Though the competitive concept of creation was that the universe came into being as a result of war between two persons or forces for example Ishtar and Ereshkigal
, Tiamat and Apsu, Yazdan i.e.
(3) The plaque which both Patai and Neumann call Lilith shows a beautiful bird woman with talons and wings; Baring and Cashford call her Inanna-Ishtar, and Collon considers she may also be Ereshkigal
. Uncertain of Lilith's goddess status, although Patai asserts "she became an undoubted goddess in Sumer and the consort of God in Kabbalism" (252), while the rod-andring of this icon clearly indicate its goddess status, the British Museum displays it as "Queen of the Night" (Collon 40).
welcomed me below except my barren sister, Ereshkigal
, whose seedless
Kilmer, "How Was Queen Ereshkigal
Tricked?" Ugarit-Forschungen 3 (1971): 299-309.
The goddess Inanna's journey begins by the awakening of her auditory faculty, for the word "ear" in Sumerian also stands for wisdom: "From the Great Above she opened her ear to the Great Below." (1) What follows is a narrative of descent, bodily fragmentation, rescue, substitution, self-transformation (common to so many myths), and slow reascent: Inanna is stripped of her clothes and jewels as she passes through the seven gates of the underworld; struck by her envious sister Ereshkigal
, ruler of the underworld, she is "turned into a corpse, /a piece of rotting meat, /and hung from a hook on the wall," until rescued and reanimated from the Great Below by her faithful servant, Ninshubur.
Perhaps the most powerfully fascinating metaphor is Inanna's journey (penetration) into her sister Ereshkigal
's underworld kingdom, her subsequent death, and her eventual resurrection when her consort, Dumiez, is sent as a substitute for her.
British Museum, London Ereshkigal
?, Babylonian (central Iraq), 1800-1750 BC.
ruled by her dark sister, Ereshkigal
. Inanna told only her most trusted
Like Venus and Aphrodite, Ishtar was often portrayed without her clothes, and her career in striptease was detailed at least 4,000 years ago in a mythic poem, "Ishtar's Descent to the Nether World." She went to the realm of the dead to seize its throne from her sister Ereshkigal
, but she had to shed her jewels and clothes, one item at a time, at each of the underworld's seven gates until she stood fully disrobed before its queen.
Various theories as to her identity have been put forward, the most likely is that she represents Ereshkigal
, Ishtar's sister who ruled over the underworld.