Lady of Heaven; The Holy One

Also known as:




Kadesh is the holy whore; the Scarlet Woman; the Lady of Pleasure. Her name literally means holy or sanctified. She is a spirit of power, beauty, joy, ecstasy and sexual pleasure. She is from the Levantine: the Semitic coast of West Asia encompassing Syrians, Phoenicians, Jews and Canaanites. It is unknown from which of these groups she originates; she was venerated by all of them as well as by the ancient Egyptians who recognized her as a foreign, Semitic spirit and adored her anyway. (The Egyptians did not adopt many spirits; generally preferring their own.)

Terra cotta figurines and plaques identified as Kadesh have been dated as far back as the Middle Bronze Age (2000–1500 BCE). Little is now known of her veneration other than that sacred prostitution was among her temple rites.


Kadesh was depicted as a naked woman, sometimes pregnant; sometimes not.


Stalks of wheat; lilies; snakes; she may stand atop a lion and wear the crescent moon in her hair

Consort: Resheph

Sacred animals: Lions; snakes


Lotus; papyrus plants; lilies; wheat


Crescent moon


Lilies; stalks of wheat; aphrodisiacs especially erotic perfumes and incense; spring water; candles in the form of genitals; images of snakes and lions

See Also:

Aisha Qandisha; Aphrodite; Astarte; Resheph

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Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses– Written by Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.

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