Friday, April 10, 2015

I is for Ishtar

Many of the stories you still see today are inspired directly and indirectly from various myths. For the 2015 A-Z Challenge, I'm going to share mythology from all over the world - myths that are familiar and obscure.

I had to do a post on Ishtar, only because I posted about the movie in my A-Z Challenge back in 2013. So now, I'd like to introduce you to the Babylonian god, Ishtar.

Ishtar is the goddess of war, love, fertility, Overall, she was considered a maternal goddess who

protected marriage and motherhood. That's the nice side of her. Like many gods, she had a dark side, and that's where the war and storms came to play.

One of her epic stories is about how she was cast into the underworld. It all started with an innocent visit to the underworld, since Ishtar's sister ruled that very-not-so-place. To get to the underworld, she had to pass seven gates. At each gate, Ishtar was stripped of her goddess powers. So by the time she arrived in the underworld, her sister was waiting for her and killed her.

Another god, Enki, found out about Ishtar's death, so he went off to rescue her. Ishtar was brought back to life, but Enki had to replace her body with another. Ishtar decided to sacrifice her husband to the underworld.

Doesn't it seem like many of these gods and goddesses are jerks?


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sucked to be her husband.

Sarah Foster said...

Yikes! Her sister kills her and then she sacrifices her husband. I guess family wasn't all that important, right??

Pat Hatt said...

Damn, that is one f-ed up family right there

Anne Marie Schlueter said...

Ywoza. Nice sister.

Cathrina Constantine said...

I agree with Alex! Nasty Goddesses....

Jay Noel said...

Yeah. Talking about putting the FUN in dysFUNction!

Pat Dilloway said...

So Ishtar was more than just a terrible movie.

Cherie Reich said...

I loved reading about Ishtar/Inanna in my Comparative Mythology class.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

The gods really were selfish, cruel and arrogant. Every one of them seems to betray the others.

Jo said...

Sounds like the pair of them were no good. Poor husband.

cleemckenzie said...

How similar all the stories are of underworld journeys and sibling cruelty. I think humans must have written them. You think? :-)

Patricia Lynne said...

Yikes. That sounds like it'd cause some family drama.

~Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
Member of C. Lee's Muffin Commando Squad
Story Dam
Patricia Lynne, Indie Author

jaybird said...

Dang, her sister was a real beotch. I think I would have stopped going after losing my first power, just saying...

Haneen I. Adam said...

Yup, jerks they are :|

farawayeyes said...

Jerks yes, but there are days when sacrificing a husband or two doesn't seem like such a bad idea.

Denise Dobkowski Hammond said...

I've always enjoyed the myths of various ancient peoples. I think they are no more crazy than some of the biblical stories.

Cindy said...

These stories always seem to involve someone getting killed.

betty said...

LOL, I loved your question. I do think you are right, they do seem a little like jerks! Interesting she was willing to give up her husband, no love lost there I guess.


Holly Jahangiri said...

Myths reflect something deeply dark and disturbing in the human psyche.

I've always figured atheists will be terribly surprised when they're the only ones in Heaven - being the only ones who don't project their worst impulses and behaviors onto a god or goddess. :)

My son read Job and was horrified. Why would anyone worship these a god that would so casually taunt and torment the faithful? I prefer to think they're all just stories. Then again, given what that says about my fellow man and the way his brain works, I'm not sure I can take comfort in THAT, either.

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