Dee Finney's blog

start date July 20, 2011

today's date December 16, 2012

page 401


12-16-12 - DREAM -  I was sitting in the back seat of a car driven by my friend Barbara.  We were at a T intersection and the light was red, so we were stopped. 

There was no traffic at all.  We were the only ones there and the law said we could make a right turn on a red light, but Barb didn't want to move until we had the green light, but the light didn't change, so we just sat there.

A man in work clothes came along, and he didn't want to walk in front of us until Barb made up her mind to turn right or wait for the green light.

I joked with her and said, "Why don't you just hit the guy!"

Right after I said that, a man and woman couple came up behind the guy in work clothes and convinced him it was safe to cross in front of us because we weren't going anywhere until the light changed and the light wasn't changing.

So, the couple walked with him in front of our car, and then we noticed the man was carrying a pipe about 5 feet long and about a foot across, and when they went in front of us, they walked over to the maintenance hole that had a manhole cover over it, to our left in the middle of the street.  The couple stood there with him while he opened the manhole cover and started to enter the maintenance hole, and he sat on the edge of the hole and told them they would be millionaires because they had helped him.

We just sat there astonished because we could have helped him do the same thing and we didn't.


NOTE:  Joe Mason and I discovered early on into our relationship that many of my dreams related closely to various mythological themes  and this is one of them.  I will link others at the bottom of this page.  Also, we discovered more recently that I write about things just like Phillip K. Dick. Links about him will also be at the bottom of this page.


Joe Mason told me this morning after he heard my dream: 

In 1991 I had a dream about me being on a wooden structure overlooking a beautiful blue swimming pool.  A beautiful woman came along carrying a cup of coffee on a tray and she spilled the coffee into the water of the swimming pool.  About a year later, I was reading a book called, "Nicronomicon," which speaks of some of the Babylonian myths. 

One morning a voice spoke in my dream, saying, "Thanks Joe, you gave me a lot more coffee." I knew it was Ishtar speaking from the Underworld. 
It related to a story told in the book, where Ishtar, the Queen of Heaven, traveled to the underworld.  At each of the Seven Gates, she had to remove one part of her attire, such as her crown.  As she did this, she lost her power.  She was captured by the Evil Goddess of the Underworld. 

She is naked and bleeding, draped over a tree.  The Father God, Anu, worked to rescue Ishtar by fashioning two Elementals, the Water of Life and the Clay of Life.  The two Elementals cleverly worked their way down through the Seven Gates, and sprinkled the Water and Clay of Life upon Ishtar.
This enabled her to climb back up the Seven Rungs of the Ladder of Light, retrieving her attire and power, to become Queen of Heaven once again.


The ratchet type crop circle formation that appeared at Ripley, near Bournemouth, Dorset around 17 April 2005, may be related to other formations and symbols of similar importance

There are two ratchets of eight steps each.  If the center of the circle is counted, there are nine steps each.  This seems to fit with the mythic idea of the descent into the Underworld, followed by the ascent back out.  The Underworld may actually be a reference to our world, and the metaphor refers to our path of incarnating.

The steps down to and out of Hades are usually given as seven.  Perhaps the oldest such story is the descent of Ishtar into the Underworld.

Also in 1991, I had a dream about my
 "Oversoul" that I put in the Christmas Dream article --

Red triangles shot out of a central point in all directions, then blue ones did the same.  An incredibly bright, pure white light began to shine from a single point and expand from the center of the triangles.  The shadow of a human form took shape before the light.
This is part of my "Oversoul" dream that I put in the Christmas Dream article --

Red triangles shot out of a central point in all directions, then blue ones did the same.  An incredibly bright, pure white light began to shine from a single point and expand from the center of the triangles.  The shadow of a human form took shape before the light.

I knew the shadow man was my Oversoul. He told me that he could not help me in my life path, that I would have to figure it out on my own.
JMason4557:  EOD

That is the only dream I have ever had of my Oversoul.



Old Babylonian period Queen of Night
relief, often considered to represent
an aspect of Ishtar.

