Friday 29 September 2023

September Full Moon Altar: Asherah


This month's full moon altar celebrates Asherah, a Middle-Eastern Earth Mother and Fertility Goddess who was worshipped 3,000 years ago in ancient Israel (which was then polytheistic). She was the consort of Yahweh and was designated as the Tree of Life. Asherah was especially popular in folk religion, but there are also many references to her in the Hebrew Bible. Her statues were included and honoured in King Solomon's Temple.


Like many Mother Goddess figures, the typical Asherah statue shows her offering her breasts to nurture and sustain all life. She wears a sacred headdress very reminiscent of the one worn by the even older Goddess of Willendorf. But the most striking aspect of Asherah is her tree-trunk-like body -- no curves or big hips for her -- her body is a visual representation of her status as the Tree of Life. In ancient Israel, she was often represented by poles called "Asherah pillars." I bought my Asherah from Sacred Source about 15 years ago.


Beside her on the altar is a photo of Gustav Klimt's iconic painting of The Tree of Life (1909), symbolically composed of the sacred spiral of life. A section of this painting is reproduced on the display cabinet in which I keep 90% of my Goddess statues collection. The other 10% are outside the cabinet in various places throughout my home. It's hard to get a good photo of the cabinet because the back is mirrored. Unfortunately for proper display purposes, my goddesses are crowded very much cheek-by-jowl in the cabinet, but they are safe from breakage there and do not require dusting.


[Photos © Debra She Who Seeks, 2023]

36 comments:

Frank said...

I don't know much about gods and goddesses but hubby and I went outside to soak in the hot tub at 4am this morning and enjoyed gazing at the full moon while in the spa.

Moving with Mitchell said...

This is perfect timing. I was about to ask you if your goddess collection is on display year-round or kept hidden away until their special day arrives. The cabinet is worthy of the goddesses.

Marie Smith said...

I love that cabinet and the goddesses you share with us.

Mistress Maddie said...

I love the tree of life painting!!! And thank you Debs, you must have been reading my mind. I was just wondering where you kept all your Goddess. You have featured so many...I knew you must have had somewhere special to keep them.

And in such close quarters...thanks heavens they all get along!!!!!

Mistress Maddie said...

@ Frank- Who's full moon was it??? LMAO!!!!!!!!

Marcia LaRue said...

I was getting a little worried that there would be no altar for this beautiful Harvest Moon ... I look forward to seeing each and every one of the altars!
Thanks, Deb.

Bob said...

I love the display cabinet; very cool looking.

Janie Junebug said...

The photo of the cabinet turned out fine, so now we know where the goddesses live. I love the Klimt painting and the way it's reproduced on the cabinet. Another great altar. The dogs and I admired the moon last night.

Love,
Janie

Boud said...

So that's where all the goddesses wait their turn. I like the current one very much.
Here we, unerringly, have rain and generally no moon sightings, in fact full moon coastal flooding. So I'll take the word on it from the hot tubbers in our group.

Sixpence Notthewiser said...

Ok, so this:
"She was the consort of Yahweh and was designated as the Tree of Life." Love it. I've always wondered how Abrahamic religions came with the concept of god.

And I love the cabinet and I love that you display them around your house!!!

XOXO

Richard said...

Dear Super Moon. Thank you for showing up. I have shared my whole life with you. You are a constant presence. I thank you for the tides and for the lunar calendar. I don't care what they say. Maybe you are just a rock floating in space. Maybe our Artemis goes there to get her arrow materials. I am happy to celebrate you.

Tom said...

...Asherah is new for me, thanks for being a part of my continuing edcation!

Tasker Dunham said...

"breasts ... tree-trunk-like body ... big hips ..." That's exactly how this medication I am on will make me look if the oedema and gynecomastia side effects get any worse.

Mike said...

The spiral of life. Hmmm. Wasn't there a song about that? Sing along...
Life is a spiral
I wanna ride it all night long (whoo!)
If you're goin' my way
I wanna spin it all night long (all night long)
A-gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme, yeah!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3sMjm9Eloo

Lady M said...

Goddesses crowded cheek to jowl? Hopefully they don't start a war in there.

roentare said...

So she is a tree God? I would love to learn more about her.

angela said...

I always love your alters The symbolism is fascinating and in learn so much.
Thank you

Guillaume said...

