Goddess of the Week: Inanna

Some people like dark.  Me?  Not so much.  I'm your basic lets-add-a-laugh-track and live happily ever after sort of gal.  But if you are brave enough to explore the dark side, if you can steady your nerves enough to read thrillers or let your mind wander down dangerous paths, then the goddess for you is Inanna.

Inanna is an ancient, ancient Sumerian goddess.  Basically, most of your old world gods and goddesses somehow evolved out of Inanna, who was one tough cookie.  She tricked her father, who was the god of wisdom, into giving her "the hundred objects of culture," which made her the supreme Sumerian deity.  Sibling rivalry being as ancient as goddesses, this did not endear Inanna to her sister, Ereskigal who just couldn't stand it that Inanna, who always got everything and who had awesome hair and great skin and a totally gorgeous boyfriend named Damuzi, now got to keep the totally cool hundred objects of culture too. 

So, one day, Ereskigal, who was queen of the underworld,  invited Inanna for a visit.  "Sure," said Inanna.  "I'll be right down."  

"Great.  By the way," added Ereskigal, "Security is pretty tight down here.  You know, all those dead guys trying to get out..."

"Really?" said Inanna.

"Yes," answered her sister.  "But you know the rules.  No givebacks.  Once a dead soul arrives, a deal soul has to stay."

Well, Ereskigal wasn't kidding.  The TSA had nothing on the guardians of hell, who stripped Inanna of all her clothing and protective talismans.  By the time Inanna reached her sister's pad she was buck naked and defenseless, which was just what Ereskigal wanted.  Ereskigal killed Inanna and hung her dead body on a hook, because, really, what else are you going to do with your dead sister's body?

Meanwhile, Damuzi was all "Where's Inanna?  Anybody seen Inanna?  No?  Well, I guess that means I get to be king of heaven." And he plopped right down on her throne.  

Luckily, Inanna had some real friends.  Her faithful toady found her in hell, brought her back to life and helped her get back through security, picking up each of her personal belongings along the way.

But rules are rules, and the guardians of hell took their accounting very seriously.  Inanna died in hell.  If she left, there would be one soul less.  A deal was made.  She could return to the world of the living, but she would have to chose another soul to take her place.  

Hmmmm....Who to choose?  Well, how about the dirtbag husband who didn't even go looking for you when you went missing and then usurped your throne?  The pig.  So down goes Damuzi, up comes Inanna.  And what do you know?  There is a happy ending after all.

Channel this goddess: When you are flirting with danger, when you are feeling a little Maltese Falcon, when the shadows are a little too dark and you can't see straight.  You know how to call her don't you: You just whistle.  You just put your lips together and blow.

Desiree: This one's for you.


Desiree said...

Mar-ga-ret: You nailed it. Jeeze!
How can one post be dark, funny, and dazzling all at once?
I could feel the energy rushing through my fingertips as I started reading it. I will be channeling this goddess, believe me, all throughout the rest of my revisions.
And I'm not just whistling Dixie---

Lynne said...

Gods and Goddesses can die???

Also, I've read your short stories and they're pretty dark so I think you do have a dark side.

I loved this piece. It's kind of like the bible writers took this story and re-wrote it. Just like tv shows are always ripping off some other older tv show.

Anonymous said...

Lucky you Deseiree
a goddess with clear skin and no animal parts!

Margaret: I enjoy how you take contemporary speech patterns and blend them into the mix. Is that how it would be described in literary circles? or something with post (or revisionism) in it?
I think I prefer Ereskigal. Being a younger sister with a exceedingly successful older sister I understand that occasional desire to hang your siblings hide on a hook.

Margaret said...

Dez: I never had any doubt who you needed. Channel away.

Lynne: Did I mention she was dead for three days before she rose again?

PA: Thanks. I don't know what you call the mixing of the old with the new in this way. It just works for me. I certainly understand Ereskigal's pain (I am the youngest of three), but I like Inanna. She's all attitude.

Jean Spitzer said...

I love your telling of this story. Fabulous, jaw-dropping and very funny, in a "take that" kind of way.

altadenahiker said...

Buggah! I thought this was mine. (I agree with the others; you have created a rip-roaring series.)

Linda Dove said...

Ooooh! She's a favorite of mine. I have a poem in the book that is in fragments, written by one of her priestesses, and then riffed on by yours truly: "Lettuce is My Hair." Great (original) title, too.

Nice job on this, as always. I love your goddess chamber.

Shell Sherree said...

Another marvellous one, Margaret!

I'm sure Ereskigal and Damuzi were very happy together, damn it. I hope Inanna's faithful toady was actually a frog who turned into a prince for her when she laid one on him in gratitude.

OnlyEd said...

Thank you for a great telling of Inanna's story. I loved it!

Margaret said...

Linda: When does the book come out? It's pretty soon, right? How can I get a copy?

OnlyEd: Thanks for the visit. I hope you'll drop by again.

Unseen Rajasthan said...

This is also a nice trail story !! I enjoyed this one..Great...Also I Have Started My Own Website And Would Like You To Have A Look At It.I Would Love To Have Your Comments On That Also.Unseen Rajasthan

altadenahiker said...

You're right, you're right. Although I didn't get the pagentry the others got.

But I won't complain so long as the sun stays out.

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