Saturday, December 24, 2011

Arab Trinity: Al-Uzza, Al-Lat and Menat

The Goddesses Al-Uzza, Al-Lat and Menat formed a triad in pre-Islamic Arabia. They were widely worshipped, from Nabatean Petra in the North, to the legendary Kingdoms of Arabia Felix in the South, including Saba, the Biblical Sheba, and even as far east as Iran and Palmyra, and the three of them were very popular Goddesses in Mecca at the time of Mohammed. From left they are: Al-Uzza, whose name means "The Mighty One", the Goddess of the Morning Star; Al-Lat, the Mother, whose name means simply "The Goddess", as Al-Lah simply means "The God"; and Manat, Crone-goddess of Fate or Time. Sometimes the three of them are referred to as the daughters of Al-Lah; sometimes Manat and Al-Lat are considered daughters of Al-Uzza.

Al-Uzza, "the Strong One", was one of the most venerated Arab deities, and the Goddess of the morning and evening star, Venus. She had a temple at Petra (though which one that was has not been determined), and may well have been the patron Goddess of that city. Isaac of Antioch (a writer of the 5th century CE) calls Her Beltis ("Lady", a title shared by many other Semitic Goddesses), and Kaukabta, "the Star". He also says that women would invoke Al-Uzza from the rooftops, a form of worship appropriate to a Star Goddess. St. Epiphanius of the 4th century CE calls Her the mother of Dusares, the local mountain God, calling Her by the title Chaamu or Chalmous, meaning "young girl or virgin". She has connections with the acacia tree, and Her sanctuary at Nakhlah had three acacias in which She was believed to descend. She has much in common with Ishtar and Astarte as Morning and Evening Star Goddess--they all have aspects of both Love and War Goddess, and big cats were sacred to Them. She is shown here armed as a bellatrix, standing before an acacia tree, with a caracal, or desert lynx. She was associated by the Greeks with their Aphrodite Urania, "Heavenly Aphrodite".

Al-Lat, whose name is a contraction of al-Illahat, "the Goddess", is mentioned by Herodotus as Alilat, whom he identifies with Aphrodite. She is sometimes also equated with Athene, and is called "the Mother of the Gods", or "Greatest of All". She is a Goddess of Springtime and Fertility, the Earth-Goddess who brings prosperity. She and Al-Uzza were sometimes confused, and it seems that as one gained in popularity in one area the other's popularity diminished. The sun in Arabia was called Shams and considered feminine, and may represent an aspect of Al-Lat. She had a sanctuary in the town of Ta'if, east of Mecca, and was known from Arabia to Iran. Her symbol is the crescent moon (sometimes shown with the sun disk between its horns), and the gold necklace She wears is from a pendant identified to Her. As a Fertility-Goddess She bears a sheaf of wheat; and in Her hand She holds a small lump of frankincense, as Her emblem is found carved on many incense-holders.

Manat or Manawayat derives Her name from Arabic maniya, "fate, destruction, doom, death", or menata, "part, portion, that which is alloted". She is a very ancient deity and Her cult may precede both Al-Uzza's and Al-Lat's. Her cult was widespread, though She was particularly worshipped as a black stone at Quidaid, near Mecca. She is connected with the great pilgrimage, as Her sanctuary was the starting point for several tribes. She is known from Nabatean inscriptions, and tombs were placed under Her protection, asking Her to curse violators. She is accordingly a Goddess of Death, and Maniya (Death personified) is mentioned in poetry as actively bringing a person to his or her grave, holding out the cup of death. She is shown as an old woman with a cup, and the symbols at the bottom of Her gown spell Her name in Sabaic (which does not use vowels and is written right to left), M-n-t. The waning moon is shown over Her head as the symbol of the Crone-Goddess of Death.


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Al-Uzza ("The Most Mighty") is a pre-Islamic Arabian goddess, the virgin warrior and youngest in the triad of goddesses with Menat ("Time", the Death or Fate goddess, sometimes--I think erroneously--called the Goddess of the Full Moon, since the Moon in Arabia was masculine) and Al Lat (whose name means "The Goddess", as Al Lah means "The God"). They survived (a bit) even into Islam, where they are called in the Koran the three daughters of Allah. The three were worshipped as uncut aniconic stones, and the "idols" of Al-Uzza and Al Lat were two of the 300+ pagan statues at the Ka'aba that were destroyed by Mohammed. She is a star-goddess, associated with the planet Venus, and was honored by the Koreishites (incidentally Mohammed's tribe) as one of their highest goddesses. She was reputed to accept human sacrifices, though that comes from Islamic sources, who likely were not unbiased when writing about the "barbarous ways" of the competition.

Originally Sabean (the culture of the Kingdom of Saba or Sheba in the south of Arabia, present-day Yemen), worship of Al-Uzza spread all over Arabia. She had a sanctuary in a valley on the road from Mecca, comprising three acacia trees in which She was said to descend. Some scholars believe She may even have been the patron deity of Mecca itself.

