Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Flora is the Roman Goddess of flowering plants, especially those that bear fruit. Spring, of course, is Her season, and She has elements of a Love-Goddess, with its attendant attributes of fertility, sex, and blossoming. She is quite ancient; the Sabines are said to have named a month for Her (which corresponds to our and the Roman April), and She was known among the Samnites as well as the Oscans, where She was called Flusia. She was originally the Goddess specifically of the flowering crops, such as the grain or fruit-trees, and Her function was to make the grain, vegetables and trees bloom so that autumn's harvest would be good. She was invoked to avert rust, a nasty fungal disease of plants that causes orange growths the exact color of rusting iron, and which was (is) an especial problem affecting wheat. Hers is the beginning of the process that finds its completion with Pomona, the Goddess of Fruit and the Harvest; and like Pomona, Flora had Her own flamen, one of a small number of priests each in service to a specific Deity. The flamens were said to have been instituted by Numa, the legendary second King of Rome who succeeded Romulus; and whether Numa really existed or not, the flamens were undoubtedly of ancient origin, as were the Deities they served.

In later times Flora became the Goddess of all flowering plants, including the ornamental varieties. Her name is related to Latin floris, meaning naturally enough "a flower", with the additional meaning of "[something] in its prime"; other related words have meanings like "prospering", "flourishing", "abounding", and "fresh or blooming". In one story, Flora was said to have provided Juno with a magic flower that would allow Her to conceive with no help from a man; from this virgin-birth Mars was born. A late tale calls Flora a courtesan and gives Her a story similar to Acca Larentia: Flora was said to have made a fortune as a courtesan, which She bequeathed to Rome upon Her death, and for which She was honored with the festival of the Floralia. As Flora was originally a Sabine Goddess, and as the Sabines were a neighboring tribe whom the Romans conquered and assimilated into Rome, perhaps this is an acknowledgment of the land so acquired, put into legendary terms.

Flora had two temples in Rome, one near the Circus Maximus, the great "stadium" of Rome where chariot races were held, and another on the slopes of the Quirinal Hill. The temple on the Quirinal was most likely built on the site of an earlier altar to Her said to have been dedicated by Titus Tatius, King of the Sabines, who ruled alongside Romulus for a time in the very early (hence legendary) days of Rome. Her other temple was built quite near to the Circus Maximus, though its exact site has not been found, and was associated with a neighboring temple dedicated to the triad of Ceres (the Grain Goddess) and Liber and Libera (God and Goddess of the Vine). These Deities and Flora were all concerned with the fertility and health of the crops. Flora's temple by the Circus was dedicated on the 28th of April in 241 (or 24 BCE in response to a great drought at the command of the Sybilline books, and this day became the starting date of Her great festival, the Floralia. In Imperial times (1st century CE) this temple was rededicated (I assume after some restorations were made) on the 13th of August, and this date was given to a second festival of Flora, coinciding with the ripening of the grain, whose flowers She had set forth.

The Floralia of April was originally a moveable feast to coincide with the blossoming of the plants, later becoming fixed with the dedication of Her temple on the 28th (or 27th, before the calendar was reformed--I mention this because holidays were almost always held on odd-numbered days as it was considered unlucky to start a festival on an even-numbered day), though ludi or "games"--horse-races or athletic contests--were not held every year. By the Empire the festival had grown (or should I say, blossomed) to seven days, and included chariot-races and theatrical performances, some of which were notoriously bawdy. It was given over to merriment and celebrations of an amorous nature, much like that northern flower-and-sex festival Beltaine whose date neatly coincides. Prostitutes considered it their own special time, and the Floralia gained a reputation as being more licentious and abandoned than the Saturnalia of December, whose name is legendary even now.

At the chariot-races and circus games of the Floralia it was traditional to let goats and hares loose, and lupines, bean-flowers and vetch (all of which have similarly-shaped blossoms and are a sort of showier version of wheat in bloom) were scattered, symbolic of fertility. Brightly colored clothes were a must, as were wreaths of flowers, especially roses; and the celebrations drew great crowds. Of the two nationalized chariot-teams who shared a deep rivalry, the Greens and the Blues, the Greens (of course) were Hers, and She had been invoked at chariot-races from ancient times. The last day of the festival, May 3rd, was called Florae; it may be a special name for the closing day of the Floralia, or it may refer to a seperate ceremony conducted in Her temple on the Quirinal.

Flora was depicted by the Romans wearing light spring clothing, holding small bouquets of flowers, sometimes crowned with blossoms. Honey, made from flowers, is one of Her gifts, and Her name is said to be one of the secret (holy) names of Rome. She is sometimes called the handmaiden of Ceres. Ovid identifies Her with the Greek flower-nymph Chloris, whose name means "yellow or pale green", the color of Spring. The word flora is still used as a general name for the plants of a region.

Alternate names/epithets: Flora Rustica, "Flora the Countrywoman" or "Flora of the Countryside", and Flora Mater, or "Flora the Mother", in respect to Her ancient origins. Among the Oscans She was known as Flusia.

From: The Obscure Goddess Online Directory: Flora
In Roman mythology, Flora was a goddess of flowers and the season of spring. While she was otherwise a relatively minor figure in Roman mythology, being one among several fertility goddesses, her association with the spring gave her particular importance at the coming of springtime. Her festival, the Floralia, was held in April or early May and symbolized the renewal of the cycle of life, marked with dancing, drinking, and flowers. Her Greek equivalent was Chloris. Flora was married to Favonius, the wind god, and her companion was Hercules. Due to her association with plants, her name in modern English also means plant life.

Flora achieved more prominence in the neo-pagan revival of Antiquity among Renaissance humanists than she had ever enjoyed in ancient Rome.
One of the fairies in the Sleeping Beauty (1959 film) is named Flora after this goddess.

From: Wiki
The goddess of blossoming flowers of spring. She had a minor temple on the Quirinalis and was given a sanctuary near the Circus Maximus in 238 BCE. The festival of the Floralia, celebrated on April 28 -May 1, existed until the 4th century CE. Flora is identified with the Greek Chloris.

From: here
The worship of Flora, an ancient Italian goddess of spring and flowers, was said to have been introduced by Numa. Following a drought in 241 or 238 BC, a consultation of the Sibylline Books prescribed the building of her temple. It was located on the lower slopes of the Aventine hill, in the vicinity of the Circus Maximus, and was dedicated on April 28. (She had a second temple on the Quirinal hill.) Games in her honor (Ludi Florae) were also instituted, but they were not held every year until 173 BC, when frequent damage to crops led to their annual performance. They were financed from fines exacted from encroachments on public lands and were overseen by the plebeian aediles.

Under the empire, the Floralia, or Florifertum, lasted for six days (April 28 - May 3), starting with theatrical performances and ending with Circus games and a sacrifice to Flora. The worship of a goddess of fertility naturally led to increasing licence and indecency. Prostitutes claimed the Floralia as their feast, and according to Juvenal, they performed naked and even fought in gladiatorial contests. During theatrical performances, audiences expected to be entertained with bawdy language and strip-tease acts.

Two special items marked the usual sports in the Circus: goats and hares were set loose and beans, vetches, and lupines were scattered among the crowd. All were symbols of fertility. Ovid mentions two other aspects of the Floralia. The festival was well lighted, and people wore multi-colored garments.

From: here
Flora was the Roman Goddess of flowers and all plants. She symbolized the flowering of nature and was celebrated during the Floralia, which started on April 27th and lasted six days, by women honoring their bodies in their natural state. She was considered the clandestine patron of Rome since, without her, the city would not grow and thrive. She is wearing an earring from Pompeii, 1st century BCE-1st century CE; a Roman ring from the 3rd century CE; and a Roman bracelet from the 1st-2nd century CE. In the background is a Roman statue of an earth Goddess.

From: here
Flora, a goddess of Sabine origin, who presided over flowers and gardens. The poets, in order to enoble her history, represented Flora as a nymph under the name of Chloris, and married her to Zephyr, the son of Aurora. The worship dedicated, in earlier times, to this divinity, took place some days before the beginning of May; as Ovid sings (Fast. iv 947):
"Incipis Aprili, transis in tempora Maii" (You commence in April, and are adjourned to May).

During the beautiful days of the latter month women and maidens are said to have assembled by themselves to enjoy the gay and probably then harmless pleasures of such a spring-tide celebration. The festivals of Flora received additional splendour, but lost their modest and inoffensive character, when a courtezan named Acea Martius left immense riches amassed during a life of prostitution to the Roman people as her heir. From that period, the Floral games were renewed each in her especial honour, and it was to this meretricious benefactress, that the people affected to apply the name of the goddess, to defray the expenses of whose yearly feasts, she had bequeathed her ill gotten wealth.

