First Minus Tide of the cycle at 6:57 PM of -0.6 feet. This cycle the minus tides are all after dark, but the associated afternoon tides will be quite high and the change is very fast! Featured photo by Jessica Smith-Carlock. Wicca 101 starts tonight! 7pm at Ancient Light.
Still looking for feedback on this year’s OCPPG! https://wp.me/P2xgQ8-6hh New logo! <<<<
Mostly cloudy and 55F with the wind at 4mph. We got most of a 1/4 inch of rain last night before the clouds cleared away. It was pretty amazing on the sunroom roof, almost sounded like hail. We’ve more due late this afternoon. Right now the humidity is only 67%. It looks like we have a regular storm due Saturday night into Sunday….rain and wind.
Yesterday seemed like it flew past. Well, I guess it started late enough…. and then it took forever to get the newsletter out. Part of the reason that I try to do that so early in the day is so I don’t get tangled up in everything else and yesterday I definitely tangled up in things….
I worked on cookery after the newsletter was out, working on the chicken stew and doing some more work on pickles. Once that was done I get today’s newsletter fully set up and then started working on pictures, headers and inventory. I was plenty busy!
No, I didn’t get any sewing time in. I was up to my eyeballs in things and then when I went to check what kinds of fabrics I could use for a pouch that I’m making, I raked myself on a staple sticking out of some wood. Tempus had to take some time to pound that down and out of the way. I finally got the chicken finished in time for some supper.
It rained off and on during the late afternoon and early evening. With the taco place open folks were running in and out of the lot. Marius showed up to pick up a donation for an event he’s running over the weekend in Toledo. Tempus finally got some storage containers cleaned and that got the stew put away and the crockpot soaking.
I was pretty tired by then. When Tempus brought me some bread as starters on supper he said, “The bowls are warming!” What I *heard* was, “These are Mormons!” … and I waited for the punchline. <snicker> It was a pretty good stew, and even better with a slice of Tempus’ good bread.
I spent the evening working on that kneeler piece, fixing the problems, re-stitching and then doing the little dots on the top. I still need to decide what fabric to use for the pouch part, maybe I can get a look at what I have this afternoon.
Tempus had a fairly trouble-free run during the night and got in around 6:30. We have the shop open and he’s napping, bolt upright on the sofa. 🙂 Tonight is the start of the new Wicca 101 course. This round is running on Fridays at 7pm.
A picture by Jessica Smith Carlock, taken on 10/24/14, used with permission.
From the National Gardening Association newsletter, this week is time to:
- Dig and Store Dahlias
- Winterize Planters
- Continue to Mow Your Lawn
- Turn the Soil
- Prune Back Mums
Today’s Plant is False Lily of the Valley, Maianthemum dilatatum. It was eaten as a poverty food, and the berries won’t hurt you, but they aren’t particularly tasty, either. It was more used as a medicinal by the indigenous peoples, although modern medicine doesn’t substantiate the native uses. The leaves were eaten in spring as a purgative, leaves were made into poultices for scrapes and cuts and the roots were pounded to make a medicine for sore eyes. I don’t know of any magickal uses except against sterility. More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maianthemum_dilatatum and here: http://academic.evergreen.edu/projects/gardens/longhouse/monographs/false_lillyofthevalley.htm
Apaturia – (from Pip Wilson’s Almanac) meeting of the clans, ancient Greece (Nov 3 – 5) -The Apaturia was commemorated by all Ionian Greeks except those of Colophon and Ephesus. It was celebrated in the month of Pyanepsion (October to November) and lasted three days. The name is roughly translated as ‘common relationship’; Xenophon (431 – c. 354 BCE), tells us that during the celebration, fathers and relations assembled and births were registered. More information here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apaturia
The shop is open 11-7pm Thursday through Monday, although we’re there a lot later most nights. Need something off hours? Give us a call at 541-563-7154 or Facebook or email at email@example.com If we’re supposed to be closed, but it looks like we’re there, try the door. If it’s open, the shop’s open! In case of bad weather, check here at the blog for updates, on our Facebook as Ancient Light, or call the shop.
Love & Light,
Today’s Astro & Calendar
Waxing Moon Magick – The waxing moon is for constructive magick, such as love, wealth, success, courage, friendship, luck or healthy, protection, divination. Any working that needs extra power, such as help finding a new job or healings for serious conditions, can be done now. Also, love, knowledge, legal undertakings, money and dreams. Phase ends at the Tide Change on 11/3 at 10:23pm. Full Moon – The day of the day before and day after the true Full Moon. “And better it be when the moon is full!”! Prime time for rituals for prophecy, for spells to come to fruition, infusing health and wholeness, etc. A good time for invoking deity. FRUITION Manifesting goals, nurturing, passion, healing, strength, power. Workings on this day are for protection, divination. “extra power”, job hunting, healing serious conditions Also, love, knowledge, legal undertakings, money and dreams. God/dess Aspect: Mother/Abundance/Kingship – – Associated God/desses: Danu, Cerridwen, Gaia, Aphrodite, Isis, Jupiter, Amon-Ra. Phase ends on 11/5 at 10:23am. Waning Moon Magick – From the Full Moon to the New is a time for study, meditation, and magic designed to banish harmful energies and habits, for ridding oneself of addictions, illness or negativity. Remember: what goes up must come down. Phase ends at the Tide Change on 11/18 at 3:42am.