In many ways, monotheism was a late development in the history of religions.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

@ Guillaume -- That's very true. We've been taught, or actively led to believe, that patriarchal monotheism has "always" existed, but that's just not true.

Joanne Noragon said...

That is a beautiful cabinet, and your goddesses certainly are cheek to jowl, and back to reflected back.

The Blog Fodder said...

Love your alter cabinet. Didn't know about this particular goddess. I'm a big fan of the old style fertility goddesses. Their body style is one I can relate to.

Kirk said...

There is a Tree of Life mentioned in the Book of Genesis though it's not the one from which the apple that got Adam and Eve in so much trouble was plucked (that was the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.) Here and there in the Old Testament, there are traces of the original polytheism (where Yahweh is more like Zeus) that eventually morphed into monotheism (where Yahweh is more like George Burns.) Did the Goddess you speak of end up on the cutting room floor while her tree made the final Old Testament cut? Only those long-dead editors of Genesis know for sure.

baili said...

oh my god that cabinet of yours is full of god and goddesses!

you are amazing and your love for them seems extraordinary Wow

i am reading God by Reza Aslan these days so i could understand the name and personality of your Goddess today :)
Majestic and full of nurture she is divine indeed

thank you for making me for making me familiar with them Debra
hugs

Debra She Who Seeks said...

@ Kirk -- Yes, scholars who compare the original writings to the translated ones note that her name is often omitted or obscured. But apparently there still remains the occasional reference to her "pillars" in the Old Testament.

Ol'Buzzard said...

A late happy equinox. Now we are decorated for Halloween.
the Ol'Buzzard

Fundy Blue said...

Every time I turn around, you have a new altar, Debra! This one is simple, but effective. How interesting that Yahweh had a consort! I don't remember hearing that before. I love your display cabinet framed with parts of the Tree of Life painting. It's beautiful. Enjoy what's left of the weekend!

Ur-spo said...

I always enjoy your altars; they help me mark the passing of the seasons.

e said...

It's a Goddess party! Powerful women getting together, sharing stories, a laugh, knowledge. Love the altar. I didn't know Asherah, but she sounds mighty. Love the Klimt.
Cheers!.
E

Liz Hinds said...

"don't need dusting." A woman after my own heart.

Rostrose said...

Dear Debra,
I only noticed your Goddess of Willendorf late - of course I know her, because the original statue is in the Natural History Museum in Vienna. (Although in the basement, as an employee of the museum with whom I had professional contact told me years ago. The real "Venus" - as we call her - is housed in perfect temperature and other conditions, the statue in the exhibition rooms is a very real looking replica.) However, I didn't know the goddess Asherah. It's such a shame that female deities have been pushed aside over the centuries, and it's great that you're bringing them out of obscurity: Nice to meet you, Asherah! I really like your showcase with the Tree-of-Life frame and is a good place for your goddesses. I have two statues of women (perhaps goddesses, too) that I made myself out of clay, one is heavily pregnant, the other is a green natural creature - I also keep these two in a display case so that nothing happens to them.
All the best, have a nice Sunday evening and a great next week!
Traude
๐Ÿ๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐Ÿชถ๐Ÿ‚ ๐Ÿชถ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒพ๐Ÿ
https://rostrose.blogspot.com/2023/09/ruckblick-auf-den-rostrosen-sommer-2023.html
PS: Your previous post is very touching!

DVArtist said...

Your alters are always so beautiful and full of life. Thank you for sharing. Have a great day.

Hena Tayeb said...

I always learn so much here.. or get a good laugh with your meme's
I hadn't heard of Ashera before... so fascinating.

This N That said...

Love that cabinet! Yes, it seems that we decorate two seasons ahead. We still have Halloween and Thanksgiving to go but there are Christmas decorations in the stores. Ridiculous. Have a happy week.

The Captain said...

I love your cabinet of Goddesses. Trees are sacred in many religions, in my flavour humans were created from trees and they remain something special to us all I believe. Just look at the uproar in the UK at the cutting down of the famous sycamore gap tree last week.

DVArtist said...

Oh I love so many of these. Yes, Spirit of Halloween should be open year round. Yes, it is NOT hoarding if it is Halloween items. Give me that coffin book shelf. LOL Have a great day today.

yellowdoggranny said...

I remembered when I discovered her and was so excited to tell you about her and you knew all about her. I am ate up with envy over your cabinet of goddess's...I have 2...I need more.