The White Moon Gallery Presents
Created by Ishtara
Courtesy of Roiben athttp://inanna.virtualave.net/inanna.html (no longer active)
As early as 3,500 BCE - 500 BCE in Sumer, a land situated in what is now South Iraq, a great Goddess was revered and worshiped. The Sumerians called her Inanna. Throughout the Near East, she was also called Ishtar, Ishara, Irnini, Astarte, Asherah, Ninanna (Queen of the Sky), Ninsianna (personification of the planet Venus), Anahita and Ma. Inanna was said to be born from the Moon Goddess, Ningal and the Moon God, Nanna. Hence, Ninanna being a variation of the two. Her great grandparents being Nammu, Goddess of the Watery Deep and An, the Sky God.
According to mythology, some of her rightful titles are Inanna Queen of Heaven & Earth, Priestess of Heaven, First Daughter of the Moon, Goddess of Love & Fertility, Goddess of the Morning & Evening Star, Goddess of War, Loud Thundering Storm, Light of the World, Righteous Justice and Holy Shepherdess.
The myth of Inanna is based upon stories and hymns of her life which also symbolically represent the cycles of Maiden, Mother and Crone. These stories and myths are, "The Huluppu-Tree", her encounter with "Enki-God of Wisdom", her "Courtship with Damuzi" and her "Descent to the Underworld". Brief excerpts of each cycle follow taken from Diane Wolkstein & Samuel N. Kramer's book, "Inanna Queen of Heaven & Earth".
A woman who walked in fear of the word of the Sky God, An,
Who walked in fear of the word of the Air God, Enlil,
Plucked the tree from the river and spoke: "I shall bring this tree to Uruk. I shall plant this tree in my holy garden."
Inanna is in the Maiden stage. Young, naive, and curious, she is beginning to overcome her fears in the face of a patriarchal take-over. She finds hope in the tree and from it draws strength to pursue in her feminine journey. The tree is a symbol of her growing consciousness, honoring her magickal divinity and creating a balance between heaven and earth. Later, her brother builds a throne and bed for her from the trunk of the tree preparing for her queenship.
Inanna & Enki, the God of Wisdom
Then Enki spoke to Inanna, saying:
"In the name of my power! In the name of my holy shrine! Let the me you have taken with you remain in the holy shrine of your city. Let the high priest spend his days at the holy shrine in song. Let the citizens of your city prosper. Let the children of Uruk rejoice. The people of Uruk are allies of the people of Eridu. Let the city of Uruk be restored to its great place."
Inanna is no longer a Maiden, but grown into a powerful sexual woman. She has earned her throne as Queen of the Land and seeks to test her powers. She has accepted the holy me (Sumerian sacred tablets of wisdom) and will journey back home in the Boat of Heaven to share them with her people in Uruk. She names the place where she announces and presents the holy me, The Lapis Lazuli Quay.
Courtship of Inanna & Damuzi
"My eager impetuous caresser of the navel. My caresser of the soft thighs. He is the one my womb loves best. He is lettuce planted by the water."
"O Lady, your breast is your field. Inanna, your breast is your field. Your broad field pours out plants. Your broad field pours out grain. Water flows from on high for your servant. Bread flows from on high for your servant. Pour it out for me, Inanna. I will drink all you offer."
©2001 Sacred Union created by Ishtara
Their Sacred Marriage took place at the Spring Equinox and their union ensured the fertility of the crops as well as for Damuzi's (the vegetation God) kingship. In their sacred sexual union universal truths were revealed and healing took place. This was also the most important day in the Mesopotamian calendar and was celebrated every beginning of the New Year in temples with feasts and a ritual union by the King and High Priestess.
"Come Neti, my chief gatekeeper of the kur, heed my words: Bolt the seven gates of the underworld. Then, one by one, open each gate a crack. Let Inanna enter. As she enters, remove her royal garments. Let the holy priestess of heaven enter bowed low."
Naked and bowed low, Inanna entered the throne room.
Ereshkigal rose from her throne.
Inanna started toward the throne.
The Annuna, the judges of the underworld, surrounded her. They passed judgement 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.