All week, bright Venus and faint Mars shine in the east during early dawn. (The blue 10° scale is about a fist-width at arm’s length, always a handy measure.)
Full Moon tonight (exactly full at 1:23 a.m.). The full Moon of November always rides very high in the middle of the night, almost as high as the full Moon of December.
Uranus (magnitude 5.7, in Pisces) and Neptune (magnitude 7.8, in Aquarius) are well up after dark in the southeastern side of the sky. Neptune is less than 1° from Lambda Aquarii. Use our finder charts online or in the October Sky & Telescope, page 50.
Goddess Month of Cailleach/Samhain runs from 10/31 – 11/27
Celtic Tree Month of Ngetal/Reed Oct 28 – Nov 24
Runic half-month of Hagalaz/Hagal – October 29-Novmber 12 – The Runic half-month of Hagal commences today, represented by the hailstone of transformation. It is a harbinger of the need to undergo the necessary preparations before the harsh northern Winter.
©2017 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
Celtic Tree Month of Ngetal/Reed Oct 28 – Nov 24 – nGéadal – (NYEH-dl), reed – The term “reed” is used with great imprecision in North America, but it is clear that the reed of the ogham is the common reed (Phragmites australis (Cav.) Trin. ex Steudel). This is a giant grass, with stems as high as 4 m (13 feet). It grows in marshy areas, where it often forms dense stands. Like most other grasses, the vertical stems live only a single year, dying in the autumn and being replaced with new green shoots in the spring. The dead stems rattle and whisper in late autumn winds. Common reed has spread as a weed throughout the world; in North America it is widespread in cooler climates. Common reed is in the Grass family (Poaceae, or Gramineae). “The Reed Month, is said by some to be most favorable for communication with ancestral spirits and the strengthening of all family ties, with magickal associations with fertility, love, protection, and family concerns. ‘Thin and slender is the Reed. He stands in clumps at the edge of the river and between his feet hides the swift pike awaiting an unsuspecting minnow to come his way. In his thinness the reed resembles arrows that fly, silver-tipped, up into the unknown air to land at the very source that one had searched for all these years. Firing arrows off into the unknown is an expression of the desire to search out basic truths. If you loose off without direction, the place of landing will be random. If the firing off is carried out with the correct conviction, determination and sense of purpose, then the act becomes secondary to the event that comes both before and after the moment.'” Source: Earth, Moon and Sky
Tides for Alsea Bay
F 3 High 12:20 AM 7.3 7:57 AM Set 7:02 AM 97
~ 3 Low 6:13 AM 1.3 6:02 PM Rise 6:18 PM
~ 3 High 12:17 PM 8.7
~ 3 Low 6:57 PM -0.6
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – We fall in love…we fall out of love…we search for new loves..yearn for old loves….we have memories….we make new memories..we live every day of our lives..sometimes not the way that we want to…but we do it anyway…never forget to tell someone you love that you love them..never say never…and laugh, it is good for your soul…
~ It took Thomas Edison around 6,000 experiments to get a working light bulb. When asked how he felt about failing 6,000 times, he said, ‘We merely learned 6,000 ways that would not work – and one that did’. Edison
~ It’s hard to detect good luck – it looks so much like something you’ve earned. – Fred A. Clark
~ Joy is what happens when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are. – Marianne Williamson
~ Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps a singing bird will come. – Chinese Proverb
No shade, no shine,
no butterflies, no bees,
no fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds—
November! – Thomas Hood (1799–1845)
Magic is the art and science of changing consciousness at will.
Transformation through descent into the depths is a ubiquitous myth. Many cultures have myths of death and rebirth which explain the cycles of nature and the character of the afterlife. It is “another variation of the motif of the Hero and the Dragon . . . the Katabasis, the Descent into the Cave. . . . It expresses the psychological mechanism of introversion of the conscious mind into deeper layers of the unconscious psyche” (Jung, 1968, p.41). Here we examine the myth of Inanna, one which prefigured the Babylonian myth of Ishtar and Tammuz, and the Greek myth of Persephone’s kidnapping by Hades.
The Descent of Inanna is familiar to the many contemporary [men and] women who have undertaken to journey into their own underworlds and have lived to tell the tale. That descent is a requirement of sovereignty, by which I mean the owning of one’s own self and life. (Worth, 1996, p. 38)
As the myth begins, Inanna, the Queen of Heaven and Earth has already established a relationship with Enki, the God of Wisdom and Waters. He has gifted her with the fourteen me, or blessings of power, which she readily accepts, including:
Descent into the underworld! Ascent from the underworld!
The art of lovemaking! The kissing of the phallus! (Wolkstein & Kramer, p. 14, 15)
Inanna opened her ear to the moaning of her sister Ereshkigal, Queen of the Underworld and abandoned her realm of heaven and earth, even her temples, to descend into the “great below”. “With the me in her possession, she prepared herself:” (Wolkstein & Kramer, p. 53) placing her crown upon her head, beads of lapis lazuli around her neck, sparkling stones fastened to her breast (Henderson & Oakes, p. 102) , a gold ring around her wrist, and a royal robe upon her body. She bound a breastplate about her chest and took a lapis measuring rod and line in her hand. Then she set out for the kur, the netherworld, with her faithful servant, Ninshubur. When she arrived at the outer gates of the kur she commanded Ninshubur to wait for three days, and if she had not returned, to call upon the elder Gods for help.
