Athirat was known as the Canaanite Earth and Mother Goddess. Because of this, she was often referred to as “Creator of the Gods.” In this article you will find a collection of facts about the goddess, including some of the animals that are associated with her and her position amongst the other gods.
1. Another name for Athirat was Asherah.
2. Not only was the God named El her brother, but he was also her husband.
3. Athiret was known for possessing a great deal of wisdom. Because of this, she often acted as counsel for her husband, El. Other attributes of the goddess includes protectiveness and kindness towards her many offspring. She would frequently use her charms to encourage her husband to act on their behalf.
4. Athiret was believed to have given birth to “70 gracious gods,” which included Ba’al, Athtar the Terrible (the King of the Earth who was most likely also the god of the desert), the friendly water-goddess named Marah, and the Maiden Warrior Goddess called Anat.
5. In tales regarding Athirat, she is linked to the Tree of Life and the ivory box-lid of Mycenean workmanship that was discovered in Ugarit. This artifact dates back to 1300 BCE and depicts the goddess as a symbol for the Tree of Life. It is there that she is wearing an eye-catching skirt and jewelry. She is topless, but her hair is delicately placed. The depiction shows her smiling. In her hands, she is holding wheat sheaves, which is offers to a pair of goats.
6. Depictions of the goddess show her cupping her nude breasts with a head full of curly long hair. Lions are also associated with Athirat. Sometimes, she is shown with a snake , a feature that creates a link to Biblical Eve. Other times, a palm tree or pillar with a snake coiled about it is used to represent the goddess.
7. One myth that involves Athirat tells the tale of a young El, who finds two lovely goddesses (Athirat and Rahmaya) washing their clothes in the sea water. He talks sweetly to the goddesses, who agree to cook him a meal. He asks them to choose between being his daughters or his wives. They both choose to become his wives. Between the two, they become the mothers of gods named Shachar (“Dawn”) and Shalim (“Dusk”).
8. Athirat is known as a strong and powerful goddess. Many myths show the other gods asking for her assistance. They wish her to influence her husband so that they may benefit. Since she is the keeper of wisdom, she plays a significant role in making important decisions. For example, she gives instructions on the proper ritual that must be followed to ensure the fertility of the vines.
9. Athirat has a connection to the sea and it is believed that she lives by the shores. Her sons are referred to as “the Cleavers of the Sea” and because of all of this, sailors and those who travel by sea look towards her as a protector.