Inanna

Many years ago I came across a writing that was attributed to a goddess named Inanna. In it she was asking for her lover, Demuzi, to come and make love to her. While reading this ancient poem, I felt the echo of awareness present in that ancient tradition with the power that is within awakening, which I contend, is the result of a unity of the opposites of our nature (and the hemispheres in our brain). I shared it with a friend at the time who was knee-deep in the concept of divine union and she agreed that it was an important chapter. That was about 2010.

Fast forward to 2017. I am corresponding with someone who I suspected I had known whose work I had read online a few times and wound up having a most unusual dream about. Driven by a sense of familiarity, I found that there had been something there, but where and when, I had no idea. Instead of trying to shoe-horn it into a narrative, I did what I do nowadays: I waited. One evening while checking on my glass furnaces in the studio, I heard in my mind a clear voice that said “He was a lead general in the army of a king…” This was my first bread-crumb and it did what tantalizing lead-ins always do: it opened my intuitive faculties wide. Suddenly I saw a space, a bedroom and a window that looked out onto a courtyard. Details rose up spontaneously all around me. There were no glass windows, but shutters. I saw here there, tall and willowy, but dark and rich in body tone and skin. She wasn’t from here, I knew, she was from further North…maybe closer to Turkey, I thought. How I knew all of this, I couldn’t tell you. I later learned that what I was seeing was very much on-point. There she was, like a message from the past, one iteratiin amongst many, and many frustrated until I learned that it’s not my job to pull people out of their own tar pits. Still…there is this love that always moves us to want to help. “They have to grasp what helping themselves mean. Until then, they remain conflicted and in desire.”

The building was massive and tall, and my take was that this was a palace, although this would make it an ancient palace built in a desert country. When I thought about where this was, I found that I could feel it out. Was it Arab? No. Turk? No. Certainly not Persian. Not Judean. Not Roman. Not Greek. And then as I felt into it, there arose a clear thought: “This was in Babylon.” Iraq. Assyrian. Aruk, Ur….I began to see moments, like snapshots, from that life. How dry the land was and what lengths I went to to see that water got hauled up to the palace for bathing and for growing flowers and plants for my wife (later I would learn that we were king and queen of this patch of desert) was testimony to the care present. Yes it was a desert, but I will make it into a garden…

Fast forward two more years and I was doing much the same again, checking on my furnaces late at night, and in a quiet moment, thinking about the memories of this time in Babylon. Up until that moment this memory was completely anonymous, a kind of ghost, something I could not prove one way or the other. As I crossed the floor of the studio in the exact location where I had received the first clue, I received another, which was like hearing a conversation that had been interrupted for a couple of years which I was now getting to hear in its entirety. It went just like this: “….He was a general to a king, who then became king.” With that one extra detail, that one extra data point, a trove of information began to take shape. I had seen the room, I had seen outside. I saw a cast bronze “keeper” that held the shutters open that looked like a bit like a star with many points. I later looked this detail up and saw the same image depicted on relief carvings of the royal family of that time—it was star anise, an herb used in cooking at that time. It was so revered that it made its way into all manner of decoration, it turned out.

I saw plants growing stories below in the courtyard, a place I knew they would not have normally grow. Great effort was made to keep this garden alive in this desert land. I saw myself, what I looked like, a dark-haired man with a barrel chest who was busy keeping a kingdom going. What I realized, too, was with the addition of “..and who became king” I might be able to find this man since serving as a general to a king and then becoming king was akin to finding a unicorn. Commoners, who might serve under a king, hardly ever rise to a royal station themselves. How often does that happen? Right. Incredibly rare, if it happens at all. So I looked it up.

There were plenty of generals that served under Assyrian kings, but there was only ever one general who went on to become king of present day Iraq. That man was the father to a king who was written about in the Old Testament Bible as Nebuchadnezzar II. His father, Nabopolassar, had ascended to the throne by way of what looks to have been a coup, a moment when the new heir to the throne showed some ambivalence about taking power. That was the man I saw in a bronze mirror. It was in that gap that I stepped in and essentially said, to heck with this. We need to take our country back.

