Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Asherah

Asherah is the consort of El. She is the Goddess (Elat), and the Queen of Heaven to whom cakes are baked.

As the bride of God, it is Asherah who goes before him while riding on a donkey. The feminine aspects of divinity in Canaanite religion are closer to humans than the masculine, and so Asherah serves as an intercessor between her children and El. She being the primal womb of the deep, all mortals and gods are her children. She is worshiped as the consort of El and independently as the Mother Goddess.

Asherah is shown as a woman with curly hair holding leaves in both of her hands. This is in her aspect as the Tree of Life and the Tree of Wisdom. All who seek her will find wisdom and life, as if eating fruit from the date palm tree, with which she is associated. She is also shown as flanked by goats or ibexes, which are associated with her as sacred animals. Asherah is also called the Lioness or Lion Lady (Labi'atu) due to her protective nature with her children. Another animal associated with Asherah is the serpent.

Along with El, Asherah was a creator of all life and the world. She rules her children as a loving mother, and is approached by both humans and deities. Despite this, she can have a fierce side as well, particularly in regard to cosmic order (as the story of Keret shows). She has several names or forms, including Shekhinah (the feminine form called the dwelling of God, the habitation of his holiness on earth) and Tanit (who is worshiped in the form of the Tanit sign).

She is worshiped in the home in the shrine of the Teraphim, where prayers are said to her in order to grant fertility to family members and to flocks of animals. Asherah is also worshiped on the shore of the sea, where she sits and weaves. Her epithet is 'Great Lady Who Treads Upon The Sea' (Rabatu ’Athiratu Yammi). Women serve her in the temples by weaving. Sailors coming into port also offer prayers to her, and at sea she is associated with dolphins. Asherah is also worshiped in the form of an Asherah Pole, a wooden pole carved with an image of the goddess places on green hills and under trees alongside stone altars to El or Baal.


2 comments:

  1. Haven't seen any activity from you in a while. You okay? :0(

    ReplyDelete