The Courtship of Inanna and Dumuzi. The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature. (Texts: All Artifacts, Color Coding, & Writings in Bold. The third part of the Cycle of Inanna is the Courtship of Inanna and Dumuzi. .. harvest, Inanna was the storehouse of the dates as the Lady of the Date Clusters. Her husband was the shepherd-king Dumuzi (Akkadian Tammuz), who became a god Marriage of Innana and Dumuzi (Wikimedia Commons) The dating in spring may be due to confusion of the Adonis celebration with one to Aphrodite.
As for me, Inanna, Who will plow my vulva? Who will plow my high field? Who will plow my wet ground? Then, as the heat of summer dries up the pastures, and the milking of herds more difficult for the same reason, bitter laments are set up for the dying god, who will return in the next season of growth.
The Biblical “Song of Songs” and the Sumerian Love Songs
Dumuzi's death occurs "when the grain is cut at harvest and then brewed into beer which goes into storage underground: A cult ritual for Dumuzi as the Dying God "began with laments sung as a sacred cedar tree growing in the compound of the temple Eanna in Uruk. The rite seems to have closed with a triumphant procession that followed the god downstream.
The storyline centers about a frightening dream Dumuzi had, which is then interpreted by his sister and wine goddess Geshtinanna. Only then Dumuzi can return to the Heights Above and bring back a new cycle of growth. It is therefore clear that Dumuzi is one of the most complex figures in Sumerian myth and religion. He is both the male representative of humanity in connection, triumph and transcendence, the archetypal Lover and Beloved, the Divine Bridegroom of Inanna, and the Royal Shepherd, the mirror of wholeness of the gods on earth, the priest-king and ruler of the Lands Between the Two Rivers.
Firstly, by wooing and winning Inanna as the young Goddess of Love and War, Dumuzi becomes the archetype of the Divine Bridgroom, the knight of courtly love in Mesopotamia. I believe we can better understand the depth of the mystery of the Divine Bridegroom and His Consort if we turn to mythographer Joseph Campbell, who says in his masterwork The Hero with a Thousand Faces: She is the image of his destiny which he has to release from the prison of enveloping circumstances " pp.
This whole cycle is so clearly depicted in the Courtship of Inanna and Dumuzi, where 1 the young goddess challenges Dumuzi to prove to her that he is Her equal by comparing their family background and ties of kinship; 2 Dumuzi as the Shepherd representing the nomadic or semi-nomadic peoples who settled in Mesopotamia at a later date also has to prove himself worthier than the farmer the old economic order of the rural South Mesopotamiaand 3 only after the first night the couple spend together is that Inanna profers the fate of Dumuzi as the king of the land.
This is the inner meaning of the Sacred Marriage Rite: And only the best qualify for this honour, because indeed, only the best in all levels and spheres, he who knows himself is fit to become the consort of the goddess. The first verses are clearly about Inanna's or a girl's curiosity about the Wondrous Lover she still hasn't met. The linen or Bridal Sheets can also be seen as a metaphor for Inanna herself, who from a green shoot has grown into a lovely Maiden.
The initiator is Utu, the Sun god, and the exchanges between brother and sister show the teasing intimacy of very close sibblings and friends. I said elsewhere in this thread that if Utu is the Outer Sun that illuminates creation, Inanna as the goddess of Love is the Inner Sun that makes everyone and everything shine from within. Utu also represents both the peer group acceptance of Inanna's coming of age, as well as represents the wishes of the family.
It is a bit patriarchal for my taste too! Nevertheless, it is clear a certain complicity between Inanna and Utu based on emotional closeness and intimacy. Utu replies that she will lie with Dumuzi, the shepherd, of the offspring of a king. His garments are coarse, his wool is coarse. I will marry the farmer. The farmer, who grows plants for my storehouses, who grows grains for me". Before analysing these lines, it is important to point out that every single word in a myth is meaningful, and that myths are not idle fantasies but the product of the trained mind of the mystics of that tradition.
Why does Inanna reject Dumuzi the shepherd first thing?
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Utu tries to defend Dumuzi's case to no avail to Inanna. What is also clear to me that Inanna is not coerced into accepting Dumuzi, although Utu does try to convince her of the shepherd's suitability for her. Inanna, first of all, represents the Sumerian urban elite that comes from a rural background and that needs to integrate the herding shepherds who have succeeded in being assimilated by society and nobility.