At this time in its history, which was around 620 B.C., Babylon was ruled by a king from another region. Babylon was effectively being occupied by those who were not native to the land, Assyrians. Nabopolassar roused his troops, offered them positions in the new government if they helped him topple the heirs to the throne after the king Ashurbanipal died, and achieved it.

The most important take-away from that life was how important it is to appreciate what it is that you have and what you have built. I saw how people, despite how easy they had it, were unhappy creatures, and it has underlined to me today how solitary some journey’s are. While we always want others by our side, there is also an element of the solitary vision that is part of this interesting duality which seems to seek to evolve itself in the breach between the two polarities.

I also knew that my wife, my Queen, knew about sacred union of the kind that was practiced in those days. This was known later as heiros gamos, which is essentially how the ancients “let in” the gods and goddesses onto our plane of existence. This practice would be described or explained as fertility rites where the god and goddess join in union with the king and queen in order to help bring the rains or fertility to the fields. You see this same imagery in the Arthurian legend, for example. In that culture, Beltane was itself a practice whereupon the people would go out into the fields to practice ritual sex because it was believed that this brought fecundity to the crops and guaranteed a good harvest. As I read about the culture at this time sure as shooting, the King and Queen would take part in ritual sex, the heiros gamos, each season as part of their religious ceremonies. Why not all the people? Why just the King and his Queen or a temple priestess? This is something that I have wondered about for ages to be honest because I have always seen this as a fault in our psychological DNA. It is always an authority who told us what was what, or who performed the important rituals. Even today we want others to do this kind of work for us: to tell us the truth, the way to go, the way to meditate, the way to wake up, or once awakened tell me what’s what….just hold my hand and please tell me what to do and where to go!

Why is that? And yes, I was certainly part of that. It may be one reason why I stand for individuality today to the degree that I do. “No guru, no method…” has been my very Van Morrison-esque mantra. All I needed was my Queen, the one whose very presence was electric, whose presence crackled with this magnetic quality born out of knowing herself. It was this person who I instantly recognized today in the writings online of a person I didn’t even know. It was like a needle in a haystack kind of experience…except there are no accidents. What I learned though was how important it was to let others be where they are and not feel like I have to be with them because we were together in the past. Not everyone is the right match either. The desire for energetic connections is very seductive, but without a day to day anchoring in the physical, these unions are like plants that grow reedy and thin like grass under a pail that gets little sun….it arcs toward what it thinks is the light and the energy of the creative gets ever stronger because that is how we are, we are creative beings, so the energy seems stronger but it is because it is trying so hard to reach completion. “Not this time, apparently” said the voice in the back of my heart. So you let it be a grand love but it is one that cannot manifest in the present. In that was an important lesson to me today. It might have been a lesson on offer back then, too, because sometimes our patterns can follow us for thousands of years and through countless lifetimes. I just can’t see how living this way would make anyone happy. Luckily, it is only mind to wonder and not to know. Peace be with the past.

In the wake of this, I have been a little more interested in Babylonian culture and history. What I know about it encompasses what is taught about in Sunday school and touched on in early elementary school, which was how Nebuchadnezzar II created a new dynasty or empire. I realized recently that the poem of Inanna about her lover Demuzi was in fact Babylonian, and I was reminded of my memories. I looked up Inanna and began to realize that she was an incredibly important goddess, a goddess that would be copied by other cultures and would become the Great Mother in Western regions. When you read about Inanna and the hymns written to you, the sense is that the Babylonian culture revered the feminine. I do wonder about this, though. In India, there are more goddesses than gods in their pantheon of deities and yet the culture remains mired in a class system that has a built-in misogyny. I suspect, though, that these beliefs or images emerge through very real beliefs held at one time or another, as cultures tend to be a kind of amalgam of centuries worth of movements that come and go much like clothing styles do. Each leave their mark on the cultural memory of the people such that a period a thousand years ago of fervent reverence for the feminine may be eclipsed, or diluted by other concerns that come along later. I suspect culture, then, is a giant patch-work or anthology of different views and concerns that are the result of particular periods in time.

