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Who was Ba'al? Astrological ages

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
This is a 2 pronged question. (ha!)

I am hopelessly immersed in the Christian Bible right now. The OT goes on and on about the worship of Ba'al, which was extremely popular, even among the Israelites, much to their disfavor with the Lord (called Yahweh).

As you probably know, I am looking at the Bible as a historical/legendary series of documents, not as a book to necc live by.

So my first question is: who was this Ba'al? Did a quick websearch, came up with: he is the son of El. His name means master. Baalzebul means Master-Prince. He is the god of storms and fertility. His female counterpart is Asherah. (beelzebub was derogatory wordplay on his name, it means Lord of the Flies)

Etc...anyone have any other good info?

2nd part: I found that his worship was associated with the age of Taurus (hence the worship of the golden calf). Then, the next era was the Ram, Aries, which was when Yahweh was "born."

Then, the next era was Pisces, hence, the Christian association with the fish. Now I know why my grandmother had that fish on her car's bumper! but obviously, carrying over from Aries was the epithet Lamb of God.

If I've got any of this wrong, and I probably do, and I know it is oversimplified, please don't yell at me. Share info!

post #2 of 13
Here's what I found on the God El

by Dr Anthony E. Smith
Leader of the gods. The first Canaanite god, El dwelt on Mount Saphon, and it was under his aegis that Baal married Anat, defeated the sea god Yam and the death lord Mot, and was installed as the divine bestower of life-giving rain. Represented as an aged man, El wore bull's horns, the symbol of strength, and was usually depicted as seated. It is thought that he corresponded to the Hebrew god, Yahweh. He is also known as El 'Elyon, "God Most High."
post #3 of 13
Here, you might find this interesting although I can't attest to it's accuracy

post #4 of 13
I took an OT history class and I can only remember a few things....

Ba'al had a big brother who was much more powerful than he....thats about it...I can dig through my notes if you want. I found it all very interesting but I studied it 6 years ago!!
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the responses. So, Ba'al was a son of El, his consort may have been Asherah, he had a big brother? I know Moloch/Milcom was the baddie that they used to sacrifice children to ("pass their children through the fire," to use biblical terminology). Maybe that is who its_our_family is referring to.

The bible says, Ba'al had sacred pillars (as well as golden calves) and Asherah had sacred poles. Now, what is the difference between a pillar and and a pole? And what is a female diety doing with a phallic symbol as her main representation? What about her yoni?

My second question was about astrolgical ages. I am not real up on this subject. I find that it is interesting how it ties in to even Biblical beliefs tho. The calf (ox) was no longer OK, but the ram was in. Jesus has a fish as a symbol. What do we know about the age of Pisces? I am trying to work thru the fish imagery in the NT. There is the "miracle" of the loaves and fishes. Jesus' admonitions to his disciples that were fishermen: "You will be fishers of men." Walking on the water (in which fish live).

Alternatively (if other pagans are getting tired of me going on and on about the Bible, believe me, i am geting tired of it too. But it is a task I have assigned myself. Perhaps I will be done by the end of the year): those of you immersed in Celtic/Druidic lore: is the imagery of Gemini, Taurus, Aries and Pisces found there too, or did they interpret the stars differently?
post #6 of 13
I know I was taught he had a big brother....I'll look it up...It was a while ago. I could be wrong!!

I'll let you know in the next couple days...I'm not at home right now!!
post #7 of 13
Trees. Not poles. I dunno a thing about poles. Asherah has/is sacred trees. And she is probably consort to El, not Ba'al.. though this gets confused at times because Asherah and Anat get confused... and both are associated with the better-known Astarte.

I am dedicated to Asherah.. obviously she's important to me or I wouldn't be using her name here.
And I could write a lot about the Canonite pantheon, but I don't have the time (or energy) right now... plus it would be novel-length.

I will try to come back with some links for you though.. or some more info when I have time.

And please, don't look to the Bible as source material on Asherah.
Her footsteps run all through it.. if you know where to look. Interesting correlations.. tree of knowledge and Asherah as lady of trees.. serpent is sacred to Asherah.. Solomon likely still worshipped her...

But most men were busy trying to kill her off for the sake of the "One G-d".. so don't look to the Bible for truths about her...