In Flora, no longer regarded as a presiding deity over the most lovely and innocent of natural objects, the profligate multitude saw only the patroness of harlots; and seizing on this pretext for authorizing exesses, they at legnth converted her worship into a source of public scandal. It was not however until the year 174 BC that the Floralia were celebrated every year. In these popular sports, obscenity and libertinism were carried to the highest pitch. This festival was frequently kept up by torch light, when night lent to indecency of gestures, her aid to cosummate its provacatives by deeds of debauchery.

From: Old book article about her, scanned in to see
Other sites:
A statue/figurine of her
CHLORIS : Nymph of the Elysian Islands, goddess of flowers
Flower Goddess | the fanlisting for the Roman goddess Flora
May Day and Floralia info
Blessed Bee! ~ Goddesses: Flora
A statue of her
Midnight Muse Art Gallery: Goddesses: The Spring Maiden
Flora, by de Morgan


The god of wild nature and fertility, also regarded as the giver of oracles. He was later identified with the Greek Pan and also assumed some of Pan's characteristics such as the horns and hooves. As the protector of cattle he is also referred to as Lupercus ("he who wards off the wolf").

One particular tradition tells that Faunus was the king of Latium, and the son of Picus. After his death he was deified as Fatuus, and a small cult formed around his person in the sacred forest of Tibur (Tivoli). On February 15 (the founding date of his temple) his feast, the Lupercalia, was celebrated. Priests (called the Luperci) wearing goat skins walked through the streets of Rome and hit the spectators with belts made from goat skin. Another festival was the Faunalia, observed on December 5.

He is accompanied by the fauns, analogous to the Greek satyrs. His feminine counterpart is Fauna. The wolfskin, wreath, and a goblet are his attributes.

From: here
In Roman mythology, Pan's counterpart Faunus was one of the oldest Roman deities, the di indigetes, who was a good spirit of the forest, plains, and fields; when he made cattle fertile he was called Inuus. He was a legendary king of the Latins whose shade was consulted as a god of prophecy, under the name of Fatuus, with oracles in the sacred groves of Tibur, around the well Albunea, and on the Aventine Hill in ancient Rome itself (Peck 189. The responses were said to have been given in Saturnian verse (Varro, L. L. vii. 36). Faunus revealed the future in dreams and voices that were communicated to those who came to sleep in his precincts, lying on the fleeces of sacrificed lambs. W. Warde Fowler suggested that Faunus is identical with Favonius, one of the Roman wind gods (compare the Anemoi).

A goddess of like attributes, called Fauna and Fatua, was associated in his worship. She was regarded sometimes as his wife, sometimes as his sister. As Pan was accompanied by the Paniskoi, or little Pans, so the existence of many Fauni was assumed besides the chief Faunus (Peck 189. In fable Faunus appears as an old king of Latium, son of Picus, and grandson of Saturnus, father of Latinus by the nymph Marica. After his death he is raised to the position of a tutelary deity of the land, for his many services to agriculture and cattle-breeding.

Faunus was known as the father or husband or brother of Bona Dea (Fauna, his feminine side) and Latinus by the nymph Marica (who was also sometimes Faunus' mother). Fauns are place-spirits (genii) of untamed woodland. Educated Romans connected their fauns with the Greek satyrs, who were wild and orgiastic drunken followers of Dionysus, with a distinct origin.

The Christian writer Justin Martyr identified him as Lupercus ("he who wards off the wolf"), the protector of cattle, following Livy, who named his aspect of Inuus as the god who was originally worshipped at the Lupercalia, celebrated on the anniversary of the founding of his temple, February 15, when his priests (Luperci) wore goat-skins and hit onlookers with goat-skin belts.

Two festivals, called Faunalia, were celebrated in his honour--one on the 13th of February, in the temple of Faunus on the island in the Tiber, the other on the 5th of December, when the peasants brought him rustic offerings and amused themselves with dancing (Peck 189.

A euhemeristic account made Faunus a Latin king, son of Picus and Canens. He was then revered as the god Fatuus after his death, worshipped in a sacred forest outside what is now Tivoli, but had been known since Etruscan times as Tibur, the seat of the Tiburtine Sibyl. His numinous presence was recognized by wolf skins, with wreaths and goblets.

In Nonnos' Dionysiaca, Faunus/Phaunos accompanied Dionysos when the god campaigned in India.

From: Wiki
Greek Name Transliteration Latin Spelling Translation
FaunoV Phaunos Faunus (Italian name)

PHAUNOS was a rustic god of the forests. The Greek figure was derived from the Italian god Faunus. Usually, however, this god was identified with Pan. Phaunos appears in Nonnus' Dionysiaca as one of the rustic gods who accompanied Dionysos in his campaign against the Indian nations.

POSEIDON & KIRKE (Dionysiaca 13.327 & 37.10)

Nonnus, Dionysiaca 13. 327 ff (trans. Rouse) (Greek epic C5th A.D.) :
"[Rhea summons the rustic gods and spirits to join the army of Dionysos in his campaign against the Indians :] Phaunos came, leaving the firesealed Pelorian plain of three-peak Sikelia (Sicily) the rocky, whom Kirke bore embraced by Kronion of the Deep [Poseidon], Kirke the witch of many poisons, Aietas’s sister, who dwelt in the deep-shadowed cells of a rocky palace."

Nonnus, Dionysiaca 37. 10 ff :
"[During the course of the Indian War of Dionysos :] When Dionysos saw friendly calm instead of war, early in the morning he sent out mules and their attendant men to bring dry wood from the mountains, that he might burn with fire the dead body of Opheltes. Their leader into the forest of pines was Phaunos [Faunus] who was well practised in the secrets of the lonely thickets which he knew so well, for he had learnt about the highland haunts of Kirke his mother. The woodman’s ace cut down the trees in long rows. Many an elm was felled by the long edge of the axe, many an oak with leaves waving high struck down with a crash, many a pine lay all along, many a fir stooped its dry needles; as the trees were felled far and wide, little by little the rocks were bared. So many a Hamadryade Nymphe sought another home, and swiftly joined the unfamiliar maids of the brooks. Parties coming up would often meet, men on the hills traversing different mountain-paths. One saw them up aloft, out in front, coming down, crossing over, with feet wandering in all directions. The sticks were packed in bundles with ropes well twisted and fastened tight and trim, and laid on the mules’ backs; the animals set out in lines, and the hooves rang on the mountain-paths as they hurried along, the surface of the sandy dust was burdened by heavy logs dragged behind. Satyroi and Panes were busy; some cut wood with axes, some pulled it from tree after tree with their hands, or lifted trunks with untiring arms and rattled over the rocks with dancing feet."

Nonnus, Dionysiaca 37. 56 ff :
"[A pyre is built for Opheltes, a friend of Dionysos killed in the war against the Indians :] Now fire was wanted. So Phaunos the son of rock-loving Kirke, the frequenter of the wilderness, who dwelt in the Tyrsenian land, who had learnt as a boy the works of his wild mother, brought from a rock the firebreeding stones which are tools of the mountain lore; and from a place where thunderbolts falling from heaven had left trusty signs of victory, he brought the relics of the divine fire to kindle the pyre of the dead. With the sulphur of the divine bolt he smeared and anointed the hollows of the two fire-breeding stones. Then he scraped off a light dry sprig of Erythraian growth and put it between the two stones; he rubbed them to and fro, and thus striking the male against the female, he drew forth the fire hidden in the stone to a spontaneous birth, and applied it to the pure where the wood from the forest lay."

Nonnus, Dionysiaca 37. 165 ff :
"[At the funeral games of Opheltes, a friend of Dionysos slain in the Indian War, Phaunos entered the chariot race :] Fourth Phaunos leapt up, who came into the assembly alone bearing the semblance of his mother’s father [Helios], with four horses under his yoke like Helios."

Nonnus, Dionysiaca 37. 230 ff :
"Horsemad Phaunos, offspring of the famous blood of Phaethon. [I.e. Phaunos was a son of Kirke daughter of Helios; Phaethon was a son of Helios.]"

N.B. This page does not include information on the Roman god Faunus, only his incarnation as Phaunos in Greek literature. Most Latin authors identified Faunus with the Greek god Pan.

From: FAUNUS : Greek & Roman god of forests
The Roman god of the woodland. Faunus was the son of Picus and grandson of Saturn. Faunus was also the gods of the fertility on the fields and flocks. Roman arts always seemed to portray as a satyr-like god, and he seemed to resemble Pan. His festival was held February 15, called the Lupercalia.

Faunus was also seen as an early king of Italy. His son Latinus became the eponym of the region of Latium, and its people, the Latins.

