An Interpretation of the Ancient Ishtar Myth

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An interpretation of the ancient Ishtar Myth, the entwined serpent, a mixture of two tales fused into one. The Anunnaki became a group of deities through priestly interpretation, originally they were “spirit”. Good or bad…well that depends on perspective; The Babylonian tale Ishtar’s descent into Hades depicts Ishtar, as the goddess of fertility, seeking for her husband, the sun-god in the underworld. During her journey to the netherworld all fertility ceases on the earth, to be resumed only when she returns as the joyful bride of the springtime sun. The surrender of her clothing and jewels at the seven gates of Aralu represents the gradual decay of vegetation on the earth, and the resumption of her garments the growing beauty and verdure which mark her return. Another hypothesis identifies Ishtar with Dawkina, goddess of the earth, wife of Ea/Enki and therefore mother as well as consort of Tammuz. According to this view Ishtar represents not the fertility of the earth, but the earth itself, deprived of its adornments of flowers and leafage by the approach of winter, or variously, by the burning heat of summer. The waters of life, with which she sprinkles and restores her husband, are the revivifying rains which give to the sun-god his youthful vigor and glory. Against this view it has been urged (e.g. by Sir James Frazer) that “there is nothing in the sun’s annual course within the temperate and tropical zones to suggest that he is not alive for half or a third of the year, and alive for the other half or two-thirds.” Alternatively it is suggested that Tammuz is a god of vegetation, and that Ishtar doubles the role. The slaying of Tammuz and the journey of Ishtar would thus represent two distinct myths, each typifying the decay and subsequent revival of vegetation. Other instances may be recalled in which two myths of the same class have become fused into one. The group of deities known as the Anunnaki are the most mysterious gods I have came across…”Who are the Anunnaki”, we have much to learn….