Astarte

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Dante Gabriel Rossetti: Astarte Syriaca1877

Dante Gabriel Rossetti: Astarte Syriaca1877

Astarte is connected with fertility, sexuality, and war. Her symbols are the lion, the horse, the sphinx, the dove, and a star within a circle indicating the planet Venus. Pictorial representations often show her naked.

Astarte was accepted by the Greeks under the name of Aphrodite. The island of Cyprus, one of Astarte's greatest faith centers, supplied the name Cypris as Aphrodite's most common byname.

Other major centers of Astarte's worship are Sidon, Tyre, and Byblos. Coins from Sidon portray a chariot in which a globe appears, presumably a stone representing Astarte. In Sidon, she shared a temple with Eshmun. At Beirut coins show Poseidon, Astarte, and Eshmun worshipped together.

Other faith centers were Cytherea, Malta, and Eryx in Sicily from which she became known to the Romans as Venus. A bilingual inscription on the Pyrgi Tablets dating to about 500 BC found near Caere in Etruria equates Astarte with Etruscan Uni-Astre that is, Juno. At Carthage Astarte was worshipped alongside the goddess Tanit.

Donald Harden in The Phoenicians discusses a statuette of Astarte from Tutugi (Galera) near Granada in Spain dating to the 6th or 7th century BC in which Astarte sits on a throne flanked by sphinxes holding a bowl beneath her breasts which are pierced. A hollow in the statue would have been filled with milk through the head and gentle heating would have melted wax plugging the holes in her breasts, producing an apparent miracle when the milk emerged.

The Syrian goddess Atargatis (Semitic form ‘Atar‘atah) was generally equated with Astarte and the first element of the name appears to be related to the name Astarte.

Astarte in Ugarit

Astarte appears in Ugaritic texts under the name ‘Athtart', but is of little importance in those texts. ‘Athtart and ‘Anat together hold back Ba‘al from attacking the other deities. Astarte also asks Ba‘al to "scatter" Yamm "Sea" after Ba‘al's victory. ‘Athtart is called the "Face of Ba‘al".

Astarte in Egypt

Astarte first appears in Ancient Egypt beginning in the Eighteenth dynasty of Egypt along with other deities who were worshipped by northwest Semitic people. She was worshipped especially in her aspect of a warrior goddess, often paired with the goddess Anat.

In the Contest Between Horus and Set, these two goddesses appear as daughters of Re and are given in marriage to the god Set, here identified with the Semitic name Hadad. Astarte also was identified with the lioness warrior goddess Sekhmet, but seemingly more often conflated, at least in part, with Isis to judge from the many images found of Astarte suckling a small child. Indeed there is a statue of the 6th century BC in the Cairo Museum, which normally would be taken as portraying Isis with her child Horus on her knee and which in every detail of iconography follows normal Egyptian conventions, but the dedicatory inscription reads: "Gersaphon, son of Azor, son of Slrt, man of Lydda, for his Lady, for Astarte." See G. Daressy, (1905) pl. LXI (CGC 39291).

Astarte described by Sanchuniathon

In the description of the Phoenician pantheon ascribed to Sanchuniathon Astarte appears as a daughter of Sky and Earth and sister of the God El. After El overthrows and banishes his father Sky, as some kind of trick Sky sends to El his "virgin daughter" Astarte along with her sisters Asherah and the goddess who will later be called Ba`alat Gebal, "the Lady of Byblos". It seems that this trick does not work as all three become wives of their brother El. Astarte bears to El children who appear under Greek names as seven daughters called the Titanides or Artemides and two sons named Pothos "Longing" and Eros "Desire".

Later we see, with El's consent, Astarte and Hadad reigning over the land together. Astarte, puts the head of a bull on her own head to symbolize Her sovereignty. Wandering through the world Astarte takes up a star that has fallen from the sky (meteorite) and consecrates it at Tyre.

Astarte in Judea

The Masoretic pointing in the Hebrew Tanach (bible) indicate the pronunciation as ‘Aštoret instead of the expected ‘Ašteret, probably because the two last syllables have here been pointed with the vowels belonging to boshet "abomination" to indicate that word should be substituted when reading. The plural form is pointed ‘Aštarot.

For what seems to be the use of the Hebrew plural form ‘Aštarot as the name of a demon, see also Astaroth.

Astarte, or Ashtoret in Hebrew, was the principal goddess of the Phoenicians, representing the productive power of nature. She was a lunar goddess and was adopted by the Egyptians as a daughter of Ra or Ptah.

In Jewish mythology, She is referred to as Ashtoreth, supposedly interpreted as a female demon of lust in Hebrew monotheism. The name Asherah may also be confused with Ashtoreth, but is probably a different Goddess.

In Judaized Christian demonology, Ashtoreth is connected to Friday, and visually represented as a young woman with a cow's horns on her head (sometimes with a cow's tail too), resembling Hathor.

Roleplaying Elements from

Liber Mysterium
The Netbook of Witches and Warlocks

By Timothy S. Brannan and The Netbook of Witches and Warlocks Team
Full netbook can be found on the followng website

Dom of D20 / D&D 3e Netbooks and Downloads.
“With these in troop Came Astoreth, whom the Phoenicians called Astartë, queen of heaven, with crescent horns”.
Milton: Paradise Lost, i. 437--9.
“Mooned Ashtaroth, Heaven’s queen and mother both”.
Milton: The Hymn.