When Inanna challenged the gatekeeper to gain entry into the kur, he consulted with Ereshkigal, telling her that a giant and powerful goddess, arrayed in splendor and with signs of authority, was waiting to enter Her realm. Ereshkigal became upset, then told the gatekeeper to open each gate of the underworld a mere crack, and to remove Inanna’s royal garments on her way through.
As Inanna passed through the first gate he removed her crown. At the second gate he removed her lapis beads; at the third, her sparkling stones; at the fourth, her breastplate; at the fifth, her gold ring; a the sixth, her lapis measuring rod; and at the seventh and final gate, her royal robe. Naked and disarmed, Inanna entered the throne room of her sister. Immediately, she was surrounded by the judges of the underworld, who ruled against her.
Then Ereshkigal fastened on Inanna the eye of death.
She spoke against her the word of wrath.
She uttered against her the cry of guilt.
She struck her.
Inanna was turned into a corpse,
A piece of rotting meat,
And was hung from a hook on the wall. (Wolkstein & Kramer, p. 60)
After three days, Ninshubur went to Enlil, God of Air, who refused to help, for the Underworld was not in His domain. Ninshubur went to Nanna, God of the Moon, who also refused to help, for he had no jurisdiction over the Underworld. Finally, Ninshubur went to Enki, God of Wisdom and Water, who originally blessed Inanna with the me of descent into and ascent from the kur. Enki was grieved and troubled. From under his fingernails he took dirt and created two creatures, neither male nor female, and gave them the food and water of life to carry to Inanna.
These creatures snuck into the kur like flies, slipping through the cracks in the gates. They entered the throne room and found Ereshkigal lying naked and unkempt, moaning “Oh! Oh! My inside!”.
Following Enki’s instructions, they also moaned “Oh! Oh! Your inside!”.
Again she moaned “Ohhh! Oh! My outside!”
To which the creatures replied “Ohhh! Oh! Your outside!”
She continued to moan out her agony and they continued to name her pains back to her. Finally, she stopped moaning and blessed the creatures, offering them any gift they desired. They asked for Inanna’s corpse, and revived her with the food and water of life. Inanna then arose and ascended to the upper world.
At the beginning of the myth, Inanna has been prefigured to descend into the underworld. It has already been named as her destiny by Enki. Inanna, as Queen of Heaven and Earth, represents the ego, the conscious ruler of the known psyche. And yet, it has been foreordained that she must experience the depths, that the underworld awaits her. A periodic lowering of the mood is a natural part of human existence. Life is full of cycles, and human affect is not immune from them. The healthy course is for people to experience a lowering of mood, a turning inward, a contacting of unconscious depths, and then to return to “normal” functioning. A depressed person, however, has lost the ability to return, and feels trapped in his own personal kur.
The prophesied result of Inanna’s journey through the netherworld is that she will gain Truth and the Art of Lovemaking. In one translation, Inanna is frequently referred to as “the pure Inanna” (Henderson & Oakes). In her purity, she is a child of light, lacking the experience of darkness. She has no Truth, only naiveté. Without the knowledge of their own unconscious depths, a person cannot be an intimate lover. Real love, empowering intimacy, can exist only between people who have each experienced their own depths and discovered that in the depths, they each partake of the same material. This experience makes a true sharing possible. Thus, descent is a prerequisite to mastering the “Art of Lovemaking”.
The descent begins when Inanna hears the moans of her sister, Ereshkigal, the Queen of the Underworld. The conscious mind hears something stirring, something related but rejected, consigned to the darkness. Ereshkigal is the shadow consciousness, that repository of everything rejected by the ego. But the shadow is more than just a collection of ego jetsam–it also includes “the insufficiently developed functions and the contents of the personal unconscious” (Jung, 1953, p. 66, note 5). The “pure” ego must be reunited with the undiscovered and rejected psychic contents in order for integration to occur. Enthralled, the ego must descend, must harken unto the cries, abandoning everything in this quest, risking all.
The descent is not made naked, however. The ego insists on defending itself with all its conscious powers. Inanna dons a crown, representing intellectual functioning, the power of “being in her head”. She places a circle of beads around her neck. The circle is a symbol of eternity and of the womb–she claims the power of eternal creativity. She fastens sparkling gems to her chest, pretty, “nice”, positive feelings to protect her from the underworld. She places a gold ring around her wrist, a symbol of her power to act. She takes her lapis measuring rod in her hand, her critical ability to judge. She armors herself with a breastplate for protection, and covers herself with a royal robe. The armor is whatever psychic defenses and walls a person casts up to protect themselves from others. The royal robes make a nice analogy with the persona, the ability to look good for others.
Thus arrayed, she set out for the depths.
The meeting with oneself is, at first, the meeting with one’s own shadow. The shadow is a tight passage, a narrow door, whose painful constriction no one is spared who goes down to the deep well. (Jung, 1969, p. 21)
At first, Inanna cannot gain admission to the underworld. When the gatekeeper finally allows her to enter, he narrows the gates so that she must abandon all that she had depended upon for her safe journey into the underworld. At each gate she can barely squeeze through, it is almost as if she is repeating a birth process. Seven times she passes through a gate and seven times she abandons an implement of her power.
