My patron deities- Inanna (Fire)

The Backstory

Inanna came to me at a very pivotal time in my life.  My partner of 7 years had just dumped me to go live with her new girlfriend the next state over, and my world was turned upside down.  We had experienced lesbian bed death about 3 years in, and my self esteem suffered due to it.  When I finally asked her for an open marriage, not to end our marriage, but save it, she agreed.  Then she met someone and dumped me.  I was devastated.  But I was also a little exhilarated.  Here, I finally got the chance to be happy.

So I dated.  A LOT.  I learned that I was again interested in men, even after being a lesbian for about 10 years.  I also spent some time exploring kink and BDSM, and found out that I was quite good at it.  I transitioned from thinking I was a submissive bottom to learning that I was a Dominant switch.  It was a lovely time of exploration, and there were quite a few boys and girls I took along for the ride.

I began a podcast called Fleshvine’s FemDom Experiments, and that led to a partnership with a friend I had previously been seeing.  We called our joint podcast Kinky and the Geek.  It was through that podcast that I met most of the friends I have now, and also my Bear.  That first tentative podcast I recorded, alone in my room, lonely and bored, completely changed my life for the better.  It’s weird how that one pivotal moment can change our lives forever.

During this time, I was fixing so many things that my ex had broken in me.  When I was with her, I felt unfuckable, and therefore unlovable, and that nobody would ever want to fuck or love me.  My subsequent dating and playing activities proved that that wasn’t true.  And it was then that I began to really feel alive again.  As my body woke up, as I began to experience a healthy sex life again, I felt the stirrings of something deeper.  I began to experience Inanna.

The Queen of the night, relief, 1800-1750 BC.

The Queen of the night, relief, 1800-1750 BC. (Photo credit: Bochum1805)

Journey to the Underworld

Perhaps the best known story of Inanna is her descent to the underworld.  Inanna was known as the Queen of Heavens and was also associated with Venus, or the evening star.  When she married a mortal king (and proto vegetation God), Dumuzi, she also established herself as an earth Goddess here on earth.  Not one to be easily satisfied, she decided to also visit her sister Ereshkigal, who is queen of the underworld.  Ereshkigal is immediately threatened and becomes very angry that Inanna would dare to visit her there in the underworld, so she devises a plan.  She sets a guard at each of the seven gates of the underworld.

As Inanna descends through the 7 gates, she is instructed to remove a piece of clothing or jewelry each time.  So to go to the underworld (which can be seen also as a woman’s journey within herself), she must remove some piece of her facade.  Eventually, she faces her sister alone and naked, kneeling on the ground.  Her sister is not appeased, and kills her, hanging her from a hook, where she hangs for 3 days and 3 nights.

Inanna had secretly spoken with her high priestess, Ninshubur, saying that if she didn’t return in 3 days to find help.  Ninshubur goes to the Gods for help when Inanna doesn’t return, and Enki finally helps by creating two beings from the dirt under the Gods’ fingernails.  They intercede on Inanna’s behalf, and Ereshkigal agrees to release her, as her presence is causing Ereshkigal some pain.

Inanna is revived and allowed to leave, but Ereshkigal’s demons follow her up through the gates back to the surface world.  There, they demand that someone else must take her place.  They try to take several of Inanna’s servants, but are refused because her servants mourned her while she was in the underworld.  However, Inanna’s husband Dumuzi didn’t seem to mourn her at all, so he is taken in her stead.

He is kept for 6 months out of the year, and that is the time that Inanna mourns, which is the cause of Winter.

Foundation tablet from the Temple of Inanna at...

Foundation tablet from the Temple of Inanna at Uruk, dating to the reign of Ur-Nammu. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Goddess of Love

Inanna was one of the original love Goddesses, and a lot of the mythos of Aphrodite, Venus, Ishtar, Astarte, and Isis stemmed from her tales.  She was worshipped primarily in her city of Uruk as early as 4000 BC.  Her temples were places where sacred prostitution occurred, and a lot of her clergy consisted of asexuals, hermaphrodites, and ‘feminine men’.  (I especially love ‘feminine men’.)  Her high priestess would also enact the Great Rite (ritualized sex meant to ensure fertility) as a part of her worship practices.

Her holy day was the Spring Equinox (a good day for fertility rites), and her symbols were lions, owls, and an eight-pointed star.

My most vivid vision of Inanna, however, occurred during meditation one night.  I saw her not as the wanton Goddess of love and sex, or the serious Goddess, stripped bare and descending to the underworld.  I saw her hovering over a field of grain, dancing, while blessings of fertility and rain fell from her skirts onto the field below.  People on the ground danced with her as they were showered with her grace.  To me, she is that golden grain Goddess of fertility, as that is the face that she showed me.