Ishtar (pronounced /ˈɪʃtɑːr/; Transliteration: DIŠTAR; Akkadian:  DINGIR INANNA; Sumerian ) is the Assyrian and Babylonian goddess of fertility, war, love, and sex.[1] She is the counterpart to the Sumerian Inanna and to the cognate north-west Semitic goddess Astarte.


Ishtar was the goddess of love and war, above all associated with sexuality: her cult involved sacred prostitution;[2][3] her holy city Uruk was called the "town of the sacred courtesans"; and she herself was the "courtesan of the gods".[4] Ishtar had many lovers; however, as Guirand notes,

"Woe to him whom Ishtar had honoured! The fickle goddess treated her passing lovers cruelly, and the unhappy wretches usually paid dearly for the favours heaped on them. Animals, enslaved by love, lost their native vigour: they fell into traps laid by men or were domesticated by them. 'Thou has loved the lion, mighty in strength', says the hero Gilgamesh to Ishtar, 'and thou hast dug for him seven and seven pits! Thou hast loved the steed, proud in battle, and destined him for the halter, the goad and the whip.' Even for the gods Ishtar's love was fatal. In her youth the goddess had loved Tammuz, god of the harvest, and—if one is to believe Gilgamesh—this love caused the death of Tammuz.[4]

Ishtar was the daughter of Ninurta.[4] She was particularly worshipped at the Assyrian cities of Nineveh, Ashur and Arbela (Erbil).[4]

Besides the lions on her gate, her symbol is an eight-pointed star.[5]

Ishtar holding her weapon,
Louvre Museum
One type of depiction of Ishtar/Inanna

In the Babylonian pantheon, she "was the divine personification of the planet Venus".[4]

Descent into the underworld

One of the most famous myths[6] about Ishtar describes her descent to the underworld. In this myth, Ishtar approaches the gates of the underworld and demands that the gatekeeper open them:

If thou openest not the gate to let me enter,
I will break the door, I will wrench the lock,
I will smash the door-posts, I will force the doors.
I will bring up the dead to eat the living.
And the dead will outnumber the living.

The gatekeeper hurried to tell Ereshkigal, the Queen of the Underworld. Ereshkigal told the gatekeeper to let Ishtar enter, but "according to the ancient decree".

The gatekeeper lets Ishtar into the underworld, opening one gate at a time. At each gate, Ishtar has to shed one article of clothing. When she finally passes the seventh gate, she is naked. In rage, Ishtar throws herself at Ereshkigal, but Ereshkigal orders her servant Namtar to imprison Ishtar and unleash sixty diseases against her.

After Ishtar descends to the underworld, all sexual activity ceases on earth. The god Papsukal reports the situation to Ea, the king of the gods. Ea creates an intersex being called Asu-shu-namir and sends it to Ereshkigal, telling it to invoke "the name of the great gods" against her and to ask for the bag containing the waters of life. Ereshkigal is enraged when she hears Asu-shu-namir's demand, but she has to give it the water of life. Asu-shu-namir sprinkles Ishtar with this water, reviving her. Then Ishtar passes back through the seven gates, getting one article of clothing back at each gate, and is fully clothed as she exits the last gate.

Here there is a break in the text of the myth, which resumes with the following lines:

If she (Ishtar) will not grant thee her release,
To Tammuz, the lover of her youth,
Pour out pure waters, pour out fine oil;
With a festival garment deck him that he may play on the flute of lapis lazuli,
That the votaries may cheer his liver. [his spirit]
Belili [sister of Tammuz] had gathered the treasure,
With precious stones filled her bosom.
When Belili heard the lament of her brother, she dropped her treasure,
She scattered the precious stones before her,
"Oh, my only brother, do not let me perish!
On the day when Tammuz plays for me on the flute of lapis lazuli, playing it for me with the porphyry ring.
Together with him, play ye for me, ye weepers and lamenting women!
That the dead may rise up and inhale the incense."

