Musings

Just who or what is Tanit?

tanit goddess ibiza carthage cartheginian phoenician

It was late last last year and I was struggling to come up with a name for my business.  I knew I wanted something different, something away from the far too predictable “Helen Grice – Virtual Assistant”.  So I thought about what I liked – cake, new shoes, Espresso Martini’s…and decided that none of them would really work as a grown-up, responsible name for a business. Then I got thinking about places I liked – dark little pubs with open fires, breakfast in bed, Heals furniture store…nope still not on the right track.

OK so what about my favourite places? IBIZA! Yes we’re on the right track now.  After going through various names of Ibicencan villages, beaches and clubs,  I was reminded of the story of Tanit, the goddess of creation and destruction whom the ancient Ibicencos worshipped, and I knew then I’d found the perfect name for my business.

 

Tanit Ibiza Bez Dance
Tanit symbol on a mosaic floor at the ruins of Kerkouane, Tunisia. © WitR/Shutterstock

Here’s a more detailed introduction to the famous lady herself:- Rewind to a few hundred years before Christ, the original settlers of Ibiza, the peaceful, prosperous and pagan Phoenicians worshipped the sun. The male sun god was Baal and his female partner, associated with the moon was Tanit, a warrior goddess of dance, fertility, creation and destruction. She’s the protector goddess of Ibiza and there was once a temple dedicated to her on the same site the cathedral now stands.

Rather apt too, don’t you think, is that an island presided over by the goddess of dance should be home to the World’s biggest and most influential electronic dance music scene. Coincidence?

Some say that Tanit, protector of women still watches over Ibiza island and that her place of residence is the west coast, home of the sunset, in particular the area around Atlantis and the mystical Es Vedra

There is a story that tells of a time a few decades ago, before Ibiza was ‘discovered’ by the hippies and Vietnam war deserters in the 1960’s, and the island’s economy was based on fishing, salt and agriculture.

Local tradition dictated that all the most valuable land was passed down to the male children. At the time, this meant that the boys got all the best farmland, located generally in the middle of the island. The coastal lands, considered to be useless for growing crops and thus of very little value would be passed to the females.

Word has it that a whole bunch of island women got together, one historic full-moon, to dance for Tanit and ask for her assistance with what they saw as the unfair distribution of family wealth that effectively forced them into either poverty or marriage.

It wasn’t long afterwards that the hippies began to arrive, tourism followed quickly afterwards and hey presto, there was a real estate boom and guess what? Suddenly coastal lands belonging to the females were the most sought after and leapt in value. Whereas the agricultural land in the centre of island owned by the males dropped in value as the economy shifted to focus onto tourism. Another coincidence?

Source: Ibiza Spotlight

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