Goddess of the Week; Inanna

Inanna

Inanna is the sumerian goddess of sexual love, fertility and warfare, strangely enough. She is also known as Ishtar and her name is believed to derive from the earlier Nin-ana, the Lady of the Sky. That feels very appropriate according to me! Inanna is also known to be the most prominent female deity in ancient Mesopotamia.

She had a lot of shrines and temples alon the two rivers Tigris and Euphrates that were dedicated to her. On example is the temple of Eanna, the House of Heaven, in Uruk. This was the largest and greatest of her temples, and here the priestesses practiced sacred prostitution. According to some sources,  people with hermaphroditic or asexual bodies, as well as feminine men were important in worshiping Inanna and rituals involving her.

Going back to the sacred prostitution, the high priestess of Inanna would once a year choose a young man to be in her bed. This is to represent Inanna and Dumuzid the Sheperd, her consort in a sacred marriage during the Akitu ceremony, at the spring Equinox. Some say kings made sure of their legitimacy to the throne by spending a night in the temple with the high priestess.

Her symbol is an eight-pointed star and she’s associated with lions, often as standing on the backs of two lionesses. She’s also associated with owls.


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