batu hitam Aniconic yg dipuja di Kuil Aphrodite, dekat Paphos, Cyprus.
Batu2 Hitam yg dipuja
Dewa2 berbagai kebudayaan diketahu memuja batu2 yg diasosiasikan dgn dewa2 spt Aphrodite di Paphos, Cybele di Pessinus dan kemudian Rome, Astarte di Byblos dan dewa terkenal Artemis/Diana dari Ephesus.
Batu dewa Diana dipercaya diukir dari batu meteorit hitam.
Bentuk nama Cybele dahulu kemungkinan adalah Kubaba atau Kumbaba yg berarti Humbaba, dewa pelindugn hutan dlm cerita epik Gilgamesh
(mitos tertua yg pernah dicatat dari Assyria th 2500SM dan merupakan sumber dari tema2 mitos utama budaya2 yg muncul kemudian ) .
Asal usul Kubaba mungkin adalah kube atau kuba yg berarti KUBUS. Rujukan paling dini ttg seorang dewi yg dipuja dlm bentuk batu berbentuk kubus adalah dari Anatolia neolithic (di Turki kini) .
'Kubaba' bisa juga berarti kubah atau gua kosong - yg juga merupakan gambaran dewi maha tinggi itu. Ideogram bagi Kubaba dlm alfabet Hittit adalah sebuah kubus, palu berujung dua, burung merpati, vas bunga, pintu atau gerbang - semua gambaran2 dewi tsb dijaman Eropa neolitik.
The stone associated with Cybele's worship was, originally, probably at Pessinus but perhaps at Pergamum or on Mount Ida. What is certain is that in 204 BCE it was taken to Rome, where Cybele became 'Mother' to the Romans. The ecstatic rites of her worship were alien to the Roman temperament, but nevertheless animated the streets of their city during the annual procession of the goddess's statue. Alongside Isis, Cybele retained prominence in the heart of the Empire until the fifth century CE; the stone was then lost. Her cult prospered throughout the Empire and it is said that every town or village remained true to the worship of Cybele .
The home of Aphrodite was at Paphos on Cyprus. Various Classical writers describe the rituals which went on her in her honour - these seem to include the practice which is now known by the disdainful term of 'sacred prostitution'. In any event, the tapering black stone which was the object of verneration at this Temple still survives, even if it now placed inside the site musuem .
Also on Cyprus is another highly venerated islamic site - the third most important after Mecca and Medina - the Hala Sultan Tekke. This, too, has a black rock, said to have fallen as a meteorite as part of the tritholon over the shrine. The shrine is to a woman - the aunt and foster mother of Prophet Mohammed . Could this, like Mecca, have been originally a goddess shrine? Unfortunately no other clues are forthcoming.
Another site stated to have a Black Stone was at Petra, but I have been unable to discover where this was or who was worshipped there - could any readers who know please write in!
To add a little local flavour, numerous standing stones in the British Isles are reputed to have fallen from the stars. The now-lost Star Stone marked the meeting of Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire; an also-vanished stone at Grimston, Leicestershire, was also said to have such an origin. However, whether or not such stones were ever associated with goddess worship we will never know.
It would take far too long to discuss to what extent the cult of the goddess's Black Stone may have been perpetrated as Solomon's bride in the Song of Songs, who is 'black but beautiful' or to come to terms with the black images of Demeter, Artemis and Isis who have their direct continuation in the Black Virgins of Europe - patrons of the troubadours, the gnostics and the alchemists, as well as the present Pope. Those who wish to follow such ideas would do well to read The myth of the goddess  which, in a sober but inspirational manner, re-evaluates how the feminine deity has remained with us throughout history.
Further information on these topics appears in a follow-up article by Alby Stone Goddess of the Black Stone.