Formerly, scholars[4][7] believed that the myth of Ishtar's descent took place after the death of Ishtar's lover, Tammuz: they thought Ishtar had gone to the underworld to rescue Tammuz. However, the discovery of a corresponding myth[8] about Inanna, the Sumerian counterpart of Ishtar, has thrown some light on the myth of Ishtar's descent, including its somewhat enigmatic ending lines. According to the Inanna myth, Inanna can only return from the underworld if she sends someone back in her place. Demons go with her to make sure she sends someone back. However, each time Inanna runs into someone, she finds him to be a friend and lets him go free. When she finally reaches her home, she finds her husband Dumuzi (Babylonian Tammuz) seated on his throne, not mourning her at all. In anger, Inanna has the demons take Dumuzi back to the underworld as her replacement. Dumuzi's sister Geshtinanna is grief-stricken and volunteers to spend half the year in the underworld, during which time Dumuzi can go free. The Ishtar myth presumably had a comparable ending, Belili being the Babylonian equivalent of Geshtinanna.[9] There are of course interesting parallels in the Graeco-Roman myths of Orpheus and of Persephone.




The lion was her symbol (detail of the Ishtar Gate)


Ishtar in the Epic of Gilgamesh

The Epic of Gilgamesh contains an episode[10] involving Ishtar which portrays her as bad-tempered, petulant and spoiled by her father.

She asks the hero Gilgamesh to marry her, but he refuses, citing the fate that has befallen all her many lovers:

Listen to me while I tell the tale of your lovers. There was Tammuz, the lover of your youth, for him you decreed wailing, year after year. You loved the many-coloured Lilac-breasted Roller, but still you struck and broke his wing [...] You have loved the lion tremendous in strength: seven pits you dug for him, and seven. You have loved the stallion magnificent in battle, and for him you decreed the whip and spur and a thong [...] You have loved the shepherd of the flock; he made meal-cake for you day after day, he killed kids for your sake. You struck and turned him into a wolf; now his own herd-boys chase him away, his own hounds worry his flanks."[11]

Angered by Gilgamesh's refusal, Ishtar goes up to heaven and complains to her father the high god Anu that Gilgamesh has insulted her. She demands that Anu give her the Bull of Heaven. Anu points out that it was her fault for provoking Gilgamesh, but she warns that if he refuses, she will do exactly what she told the gatekeeper of the underworld she would do if he didn't let her in:

If you refuse to give me the Bull of Heaven [then] I will break in the doors of hell and smash the bolts; there will be confusion [i.e., mixing] of people, those above with those from the lower depths. I shall bring up the dead to eat food like the living; and the hosts of the dead will outnumber the living."[12]

Anu gives Ishtar the Bull of Heaven, and Ishtar sends it to attack Gilgamesh and his friend Enkidu. Gilgamesh and Enkidu kill the Bull and offer its heart to the sun-god Shamash.

While Gilgamesh and Enkidu are resting, Ishtar stands upon the walls of the city (which is Uruk) and curses Gilgamesh. Enkidu tears off the Bull's right thigh and throws it in Ishtar's face, saying, "If I could lay my hands on you, it is this I should do to you, and lash your entrails to your side."[13] (Enkidu later dies for this impiety.) Then Ishtar called together "her people, the dancing and singing girls, the prostitutes of the temple, the courtesans,"[13] and had them mourn for the Bull of Heaven.

Comparisons with other deities

Like Ishtar, the Greek Aphrodite and Northwestern Semitic Astarte were love goddesses who were "as cruel as they were wayward".[14] Donald A. Mackenzie, an early popularizer of mythology, draws a parallel between the love goddess Aphrodite and her "dying god" lover Adonis[15] on one hand, and the love goddess Ishtar and her "dying god" lover Tammuz on the other.[14] Some scholars have suggested that

the myth of Adonis was derived in post-Homeric times by the Greeks indirectly from Mesopotamia (Assyria and Babylonia) through the Western Semites, the Semitic title 'Adon', meaning 'lord', having been mistaken for a proper name. This theory, however, cannot be accepted without qualifications."[16]

Joseph Campbell, a more recent scholar of comparative mythology, equates Ishtar, Inanna, and Aphrodite, and he draws a parallel between the Egyptian goddess Isis who nurses Horus, and the Babylonian goddess Ishtar who nurses the god Tammuz.[17]

In other media

Ishtar appears in the movies Blood Feast (1963) and Blood Diner (1987), although she is referred to as an Egyptian god. The sequel to Blood Feast, Blood Feast 2: All U Can Eat(2002) also features Ishtar, but it is explained that she is Babylonian, even though "everyone seems to think she's Egyptian."

