future.

In Israel, Ta’anit Ester commemorates Esther‘s strength and compassion in pleading with King Ahasuerus to save her people held captive in Persia. It is a time of prayer when one looks to the divine to instill similar positive attributes within us. For help in this quest, we turn to Asherah with this simple prayer:

‘Lady, make me an instrument of kindness and mercy
Let my words be gentle and true
My actions motivated by insight and fairness
Where there is prejudice
Let me share your vision
Where there is uncertainty
Let me share your vision
Where there is disharmony
Let me show love
Amen.’

Plant a tree today to remember Asherah, and tend it often. As you do, you tend attributes in your heart.”
(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

“Ashera” by Hrana Janto

Asherah was the great Canaanite Mother Goddess since about the 13th century BCE and is arguably the most important Goddess in the Canaanite pantheon.  Like Anat, She is a was well-documented Goddess of the northwest Semitic pantheon.  We have long known Asherah from the immense library of thirteenth-century cuneiform tablets found in Syria at the site of Ugarit.  She is the Shekinah, consort and beloved of Yahweh; God-the-Mother.  Her sacred pillars or poles once stood right beside Yahweh’s altar, embracing it.  Moses and Aaron both carried one of these Asherah “poles” as a sacred staff of power.  The Children of Israel were once dramatically healed simply by gazing at the staff with serpents suspended from it.  This symbol, the snakes* and the staff, has become the modern universal symbol for doctors and healers.

According to the 13th century cuneiform tablets found in Syria at the site of Ugarit, She is the wife of El in Ugaritic mythology, known as Elat (the feminine form of El; compare Allat); a fertility Goddess and the wooden cult symbol that represented Her. As El’s first wife, She was said to have birthed 70 sons. All gods of the myths were born to Asherah and El, with the exception of Baʿal, whose parentage is uncertain. El had 2 wives but it was Asherah alone who nursed the newly born gods. Seeing as She had birthed so many children it is only normal that She was worshipped as the true fertility Goddess, force of life and nature. She manifests in domestic herds and flocks, in groves of trees and in the nurturing waters. Her powers and her presence were invoked not only during planting time but also during childbirth.  She is the Goddess who is also called Athirau-Yammi: “She Who Walks on (or in) the Sea.”  She was the chief Goddess of Tyre in the 15th century BCE, and bore the appellation Qudshu, “holiness.”

“Asherah” by Sandra M. Stanton

“She was often portrayed with a lion or ibex on either side as in the bottom register of the Canaanite ritual stand from Taanach, late 10th century BCE in the tree trunk on the right. A Tree of Life with 3 pairs of branches, an ibex and a lion on either side can be seen two registers above. Later, after patriarchal systems prevailed, Her name came to mean grove or trees. As a Goddess worshipped in Her own right in the ancient Hebrew religion, She was associated with all that was symbolized by the Tree of Life. In making the first Menorah, the ancient Hebrews were instructed to have three branches coming out of either side of a central stand with an almond shaped cup and a flower at the end of each one, resembling an almond tree. Among the trees considered to be the Tree of Life, the almond tree was highly regarded as it was the first to flower in spring, even before leafing out. The progression from Asherah, to the Tree of Life to the Menorah is revealed in the 4th century CE Roman gold glass base in the tree branches depicting a Menorah with a lion on either side. Asherah is wearing a necklace from Deir el-Balah, 14th-13th century BCE with an ibex-headed pendant from Ashod, 4th century BCE.” [1]

Food for Thought – “The Hebrew name used for God in Genesis is Elohim, a derivative of El. Many people find the passage in Genesis that says, “Let us make humankind in our own image” a little confusing. If there is only one true God, then who was he talking to? Some have said he was talking to the Holy Spirit, another aspect of Elohim, which is also seen as a male type or at least, as a non-gender. Others have asserted that he was talking to Eloah, the female aspect of Elohim. The world Elohim is actually plural, so that implies there is more than one “Being” involved in Elohim. Since there were only two kinds of people created, male and female, one could probably assume that man was made in the El’s image while woman was made in Eloah’s image. Thus, we were all, male and female, made in Elohim’s image, encompassing both the male and female aspect of God.” [2]

“Asherah” by Sami Edelstein

“There are more than 40 references to Asherah in the Old Testament.  Asherah appears as a Goddess by the side of Baʿal, whose consort She evidently became, at least among the Canaanites of the south.  We remember that, according to the Bible itself, in the ninth century BCE Asherah was officially worshipped in Israel; Her cult was matronized by Jezebel who, supposedly, imported it from her native Phoenician homeland. However, most biblical references to the name point obviously to some cult object of wood, which might be cut down and burned, possibly the Goddesses’ image (1 Kings 15:13, 2 King 21:7). Her prophets are mentioned (1 Kings 18:19), and the vessels used in Her service referred to (2 Kings 23:4). The existence of numerous symbols, in each of which the Goddess was believed to be immanent, led to the creation of numerous forms of Her person, which were described as Asherim.  In reference to the Tree of Life of which She is associated with, an object called an Asherah was a sacred pole carved out of the terebinth tree and placed next to the altars of Yahweh, thus worshipping both the mother and the father at once. Her own specific places of worship were on hilltops, (called  “High Places” in the Bible), and in forests and groves. Through Her association with trees, She was seen as the part of Elohim who brought fertility, new growth, successful crops and watched over nature. Along with life in nature, She was also seen as the Bread of Life for the Hebrew people. Hebrew women would make special loaves of Asherah bread, which would be blessed, then ritually eaten. Some scholars say this is the precursor of the communion wafer.  These practices and the cult objects themselves were utterly detestible to faithful worshippers of Yahweh (1 Kings 15:13).” [3]

“After Abraham was called by Yahweh and recruited some followers, he had a difficult time cutting out Asherah and the other regional gods. However, as time progressed in the Old Testament, the temptation to worship other gods lessened, while the blatant worship of Asherah along side of Yahweh continued.  It was difficult for the religious leaders in early Judaism to suppress Asherah because of a universally desire to recognize a nurturing, compassionate, Mother Goddess.

