Monday, April 30, 2012

Sumeria: Inanna

Inanna is the goddess of love- but not marriage. She is connected with extramarital sex and sensual affairs, prowling streets and taverns for sexual adventure. In the Babylonian epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh points out Ishtar's (Akkadian version of Inanna) infamous ill-treatment of her lovers. Inanna also has a very complicated relationship with her lover Dumuzi in "Inanna's Descent to the Underworld" (c.f. "Inanna's Descent to the Underworld"). She also is one of the Sumerian war deities: "She stirs confusion and chaos against those who are disobedient to her, speeding carnage and inciting the devastating flood, clothed in terrifying radiance. It is her game to speed conflict and battle, untiring, strapping on her sandals." Battle itself is sometimes referred to as "the dance of Inanna."

Consider her description in one hymn: "When the servants let the flocks loose, and when cattle and sheep are returned to cow-pen and sheepfold, then, my lady, like the nameless poor, you wear only a single garment. The pearls of a prostitute are placed around your neck, and you are likely to snatch a man from the tavern." Despite her association with mating and fertility of humans and animals, Inanna was not a mother goddess, though she is associated with childbirth in certain myths.  Inanna was also associated with rain and storms and with the planet Venus, the morning and evening star as was the Greco-Roman goddess Aphrodite or Venus.

(Goddess info credit:

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