Dreams of Dumuzi have been pushing me into the new year. The sorts of dreams that are full, buzzing with strange images and scenes that are difficult to remember, in part because they all seem to be the foreword wave ahead of something bigger. The dreams are all over the place, but behind them is a name and heavy presence: Dumuzi.
I am pretty sure that I have said this before, but it bears repeating. Anytime you are looking at one account of a myth, you have to assume that there are other accounts that tell the myth in a different fashion, some so different that they would likely offend the sensibilities that made one myth appealing to you. The entanglement of all those accounts defines the myth-mystery, so that a myth is inevitably polymorphous.
I want to make a note of one excerpt from Inanna’s Descent that Dina Katz retranslates. At this point, Inanna has been stripped and stands before Ereshkigal:
“She (Inanna) raised her sister from her throne
And took a seat in her (Ereshkigal’s) throne.
The Anunna, the seven judges, rendered a decision against her.
They looked at her (Inanna), the look of death.
They spoke against her, a speech of wrath.
They shout at her, a shout of guilt.
The ailing woman (Inanna) turned into a corpse.
The corpse was hung on a nail.”
—The Image of the Netherworld in Sumerian Sources (261)
Katz admits that it is ambiguous as to whether Inanna forces Ereshkigal from her seat, but that the grammar of the original text makes it a possible interpretation, and gives to us a sense of why Inanna is punished. Up to this point in her descent, Inanna has followed the rules of the netherworld, but here she violates them and is punished by the highest gods for it.
Just a couple quotes. These relate to two earlier posts, one on the Sumerian diasporas and their legacy in occult thought and another discussing the way in which this material has helped illumine my own spiritual experience.
These are both from Dina Katz’s The Image of the Netherworld in Sumerian Sources. I have made some changes to her transliteration of names to avoid using special characters.