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Shala was an ancient Sumerian goddess of grain and the emotion of compassion. The symbols of grain and compassion combine to reflect the importance of agriculture in the mythology of Sumer, and the belief that an abundant harvest was an act of compassion from the deities.[1] Traditions identify Shala as wife of the fertility god Dagon, or consort of the storm god Hadad' also called Ishkur.[2] In ancient depictions, she carries a double-headed mace or scimitar embellished with lion heads.[3] Sometimes she is depicted as being borne atop one or two lionesses. From very early times, she is associated with the constellation Virgo and vestiges of symbolism associated with her have persisted in representations of the constellation to current times, such as the ear of grain, even as the deity name changed from culture to culture.

The Shala Mons, a mountain on Venus, is named after her.[4]


  1. ^ Stewart and Janet Farrar (1987). The Witches' Goddess: The Feminine Principle of Divinity. Phoenix Publishing. ISBN 978-0919345911.
  2. ^ Jeremy Black and Anthony Green (1992). Gods, Demons and Symbols of Ancient Mesopotamia. University of Texas Press. ISBN 978-0-292-70794-8. Archived from the original on 2015-01-03.
  3. ^ Michael Jordan (2002). Encyclopedia of Gods. Kyle Cathie Limited. ISBN 978-1-85626-131-9.
  4. ^ "Shala Mons". Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.

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