"Saint Mary Magdalene and Saint Mary of Egypt were also said to have grown fleeces of body hair. All of these phenomena were commonly interpreted as constituting evidence of divine protection and favour. One of the oldest sources of female hirsutism can be found in connection with the Babylonian goddess Ishtar, who was regarded as the queen of heaven and of the stars. Depicted as bearded and dressed as a warrior, she was also sometimes portrayed as hermaphroditic. Although she was commonly invoked as the fierce "Ishtar Barbata" in northern Babylonia, she was venerated as a gentle goddess of motherhood and love in the southern regions of the kingdom."