Friday, April 27, 2012


Inanna was the paramount Sumerian goddess, queen of Heaven and Earth, goddess of love, fertility and war and played a significant role within the lives of those who lived in Sumer.  What she is perhaps most known for in modern spiritual practices in her link with the notion of descending into oneself.

Inanna’s Descent:
Throughout the literature of Sumer there are works that describe the descent of Inanna into the underworld.  It is said that Inanna quested into the underworld – the realm of her sister Ereshkigal – in order to challenge herself – although the myth talks of her coming to offer funerary rites for Ereshkigal’s husband.  That she had already descended from Heaven to Earth in a desire for knowledge and that to complete this journey she felt she must take the further step by descending into the darkness of death and the underworld is hinted at in her mythology.

At the gates of the underworld Inanna is challenged by Neti and is told that in order to enter she must give up all her earthly trappings.  She must pass through seven stations in order to reach her sister –the number of the natural world – 7 plays an important role within many different spiritual traditions.  By the end of her journey Inanna is stripped bare, she is exposed as her true self, vulnerable but she must accept this vulnerability.  Through her journey she discovers the need for sacrifice and the cycles of life that must be fulfilled.

Other aspects of this myth also hold interest.  Her reliance on her faithful servant Ninshubur to seek assistance should she not return within three days can be seen as Inanna leaving a part of herself behind on the earthly plain as she descends within the Underworld.  This is similar to people having someone act as a tether during deep journey work.

Ereshkigal is also an interesting aspect that reflects the importance of the Inanna descent myth.  She is Inanna’s sister and as such is linked with her, she is a part of her, the primal power that exists deep within, that sleeps at the root of our core.  Her reaction to the threat of Inanna’s presence is very primal, it shows the defensive rage that our inner primal being can greet any intrusion upon our power core.  In the end Ereshkigal is grateful for Inanna’s journey to her realm but it takes a process of working through, to get to that point. 

What does Inanna teach us?
 Myth is an amazing teacher – that is its purpose.  Inanna and her descent are great lessons on the importance of letting go of one’s ‘self’ in order to find true enlightenment.  It teaches us of the cycles of life much like the myth of Demeter, Persephone and Hades.  It demonstrates the different levels of our consciousness that can be attained through methods of descent.

Inanna: Journey to the Dark Center -
Library of Alexandria (Interpretation of Inanna’s Descent Myth) -
Inanna’s descent to the nether world: translation -

Holy Days and Holidays

With Beltane fast approaching I was thinking once again about how nice it would be if I could take off my Holy Days without having to forfeit my vacation time.  You see I have this crazy theory that I wish we could institute within businesses regarding the holidays that we are given each year – what if we could choose them!

(Okay, first a clarification here – I’m talking American holidays here.  I make this classification because back home is Australia a holiday is the time you take off to go away, or between school terms etc whereas in the USA that is called vacation time.  By holidays I am referring to what we would call Bank Holidays or those government approved days off that occur randomly throughout the year.)

Now I know it varies from workplace to workplace around here in the USA but I’m going to speak in general terms and from my own experience in this situation.  So where I work I have 8 holidays a year.  These holidays are dictated by my employer from a pool of government approved holidays (New Years Day, MLK Jr Day, President’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day) and as a pagan and a non-American they each pretty much mean absolutely nothing to me other than a day I don’t have to go into work.  In fact I challenge anyone to find me a handful of people who actually find significance in each and every one of these holidays.  How much nicer would it be if we actually took Holy Days instead.  Days that held some meaning for us, that were given over to a celebration of whatever we held dear instead of just having time off.  Now I’m sure an economist could probably come up with some grand argument about why my theory wouldn’t work but I’m not an economist so *shrugs*

We have so many varied and different faiths in this world, we each hold sacred different beliefs and events.  Why can we not have equal ability to honor these things.  I am by no means suggesting that we each be allowed to take whatever days we hold Holy and call them a holiday – after all a pagan could find something for just about every day of the year (just take a look at how much of the ancient Roman calendar was given over to celebrations of one kind or another) but that if a company declares you can have 8 holidays are year you should be able to pick what those days would be.  So instead of the list above I could choose to take off my 8 sabbats throughout the year.

I would be able to take time out to honor and celebrate my personal beliefs and traditions without having to give up a large percentage of my vacation time.  I often wish I could devote an entire day to honoring each sabbat and preparing feasts etc.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Daily Draw

From the Book:
"There is a possibility of strong and compulsive nostalgia, regrets, thinking over and over an old issue, believing life has robbed or cheated you somehow, and forgetting to glory in the incredible blessing of breathing in and out.  There may be a fixation on past lives and childhood hurts, an obsession with finding what went wrong to explain your pain."