Astartë (Ah-star TAY) is the goddess of love, fertility as well as war and lasciviousness (lust) to the ancient peoples of Canaan and Phoenicia, she was worshipped as far West as Carthage, Sicily, Sardinia and Cyprus. Her name and cult were derived from Babylonia, where as Ishtar, she represented the evening and morning stars and was accordingly androgynous in origin. Under Semitic influence, however, she became solely female, although retaining a trace of her original character by standing on equal footing with the male divinities. She represents the productive power of nature. She is also a moon goddess. Her symbol is the crescent moon with “horns” turned up.

She is related to the devil Astoroth, some say that she is now this devil, others say that that Astoroth is her son/consort. Astoroth has also been associated with the Canaanite god of Thamudzi/Damuz.

Alignment: N or LN or LE

Areas of Influence: Fertility, Magic

Originally Posted by

Kain Darkwind of the Dicefreaks d20 Community.

On this Thread

Astarte

Large outsider (Cosmic, Evil, Fallen)

Hit Dice40d8 + 600 (920 hp)
Initiative+17
Speed90 ft.
Armor Class58 (+10 deflection, +9 Dexterity, +8 insight, +22 natural, -1 size), touch 36, flat-footed 41
Base Attack/Grapple+40/+73
AttackClaw +69 melee (3d8 + 34 /19-20/x3)
Full Attack2 claws +69/+64 melee (3d8 + 34 /19-20/x3) and bite +65 melee (4d8 + 16)
Space/ Reach10 ft. /10 ft.
Special Attacks Call devils, call fallen, improved grab, pounce, rake, rend, roar, spell-like abilities
Special Qualities Damage reduction 30/epic, good and mithril, destructive aura, fast healing 20, immunity to electricity and poison, lay on hands, Low-Light Vision, resistance to cold 30 and sonic 30, speak with animals, Spell Resistance 42, telepathy 500 ft.
SavesFort +33, Ref +31, Will +30
AbilitiesStrength 48, Dexterity 29, Constitution 33, Intelligence 26, Wisdom 26, Charisma 30
SkillsBalance +60, Climb +62, Concentration +33, Diplomacy +35, Escape Artist +24, Handle Animal +53, Hide +52, Intimidate +53, Jump +90, Knowledge (history) +41, Knowledge (nature) +35, Knowledge (the planes) +35, Knowledge (religion) +35, Listen +51, Move Silently +56, Sense Motive +51, Spot +51, Survival +51, Tumble +56
FeatsBounding Assault, Cleave, Combat Expertise, Combat Reflexes, Dark Speech, Dodge, Great Cleave, Greater Weapon Focus (claw), greater weapon specialization (claw), Improved Critical (claw), Improved Initiative, Improved Multiattack, Improved Sunder, Improved Trip, Melee Weapon Specialization (slashing), Mobility, Multiattack, Power Attack, Rapid Blitz, Rapid Strike (claw), Spring Attack, Track, Weapon Focus (claw), Weapon Specialization (claw), Whirlwind Attack
Epic Feats Epic Toughness (x2), Epic Weapon Focus (claw), Epic Weapon Specialization (claw), Greater Whirlwind Attack , Improved Combat Reflexes, Improved Whirlwind Attack , Legendary Wrestler, Overwhelming Critical (claw), Superior Initiative
Climate/TerrainAvernus (The Nine Hells)
OrganizationSolitary (unique)
Challenge Rating30
TreasureNone
Alignment Lawful Evil

Call Devils (Sp): 3/day, Astarte can call 1 pit fiend or 9 cornugons.

Call Fallen (Sp): 3/day, Astarte can call 3 fallen leonals, 6 fallen lupinals or 9 fallen avorals.

Improved Grab (Ex): To use this ability, Astarte must hit with her bite attack. She can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. If she wins the grapple check, she establishes a hold and can rake.

Pounce (Ex) If Astarte charges a foe, she can make a full attack, including two rake attacks.

Rake: Attack bonus +69, damage 3d8 + 34

Rend (Ex): If Astarte hits with both claw attacks in a single round, she tears the flesh, dealing an additional 6d8 + 68 damage.

Roar (Su): Once every 1d4 rounds, Astarte can release a mighty roar, affecting all creatures within a 60 foot cone. This functions as a blasphemy spell and deals 20d6 points of sonic damage to all creatures in the area. A Fortitude save (DC 41) halves the damage and effects. (In the case of a successful save, treat the creature as possessing twice his normal HD to determine the effect of the blasphemy.

Spell-like Abilities: Always active- detect good, greater magic fang, see invisibility;

at will- animate dead, detect thoughts, expeditious retreat, fireball (DC 23), greater dispel magic, greater teleport, Hold monster (DC 24), Jump, polymorph, remove fear ,Spider Climb, summon nature's ally VII, unhallow, unholy blight (DC 24), Wall of Force;

3/day: cure critical wounds, Blink , meteor swarm (DC 29), Neutralize poison, Remove Disease;

1/day- heal, resurrection. Caster level 32nd

Cosmic Entity: Astarte has a +3 bonus on rank checks.

Destructive Aura (Su): Damage reduction within 30 feet of Astarte is halved. Fast healing and regeneration fail to function. Creatures taking damage within the destructive aura suffer bleeding wounds and lose 5 hit points per round per wound until the wound is properly tended to. (Heal check DC 41 or magical healing with a caster level check DC 41) Astarte is not affected by her own aura.

Lay on Hands (Su): Astarte can cure up to 400 hit points per day.

Baldium

The steed of Astarte, she captured Baldium from a band of carnivorous horses dwelling beneath the earth. It can eat the flesh of its enemies and, by doing so, make itself stronger

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