In the book and movie Generation P by Viktor Pelevin, Ishtar and her legends are one of the main storylines.

Ishtar is also a love interest for Destruction of The Endless in Neil Gaiman's Sandman comic book series.

In the movie The Mole People (1956), some explorers find an ancient Sumerian people living underneath a mountain, and the people think that Ishtar has sent the explorers.

See also


  1. ^ Wilkinson, p. 24
  2. ^ Day, John (2004). "Does the Old Testiment Refer to Sacred Prostitution and Did It Actual Exist in Ancient Israel?". In McCarthy, Carmel; Healey, John F.. Biblical and Near Eastern Essays: Studies in Honour of Kevin J. Cathcart. Cromwell Press. pp. 2–21. ISBN 0-8264-6690-7. pp. 15-17.
  3. ^ Singh, Nagendra Kr (1997). Divine Prostitution. New Dehli: APH Publishing. pp. 4–6. ISBN 81-7024-821-3.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Guirand, p. 58
  5. ^ Black, Jeremy and Green, Anthony (1992). Gods, Demons, and Symbols of Ancient Mesopotamia: An Illustrated Dictionary. ISBN 0-292-70794-0 pp. 156, 169–170.
  6. ^ Jastrow
  7. ^ Mackenzie, p. 95–98
  8. ^ Wolkstein and Kramer, p. 52–89
  9. ^ Kirk, p. 109
  10. ^ Gilgamesh, p. 85–88
  11. ^ Gilgamesh, p. 86
  12. ^ Gilgamesh, p. 87
  13. ^ a b Gilgamesh, p. 88
  14. ^ a b Mackenzie, p. 103
  15. ^ Mackenzie, p. 83
  16. ^ Mackenzie, p. 84
  17. ^ Campbell, p. 70


Further reading


Tablet VI and Tablet VII


Upon his return to Uruk Gilgamesh bathes his body and dons a clean robe and cloak, and anoints himself with oil. His appearance is so attractive that Ishtar, the goddess of love and war, is overcome with lust. She pleads with Gilgamesh to be her husband. She promises him vast riches if he impregnates her. She tells him they will live together in a house made of cedar, and that she will give him a lapis lazuli chariot with golden wheels.

Gilgamesh pointedly refuses her advances. He says he has nothing to offer her, since, as a goddess, she has everything she could ever want. He tells her he knows of the fate of her other human lovers, and is aware of how fickle her love can be. Gilgamesh recounts the story of Tammuz, the shepherd, who was a captive in the underworld and is mourned in festivals every year. Another shepherd she loved became a bird with broken wings, unable to fly. A goat-herder who loved her was turned into a wolf. When her father’s gardener, Ishullanu, rejected her advances, she turned him into a frog. Gilgamesh asks why he should expect to be treated any better.

Ishtar is furious. She goes to her father,Anu, and mother, Antum, and demands that they let her use the Bull of Heaven to punish Gilgamesh. Her father refuses, stating that what Gilgamesh said was true. Ishtar is only further enraged. She threatens to free the dead from the underworld so they can feast on the living. Anu warns her that the bull will also bring a famine. Ishtar assures him that she has made provisions for the people and the flocks of Uruk, and he gives in.

Ishtar unleashes the Bull of Heaven. The city of Uruk trembles as, bellowing and snorting, it comes down from the sky. A crack opens up in the earth, and one hundred men fall into it and die. Again the bull bellows and again the ground cracks open. One hundred more men are swallowed up. The third time this happens, Enkidu attacks the bull. The bull slobbers all over him and whips him with its tail, coated in excrement. Enkidu grabs it by its horns and wrestles with it. He calls out to Gilgamesh, who joins him, and they fight the bull together. At last, Enkidu seizes its filthy tail and holds the monster still so that Gilgamesh can thrust his sword between its shoulders and kill it. The heroes then cut out its heart and offer it as a sacrifice to Shamash the sun god.

