Friday, August 17, 2012

The Deities Don’t Like Your Manky Underwear: Temple Etiquette in Natib Qadish

Mosaic from Villa del Casale at Piazza Armerina in Sicily.
Day 0 (Chudthu/New Moon) of month [Shalamu], Shanatu 84 (year).

If you are fortunate enough to visit a Natib Qadish (Canaanite polytheistic religion) temple, there are a few things you should know. First off, few people visit these temples. In the old days, it was likely that the temples were closed to visitors most of the time while the courtyards are where devotees assembled for major religious events. This differs greatly from the modern concept of a "church" as a public meeting place.

Leave your cell phone turned off or in another room, unless you are a doctor and the matter is truly life or death. Really, there better be hemorrhaging involved.

Do not take photographs. Temple is a sacred place and not open to the public, and certainly not the online public. Any photos I’ve taken of temple now have been photos before the area is consecrated. No, the deities won’t melt your phone or camera like the Ark of the Covenant melted off Nazi faces in Indiana Jones, but it is of highest rudeness to open an inner sanctuary to foot (and eye) traffic.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Ilu, The Reigning God of the Canaanite Pantheon

Statue of Ilu from Megiddo 1400-1200 BCE
22 Rashu Yeni (month), Shanatu 84 (year)

The name Ilu literally translates as "God," implying "the preeminent god" or the "embodiment of divinity." Scholars speculate that the original Israelite deity may have been El. The Israelites later assimilated elements of him and elements of other deities with Yahweh. It must be noted however, that Ilu and Yahweh are not the same god.

Ilu is the Creator or Creatures, the baniyu banuwati. As the Father of Years, abu shanima, he maintains the sacred rhythm of the cosmos. As the Father of Humanity, abu adami, he assists his people as he assisted Kirtu in the king’s time of need. Ilu holds rank as the King of the Pantheon, malku, and his epithet, Bull (thoru), reflects his universal divine kingship.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Oh My Goddess-es: Identities of Inanna, Astarte, Ishtar, ‘Athtartu, ‘Anatu, and Athiratu

15 Ra'shu Yeni (month), Shanatu 84 (year)

Astarte Syriaca by Dante Gabriel Rosetti, 1877
If I had a pinch of gold dust for every time a site on the internet or a Pagan book said Inanna, Astarte, Ishtar, ‘Anat, and Asherah are all the same goddess, or “aspects” of the same goddess, I’d be pawning my way to the crown jewels by now. There is a great deal of misinformation regarding who these ancient goddesses are and they are often confused. So let’s unravel this tangle. We’ll explore who is whom, how these goddesses interconnect or don’t, and the reasons they became grouped together to the point of losing individuality.