According to Ovid, in Fasti, at one time, he saw Omphale, queen of Lydia, and he wanted to ravish her. But at that time, Hercules (Heracles) was serving as Omphale's slave. The Lydian queen would dress the hero in women's clothing. One night, Faunas entered the queen's chamber. He thought it was the queen, because of her garment, but when raised the garment in order to penetrate her with his phallus, he felt thick, coarse hair on unsuspecting's bottoms. This could the god by surprise, but gave Hercules enough time to wake, and pushed Faunas very hard that he landed metres away, on his back. Omphale hearing the crash, order her servants to bring torches and they all saw the god lying on his back, helpless, unable to get up, and naked. Hercules and the queen laughted at the embarrassed god. It was for this reason, Faunas always demanded none of his followers to wear clothes during performance of his rituals.

From: here

Other Sites:


Anat, or Anath, is the Canaanite Warrior Goddess, the Maiden who loves battle, the virgin Goddess of Sacrifice, a swordswoman and archer. She is famous for having a violent temperament and for taking joy in slaughter. In the 14th century BCE Ugartic text The Epic of Ba'al, She defends Her brother the Storm-God Ba'al, called by His title Ayelin, "Mightiest", against Mot or Mavet, the force of sterility and death who represents the intense heat of the dry season which causes the crops to wither. But Mot triumphs against Ba'al and sends Him to the Land of the Dead; Anat, with help from the Sun-Goddess Shapash, Who has access to the Underworld, brings Him back to life. Anat then takes revenge on Mot, cutting him up into tiny pieces, winnowing Him like grain, grinding Him up, and then sowing Him in the fields. Ba'al and Mot are symbolic of the alternating seasons of rain and drought, of life and death, and by grinding Mot up and scattering Him like grain, Anat allows for the season of plenty to come again and the wheat to be reborn another year.

Before Anat goes into battle She prepares Herself by anointing Herself with henna and ambergris, and dressing in saffron (gold) and murex (purple) dyed clothing, both of which are famously expensive, and royal, colors. She then proceeds to slaughter the enemies of Ba'al, across west and east, hanging severed heads from Her back, and affixing hands to Her belt. Laughing and rejoicing, She wades to Her knees in the blood of soldiers, "to Her thighs in the gore of quick warriors". When the slaughter is finished (and it takes a while), She then washes Herself in the rain-water of Her brother Ba'al, and again adorns Herself with ambergris.

Though often called "Virgin", Anat also has a strong sexual aspect, much like the War-and-Sex Goddess of the Irish the Morrigan, and, though She is not usually considered the consort of Ba'al, was said to have had seventy-seven children by Him, after They had copulated in the forms of cow and bull. Given this, calling Anat a "virgin" has got to be taken to mean "independent young woman", not "non-sexual young woman".

Though She is the daughter of El, the patriarch of the Gods, She does not hesitate to threaten Him when She feels Ba'al is being treated unfairly. If El does not grant Ba'al a splendid palace like all the other Gods have, "I shall surely drag him [El] like a lamb to the ground, I shall make his grey hairs run with blood, the grey hairs of his beard [thick] with gore."

Not surprisingly, people sought to placate Anat, and She was invoked to grant peace: "Remove from the earth war, Set in the dust love; Pour peace amidst the earth, Tranquility amidst the fields" (also from the Epic of Ba'al).

Her worship was also known in Egypt, where She was considered the consort of the Chaos-God Seth, and Her sexual aspects led Her to be associated with Min, who, if you've ever seen a picture of Him, is very obviously a God of Male Fertility. She was especially popular in the New Kingdom, and She was one of Ramesses II's patron Deities, Who watched over Him in battle. He even named one of his (zillion) daughters Bint-Anat, or "Daughter of Anat" in Her honor.

Anat represents necessary endings, sacrifices to be made to serve a greater purpose, or old habits that may no longer serve and need to be let go. In this way the field of growth grows green again.

Alternate names: 'Anat, Anath, Anaitis, Anait, Anat-bethel. She is called Rahmay or Rahmaya, "the Merciful"; this is also the title of one of the two wives of El, with Athirat- of-the-Sea, who are the mothers of the Gods of Dawn and Dusk, Shachar and Shalem. As Anatha-Baetyl, likely of Syrian origin, she is sometimes called the wife of Jehovah. In Egypt She could be called Antit.

Epithets: She is called "Adolescent Anat", Batalat 'Anat, "the Maiden", "Sister of the Mighty One", i.e., Ba'al.

From: Anat, the Phoenician Goddess of War and Sacrifice
Much of the world's religion today originated in the regions bordering the Mediterranean Sea, including what is today Israel, together with its neighboring countries. In ancient times, these old states often imported and exported their gods as people migrated about, as these nations fought each other in wars, a fact that certainly had no small impact on our modern beliefs. Often, the attributes of the gods of one region were incorporated into the gods of another region. An example of this is the goddess, Anat, who was one of a number of deities imported into Egypt from the Syrian region.

The name Anat occurs in several forms in Ugaritic, Hebrew, Akkadian, and Egyptian, and as in such cases, the forms may vary widely. For example, in the Ugarit V Deity List it is spelled da-na-tu to be pronounced 'Anatu'. Otherwise in Phoenician it is `nt and is pronounced 'Anat', 'Anatu', 'Anath' or 'Anata'. The name is usually translated from Hebrew as 'Anath', but it could also be 'Anat'. The Akkadian form is usually written as 'Anta' or 'Antu'. The Egyptian forms are 'Anant', 'Anit', 'Anti', and 'Antit'. We may also find variations of her name in reference books such as Anthat.

A major goddess of fertility, sexual love, hunting and war, the Goddess Anat was known among the Canaanites in prehistoric times, and was doubtless of considerable importance in that region. From the fertile agricultural area along the eastern Mediterranean coast, her cult spread throughout the Levant by the middle of the third millennium BC. Around the beginning of the Phoenician period (circa 1200 BC) Anat enjoyed a significant cult following. She was very prominent at Ugarit, a major religious center, and appears frequently in Ugaritic literary works incorporating mythical elements, in deity and offering lists, and in votive inscriptions.

Her cult became established in Egypt by the end of the Middle Kingdom, even before the Hyksos (Asiatics probably from Syria) invasion of Egypt, so her presence certainly attests to the slow immigration (or perhaps more often, enslavement as the spoils of war) of the Hyksos prior to their ultimate rule of Egypt. However, she attained prominence, particularly in the north (the Delta) during the Second Intermediate Period rule of the Hyksos, who appear to have promoted her cult in Egypt. She was represented at Memphis like all but the most local of deities, and sanctuaries were dedicated to her at the Hyksos capital of Tanis (Egypt) and Beth-Shan (Palistine).

Yet, while the rulers of Egypt's New Kingdom took every step to denounce the Hyksos dynasty, her prestige reached its height in Egypt under Ramesses II who adopted Anat as his personal guardian in battle. Even Ramesses II's dog, shown rushing onto a vanquished Libyan in a carving in Beit el Wali temple, has the name "Anat in vigor". He also named his daughter (whom he later married) Bint-Anat, which means Daughter of Anat. He rebuilt Tanis and enlarged the sanctuary of Anat there. The Elephantine papyri dating from the late sixth century BC indicate that Anat was one of the two goddesses worshiped at the Temple of Yahu (Yahweh) by the Jews on the island of Elephantine in the Nile.

In Lebanon, Syria, and Palestine the worship of Anat persisted into Christian times (c. 200 AD), and perhaps much longer in popular religion. In Egypt traditional religion was practiced until the end of the Egyptian period (c. 400 AD). Anat may have been worshiped in one or Baal more of the few Egyptian temples that remained open into the early 6th century AD. In contemporary times the worship of Anat has been revived in neo-pagan religion.

In Ugaritic texts she is the daughter of El, sister (though perhaps not literally) and consort of Baal. As Ba`al's companion and help-mate, She is goddess of dew and the fertility that it brings. Apparently, through the union of Anat and Baal, an offspring was born in the form of a wild bull. She may be Rachmay, one of the two nursemaids of the Gracious Gods mentioned in the eponymous ritual text. She is also the twin sister of Myrrh. At Tanis in Egypt she was regarded as the daughter of Re. In the Egyptian myth of the Contest between Horus and Seth, Anat and Astarte appear as daughters of Re and consorts of Seth (whom the Egyptians themselves identified with Baal).

From cuneiform text, Anat appears much the ruthless goddess. In her martial aspect she confines herself to slaying the enemies of Baal. She participates in the confrontation between Baal and Yam-Nahar. In a missing portion of the text she slays Yam and other enemies of Baal. During a victory celebration she departs to slaughter the warriors of two local towns. She joyfully wades in their blood, pours a peace offering and cleans up. She intercedes with El on Baal's behalf to obtain the necessary permission for a palace to be built for Baal. Later, when Baal is killed by Mot (Death) in an archetypal battle, she buries him, hunts down Mot, and takes revenge by cutting, winnowing, grinding, and burning Mot like grain. In another myth she coveted the splendid bow belonging to a youth called Aqhat. When he refuses to part with this bow, Ana sends an eagle to slay him.


