Tag Archives: Inanna
by Keli Gingolph
Once, long ago, a goddess, born of the Moon and equal in glory to all other deities, ruled an ancient city. In her youth, she planted a tree on the banks of a life-giving river that flowed through her Garden. The wood of this tree was strong yet flexible, and it grew alongside the goddess until they both reached maturity. When the goddess in her was ready to claim her sovereignty, she went to her tree to make the emblems of her power, the throne from which she would rule and the bed from which her sacred sexuality and fertility would be celebrated.
But when she got to the tree she found that others had made it their home. A great snake, representing the oldest chthonic deities of life, death, and rebirth, had made its home in the roots of her tree. In the tree’s soaring branches, a great bird of wind and storm had made its nest. In the very center of the tree was a dark maid, who was the young goddess’s shadow self, embodying an insatiable sexuality.
In order for her to claim her sovereignty, she would have to conquer these beings.
This goddess is, of course, beloved Inanna, she of great power, beauty and wisdom. A goddess who was perhaps the very first target and the first weapon, of patriarchy. Read More...
Reviewed by Jacqui Woodward-Smith
by Hazel Loveridge
Inanna was the deity revered as the planet Venus in ancient Sumer, located between the river Tigris and Euphrates, in present-day Iraq. Known as Ishtar to the Accadians to the north, she held an enduring appeal for the people of ancient Mesopotamia, her cult lasting nigh on 4000 years. She was goddess of love, sexuality and war.
Accompanying her brother Utu the sun god, appearing now at twilight now at dawn, she governed the borderlands, the magical, liminal realm between day and night, darkness and light. Radiantly beautiful yet bloodthirsty and voracious, impatient yet serene, callous, heartless yet loving spouse, it’s easy to see why Jacobsen refers to her as ‘of infinite variety.’(1) But before embarking on an analysis of the cultural icon that is Inanna, a brief introduction to Sumerian cosmology and cosmogony is in order.