She also played a major role in the early development of other ancient cultures such as the Phoenicians, Babylonians, Canaanites, and Egyptians.
In each culture she played a slightly different role, but was always a powerful mother figure. She played the role of caretaker to humanity in them all. Her guidance was sought out by both gods and humans alike and she was arguably the most worshiped deity of her time.
By many accounts the goddess Astarte was one of the most slandered deities when more modern religions became popular in the ancient Middle East. The name "Astaroth" itself is a twisted version of Astarte, made to sound evil and shameful in the pronunciation of the old languages of the time. Humans in power at the time wanted to erase the old beliefs from existence and so they changed all of the reputations of the Babylonian gods and goddesses into those of "evil demons".
Astaroth is something of a politician among the demons. She counsels both humans and demons alike, but only those humans who still believe in her as a goddess. She can help one gain a good reputation and can create friendships between her followers and people with power and status in society. She knows all about the past, present, and future and can even help a person discover secrets through the prophetic dreams and visions that she shows to her followers. Of course she can also teach all about the sciences and humanities as well.
Astarte/Astaroth is said to be very tall, beautiful, and elegant with fair skin and long blonde hair. It is said that everything she does is with great ease and grace. She will only work for the greater good and those who are not true followers or wish to use her powers to take unjustly from others will be denied her good graces.
Goetia description says:
"He is a Mighty, Strong Duke, and appeareth in the Form of an hurtful Angel riding on an Infernal Beast like a Dragon, and carrying in his right hand a Viper. Thou must in no wise let him approach too near unto thee, lest he do thee damage by his Noisome Breath. Wherefore the Magician must hold the Magical Ring near his face, and that will defend him. He giveth true answers of things Past, Present, and to Come, and can discover all Secrets. He will declare wittingly how the Spirits fell, if desired, and the reason of his own fall. He can make men wonderfully knowing in all Liberal Sciences. He ruleth 40 Legions of Spirits."
He is referred to in The Lesser Key of Solomon as a very powerful demon. In art, in the Dictionnaire Infernal, Astaroth is depicted as a nude man with dragon-like wings, hands and feet, a second pair of feathered wings after the main, wearing a crown, holding a serpent in one hand, and riding a wolf. Upon closer examination, however, it can be seen in the image (upper right) that the dragon-like wings actually belong to the mount. According to Sebastien Michaelis, he is a demon of the first hierarchy, who seduces by means of laziness, vanity, and rationalized philosophies. His adversary is St. Bartholomew, who can protect against him for he has resisted Astaroth's temptations. To others, he teaches mathematical sciences and handicrafts, can make men invisible and lead them to hidden treasures, and answers every question formulated to him. He was also said to give to mortal beings the power over serpents.
According to Francis Barrett, Astaroth is the prince of accusers and inquisitors. According to some demonologists of the 16th century, August is the month during which this demon's attacks against man are stronger. He also goes by the name 'Ashtart/Astarte which was rendered in the latin vulgate translation of the Bible as Astharthe (singular) and Astharoth (plural), that last form rendered in the King James Version of the Bible as Ashtaroth. It seems this plural form was taken either from the latin or from some translation or other by those who did not know it was a plural form.
John Milton's Paradise Lost (1677) uses the names 'Astoreth' and 'Astarte' in Book I, saying "With these in troop Came ASTORETH, whom the PHOENICIANS call'd ASTARTE, Queen of Heav'n, with crescent Horns; To whose bright Image nightly by the Moon SIDONIAN Virgins paid their Vows and Songs, In SION also not unsung, where stood Her Temple on th' offensive Mountain, built By that uxorious King, whose heart though large, Beguil'd by fair Idolatresses, fell To Idols foul."
Jeff Rovin's The Fantasy Encyclopedia (1979) depicted Astaroth with a likeness fitting the description of Baal, including a newly-created illustration, and this error has been repeated in other places, such as with Monster in My Pocket, in which a spidery, 3-headed Astaroth is #102.