The White Moon Gallery presents
Ishtar Gate (restored in Germany) c. 575 B.C. Neo-Babylonian glazed brick courtesy of http://www.marquette.edu/history/Slides/Neo-Babylonian/index.htm (no longer active)
Ishtar's power is the strongest during the Full Moon when a woman's potential is heightened to its fullest. This was also considered to be her bleeding time and was revered as Ruler of the Menstrual Ovarian Cycle. Ancient women gathered together to rest and reflect during this time. She dares us to dream!
She is often depicted holding her breasts together or holding a bowl/cup representing the Goddess' eternal nourishing nectar and ever flowing cleansing waters. As such, some sources describe this as being symbolic of the Holy Grail cup. She is also sometimes depicted as a winged woman standing on a lioness or riding a chariot led by seven lions holding a shield adorned with her star symbol. Her bird-like features connect her to the ancient manifestations of the Bird Goddess in Old Europe. Moreover, like the Hindu Goddess Durga, she is also the fierce Goddess of Victory.
Art credit by R. Hanumantha Rao. Courtesy of H. Daniel Smith, Ask Asia
Courtesy of www.lilitu.com
Ishtar was honored in the Spring, as the Goddess of Procreation who brought forth fertility. April 1st marked the ancient New Year and was celebrated in honor of her sacred marriage to Tammuz. She was also honored at harvest time in the Fall and during Yule which was a symbolic time of the sorrow she felt for her consort Tammuz while captive in the underworld. She created the "evergreen" to symbolize her eternal love and life for him.
The most basic offerings to her were water, wine and oil.
The ancients prayed to her for just about anything. Men prayed mainly for hunting, virility, fertility and sexual power and women mainly prayed for female power, sexual freedom and satisfaction, multiple births, pleasure, passion and sacred sexual healing. She was also invoked for battle, order, harmony, wisdom, courage, protection, strength, victory, cleverness, boldness, defeating enemies, escaping danger, guidance and rain.
Today we can invoke and pray for the same as well as for compassion, joy, vitality, wishes, longevity, benevolence, ridding of shame, forgiveness, decisive action, making decisions, all healing, relieving suffering, guidance in walking between worlds, for all love, sex and dragon magick, for dreams, protecting those who are mistreated or oppressed and all spells or rituals relating to fate.
Ishtar soothes with her divine wisdom, love and compassion in times of distress or confusion. She lends her comforting support and allows for opening or clearing the pathway for a new direction.
Ishtar's ritual for Releasing a Burden is a short and simple ritual I felt guided to do by the Goddess one night as I prayed to her by my altar. It gave me much needed release and new found hope.
You will need a candle to represent the Goddess (preferably white), something that symbolizes Ishtar, (i.e. figurine, lapis lazuli stone, a star, moon, lion or dove symbol, the Star or Empress tarot card), a quartz crystal and a chalice or bowl of water, saltwater or rosewater.
* Light your candle, cast the circle and invite Ishtar. You may also invite the elements if you wish.
* Sit comfortably in your sacred space and tell Ishtar what is specifically troubling you and what you need release from.
* As you meditate on this, say what you are feeling out loud. Whispering will do as the simple breath of your voice is power. Then take your quartz crystal and cup it in both hands for a minute.
* Visualize all of these feelings being absorbed into the crystal. Pour your energy into it through your hands. Then, hold up your crystal and gaze into it. Feel it heavier in your hand and perhaps it looks a bit clouded. Know that it is all now inside the crystal and no longer a part of you.
* Then dip the crystal into the water and visualize Ishtar's healing and cleansing waters purifying it. Look at the crystal now and see that it is no longer clouded or heavy but sparkling clear and light. Know that you have also been cleansed, purified and inturn released from this.
* Do a self-blessing if you wish
* Express your gratitude and love
* Open your circle
Additionally, you may place your crystal under running water for a couple of minutes before putting it away or back on your altar for later use.
Feel lighter and freed from the burden. I had an insightful and healing dream that night. Try asking her for one if you'd like before going to sleep or she may just pleasantly surprise you as I was! Goddess Blessings on your journey!
I created this color pencil piece inspired by my journey back home to the Goddess and in my path of remembrance to her.
The bright red and oranges are symbolic of fiery passion while the soft blues of the sky create a sense of balance symbolizing peace and tranquility.
The rose and arch are symbols of love, divinity and the Goddess as the sky or light blue is a color usually associated with the Roman Catholic Mother Mary.
Ishtar has been with me from the very beginning. I first felt her the most as a teeneager and then again now as a woman in my mother stage.
She has awakened me to get to know what has always been there from the beginning - the Goddess within me. I didn't have a word to describe this then but now I do.
She embodies what my spirit is made of. She is my fiery passion, female power, sensuality, grace, freedom, wisdom, truth, joy, strength, laughter, dance, singing, moon rituals, love, nurturing, compassion, cooking, creativity and so much more...
Ishtar is guiding me into integrating myself, teaching me to love myself more and to let go of what is no longer part of me. She is guiding me into being my authentic self, not always pleasant or easy I might add...
She is the everlasting life-force within me, my innate and eternal feminine power and beauty.
In her name & eternal love,
©2003 Rose fairy - created by Ishtara
Ishtar embodies passion and is symbolized by the Empress and Star tarot card. Passion is an emotion that is very much forgotten in the world these days. Passion is not only sexual but a natural and integral part of our existence. Without passion there would be no means for creation. Blooming flowers, trees, all life and growth come from this natural power. Sadly many of us including myself have forgotten how to express this innate power and beauty within us. Expressing this honestly is pure unconditional love that heals all. In ancient times her temples were created exclusively for this healing experience. It is here that she earned her title as Lady of Sacred Harlots.
It is out of passion that faith is born.
When you surrender to your passion for happiness, for fulfillment, for truth, you automatically connect to the source of life inside yourself.
Suddenly, you feel infused with strength, with purpose, with something far greater than what you previously experienced as your self.
Then you realize that faith has nothing to do with hope - it is a confidence, a knowingness that Universal Intelligence is working through you as you.
~Quote from Barbara de Angelis, Ph. D.
Ishtar Passion Spell to invoke your passion-within adapted and taken from author Roni Jay in The Book of Goddesses, Invoke The Powers of the Goddesses to Improve Your Life.
Need: a bowl of rosewater and a red candle representative of the Goddess and the element of Fire.
Perform this skyclad
Light the candle and breathe deeply until you are relaxed.
Then gaze into the candle flame and visualize it turning into a golden ball of light.
Close your eyes and see this golden light in your minds eye. It begins to move toward you and as it does, it turns into a lion/ness. Imagine stroking, caressing and hugging the animal. Enjoy the feel and smell of it. If it is a male, sink your fingers deep into its fur. As you do, you begin to merge with it until you are one.
Then slowly open your eyes and dip your fingers in the rosewater. Trace an eight pointed star between your breasts or near your heart chakra.
Throughout the day, touch this part of your body and feel the passion of the lion enveloping you once again.
Graphics courtesy of Full Moon Graphics
Back to Gallery
The Book of Goddesses, Invoke the Powers of the Goddesses to Improve Your Life by Roni Jay, Barrons Educational Series, Hauppauge, NY, 2000, p. 70
The Once and Future Goddess by Elinor W. Gadon, Harper Collins Publishers, San Francisco, Ca., 1989, p. 45-56
Passion by Barbara de Angelis, Ph. D., Dell Publishing, NY, NY, 1998, p. 89
Open Sesame - background image and reference
http://www.goddess.com.au/goddess/ishtar.htm (no longer active)
The Sleep of Ishtar
Ishtar was the Babylonian Goddess of Love