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About the Group
Welcome to Asherah-Astarte Metropolitan. We meet in Hagerstown Maryland and conduct regular services in person and online.
As a Metropolitan Body, Asherah-Astarte falls under the direct supervision of The Thelemic Order. Metropolitans exist to ensure broad services across the Order and to those outside the Order. Finances for Asherah-Astarte are handled separately from those of The Thelemic Order, and Asherah-Astarte does not receive funding from national monies for local services.
Why we chose Asherah-Astarte
Asherah an ancient Semitic deity appeared in Akkadian writings as Asratu/Asratum and in Hittite writings as Aserdus/Asertus, and is considered syncretic with the Ugarit Goddess Atiratu. She was the Queen Consort of the Sumerian Anu, the Ugartic El and Yahweh, a deity of Israel and Judah. We have chosen Asherah as a symbol in part because of her similarity to the Thelemic concept of Nuit. We chose her also as a reminder that the “Christian” United States, preserving the worship of Yahweh, follows a tradition that violently purged the divine feminine which we seek to restore.
Astarte (Athtart, Ashtart) was a deity of Tyre, Sidon, and Elat, a goddess of war and sexual love. She heavily overlaps with her Sister Anath, so that the Aramaic goddess Atargatis is drawn from both of them. The cult of Astarted reached to Ugarit and Egypt as well as Caanan, and in later periods her cult was syncretic with that of Isis and Hathor, as well as Aphrodite, Artemis, and Juno. The cult of Astarte is heavily syncretic with, and successor to that of Asherah, though the two deities also seem to have been considered sisters (according to the translations of Philo of Byblos) by the Phonecians.
Whatever the case, in later writing these deities overlapped considerably, with Astarte picking up and passing on many of the qualities attributed to Asherah. Both are notable in representing the archetype of a woman who embraces sexuality, war, and motherhood without any assumption of a contradictory nature, suggesting the invalidity of modern gender roles.