Thursday, April 12, 2012

Tanit of Carthage

Tanit was a Phoenician Goddess and the patron of Carthage in northern Africa as well as throughout the western Mediterranean, from Malta to Gades (Cadiz in south western Spain), into Hellenistic times.  Associated with the moon, from the 5th BCE onwards she is associated with Baal Hammon where she was given the epithet of  pene baal ("face of Baal"), along with the title of rabat, the female form of rab (chief).

In North Africa, where the inscriptions and material remains are more plentiful, aside from being the consort of Baal Hammon, Tanit was also depicted as the Heavenly Goddess of War, a virginal “mother” goddess, and less specifically, a symbol of fertility.

Her shrine excavated at Sarepta in southern Phoenicia revealed an inscription that identified her for the first time in her homeland and related her securely to the Phoenician Goddess Astarte (who was also identified with Ishtar).  The worship of Tanit was also uncovered at Kerkoyane in the Tunisian Cap Bon peninsula.

The origins of Tanit are believed to have originated in Ugarit pantheon (located in Syria) and in particular with the Ugaritic Goddess Anat, who was a consumer of blood and flesh.  There is significant, albeit disputed, evidence, both archaeological and within ancient written sources, pointing towards child sacrifice forming part of the worship of Tanit and Baal Hammon.  Tanit was also a Goddess to the ancient normadic people referred as the Berbers.

Her symbol, found on many ancient stone carvings, appears as a trapezoid/trapezium closed by a horizontal line at the top and surmounted in the middle by a circle: the horizontal arm is often terminated either by two short upright lines at right angles to it or by hooks.  Later, the trapezoid/trapezium is frequently replaced by an isosceles triangle, which was interpreted as a woman raising her hands.  She was also depicted as a woman with a lion’s head, indicating her warrior quality.

In ancient Egypt, she was associated with the war Goddess Neith where her name was believed to mean “Land of Neith”.  After the fall of Carthage, Tanit is still venerated in North Africa under the Latin name of Juno Caelestis, for her identification with the Roman Goddess Juno.

Source: Wikipedia


  1. Tanit also probably related to Asherah. See and

  2. Thank you, Medusa, for that additional information :)


"Dancing the Sacred Wheel" now available again

"Dancing the Sacred Wheel" now available again
The second edition of "Dancing the Sacred Wheel: A Journey through the Southern Sabbats" is now available through or direct from the author (Australian customers only) for an autographed copy.

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.