“The ways of the Underworld are perfect. They may not be questioned.”
The Sumerian myth of the Goddess Inanna of the Upperworld and her Dark Sister, Ereshkigal, Goddess of the Underworld, is the first recorded myth engraved on stone tablets dated 5000 years ago. This myth represents a way of initiation for both women and men: a powerful conscious descent into the underworld to heal and reclaim our full WILD instincts and energy patterns.
Queen Inanna who has everything, the gifts and the graces of the Gods and a Lover beyond compare, internally hears the call of her Dark Sister in the Underworld…. hears her lament…. and CHOOSES to make her descent to visit her.
She must move through the 7 formidable Gates in her journey and face the Guardian of the Gateways. At each Gate, she is demanded to give up a piece of her regalia which represent the 7 powers in the world that she is identified with: her crown, her lapis lazuli necklace, her double strand of beads, her breastplate, her gold bracelet, lapis scepter, and the royal robe.
When Inanna questions why her regalia is taken… “What is this?”
She is told…
“Quiet Inanna! The ways of the Underworld are perfect. They may not be questioned.”
When Inanna finally arrives at the throne of her sister, naked and bowed low, Ereshkigal is INFURIATED at her presence. Ereshkigal was exiled into the Underworld by the father gods and ignored, all the while feared by them. Inanna has been enjoying all the Upperworld pomp and circumstance as its Queen, while Ereshkigal sits on her dark throne, unloved and unseen, tending to the exiled and the dead.
Ereshkigal ‘fastens the eye of death’ upon Inanna, speaks her words of wrath, and “utters against her the cry of guilt.” She strikes her down, killing her, and hangs her upside down upon a hook.
After three days and three nights, Inanna’s attendant in the upperworld goes for help. The god Enki fashions two little creatures from the dirt under his nails and instructs them to sneak through the cracks of the Gates into the Underworld and once there, to fully empathize with Ereshkigal’s suffering. They arrive to Ereshkigal moaning and groaning…
“Oh! Oh! My inside!”
The two creatures cry back…
“Oh! Oh! Your inside!”
“Oh! Oh! My belly!”
“Oh! Oh! Your belly!”
And this continues, until Ereshkigal is cracked open to her heart by being so compassionately witnessed and empathized with. She stops. Looks at them and asks…
“Who are you? Moaning – groaning – sighing with me? If you are gods, I will bless you! If you are mortals, I will give you a gift!”
The two creatures ask for the corpse of Inanna, and true to her word, Ereshkigal releases the dead Inanna to them. They pour the sacred water and earth of Life upon her, and Inanna is resurrected.
This myth ROCKS!! The power in it is the recognition that the Descent into our depths is part of our cycling psyches. Our Dark Self/Sister MUST be communed with.
She calls to us in our depressions. She calls to us in our pain and suffering. She calls to us in our personal deep wounds. She calls to us so that we may discover what has been placed in exile through our ignorance, and then love and embrace these hidden aspects of our selves, learn from their wisdom, and be gifted into greater wholeness in our lives.
Unfortunately what most of us do rather than listen to Her, rather than turn and commune with our exiled self, is numb ourselves through drugs, addictions and busy distractions, running as far away as we can seeking after an ever-elusive happiness. Yet we will never find our fulfillment without making the descent to reclaim our Dark Sister, feel compassion for her suffering, and be released to her profound empowering ways.
This myth instructs us in the deeper nature of the power and movement of our psyches, our feminine WILD instincts and conscious WILD masculine energy patterns. It is a return to the goddess as a mirror and renewal in a feminine source-ground and spirit.
Most of us are “daughters and sons of the father”, the restrictive controlling patriarchy, and have successfully actualized ourselves in our patriarchal oriented society often at the expense of our instincts… our deeper sourced wisdom held within our bodies. Our culture holds little value for these ways and thus in many cases we too have refused them or in most cases are not even aware of this deeper tao of our wild humanhood.
We were not taught these ways by our mothers, nor they by their mothers. We were not guided into them by our fathers. We have not known of these mysteries nor embodied their wisdom for thousands of years.
This is a magnificent journey into the wild terrain of your psyches, making a descent into our exquisite deep instinctual nature to learn its profound ways and be gifted by its transformative healing empowering nature. It is about reclaiming our embodied wisdom as human creaturas, living from a new ground of our wholeness.
The myth of Inanna and Ereshkigal represents the essential nature of the deeper feminine and conscious masculine which is now being resurrected on our planet. Without it, no true healing can take place. May She/He rise from the Underworld in each one of us through our ardent hearts and take Her/His true place in all of our psyches…in both women and men… and on our beloved planet Earth.
It is OUR time. Our revolution to put the deeper feminine and wild masculine back on their throne.
The painting that you see here I did over a two year period during the deepening of my perimenopausal experience. As you can see, the first figure is my body stripped bare and staked upside down. My psyche carried me into its darkness where I was initiated by its profound transformative energies over this period. I worked these energies in authentic movement, expressive painting and authentic writing. My gift from Her, my Dark Sister and my resurrected Lover Queen, are the radiating jewels of embodied wisdom you read here. In honor of Her sacred deep hearted ways, I now give them to you.