Tag Archives: Inanna’s Gifts

Gifts of the Goddess

Inanna, Queen of Heaven, painting by Judith Shaw

Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Earth, oil on canvas, 41″ x 30″

In the early 1990’s I discovered the compelling story of Inanna, the ancient Sumerian Goddess, translated and retold in the book, Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Earth by Diane Wolkstein and Samuel Kramer.  I was inspired by Inanna’s story to create a series of paintings over several years time.

There are four main parts of Her story – The Huluppa Tree which explores creation and Inanna becoming Queen, Inanna and the God of Wisdom which shows how She brought the Gifts of Civilization to Her people, The Courtship of Inanna and Dumuzi, a sacred marriage and the Descent and Return of Inanna, the story of death and rebirth.

Read more about the Huluppa Tree and how Inanna brings the Gifts of Civilization in my recent post on the Feminism and Religion blog. 

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Inanna and Her Gifts

Spring has arrived and my garden begins to emerge once more.  The world greens and blooms all around, reminding me that Mother Earth remains constant in Her desire to bless us with Her bountiful abundance. I am also reminded of Inanna and Her love for humanity.

Inanna in Her Boat of HeavenInanna, Goddess of Heaven and Earth, a Sumerian Goddess who encompasses all aspects of life, was greatly revered by the  people of Uruk as she brought them the gifts of civilization.

This part of her story begins when she visits her father, Enki, God of Wisdom.   As they share drinks and a meal, Inanna proceeds to drink Enki under the table.  Once he’s well into His cups He gives Her the sacred me, the gifts of civilization.   Inanna rejoices as she claims these gifts for Her people, gifts such as:
kingship, the divine queen priestess,
the art of the hero, the art of treachery,
the rejoicing of the heart, the art of lovemaking,
the craft of the builder, the perceptive ear,
fear, dismay,
the kindling of fire, the making of decisions.

Inanna gathered the me, which embrace all aspects of human civilization, the light and the dark, and set out for Uruk in Her Boat of Heaven.

Inanna and the Gifts 72

Read the conclusion to this part of Inanna’s story and my thoughts on two issues threatening the gifts of the Goddess, the Keystone pipeline and natural gas fracking on my post on the Feminism and Religion Blog.

May we gaze on the beauty of Inanna as She, in Her love for humanity, brings us the gifts of civilization.  May we understand the need to honor and protect Her, our Mother Earth, on whose well-being our well-being is dependent.  May our hearts and our minds be opened to a new way of being in which we leave behind the role of conquerors and once more claim our place as Her children and Her protectors.