Personal Message:
I do fixate on the past, I'm a dweller - I relive and reanalyze things from my past over and over again.  Lately I've been trying to stop myself with the mantra "I'm not my past, I don't live there anymore."  But in some ways I think looking into the past is a good thing, one cannot heal unless one can understand why the pain exists.  I guess the message here is balance though.  Don't allow yourself to live in the world of the past - visit, take note, and then come back to the present and heal yourself and move on with your life.

Thankful Thursday

May mantra for today - I'm thankful I have a job.  Because I tell you if it wasn't for the fact that it paid the bills, and lets face it in this economy that is number one, I'd be out of the soul sucking job with psycho bosses.

Other than that, I'm thankful for:

  • My cat Mischief - who manages to make me laugh when I need it most.
  • Creative friends who inspire me to tap into my own creativity.
  • The sound of rain on the roof as I sleep.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Tarot Tuesday (A day late)

The Major Arcana

Today’s focus will be the major arcana – one of two parts (the other being the minor arcana) that make up the tarot deck.

There are 22 cards within the major arcana and, as mentioned in my previous post, these cards are symbols of the collective knowledge of human experience.  They are archetypes.  For those unclear on what that is - according to Jungian psychology an archetype is a thought or image that exists in all individual psyches based on the collective unconscious ideas that we have inherited, such as The Warrior, the Hero, the damsel in distress etc.


Back to the cards.  Each card is given a name and a number.  Now these names sometimes change depending on whose deck you’re working with, but more often than not they stick with the same ones.  In a reading you will give the major arcana more weight than you would the other cards, they are the soul lessons you need to work on or pay attention to.

The idea that the cards of the major arcana form a unit is not a new one, one of the more popular views is that the cards show the journey of inner growth with each card a representation of the various phases and experiences one must go through to attain wholeness.

Cards of the Major Arcana:
0 – The Fool (Innocence, new path, leap of faith)
1 – The Magician (Self control, taking charge, teaching skills)
2 – The High Priestess (Intuition, spirituality, letting go)
3 – The Empress (Abundance, fertility, home)
4 – The Emperor (Father figure, stability, discipline, leadership)
5 – The Hierophant (High education, religion, higher self, advice)
6 – The Lovers (love, compatibility, emotional success, choices)
7 – The Chariot (Control, balance, Triumph)
8 – Strength (Inner strength, courage, self discipline)
9 – The Hermit (Cautious, time out, letting go, learning from the past)
10 – Wheel of Fortune (Luck changing, turn for the better, gambling)
11 – Justice (Legal system, truth, control, injustice)
12 – The Hanged Man (Self sacrifice, holding back, seeing things from a different perspective)
13 – Death (a new start, changes, transformation)
14 – Temperance (moderation, spiritual growth, words of wisdom)
15 – The Devil (Slave to something, abuse, jealousy, greed)
16 – The Tower (wake up call, taking a fall, ruin and renewal)
17 – The Star (Goals, guidance, daydreaming)
18 – The Moon (Intuition, something hidden, something to overcome)
19 – The Sun (Happiness, positive, success)
20 – Judgment (Decisions, results of choices, problems to overcome)
21 – The World (Successful completion, karma, travel, growth of the soul)


Daily Draw

From the Book:
"No matter what this surprise may be , you will be guided through it, and it will be, in the end, a great blessing."

Personal Interpretation:
The unexpected is coming, something outside the normal realm of things in your world.  This change will be a right of passage, a way to grow and in the end the outcome will see you stronger.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Daily Draw: Tuesday April 24th

From the book:
"This is a time for you to go within, into some kind of wilderness and wild place, whether this place is within you, or one that exists in the world.  You will become the huntress for a time - and this is an empowering, enwildening thing."

Personal Interpretation:
Embrace your own abilities, be self reliant and empowered and take that journey into the wilderness.  It may be scary, it may be hard, but in the end you will discover yourself and your true strength and with that discovery the world will open before you.

Daily Draw - Monday April 23rd

Never got a chance to post this one yesterday so here it is today instead.

From the Book:
"You have changed, and are at a very new stage, with very little experience...aware young ones to keep safe your borders while you find your feet, shake off the shock of birth and set your new direction.  You will not turn back.  You cannot go back to the womb.  You cannot go back to sleep.  You cannot be as you were..."

Personal Interpretation:
You have struggled through birth as the butterfly struggles from the cocoon and now you are finding your wings.  Nothing will be the same but you have proven your strength, go forward and be.