"Inanna opened her ear to the Great Below".
Many years have now passed and Inanna now has mother two grown-up children. But she has perceived something ... it is time. Therefore, by her own decision, she sets off into the underworld, into the realm of shadows and death.
The Seven Gates of the Underworld
To get to the goddess of the underworld, she has to pass through seven gates. The gatekeeper has been instructed to raise the gates just a little so that Inanna has to bend down. And at each gate he takes away one of her divine and regalia, her crown, her necklace, her golden breastplate, her royal mantle ...
The ruler of the underworld and the eye of death
After passing through the seven gates, Inanna stands naked and deeply bowed before EreshKiGal, the ruler of the underworld. She is accused and the eye of death kills her. Then her body is hung on a hook on the wall.
Salvation through EnKi, the Father and God of Wisdom
Ninshubur seeks help
But Inanna would not be a goddess if she had not taken precautions. She has instructed her companion Ninshubur to fetch help in case she does not return on the third day. So Ninshubur sets off. However, the gods Nanna (the moon god) and EnLil (the god of air) reject her and say: "No one returns from the underworld!
Enki, the Father and God of Wisdom
But Enki, the father, is seized by great grief for Inanna. He knows the ruler of the underworld, the great mother, and knows that she is in labour like a woman in childbirth.
So he digs out some dirt from under his fingernails and creates two tiny beings from it, small enough to slip through the gates of the underworld. They reach EreshKiGal and - following Enki's instructions - join in her lamentations. This is how they win her favour and any wish. They now ask for Inanna's body and sprinkle it with bread and water of life.
Inanna stands up again.
Angry Inanna: the demons of the underworld
Inanna only wants to leave the underworld, but the judges of the underworld demand that she provide a replacement for herself because she has broken the law of impossible return. To find one, the Galla, the demons of the underworld, attach themselves to Inanna's side.
The faithful spared
Back on earth, Inanna and the Galla meet Ninshubur (who had rescued Inanna's skyboat) and fetched help. Still worried and grieving for Inanna, she has wrapped herself in sackcloth and ashes and throws herself at her feet as she looks on. The Galla want to pounce on her, but Inanna fights back: "No! She saved me!". The same goes for the two children Lulal and Shara. Inanna stands up for them too.
The faithless husband of the gods on the throne
"We will go with you to the big tree", say the Galla. There under the tree sits Dumuzi, the shepherd on the throne, princely dressed in the splendid robes of the ME. He does not rise at Inanna's appearance, whereupon Inanna turns the eye of death on him. Now the Galla fall upon him and thrash him.