For the rest of the article: Anat, Mother of Gods
`Anat, `Anath, `Anatu, `Anata (Ugarit);
Anta, Antu (Akkadian);
Anit, Anti, Antit, Anant (Egypt.)

Common epithets of `Anat
# Virgin/ Maiden - btlt `nt, batulatu `Anatu
# Adolescent Girl - rhm `nt, Rachmaya
# The Lady - sht (sitt Arabic)
# lovely/ charming/ fairest daughter, the sister of Ba`al - n`mt. bn. ´aht. b`l
# Strength of Life - `az chayim
# Anat The Destroyer - `nt chbly
# ybmt l`mm, yabamat li´imim - the meaning of this is uncertain, some possibilities are:

the Kindred of the Peoples (of Ugarit)
Mistress of (the) Peoples
Mother/ Progenitress of Nations
(Widowed) 'Sister in Law' of Heroes
Sister-in-law of the Thousand (Deities)

Other names of `Anat found in Egypt:
# `Anat-her (Anat agrees) - 1700 BCE on a Hyksos scarab
# Herit-`Anta (Terror of Anat) - 1700 BCE on a Hyksos scarab in Aramaic
# the daughter of Ptah - 1555-1200 BCE, 18th & 19th dynasties, in Memphis
# Anati - 14th century BCE, Amarna Tablets
# Anatbethel (means: Anat-house-of-god) - 6th & 5th century BC, Elephantine Island in the Nile

Linguistic fusions of `Anat & `Athtartu
# Antit - at Beth-Shan
# `Antart - in Egypt
# Anatanta - at Tanis in Egypt, period of Ramses II
# `Anat-`Ashtart - in later Syria
# `Attar`atta = Atargatis (Gr.) - in Aramaic language

The Goddess Anat, enthroned with shield and mace, on a stone stela from Ugarit `Anat is a compex Ugaritic goddess: Maidenly, Sexual, War-like, whose abode is the Mountain of ´inbib. Her most common epithet in Ugarit is the Maiden (batalat), meaning, not virgo intacta, but spouse of no one, perhaps a perpetually impetuous adolescent. At the same time She is sister and possibly lover of Ba`al, seemingly appearing as a heifer to Ba`al's bull and possibly mother of some of Ba`al's offspring as calves, although never His wife; for, at times, He transforms into a bull and She into a heifer, to stress their fertility, and together they bring forth seventy, even eighty, i.e., many progeny.

Mark Smith synopsizes Her etomology as follows: In the Ugaritica V deity-list, Her name is written as da-na-tu4, vocalized as `anatu. Gray compares Arabic `anwat, "violence"; McCarter connects it with Akkadian ittu, "sign," hence the goddess is the sign of the presence of the god; Deem relates it to a putative BH root *`nh, "to love, to make love" and with an agricultural term m`nh/m`nt, "a turn of the plow, a furrow." Finally, there is a secondary connection between it and `n, "spring."

As Ba`al's companion and help-mate, She is goddess of dew and the fertility that it brings. One of Her epithets is Strength of Life - `az chayim. Her grace and beauty were considered among the acme of perfection. She is sometimes described carrying distaff and spindle. She is also a warrior, armed with spear and shield, a goddess of the hunt and of war, aiding Ba`al in His battle with Yahm and avenging Ba`al's death by slaying Mot. Another common epithet for Her is Yabamat Li1imim, which meaning, although not entirely clear, may be "progenitress (of heroes)" or "protector of Her people." And She is sometimes called a "wanton." In fact, She is a female who freely enjoys the pleasures of sex as sacred. She is sometimes identified as the Qadashu, the "Holy One," goddess of love and desire.


For the rest of the article, see: Anat
Anat (Anath, Rahmay - 'the merciful')

She Baal's sister and the daughter of El. Goddess of war, the hunt, and savagery. She is an archer. Virgin, sister-in-law (progenitor?) of peoples (Li'mites'?). She and Athirat are nursemaids to the gracious gods.

She restrains Baal when he intends to attack Yam's messengers. In missing texts, she killed Yam-Nahar, the dragon, the seven-headed serpent. She also destroyed Arsh, Atik, Ishat, and Zabib, all enemies of Baal.

She holds a feast at Baal's palace to celebrate his victory over Yam. After the guests arrive, she departs her abode and adorns herself in rouge and henna, closes the doors and slaughters the inhabitant of two nearby towns, possibly Baal's enemies. She makes a belt of their heads and hands and wades through the blood. She lures the towns' warriors inside to sit and joyfully massacres them. She then makes a ritual peace offering and cleans up. This is possibly related to a seasonal fertility ritual welcoming the autumn rains. Anat receives messengers from Baal thinking that some new foe has arisen, but they assure her that he only wishes that she make a peace offering that he might tell her the secret of lightning and seek it on Mt. Zephon. She does so, demanding first to see the lightning, and is welcomed by Baal from afar. Hearing him complain of lack of a proper mansion, she storms off to El, creating tremors. She threatens to mangle his face lest he heed her and have Baal's court constructed, yet her plea is rejected. She is assisted in her petition, possibly by Athtart. She accompanies Baal to Athirat with a bribe and assists Athirat in her successful petition to El for Baal's court.

After Baal dies, she searches for him and, finding his body goes into a violent fit of mourning. She has Shapash take his body to Mt. Zephon, where she buries it and holds a feast in his honor. After seven years of drought, she finds Mot, and cuts, winnows, and sows him like corn.

She attends the feast where Daniel presents Aqhat with a bow and arrows set made by Kothar-and-Khasis. Desiring the bow, she offers Aqhat riches and immortality, for it. He refuses and so she promises vengeance upon him should he transgress and leaves for Mt. Lel to denounce him to El. Upset with El's response, she threatens to strike his head, sarcasticly suggesting that Aqhat might save him. El remarks that he won't hinder her revenge, so she finds Aqhat, and taking the form of a kinswoman, lures him off to Qart-Abilim. Unsuccessful with her first attempt there, she calls her attendant warrior Yatpan to take the form of an eagle, and with a flock of similar birds pray strike Aqhat as he sits on the mountain. They do so and Aqhat is slain, unfortunately, the bow falls into the waters and is lost and Anat laments that her actions and Aqhat's death were in vain.

When Baal was out hunting, she followed after him and copulated with him in the form of a cow. She gave birth to 'a wild ox' or a 'buffalo', visiting Mt. Zephon to tell Baal of the good news. This is probably not their only affair.

From: here
Name Forms and Etymology
The name Anat occurs in several forms in Ugaritic, Hebrew, Akkadian, and Egyptian. In the Ugarit V Deity List it is spelled da-na-tu to be pronounced 'Anatu' 1. Otherwise in Phoenician it is `nt and is pronounced 'Anat', 'Anatu', 'Anath' or 'Anata'. The name is usually transliterated from Hebrew as 'Anath', but it could also be 'Anat'. The Akkadian form is usually written as 'Anta' or 'Antu'. The Egyptian forms are 'Anant', 'Anit', 'Anti', and 'Antit'. The etymology is uncertain and many proposals have been set forth, mostly by way of speculation. If the name is related to the root `n (ayin nun) signifying a spring of water it may represent a conection with the goddess Baalat Be`er know from a place name recorded in Vetus Testementum 2. (cf. Baalat Be`er)

History and Geography of Cult

A major goddess of fertility, sexual love, hunting and war. She was known among the Canaanites in prehistoric times. From the fertile agricultural area along the eastern Mediterranean coast, her cult had spread throughout the Levant by the middle of the third millennium BCE 3 . Around the beginning of the Phoenician period (circa 1200 BCE) Anat enjoyed a significant cult following. She was quite prominent at Ugarit, a major religious center, and appears frequently in Ugaritic literary works incorporating mythical elements, in deity and offering lists, and in votive inscriptions.

The cult had become established in Egypt by the end of the Middle Kingdom and attained prominence, particularly in Lower Egypt during the Hyksos Dynasty 4. She was represented at Memphis like all but the most local of deities, and sanctuaries were dedicated to her at the Hyksos capital of Zoan (Greek Tanis) and Beth-Shan. Her prestige reached its height in Egypt under Ramses II who adopted Anat as his personal guardian in battle. He named his daughter Bin-Anat, Daughter of Anat. He rebuilt Zoan and enlarged the sanctuary of Anat there, renaming the place, "City of Ramses". The Elephantine papyri dating from the late sixth century BCE indicate that Anat was one of the two goddesses worshiped at the Temple of Yahu (Yahweh) by the Jews on the island of Elephantine in the Nile 5.

