Canaanite Goddess Asherah
Hebrew Goddess; Asherah, the Shekinah, consort of Yahweh
This exceptional figurine of a Canaanite fertility goddess depicts the goddess from both the interior and exterior perspectives, as she prepares herself for the delivery of twins. The twins, seen within her womb, clutch at her breasts. The figurine may represent Asherah, called the “sacred prostitute” or the “one of the womb.” According to myth, Asherah gave birth to the twin gods Shahar and Shalem. Symbols of Asherah, the sacred tree and ibex, appear on the goddess’ thigh.
~ Asherah as Vegetative Prosperity Goddess ~ Holding vegetative stalks, a crowned Asherah stands atop her signature lion on this bronze plaque/pendant. Dating to ~1300 BCE, this is a depiction of Asherah in her aspect as Qds, a Vegetative Prosperity Goddess.
This Goddess is Asherah, often mentioned in the Bible as one of the “false” gods of other peoples who was wrongly worshiped by the Israelites. Modern archaeological evidence suggests, however, that she was actually a local goddess, the Mother Goddess of both Canaan and Israel, and the wife of both El and Yahweh. (Hear the archaeologist speaking about those discoveries here and learn more about Asherah in my previous series on her, beginning here.)
Epiphanies of the goddess Asherah, over ~3,000 of these pillar figurines have been discovered throughout Judah. Personifications of the God's wife, the Hebrew Mother Goddess Asherah, they date to ~900-750 BCE.