Originating probably, in the observation of the fertilizing effect of rains and streams upon the receptive and reproductive soil, baalism becomes identical with the grossest nature-worship. Joined with the baals there are naturally found corresponding female figures known as Ashtaroth, embodiments of Ashtoreth (see Astarte; Ishtar).
In accordance with primitive notions of analogy,3 which assume that it is possible to control or aid the powers of nature by the practice of "sympathetic magic" (see Magic), the cult of the baals and Ashtaroth was characterized by gross sensuality and licentiousness.
This fusion is exemplified by the Carnion temple, which is probably identical with the famous temple of Astarte at Ashtaroth-Karnaim.
5 we find them established in Ashteroth-Karnaim (probably the same as Ashtaroth, which, as we shall see, was an important city of Bashan).
The other identifications that have commanded most acceptance are as follows: Ashteroth Karnaim, also called Ashtaroth and (Josh.