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Thread: Ereshkigal/Inanna

  1. #1
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    Ereshkigal/Inanna

    I have scoured the internet looking for info on Ereshkigal! Unfortunately, it seems that most information revolves around the Descent of Inanna and Ereshkigal's torried affair with Nergal (wink, wink). Does anyone have any more info to offer?

    Do you really think that Ereshkigal was a cruel and malicious Goddess? Does she have a soft side?

    And on the same note, for those of us drawn to somewhat "big baddie" deities, do you wonder why? I found myself trying to rationalize Ereshkigal's behavior, and why I'm drawn to her. Thoughts?

  2. #2
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    Have you read Poems of Heaven and Hell from Ancient Mesopotamia ? It's a good source for myths about ancient Mesopotamia. I haven't looked up info on Erishkigal on the internet before. If you look at the thread stuck at the top of this forum, there might be a website where you can find Erishkigal info. Also, you can try www.pantheon.org

    I think that we are drawn to deities who have a darker side because of our need for balance. Everything in life is not always peachy. We have dark/light; love/hate; happiness/sadness...etc. These deities might give us the justification for this balance. Some deities who are darker teach us to be strong. I think that we can find inner strength when turning to them for guidance.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the suggestion--I hadn't read the poetry book before but it looks like my local library has it (and so does Amazon.com--at least used) so I'll be sure to pick up a copy!

    Ereshkigal, like many goddesses, has about five or six conflicting myths that we know about. Some say that she was a sky goddess that was kicked out, and her rage is because of being abandoned by her family. Another myth says that she chose the underworld because she desired knowledge. One of the myths that intrigues me most of that of The Bull of Heaven, a rapist thrown into the underworld because of his crimes. Ereshkigal marries him after reforming him and showing him the error of his ways. This was before she got the hots for Nergal, of course.

    Depending on the culture, either Inanna went into the underworld because she hungered for more power and used Ereshkigal's husband's death to enter the Underworld, which ticked off her sister and that's why she "looked upon her with the eye of death," or it had nothing to do with Ereshkigal's husband at all.

    Interesting imagery, as well. She wears the clothes of a bird (feathers?) and eats clay, drinks dirty water. Her palace is made of lapis lazuli.

    Just some trivia, I suppose.

    Gaithel

  4. #4
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    There are so many myths about the gods and goddesses. Just follow the one from which you will benefit the most. I'm glad to see that you will pick up a copy of the book that I mentioned from the library. I read it a while ago and really enjoyed it.

    Thanks for all the info on Erishkigal.

    So why do you think that people are drawn to darker deities?

  5. #5
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    I may be wandering in the head here, but didn't they find a load of stuff about Mesopotamia at Ugarit? Maybe a collection of texts from there would have information?
    I think that in the coming time
    The hearts and hopes of men
    The mountain tops of life shall climb,
    The Gods return again.

    -George William Russell

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    Well, I think that people who are drawn to dark goddesses are all drawn for different reasons--perhaps depending on personal experiences. I think that no small part is our own fascination with "the dark side" of ourselves, and also our curiosity about death and what might lie after it, if anything.

    In my case, I decided to explore my darker side because I was going through a really hard time--family issues, depression, etc. I wanted to better understand that side of it.

    I think that subconsciously, Ereshkigal called to me because of her flip relationship with Inanna. Part of the descent myth indicates a chance to "escape" the underworld, which to me symbolizes a chance to heal. The catch is that part of the healing can only be found in that dark, cold place and we must venture there so that understanding and strength will be brought back with us.

    I also think that we associate dark goddesses with wisdom; we have to face our shadow selves to understand who we are--warts and all. It's not always a pretty journey. I think that this is the reason that so many witch's camps focus on the descent myth...facing our fears about ourselves and the world around us.

    It's important that we don't shun that "dark god/dess" aspect that lives within each of us. I'm not sure that we can be whole beings if we do...better to deal with it head-on, even if that means dealing with guilt, shame, anger, violence, sexuality--all the things that we are taught to repress. It's all part of truly transformative magic--transformation of the self.

    Thoughts?

    Gaithel

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    Talking

    Hello, I'm late coming to this thread but I'm glad I'm not the only one drawn to the Sumerian goddesses.

    I have found this website to be a wealth of information.


    http://www.gatewaystobabylon.com/


    Enjoy
    Blessings and Light

    Gail

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    Thanks for the link, Asherah! By the way, it's never too late to join in on a thread- even if the thread is months old. :D

    Gaithel, I agree with you that we all have a darker side in us. Examining that side should not be considered shameful. Life is a journey, and we should learn all we can from it. However, I strive for all things that will bring me happiness.

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    Sumerian Deities

    Have you read Inanna: Queen of Heaven adn Earth by Diane Wolkstein and Samuel Noah Kramer? Kramer is also one of (if not the) world's expert on Sumer. Many of his books are out of print, but are worth scouring used book store for.

  10. #10
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    Hi all!
    Another good resource for Sumerian myths is the writings of Enheduanna.She was HPS of Inanna/Ishtar and also of the Moon God Sin.She lived around 2100 BCE,and was the daughter of King Sargon,an Akkadian who conquered much of Sumeria at the time.
    Some say she wrote "The Descent of Inanna into the Netherworld".She certainly changed it a bit,as she was replacing Inanna with Ishtar.Ishtar being a more warlike Goddess of the Akkadians.I say replaced,but it's actually more like a merging.She also wrote "The exaltation of Inanna".And she is the first human author to sign a name on her work.The first known human author.
    Do a google search on her name.My links are rarely handy for some reason.LOL
    Peace and Love
    BrightStar

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