Ishtar appears on the walls of the city and curses the two friends. Enkidu picks up one of the bull’s bloody haunches and hurls it at her. He threatens that if she were closer, he would do the same to her. While Ishtar and her followers, the temple prostitutes, mourn the bull, Gilgamesh gathers his craftsmen and shows them how beautifully the gods had made the creature, how thickly its horns were coated with lapis lazuli. Gilgamesh removes the horns and fills them with oil, which he offers in sacrifice to his father, Lugulbanda. Then he hangs them on the wall of his palace as a trophy.

Gilgamesh and Enkidu again bathe and wash the bull’s blood from their bodies in the Euphrates. That night, Enkidu has a dream that the gods are meeting in council. He awakens suddenly and asks Gilgamesh why the gods would do this.

Tablet VII introduces more details regarding Enkidu's dream. In it, the gods are angry with him and Gilgamesh and they meet to decide what should be done with them. Anu, Ishtar’s father, decrees that someone must be punished for killing Humbaba and the Bull of Heaven. Only one of the companions, however, must die. Enlil, Humbaba’s master and the god of earth, wind, and air, feels that Enkidu should be the one to die. Shamash, the sun god, defends the heroes, saying that he had influenced their actions in the Cedar Forest. Enlil is angered and accuses Shamash of taking their side and behaving like a mortal instead of a god. Therefore, it is decided that Enkidu must die.

Soon thereafter, Enkidu becomes ill, proving the dream true. Burdened with regret, Enkidu curses Shamhat for civilizing him. He curses the cedar gate that he and Gilgamesh brought back from the Cedar Forest. He states that he would have cut it to pieces with an axe if he had known this would happen. Gilgamesh promises his friend that he will build him an even greater monument than the cedar gate. He will erect an enormous statue of Enkidu, made entirely of gold.

Enkidu curses the trapper who first spotted him at the watering hole and says he hopes his hunting pits are filled in and his traps are unset. Shamash, hearing Enkidu’s cries, finally answers. He asks why Enkidu curses the harlot, since if it had not been for her, Enkidu would have never tasted the rich foods of the palace, never worn beautiful clothes, and never known Gilgamesh’s friendship. Shamash tells Enkidu that when he dies, Gilgamesh will wander the earth, undone by grief. Enkidu is comforted by Shamash’s words and retracts his curse, offering a blessing instead for Shamhat.

The next morning, lying on his deathbed, Enkidu tells Gilgamesh of another terrible dream. In the dream, he was all alone on a dark plain, and a man with a lion’s head and an eagle’s talons seized him. He fought this creature, but it overpowered him and changed him into a birdlike creature. Then he was dragged down to the underworld. There he saw kings, gods, and priests, all of them dressed in feathers. All of them were living in total darkness. They ate dirt instead of food. Queen Ereshkigal, the ruler of the underworld, sat on her throne, and Belit-Seri, the scribe of the gods, whose tablet tells everyone’s fate, knelt before her. Enkidu says the queen looked at them and asked who led them there. Enkidu tells Gilgamesh that he would have been blessed if he had died in battle, because those who die in battle die a glorious death. Enkidu’s condition slowly worsens and he suffers for twelve days before he dies.


Tablet VI reveals a great deal about the importance of Ishtar, the goddess of love, and her mortal lovers. In response to Ishtar’s advances, Gilgamesh explains he knows all about her past human lovers who became animals—a shepherd who was changed into a broken-winged bird, a goat herder who became a wolf, a gardener who became a frog. In particular, Gilgamesh mentions Tammuz, a mortal shepherd who becomes a god after his relationship with Ishtar. After his death, he goes to the underworld. Reasons for his death vary from translation to translation, but Ishtar is generally at fault in most traditions.

Gilgamesh’s rejection of Ishtar is infuriating to her but also embarrassing. He states aloud the truth about her reputation. Ishtar appears to be more insulted by the revelation of this information than she is by Gilgamesh’s initial rejection. When Anu, her father, comments that everything Gilgamesh asserted is true, Ishtar’s reaction betrays her feelings. She is, after all, the goddess of love. To have her divine reputation questioned in this manner is extremely insulting but also threatening.

