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My interest in Asherah is with her potential links with the Minoans which this article I found seems to indicate see web page - Asherah

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Actually the most interesting thing about the image depicted is the body posture which conceals an ancient dream control posture allowing the Goddess to contact her worshipers in their dreams.

Yes, the Minoans seem to use body postures a lot in their worship.

I remember you, Meridian. Do you recall Zena Medusa? I am the same. 

Yes Jnana, I remember Zena medusa. 

One thing that you may notice about the image of Asherah flanked by goats is that while her breasts are uncovered, the lower part of her body is clothed, which means that her vulva is hidden. The small figurines of Asherah made of stone or clay that have been found in the homes of the Israelites who lived before the Babylonian captivity are similar in that the breasts are prominent but the lower part of the body is pillar-like. This is markedly different from the usual icon of Ashtarat or Astarte which displays her vulva prominently and is, in fact, emphasized. I interpret this to mean that Astarte was the goddess of temple sexuality. In the temple ritual the High Priestess had intercourse with the King to ensure the fertility of the land. Asherah on the other hand was the goddess of the matron or mother of the Canaanite or Jewish family. While Astarte's sexuality is public, Asherah's sexuality is private and available only to her husband. Therefore her vulva is hidden. Astarte is represented on earth by the Kadeyshim or temple prostitutes who are governed by the High Priestess. Asherah is represented on earth by every Canannnite or Jewish mother, no matter how humble. Her virtue is her faithfulness to her husband and her love for her family. This may seem boring to the "jet-set" witchcraft group on Pagan Space, but they would not be able to post on Pagan Space if they did not have a mother. The temples were destroyed and "sacred sex" disappeared except for secret societies, but motherhood remains no matter what the religion of the day. The sacredness of nature remains even if the Creeds and the Qur'ans deny its reality. You may not be able to join a secret society, but the sacredness of life and nature is present right now in you, in your home, and in your family. I posted a blog article on Pagan Space which touches upon some of these ideas and includes pictures of the figurines of Asherah and the typical Astarte plaque. http://www.paganspace.net/profiles/blogs/astarte-asherah-ha-elah-ju...

The first part of the bog article was copied word-for-word from my reply to Cluthin's first comment on this page. But be sure to read the final sections.

Actually in this case there is a specific "Magickal formula"hidden in the icon of the Goddess with " Breasts uncovered and " Vulva covered" It was the custom in ancient Israel and Palestine, as well as in Africa to this day  for all women to wear exactly the costume depicted during menstruation. The idea was that light can damage the magickal potency of menstrual blood. The priestesses in Solomon's Temple took special precautions to keep menstrual blood potent because they were utilising it in a specific form of sex magical operation similar to those operations described by Kenneth Grant in The Typhpnin Trilogies", it was not until after the reform of the Jewish religion after the Babylonian ex-isle that meanstrual blood was regarded as"unclean" and this "regulation" was courting specifically to curb the power of the priestesses of Asherah, because of the priest's fear of their magickal potency.

That's really useful cluthin as I maintain on my website that the Snakes the goddess is holding represents menstruation and were a part of their rituals like the priestesses at Delphi sitting on the Omphalos waiting for her period to start in order to prophesies and give answers to questions.

There are in all interconnections between the "Snake mysteries" and menstruation, firstly it must be understood that makes mysteries involved various esoteric uses of the snake venom, there is a good discussion about this in a book called "The Serpent Grail" and also some interesting comments in Merlin Stone's book "When God was a Woman". The priestesses also used an ancient acupuncture formula in which they used venom diped Needles through the Achilles tendon to unite to acupuncture points and cause certain trance states there is an interesting description of the physiological effects of adder bites in Robert graves book "The White Goddess". The relevance of all this to menstruation is that the acupuncture point in question are used to regulate menstruation and if used during menstruation can help to further "open"the priestesses mind to the "menstruation gate". In this respect I would highly recommend two books"The Wise Wound"by Peter Redgrove and Penelope Shuttle and "Alchemy for Women" by Penelope Shuttle,Redgrove's book"The Black Goddess and the sixth Sense" also contain some interesting insights.

Thanks, I'm familiar with some of the books you mention.

I am amazed at the knowledge of my two group members.

As a note of special interest to Meridian I would mention that the Minoan goddess has been linked to Rhea the mother of Zeus. Here is a complex of interesting ideas:

1. Rhea as the mother of Zeus is the mother of the king.

2. Maria is the mother of Jesus, the King of the Jews.

3. The mother of Jesus could also be the Ruach Kadesh or Hakodesh, the feminine Holy Spirit which is a later form of Asherah after her image was suppressed.

4. Kybele or Cybele is considered to be a form of Rhea, and Attis has often been called a "pagan Christ".

5. The celebration of the death and rebirth of Attis occured on the same days of the year as the Chistian Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

6. A major temple of Cybele stood on the Vatican Hill in Rome where St. Peter's Basilica was built.

7. The priests of Cybele castrated themselves in imitation of the priest Attis. Catholic priests castrate themselves symbolically by taking a vow of chastity.

8. Rhea was the wife of Chronos, and was called Opis in Rome, where she was the wife of Saturn. She can be considered to be a feminine aspect of Saturn in the horoscope, where the planet governs repression through law and sacrifice.

9. The Baal of Carthage was equated with Saturn, not Jupiter as was the case of Baal in Lebanon. The Romans called his wife, Tanit, Dea Caelestis.

10. Dea Caelestis reminds me of the Venus Caelestis or Aphrodite Urania of the Platonic school, who represents the sublimation of erotic passion through the contemplation of beauty in art.

11. This creates a parallel between Rhea or Opis and Venus Caelestis.

12. Schopenhauer recommends the same sublimation of desire through art in his "World as Will and Representation". His ideas are often considered to be equivalent to Buddhist thought.

13. The obvious conclusion of the historical development from Rhea to Cybele is Maria virginem, the Virgin Mary.

14. She is a repressive "goddess" and therefore a "wife" or feminine aspect of Saturn.

15. Both Jewish mysticism and Gnostic thought equates Saturn with YHVH. 

16. The consort of YHVH is Asherah ha Elah. The consort of the masculine Holy Spirit is Maria. Therefore Asherah should = Maria. But something got lost in these historical transitions. What was lost was nature, which the Mother of the Gods Cybele (Magna Mater Deum) or the Mother of God Maria (Mater Dei) attempted to spiritualize. 

17. The spiritualization of nature failed to retain natural wholeness and life because it was effected by a castration, either physical or psychological.

18. The desire to rediscover the naturalness of the mother may take the form form of an interest in her breasts as symbols of nourishment and serpents as an image of the kundalini or shakti, her sexuality. Cf. Hinduism, especially the image of the Muladhara Chakra. The kundalini serpent is coiled around a Shiva lingam inside an inverted triangle. The triangle is the vulva in its physical aspect. 

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