Today is the date of the Vernal Equinox, in which we commemorate the first day of Spring and the blossoming of life.
Trees begin to bud — if they haven’t already.
Spring flowers break forth from the soil and lift their heads to face the sun.
Birds sing their amorous mating calls.
Soon the air will be full of pollen.
Despite the stirring of new life upon the Earth, this is also a time of sorrow.
From the Sumerian and Akkadian Descent myths.
The text which follows was written as classroom material for California State University, Los Angeles’ 2020 Ancient Near East history syllabus.
It may be presented as “reader’s theater”, with each part written specifically for the various figures featured in this, the most prolific myth of the Mesopotamian people.
Narrator: Here follows the story of Inanna, once a maiden and goddess of the storehouse.
Here follows the story of Inanna, the goddess who defeated the god Enki in a drinking game and took the Divine Measures as her prize.
Here follows the story of Inanna, the goddess who seized control of the Temple of Heaven from An, the father of the gods.
Here follows the story of Inanna, who having gained the powers of Heaven and Earth, set her sights on the Great Below.
The following text was written for a ritual performance on September 13, 2019 and is meant to portray Inanna praising herself while Dumuzid adores her from the Underworld (italicized text).
I believe it’s quite appropriate to share for Valentine’s Day — especially since the two are quite notable for their passionate love. Perhaps voracious would be more appropriate.
At least in Inanna’s case.
Originally written March 20, 2017 for Pagan Bloggers; featured on “Chasing Sacred Bulls: A Temple of Sumer Blog”
I was never one to wholeheartedly believe in the concept of reincarnation, or transmigration of souls.
The concept of eternal return was quite unorthodox for someone who grew up believing Christian doctrine (“it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment”, the Apostle Paul’s Epistle to the Hebrews). The mere thought of it was enough to either instill the idea that I was sinning against God for even entertaining the notion, or lead to sleepless nights due to my overactive imagination. Having once watched an episode of Highway to Heaven, I asked my Sunday school teacher if we go to choose what we came back as – that is, if we wanted to come at all. He didn’t seem enthused and my peers laughed – especially when I said I wanted to come back as a horse.
As we all soon discover, premises and challenged beliefs are de rigueur during one’s formative years. From Jung’s theories regarding the collective unconsciousness to universal consciousness to the holographic soul, it seemed there was an abundance of ideas that could pose to be a challenge to my own beliefs. The concept of one life, one death, and one judgment could be subject to change like my clothes, hairstyle, or college major. When I eventually “left the fold” of Christianity, I found myself leaping from one religious or spiritual tradition to the next. Eventually, I found a spiritual home in the reconstruction movements dedicated to the religion and spiritual practices of the Ancient Near East, namely Sumer and Babylon. To some, I merely exchanged one angry sky-god for several angry sky-gods; to me it spoke to that child within who was always curious to know more about the oppressors of the Israelites.