Elements: Sea, Earth, Fire
Symbols: Cows, dolphins, fishes, cats, granite, acacia tree
Worship of Al-Uzza originated from Sabean culture (Kingdom of Saba or Sheba in the southern Arabian Peninsula) where her worship spread all over Arabia and she was the patron goddess of the city of Mecca.
Al-Uzza was the goddess of power and the personification of the planet Venus. She was the sister of goddesses Al-Lat and Manat. Together they formed the triple-goddess and Al-Uzza represents the maiden aspect being the youngest of the sisters. She was the goddess of war and her position as the maiden goddess made her the goddess of the "fresh perspective". Al-Uzza is connected to clocks, devices and astrology. She was worshiped by the Banu Quraysh, Bany Sulaym, Banu Ghanim, Banu Ghatafan, Banu Khuza´an, Banu Thaqif and Banu Kinãnah tribes. Her altar was three acacia trees that grew close to each others. Trees were located in the valley of Nakhla near the city of Mecca. Her other temple was located inside the city and it was called Buss. Temple was built of bricks and inside it there was a bone-shaped granite statue where arabic tribes left sacrificial gifts for the goddess. They believed that she spoke to them through the altar and offered them advices.
In the southern part of Arabian Peninsula in Himyar and in Yemen goddess was known as Uzzayan and she was the goddess of healing. Wealthy members of Himyar tribe sacrificed small golden images and prayed the goddess to heal their sick children. Name of the goddess Amat-'Uzzayan means the "maiden of Uzzayan" it was a common woman´s name at the time. In Mecca Abd al-'Uzza was a common man´s name and it means the worshiper of al-Uzza. Banu Quraysh tribe dedicated the valley of Suqam to Al-Uzza. The membembers of the tribe praid and took oaths in the valley. During battles it was common for women to chant the names of Al-Uzza and her spouse Hubal to spread courage to beat their enemies.
Arabic tribes that lived near Mecca frequently prayed for al-Uzza and sacrificed animals for her (human sacrifices were more rare). Banu Quraysh tribe worshiped al-Uzza as the goddess of war and before any battle women performed music and sang for the goddess. This happened in the battle of Uhud which was the first battle where pagan arabs fought against the first muslims. Last temple of al-Uzza was established by chief Dubayyah ibn Haram as-Sulami who had a reputation of being kind and generous man. He was murdered by muslim war chief Khalid ibn al-Walid on whose orders all the temples and sacred trees of Al-Uzza were destroyed in 630 AC.
Al-Uzza was also known as al-Zuhara and Kawkabta, these names refer to planet Venus, who was believed to be one of the incarnations of the goddess. When Venus was refered as the morning star, it was connected to a male deity called Athtar, who was separate from al-Uzza. For Arabs al-Uzza as the incartation of Venus was the protector of marriage. In Kanaan the goddess of war was called Anat, who was equavelent to al-Uzza. In Hebrew Anat was known as Uzza Hayyim the force of life. The spouse of Anat was the god of nature Baal.
Ancient Greeks connected Al--Uzza to Ourania, who was the goddess of the skies and one of the many forms of goddess Aphrodite, to nine muses and to the moon goddess Caelistes. Roman name of Al-Uza was Carthaginian Tanit. Sometimes she is also connected to Egyptian earth goddess Isis. According to greek author Herodotos chief goddess of Arabs was Ourania, who they refer as Alilat. According some researchers Al-Lat and Al-Uzza are one and the same goddess, whos name varies in different areas. Nabatean astrologers called her as the heavenly queen. She was possibly also worshiped in Petra, the capital of Jordania. In Pre-Islamic Arabia Petra was one of the wealthiest cities with lots of travelers.
Al-Uzza was the protector of sailors. Majority of Arabian Peninsula is desert but Nabateans were accomplished sailors. Symbols of Al-Uzza are fishes and dolphins, that enjoy swimming next to ships and save sailors. Cats and other felines are sacred to Al-Uzza. It is speculated that the winged lions that guard the gates of Petra were gifts for the goddess from her loyal worshipers.
Artist and Illustrator. Mythology and Folklore enthusiastic. Keen traveler. Comes from Finland. Likes cats, tea, and such.