“Come with Me” by HandmaidenPhi

Hebrew women had a closer attachment to Her, seeing as how they did not play much of a role in their religion. Of course, there were some great women such as Esther, Deborah, and Rebecca, but women playing a part in early Judaism was definitely the exception instead of the rule. In archaeological sites that date back to Biblical times, small statues of Asherah are found in what would likely be bedrooms and kitchen areas. It is widely accepted that although the religious leaders frowned on the worship of Asherah, the common people, mainly women, would still have small figures of Asherah in their households.  This should not come as a surprise, since women of that time had a considerably lower status than they do today, and since there were no priestesses for them to go to for support, they had to find their own faith. What could Yahweh know about childbirth without epidurals? How could they pray to him for relief of menstrual pain in a time before Ibuprofen? What did Yahweh know about being beaten by a husband or raped by a neighbor?

There were no Battered Women’s Shelters then, or anti depressants for post-partum depression. It would not make sense for them to pray to a male god for female issues. I’m sure that if there was ever a society that had only one Deity and it was a Goddess, the men might feel strange praying to a Goddess to cure him of impotence or premature ejaculation.

It would appear that Hebrew men slightly understood this dilemma that their wives and sisters faced and they were more lenient on Asherah worship than they were of Ba’al worship or other gods. An interesting, but little known fact about the Temple of Jerusalem is that an Asherah statue was housed there for two-thirds of the time that the Temple stood during Biblical times. Apparently, one of the wives of Solomon brought it with her when she married him, and he allowed it to remain in the Temple for quite some time; and he was viewed as the wisest man who ever lived! Also, when Elijah wanted to prove the power of God or Yahweh, he called out the 450 priests of Ba’al and the 400 priestesses of Asherah. Although he was there to disprove both Ba’al and Asherah, he focused on the priests of Ba’al and derided them during their prayers, eventually killing them all, but he does nothing to the priestesses of Asherah.” [4]

“Other traces in the Bible either angrily acknowledge Her worship as Goddess (II Kings 14.13, for instance, where another royal lady is involved), or else demote Her from Goddess to a sacred tree or pole set up near an altar (II Kings 13.6, 17.16; Deuteronomy 16.21 and more). The authors of the biblical text attack Asherah relentlessly. They praise Asa, king of Judah (911-870 BCE), for removing his mother Ma’acah from official duties after “she had an abominable image made for Asherah” (I Kings 15.13, II Chronicles 15.6). They condemn the long-reigning Manas’seh of Judah (698-642) for doing “what was evil in the sight of the Lord” in “making an Asherah” (II Kings 21.7).

And they trumpet the achievements of Josiah (639-609), including the destruction of offerings made to Asherah at the temple in Jerusalem, the abolition of “the Asherah from the house of the Lord,” and demolition of a shrine there in which women “did weaving for Asherah” (II Kings 23).  These passages reflect both the popularity of Asherah’s worship and efforts to stamp out Her cult during in the Iron Age. But it was only in the succeeding Persian period, after the fall of Judah in 586 BCE and the exile in Babylon, that Asherah virtually disappeared.

“Tree of Life” by Willow Arlenea

Ultimately, the campaign to eliminate the Goddess has failed. “Asherah was buried long ago by the Establishment,” declares respected biblical scholar William H. Dever. “Now, archaeology has excavated her.” Dever is quite certain that he knows who the Asherah of ancient Israel and of the biblical texts is–She is the wife or consort of Yahweh, the one god of Israel. Many of his colleagues would agree.” [5]

ASSOCIATIONS:

Pantheon: Canaanite

Element: Fire

Sphere of Influence: Sex and love

Preferred Colors: Green, red

Animals Associated With: Lions, serpents

Best Day to Work With: Friday

Strongest Around: Ostara

Associated Planet: Venus   [6]

*A word about snakes:  The Serpent, though a frightening symbol because of its ability to bring death, stood also for ancient wisdom and immortality.  (Note that it hung out in the Tree of Knowledge and preached a doctrine of immortality, “ye shall NOT surely die.”) Many early societies revered the snake and used it to symbolize different ideas.  In much the same way, today we revere the Lion or other ferocious big-cats even though they’re dangerous.  An early American symbol used the snake as a statement of power, a warning, saying, “Don’t tread on me!”

Sources:

Amenahem, Bathia.The Mother Goddess: As She Appears in Cultures Around the World, Judaism“.

Archeology, The Lost Goddess of Israel.

A-Muse-ing Grace Gallery, “Athirat“.

The Esoteric Seminary, “The Hebrew Goddess“.

The Goddess in World Mythology, “Asherah“.

Order of the White Moon, “Asherah by Medussa“.

PaganNews.com, Asherah“.

Suggested Links:

Monaghan, Patricia. Goddesses in World Culture, “Asherah: Hidden Goddess of the Bible“. (p. 39 – 54).

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