In Lebanon, Syria, and Palestine the worship of Anat persisted into Christian times (c. 200 CE) 6, perhaps much longer in popular religion. In Egypt traditional religion was practiced until the end of the Egyptian period (c. 400 CE). Anat may have been worshiped in one or more of the few Egyptian temples that remained open into the early 6th century CE. In contemporary times the worship of Anat has been revived in neo-pagan religion.

Although terrible as a war deity she was regarded as a just and benevolent goddess of beauty, sexuality, and of the fertility of crops, animals, and men. In her martial aspect she confines herself to slaying the enemies of Baal. Anat is a complex and somewhat paradoxical goddess as can be seen from the epithets applied to her. Although she is regarded as Mother, the most common epithet at Ugarit is batulat, Virgin or Maiden 7. She is sometimes called Wanton, in reference to her putative lust for sexual intercourse and the bloodshed of war 8. Other common epithets include: Adolescent Anat, Fairest daughter-sister of Baal, Lady, Strength of Life, Anat the Destroyer 9, and Lady of the Mountain 10.

Several epithets are known from Egyptian inscriptions. From Aramaic inscriptions of the Hyksos period (c.1700 BCE): "Anat-her", Anat agrees or Agreeable Anat, and "Herit-Anta", Terror of Anat 11. From inscriptions at Memphis dating to the 15th to the 12th centuries BCE: "Bin-Ptah", Daughter of Ptah 12. And from Elephantine "Beth-El", House of El or House of God 13.

In Ugaritic texts she is the daughter of El, sister and consort of Baal. She may be Rachmay, one of the two nursemaids of the Gracious Gods mentioned in the eponymous ritual text. She is also the twin sister of Myrrh. She participates in the confrontation between Baal and Yam-Nahar. In a missing portion of the text she slays Yam and other enemies of Baal. During a victory celebration she departs to slaughter the warriors of two local towns. She joyfully wades in their blood, pours a peace offering and cleans up. She intercedes with El on Baal's behalf to obtain the necessary permission for a palace to be built for Baal. Later, when Baal is killed by Mot (Death) in an archetypal battle, she buries him, hunts down Mot, and takes revenge by cutting, winnowing, grinding, and burning Mot like grain. She also features in several other myths 14.

At Zoan she was regarded as the daughter of Ra. In the Egyptian myth of the Contest between Horus and Seth, Anat and Ashtart appear as daughters of Ra and consorts of Seth (whom the Egyptians themselves identified with Baal).

Iconography In Phoenician iconography Anat is usually depicted nude with exaggerated sexual organs and a coiffure similar to Hathor 15. She is sometimes depicted with bow and arrow, and with the lion, her sacred animal 16. Otherwise she may be armed with a spear and shield, or a spear and a spindle.

An Egyptian inscription from Beth-Shan shows "Antit" with a plumed crown. In her left hand is the "Scepter of Happiness", and in her right the "Ankh of Life" 17. Iconography at Zoan from the time of Ramses II shows Anat on a throne with lance, battle ax, and shield above an inscription reading, "To Antit that she may give life, prosperity, and health to the Ka of Hesi-Nekht" 18,19.

From: here
Other sites:
Anat, Warrior Virgin of the Ancient Levant
Wikipedia article

Also see: El {God of the Week}



Common epithets of Ba`al
# Most High Prince/Master - ´al´iyn. b`l, ´al´iyanu ba`lu
# Conqueror of Warriors - ´al´iy. qrdm, ´al´iyu qarradima
# Mightiest, Most High, Supreme, Powerful, Puissant - ´al´iyn, ´al´iyanu, aleyin, eleyin, aliyin, eliyan, elioun
# Warrior - dmrn, damaron, Demarous (Greek)
# Hadd, Haddad, Hadad, Hadu, Adad, Addu - hdd
# Prince, Master of the Earth - zebul ba`al ´aretz or zubulu ba`lu ´aretsi
# Pidar, uncertain meaning, possibly Bright, Flash - pdr, Pidar
# Rider on the Clouds - rkb `rpt, rakab arpat or rakibu `arpati
# Thunderer - r`mn, rimmon or re`amin

Gapen & Ugar, Vineyard and Field, Baal's pages or messengers - gepanu wa ugaru

Baal, on a stone stela from Ugarit, striding forward, carrying his lightning staff Ba`al is the god most actively worshipped in Canaan and Phoenicia, the Storm God, source of the winter rain storms, spring mist, and summer dew which nourish the crops. Therefore He is considered responsible for fecundity, particularly of the Earth, for the growth of vegetation, and for the maintenance of life. None the less, He is NOT a god of vegetation. While the word "ba`al" means simply "master" or "owner," He is considered a prince. Among His other epithets are Rider of the Clouds, Prince, Master of the Earth ( c.f. the Qabalistic phrase Melek ha´Aretz, King of the Earth). Ba`al is an executive force, dynamic, and able to accomplish what He sets out to do. Ba`al is often depicted striding forward, wearing a horned helmet and short wrap kilt, carrying a mace and spear or lightning-bolt staff. Another of His names is Re`ammin, meaning Thunderer. He is also called ´Aleyin, meaning "Most High," "Mightiest," "Most Powerful," or "Supreme," which some scholars have misinterpreted as the name of a son of Ba`al. As a weather god, His home is in the Heights of Tsaphon, Mount of the North. Remnants of His worship survive in the Jewish prayerbook in late spring prayers for dew and late fall prayers for rain.

In fact Ba`al is the son of Dagan/Dagnu, Himself a god of agriculture and storms, and not actually a son of ´El. Through a series of conflicts and competitions with other gods, Ba`al achieves a position subordinate only to ´El among gods. However, He defers to ´Asherah and often enlists Her favors when He must approach ´El. He also relies upon His sister `Anat, who is may be His mate, although not His wife. At times He transforms into a bull and She into a heifer, to stress their fertility, and together they "bring forth seventy, even eighty calves," i.e., many progeny. He is never called "The Bull," however, which title is limited to ´El. Ba`al's assistants are Gapen and Ugar, whose names mean, respectively, "Vineyard" and "Grain Field," again stressing Ba`al's relationship with the fertile, life-giving earth.

While embodying royal power and authority, Ba`al is not aloof nor beyond the menace of evil. He is continually threatened yet triumphant, as in the story of His continual conflict to sustain Order against Chaos with the god Yahm and to sustain Life against Death with Mot (Mawet/ Mavet in Hebrew), the god of drought, blight, sterility, and decay.

Ba`al is also identified as Hadad, an Akkadian and Babylonian god of the sky, clouds, and rain, both creative, gentle showers and destructive, devastating storms and floods. Like the Canaanite Ba`al, Hadad holds and hurls thunder-bolts. Haddad rides a bull.

His home, the Mountain Divine Tsapan, is known in Hittite as Mount Hazzi dkhursân khazi, in Akkadian as ba`litsapûna, in Greek as Kasios and in Latin as mons Casius, in modern Arabic as Jebel ´el-Aqra` and in Modern Turkish as Keldag. It stands 5660 feet (1780 meters) in height, the peak lying about 25 miles to the north of Ugarit and 2.5 miles from the coast. Tsapan is well-suited as home of the great storm-god, as this mountain receives the heaviest annual rainfall on the Levantine coast at over 57 inches. Being close to the holy mountain was so important that there were other Mount Tsaphons near distant Phoenician settlements in Egypt and in Spain.

Because, as with ´El, the name Ba`al is a title more than a name, there are numerous "Ba`al's." Among them are:

Ba`al Lebanon, Master of the Cedars
Ba`al Tsaphon, Master of the North or northern districts
Ba`al Adir, Master-of-Help
Ba`al Kaneph, Winged Ba`al
Ba`al Moganim, Master of the Shields
Ba`al Marpah´a, Master of Healing
Ba`al Shamim, Master of the Heavens.

During the long period of trade and exchange between the Canaanites/ Phoenicians with the Egyptians, Ba`al was associated with several Egyptian gods. One is Amon, the ram headed god of fertility, agriculture, air or breath of life, whose name means "hidden," just as Ba`al is sometimes hidden among the clouds. There may also be a relationship between Amon and Ba`al Hammon. As Ba`al Hammon/Khamon, He is the chief Carthaginian god of sky and vegetation, depicted as a bearded older man with curling ram's horns, perhaps a merging of ´El and Ba`al. As Ba`al Qarnaim/ Karnayin, Master of the Horns or the Two-Horned Ba`al, He is a ram-horned god of twilight and the setting sun.

