Monday, March 8, 2021

Syncretism - Part 5

Joseph Herrin (02-17-2010)

Symbol of Tanit - Fertility Goddess

The symbol above is found at many ancient ruins where the Lunar goddess Tanit, also known as Ashtoreth, Astarte and Ishtar, was worshiped. It is the symbol of “the queen of heaven,” whose original was the Babylonian Semiramis, wife of Nimrod and mother of Tammuz.

Tanit was a Phoenician lunar goddess, worshiped as the patron goddess at Carthage. Tanit and Baal Hammon were worshiped in Punic contexts in the Western Mediterranean, from Malta to Gades into Hellenistic times. In North Africa, where the inscriptions and material remains are more plentiful, she was also a heavenly goddess of war, a virginal mother goddess and nurse, a consort of Baal Hammon and, less specifically, a symbol of fertility. Several of the major Greek goddesses were identified with Tanit by the syncretic interpretatio graeca, which recognized as Greek deities in foreign guise the gods of most of the surrounding non-Hellene cultures.

Her shrine excavated at Sarepta in southern Phoenicia revealed an inscription that identified her for the first time in her homeland and related her securely to the Phoenician goddess Astarte (Ishtar)...


The Israelites were warned by Yahweh not to embrace the idols of the nations whose lands they were to possess. They were warned not to adopt any images of deity to be incorporated into their worship of Yahweh, and to refrain from worshiping the sun and moon and other heavenly bodies.

Deuteronomy 4:15-19
Watch yourselves carefully, since you did not see any form on the day Yahweh spoke to you at Horeb from the midst of the fire, lest you act corruptly and make a graven image for yourselves in the form of any figure, the likeness of male or female, the likeness of any animal that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the sky, the likeness of anything that creeps on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the water below the earth. And beware, lest you lift up your eyes to heaven and see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, and be drawn away and worship them and serve them, those which Yahweh your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven.

The Israelites transgressed terribly in all of these things. They adopted the worship of Tanit (Astoreth) as the Scriptures testify. We read of the Israelites worshiping the queen of heaven and her son Tammuz.

Jeremiah 7:18
"The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead dough to make cakes for the queen of heaven...”

Ezekiel 8:14
Then He brought me to the entrance of the gate of the Lord's house which was toward the north; and behold, women were sitting there weeping for Tammuz.

This Babylonian religion has been persistently carried forth from one age to another by the nations of mankind. It is at times dressed in different garb and given various names, but it has remained clearly identifiable. Yesterday I showed the symbol of Baal, the Sun god, erected in St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City, the seat of Roman Catholicism. Today, I would show you the worship of the queen of heaven, whose symbols are clearly identifiable in the same location.

The ancient symbol for Tanit, queen of heaven, has been found on many ancient markers and monuments. Following is a stele erected to honor Tanit and Baal Hammon. This stele is housed in the Bardo museum in Tunis.

Wikipedia describes the symbol for Tanit in the following manner:

Her symbol, found on many ancient stone carvings, appears as a trapezoid/trapezium closed by a horizontal line at the top and surmounted in the middle by a circle...

In 1656, Gian Lorenzo Bernini redesigned St. Peter’s Square. The name is somewhat misleading, for there is no square found at the location. St. Peter’s Square has the shape of an ellipse set atop a trapezoid.

The colossal Tuscan colonnades, four columns deep, frame the trapezoidal entrance to the basilica and the massive elliptical area which precedes it. The ellipse's long axis, parallel to the basilica's fa├žade, creates a pause in the sequence of forward movements that is characteristic of a Baroque monumental approach. The colonnades define the piazza. The elliptical center of the piazza, which contrasts with the trapezoidal entrance, encloses the visitor with "the maternal arms of Mother Church" in Bernini's expression.

One does not have to look hard to see the thinly disguised symbol of Tanit, the queen of heaven, in the layout of this monument to the worship of the heavenly hosts.

Aerial View of St. Peter’s Square

And just as in the stele from the Bardo museum, the obelisk symbol of Baal is set in the center of the ellipse that forms the top part of Tanit’s emblem.

Note also what is at the bottom of the Tanit symbol. The cross shaped building with the sunburst image in the center of it is St. Peter’s Cathedral.

St. Peter’s Cathedral - A Solar Cross

Thus, we see in the layout of Vatican City the ancient symbols for all three members of the Babylonian trinity. The solar cross has from ancient times been the symbol for Tammuz, who in the Babylonian fertility cult was Nimrod reborn as the Sun god. Semiramis came to be associated with the Moon. Thus, the worship of the Sun and Moon were a central part of this religion that spread throughout all nations of the world.

Celtic - Solar Cross (Note Freemasonry symbol in the center)

These symbols have been equally adopted by Protestant churches, for as we saw in the last post, the obelisk stands atop the majority of Protestant churches in the form of a steeple. Mounted upon many of these steeples are various symbols of Tammuz, from basic crosses, to ones that are clearly solar images.

Detail of cross atop church in Missouri

Yahweh’s instructions to His holy people Israel, were that they were to completely destroy all the images and pillars they found in the land that had been used in the worship of the host of heaven.

Deuteronomy 7:5-7
But thus you shall do to them: you shall tear down their altars, and smash their sacred pillars, and hew down their Asherim, and burn their graven images with fire. For you are a holy people to Yahweh your God; Yahweh your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.

In the book of II Kings we read of Jehu, whom Elijah anointed to remove all Baal worship from Israel. Jehu was very zealous in doing so, and we read the following:

II Kings 10:27
They also broke down the sacred pillar of Baal and broke down the house of Baal, and made it a latrine to this day.

The word rendered “pillar” is the Hebrew word matstebah. Strong’s Concordance defines it in the following manner.

OT:4676; something stationed, i.e. a column or (memorial stone); by analogy, an idol.

It is rarely considered today that embracing symbols of pagan Sun worship did not strike the majority of Israelites as a particularly grievous thing. Especially when a generation arose whose parents and grandparents before them had adopted these symbols, such things would hardly have been cause for much consideration. We see a similar situation in the church today. For many generations symbols, rites and doctrines derived from Babylonian religion have been adopted by the church, and few consider them, or seem to even notice their presence.

How many Christians today sit down and consider that the day most venerated by the church today bears the name of a pagan goddess of fertility? How many consider where the traditions surrounding Easter and Christmas come from? How many wonder why all the churches in their town have steeples sitting on top of them?

We have been for so long immersed in a church whose practice of syncretism has leavened all areas of religious life that there is no longer any discernment between that which is holy and that which is profane.

Christ, however, is coming back for a bride that has been purified. The Holy Spirit is calling the people of God to come out of Babylon. This involves much more than identifying what practices, symbols and doctrines have arisen from impure sources. It requires that one be willing to walk an afflicted path, to stand alone, and to be labeled as a religious extremist. It entails adopting a Spirit led life, where one is no longer lead by their own soul. One must embrace the cross that is appointed to all Christ’s disciples.

To be continued...

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Joseph Herrin
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063

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