The Little Mermaid is a reworked telling of the story of Atargatis, mother of the Assyrian queen Semiramis. (Other names may include Decerto, Ashtart, Ashtaroth, - though considered to be different goddesses by their cults, they often share similarities and have become so intertwined they are often indistinguishable from one another)
Atargatis is considered the first ever recording of a 'mermaid' in history/religion/lore. By using the other goddesses, and their lore she's associated with, Disney reworked the story to actually be about Atargatis.
Derceto fell in love with a young man and had a child with him and in shame Derceto flung herself into a lake near Ascalon and her body was changed into the form of a fish though her head remained human. Derceto's child grew up to become Semiramis, the Assyrian queen.
In the animated movie 'The Little Mermaid ' she jumped into the water and turned (back) into a mermaid, while in the book she turned into sea foam upon entering the water.
This would also explain why the live action movie is moving the location of Alantica from off the shores of Corona Arendell (Denmark, Germany in real world relation) to the Mediterranean Sea; Because it's the sea that borders Assyria, now modern day Syria, where Semiramis became queen, and where Derceto flung herself into a lake near Ascalon, Jerusalem; Which also borders the Mediterranean Sea.
This may also explain why in the live action movie Ariel is now being played by a black woman (Halle Bailey), who takes on the form of Derceto/Artagatis, who is believed to have also been brown/black.
Atargatis generally appears as the wife of Hadad. Hadad (also called Iskur, Adad, Haddad) is the Sumarian god of storms and rain in Canaanite and Mesopotamian religions. This makes me think about him relating back to King Triton in The Little Mermaid who is said to have Atmokenisis AKA manipulation of weather; And that he can cause storms depending on his mood.
It's also suspected by some some esoteric researchers we get the word 'dad' from 'Hadad' - which implies King Triton being 'with' his daughter Ariel if Ariel is Artargatis and King Triton being Hadad (Hadad = Her dad?) or simply saying he's her dad while also coming from the word 'Hadad'.
Atargatis, wearing a mural crown, is the ancestor the royal house. In the end of the first movie and beginning of the 2nd movie we see Ariel wearing mural crowns; which represent city walls and/or towers; And in the 2nd movie we see that Eric and Ariel have set up a large wall around their castle to keep their daughter Melody from the ocean to keep her safe.
Atargatis is the founder of social and religious life, the goddess of generation; Like Ariel who was the first of her generation to decide to leave the ocean - move things forward instead of being stuck in the past; Separating her from her strict father (religion) in pursuit of her own life (social).
Atargatis is also the goddess of fertility (hence the prevalence of phallic emblems); Like the phallic emblem some say is on the cover of the old VHS box of the animated movie The Little Mermaid; The 'Golden p***s' that Disney claims is just a tower that's part of the kingdom.
Atargatis is also the inventor of useful appliances; Much like how we see Ariel try to make useful things out of the human objects she finds in the ocean; Like using a dingle-hopper AKA a fork as a comb.
Not unnaturally she is identified with the Greek Aphrodite; A goddess known for her beauty; Much like Ariel, who Eric says is the most beautiful girl he's ever met.
By the conjunction of these many functions, despite originating as a sea deity analogous to Amphitrite, she becomes ultimately a great nature-goddess, analogous to Cybele and Rhea: In one aspect she typifies the protection of water in producing life; in another, the universal of other-earth; Which makes me think about how she is born of the sea, but wishes to be living on land.
In a third (influenced, no doubt, by Chaldean astrology), the power of Destiny; Much like Ariel puts destiny in her own hands and takes control of what she believes and does. She was also identified with Hera by Lucian in his De Dea Syria.
Atargatis is also attributed to the spindle and the scepter or fish-spear. In the song 'Part of your world' Ariel shows off a box of decorative cork-screws which do look like old spindles and may be a nod to them, and Ariel is seen towards the end of the movie being in possession of King Tritons spear for a brief period.
As Ataratheh, doves and fish were considered sacred to her: doves as an emblem of the Love-Goddess, and fish as symbolic of the fertility and life of the waters. Ariel's 2 main friend in the animated movie were Flounder, a fish, and a seagull named Scuttle.
Aside from Flounder being named for the type of fish he is, I think Scuttle's name and bird type was chosen on purpose to misdirect what he represents, which would be the dove of love/peace; As a 'scuttle' is the deliberate making of a hole in a ship in order to sink it; and seagulls are seen as pests that people tend to hate.
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