fun info from sage goddess!
Asherah is the great mother goddess of the Middle East. She is the Shekina in the Kabbalah, and she appeared in the Bible as the consort of Yahweh – the wife of God. As such, she is known as the Queen of Heaven. Asherah was effectively written out of the modern Bible, even though she was mentioned over 40 times throughout the Old Testament. She is an all-encompassing Divine Mother goddess, and is connected, through her evolution and existence, to other goddesses of this region of the world, such as Ishtar and Astarte, and according to some sources she is linked even to Athena and Inanna. Her symbol is the Tree of Life, and she was very connected to trees. Her worshipers used to carve her likeness into wooden poles and stick them in the ground to honor her. She came to be heavily associated with Kabbalah and the Kabbalah Tree of Life, as well as the ancient Jewish mysticism surrounding it. She was associated with all that was symbolized by the Tree of Life, including the Menorah. Asherah’s sacred animals were the lion and the ibex. She was a loving goddess who was honored during planting season, embodying the fertility needed to tend to our fruits of intention, as well as the children we give life to. She was also revered for her great wisdom and knowledge of all things; past present, and future. Ancient Hebrew women prayed to her for all matters on which they needed guidance and support.
According to the Bible, Asherah was officially worshipped in Israel around the 9th century BCE. Jezebel was said to have popularized her cult. All of her sacred objects and associations were known as ‘Asherim’. In her sacred groves of idols, wooden poles would be placed next to shrines to Yahweh, as an act of homage to both the Divine Masculine and Feminine energies. These places were often located at the tops of hills and deep in the forest. She was truly connected to the Earth, and was known as the Bread of Life. Hebrew women even baked loaves of Asherah bread, which would be blessed by priestesses and eaten in ritual.
Ancient cuneiform tablets found in Syria tell us another story of Asherah, a fertility goddess with carved wooden totems. She was said to have birthed 70 sons. She was worshipped as the one true fertility goddess, force of life and nature. She was represented by farm lands and animals, in groves of trees, and in fresh waters.
Asherah was widely worshipped before the patriarchy became the dominant force of the world, driving and influencing the polytheistic religions towards a masculine, monotheistic viewpoint. After the dominance of the patriarchy, Asherah became to mean “sacred grove.” As the monotheistic belief progressively gained strength in ancient times, her followers, and anyone who worshipped multiple gods, would be punished, and Asherah’s sacred groves were burnt to the ground. Still, her patrons continued to worship her, because they needed a loving and compassionate Mother goddess to call upon. She was that sacred and divine Mother for many. She remains a powerful maternal figure for us today.
You can find a set of tools aligned to Asherah’s energy here, and don’t forget to join me on June 20th online or here at SGHQ when we meet for our ritual to honor the Full Moon and the Goddess Asherah.