Astarte (also Ashtart, Ashtoreth) In ancient Phoenicia, the great GoDDEss of fertility, motherhood and war. She is the counterpart to the Babylonian goddess IsHTAR and is one of the oldest Middle Eastern aspects of the Goddess, dating to the Neolithic and Bronze Ages. Tam-muz is identified as her son/consort, as he is with Ishtar. According to myth, Astarte descended to earth as a fiery star, landing near Byblos in a lake at Alphaca, the site where the original Tammuz is said to have died.
The Phoenicians portrayed Astarte with cow horns, representing fertility. Ancient Assyrians and Babylonians portrayed her caressing a child. She was associated with the moon and called the Mother of the Universe, giver of all life on Earth. She was ruler of all spirits of the dead, who lived in heaven in bodies of light and were visible on earth as stars. Her other counterparts are Isis and Hathor of Egypt, Kali of India and Aphrodite and DEMETER of Greece.
The first recorded mention of Astarte's name dates back to 1478 B.C.E., but her cult was already well established by then. The cult of Astarte spread westward from Phoenicia into ancient Greece, Rome and as far as the British Isles. The goddess was worshiped with sexual rituals that were condemned by the prophets of the Old Testament. Sacrifices made to her included firstborn children and newborn animals.
Christians turned Astarte into a male demon, Astaroth.
When Metis was pregnant, Zeus was afraid that she would bear a son who would be greater than he, so he swallowed Metis. Inside him, she began to hammer out a
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