For Inanna, she appears to be nearly everything to the people of Ur in 600 B.C. and earlier Babylon. What is so interesting is how the name sagurra or even sakura is associated with Inanna’s name in the scholarly works. It looks like to me that sagurra or sakura (as it is alternatively referred to) may be part of her name, but a part that most Westerners don’t know about. These are a bit tricky to find because there has been so many thousands, hundreds of thousands, in fact, clay tablets that have been unearthed that span thousands of years worth of Babylonian culture. Many were carted off by the British and lie in vaults, photographed along with their accession data, but without translation. Many of these tablets were little more than shopping lists, or inventories to aid in keeping records. In some, however, important cultural details are included. The use of sagurra/sakura is curious and there is no explanation about the significance of this name or designation, or its background. This was found in the article published by De Gruyter in 2009 by Åke W Sjöberg Entitled In-nin sagurra. A Hymn to the Goddess Inanna by the en-Priestess Enheduanna

I often wonder if light language as it is termed isn’t in some way tied to this epoch in history. I know it may sound odd, but there is a story about the universality of language that exists in the Old Testament Bible, and that story is tied to the Babylonian culture. What I suspect is that this story is itself an old memory about how language could be made to be universal through speaking in tongues, something referred to as glossolalia.

When I first heard someone speak in tongues in this way, I found, surprisingly, that I could understand parts of what was being said. What I found was happening was that the nonsense of the language made it impossible for me to use my logical mind to tease out the details, and the less rational and larger-seeing part of my mind was then engaged. I found, quite to my surprise, that I felt like I knew what was being said, but it wasn’t because I understood what the person was saying in terms of an easily decoded vocabulary. Instead, nothing was known about this language, but it was (again, I suspect) the sing-song quality of the language that put me into an altered state which had the effect of opening up my own innate telepathic abilities. Otherwise, none of this encounter made any sense to me. I had this whole dialog in my mind that I somehow “got” as a result of hearing this woman speaking in this language…and it was pretty crazy because of what happened next…

Later, the person who was speaking in this language told me what she was going through, and what she was describing in her language, I was stunned to find that I had picked up on all of the main points that she had been “saying” despite the fact that her language had no reference to English or any other language that I am myself familiar with. What I am suggesting when it comes to light language, which I suspect is the very same thing as glossolalia or speaking in tongues, is that the sounds of the language access certain parts of our minds which are naturally intuitive and psychic and those pathways are opened up through the process of speaking in this way. I also suspect that this is an old capacity that we as humans have had and I also suspect that this is what is behind the story of the Tower of Babel, except with a twist.

“Then they said, ‘Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves; otherwise we shall be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.'” (Genesis 11:4)

I point this out because what it does is it helps to show that we have had periods in our past when we were more developed psychically than we may realize today with our languages that serve to so narrow down experience as to make accessing these numinous realms impossible. What we need, spirit suggests, is a language that can open us up to our larger innate potential, and I suspect that what most people would call “nonsense languages” are precisely what is necessary. If you talk to someone who is familiar with light language you will likely find that what they say is not a normal language in the way that we think of it today, but in some cases is a language that has the capacity to convey states of being or energetic states and feeling states in a single word or term without the customary descriptions that take place with languages that we use today. A word in light language can act as a key to open the soul or energy body to a certain experience. This language, then, can work as a triggering device, a kind of soulful technology that uses sound and “words” but in a completely different way. I suspect, since language is always contained and processed in the left brain in humans, that this language is a language that is used by the right brain and as such does not have the same kinds of rules pertaining to it as English, French, Arabic, or Persian does. It is interesting, too, because Hebrew contains within it what appears to be a memory of this concept for how words could cause things to happen in consciousness. In Genesis certain Hebrew letters were used to spell out the creation. If you dig deep into the Hebrew language you see that there are all kinds of references made to each letter (such as a numerical counterpart for instance) and this all gets very mystical very quickly. When I say this, I mean to say that it looks like Hebrew may have been used in the distant past as a language for speaking to the soul directly.

