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    Canaanite Myth: Descent of Anath into the Underworld

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Now Maveth came to desire the Virgin Goddess Anath. He soon devised a plot to win Her from the Company of Gods. In the dead of Night, He stole away the Sun and Moon and carried Them into Sheol. He sent a message to Kindly El, demanding Anath be sent to Him, else the World would have Light no more.

El, the Most High, was afraid, and wished not to send His Beautiful Daughter into the Cold Darkness of Sheol. The Divine Court agreed with El, fearing the loss of Anath. They feared that the beautiful Light of Levanah and Shamash were lost to Them forever.

Anath, however, refused to fear Maveth; She took leave of Her home at the Source of the Two Rivers. She descended into Sheol, and was counted amoung those who go down into the earth. There She came face to face with Maveth. To Her surprise, She saw that the Dark Lord did, indeed, appeal to Her.

Anath challenged the God of Sterility to a game of chance; the Sun, the Moon, and Herself were placed as the stakes. Maveth, of course, agreed to Her terms, not knowning that Anath was even more cunning then He. Great Anath could not be defeated in the game, it is sure She practiced deceit. On this first night, She won one eighth of the Light of the Sun and Moon. Then, She and Maveth made passionate Love until night-time came once more.

The night following produced the same, as well as the night following that. For eight days the two gambled and made love; and, finally, Anath had won the full Light of the Sun and Moon. As well, She had won Her own freedom.

Anath took the Sun and Moon into Her belly, bade Maveth farwell, amd returned to the land of the living. She traveled through the land of Canaan, leaving Light behind Her as She went.

And to this very day, when the Sun and Moon disappear into Darkness, the children of Canaan kindle Lights for eight nights and play gambeling games to honour Anath and Her bravery.


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