Article by Rebecca
Image by Will Hobbs (www.sirwilliamwesley.com)
Religious landscapes are always complex, but they can become downright insane when tracing the most ancient deities. This month we’re discussing the Phoenician goddess Ba’alat. Of course, the Egyptians and Semites claim her as well. She has a list of associated names, whether hers or deities believed to also be her, a mile long. None of that confusion matters to me though, Ba’alat is one of my favorite goddesses and here is why.
Ba’alat is sometimes referred to as the “Queen of Gods”. This is mostly likely because she is the female counterpart to the Phoenician deity Baal, who is the supreme God of all. To me, she is the “Queen of Gods” for breaking that most ancient of stereotypes, that smart women cannot be sexy.
Ba’alat is the goddess of libraries, books, and writers. She is responsible for giving humans papyrus, the forerunner of modern paper. Obviously, Ba’alat is a knowledgeable deity.
The Phoenicians would depict this smarty as a woman with a smokin’ hot body, naked, with her hands covering her full breasts. Later there was the addition of an elaborate Egyptian hairstyle and a tight robe with shoulder straps.
Apparently, the Phoenicians had no trouble believing that an immensely attractive woman could be intelligent and sexual, even if it may have only been in their deities. In my mind, this sexed up Velma Dinkley is a wonderful role model for women everywhere.