The Goddesses Al-Uzza, Al-Lat and Menat formed a triad in pre-Islamic Arabia. They were widely worshipped: from Nabatean Petra in the North to the legendary Kingdoms of Arabia Felix in the South, including Saba, the Biblical Sheba; as far east as Iran and Palmyra; and the three of them were very popular Goddesses in Mecca at the time of Mohammed. From left they are: Al-Uzza, whose name means “The Mighty One”, the Goddess of the Morning Star; Al-Lat, the Mother, whose name means simply “The Goddess”, as Al-Lah simply means “The God”; and Manat, Crone-goddess of Fate or Time. Sometimes the three of them are referred to as the daughters of Al-Lah; sometimes Manat and Al-Lat are considered daughters of Al-Uzza.
Al-Uzza, “the Strong One”, was one of the most venerated Arab Deities, and the Goddess of the morning and evening star, Venus. She had a temple at Petra (though which one that was has not been determined), and may well have been the patron Goddess of that city. Isaac of Antioch (a writer of the 5th century CE) calls Her Beltis (“Lady”, a title shared by many other Semitic Goddesses), and Kaukabta, “the Star”. He also says that women would invoke Al-Uzza from the rooftops, a form of worship appropriate to a Star Goddess. St. Epiphanius of the 4th century CE calls Her the mother of Dusares, the local mountain God, calling Her by the title Chaamu or Chalmous, meaning “young girl or virgin”. She has connections with the acacia tree, and Her sanctuary at Nakhlah had three acacias in which She was believed to descend. She has much in common with Ishtar and Astarte as Morning and Evening Star Goddesses—they all have aspects of both Love and War Goddess, and big cats were sacred to Them. She is shown here armed as a bellatrix, standing before an acacia tree, with a caracal, or desert lynx. She was associated by the Greeks with their Aphrodite Urania, “Heavenly Aphrodite”.