Astarte (ăstärˈtē), Semitic goddess of fertility and love. She was the most important goddess of the Phoenicians and corresponds to the Babylonian Ishtar and the Greek Aphrodite. She took a dominant place in Middle Eastern religions, and the Jews strictly forbade use of her name. She is referred to in the Bible.
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Astarte (religion, spiritualism, and occult)
Astarte, asteroid 672 (the 672nd asteroid to be discovered, on September 21, 1908), is approximately 19 kilometers in diameter and has an orbital period of 4.1 years. Astarte was named after the Middle Eastern goddess, roughly equivalent to Venus, also known as Ishtar. J. Lee Lehman associates Astarte with Venus and Aphrodite (divinities of sex and fertility), asserting that this asteroid is more “primal” than the other two. Jacob Schwartz gives the astrological significance of Astarte as “expressing primal population controls through fertility and war.”
Kowal, Charles T. Asteroids: Their Nature and Utilization. Chichester, West Sussex, UK: Ellis Horwood Limited, 1988.
Lehman, J. Lee. The Ultimate Asteroid Book. West Chester, PA: Whitford Press, 1988.
Room, Adrian. Dictionary of Astronomical Terms. London: Routledge, 1988.
Schwartz, Jacob. Asteroid Name Encyclopedia. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 1995.
The Astrology Book, Second Edition © 2003 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.
Greek name for the principal Phoenician goddess Ashtart.
Astarte was worshipped as an earthly goddess of fertility, motherhood, and love and also as a celestial deity. Sidon and Ugarit were the centers of the Astarte cult. The Sidonian kings were sometimes also the high priests of Astarte. Veneration of Astarte spread to Syria, Palestine, Egypt, Asia Minor, Cyprus, Carthage, and elsewhere. Characteristic of the Astarte cult was the presence of hieratic priestesses who practiced so-called holy prostitution (hierodules). Astarte was usually depicted as a naked woman, sometimes with cow’s horns on her head.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
beautiful goddess of fertility and sexual love. [Phoenician Myth.: Zimmerman, 33]
goddess of fecundity. [Phoenician Myth.: Jobes, 144]
(Ashtoreth) personification of moon in crescent stage. [Phoenician Myth.: Brewer Dictionary, 726–727]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.