The Greeks connected Her with their Urania ("The Heavenly", an epithet of Aphrodite, as well as the name of a Muse) and with Caelistis, a Moon Goddess and the Roman name for the Carthaginian's Tanit. Al-Uzza is also sometimes identified with Isis. Other sources link Her with Minerva/Athene which would make Her the virgin warrior goddess. Herodotus says the supreme goddess of the Arabs was Urania, who he says was called Alilat (i.e., Al Lat), and indeed Al-Uzza was sometimes confused with Al Lat, leading some scholars to wonder if Al Lat and Al-Uzza are different regional names for the same goddess.
Al-Uzza is a member of the Nabatean zodiac and has been called the Mistress of Heaven. She seems to be the premier goddess worshipped in their capital city, the famous Petra, located in present-day Jordan. Petra was a major stop on the spice roads and was a very wealthy city. The tombs or temples there are carved out of the living rock, and the only way into the city is through a dramatic tunnel-like narrow gorge, nearly a mile long, that suddenly opens on to the city. (If this sounds familiar, it's because Petra was used as one of the locations in "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade".)

Al-Uzza is also the goddess who guards ships on ocean voyages. Though Arabia is a land of deserts and nomads, the Nabateans did make ocean voyages to trade. In this aspect She is symbolized by the dolphin, whose habit of swimming alongside ships made them guardians and protectors. Felines are also sacred to Her, and the Temple of the Winged Lions at Petra may well be Hers.

Al-Uzza represents confidence, vigilance and preparation. She is fiercely protective, and is a strong ally in an approaching battle.
Alternate spelling: Al Uzza, al-'Uzza, El-'Ozza, Uzza, Izza.

Also called: Sa'ida 'Uzza ("Blessed Uzza"), as-S'ida ("The Blessed")

FROM: Al-Uzza

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Mentioned in the Qur'an (Sura 53:20), al-ʕuzzā "the Mightiest One" (derived from the root ʕzy) was a pre-Islamic Arabian fertility goddess who was one of the three chief goddesses of Mecca. She, al-Manāt and al-Lāt were known as "the daughters of god". Uzzā was worshipped by the Nabataeans, who equated her with the Graeco-Roman goddesses Aphrodite, Urania, Venus and Caelestis.

FROM: Uzza - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Mentioned in the Qur'an (Sura 53:20), Allāt (a contraction of pre-Arabic *al-ilāhat "the Goddess") was a pre-Islamic Arabian goddess who was one of the three chief goddesses of Mecca. She is one of three goddesses that the pre-Islamic Meccans referred to as "Daughters of God" according to Qur'an Sura 53:19 along with ˤUzzā and Manāt. Her name also occurs in earlier Safaitic graffiti (Safaitic han-'Ilāt "the Goddess") and she was worshipped by the Nabataeans of Petra, who equated her with the Greek Athena & the Roman Minerva. According to Wellhausen, they believed Allāt was the mother of Hubal (and hence the mother-in-law of Manāt). The Greek historian Herodotus, writing in the 5th century B.C., considers her the equivalent of Aphrodite:"The Assyrians call Aphrodite Mylitta, the Arabians Alilat, and the Persians Mitra" (Histories I:131). According to Herodotus, the ancient Arabians believed in only two gods: "They believe in no other gods except Dionysus and the Heavenly Aphrodite; and they say that they wear their hair as Dionysus does his, cutting it round the head and shaving the temples. They call Dionysus, Orotalt; and Aphrodite, Alilat." (Histories III:3.

According to the Book of Idols (Kitab al-Asnām) by Hishām b. al-Kalbi, the pre-Islamic Arabs believed Allāt resided in the Ka'ba and also had a stone statue form in the sanctuary. B. al-Kalbi writes (N.A. Faris 1952, pp. 14-15):
Her custody was in the hands of the Banū-Attāb ibn-Mālik of the Thaqīf, who had built an edifice over her. The Quraysh, as well as all the Arabs, were wont to venerate Allāt. They also used to name their children after her, calling them Zayd-Allāt and Taym-Allāt. [...] Allāt continued to be venerated until the Thaqīf embraced Islam, when the Apostle of God dispatched al-Mughīrah ibn-Shuˤbah, who destroyed her and burnt her temple to the ground. Mentioned in the Qur'an (Sura 53:20), Allāt (a contraction of pre-Arabic *al-ilāhat "the Goddess") was a pre-Islamic Arabian goddess who was one of the three chief goddesses of Mecca. She is one of three goddesses that the pre-Islamic Meccans referred to as "Daughters of God" according to Qur'an Sura 53:19 along with ˤUzzā and Manāt. Her name also occurs in earlier Safaitic graffiti (Safaitic han-'Ilāt "the Goddess") and she was worshipped by the Nabataeans of Petra, who equated her with the Greek Athena & the Roman Minerva. According to Wellhausen, they believed Allāt was the mother of Hubal (and hence the mother-in-law of Manāt). The Greek historian Herodotus, writing in the 5th century B.C., considers her the equivalent of Aphrodite:"The Assyrians call Aphrodite Mylitta, the Arabians Alilat, and the Persians Mitra" (Histories I:131). According to Herodotus, the ancient Arabians believed in only two gods: "They believe in no other gods except Dionysus and the Heavenly Aphrodite; and they say that they wear their hair as Dionysus does his, cutting it round the head and shaving the temples. They call Dionysus, Orotalt; and Aphrodite, Alilat." (Histories III:3.