In descending into the depths, the weapons of consciousness become impediments. The work of descent cannot be done by the well fortified, but only by the vulnerable, by the helpless and disempowered. At the first gate, she must leave her intellectualizing behind. At the second gate, she must quit relying on her cleverness and creativity. At the third gate, her niceness must be surrendered. At the fourth gate, her armor; at the fifth, her ability to do; at the sixth, her critical judgement; and at the final gate, her persona is stripped away from her. She enters the underworld naked and helpless as the day she was born.
In this vulnerable state, she faces her sister, her shadow self. Unprotected in the depths, she finds herself judged and crucified, left putrifying hanging from the wall. This is the depths of depression. Self judgement and despair, everything turns to shit. Alone and in the darkness, Inanna decomposes. The depressed person is often left with a sense of hopelessness, feeling as if nothing they can do will alleviate their misery. They can only hang around in their own private hell and rot.
All is not lost, however, for Inanna’s faithful servant seeks help. In depression, the person does not cease functioning. The client’s mood is lowered, but they still live, still remaining conscious. Ninshubur, Inanna’s servant, is that remaining consciousness, the part of the client who is willing to seek help, to take some action, no matter how small, to solve the problem. Ninshubur first goes to the Sun God, but gets no help. Power and enlightenment are not what will rescue the descended consciousness. Then, Ninshubur goes to the Moon God, and gets no help. Neither mystery nor emotion, nor even the personal unconscious can solve the situation. Finally, Ninshubur goes to Enki, God of Wisdom and the Waters.
Enki is troubled, but he has a solution. He scrapes the dirt from under his fingernails and creates from it two genderless beings to solve the problem. The solution to depression lies not in great intellectual power, nor in great emotional power. It comes from Wisdom, which encompasses all of the psychological functions. Enki takes action–and he is a God of action; note the dirt under his fingernails. He is also the God who predicted, who arranged for this situation. Wisdom accepts the descent into darkness, knows that as unpleasant as it may be, it is necessary for completion of growth.
When the beings the Enki created arrive in the underworld, they do not confront Ereshkigal in a power struggle for Inanna. Instead, they listen to her moans. They hear her pain and they name it back to her. This is the action of Wisdom. Depression begins to heal when the hidden pain is named and honored. This continues until Ereshkigal feels relief. She offers the creatures anything they desire, and they request Inanna’s corpse. They revive it, and she returns to be Queen of Heaven and Earth. No longer is she pure delightful lightness, for she now knows pain and darkness. She has experienced them for herself. The Wisdom which originally orchestrated this descent into the underworld has also arranged her return. After she made the passage through the narrow doors, Inanna encountered uncertainties for which she had no preparation. All her tools had been stripped from her. But Enki, the power of Wisdom and the ability to “go with the flow”, brought her through.
But one must learn to know oneself in order to know who one is. For what comes after the door is, surprisingly enough, a boundless expanse full of unprecedented uncertainty . . . it is the world of water. (Jung, 1969, p. 21)
ORDER: Henderson, Joseph L. & Maud Oakes. (1963). The wisdom of the serpent: The myths of death, rebirth, and resurrection. New York: George Braziller.
ORDER: Jung, Carl G. (1953). Two essays on analytical psychology. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
ORDER: Jung, Carl G. (1968). Analytical psychology: Its theory and practice. New York: Vintage Books.
ORDER: Jung, Carl G. (1969). Archetypes and the collective unconscious. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
ORDER: Wolkstein, Diane & Samuel Noah Kramer. (1983). Inanna queen of heaven and earth: Her stories and hymns from Sumer. New York: Harper & Row.
Worth, Patricia. (1996). “Inanna: Godddess of transformative relationships,” Sage Woman, No. 34.
The background of this page is an image from the excavation of Nippur taken from the article Nippur: Sacred City of Enlil, Supreme God of Sumer and Akkad by McGuire Gibson at The Oriental Institute of The University of Chicago. I copied his Figure. 4, “Photograph of WA, with niched-and buttressed outer walls of sequence of temples in background, sand dune above.” This figure is a grey tone image. I played with the color and contrast until it seemed suitable for background.
This myth has appeared several times through many different evolutions of Mesopotamian civilization.
Some scholars assign its celebration to the Spring season at the time of the Babylonian New Year; others place its enactment during the Summer months.
As it is a tale of death and rebirth, of the dismantling and reintegration of spirit, many modern spiritualists will reenact the myth at their Samhain (Hallowe’en) celebrations. The following commentary and version of the myth is taken directly from the book, “Myths From Mesopotamia”, by Stephanie J. Dalley
The Akkadian story is first attested in Late Bronze Age texts, in both Babylonia and Assyria, and later from the palace library at Nineveh. It is a short composition of some 140 lines, and seems to end with ritual instructions for the taklimtu, an annual ritual known from Assyrian texts, which took place in the month of Dumuzi (Tammuz = June/July) and featured the bathing, anointing, and lying-in-state in Nineveh of a statue of Dumuzi.
The Sumerian version, The Descent of Inanna, is attested earlier, and is much longer, consisting of some 410 lines. It is a fuller, more detailed account, and shows clearly that Dumuzi periodically died and rose, causing seasonal fertility, a fact which had been doubted until 1963, when a newly published fragment disclosed the crucial evidence. This version contains no ritual or incantation. However, like the Akkadian story, it seems to represent the goddess as a cult statue, and it has been suggested that the goddess’s statue makes a ritual journey from Uruk, her home town, to Kutha, seat of Underworld deities.
