Asherah, the Semitic Mother of Heaven, and wife of El*, has been a very controversial figure in both archaeology and amongst religious people. Many have claimed she didn’t exist, but today the evidence of not only Asherah herself, but also her extraordinary social-religious importance, is overwhelming. For any woman growing up in a Christian culture, knowing about Asherah is essential. She even plays a key role in my book The Hidden Camino, and is a very important figure to restore into history. Let’s get to know her!
Over the years the BBC has produced some great documentaries about women in history, including women as spiritual authorities. Many of these documentaries, have interestingly enough, created quite a controversy and stirred up negative emotions across the academic and religious worlds. Most of these important documentaries have been removed from the internet. Whereas, on the other side, all the documentaries that suppress women, remain easy to watch.
One of my all-time favourite documentaries is about Asherah, and is called Bible’s Buried Secrets (3 episodes in total.) It is written and presented by none other than Dr. Francesca Stavrakopoulou. She is an Exeter University Professor in the Hebrew bible and Ancient Religion and an author many times over.
Photos: Wix/Unsplash. Isreal is an incredibly exotic, fascinating and beautiful country.
Dr. Stavrakopoulou was one of the first academics to seriously discuss the existence of Asherah; Mother of Heaven, and wow, did she get grilled by numerous academic and religious men. In fact, following the years after the documentary was aired in 2012, I found it quite uncomfortable to witness the online bullying and trolling of Dr. Stavrakopoulou. Most of it was about the ‘fact’ that Asherah didn’t exist, or if she did, she was rather unimportant. Almost 12 years down the track Dr. Stavrakopoulou comes out strongly as the winner. Today there is no question to the fact, that Asherah was a very powerful and adored religious and social leader and figure at her time.
I think these findings are important for two reasons.
Reason 1: We must never ignore how much psychology there is in knowing our history and cultural inheritance.
Reason 2: Restoring women into their rightful place in history will create a powerful shift in the Patriarchal ownership of history!
Knowledge really is power, and you can help change the world by educating yourself about women in history. That’s why I started this blog. I would therefore like to invite you, to encourage you, to watch all three episodes of the Bible’s buried Secrets with Dr. Stavrakopoulou. They are really unique, well researched and beautifully presented (trust me, you don’t hear me say that very often.)
The titles of the three episodes in Bible’s buried Secrets are:
Episode 1: The Real Garden of Eden
Episode 2: Did God have a Wife?
Episode 3: Did King David’s Empire Exist?
About the episodes
Episode one, The Real Garden of Eden, is really interesting as it leads up to the last two seasons.
The second episode, ‘Did God have a wife?’, is all about Asherah! This episode will also give you a really fascinating insight into the creation of words, the problems when we translate between different languages, and how the meaning of words changes over time. If you only have time or energy to watch one episode, watch this one.
The third episode, ‘Did King David’s Empire Exist?’, approaches the powerful and sensitive question about women’s place in history and religion. This is a very explosive topic and I admire the professional way Dr. Stavrakopoulou addresses this question. So much would change for the better if other TV presenters and academics dared to do the same.
So, don’t waste another minute! Follow the links a above and learn why this documentary is on the top of my list of favourite documentaries about women in history.
You find some links to this research in my article collection here.
* Asherahs equal and husband, called EL in this article, has many other names. It seems EL is the most used one.
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