I wanted to speak to you today about a subject that is of the highest importance to me. I haven’t spoken on sacred sexuality and union in a bit as I have had some healing and lessons to learn in this area. What I have found has profoundly changed me in ways that I am better able to feel the beauty of as opposed to explaining through words. Eventually through it will be ready to come forth.
What I would like to express is the most recent experiences that I have been blessed to have. The other day I held my first ever workshop on taking a journey into the underworld. Within the workshop I reviewed the underworld myths of Persephone and of course Inanna. The basis of the workshop though is centered on Inanna’s descent so I went over in detail every aspect of her story. As I got towards the end of that tale and the beginning of Demuzi’s transition from King to taking Inanna’s place in the underworld I decided that was a good point to stop as that gets to another form of self exploration. I mentioned that Inanna’s ascent and coming upon Demuzi who was not in mourning was symbolic of where the masculine and feminine are today. I was asked to expand upon that and think that it is worthwhile to speak on this today.
When Inanna returned from the underworld followed by the Galla, or the underworld demons, she was tasked with locating another to take her place. She came first upon her handmaiden Ninshubur who had faithfully followed Inanna’s instructions and brought about her return. The Galla proposed to take Ninshubur in Inanna’s place but Inanna said no not Ninshubur who stayed by her side and did as Inanna asked. The Galla agreed and they went on to Umma where they came upon Shara, Inanna’s son who had lamented at her death and disappearance. Upon Inanna’s return he threw himself at her feet and the Galla suggested that they take him in Inanna’s place. Again, seeing her son having paid tribute to her and mourned her loss, Inanna argued for him to be spared. The Galla agreed and they continued on to Badtibira where they came upon Lulal Iannas’ second son. Lulal’s clothes were torn and he was lamenting the loss of his mother Ianna. Ianna would not agree to this and the group moved on still searching for another to take Inanna’s place. Finally they traveled to Inanna’s city where her husband Demuzi sat seated on his throne in his me garments, or the symbols of his power and identity. Having found her husband seemingly acting without remorse or any change whatsoever upon her disappearance Ianna fixed the eye of death upon him. “Spoke against him the eye of wrath. Uttered against him the cry of guilt,” (Wolkstein and Kamer, 1983). This is where I had a significant change in perspective of the relationship between not only Inanna and Demuzi but the masculine and feminine.
As I was preparing for my workshop I read over Diane Wolkenstein’s interpretation of Inanna’s myths from her descent to Demuzi’s taking her place. It was here that I came across Wolensteins’ opinion that Demuzi was still in his role as King without having gone into mourning closing Inanna’s temple due to his position as king. It had not occurred to me that as the King, with the disappearance of Inanna, Demuzi could have fallen to his knees discarding all of his me garments in order to lament for his wife but what did he see as his duties as her husband? As the King?
So there are a multitude of ways to approach this including as her husband who loved her he could have done as her sons and handmaiden did lamenting her death and closing her temples/space. Demuzi may have acknowledged that it was only through his relationship with the Goddess that he was able to become King and without her Demuzi only held the title in name, not practice. Perhaps he could have come to search for Inanna, not ceasing his search until he found her even if it meant traveling to the underworld. Yet, what was Demuzi’s path? With Inanna, she was the one who came from the Gods. She heard the call of the underworld and integrated life with death. Demuzi, as the masculine took the role of duty. Of having to press on even when all that you hold dear and gives you power is no longer present. Did Demuzi feel abandoned by his Queen? Wondering why she would go on this journey of no return?
In light of the current state of the masculine and feminine, I have to look at the possibility that Woklenstein proposed that Demuzi was simply trying to maintain order and keep the world functioning. His response was that of the masculine out of balance missing the feminine and disconnecting from the emotional recognition of one’s life experiences. Inanna’s sons on the other hand represent an alternative response to loss and change. Similar to the way in which the creatures created by Enki to retrieve Inanna commiserated with Erishkigal’s pain and suffering, Shara and Lulal tore their clothes and lamented Inanna’s passing in essence taking the journey into the underworld with her. Thus as the Inanna’s masculine partner, it would only make sense for Demuzi to experience that which she has in order to be her equal explaining why he inherently would take Inanna’s place.
When I look at the behavior of the masculine today, I see folks who are acting from a space of duty and supposed responsibility. Many, regardless of gender identity experience that they have been abandoned by the feminine. That portion of themselves and society which provides a space to feel deeply, express their creativity, receive from others and give freely feels compromised or as if it doesn’t exist at all. In response to this we are hyper-masculine. Sitting upon our thrones as if nothing has happened. Falling back on our identities which give us a resemblance of form and meaning. As such we are being called ourselves to visit the underworld and experience the rebirth of ourselves as whole beings. The throne, whether it be your family, job, home, friends, or purpose being snatched from us forcing us to go within and feel. To experience the all of the feminine. Demuzi witnessed the power of the feminine in it’s Queen of Heaven and Earth form but now he must see her as Ruler of the Underworld. We too must do the same in order to realize that we were never left behind to carry on the best we could. We were given the gift of being whole. Of having a partnership within ourselves and between each other that is not only light but shadow. Whole.
This will begin to happen more rapidly especially as more folks are going within and traveling through the underworld. When they return they will call those around them who have not integrated to take their place and become whole. Let us support each other as this occurs for it will be the main theme of 2017. As a 1 year housed in the masculine we will see many trading places with those who were in the underworld going through their own death. Shall we all rise as whole integrated being beyond the confines of identity as provided by our world at this time.
Here’s to you loves as you rise.
Woklenstein, D. & Kramer, S. N. 1983. Inanna Queen of Heaven and Earth: Her Stories and
Hymns from Sumer.