There is an obvious similarity in basic theme to the Greek myth of Persephone, who was abducted by Hades. He periodically released her to her mother Demeter, thus causing fertility on earth to be seasonal, but of course there are many major differences between the Greek and Akkadian myths.
THE DESCENT OF ISHTAR TO THE UNDERWORLD
To Kurnugi, land of [no return],
Ishtar daughter of Sin was [determined] to go;
The daughter of Sin was determined to go
To the dark house, dwelling of Erkalla’s god,
To the house which those who enter cannot leave,
On the road where travelling is one-way only,
To the house where those who enter are deprived of light,
Where dust is their food, clay their bread.
They see no light, they dwell in darkness,
They are clothed like birds, with feathers.
Over the door and the bolt, dust has settled.
Ishtar, when she arrived at the gate of Kurnugi,
Addressed her words to the keeper of the gate,
“Here gatekeeper, open your gate for me,
Open your gate for me to come in!
If you do not open the gate for me to come in!
If you do not open the gate for me to come in,
I shall smash the door and shatter the bolt,
I shall smash the doorpost and overturn the doors,
I shall raise up the dead and they shall eat the living:
The dead shall outnumber the living!”
The gatekeeper made his voice heard and spoke,
He said to great Inanna,
“Stop, lady, do not break it down!
Let me go and report your words to queen Ereshkigal.”
The gatekeeper went in and spoke to [Ereshkigal],
“Here she is, your sister Inanna [. . .]
Who holds the great keppu’toy,
Stirs up the Abzu in Ea’s presence [. . .]?”
When Ereshkigal heard this,
Her face grew livid as cut tamarisk,
Her lips grew dark as the rim of a kuninu-vessel.
“What brings her to me? What has incited her against me?
Surely not because I drink water with the Anunnaki,
I eat clay for bread,I drink muddy water for beer?
I have to weep for young men forced to abandon their sweethearts.
I have to weep for girls wrenched from their lover’s laps.
For the infant child I have to weep, expelled before its time.
Go,gatekeeper, open your gate to her.
Treat her asccording to the ancient rites.”
The gatekeeper went.
He opened the gate to her.
“Enter, my lady: may Kutha give you joy,
May the palace of Kurnugi be glad to see you”
He let her in through the first door, but stripped off (and) took away the great crown on her head,
“Gatekeeper, why have you taken away the great crown on my head?”
“Go in, my lady. Such are the rites of the Mistress of Earth.”
He let her in through the second door, but stripped off (and) took away the rings in her ears.
“Gatekeeper, why have you taken away the rings in my ears?”
“Go in, my lady. Such are the rites of the Mistress of Earth.”
He let her in through the third door, but stripped off (and) away the beads around her neck.
“Gatekeeper, why have you taken away the beads around my neck?”
“Go in, my lady. Such are the rites of the Mistress of Earth.”
He let her in through the fourth door, but stripped off (and) took away the toggle pins at her breast.
“Gatekeeper, why have you taken away the toggle pins at my breast?”
“Go in, my lady. Such are the rites of the Mistress of Earth.”
He let her in through the fifth door, but stripped off (and) took away the girdle of birth-stones around her waist.
“Gatekeeper, why have you taken the girdle of birth stones around my waist?”
“Go in, my lady. Such are the rites of the Mistress of Earth.”
He let her in through the sixth door, but stripped off (and) took away the bangles on her wrists and ankles.
“Gatekeeper, why have you taken away the bangles from my wrists and ankles?”
“Go in my lady. Such are the rites of the Mistress of Earth.”
He let her in through the seventh door, but stripped off (and) took away the proud garment of her body.
“Gatekeeper, why have you taken away the proud garment of my body?”
“Go in, my lady. Such are the rites of the Mistress of Earth.”
As soon as Inanna went down to Kurnugi,
Ereshkigal loked at her and trembled before her.
Inanna did not deliberate (?), but leant over her.
Ereshkigal made her voice heard and spoke,
Addressed her words to Namtar her vizier,
“Go Namtar [ ] of my [ ]
Send out against her sixty diseases
[ ] Inanna:
Disease of the eyes to her [eyes]
Disease of the arms to her [arms]
Disease of the feet to her [feet]
Disease of the heart to her [heart]
Disease of the head [to her head]
To every part of her and to [ ].”
After Inanna the Mistress of (?) [had gone to Kernugi]
No bull mounted a cow, [no donkey impregnated a jenny]
No young man impregnated a girl [in thr street(?)]
The young man slept in his private room,
The girl slept in the company of her friends.
Then Papsukkal, vizier of the great gods, hung his head, his face [became gloomy];
He wore mourning clothes, his hair unkempt.
Dejected(?), he went and wept before Sin his father,
His tears flowed freely before king Ea.
“Inanna has gone down to The Earth and has not come up again.
As soon as Inanna went down to Kurnugi
No bull mounted a cow, no donkey impregnated a jenny,
No young man impregnated a girl on the street
The young man slept in his private room,
The girl slept in the company of her friends.”
Ea, in the wisdom of his heart, created a person.
He created Good-looks the playboy.
“Come,Good-looks,set your face towards the gate of Kurnugi.
The seven gates of Kurnugi shall be opened before you.
Ereshkigal shall look at you and be glad to see you.
When she is relaxed, her mood will lighten.
Get her to swear the oath by the great gods.
Raise your head, pay attention to the waterskin,
Saying, ‘Hey my lady,let them give me the waterskin, that I may drink water from it.'”