I find of special interest that Inanna's rejection of Dumuzi is not based on emotional preferences but on material needs. What does this text say in terms of inner and outer growth expected for the harmonious mating of the young? In other words, Utu's defense of Dumuzi would never work with Inanna. Only when Dumuzi comes to her and enummerates his qualities in comparison to the farmer, and affirms his lineage is as holy as Inanna's, that the young goddess accepts him in full.
Indeed, the veiled request that underlined Inanna's chalenge was "prove yourself worthy of me". Only when he did so, she accepted him in all levels and spheres! There are outer material and inner emotional expectations to be met on both sides by any and every relationship, and the fencing groud of the first encounters may well lead to the 10, ways of asking and replying: Let me count the ways Open the house, My Lady, open the house!
She arranged her precious lapis beads around her neck She took her seal in her hand. I find particularly interesting the choice of words in the poem: Bathing is self-explanatory, but the following actions carry more meaning.
Anointing oneself is a sacred act, because oil contains the four sacred elements and can be seeing as the ritual blessing of the body. He assembles the people of Sumer. The story begins with Inanna as holy priestess abandoning her seven temples, gathering the seven Me, and donning her divine attributes consisting of a crown, hairstyle, necklace, robe, eye shadow, breastplate, and bracelet wand and setting out for the underworld to visit her sister Ereshkigal because her husband, Gugulanna, the Bull of Heaven has died.
Her faithful female servant Ninshubur is a prominent character. She must leave one her attributes at each one of the seven gates of the underworld that she must pass through before arriving to the underworld naked. She is judged by the Annuna and Ereshkigal, who, after fastening the eye of death and uttering the Lamarre 3 word of wrath and the cry of guilt against her, then strikes her. She is turned into a corpse and hung on the wall. After three days, seeing as Inanna had not returned, Ninshubur begins ritual lamentations.
She implores Enlil, Nanna, and Enki for help in finding her. Enki sends a Kurgarra, an androgynous creature to secure her release with the food of life and the water of life. The Kurgarra meets Ereshkigal in the throes of pain, which are compared to birth pangs. She offers a water gift and a grain gift. Ereshkigal informs Inanna that she cannot ascend from the underworld without finding someone to take her place and is therefore accompanied by galla demons to the upper world in order for them to seize a replacement.
Inanna refuses to let Ninshubur or her son, Lullu to serve as her replacement, and so chooses Dumuzi, who is shown sitting on his throne, at which point the story breaks off.
It begins with Dumuzi recounting a dream to his sister Geshtinanna who interprets the dream as signifying that the galla demons will pursue him. He hides among four places: In his flight he manages to escape twice by calling to Utu who transforms him into a snake and later, into a gazelle. Dumuzi is betrayed by a friend, who reveals his hiding places when the Galla demons offer the gifts of water and grain to him. In some versions, Dumuzi drowns or is killed by robbers instead Jacobsen I base my summary on the compilations of Wolkstein and Kramer and Jacobsen The wailing for fear that he may not come, The wailing is verily for the vines; The plot with vines may not give birth to it.
That wailing is verily for the barley; The furrow may not give birth to it. Jacobsen 68 A fly tells them where he is. It is resolved that Dumuzi is to go to the underworld for only half of the year, because his sister has offered to replace him for the other half.
Inanna - Wikipedia
When Tammuz rises, the lapis lazuli pipe and the carnelian ring will rise with him, the male and the female mourners will rise with him. May the dead rise and smell the incense!
Angus 45 Most of the mystery religions contained important elements of fertility and agricultural themes. For example, in the Eleusinian Mysteries, the greatest of the Greek mysteries, the related myth as recounted in the Homeric Hymn to Demeter involves Demeter, an earth goddess and her daughter Persephone, who are both related to grain cultivation.
When Persephone is captured and taken to the underworld by Hades, Demeter, in her grief causes the natural world to become sterile. For the Mystery Religion examples, I will use a more liberal mix of textual, ritual, historical evidence and speculation. Lamarre 5 There were the Lesser Mysteries, celebrated around springtime and the Greater Mysteries, which were celebrated in Autumn.
The rituals involved carrying chests from Eleusis to Athens, bathing in the sea, sacrificing a pig to Demeter and Persephone, a procession from Athens to Eleusis while carrying the chest, with singing and dancing, parts of it occurring at night by torchlight. The initiation ceremonies involved fasting, drinking an unidentified beverage, performing various rites with certain symbolic objects, and possibly a sacred marriage resulting in childbirth Meyer A type of mystical vision was experienced, the Epopteia.
