Without Blemish; The High Powerful Immaculate One; The Strong Undefiled Waters; Bearer of Roses

Also known as: Anahit (Armenian); Anai tis (Greek); Anakhita (Turkish)

Origin: Persian (Iran)

Classification: A goddess in ancient Iran and Armenia; modern Zoroastrianism considers her a Yazata.

Anahita, goddess of fertility and war, has dominion over all liquids including seminal, vaginal, and amniotic fluids. She purifies and strengthens sperm, empowers the womb, and bestows ample milk supply. Anahita is unusual as she is specifically invoked to heal male reproductive disorders, a condition the ancient world typically didn’t acknowledge: infertility was usually perceived as stemming solely from women.

She was once very widely venerated: Artaxerxes II built shrines for her in Babylon, Baktra (Balkh), Ekbatana (near modern Tehran), Persepolis, Sardes, and Susa. In Armenia, she was called Anahit and Vardavar: Bearer of Roses. Young noble women engaged in sacred sexual rites prior to their marriages at Anahita’s shrine at Erez in Akilisene.

Anahita is the sole significant Zoroastrian goddess. An entire chapter (Yasht V) of the sacred text the Avesta is devoted to her. It is Anahita who teaches Zarathusra to fight for justice and how to perform sacrifices.

* Anahita is petitioned for victory in battle.

* She presides over successful breastfeeding and fertility, and she heals reproductive disorders.

* References to Persian Artemis or Persian Diana almost invariably indicate Anahita.

Manifestation: A tall, powerful, beautiful maiden, wrapped in a gold embroidered cloak, adorned with earrings, a necklace, and a gold crown. She wears thirty otter skins.

Iconography: Romans absconded with the solid gold votive statue of Anahita at Erez.

Mount: Her chariot is pulled by four white horses named Wind, Rain, Cloud, and Hail.

Birds: Dove, peacock

Element: Water; Anahita rules rivers and lakes.

Metal: Gold

Flowers: Roses, tulips

Planet: Venus. The ancient Iranians considered her the personification of that planet.

Time: Armenians timed her feast to coincide with the blooming of roses.

Place: Athor Anahta (Anahita’s Throne), a mountain in Sophene (an ancient Armenian kingdom, located in what is now southeastern Turkey) is among her homes.

Altar: Decorate with vessels of spring water, living green plants, and white roses.

Offerings: She is a particularly watery spirit, concerned with cleansing and purifying sources of water. Your efforts on behalf of protection and preservation of fresh water sources should be appreciated. In the meantime, give her white or gold roses and tulips.

See also: Artemis; Astghik; Diana; Yazata