(and so it happened. But)
When Ereshkigal heard this,
She struck her thigh and bit her finger.
“You have made a request of me that should not have been made!
Come, Good-looks, I shall curse you with a great curse.
I shall decree for you a fate that shall never be forgotten.
Bread (gleaned(?)) from the city’s ploughs shall be your food,
The city drains shall be your only drinking place,
Threshold steps your only sitting place,
The drunkard and the thirsty shall slap your cheek.”
Ereshkigal made her voice heard and spoke:
She adressd her words to Namtar her vizier,
“Go Namtar, knock (?) at Egalina,
Decorate the threshold steps with coral,
Bring the Annunaki out and seat (them) on golden thrones,
Sprinkle Inanna with the waters of life and conduct her into my presence.”
Namtar went, knocked at Egalina,
Decorated the threshold steps with coral,
Brought out the Annunaki, seated them on golden thrones,
Sprinkled Inanna with the waters of life and brought her out to her (sister).
He let her out through the the first door, and gave her back to her the proud garment of her body.
He let her out through the second door, and gave back to her the bangles of her wrists and ankles.
He let her out through the third door, and gave back to her the girdle of birthstones around her waist.
He let her out through the fourth door, and gave back to her the toggle-pins at her breast.
He let her out through the fifth door, and gave back to her the beads around her neck.
He let her out through the sixth door, and gave back to her the rings for her ears.
He let her out through the seventh door, and gave back the great crown for her head.
“Swear that (?) she has paid you for her ransom,and give her back (in exchange) for him,
For Dmuzi,the lover of her youth,
Wash (him) with pure water,anoint him with sweet oil,
Clothe him in a red robe, let the lapis lazuli pipe play(?)
Let party-girls raise a loud lament(?)”
Then Belili tore off (?) her jewellery,
Her lap was filled with eyestones.
Belili heard the lament for her brother, she struck the jewellery [from her body],
The eyestones with which the front of the wild cow was filled.
“You shall not rob me (forever) of my only brother!
On the day when Dmuzi comes back up, (and) the lapis pipe and the carnelian ring come up with him,
(When) male and female mourners come up with him,
The dead shall come up and smell the smoke offering”
At the end of the day, the Radiant Star, the Great Light that
Fills the sky,
The lady of the Evening appears in the heavens.
The people in all the lands lift their eyes to her.
The men purify themselves’ the women cleanse themselves,
The ox in his yoke lows to her
The sheep stir up the dust in their fold. – Excerpt from The Lady of the Evening. – Sumerian
INTRODUCTION TO INANNA
“Inanna/Ninanna–Canaan, Phoenicia, Sumeria, Uruk, Babylonia. Mistress of
Heaven; the Morning and Evening Star; War goddess; Sovereign Lady of the
Land; Queen of the Assembly of Deities. The most important Sumerian goddess,
she was represented riding on her sacred lion, sometimes with a pack of
hunting dogs. Other times she was pictured as a winged goddess of war, armed
with bow and quiver. One of her symbols was a gatepost hung with streamers;
another, a serpent coiling round a staff; her planet was Venus. War,
defense, victory, love, fertility, light, destiny, peace, prosperity, crops,
sexual love, civilization,agriculture, justice, waving and pottery, laws.
Nanna/Nana/anna/Inanna–Aesir Goddess; “The Moon”; Great Mother;
Earth goddess; wife of Balder. Love, gentleness.”
ASPECTS OF INANNA
Inanna & Other Deities
She was known as Inanna in southern Sumer and in the North she manifested
herself in later centuries as Ishtar. This change in name happened somewhere
between Sumer and Babylonia, the Babylonian period being later than the
Sumerian, and also different geographically and politically. Other sources
claim she was known as Ishtar in Northern Sumer : Ishtar anticipates the
Virgin Mary…she has a son who dies a sacrificial death and she mourns him.
There are very few seals or depictions of Ishtar as a mother, but there are
5 in existance…one shows Ishtar holding a child, with an 8 rayed star and
a lunar crescent. (Akaad, ca.2334-2154 B.C.E.) This makes one think of a
Nativity scene…perhaps the star overhead is Venus?
The story of Ishtar’s Descent is also a bit differant. Inanna goes to the
Underworld to confront her sister, Ishtar goes to the Underworld to awaken
her son/lover, Tammuz.
Inanna relates to the Neolithic Great Mother and is considered one
of the three Great Godesses of the Bronze Age: Isis, Inanna, and Cybele
being the three. As the Great Mother she gives life and to the waxing and
wanning moon…her mythology revolved around the connections made between
the dark and light phases…she is Bride, Sister, Mother…and her dark
phases is reflected in her sister, Ereshkigal.
There is a lot of political change between Inanna and Ishtar, and
perhaps addition of local male gods, and differences in the Goddess’s
relation to the new local gods. Civilization is creating itself, and the
shift from matrilinial to patriarchal is going on here. There are clues in
the myths if we read them with an open mind and look for traces of this.
There was a definite shift when the Semite people from the North
came into the South. The Goddess was the predominate deity in the South and
the people from the North brought in the male sky Gods; that is when you
begin to see that a male God “seized” a Goddess. This was not something that
one sees in the southern cultures, they were still following the older
Neolithic Mother Goddess traditions. Later on, the
Goddess becomes a wife or a sister, not the Great Mother of the past.