Gilgamesh’s list of Ishtar’s ex-lovers suggests that Ishtar knows little of love, and perhaps that she should not be worshipped as she currently is. This is no small matter considering that Uruk holds a temple for Ishtar at its very center. Gilgamesh is taking a grave risk by speaking this way to Ishtar. He is challenging the authority of the gods and questioning their very place in a power structure he has heretofore helped to maintain.

The Bull of Heaven is sometimes also called Gugalanna. Gugulanna was the first husband of Ereshkigal, the Goddess of the Netherworld. Ishtar’s emotionally charged decision to use the Bull of Heaven to punish Gilgamesh is met with skepticism by Anu, her father. He agrees with Gilgamesh’s assessment of Ishtar’s reputation, further enraging her. She counters with a serious threat: to release the dead into the land of the living. Anu relents but is concerned about the destruction the Bull will bring. Ishtar tells him she has made provisions to see the people through a period of drought. The distinction that the responsible party should be punished, rather than innocent bystanders, for his insults is revisited in in the story of the flood in a later tablet. Although Anu and Ishtar are engaged in a heated conversation, both are aware of their responsibilities as gods and the power that they can wield.

After Gilgamesh and Enkidu defeat the Bull of Heaven, Ishtar curses them from the walls of the city. Enkidu tears of a haunch of the Bull and throws it at her, telling her he would do the same to her if he could. This compounds their insult against Ishtar and more directly implicates Enkidu’s involvement. Gilgamesh takes the Bull’s horns to the craftsmen of Uruk. They marvel at how they were made and at how beautiful they are. He hangs them as a trophy for his chambers. His pride over his accomplishments can be interpreted as a certain lack of respect towards the divine. The Bull of Heaven is a divine instrument, but Gilgamesh slays it and dismantles the body. Both heroes seem to have forgotten their place.

Enkidu and Gilgamesh return to bathe in the Euphrates after their victory. The people of Uruk celebrate their conquests and Gilgamesh boasts that he and Enkidu are best. This final bit of hubris is soon met with a foreboding dream that Enkidu has. In it the gods are meeting together in council. Enkidu awakens and asks Gilgamesh why they would be doing this. Enkidu seems to have suddenly realized the possibility of severe repercussions for their actions. It is notable that Gilgamesh, who has had many dreams of events to come, does not dream of this event. His ignorance on this matter foreshadows how shaken he will be by Enkidu’s death. It is also the first dream that either hero has that is not metaphorical in nature. As Tablet VII will show, the gods do actually convene to discuss the actions of the two heroes.

The decision by the gods to punish Enkidu introduces another theme in the epic: the gods can and will act without explanation or reason. Some translations state that Gilgamesh’s semi-divine nature is a factor in their decision to spare him and select Enkidu for death. This theme is visited again when Utnapishtim tells Gilgamesh of the Flood brought upon humanity without explanation. The irony of this behavior is that the gods punish the heroes for their behavior while rarely justifying their own. Ishtar becomes jealous and vengeful and releases the Bull of Heaven. Her target is Gilgamesh but hundreds die before Enkidu is able to subdue the Bull, yet there are no repercussions for Ishtar’s decisions and she does not exhibit remorse for the men that died. The gods answer only to one another, not to another higher being, so their power is largely unchecked.

Enkidu curses his predicament by blaming Shamhat and the trapper. Because of them, he contends, he was removed from the wilderness where he was content and put on a path leading to his eventual downfall. The knowledge he has gained through his civilization has augmented his suffering rather than helped subdue it. It is possible that the authors were using this as an analogy about what was then modern urban life. The life of animals may have appeared to be far less complex and more easily enjoyed. It also again reflects the Biblical metaphor of Eden. Had humanity been able to stay in Eden, none of us would have to know suffering.