According to the Book of Idols (Kitab al-Asnām) by Hishām b. al-Kalbi, the pre-Islamic Arabs believed Allāt resided in the Ka'ba and also had a stone statue form in the sanctuary. B. al-Kalbi writes (N.A. Faris 1952, pp. 14-15):
Her custody was in the hands of the Banū-Attāb ibn-Mālik of the Thaqīf, who had built an edifice over her. The Quraysh, as well as all the Arabs, were wont to venerate Allāt. They also used to name their children after her, calling them Zayd-Allāt and Taym-Allāt. [...] Allāt continued to be venerated until the Thaqīf embraced Islam, when the Apostle of God dispatched al-Mughīrah ibn-Shuˤbah, who destroyed her and burnt her temple to the ground. FROM: Allat - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Mentioned in the Qur'an (Sura 53:20), Manāt was one of the three chief goddesses of Mecca. According to the Book of Idols (Kitāb al-Asnām) by Hišām b. al-Kalbi, the pre-Islamic Arabs believed Manāt to be the goddess of fate and the oldest of the three "Daughters of God". She was known by the cognate name Manawat to the Nabataeans of Petra, who equated her with the Graeco-Roman goddess Nemesis and she was considered the wife of Hubal (Hommel, First Encyclopaedia of Islam, Vol. 1. p. 380.)
B. al-Kalbī writes (N.A. Faris 1952, pp.12-14):
The most ancient of all these idols was Manāt. The Arabs used to name [their children] 'Abd-Manāt and Zayd-Manāt. Manāt was erected on the seashore in the vicinity of al-Mushallal in Qudayd, between Medina and Mecca. All the Arabs used to venerate her and sacrifice before her. The Aws and the Khazraj, as well as the inhabitants of Medina and Mecca and their vicinities, used to venerate Manāt, sacrifice before her, and bring unto her their offerings.
FROM: Manah - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Arabia
In the religion prevalent in Arabia before Islam, a number of goddesses were worshipped, including the three referred to as daughters of God: Al-Lat, Al-Uzza and Manah, the three chief goddesses of Mecca.

FROM: Goddess - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Triple Goddess

My Goddess is the Arabian Triple Moon Goddess. Before Islam arrived in the seventh century A.D. Arabia was matriarchal. They worshipped the Moon Goddess in all of its facets: Al-Uzza, the new moon, the virgin; Al-Lat, the full moon, the mother; and Manat the Dark-moon, the visionary, who often transforms into a witch.
Annals Ashurbanipal said: Arabia was governed by Queens for as long as anyone could remember. Quoted from the Womans Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets, Barbara Walker.

I myself am not of Arabian descent but of course you do not have to originate from the Goddess that you choose to worship homeland...

Anyway, I do have interests in other Goddess from all around the globe and I hope to have lots more information on Them.

Al-Uzza: Virgin Warrioress

Al-Uzza is often called the Arabian Aphrodite, this is because She is associated with Venus and therefore is associated with love and beauty but She is also a huntress, like Artemis. She is the Goddess of Virginity and Inner strength. A Protectoress of women.
Correspondences with Her are: The Acacia tree (a tree that is thought to be associated with the 5th element spirit therefore a powerful tree.) , syrian rue and lions are often seen around Her in ancient art.
Call for: aid in love, beauty, new development, to protect you when in danger, for the inner strength in women.

Allat: The Mother Moon

The Mother of the Earth, the Moon and the Gods. Allat is also associated with Ishtar and Inanna. Her animal is also the lion and the acacia Her sacred herb and tree.
Fertility, War and all the other images associated with the Mother Goddess applies to Allat.
Call for: All types of magick apart from banishing and binding.

Manat: The Witch Goddess

Manat, just like other Dark Goddesses, is mysterious and not that much information is around to give us a deep insight into this beautiful Goddess. She is the Patroness of fate, destiny,Witchcraft, sorcery, divination good luck and karma. She is the wise dark Goddess, yet mysterious, in scriptures about Manat, she has often been spoken of as ' sifting sand through Her hands ' and ' Her purposes mysterious '.
Call for: meditation, secrets of the craft, karmic aid, divination, transformations, guidance, banishment of negativity

FROM: Shrine of the Goddess (with more Wiccan overtones)

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Other Links: On MW:

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