The Jealousy of Inanna
There are a few things that I like about Inanna. You're going to give me the crazy-eye because honestly it's her temples of Sacred Prostitution. How the modern world looks at prostitution is fraught with religious implications. Lots of shaming and condemning goes on when the fact of the matter is prostitution has been around for as long as humanity has. So it was interesting to learn about Sacred Prostitution and how people in a different era viewed sex.
If you've already read the post on the Me Mythology, the conditions of civilization were assigned to gods to oversee. In the list of the Mes of civilization there were three that caught my eye. The concepts of Kurgarra (a eunuch, or, possibly, ancient equivalent to modern concepts of androgyny or transsexual), Girbadara (a eunuch), and Sagursag (a eunuch, entertainers related to the cult of Inanna). In her temples, persons of asexual or hermaphroditic bodies and feminine men were chiefly involved in the worship and ritualistic practices of Inanna's temples. This told me that different sexual orientation and identification had a place in this society. I assumed that occupation was one of respect among the people of the cities (because, hey, there's a temple to it and all), and they did have a patron god. Not something that is found often in other religions.
Anyway, back to Inanna Goddess of Love and Fertility. Another thing to note, love back then meant "the giving of sexual love" and not the "the tender emotions for another". She was the patron goddess of Uruk and her symbols were twisted reeds on a doorpost, the eight-pointed star or rosette.
Inanna wasn't originally a goddess of the Sumerian pantheon but she came from or was adopted from a different region thought to be Hurrian as the mother goddess Hannahannah. There's some debate over that. In later periods, she was sometimes called the daughter of Enki and in the Babylonian text she called Ereshkigal sister. The king of the gods, Enlil was always soft on her and seemed hesitant to take her to task when she wronged others. (All personal impressions as I read through everything I could find related to her.)
The high priestesses were also housed in her temples. To celebrate the new year at the spring Equinox, the priestess took to bed a young man who represented Inanna's consort, the shepherd Dumuzid. In late Sumerian history, kings established their legitimacy by taking the place of Dumuzid for one night during the new year festival. Of course, Gilgamesh was famous for his rejection of this custom, citing Inanna's infamous ill-treatment of such kings as Lugalbanda (Gilgamesh's father) and Damuzid.
Inanna was cunning, ambitious, temperamental, jealous, manipulative, impetuous, and tricksy. She got Enki drunk enough he didn't remember her asking for the Me, nor did he recall giving them to her. She pissed off Erishkigal, the Queen of the Underworld, by getting her consort, Gugalanna, killed. She later sacrificed Dumuzid in order to escape the underworld. She even turned a couple of consorts into wild animals. Although there were things that I liked about Inanna's temples, she wasn't a very nice goddess in certain spheres of influence. Often, she let jealousy and anger dictate her actions, making her a great villain. She never saw herself as one, but neither did she care.
Now imagine her as the patron goddess to the True Bloods. Would she view her charges as anything more than tools to accomplish her goals. She's always been a bit power hungry. Why would that change over the centuries? What would she do, who would she sacrifice to get what she wanted? If you haven't already, reads Sumeria's Sons and find out!
Thank you for stopping by and reading!