The Goddess of Love and War
The oldest of the three examples (Ishtar & Anath are cited as parallel
Goddesses) was Inanna, the great Sumerian goddess of love and war, the
ruletary deity of Uruk (the Biblical Erech), whose prominence in the
Sumerian pantheon was well established by the 3rd millennium BCE. That she
was regarded a virgin is evident from the two epithets which accompany her
name: in myths and other texts she is most frequently called “the maid
Inanna” and “the pure Inanna”. Yet throughout Sumerian history she was the
goddess primarily responsible for sexual love, procreation, and fertility,
who freely gave herself to Dumuzi (Tammuz), the earliest mythological ruler
of Sumer, and thereafter became the wife of all Sumerian kings. Nor was
she immune to the advances of ordinary mortals: an old Sumerian story tells
of a gardener who one night managed to take advantage of Inanna’s utter
weariness and had intercourse with her. Upon awakening in the
morning, Inanna was enraged over the indignity, and the vengeance she
wrought seems to us to have surpassed all reason. But her behavior was in
keeping with her character, for she was a goddess of boundless rage and
ruthless destruction, “the lady of battle and conflict”, who had “great fury
in her wrathful heart”. It was she who armed King Hammurabi (ca. 1728 –
1686 BCE) with mighty weapons, and was his “gracious protecting genius”.
More than a thousand years later, in the days of Nabonidus (555-539 BCE),
she was still worshipped at Uruk in a gold-clad cella, driving a chariot to
which were harnessed seven lions.
Inanna and Sexuality
The Goddess Inanna, often seen as a Sumerian counterpart of
Aphrodite/Venus, has become a favorite of modern Goddess worshippers, not
least because Her praise-singer (to borrow an African term), Enheduanna,
daughter of King Sargon, may be the oldest known poet in the world. We
applaud Inanna’s story of going from the “Great Above to the Great Below”,
that is, from the Sky to the Land of the Dead, where She confronts Her
all-powerful sister, Erishkigal, Goddess of Death. We see this as
wholeness, as facing the dark Goddess within ourselves.
Some scholars label Inanna as violent, unfaithful, a patron of
prostitutes, who Herself visits “taverns”, a Goddess who copulates with
horses as well as men. The Priestesses were the prostitutes, sacred
prostitutes in matriarchal ways – these women were the greatest of all
healers. Again, the word prostitute is a patriarchal definition. The old
word was Virgin. The modern definition of virgin includes never having sex
before, of course, because then they would have to believe what ever the men
told them about how sex had to be.
The true tradition of the virgin was she who could enter each
experience as if a new, untouched by previous experience. What that means
is: no baggage, no pain tapes, no comparisons of past lovers, no judgments
of performance, no guilt, blame, shame in the experience, so she was fully
free and present to be with this wounded male to provide healing, so the
goddess could birth the god.
Patriarchal thinking finds Sumerian descriptions of Her vulva as
the boat of heaven, or a fallow field waiting for the plow uncomfortable.
Inanna is not mentioned as Goddess of the kiss, for such things seem
trivial, and worse, they might lead to recognition of Her function as
Goddess of masturbation.
The religion of the Goddess, wherever it was practiced throughout
history, has always been sex positive. The most famous of the ancient
rituals is the Hieros Gamos, or Sacred marriage ritual. Records of this
ceremony have been dated as far back as early Sumerian, about 5500 years ago.
In this ritual the high priestess acting as avatar of The Goddess had sex
with the ruler of the country to show the Goddess’s acceptance him as ruler
and caretaker of her people. Here is part of the ceremony as translated from
an ancient Sumerian poem.
The High Priestess, acting for Inanna, is speaking to Dumuzi the new king.
My vulva, the horn,
The boat of Heaven,
Is full of eagerness like the young moon.
My untilled land lies fallow.
As for me, Inanna,
Who will plow my vulva?
Who will plow my high field?
Who will plow my wet ground?
As for me, the young woman,
Who will plow my vulva?
Who will station the ox there?
Who will plow my vulva?
The symbolism is, I hope, obvious to you. If you’ve ever looked at an
anatomical picture of the female reproductive system, you may have noticed
that the vagina is shaped like a horn, it curves upward and narrows towards
the back. On the male side, an old time plow (not the modern day tractor
type) had a long, hard projection that pushed into the ground.
Dumuzi, the king replies:
Great Lady, the king will plow your vulva,
I, Dumuzi the King, will plow your vulva
Inanna accepts him saying:
Then plow my vulva, man of my heart
Plow my vulva.
Then follows more details of the happenings
My eager impetuous caresser of the navel,
My caresser of the soft thighs;
He is the one my womb loves best,
My high priest is ready for the holy loins.
My lord Dumuzi is ready for the holy loins.
The plants and herbs in his field are ripe.
O Dumuzi, Your fullness is my delight.
The high priestess then directs things to be readied
Inanna called for the bed.
Let the bed that rejoices the heart be prepared
Let the bed that sweetens the loins be prepared
Let the bed of kingship be prepared!
Let the bed of queenship be prepared!
Let the royal bed be prepared!
This bed was set up in front of the entire congregation. The people watched
the entire ritual including the sexual part.
He shaped my loins with his fair hands,
The shepherd Dumuzi filled my lap with cream and milk.
He stroked my pubic hair.
He watered my womb.
He laid his hands on my holy vulva,
He smoothed my black boat with cream,
He quickened my narrow boat with milk.
