Spring is the time of year that always puts me in mind of the many dead and resurrected deities who were featured in various seasonal myths around the world. This is a look at Inanna, but if you want more dead and resurrected gods and goddesses click HERE
Pantheon: Sumerian (The Babylonians called her Ishtar)
The Tale: Inanna the fertility goddess and queen of the heavens was looking to extend her reign to the land of the dead. She descended into the Netherworld, which was ruled over by her sister, the goddess Ereshkigal. Fighting on the death goddess’ own turf was foolish and Ereshkigal won the controntation and either nailed Inanna to a wall of her palace or impaled her on a stake, Vlad the Impaler style.
With Inanna thus imprisoned, vegetation died from the withering heat of summer, which could get even worse in that part of the world, where droughts could be so intense that the Tigris and Euphrates rivers were the only bodies of water that would NOT get dried up. The usual drought cycle continued, with vegetation dying, then animals who lived off it dying, etc. In the case of Inanna her dominion over sexual fertility also added the angle that males and females of all species lost all interest in sex and reproduction as well. Continue reading