English: Wheat field

English: Wheat field (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Here is my Inanna Pinterest board, and my Inanna Spotify playlist.  Enjoy!  🙂

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My patron deities- Lakshmi (Earth)

Lakshmi came to me at the same time that her sister, Sarasvati, did.  She is the Hindu Goddess of wealth, luck, and family.  To me, she has always been the Queen of Pentacles, and all the groundedness and abundance that embodies.

She’s often portrayed seated or standing in a lotus, hovering over a river which flows as wealth flows, with coins dripping from one hand while the other hand is raised.  She is usually surrounded by elephants, (her son is Ganesha), though she is also associated with owls.

Goddess Lakshmi

Goddess Lakshmi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Of course, I can’t find the legend anywhere now, but I read at one point that the sisters Lakshmi and Sarasvati were bitter rivals for the attention of the god Vishnu.  Lakshmi won him in the end, and Sarasvati was married to Brahma.  The legend then went on to say that because of their rivalry, and continued jealousy of each other, they cannot be in the same place at the same time.

Sarasvati is the Goddess of knowledge, music, poetry, and she’s always represented creativity in general to me.  So, for that reason, we have the starving artist/scholar model.  You can have wealth with no creativity or deep knowledge, or you can be a creative person or a scholar, but wealth will always flee you.

That legend spoke to me, and still speaks to me, and so I try to honor both Goddesses.  It’s always been my dream to be able to make a living as an artist, writer, or other creative type, but I always end up settling for a boring, mundane job to pay the bills.  I’m a practical goat.  But the hope is still there.  Perhaps my work on Ravenson Reagents will help me to achieve that balance.

I’ve always had a strange relationship with money.  In my family, money either came with strings or judgment or control attached.  When I was a kid, and then later in college, I learned not to rely on anyone else for money as I worked 2 or 3 jobs to get myself through school.  Then, when I graduated, I felt like it was all worth it when I got my first serious job.  I made a lot of money.  5X what I make now.  But I was also miserable.  My creativity was dying, I was angry all the time, and the stress was overwhelming.   The things I had to do for that money, and the compromises to my personal ethics just ate away at me until I couldnt’ stand it anymore.

After a series of layoffs, I have taken less and less pay, but each time I do, I end up with more personal freedom and feeling more myself.  Right now, at age 39, I’m in a job that hurts me physically, but otherwise isn’t that terrible.  I have ‘regulars’ that I genuinely care about, and I also like the people I work with.  However, again, it’s crushing me physically and financially.  So this obviously isn’t the answer either.

In the back of my mind, I know that there’s a way to make a living that doesn’t require so much compromise on either side, but I feel like I just keep missing it.  Other people seem to get it.  They seem to understand how to survive while staying true to themselves in a way that I’ve never really figured out.

That’s why one of my most common spells/rituals is the ubiquitous abundance/prosperity spell.  I have so many green satin bags filled with stones, herbs, parchment, and oils stashed around this house that I shudder to think what someone would say if they excavated the ruins in a thousand years.  In fact, I often wonder how much money I’ve spend on prosperity spells.

As with other spellwork, your outcome depends heavily on your willingness to put the work in as and after you’ve sent the energy out into the universe.  And I do work.  I work and work and work, but it seems like there’s an essential tidbit that I’m missing.  Some important piece of knowledge that would make it all work out for me and for my family.

The important thing is that I keep trying.  And I keep honoring Lakshmi.

India, Princely States. Arcot (Arkat). Muhamma...

India, Princely States. Arcot (Arkat). Muhammad Ali. 1751-1795. ::AV Pagoda (11mm, 3.38 g, 3h). Arkat mint. :Three Swamis standing :Arabic ‘ain in granulated field :::KM 14; MWI -; Mitchiner, South India II, 988 (under Umdatu al-Umara, 1795-1801). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

She’s also the Goddess of spiritual wealth and of family wealth.  Those I have in abundance, and I’m incredibly grateful.

I enjoyed putting together a Lakshmi playlist on Spotify, but a lot of the hymns began sounding alike after a while.  So I also added in some abundance meditations.   I also have a Lakshmi Pinterest board where I’ve collected images that remind me of her.

Her holy festival is Diwali (aka Deepavali), which is celebrated in the New Moon between mid October and mid November.  It’s a festival of lights, reminiscent of Yule or Imbolc, where candles are prominent, and are displayed in windows during the long, dark night.

Diwali, Trafalgar Square

Diwali, Trafalgar Square (Photo credit: Paul Carvill)

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