Lethida, the ancient Mother Goddess, is worshipped in rich temples and at lavish shrines with rituals of blood sacrifice and orgiastic frenzy performed before sensuously carved idols of ivory.

For those who serve her, Lethida bestows bountiful harvests and many children in exchange for sacrifice. The voluptous temple prostitutes which are found in Lethida’s temples are well known even outside the lands where the goddess is worshipped.

Lethida is also known under such diverse names as Ishnigarrab, Shupnikkurat and Shub-Niggurath.

Unlike Mitra worship, which uses the altar only as a focus, Shemites believe that their gods actually inhabit their omnipresent brass idols. These idols are caricatures: the swollen breasts and belly of Lethida appear repulsive to the more refined worshippers of Mitra.

Lethida can take any form, male and female, although she is most likely to appear as a young, voluptous woman dressed in white robes, wearing a golden crown. Birth of hideously deformed children, as well as drought, are regarded as bad omens from Ishtar.

Lethida has both male and female priests. Their ceremonies include the blood sacrifice of animals.


Arith Combert