Thursday, September 20, 2012
Love and Death: Inanna
This is going to be a double blog. First of all I would like to announce that my blog has reached over 10, 000 hits! And since I love all of you, I'm giving away a prize. Below is the lovely Rafflcopter where you can sign up. The prize is an e-copy of "Flower of Hell."
Secondly, I'm continuing the series I started last week. This segment of Strong Women of Legend and Lore features Inanna.
Inanna is the Sumerian goddess of sexual love, fertility, and war. One of the most famous stories is her descent into the Underworld. Inanna tells the gatekeeper that she wishes to attend the funeral of Ereshkigal's (Ruler of the Underworld) husband. The gatekeeper informs Ereshkigal and she is suspicious of Inanna's intentions. You see, Inanna came dressed in the nines (A nice dress, a necklace of Lapis Lazuli, her own magic rod...you get the picture.) All of these were representations of her power and not suitable for a funeral.
Following Ereskigal's instructions, the gatekeeper tells Inanna that she may enter the first gate but she must hand over her lapis lazuli blasting rod. (heh, Dresden joke) When she asks why she's told that's how things are done in the Underworld. So, she does it and passes through the gate. This happens six more times until she stand before Ereshkigal, naked.
She sits in Ereshkigal's throne and faces the Anna, the judges of the Underworld. Their look upon her is death and their words, anger. She is reduced to a corpse and hung on a hook.
After three days, Inanna's messenger goes to three gods for help. The first two deny her. However, the third Enki, agrees to help. He creates two figues to appease Ereshkigal and instructs them to ask for Inanna's corpse. They are to ask for nothing else else. Once they have her body they must sprinkle it with the food and water of life.
When they arrive at Ereshkigal's throne to find her in agony like she's in childbirth. She offers them anything, including life giving rivers and fields of grain, if they can relieve her. They help but only ask for Inanna's corpse. They sprinkle the food and water of life on the body and Inanna is returned. However, she is followed by Ereshkigal's demons. They tell her someone must take her place but she refuses to let them take her servants, because they were loyal and mourned her.
Inanna comes to her husband. Instead of morning her, he is dressed in finery and napping in a tree. Enraged she points her finger and tells the demons to take him. You know what they say about an angry woman.
Before I let you think that Inanna was a damsel, she had to foresight to order her servant to ask for help if she didn't return. She went to the Underworld to take over, but knew the possibility of failure. Preparing for you limitations is an aspect of strength.
And now for the Giveaway, they are a lot of chances to win. The biggest would be leaving a comment below. Who do you think is a strong female character in legend or lore?
a Rafflecopter giveaway