Monday, July 27, 2009

Fragments of memory

Amongst other adventures, we visited the Absinthe Depot - some of us sampled, others shopped.

We also went to the Pergamon Museum, and among other things saw the extraordinary Ishtar Gate from Babylon (or at least the front half of it, the rest remains hidden in storage) which the people of Iraq want back, apparently.

Ishtar = Venus = Aphrodite = Isis = Astarte (where the 'equals sign' means 'isomorphic with').

She famously descended into the Underworld, but found herself forced to shed veils or layers of clothing as she went, which made her real mad! Read yer myths.

I loved the dragon chimera they call Sirrush (or mushhushshu)


tons said...

hey bogus,
thanks for posting these! MLA5 went by so fast and yet I'm still in that peculiar discovery mood ...

I keep forgetting how nice it can be here (in the summer) but then friends come over and I start enjoying the city vibe again. magic(k) ;-)

borsky said...

Right now I'm into Joseph Campbell's Hero with an Thousand Faces. This is what he writes concerning Ishtar in her previous,Sumerian avatar Inanna:
"She adorned herself with her queenly robes and jewels. she was ready to enter the 'land of no return',the netherworld of death and darkness,governed by her enemy and sister goddess, Ereshkigal. (...) Inanna descended. She approached the temple made of lapis lazuli, and at the gate was met by the chief gatekeeper (...) Neti the gatekeeper bid her to stay until he should report to Ereshkigal. Neti was instructed to open to the queen of heaven the seven gates, but to abide by the custom and remove at each portal a part of her clothing."
"Upon her entering the seventh gate, All the garments of ladyship of her body were removed."
"Naked, she was brought before the throne. She bowed low. The sven judges of the underworld, the Anunnaki, sat before the throne of Ereshkigal, and they fastened their eyes upon Inanna - the eyes of death."
(ch 2, Initiation - pt. 1, the road of trials)
As mentioned later on in this mindblasting book, the descent of the hero or heroine is all about the consciousness getting rid of all superfluous garments (the senses, the body, the perception of the self) to abandon all duality and rejoin the cosmic consciousness; hence mythology at first seems tragic but in essence should be read as untragic since the pure essence remains.
"She was turned into a corpse, and her corpse was hung upon a stake. (...)The god Enki devised a plan. He fashioned two sexless creatures and entrusted to them the 'food of life' and 'water of life' with instructions to proceed to the netherworld and sprinkle this food and water sixty times on Inanna's suspended corpse."
(ch 3, Return - pt. 3, Rescue from without)


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