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Belili

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Belili was first a Sumerian minor goddess called Gesht-inanna, sister of Dumuzi, and wife of Nin-gishzida (the door keeper of An). She was later included in the Babylonian pantheon with the name of Belili or Belit-ili (also spelled Belet-ili), acquiring in some time a much higher status as the wife of Bel (the Assyrian and Babylonian equivalent to Baal).

The Canaanites called her Baalat or Baalit, the wife and female counterpart of Baal. As the wife of Bel she can be associated with Ishtar for Assyrians and Babylonians, with Astarte for Semites, and with Asherah for Philistines; in this sense Belili can also be associated with sacred prostitution and human sacrifice (of children, by fire).

Some authors, however, relate her with Lilith, who is commonly associated with the demon Asmodai and considered a female demon with the function of acting as a succubus. Other authors say that she could have been a fertility goddess (this connects her again with Ishtar, Astarte and Asherah), and some Neopagans consider Belili a mother goddess.


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