At this time in antiquity, all the people spoke the same language and their minds were befuddled so that they could no longer understand each other. I find this interesting. is this the memory of an age-old capacity that we have had for a very long time to understand this type of language regardless of the language that we ourselves speak? Additionally, it is commonly known in Christianity how the Holy Ghost is what brings on the speaking in tongues. The Holy Ghost was known to be the feminine aspect with the Godhead and that godhead was not found outside a person but was inside of them. The implications of this knowledge, then, are immense, and also is congruent with the work that I am doing on Early Christianity and how the early dogma started out as something quite different….before it began to be changed or misunderstood or misconstrued. That, though is for another time, but it is interesting that the feminine is found here in all of this because the feminine itself is the quality in each person and is found in the nonlinear right brain. It was in bringing the union of the two opposites together that sacred union was known within the person, this is literally the genesis of being resurrected, or reborn, and also of kundalini, which was being taught in the earliest day of Christianity (yes really). All of this is to point to how the feminine is in all of us and can be honored and brought forward. It is literally the missing link in ecstatic experience and in enlightenment. This is the opposite end of the electrical circuit, not switched into the “on” position.

It is interesting, too, to note that the person who is credited as being involved in the building of the Tower in Genesis was a man named Nimrod. When we look in Babylonian accounts, we cannot find a similar character as the Jewish tradition describes, but what the story does do in Genesis is to explain that Nimrod was one of the first Babylonian kings. What I suspect is that there was a memory of the babylonians having a means for speaking to others who didn’t speak their native tongue and this became, over time, to be thought of as a universal language that all people spoke (and that might be true in a certain sense: we may have had a much greater facility for glossolalia in our past). This story might help to chronicle how human beings fell away from using this inner language of the soul that was a kind of nonlinear and non-rational language. All of this in a place where a goddess was revered.

All of this may look like a giant rabbit hunt (first one path then another), but what I suspect is that as you go back through time you reach periods when the goddess was revered. When that happens, I contend, you find a culture that is much more mobile in its consciousness. Men, revering women, are much more ready to see how the qualities we ascribe to women are also in the male, and vica versa. Inanna was seen as a goddess of love, nurture and sex….but she was also seen as a goddess who could make war. She was a goddess that could make the rain showers come to help plants thrive while also sending storms that could also destroy. If we go back far enough, we likely see a time when the priestesses of Inanna spoke in this language which some call light language in order to reach the states and to convey the information that they would bring back from those alternate states of mind. It is interesting, too, because the priestesses of Inanna would use a drum in their work and it is well known now that certain drum beat frequencies can induce different brain states. It is possible to go into an alternate brain state, such as a theta state through drumming alone. When we see drumming in so-called primitive cultures we also find visionary work being done. Many shamanic cultures utilize drumming or repetitive sound within certain frequencies in order to induce the brain states necessary to begin accessing what many call “vision space.” This space is marked by the lack of any reference to time and as such one could easily see or sense the presence of shamans in that space from other times and places, even thousands of years past or hence. Amongst the Lakota it is observed that when one cries for a vision, the place they enter is the same space that all other visionaries have been. This isn’t because the Lakota have unlocked something special for themselves alone. They recognize something that many other cultures also have recognized, which is what we might call a “field” of nonlocality that has more to do with states of mind as a “location” over their being a “space” in spirit. As such those who long for the days of the Goddess can find themselves very close to her in alternate states of mind….something that is happening to a greater degree today with all of the awakenings.

I will also point out that the Goddess, in whatever form you might take her, represents at the level of the archetype, a quality not just in women but qualities in consciousness itself. When we take the archetype of Shakti and Shiva we see a description of the potentiating of the left and right brains, of the logic (male) and the nonlinear nonlogical (feminine) parts of the human physiology regardless of sex. As such, kundalini, depicted as these two sexual forces (opposites) rise upward to join in union because when the two opposite forces in consciousness reach union it feels orgasmic, hence the reference to men and women as one. In the early Christian mythos, the father and mother join together to create the third, the Christ, in what is seen as a divine syzygy, which is described androgynous and capable of drawing from both sides of the self. These systems are describing not a sexual quality but a spiritual one since both men and women both can experience both sides of this dynamic. This is not a desexualization of the person but instead a drawing together of the two opposite forces (as contained and processed by the left and right brain in both men and women) which results in all of the lights and sounds and explosive qualities that we generally ascribe to kundalini. This is why the twin serpents meeting at the crown were used to describe the experience in the Hindu tradition. The Buddha, upon awakening, expressed joy that he could feel this level of bliss because it mean that the didn’t need to be with a woman in order to achieve this. That was one person, though, and I find that path uninteresting to say the least, but it does speak to what this energy can do. The images below are from present day France, are preChristian and show a man who has developed control over the serpent, his own vital force and energy. This has brought him into a harmony with all life around him.

