As I wrote my last blog post, the Great Goddess of the Canaanites, Ashera was honored and worshipped (according to the bible) within and through groves of trees. Ashera and El, the “great bull god” were deeply connected. In fact, in Canaanite mythology, El and Ashera were married.
But before delving into their relationship, I would like to start in a different (but connected) direction – the lovely archetype of the morning star and the evening star. The planet Venus, named for her namesake Goddess (or vice versa), is both the planetary vision of the morning star and the evening star. Whether She be Goddess, planet or evening/morning star, when She appears in one form, She embodies them all.
The planet Venus, as viewed from Earth runs through a cycle of 584 days. In Her morning star phase, She can be seen before the sun rises and in Her evening star phase She can be seen just after the sun sets.
Here is Her cycle:
- Venus as morning star – 263 days
- Not visible – 50 days
- Venus as evening star – 263 days
- Not visible – 8 days.
Because of this cycle, Venus was known as the twin who could transverse the heavens, earth and the underworld. She was associated with analogous goddesses and gods (both female and male) throughout the world. One of Her kindred deities is Quetzalcóatl from the Americas.
Quetzalcóatl’s connection to Venus as evening star and morning star is brought out in this quote from the Mexican archaeological magazine, Anales de Quauhtitlán: “At the time when the planet was visible in the sky (as evening star) Quetzalcóatl died. And when Quetzalcóatl was dead he was not seen for 4 days; they say that he dwelt in the underworld, and for 4 more days he was bone (that is, he was emaciated, he was weak); not until 8 days had passed did the great star appear; that is, as the morning star. They said that then Quetzalcóatl ascended the throne as god.”
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