Shamash hears Enkidu’s cries and comforts him by reminding Enkidu that if not for Shamhat and the trapper, Enkidu would not have tasted the best that civilization has to offer. He would also never have met his friend Gilgamesh. He tells Enkidu, essentially, that he is beloved by Gilgamesh and that when he passes away Gilgamesh will be full of sorrow. Although Enkidu’s demise is still imminent, he is comforted by Shamash’s words. He realizes that he has enjoyed some of the most important things in life, namely love and friendship. He recants his curse and offers a blessing instead for Shamhat. This suggests that curses and blessings carried great weight in the ancient Mesopotamian world. Such words were not invoked lightly, and, if uttered, were believed to have consequences. Finally, having attained some sense of peace, Enkidu passes away, leaving Gilgamesh alone. The lesson now imparted to Gilgamesh is that despite his great strength and reputation, death is inescapable.

The Epic of Gilgamesh Essays and Related Content

Study Guide for The Epic of Gilgamesh



Also known as:Inanna, Innin
Associated Abilities: Art, Athletics, Command, Empathy, Melee, Presence
Associated Epic Attributes:Appearance Charisma Manipulation Wits
Associated Purviews:Chaos Sky Stars War
Rivals: Aphrodite Erzulie The Morrigan Tlazolteotl

The Queen of Heaven, Ishtar is a living conundrum, a powerful, nurturing and regal figure and at the same time a fractious, fiery source of conflict. Goddess of the stars and night sky, she is also a storm-bringer like her forbears, liable to unleash her destructive fury in hurricane winds when angered (and, unfortunately, it is not difficult to upset her). She is also a martial goddess, a figure prayed to by ancient warriors to sow confusion and distress amongst their opponents on the battlefield yet she is above all things the goddess of love and pleasure, patron and protector of lovers, prostitutes and anyone else who seeks the delights of the flesh without remorse. Despite her quicksilver temperament, Ishtar is well-loved by the rest of her pantheon (especially Tammuz and the great Anu himself, her two husbands), and they are quick to take her side in her many quarrels, more often than not.

Ishtar and Tammuz

Seeing that she was unruly and hoping that marriage would tame her, Ishtar's brother Shamash encouraged her to marry Tammuz, the god of shepherds, who was smitten with her beauty. Ishtar, however, spurned Tammuz in favor of a farm-god, claiming that he was more refined and richer than the humble Tammuz. When he heard this, Tammuz told her forthrightly that his blood was every bit as noble and divine as hers and that she should not say such things; Ishtar was intrigued since no man had ever spoken back to her in such a manner, and after further encouragement from her mother agreed to marry him. Tammuz took Ishtar to his home for their wedding night and their lovemaking was so fertile that it caused all the lands for miles around to burst into sudden, lush life.

Ishtar and Enki

Though Ishtar could have any man she wished, she had never been able to seduce her father-in-law Enki because of his great wisdom and power. Irritated by this failure, she perfumed and dressed herself and went to his house to conquer him; being wise, Enki knew what she had in mind and refused politely, instead providing her with wine and beer to make her pleasantly drunk and forget her errand. Enki himself drank with her and became drunk, but Ishtar cleverly avoided becoming too tipsy, and once she saw that the god was reeling she spoke sweetly to him. In his drunkenness, Enki gave Ishtar his 'me' ( the powers of his civilization), and as soon as he passed out she ran to her home city and bestowed all of his powers upon the humans there. Enki was distressed when he awoke to find that she was now equal in power to him, but since he had given her his power of his own free will, he was forced to admit that she had gotten the best of him in order to convince her to return it.

Ishtar and Gilgamesh

 When Ishtar spied the hero Gilgamesh, she was impressed by his prowess and handsomeness and descended to earth in all her glory to ask him to be her husband. She was shocked when he refused, and furious when he said that he would never be so foolish since every man she took as a lover met with grief. Returning to heaven, she went before Anu and demanded that he give her the Bull of Heaven, Gugalanna, so that she could punish Gilgamesh; Anu pointed out that she had provoked the hero in the first place, but she threatened to destroy the gates of the Underworld if he did not relent. She immediately sent Gugalanna to destroy Gilgamesh, but he and Enkidu killed the bull-god and insulted Ishtar, saying they would do the same to her if they were able. Shocked by her failure, Ishtar cursed Gilgamesh to a tragic end and retreated.

