The White Moon Gallery Presents
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Before I start let me point out that I didn't choose the Goddess that I have done my research on, She chose me! She
presented Herself for the first time in my dreams,
then in meditation and now I feel Her presence by my side all through the day.
Her name is Asherah. She was a beloved household Goddess and Mother Creatrix. Her home encompasses much of the Middle East, where She was worshiped as the Tree of Life in a Garden where the Serpent was her sacred totem.
It is said that even King Solomon worshiped and knew Her as "Qaniyatu Elina"; "She who gives birth to the Gods".
Its said that the Greek Goddess Aphrodite descends from Asherah, as well as her other becomings including; Astrate or Ashtouth and Ishtar. Asherah has many names: Ashratum, Athorath, Astoreth, Elath, Eliat, Queen of Heavens. She is the Grand Mother of Muslims, Jews and Christians.
Her aspects include: bringing special blessings to the family and helping people achieve their goals and dreams. Asherah is also the Canaanite Goddess of moral strength, who offers to lend support and insight when we are faced with inequality or overwhelming odds. She is a Mother figure embodying a kind of benevolent and enduring, fertile energy that can reinforce just efforts and good intentions.
In Urgaritic texts She is the consort of El, fertility Goddess and the wooden cult symbol that represents Her. As El's first wife, She was said to have birthed 70 sons. All gods of the myths were born to Asherah and El, with the exception of Baal, whose parentage is uncertain. El had 2 wives but it was Asherah alone who nursed the newly born gods. Seeing as she had birthed so many children it is only normal that she was worshipped as the true fertility Goddess, force of life and nature. She manifests in domestic herds and flocks, in groves of trees and in the nurturing waters. Her powers and her presence were invoked not only during planting time but also during childbirth.
Asherah appears on the 14th century B.C. clay tablets written in a language quite similar to the biblical Hebrew. Her full name is "Lady Asherah of the Sea". She ruled the oceans and El ruled the Heavens.
Asherah, Goddess of the tides and lady of the sea
Judging by the large number of Asherah figurines found by Archeologists, without a
matching number of male figurines, the worship of the Goddess must have been
extremely popular in all segments of Hebrew society.
Asherah was not a Jewish Goddess but even then She is mentioned many times in the old testament. The people who worshiped Her are said to have endured severe punishments. But no matter the punishment they had to endure for going back to worshipping Her, She keeps surfacing and the people go back again and again to their old ways.
Because of this She was finally accommodated by an esoteric sect in the middle ages in the Kabbalah where she is called the Shekina.
The translation means 'presence'. But there, Her story changes a little, Her consort is then Yahweh and Her title is God-the-Mother. Her sacred pillars or poles stand beside Yahweh's altar, embracing it. She becomes widely known as Goddess of Healing and Goddess of the tides.
Even though Her name changes, Asherah remains the feminine face of God down through the present day. Her themes are kindness, love, divination and foresight. Her symbols are lions, lilies, a tree or a pole and a triangle on a pole or a cross.
Original Art by Medussa
Festival of Asherah
It is not known when Her festival took place during the year, all we know is that her sacred day is Saturday and most likely her festivals were held on that day. Festivals of Asherah featured Her sacred Tree of Life which were hung with silver and gold and images of animals and decorated with ribbons and flowers. This custom echoes both our folk customs of the Christmas tree and the may pole.
With this information I've created a little festival of my own to honor Asherah.
On a sunny Saturday of May, go out to find a flowering tree or cut a branch of one you find (with the tree's and its owners permission) and place it in a vase filled with water.
Once you have found a tree, water it as an offering to Asherah and decorate it with ribbons and animal figurines of sylver and gold. Light several white candles so to make a circle at the foot of the tree (careful not to start a fire!)
Then say this chant:
"Asherah Protectress of Home,
Ye who is celebrated in High Places,
Great Goddess of Splendid Palaces,
Protectress of the most humble hearths,
Bless our homes with peace and abundance,
Your sacred Moontrees have not been forgotten.
Feast and rejoice, dance and play around the tree. Let the candles burn until sunset. Before they burn out thank the Goddess for Her presence with you throughout the day and for Her past and future blessings. Invite Her to stay if She can or leave if She must. Then blow out the candles.
Prayer to Asherah
Oh Great Goddess Asherah, I pray to you.
Your sacred pillars show me to stand tall, strong and proud
But I'm only human and I fear failure.
Beloved Mother Creatrix, hear my prayer,
For I am your daughter and I need you now,
Fill me with your energy,
Fill me with your moral strength,
Give me insight on what I should do,
Oh Great Goddess Asherah I pray to you.
I have search far and wide
And found only you as my guide,
I have searched without as well as within<
And there I found you waiting.
Oh Great Lady Asherah of the Sea,
Fill me guide me, be with me
from this day on until forever,
I will follow you.
Asherah's message to us, given to me in a meditation.
"Come to me my child,
there is no reason to cry,
For in the darkest night,
I will show you the light.
From me rise and break the tides,
You don't have to travel for miles,
I have always been by your side.
Join me and you will forever smile,
For I will show you your might.
Come to me my child
I will greet you with arms open wide.
I will show you the light,
Together we will fly
Until your tears have all dried."
Chant to Ashera in the festival taken from Goddess2000.Org
Some information taken from the book 365 Goddess
Border image adapted from Sacred Source.
The sculpture of the cross, the prayer to Asherah and Asherah's message to us are all my original work.