When we see the goddesses along with the gods you typically will find a spectrum of ecstatic experience and an awareness of what we call awakening. Curious, isn’t it? There is evidence that this was known in Europe with the imagery of the Cernunos, which was found in Gaul (present day France). In Ireland, snake imagery was tied to vital force and was throughout the culture, despite St Patrick’s efforts to “drive them into the sea.” Early Christian imagery contained many references to the serpent in Ireland, just so long as the locals didn’t admit that they were anything other than the one who deceived Adam and Eve in the garden. In the case of the Cernunos, the man is shown in a number of depictions holding a serpent and no other animal.

In ancient cultures the serpent represented vital force and an energy in human beings tied to a mystic realization. So universal was it that we see the serpent even being used in Asia and Meso-america under the same banner as elsewhere. In the case of Quetzalcoatl, the serpent would consume the human in order to take it on journeys of the spirit. On the one hand the serpent could be problematic, but on the other, for one who had mastered it, a path to the divine.

It was Moses who also “raised the serpent” in the desert. We are told that the cast brass depiction of a serpent on a staff was enough to cure snake bites, but it may be that this is an old memory of a time when people were being awakened and by meditating on the image of the serpent, they could complete the process of ascension and find relief since the “serpent” of awakening rises (just as it can also fall or expand out into awareness). It seems unlikely that a person could look at such an image and be cured of snake bites. I suspect that the origins of this action on the part of Moses was lost to the average person and so their best guess has prevailed (albeit one that doesn’t make a lot of sense). The point being that where these images are found we find ecstatic experience and a greater awareness of ourselves as energetic beings that exist beyond this one world. The curtain of perception is pulled back, intuition increases, and insight grows. Since the feminine qualities in consciousness are part of this, we would expect to see female imagery, perhaps in the form of forces in nature or in animals or expressed as a woman herself. In the case of Inanna, she was seen as pretty much the whole kit and kaboodle. The hymn in part follows.

You alone are majestic, you have renown, heaven and earth…..not….You rival An and Enlil, you occupy their seat of honour. You are pre-eminent in the cult places, you are magnificent in your course…..The great gods kissed the earth and prostrated themselves. The high mountain land, the land of cornelian and lapis lazuli, bowed down before you.” And then a few paragraphs later: “…mercy and pity are yours, Inanna….To cause the heart to tremble,…..illnesses are yours, Inanna. To have a wife….to love…are yours, Inanna. To rejoice, to control…are yours Inanna. Neglect and care, raising and bowing down are yours Inanna. To build a house, to create a woman’s chamber, to possess implements, to kiss a child’s lips are yours, Inanna. To run, to race, to desire and to succeed are yours Inanna. To interchange with the brute and the strong and the weak and the powerless is yours Inanna.”

SOURCE: https://etcsl.orinst.ox.ac.uk/section4/tr4073.htm

Additionally, Inanna (Sumerian) is also referred to as Ištar (Akkadian) who is also tied to the morning star Venus. She has an aspect that is dual: she is a nurturer, but she is warlike. In many ways she is a study in contrasts, and it appears to me that her many faces are the result of how the people felt they needed to invest her with qualities that the people themselves wanted to possess.

She is included in the epic of Gilgamesh as a lover who he ultimately rejects because of how her other lovers were cast aside and destroyed. In Babylon, Inanna was part of the “sacred marriage” between king and the goddess, which helped to assure abundance to the land and its people. It is not clear whether this was an actual ritual that was performed by the king each year, or whether it was just an idea, a spiritual construct that the people believed in. I myself have a memory of what this kind of union entailed because I learned about it from this lifetime (among others: it seems that this is a pattern for me where I investigate many different aspects of spiritual union here on the planet).

What we find existing with rulers and the gods or goddesses in the past often wind up being qualities that each person actually had within themselves, but may have been a power or knowledge kept for the ruling elites and out of the hands of the great unwashed. Additionally, scholars have argued that the reason why in graves images of Inanna/Istar are more prevalent is because of her connection to the underworld or the spirit world. What I contend is that this world is not a place we go to but is instead part of a focus. We are focused now as physical beings, but that focus will shift once the body is dropped. Do we go somewhere?