Some scholars related Ba`al to the Egyptian Osiris, considering both as dying-resurrecting gods. While Osiris has an effect on this world with the annual fertilizing floods of the Nile, He is never quite resurrected, rather going to the Netherworld where He reigns. More importantly, while Osiris was known to the Canaanites - the head of Osiris after His dismemberment was said to have floated to the Phoenician city of Byblos - there is no evidence that the Egyptians or Canaanite-Phoenicians ever equated the two.

Another Egyptian god scholars sometimes associate with Ba`al is Ra/ Re, solar god, creator, and sovereign lord of the sky; as Ra-Horakte He is chief god of the Ennead, the nine most high deities. Reborn each dawn in the East, He dies at dusk after sailing westward across the sky in His boat. However, Ba`al was NEVER a solar god, even though faulty attributions of the Victorian and Edwardian eras have assigned Him this association, perpetuated by some Neopagans. Some of the confusion is attributable to a late Hellenistic syncretic deity worshipped as Heliogabalus, a blending of Ba`al with the Greek sun god Helios and some Persian deities.

In fact, the deity with whom the Egyptians themselves particularly identified Ba`al was Seth/ Set, whose position varied during Egypt1s long history. Most of the time He was not evil personified, but a turbulent desert storm god, and there were pharaohs who bore His name. The Greeks on the other hand, called Ba`al Zeus Demarous kai Adodos, while ´El was equated instead with Kronos.

The name Ba`al is cognate with Bel, a Babylon and Assyrian deity. The Sumerian god Enlil became incorporated with Bel, which eventually became a title of Marduk, defeater of Tiamat whose name is possibly cognate with Yam, the Sea Serpent who Ba`al defeats.

Early in Canaanite studies, some scholars believed that ´El and Ba`al were in conflict for control of the pantheon. A careful reading of the myth shows that this is not true, which is current scholarly thought. There is conflict, as Ba`al must vanquish those in competition with Him for the important executive position. But ´El remains throughout the ultimate authority, whom Ba`al must petition for permission to build His palace. ´El has dominion over all Creation, while Ba`al controls the fertility of the Earthly realm.

Yea, also Ba`al will make fertile with His rain,
with water He will indeed make fertile harrowed land;
and He will put His voice in the clouds,
He will flash His lightning to the earth.

From: here
Baal (also called Baal-Zephon(Saphon), Hadad, Pidar and Rapiu (Rapha?) - 'the shade')

The son of El, the god of fertility, 'rider of the clouds', and god of lightning and thunder. He is 'the Prince, the lord of earth', 'the mightiest of warriors', 'lord of the sky and the earth' (Alalakh). He has a palace on Mt. Zephon. He has a feud with Yam. His voice is thunder, his ship is a snow bearing cloud. He is known as Rapiu during his summer stay in the underworld.

He upbraids the gods for their cowardice when they intend to hand him over to Yam's messengers and attacks them but is restrained by Athtart and Anat. Kothar-and-Khasis gives him the magic weapons Yagrush (Chaser) and Aymur (Driver). He strikes Yam in chest and in the forehead, knocking him out. Athtart rebukes Baal and calls on him to 'scatter' his captive, which he does. In a alternate version of this episode, he slays Lotan (Leviathan), the seven-headed dragon. The battle may have been representative of rough winter sea-storms which calmed in the spring and which were preceded and accompanied by autumn rains which ended summer droughts and enabled crops to grow.

After his victory he holds a feast and remarks on his lack of a proper palace, instead retaining residence with El and Athirat. He sends messengers to Anat to ask her to perform a peace-offering that he might tell her the word which is the power of lightning and seek lightning on the holy Mt Zephon. She does so and he welcomes her. Hearing his complaints Anat leaves to petition El for a new palace for Baal. Rejected, Baal dispatches Qodesh-and-Amrur to Kothar-and-Khasis with a request to make a silver temple set with which to bribe Athirat. He and Anat view Athirat with trepidation keeping in mind past insults which he has suffered at the hands of the other gods. He and Anat ask Athirat to ask El for permission to build a more extravagant house and Athirat's request is granted. Gathering cedar, gold, silver, gems, and lapis at Mt. Zephon, he calls Kothar-and-Khasis, feeding him and instructing him on how to build the palace. He doesn't want a window, for fear of Yam breaking through or his daughters escaping, but Kothar-and-Khasis convinces him to allow its inclusion so that he might lightning, thunder, and rain through it.

At its completion he holds a feast, takes over scores of towns and allows the window to be built. He threatens to ask Mot to invite any of Baal's remaining enemies to come for a visit and at night, binds the lightning, snow and rains. He sends Gupn and Ugar to Mot to invite him to acknowledge his sovereignty at his new palace. He sends messengers to Mot to carry this message to him and they return with a message of such weight that Baal declares himself Mot's slave. He hopes to ameliorate Mot by having Sheger and Ithm supply live sheep and cattle for the god to feast upon. Fearing Mot he seeks Shapshu's advice and sires a substitute on a cow. He (or possibly his substitute) dies and remains in the underworld for seven years. El dreams that he is alive again but he is absent. Ashtar attempts to take Baal's place, but can not. Shapshu searches for him. Baal returns and fights Mot's allies, the sons of Athirat and the yellow ones. After seven years, Mot returns, demanding one of Baal's brothers lest he consume mankind. Baal rebuffs him and they fight tooth and nail. Shapshu separates the two declaring that Baal has El's favor and Baal resumes his throne.

You're missing a relief of Baal.
As Baal-Hadad, he sends monstrous creatures to attack the handmaidens of Yarikh, and of Athirat of the Sea. He hunts the horned, buffalo-humped creatures which were birthed by the handmaidens at the advice of El. During the hunt he is stuck in a bog for seven years and things fall to pot. His kin recover him and there is much rejoicing.

Once when he was out hunting, Anat followed him. He spotted her, fell in love and copulated with her in the form of a cow. She gave birth to 'a wild ox' or a 'buffalo', telling him of the event on Mt. Zephon. This is probably not their only affair. (See also Theology 100 Online Glossary - Baal, Encyclopedia Mystica - Baal)

Gapn (vine)
Baal's page and messenger to both Anat and Mot.
Radmanu (Pradmanu)
a minor servitor of Baal.
Ugar (cultivated field?)
Baal's other page and messenger to both Anat and Mot. He is possibly the patron city-god of Ugarit.
Pidray 'daughter of the mist','daughter of light(ning)'
Baal's daughter. She is sometimes a love interest of Athtar.
Tallay ='she of dew', 'daughter of drizzle'
Baal's daughter.
Arsay = 'she of the earth', 'daughter of [ample flows]'
Baal's daughter.
Baal's daughter.

From: here
The antiquity of the worship of the god or gods of Baal extends back to the 14th century BCE among the ancient Semitic peoples, the descendants of Shem, the oldest son of Biblical Noah. Semitic is more of a linguistic classification than a racial one. Thus, people speaking the same or similar languages first worshiped Baal in his many forms. The word Baal means "master" or "owner". In ancient religions the name denoted sun, lord or god. Baal was common a name of small Syrian and Persian deities. Baal is still principally thought of as a Canaanite fertility deity. The Great Baal was of Canaan. He was the son of El, the high god of Canaan. The cult of Baal celebrated annually his death and resurrection as a part of the Canaanite fertility rituals. These ceremonies often included human sacrifice and temple prostitution.

Baal, literal meaning is "lord," in the Canaanite pantheon was the local title of fertility gods. Baal never emerged as a rain god until later times when he assumed the special functions of each. Although there is no equivalent in Canaan of the sterile summer drought that occurs in Mesopotamia, the season cycle was marked enough to have caused a concentration on the disappearing fertility god, who took with him the autumn rain clouds into the neither world.

After defeating the sea god Yam, and building a house on Mount Saphon, and taking possession of numerous cities, Baal announced that he would no longer acknowledge the authority of Mot, "death." Baal not only excluded Mot from his hospitality and friendship, but also told him that he could only visit the deserts of the earth. In response to this challenge, Mot invited Baal to his abode to taste his fare, mud. Being terrified and unable to avoid the dreadful summons to the land of the dead, Baal coupled with a calf in order to strengthen himself for the ordeal, and then set out. El and the other gods donned funeral garments, poured ashes on their heads, and mutilated their limbs, while Anat, aided by the sun goddess Shapash, brought the corpse back for burial. El placed Athtar, the irrigation god, on the vacant throne of Baal, but Anat bitterly missed her dead husband. She begged Mot to restore Baal to life, but her pleas went without avail, and Anat's attempts to interest the other gods in helping her were met with cautious indifference. Thus, Anat assaulted Mot, ripping him to pieces "with a sharp knife," scattering his members "with a winnowing fan," burning him "in a fire," grinding him "in a mill," and "over the fields strewing his remains." El, in the meantime, had a dream in which fertility returned, which suggested that Baal was not dead. Afterwards, he instructed Shapash to keep watch for him during her daily travels. In the due course of time Baal was restored, and Athtar fled from his throne. Yet Mot was able to arrange another attack, but on this occasion all of the gods supported Baal, and neither combatant could gain the victory. Finally El intervened and dismissed Mot, leaving Baal in possession of the field.