Innana's death lasted for 3 days. Enki was the only one who helped to revive her again. But the galla (demons) would not let her go unless someone took her place. They seize Damuzi and it is agreed that he be taken for every half of the year and his sister, Gestinnana for the other half. (Some sources say that Gest/innana is Inanna). Symbolically this represents the death & rebirth cycle of life which includes the seasonal changes and the letting go process of life by shedding the old to make room for the new. It symbolizes the Crone aspect of going deep within into the dark corners of the psyche to gain insight, wisdom and healing. Additionally, the subconscious urges toward spiritual growth.
Sacred to Her
Crescent and Dark Moon
Reed Bundles (symbolic of her sacred vulva)
Rosette (Star of the Earth)
Spiral (first written form of the Goddess's name)
Star ( 6 & 8 pointed)
6, 7, 8, 15
Bread (wheat or barley)
Ishtar Gate, from Babylon, 575 B.C. Glazed brick, approx. 38 1/4" high
Isis & Osiris Myth
Persephone's Descent into the Underworld
Inanna Self-Love Ritual
To be done on the Waxing New to Full Moon on a Friday, the day of Venus. Do this ritual when you are feeling unattractive, undesirable or even to restore your self-esteem and Goddess power and beauty within.
Candles: White Goddess (for Inanna), pinks, reds, and/or oranges for elements
Incense: Rose, Jasmine or Myrtlewood
Oils: Rose or Goddess (can be made from: 3 parts Rose, 2 parts Tuberose, 1 part Lemon, 1 part Palmarosa, 1 part Ambergris)
Flowers: Roses (red, pink, and/or white)
Symbolic objects: Lapis Lazuli and/or Bloodstone
Misc: Star tarot card, Inanna image, wine offering
Purify yourself by taking a bath with some flowers or rose petals. Meditate on letting go of any tension etc. Let the petals absorb the negative energies and prepare to open yourself to receive the healing power of love. Give thanks to the flowers sacrifice after you have finished.
Light the candles (you may dress candles with oil if you desire to before hand)
Purify with incense
Cast circle with a rose stem and invite Inanna and the elements to join you in your circle.
Relax in your sacred space and say this Invocation to the Queen of Sumer:
Courtesy of Goddess Gallery
Queen of Sumer
Blossom and thorn
Come into me
Carry me off!
Take a rose and stroke your aura with it feeling its gentle beauty, truth and love.
Hold the rose on your crown and say. " I hold love",
Then close your eyes and brush the petals against your eyelids and say " I see love",
Move down lower and breathe in the pure refreshing rich scent and say "I breathe love",
Lower to your heart area and say "Where there was pain before, replace it with love." Say, "I feel love",
Move down to your solar plexus and say, "I nourish love",
Then, visualize a pink light all around you and the sweet scent of roses enveloping, nourishing and filling you.
"Love is before me, Love is behind me, Love is beside me, Love is above me, Love is below me, Love is within me, Love flows from me, Loves comes to me, I am loved".
Inanna magnet courtesy of Sacred Source
Do Self-blessing with the Rose or Goddess oil
Raise this energy
Thank the Goddesses of love and the elements
Open the circle
Carry your stones for good luck or put them under your pillow for Inanna's protection if having nightmares . Later, thank and bury the rose petals and rose stem for stroking aura into the earth. Leave her an offering of wine or any other sacred food of hers if you wish. Go out and celebrate your beautiful self!!!
This ritual was inspired by Diane Stein's Candle Ritual for Love. Invocation to Queen of Sumer was adapted and taken from Starhawk's, The Spiral Dance. Goddess oil recipe and chant taken from Cunningham's, Petal's of Love spell.
Casting the Circle, by Diane Stein, The Crossing Press, Freedom, Ca., 1999, p. 238
Gardner's Art Through the Ages, by H. De La Croix, R.G. Tansey and D. Kirkpatrick, HBJ College Publishers, Orlando, Fla., 1991, p.64
Inanna Queen of Heaven and Earth, by Diane Wolkstein and Samuel Noah Kramer, Harper & Row Publishers, NY, NY, 1983, pgs. 5, 27, 38, 39, 57, 60
The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Great Goddess, by Starhawk, HarperCollins Publishers, NY, NY, 1999, p.118
The Truth About Witchcraft Today, by Scott Cunningham, Llewelyn Publications, St. Paul, Minn., 1994, p.55 & 56
Wicca: A Guide to the Solitary Practitioner, by Scott Cunningham, Llewelyn Publications, St. Paul, Minn., 1999, p.157