In spite of the effort to elevate the Deity as Lord and King above nature, most of the Semitic nations gradually sank back into the old nature-worship, and, uniting with the worship of the highest God, Baal and Bel, that of a female divinity under the names of Baaltis, Beltis, Aschera, Mylitta, they made religion to consist in the sacrifice of chastity to the will of the Deity, as the fruitful, productive power of nature, and thus fell into gross immorality.

The feeling that threatened to stifle him and frequently interrupted the flow of words was the rapture bestowed upon him by great Aschera, the companion of Baal, of whom the Phoenician traders who supplied the shepherds with many good things had told him such marvels, and whom the stern Miriam forbade him ever to name at home.

In Italy I am Venus; in Egypt, Hathor; in Armenia, Anaitis; in Persia, Anâhita; Tanit in Carthage; Baaltis in Byblus; Derceto in Ascalon; Atargatis in Hierapolis; Bilet in Babylon; Ashtaroth to the Sidonians; and Aschera in the glades of Judæa. And everywhere I am worshipped, and everywhere I am Love. I bring joy and torture, delight and pain. I appease and appal. It is I that create and undo.

The feeling that threatened to stifle him and frequently interrupted the flow of words was the rapture bestowed upon him by great Aschera, the companion of Baal, of whom the Phoenician traders who supplied the shepherds with many good things had told him such marvels, and whom the stern Miriam forbade him ever to name at home.

The feeling that threatened to stifle him and frequently interrupted the flow of words was the rapture bestowed upon him by great Aschera, the companion of Baal, of whom the Phoenician traders who supplied the shepherds with many good things had told him such marvels, and whom the stern Miriam forbade him ever to name at home.

There has been established the identity of Istar, Astarte, Tanit, Baalath, Derketo, Mylitta, Aschera, and still others. But it is in the early religion of the Hindoos that we perceive best this kaleidoscopic process applied to divine beings. "We cannot imagine," says Taine, "such a great clearness. The myth here is not a disguise, but an expression; no language is more true and more supple.