The above myth, fragments of which are on the Ras Shamra tablets, relates to the alteration of the seasons. Baal is the god of rain, thunder, and lightening. "At the touch of his right hand, even colors wilt." Yam, the owner of salt water, gave place to Baal as the genius of rainfall and vegetation, a displacement that left Mot as sole contender under the mighty El. Torrid heat, sterility, the arid desert, death, the neither world: these were Mot's irresistible realm till Anat threshed, winnowed, and ground the harvested corn, the fecundity of Baal's land, just as the siding of El with the resurrected rain god ensured the continuation of the annual cycle. A parallel of the magical rites can be found in Psalms, where "they that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that go forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bearing sheaves with him." This is sympathetic magic the tears shed were expected to induce drops of rain.

Baal was the son of El, or Dagon, an obscure deity linked by the Hebrews with the Philistine city of Ashdod. Dagon was perhaps associated with the sea, as a coin found in the vicinity portrays a god having a fish tail. Although Baal personally overcame Yam, it is uncertain whether or not he fought Lotan, the Leviathan of the Old Testament, but it is known that Anat "crushed the writhing serpent, the accused one of the seven heads." Another echo of the Mesopotamian thought patterns are nestled in these reasons advanced by Baal for needing a "house." His food offerings were too meager for a god "that rides on the clouds." As far apart as Carthage and Palmyra were temples dedicated to Baal-Hammon, "the lord of the altar of incense," whom the Greeks identified with Cronos. On Mount Carmel it was the prophet Elijah who discredited King Ahab's belief in the power of Baal, when at his request "the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice," and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. Afterwards Elijah had the people slay "the prophets of Baal," thereby assuring the survival of the worship of Yahweh in Israel.

The worship of Baal extended from the Canaanites to the Phoenicians who also were partially an agricultural people. Both Baal and his cohort Ashtoreth, or Astarte, who is equivalent to the Greek goddess Aphrodite, were both Phoenician fertility symbols. Baal, the sun god, was fervently prayed to for the protection of livestock and crops. Priests instructed the people that Baal was responsible for droughts, plagues, and other calamities. People were often worked up into great frenzies at the prospects of displeasing Baal. In times of great turbulence human sacrifices, particularly children, were made to the great god Moloch.

Since the Phoenicians also were superb ship builders the religion and cults of Baal spread throughout the Mediterranean world. The worship of Baal was found among the Moabites and their allies Midinites during Moses' time. It was also introduced to the Israelites.

The religion of the god Baal was widely accepted among the ancient Jews, and although it was put down at times, it was never permanently stamped out. Kings and other royalty of the ten Biblical tribes worshiped the god. The ordinary people ardently worshipped this sun god too because their prosperity depended on the productivity of their crops and livestock. The god's images were erected on many buildings. Within the religion there appeared to be numerous priests and various classes of devotees. During the ceremonies they wore appropriate robes. The ceremonies included burning incense, and offering burnt sacrifices, occasionally consisting of human victims. The officiating priests danced around the altars, chanting frantically and cutting themselves with knives to inspire the attention and compassion of the god.

In the Bible Baal is also called Beelzebub, or Baalzebub, one of the fallen angels of Satan.

From: here
Other sites:
Baal, God of Thunder
Wikipedia --website devoted to the god, with info.

Dian Cécht

In Irish mythology, Dian Cécht (Old Irish pronunciation /dʲiːən kʲeːxt/), also known as Cainte, Canta, was a healing god. He was the healer for the Tuatha Dé Danann and the father of Cian, Cú, and Cethen. His other children were Miach, Airmed, Étan the poetess, and Ochtriullach.

Dian Cecht's curative well

He blessed a well called Slane where the Tuatha Dé could bathe in when wounded; they became healed and continued fighting. It would heal any wound but decapitation.

Dian Cecht's 'boiling' of the River Barrow
It was Dian Cecht who once saved Ireland, and was indirectly the cause of the name of the River Barrow. The Morrígú, the heaven-god's fierce wife, had borne a son of such terrible aspect that the physician of the gods, foreseeing danger, counselled that he should be destroyed in his infancy. This was done; and Diancecht opened the infant's heart, and found within it three serpents, capable, when they grew to full size, of depopulating Ireland. He lost no time in destroying these serpents also, and burning them into ashes, to avoid the evil which even their dead bodies might do. More than this, he flung the ashes into the nearest river, for he feared that there might be danger even in them; and, indeed, so venomous were they that the river boiled up and slew every living creature in it, and therefore has been called the River Barrow, the ‘Boiling’ ever since.

Dian Cecht's healing of Nuada's arm
He made King Nuada a silver arm which could move and function as a normal arm. Later, Dian Cecht's son, Miach, replaced the silver arm with an arm of flesh and blood, and Dian Cecht killed him out of professional envy. Miach's sister, Airmed, mourned over her brother's grave. As her tears fell, all the healing herbs of the world grew from the grave. Airmed arranged and catalogued the herbs, but then Dian Cécht again reacted with anger and jealousy and scattered the herbs, destroying his daughter's work as well as his son's. For this reason, it is said that no human now knows the healing properties of all the herbs.

Dian Cecht was also able to heal Mider after the latter lost an eye when struck with a twig of hazel.

Dian Cecht's healing powers were invoked in Ireland as late as the 8th century.

Linguistic knowledge about regular sound changes in Celtic languages (McCone, 1996) and analysis of the University of Wales’ Proto-Celtic lexicon [1] and of Julius Pokorny’s Indogermanisches Etymologisches Wörterbuch permit *Deino-kwekwto- ‘swift concoction’ as a plausible Proto-Celtic reconstruction for this theonym.

From: Wiki

Dian Cecht in Myth
The role of Dian Cecht among the Tuatha De Danaan is that of a healer and craftsman. While this seemingly disparate combination of abilities initially may seem an odd juxtaposition, it should be remembered that the Tuatha De were thought of as gods who brought various arts and magic to ancient Ireland. In addition, according to some interpretations, Dian Cecht was a craft-god, who also practiced healing through the use of magic. Indeed, this is how he is portrayed in the Book of Invasions (Leabhar Gabhala in Gaelic). There are stories of this god's contributions, and one of the most prominent of these tales is examined below.

The first legend concerns Dian Cecht's powers as a smith and craftsman. Nuada, once the leader of the Tuatha De Danaan, had gotten himself into a bit of a bind, in that he had lost his arm in battle. This serious wound had disqualified Nuada from his position as king, and in his absence, the unsavory Bres had stepped in to rule the Tuatha De. Unfortunately, no one was pleased with this change of leadership (except maybe Bres himself), so Dian Cecht created an arm of silver to make Nuada "whole" again. With his new limb, Nuada could once more rule his people, thanks to the industrious Dian Cecht.

From: Here
The great god of healing and the physician of the Tuatha Dé Danann. He made the silver hand for his brother king Nuada to replace the one he lost in battle. Dian Cecht had blessed the well Slane in which the wounded Tuatha Dé bathed. It healed all their wounds so they could resume their fighting. He had a son, Miach, whom he slew out of professional jealousy. Miach had replaced the silver hand Dian Cecht had made for Nuada with Nuada's own hand. Some claimed it was jealousy, while Dian Cecht said is was the disrespectful manner in which the replacement was done. He is also the grandfather of Lugh.


The Celtic god of healing. Dian Cécht (Dian Cecht) was the great physician of the Tuatha Dé Danann.

There is a lot of confusion over his parentage. Dian Cécht was said to be the son of Esarg and grandson of Neit. This makes Dian Cécht the brother of Goibhniu, Luchne and Creidne. He had also being named as the son of Dagda. In another work, Dian Cécht was the son of Echtoigh and grandson of Esoirc. While in the Lebor Gabala, he had being called one of the seven sons of Ethliu. This would make him the brother of Dagda, Nuada, Goibhniu, Luchta, Credne and Lug Mac Cein. In one poem in the Dindshenchas, Dian Cécht was even called the son of Dagda, but this was clearly a mistake, because another poem in the same work, stated differently.

Through the goddess Danu, Dian Cécht became the father of Goibhniu, Cian (Kian) and Sawan.

When Bres grew oppressive, the Dananns wanted Nuada to become their king. However, Nuada was disqualified from ruling Ireland because he lost one of his hands in battle against the Firbolgs. Dian Cécht replaced Nuada's hand with a silver hand, enabling Nuada to replace Bres as king.

