Who was Astarte? She was a goddess; rather, she was the Goddess, the Great Mother, the Light of the Light of the World, the most ancient and widely revered divinity in human history. Shrines to her date back to Neolithic Period, and there was not one Indo-European culture that failed to remove with its kiss the mud from her sidereal slippers. In comparison, "God", as we moderns call Yahweh (often misspelled "Jehovah") was a Yahny-come-lately who would never approach her enormous popularity. She was the mother of God, as indeed, she was the mother of all. As beloved as she was for her life-giving and nurturing qualities, the only activities of hers acceptable to the patriarchs, she was mistress over destruction as well as creation, representing, according to one scholar, "the abyss that is the source and the end, the ground of all being."
In Jezebel's native Phoeonicia, the Goddess's name was Astarte. In Babylon, she was Ishtar; in India, Kali; in Greece, Demeter (immature aspect: Aphrodite). If Saxon was your indigenous tongue, you would address her as Ostara; if Nordic, you'd say Freya; if Egyptian, Isis-or Nut or Hathor or Neith. Oh the Goddess had many names, and many roles. She was a virgin, bride, mother, prostitute, witch, and hanging judge, all swirled into one. She had more phases than the moon. She knew the dark side of the moon like the palm of her hand. She shopped there.
Because the Goddess was changeable and beautiful and playful, because she looked upon natural chaos as lovingly as she did natural order, because her warm feminine intuition was often at odds with cool masculine reason, because the uterine magic of her daughters since the dawn of consciousness overshadowed the penis power of her sons, resentful priests ... led a coup against her some four thousand years ago-and most of what we know as Western civilization is the result. Life still begins in the womb............"
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