Ishtar and Ereshkigal

 Though she had caused the death of her sister's husband, Ishtar refused to apologize and instead determined to journey to the Underworld and take its throne, proving to its mistress that she was the greater of the two. She was successful in threatening the gatekeeper to let her in, but as soon as she did she was slowly stripped of her powers and garments by Ereshkigal's servants, finally arriving in the throne room naked and weak. Infuriated by such treatment, she threatened and insulted her sister, but realized too late that she could not overcome her in her place of power and was killed. At her death, all sex and procreation on the earth ceased, all living things no longer able to take joy in it now that Ishtar was gone.

 Seeing this and concerned for the future of mankind, the gods consulted with Enki, who created a servant named Asushunamir to descend to the Underworld and plead for Ishtar's release. Knowing that she would not agree, Enki also sent the Water of Life with the servant, who surreptitiously sprinkled it on Ishtar and restored her to life. Ereshkigal was furious at this duplicity but, under pressure from the other gods, was forced to release Ishtar; she stipulated, however, that Ishtar must find someone to take her place in order to remain free of the realm of death, and sent an army of demons from the Underworld with her to ensure that she made a decision.
Humiliated and upset by the incident, Ishtar ascended back to the heavens, but every person she met in her journeys extolled her beauty or spoke to her lovingly, causing her to be unwilling to choose any of them to consign to the Underworld. Finally she reached her own house, and when she entered found Tammuz there, sleeping peacefully with the remains of his meal nearby. Furious that he was apparently not mourning her loss, Ishtar struck him and gave him to the demons to take her place in the Underworld to punish him.



Persephone -
In the Homeric poems Persephone is the real ruler of the underworld, the terrible "Queen of the Shades", and Hades doesn't have authorities on the souls of the underworld...


HADES : Greek king of the underworld, god of the dead ; mythology ...
HAIDES (Aides, Aidoneus, or Hades) was the King of the Underworld, the god of death and the dead. He presided over funeral rites and defended the right of ...
Birth of Hades - Hades & Titan War - Division of Cosmos - Judges of the Dead


Ereshkigal -
In Mesopotamian mythology, Ereshkigal (EREŠ.KI.GAL, lit. "great lady under earth") was the goddess of Irkalla, the land of the dead or underworld. 

The Afterlife

Early Mesopotamians conceptualized the universe as a sphere, one half occupied by the living, the other by the dead. Deities ruled both realms—Ereshkigal was queen of the Underworld and Nergal her consort. Other deities served at their court and gates through which the sun and moon could pass linked the two worlds together.

Graves were thought to provide access to the Underworld. At death, the spirit (Sumerian gidim) traveled to the Underworld, where conditions were dismal. The dead thirsted and ate dust. It was the responsibility of the living to provide sustenance for dead relatives.

The wealth of objects found in Ur’s tombs and death pits may have been gifts for Underworld deities.

“The Death of Urnamma,” a Sumerian literary text, describes a Mesopotamian king’s journey to the Underworld. First, he offered gifts to its gatekeepers. He then prepared a banquet because he knew the Underworld’s food was “bitter” and its water “brackish.” He presented gifts to the Underworld deities, giving vessels and garments to Ereshkigal and weapons to Nergal. Urnamma was then seated on a platform and a dwelling prepared for him. Finally, Ereshkigal assigned him rule over soldiers killed in battle and convicted criminals.

The wealth of objects found in Ur’s tombs and death pits may have been gifts for Underworld deities. For example, Puabi was buried with a number of gold chains typical of a man’s headdress. Perhaps they were meant as gifts for the gods. Although we cannot know for sure, later Sumerians, as seen in “The Death of Urnamma,” believed the deceased elites needed such offerings to court favor with Underworld deities.



Code of Ur-Nammu -
Although the preface directly credits the laws to king Ur-Nammu of Ur (2112–2095 BC),... The prologue, typical of Mesopotamian law codes, invokes the deities for Ur-Nammu's .... "Der Kodex Urnamma (CU): Versuch einer Rekonstruktion.