The recognized modes of communicating the afflatus, power or numen to a person or thing to be consecrated are many, and only a few can be enumerated.
The loose aggregation of agricultural households gives place t o the organized community with new needs and new g y ideals, and at the same time in religious thought the old vague notion of the numen is almost universally superseded by the more definite conception of the dens - not even now quite anthropomorphic, but with a much more clearly realized personality.
As Janus is in the household the numen of the door, so in the state he is the god associated with the great gate near the corner of the forum: the Penates have their analogy in the Di Penates populi Romani Quiritium by whom the magistrates take their oath on entering office, the Lar familiaris in the Lares Praestites of the community, and the Genius in the new notion of the Genius populi Romani or Genius urbis Romae.
It was certainly a place of great sanctity from very early times, and when foreign religious influences intruded upon Palestine, the cult of its local numen gave place to the worship of Pan, to whom was dedicated the cave in which the copious spring feeding the Jordan arises.
To the primitive nomadic Semite the presence of the divinity was indicated by springs, shady trees, remarkable rocks and other landmarks; and from this earliest conception grew the theory that a numen might be induced to take up an abode in an artificial heap of stones, or a pillar set upright for the purpose.
Perhaps they merely rejected the idea that the numen or divine grace can be confined by priestly consecration in water and by mere washing be imparted to persons baptized.
South of Hebron lay Beersheba, an important centre and place of pilgrimage, with a special numen by whom oaths were taken (Amos viii.
The Semitic word for a stone tenanted by the numen was Beth-el, house of god, in Greek (airvXos.
But the numen has no form of sensuous representation, nor does he need a house to dwell in: statue and temple are alien to the spirit of Roman religion.
But the symbol carried with it the numen of the goddess symbolized, and there can be little doubt that Asherah came to be regarded as Yahweh's consort.