Deity of the Day
Also known as ALLATU, ERESHKEGAL, ERISHKEGAL, ERISHKIGAL
Underworld Goddess of Death, Darkness and Dust.
The consort of NERGAL, and ISHTAR’s sister, she is a brooding moody figure who is prone to fits of fury and spasms of tearful temper. Particularly when she doesn’t get her own way. If you see her lips turn black, you know things can only get worse.
ERESHKIGAL is known as ‘Lady of the Great Place’. Which in this instance means Deadville. ‘Queen of the Great Below’ doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.
In fact the locals referred to her domain as ‘The Land of Gloom’ — and were not impressed by a menu offering a choice between mud and dust. Dead boring really.
ERESHKIGAL’s Underworld realm is guarded by Seven Judges and Gatekeepers, who seem very zealous about keeping people out. Which, we feel, is hardly necessary.
Lady of Heaven
January 27 is sacred to Ishtar, the Babylonian Goddess of feminine sexuality, fertility and ferocity, who as equated with the Sumerian Inanna, and whose lover was Dumuzi. So beautiful was Ishtar that she was addressed as “Shining One” and equated with the planet Venus (one of her symbols was the eight-pointed star); so wanton was she that she was termed “Great Harlot”; and so blood-thirsty was she that she was called “Queen of Attack,” depicted astride a lion. Wiccans invoke Ishtar when a libido needs livening up; when her powers over fertility are desired; or when there re enemies to be vanquished.
Commune with Ishtar today in the same way that her devotees did in Mesopotamian times, namely by baking cakes in her honor. After you have taken a batch of cupcakes, perhaps, out of the oven and left them to cool, you could decorate them by frosting them with Ishtar’s symbols: eight-pointed stars and crescent moons.
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