When Venus first appeared in the skies shortly before 2500 B.C., ancient peoples worldwide strove to come to terms with this brilliant and awesome new comet-planet (the best account is in Immanuel Velikovsky, Worlds in Collision, though it needs some revision). That meant assigning the deity a gender and a name.
In the Near East, they tried both genders. In its masculine incarnation, Venus became the Bull of Heaven (as Velikovsky pointed out, the comet-planet’s body blocked the sun’s rays from the central portion of its tail and thus it was seen as having two horns). In its feminine version, Venus was called Ishtar or Astarte; and in the Levant Astarte was depicted with serpents in her hands—the twin tails of the comet.
In Greece, according to Velikovsky, planet Venus was originally named Athena. Continue reading »