Tanit has been on my mind. So has Jupiter. So has Alexander the Great. I've been pondering an in-depth post on each of these, but the research has been taking a while. Some things are just in-depth. Seeking the connection between the three has been of interest to me as well. My family lineage traces back to Carthage and Leptis Magna, as well as from other areas in Libya. I don't write this blog just to present research papers or book reports, the point is to sit and do the work. Recent posts have been very light lately because I haven't wanted to post about the aforementioned topics because I didn't have enough under my proverbial belt to do it. Some of it is just private. I do, however, want to share what's been on my mind:
Siwa Oasis, a spot in ancient Libya (now modern Egypt) where there happened to be an oracle dedicated to Ammon. Ammon was nearly identical to Jupiter and Zeus and syncretized nicely. When Alexander asked the oracle if Zeus was his dad, he got what he took as a yes and allegedly considered himself divine thereafter. I'm working my way through two books about Alexander the Great and the founding of Alexandria in Egypt. I'll get back to you as further developments warrant!
Over the years, my relationship with Jupiter has been... well, it hasn't really been. I don't work with him and I know that's because I was burned out on that as a catholic. The Ponifex Maximus, the most important religious position in the religion of ancient Rome, was eventually subsumed by the emperor. The title is still used today for the pope. So is the political side of the title. Vatican City is its own country. But I digress! I was burned out on dealing with a father-figure. I tip a nod during general libations, but that has been the extent of our relationship for a long time... until recently. It's been interesting and when I understand it a bit better I hope to fill you in.
I found a few well put together articles about Tanit on line, but searching books hasn't yielded much. Much of what I have is my family lore.
Tanit, or Tanith, is the Great Goddess of Carthage, worshipped there as its chief Deity. She is a Sky Goddess who ruled over the Sun, Stars, and Moon; and as a Mother Goddess She was invoked for fertility. The palm tree is Hers, as the desert version of the Tree of Life; and as symbolic of the life-force of the Earth the serpent is Hers as well—in fact Her name means "Serpent Lady". She is identified with both Ashtart (Astarte) and Athirat and Her other symbols include the dove, grapes and the pomegranate (both symbolic of fruitfulness and fertility), the crescent moon, and, like Ashtart, the lion.
She was the "Lady of Carthage" and her consort is Ba'al and syncretizes nicely with so many different Goddesses:
She was identified with Aphrodite, Demeter, and Artemis by the Greeks and with Juno by the Romans, especially their Juno Lucina, Goddess of Light and Childbirth. The Romans also associated Her with the Magna Mater, the Great Mother, Rhea or Kybele.
Her symbol looks like the Isian knot!