He caressed me on the bed.
The King went with lifted head to the holy loins.
He went with lifted head to the loins of Inanna
He went to the queen with lifted head.
He opened wide his arms to the holy priestess of
We rejoiced together.
He took his pleasure of me.
He laid me down on the fragrant honey-bed
My sweet love, lying by my heart,
Tongue-playing, one by one,
My fair Dumuzi did so fifty times.
Now, my sweet love is sated.
At the climax of the ceremony (or should I say, climaxes, fifty times, wow!)
the populous would cheer and shout their approval and appreciation. This
ritual brought prosperity to the people and to the land, so they were very
happy to witness its successful completion.
Inanna as Triple Goddess
Inanna is quite an interesting Goddess indeed. Worshippped as the
“Queen of Heaven” by the ancient Sumarians, Inanna fits quite nicely into
the Wiccan/Pagan concept of the Triple Goddess or the “Three Who are One”.
Also Her story mirrors other mythos in dealing with the birth, death, and
rebirth of the God.
As Maiden, Inanna is seen as a warrior Goddess whose crown is the
waxing Cresent moon. She is shown with the symbol of lions which if one
wanted to get really symbol technical, is shown in some tarot cards with the
Maiden in the Strength card . She can be likened to the Goddess Persophone
as she decends into the underworld giving up a little bit of herself at each
gate, all the while undergoing a transformation or initiation. But what is
an initiation but a symbolic death and rebirth. In the Spring, she and her
son/lover marry. Another of her Maiden symbols is the bow and arrow, this
can be likened to that of Athena and Diana, both eternal maiden figures who
carry a bow and arrow. And like Diana, Inanna is sometimes seen in the
company of hounds.
At the wedding of Inanna and her son/lover Dumuzi, Inanna begins to
enter the Mother point of her life. At the wedding red colored eggs are
given out. Both these symbols, the color red, and the eggs are fertility
symbols from way back. Here now, she is symbolized by the Waxing full moon.
Other symbols of fertility to her are bundles of wheat which are tied and
bent. These wheat symbols which are usually placed over her temple door are
in representation of her sacred vulva. Placing these signs above her temple
door reenacts for the person going into or out of the temple entering or
emerging from her womb. Doors have long been viewed as gateways or portals
to other worlds. This can truly be seen in the birthing process. It is
also said that the slain and fallen God Dumuz rested within the walls of her
sacred temple during the winter months to reemerge rested and whole. This
sacred temple can be seen as Her womb and his reemergence as His rebirth.
Later after his birth, He and Inanna wed, he inpregnates her, thus
continuing the cycle. Inannas temples were also places where her
Priestesses held sacred sexual rituals in Her honor. Sexuality was
something to be revered and enjoyed, not something to be shamfully hidden.
Inanna is also seen holding the sacred symbol of the caduces (snakes coiled
around a staff) which is seen as her creative fertile power.
The Crone can be seen in Inanna in her symbols of the Crescent
waning moon and in Her double headed ax which is the symbol of life giver
and death bringer. Other symbols seen of the Crone aspect of Inanna are the
viper and scorpion. When Inanna goes into the underworld, she must have
another replace her before she can be free from it. She chooses her
hysband/son Dumuzi to be sacrificed in her stead although some stories say
that his sister Gestinanna (Notice the Inanna in her name) takes his place
in the underworld for 1/2 of his time or half of the year.
Inanna and the Moon
“Viriginity has always been an image belonging to the Great Mother
as the Lunar Goddess…like the cycles of the Moon appearing out itself
without union of anything external to itself.” I don’t recall Inanna having
had any children, although in a more obscure story, I understand she does
have a child…I have never seen it. I think that looking at Inanna in this light makes a her a wonderful Mother Goddess for all woman, regardless of whether or not they
The Green One; Queen of Heaven and Earth; Priestess of Heaven; Light of
the World; Morning and Evening Star; First Daughter of the Moon; Loud
Thundering Storm; Rightous Judge; Forgiver of Sins; Holy Shepherdess;
Opener of the Womb; Framer of All Decrees; The Amazement of the Lord.
Inanna and Astrology:
Both Inanna and Ishtar were worshipped as the Queen of Heaven and
their principle images were the moon and Venus, the morning and evening
star. This is what may have given rise to the stylized 8 pointed star as
symbolic of their presence. Eight was the number sacred to the morning and
evening star, it was the number of years that it took the planet to return
to the same point of the zodiac while at its greatest brillancy. It was
also the number of the sacred year. In later seals, Ishtar is shown with a
circle of stars around her…the zodiac, called “Ishtar’s Girdle” Sirius
held great significance for Bronze Age civilzations and was associated with
Inanna and Ishtar, as were certain constellations, such as Virgo and Scorpio.
The rising of Sirius in conjunction with the sunrise in the month of
July heralded the death bringing heat of summer when everything withered and
died. As Sirius, Inanna was the power, who, through drought and disease, war
and death, destroyed her children and the earth, yet balanced death by the
Tree of Life. This was the time when her “son” was sacrificed and descended
to the Underworld to await the time of regeneration.
Inanna & Stones
Editrix’s note: our group did not come up with a definitive answer
on which stones to use, but the following stones were suggested:
Silliness – Working Man Blues – After that I tried to be a tailor, but I just wasn’t suited for it. Mainly because …it was a so-so job.