Do our death stories suggest that we travel somewhere? My experience suggests that these are all belief constructs and all depend on the person involved. We experience the tunnel, I suspect, because that is what we experience at the beginning of our physical life, while exiting from the body of the mother and into the light. In today’s experience what do people see once they go into the light? Why, they see “the father” of course! And in our physical life, this is also what we do here, as many births attest to on earth. I was the first person to see my children when they were born as most fathers are. When we die we speak of god the father who we see. It is curious to consider how these experiences appear linked.

SOURCE http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/amgg/listofdeities/inanaitar/

Ishtar evolved into Diana and Artemis in Asia Minor and Aphrodite in Greece. Interestingly, Inanna was worshipped by the Babylonians as the “Queen of Heaven” since the virgin Mary has been referred to this also. The belief in Mary as Queen of Heaven received the papal sanction of Pope Pius XII in his encyclical Ad Caeli Reginam (English: ‘Queenship of Mary in Heaven’) of October 11, 1954. Never mind that the Babylonians had beaten the Christians to the punch by at least a millennium! While Christians shrink back in horror over their images being tied to pagan images, I think it is all part of the great mill of the gods: we are all made in lines that are interrelated. We all seem to need our gods and goddesses to represent certain things as part of a larger curriculum of our evolution here on the planet. I know how that might sound, but I think that knowledge of the feminine waxes and wanes as we go through different epochs of development. Additionally, I would not say that the past was necessarily better for women even though Inanna was revered. In some cases, and in some cultures women’s lives were better. In Babylon, the first laws were written to protect people. The idea of a minimum wage comes from Babylonian law as has the concept of a woman being able to own property and to proceed with a divorce. I think there were times when things were better for women, and that our development has not been linear. We are, I think, readying for a kind of explosion into a new realm concerning our identities as humans and not all of it will be good, but not all of it will be bad, either. There will be people who go to extremes and others who will strike a perfect note that will catapult them out of ever needing to come back here for another incarnation.

What we know, though, is that these stories repeat, and the story of the Christ is itself a recombination of a much older story that had already had several incarnations in the world. Virgin births amongst god-men was common. Anyone who had been sufficiently different was said to have not been born of humans in some way shape or form. Inanna was one such god-woman who would serve as a template for others to come after her. What I find so interesting is how it may be that in the old times the concept of speaking in tongues may have been something that didn’t emerge just within Christianity, but was instead a quality in humans of just about any culture. This might also be a nonlinear and nonliteral language that concerns itself more with intensities of states over traditional word formation and symbol usage to help depict sounds, but instead symbolize qualities of consciousness. I have seen the symbols of this language in dream and in vision and what I saw is surprisingly similar to what some have drawn who claim to have seen this language. It’s a rather remarkable thing to have seen it and then you see someone who you have never spoken to who has the language on their site or they blog about it or they mention it in conversation in passing. If you have experience with this, I encourage your input. Am I full of it, or does any of this resonate? I suspect though that because of how the issue of awakening has followed along with me throughout many of my lifetimes, that my time In Babylon included elements of this as well.

Did the priestess of Inanna speak in that unified language described in the Old Testament? Was there a form of communication that was as much a part of the nonlinear right brain as spoken language is of the left brain? I am also reminded of Enki, the Sumerian God who, along with other creator beings, came to Earth to create human beings using a technology that may have been part genetic engineering and part hybridization. The Anunnaki were said to have been off-put by how humans spoke. They made a lot of racket. Was this because the language was so linear in nature? Were the Anunnaki telepathic? Are we experiencing a pattern of awakening and a return of the feminine spiritually that has been seeking to assert itself down through time? If so, I think it is high time that we get it right. We can begin on that path by being thankful, grateful for what we have and for what lies ahead for us to yet create. Being able to expand awareness of this innermost feminine can help the world in many ways. Perhaps Inanna calls to many of us from across the centuries still. The ancients once said that we are the ancestors to the gods….so perhaps it is true that the gods are creations, in part, from our own creative imaginings, or are at least in part at various stages of the process. Perhaps we make the gods and goddesses into our image as much as they make us into theirs…