The Goddess Tanit: deity of dance, fertility, creation and destruction; Mother of Gods, Goddess of the Earth; protector of women, was a powerful figure of worship among the Carthaginians.
That was then, but to this day, many islanders believe that Tanit’s wonderfully potent existence can still be felt all across the island. In some ways that’s clearly visible; her name and image are still peppered on everything from hotels to restaurants and bars, but it’s said that her spirit is most palpable on the south west coast, particularly near Es Vedrà, the rock overlooked by Seven Pines Resort Ibiza, and coincidentally, Ibiza’s most famous natural monument. Reportedly the third most magnetic point on earth, it’s here that people report feeling a manifestation of sorts – especially as the sun disappears beneath the horizon, leaving a pastel-hued residue in the sky – one that sizzles beneath the skin, inciting possibility and excitement.
The passing of the day also makes room for darkness, when it’s time for the moon to take the spotlight in the blackest of inky skies. It’s then too, that Tanit’s reach is at its strongest. A time when the Earth’s satellite has the most poignant influence on people and planet, in the past worshippers would gather in Tanit’s honour to dance, be free and send whispers of longings and desires hopefully into the wind. Even now, the full moon is a special event on the island, each event on the monthly lunar calendar marked with expectation and delight.
This constantly inspiring goddess, now integral to belief systems carried by islanders and those instilled with spirited verve, may have missed her place in common Ibiza storytelling were it not for a fortuitous find back in 1907, when the Ibiza Archaeological Society uncovered a shrine dedicated to Tanit during a dig. There, in Cova d’es Cuieram, they discovered over 600 terracotta figures and other commemorations dedicated to the goddess, and it continues to be a place of sacred worship today, particularly among women, who take pilgrimage to the temple and bestow gifts in return for guidance.