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Diva Carla

The painting of Lilith with the snake resonate strongly with me, as I have the snake totem. There is also a reference there to one of my personal relationships, an old friend who is terrified of snakes, and without a shamanic bone in his body, associates them with me.

I have been musing about Ishtar. I had a chance to read the Gilgamesh epic recently and was struck by how evil Ishtar is, and by how equally evil Gilgamesh is. He is not a hero at all. Clearly by the time the Babylonians were writing on clay tablets, the Goddess and the Divine were already perverted. Who were these people who could create Ishtar and Gilgamesh in that image?

When I google Ishtar, I don't fine much. Does anyone know who she was before the Babylonians and Gilgamesh got a hold of her?

Jamie Walters

Greetings, Carla.

I, too, really loved the John Collier painting of Lilith. As with many of these portraits and stories of the Feminine and Goddess, and as you mentioned with Ishtar in the Gilgamesh myth, I'm struck at how often the depictions of the Feminine are pretty horrible. Often, in digging deeper, I've been profoundly moved by the pre-Patriarchal tellings, and quite saddened at how they were maligned, demonized, made into 'cautionary tales', etc.

Then again, this gives cause for rejoicing at the many male and female theologians and scholars whose work helps to correct the record, such that it can be, and reconstruct based on historical and archaeological findings.

It occurred to me while reading last night that something that I often hear or read in response to 're-tellings' is that it's 'reconstructionist history', but the reality is that HISTORY is reconstructionist, in that it seems to have always been coopted and retold by 'the winners' of whatever invasion or battle.

Two excellent resources that I've found are:

* Merlin Stone's book, When God Was a Woman

* Demetra George's book, Mysteries of the Dark Moon

Both are well-researched and tell a more full story, which is to say that the Feminine has all of the richness that is inclusive of compassion, loving kindness, generosity, right along with serious fierceness, the protectiveness of a Lioness for her cubs, and even cruelty.

Merlin Stone's book really focuses on the transition between the matriarchal Goddess-centered cultures and the shift that occurred as invaders from the North, with a much more patriarchal world view that included an angry God that seems to have had his origin as a fire and lava spewing volcano.

According to Stone, there were also survival issues (probably from living in a hostile climate and perhaps having ancestral recollection of some catastrophy). From the Patriarchy's perspective, independent and liberated women who thought they were equal were a threat to the survival of the species. That explains a lot.

I've also heard that Riane Eisler's book, The Chalice and the Blade, is excellent.



Jamie Walters

P.S. If I remember correctly from recent reading, Ishtar evolved out of Inanna, the Sumerian "Lady of Heaven" that was revered (and her high priestess, Enheduanna, was a daughter of the King and rather powerful in her own right. She's also the first recorded author in history. :)


Mary Mac

What a beautiful site this is and beautiful women are finding their way here. Innana was my spiritual initiation guide. She took me to the most incredible places in the past 9 years. She is now a part of who I am and I am, well, me. Uniquely learning to express my Goddess/Self that pours through me. Mary Mac

Julie Daley

Lovely, Jamie,

Your words are always so full of wisdom and history and at the same time infused with heart and soul. I miss our times sipping tea and talking. Sending love, dear one.

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