Mylitta descended to Earth in the form of a flaming, falling star that landed in the freshwater spring named Afqa, source of the Adonis River in Lebanon. A shrine set up for her beside the spring was dedicated to sacred sex or debauchery, depending on who’s telling the tale. Sparks and flames from ritual fires that fell into the waters were believed to possess revitalizing power, symbolizing the union of fire and water, the male and female principles.
Mylitta may be a completely distinct spirit or an Assyrian name for Astarte, Aphrodite, and/or Inanna–Ishtar. Reputedly every Babylonian woman, regardless of class or status, was expected to sit in the courtyard of Mylitta’s temple at least once during her lifetime. There she awaited the first stranger who desired to engage her sexually. The man signaled his choice of the women by throwing a coin into her lap. She could not refuse. Proceeds went to the temple. The women expected guaranteed fertility in return. What the men expected beyond sex is unknown. The accuracy of this legend, based on the writings of Herodotus, is also not known.
An ancient pilgrimage road once ran along the Adonis River valley to the river’s source at Afqa, where Adonis and Astarte (or Aphrodite or Mylitta) were venerated.
Mylitta is petitioned for fertility and to spark your love life.
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