According to the neoplatonist philosopher Sallustius, "Every initiation aims at uniting us with the World and with the Deity" qtd. According to Eliade, the Eleusinian initiation "descends directly from an agricultural ritual centered around the death and resurrection of a divinity controlling the fertility of the fields" Rites and Symbols of Initiation and states that The fact that such elements of archaic religious practice recur in the most central position in the Greek and the Greco-Oriental mysteries proves that not only their extraordinary vitality but also their importance for the religious life of humanity Historically, Daniels posits that the origin of the Eleusinian Mysteries date to around BC and may have been influenced by the cults of Tammuz and Osiris Keller posits a possible confluence of influences from Thrace, Egypt, and Crete A kind of spiritual birth or a symbolic of rebirth was an important aspect of the mysteries.
The notion of a symbolic death and obtaining happiness after death was also an important aspect. Similarly, the various forms of initiation in primitive societies, which mark the passage from puberty to adult society, the entrance into secret societies, and shamanism involve a symbolic enactment of birth and death.
Inanna - Dumuzi Mythos - A Comparative Study | Mark Lamarre - falgir.info
Therefore symbols involving gestation, childbirth as well as torture, death and funeral rites are prevalent Rites and Symbols of Initiation Returning to the womb, equated with the Great Lamarre 6 Mother, symbolised for example by burial in the earth or being swallowed by a creature is a common motif I shall attempt a comparison of the Dumuzi Mythos4 based on structural paradigms derived from common thematic elements found primarily in Mediterranean Mystery-based Cult myths and rituals as well as other Near Eastern fertility-themed myths.
I have chosen seven themes and will discuss them in comparison to similar elements in other myths and rituals from various sources. Moreover certain common ritual aspects of the Mystery Religions will be compared to aspects of the Dumuzi Mythos, such as vows of secrecy, confessions, baptism and lustral purifications, sacrifices, ascetic preparations, pilgrimages of a penitential nature, self-mortifications and mutilations, robing, crowning, and enthroning Angus For a more focused comparison, see Chart 1, were the seven themes were compared with four different myth cycles Isis and Osiris, Cybele and Attis, Demeter and Persephone, Mary and Christ.
Inanna, Queen of Heaven, is a major fertility goddess in the Sumerian pantheon, whereas Dumuzi is a semi-divine, possibly a divinised king. Here I notice a theme of a subservient role of a divine youth to a major goddess figure. In the Egyptian myth of Isis and Osiris, Osiris Lamarre 8 Lamarre 9 is not subservient to Isis, nor is he a youth; but Isis is responsible for restoring him to life, which many of the goddesses do. The divine youth figure appears later in the Egyptian myth with the figure of Horus.
Moreover, in the Dumuzi Mythos, the roles in relationships are very changeable. Inanna plays the role of sister, mother, wife and even antagonist to Dumuzi. Since the Council of Ephesus in A. Inanna has very strong links to kingship. Many Sacred Marriage texts outline rituals that involve Inanna or Ishtar and a king, and the king is sometimes identified with Dumuzi. She was known to give prophetic utterances to support kings.
Divine kingship in ancient societies is considered to be a religio-political concepts that views a ruler as an incarnation, manifestation, mediator, or agent of the sacred….
Britannica Concise Encyclopedia Osiris is a king. In other similar myths, the importance of kingship is not as pronounced, but the link to Royalty is still important. Attis is a shepherd and both he and Adonis are sons of kings Frazer Persephone becomes Queen of the underworld. In a more primitive Orphic version of her kidnapping, she descends to the underworld with a swineherd Kerenyi As a shepherd, Dumuzi is associated with milk Burkert Milk is a symbol of rebirth in the Attis mysteries Frazerand Orphism Lamarre 10 When Inanna rises from the underworld, she encounters Dumuzi seated on a throne.
Being seated on a throne was a prevalent initiation ritual called thronosis Angus It is an element with various other mysteries related to the notion of rebirth The Tammuz rituals make possible use of statue processions Mettinger Lapinkivi This element is present in the Osiris, Attis Frazerand other mysteries. Dumuzi is either carried to the underworld or is drowned and dies, in a way similar to the death of Osiris, but the accounts are very fragmentary.
There was a pig sacrifice in the mysteries of Eleusis. Furthermore, Dumuzi is gashed with an axe; Attis and Adonis bleed to death Frankfort. Kingship and the Gods