I will try to post you links later.
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thank you a million times. I don't just look to the Bible for info about pagan gods, far from it! I hope you can find time to inform us more about what was really going on with the Canaanite pantheon! I've done a little internet searching, but haven't come up with much yet.

In my translation of the Bible, it said "poles," and I was thinking of a Maypole sort of thing. Why would the translators call them poles? The two (tree, pole) are not synonyms. If Asherah didn't have poles, but sacred trees, did Ba'al not really have "pillars?"

Heck, i am really finding out just how lame the translations in the bible are. Was reading the spirituality archive just now, and someone had posted that Jesus didn't actually say "I am the Way and the life," but "You are the way..." in the original language (implying more, god is within, to me). A bit of a difference there. I don't take that as the final answer, but when a Jewish mama here said that the Jews don't take the teachings in their Torah to back up the theory of original sin, but then xians take similar teachings (the OT) to come to a different conclusion, well, it just makes you question everything, doesn't it?

Sorry to go a bit OT..
post #9 of 13
Actually, now I am vaguely remembering something about poles.. as markers of sacred space, maybe? Or places of offerings?
Urgh, I have to go home and check.
Will be back with more info tomorrow.
post #10 of 13
Asherah is frequently represented by poles in ancient archtechture. There is a book called History of European Paganism that describes the various representation of Asherah and Ba'al. It also describes the symbolism behind the bull or golden calf. I think the book would be an interesting read in parallel to any study of the bible.
post #11 of 13
I will try and answer part of the question on Astrological Ages. Marion Weinstein talks a little about it in her book Positive Magic but I have to add a caveat, the history in the book is otherwise poor. She fell into the "millions dead in the burning times" fallacy as well as the fluffy peaceful prehistoric matriarcy trap.

Essentially we are at the beginning of the age of Aquarius, Jesus of Nasereth lived at the beginning of the age of Pisces, a sign of dualities. Good/evil, black/white, madonna/whore are all very Piscerean. Oneness equality and unity are Aquariun. charging $350 for a seminar on "living in the light" is cusp, the idea being aquariun, the need to make scads of money on it Piscerean. More literally large scale communism is very cusp. Aquarun ideals smothered under Piscerean systems. Each age has it's reason for being...Things Piscerean had to happen and it would be unfair to judge them with Aquarian ethics.

I cannot explain why the ages run counter to the standard procession of the signs. Weinstein mentions something about the pressesion of the equanoxes but she does not elaborate.

Does this help?
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Yes, this helps a lot. thank you very much.

Of course, your answers give me more questions. Weren't millions killed in the burning times? Whole towns of "witches" wiped out? Heretic christians (gnostics, etc) also? I have heard the supposed utopia of matriarchy bashed before.

I am reading Jesus and the Lost Goddess, by Freke and Gandy right now. It is a followup to their Jesus Mysteries, which I didn't get yet. The earliest xians, acc to them (and they have exhaustive footnotes) were gnostics, whose philosophy was based on Jewish and pagan myths. (there were Jewish and pagan gnostics too. Plato was one. Gnosis means enlightment. )Gnostics are the opposite of literalists. The authors claim Jesus is a mythological character, written about as a symbol of the gnostics' philosophy about the dying and ressurecting godman and his consort, Sophia (wisdom), and how we are all Christs. The earliest xians believed in fraternity, equality, etc ( oneness), 2 millenia too early, I guess.

Taking the bible literally is equated with eating the menu at a restaurant!

Thanks again, this stuff is complicated! Need all the help I can get.

post #13 of 13
I apologize for not getting back to this sooner. I have been having a busy month.

I can't find my link but some recent historians have discovered that histoties of the burning times were based on faulty esitmates written in the 18th century. They took a high estimate from a certain especially bloody trial on the french and german border and presumed that this went on throughout Europe. Modern studies of the time seem to indicate that most of the worst trials took place along fronteir areas where catholic and calvinist areas met. They were also civil trials by and large that claimed the most victums and the Catholic Church itself was far more interested in stopping Calvinist and Lutheren heresy than in the local wisewomen. Still horrifying is the estimate of 40-50 thousand deaths in the burning times, it is still far less and less terrible then first thought.

I will continue to look for the link...
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