The Symbolism of Doves: Background information when reading The Dovekeepers

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The Dovekeepers

A Novel

By Alice Hoffman

The Dovekeepers
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  • Hardcover: Oct 2011,
    512 pages.
    Paperback: Apr 2012,
    528 pages.

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Beyond the Book:
The Symbolism of Doves

Alice Hoffman's The Dovekeepers shows us a world where doves, in addition to serving day-to-day purposes, represent so much more. Along with their close cousin, the pigeon, doves make up the bird family Columbidae. And while they're often thought of as bright white birds, with over 300 species, they actually come in all shapes and sizes.

Asherah Throughout the ages, steeped in rich tradition and lore, doves have served to symbolize many aspects connected with the "Divine." In the ancient world, the dove was a symbol for the Mother goddess, the "feminine divine". Doves served as icons of fertility and procreation and were associated with the goddesses Ishtar, Astarte, Aphrodite and the early Judaic goddess of Canaan, Asherah (statue pictured). Early Israelites believed Asherah to be the consort of their god Yahweh. As the Judaic religion evolved, the dove came to represent the feminine spirit of God and God's love for his people. White doves, a sign of ...

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