Dian Cécht was not an ethical healer, because he was jealous with anyone who surpassed him as a healer, even his own children. When Miach had shown to be a greater healer than him, by restoring Nuada's original arm, Dian Cécht murdered his own son. When Airmed, his daughter, began categorying the herbs used for healing, Dian Cécht jealously mixed catalog so the results came out wrong.

In the war against the Fomorians, Dian Cécht blessed the water, which the Dananns bathed in, healing their wounds and restoring their vigour.

From: Here


"Saule, my amber weeping Goddess
creating light like thread.
As "Saules Mat" my mother sun, daily blessing
your thankful world with light."

Saule ("the sun") is the most powerful of Latvian heavenly goddesses. She is the goddess of the sun and of fertility, the patroness of all unfortunate people, especially orphans (as the only one to substitute the mother, to warm the child; mother is compared to Saule speaking of kindness, and bride as speaking of beauty). She is the mother of Saules meitas or meita (plural or singular). She is said to live on the top of the heavenly mountain (some model of world), where she rides during the day in her chariot. At night she sails with her boat on the world sea. The motif of permanent motion is apparent in this image, as well as the idea of the sun shining somewhere else during the night. Of course, the diachronic aspect is to be taken into account. In several cases she appears as the ruler in heaven, especially in relations with Meness.

Article "Saule" created on 03 March 1997; last modified on 08 April 2002 (Revision 2). 153 words.
© MCMXCV - MMVI Encyclopedia Mythica™. All rights reserved.

The sun goddess Saule and her star-daughter, Saules Meita, are central to the mythology of Lithuania and Latvia, east of Poland on the shores of the Baltic Sea. Tender folk songs, called dainas, attest to the love the Baltic peoples had for their goddesses; a million dainas have been recorded and can be found in the folkloric archives in Vilnius, capital of Lithuania. The last European regions to become Christianized, the Baltic states held to their goddess traditions into the late middle ages. Even then, everyday life was filled with small rituals - like greeting the sun as she rose each morning - that connected the Baltic people to their ancient ways.

The story of Saule and her daughter is one of sorrow and pain, as well as fierce love and deep connection. It began at the dawn of time, when Saule married the moon-man Meness. At first the marriage was happy, as they rose together and traveled the skies each day in their chariots. Their first child was the earth; after that, countless children became the stars of heaven. Among these, Saule's favorite was her daughter, Saules Meita, sometimes called Valkyrine or Austrine, the star of morning.

For eons and eons, life was happy for the sun goddess and her family. But slowly, things grew strained. The moon became moody and withdrawn. He often refused to mount the sky in his chariot in the morning, claiming he was not feeling well. But Saule, a responsible mother to her world, never missed a day of work. Each morning, she bade a tender farewell to her family, kissed her husband sweetly, and took her brown horses into the air. She had many tasks to do as she traveled: nipping tall trees with her silver shears, so the forests would not block the sun; blowing clouds away from Lithuania so that they darkened other skies; finding lost items for her human children.

When the day ended, Saule bathed her weary steeds in the Nemunas River, then hitched them to the apple tree at the end of the earth. She sat there for awhile drawing to herself the souls of people who had died that day. Then she went to her sky-palace and checked on her family. Always the happiest moment of her day was seeing the smiling face of her lovely daughter

But one day, Saule found the, palace ominously quiet. Meness was nowhere to be found, and neither was Saules Meita. The sun goddess, growing ever more anxious, searched and searched. Finally, she found the girl, sitting dejectedly by a steam at the end of heaven. Saules Meita dangled one hand listlessly in the cold water of a fountain, and tears streamed from her beloved eyes. At first she refused to tell her mother what was bothering her, claiming only that she had lost a ring in the water. But finally Saule learned the whole bitter truth: that in her absence, the moon-man had raped her daughter.

Furious beyond words, Saule left her daughter and went to seek her husband. Without listening to his excuses, the sun goddess took a sword and slashed the moon's face leaving marks we can still see today. Then she banished him forever from her presence. Although they once traveled side by side through the daytime sky, they have never been seen that way since. When he must be near the sun, Meness hides his face in shame, causing the moon's dark phase. Only when he is across the sky from his former wife does he dare show his entire visage.

After that tragedy, Saule lived as a single mother, raising her star-children by herself. She remained as reliable as she had always been, lighting the sky for her earthly children.

FOR MORE: The Sun, the Moon, and the Morning Star

Saule - Latvia & Lithuania
(Saul - a)

Saule wears silken garments,with a silver crown, with a silver crown, made of gilded leaves.
Saule crosses the lake, brilliant as tinsel, and polished slippers on her feet.
Goddess Mother Saule reached her hand above the river.
Her shawl, her gilt shawl, slipped from her shoulders.
I open the window to Saule,
I look out at Saule.
Ah! It’s too short this life that I live in her light.
The sun mother weaves shawls in the middle of the sky.
Two are solid gold the third is solid silver.
Saule, my amber weeping Goddess creating light like thread.
As "Saules Mat" my mother sun, daily blessing your thankful world with light.

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Symbols: bows and arrows, shields and weapons, Red Crown, weaving shuttle

Cult Center: Sais, Esna

Neith is one of the oldest Egyptian goddesses. Early in Egyptian history she was honored throughout Egypt. Later on, she was mostly recognized in her cult center of Sais.

She was sometimes depicted as a woman wearing the crown of the north and holding either a sceptre or a bow and two arrows. At other times she was shown as a woman wearing a shuttle (a tool used in weaving) on her head.

It is believed that she was originally a goddess of war (due to the bow and arrows imagery) and may have become later a goddess of weaving (when wearing the shuttle). She was occasionally shown suckling a crocodile who represented her son, Sobek. She was self-produced and the Egyptians believed she was of both a masculine and feminine nature. It was said that Neith gave birth to Re while she was still in the waters of Nun. Neith was the protectoress of Duamutef, the guardian of the deceased's stomach.

During the dispute between Seth and Horus for the throne of Egypt, the gods could not decide how to resolve the issue. They sent a letter to Neith requesting her advice. She suggested that Horus be made king and Seth be given two Semetic goddesses as consolation. All the gods (but Seth) agreed with the wisdom of her solution.

Her largest temple, Sapi-meht, was located at Sais, the capital of the fifth nome of Lower Egypt. In Upper Egypt, she was portrayed with the head of a lioness. Here her husband was Khnemu, the ram-headed creation god of the First Cataract, and her son was Tutu. Tutu was a form of the god Shu.

FROM: Neith
Patron of: war, impartiality, mummification wrappings, the funeral bier.

Appearance: A woman carrying weapons of war, usually a bow and arrow and a shield.

Description: In the Old Kingdom she was a war deity, invoked as a blessing for weapons, both for the soldier and the hunter. Often weapons were placed in tombs surrounding the mummy as protection against evil spirits. These weapons were consecrated to Neith.

In the New Kingdom her association with funerary rites is even greater. She stands, along with Isis, guarding the funeral bier of the pharaoh. In the New Kingdom the mummy wrappings were considered the "gifts of Neith."
In may stories Neith is found being asked to arbitrate between two sides, her combination of military prowess and impartiality renders her very similar to Athena.

Worship: Cult centers in the Delta in the same area as Sobek, her son.

FROM: TourEgypt's short Neith article
Neith is a goddess of Lower Egypt particularly associated with Sais but soon incorporated into the national pantheon with a sanctuary at Memphis. According to legend Neith emerged from the primeval water to create the world. She followed the course of the Nile to the sea, and when reaching the Delta she formed the city of Sais.

In the New Kingdom she was regarded as the "god's mother who bore Re," whereby she assumed the position of a primeval goddess who was neither male nor female. She was the first to "create the seed of gods and men." She is the mother of Egyptian rulers. Also she was a mortuary goddess who watched over Osiris' brier along with Isis, Nephthys and Serket. The deceased received her divine power by means of the mummy's wrappings, for the bandages and shrouds were considered gifts of Neith, who was regarded as the patroness of weaving. Possibly there was an earlier proposal that her symbol was the weaver's shuttle.

When depicted in human form she wears the red crown of Lower Egypt, and in ancient times her pre-anthropomorphic symbol was a shield bearing crosses because she also was a local war goddess. This goddess of war also blessed hunters' weapons. The practice of placing weapons around the coffin in ancient Egyptian times could be traced to the goddess' protective functions. She was sometimes asked to give advice and judgment, as, for example, in the eight-year war of the gods between Seth and Horus, which she advised Re in favor of Horus. In other legends she was the consort of Seth and mother of the crocodile god Sobek, which explains the proximity of her cult center in the Delta.

FROM: "Neith"
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