Saturday, January 29, 2011

Anahita - Ancient Persian Goddess

Here at The Goddess House we honour all aspects of the Divine Feminine, the Great Mother, and today I am delighted to announced that we took delivery of a representation of Anahita, an ancient Persian Goddess who was associated with water, fertility and war, as well as being the patroness of women.

With her name meaning "the immaculate one", Anahita was often portrayed as a virgin (not belonging by any man), wearing a golden cloak and a diamond tiara.  She was also know as Lady of the Lions, or Lady of the Beasts, she is associated with rivers and lakes, the waters of birth, and as such was also depicted carrying a water pitcher.

Animals considered sacred to Anahita were the dove and the peacock. 

When, in about the 6th century BCE, Persia conquered Babylonia, Anahita started to show similarities with the Babylonian Goddess Ishtar, who was also a virgin warrior Goddess.  During the reign of Persian king Artaxerxes (436-358 BCE) many temples were erected in the honour of Anahita; in Soesa, Ecbatana, and in Babylon.

In 2005 archaeologists underearthed a small statue in the Czechoslovakian town of Mlada Boleslav, which they believed to depict the ancient Persian fertility goddess Anahita.  The statuette, which originally served as a seal, is made of white gypsum and portrays a kneeling woman dressed in a green cloak and wearing a gold chain. Further, what you see under her skirt, so to speak, is very explicit. All those features suggest that it is a rendering of the ancient Persian goddess of water and fertility, and patroness of women, Anahita. It is believed to have been made in Iran in the 4th or 5th century CE at the time of the Sasanian dynasty. Archaeologist Petr Charvat indicated:

"The object was brought to this country from Iran most probably via the countries around the Black Sea sometime in the 5th century by a high-ranking officer of the Roman or Byzantine army who could have been of Iranian descent."

The following poem is based on a Persian folk song, from an Avestan (from eastern Iran) Invocation to Anahita:

Mighty Anahita with splendor will shine,
Incarnated as a youthful divine.

Full of charm her beauty she will display,
Her hip with charming belt she will array.
Straight-figured, she is as noble bride,
Freeborn, herself in puckered dress will hide.
Her cloak is all decorated with gold,
With precious dress Anahita we shall behold.


2 comments:

  1. I'm proud of being Iranian and have such a great culture...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nice post about Anahita - you sure got the basics about her stated correctly! The images in this post are (as is evident) all from ancient times, which is understandable given the scarcity of adherents nowadays, so; I would like to direct your attention to the following contemporary image of Anahita, that I have found on the Internet:

    http://www.artwanted.com/imageview.cfm?id=850973

    Thanks for letting me have my say! Over and out (for this time)!

    ReplyDelete

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Great Goddess Isis

Great Goddess Isis

Exhortation of Isis

You are She in the dust of whose feet is the hosts of Heaven,
Whose body encircles the Universe,
Who turns the Earth in its orb,
Who gives light to the Sun,
Who rules the World.

You tread death underfoot.
To Thee, the stars are responsive,
To Thee the seasons turn and the Gods rejoice
And the elements are in subjugation.


You are She that is the natural Mother of all things,
Mistress and governor of all elements,
The initial progeny of worlds,
Chief of Divine powers,
Queen of Heaven,
Principle of all the Gods celestial and the light of Goddesses.

At Your will are disposed the planets of the air,
The wholesome winds of the seas
And the silences of the unseen world.