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On the trail of eternity

Holy Wedding of Inanna - Unity and Fullness (10)

Holy wedding of Inanna with the shepherd

By on 21 May 2023

Holy wedding of Inanna with the shepherd

Holy wedding of Inanna with Dumuzi, after a Mesopotamian clay plate (see below). 

Holy wedding of Inanna with the shepherd Dumuzi

Holy wedding of the goddess of love with her hero king

Inanna now celebrates a holy wedding with the shepherd Dumuzi-Gilgamesh. He was her lover and is her chosen hero-king. The wedding is sacred because the union of the couple unites male and female, giving wholeness and the possibility of new life and reality. 

[S. Male and female and the creation of new reality and God, wholeness, 3-in-1, male and female].

As a ritual for blessing, fertility and abundance of the land, in many cultures the sacred marriage of the goddess with her hero king was revived annually. For this purpose, the reigning king had to unite with the high priestess of the goddess in a sexual act. A custom that, for example, was also part of the Celtic legend of Arthur.

Inanna and Dumuzi's wedding song

4000 years old erotic texts [2]

The present text for the Holy Wedding of Inanna is well over 4000 years old. It is a song that sings of innocent eroticism and - unencumbered by shame or morality - radiates fresh naturalness, joy and vitality.   

Holy wedding of Inanna in the original text *

Inanna's vulva, the boat of heaven

My vulva, the horn,
The boat of the sky,
It is filled with desire like the young moon.
My uncultivated land lies fallow.

As for me, Inanna,
Who will plow my vulva?
(And) Who will plow my ripe field?
Who will plow my wet ground?

Dumuzi, the king

Great princess, the king will plow your vulva.
I, Dumuzi, the king, will plow your vulva.

O Lady, your breast is your field.

Water flows down from above for your servant.
Pour it out for me, Inanna.
I will drink all that you give me.

Inanna spoke:

Make your milk sweet and thick, my bridegroom.
My shepherd, I will drink your fresh milk.
Wild bull, Dumuzi, make your milk sweet and thick.

Let the goat's milk flow into the sheep's hurdle.

Dumuzi replied:

I want to go with you to my east garden.
I want to go with you to my apple tree.
There I want to plant the sweet, honey-covered seed.

Sweet memory Inanna's:

He took me to his garden.
I knelt down under an apple tree, as I should.
before my noble Lord Dumuzi,
who grew towards me from the poplar leaves,
who came to me in the midday heat.

My high priest is ready for the holy loins.
The plants and herbs in his field are ripe.
O Dumuzi! Your abundance is my delight!

My beloved, the delight of my eyes,
Was with me.
We delighted in each other.
He took me to his house.
He laid me on the fragrant honey bed.

My sweet lover, who is close to my heart.
Playing with tongues, one by one,
My beautiful Dumuzi did this fifty times.

(He is) My flower bearer in the orchard.
My fruit bearer in the apple orchard,
Dumuzi-ABZU, your charms were SWEET.

Lovers in bed, union of king and high priestess, Mesopotamian clay slab c. 1800 BC. [1]

Podcast: Text reading and conversation with Nadine Kulis

The miracle working vulva of the goddess Inanna

Symbols and Archetypes in Inanna's Holy Wedding

God - unity and wholeness, male and female

Inanna: symbols for the feminine side, living matter giving birth to reality

The young goddess in the first aspect of feminine wholeness:

  • Horn, boat of the sky, the young moon (moon as feminine symbol, waxing moon for the young woman / virgin, 1st aspect of the Great Mother).
  • Land, mature field, moist soil (body woman: EARTH, s. The four elements).
  • WATER for the anointing (vaginal fluid) and soul of the woman (s. Water, female).
  • Sheep hurdle: Womb of the woman (s. Womb of the woman as (paradisiacal) garden (or enclosure) or Vessel).

[S. Feminine wholeness 3-in-1: potential, reality and destiny..]

Dumuzi: symbols for the masculine side, fiery spiritual power

The son as the first aspect of male wholeness:

  • Dumuzi: from Sumerian Akkadian DUM-ZI = Son of Life (of the Father, 1st aspect, power, phallus, cf. Christ / Messiah, the anointed one).
  • ABZU: the Shepherd and good son of the Father (AbZu for the Great Below, the realm of the body and matter, and the life force in matter: Animus)
  • King: He is chosen to rule the kingdom (the feminine, the land) lovingly and justly (cf. Kingship in life).
  • High priest in the sanctuary of the Goddess of Love, in her heart (s. The woman 3-in-1, body, soul, spirit and The Shrine 3-in-1 and the Path to Wholeness.)
  • Midday heat: The sun at the zenith for FIRE, the element of the male body (that is why the sun is considered a male symbol, The four elements).
  • Wild bull: symbol of the powerful drive (see Gilgamesh and the Bull of Heaven and The Bull as a Symbol).
  • Milk for sperm
  • Plowing the EARTH, planting the seed as an image of sexual intercourse.
  • Flower and fruit bearers in the Garden (of the Goddess): The wind (the AIR, element for the male spirit) will bring the pollen to the flowers. Growth force in matter gives the male spirit (Animus).

[S. Male Wholeness 3-in-1, Father - Son - Spirit..]

Inanna's Holy Wedding and the 50

My beautiful Dumuzi did this fifty times.

From complement to wholeness in unity: 49 exams

However, the couple still has a long way to go and some tests to pass. The goal is to move from unity in completion to unity in wholeness (of both).

These different types of unity of the couple, depending on the phase of life, can be represented by Yin/Yang (below left for completion), and Hotu (below right for wholeness). Hotu is a symbol for the wholeness that occurs through the merging of male and female in the third phase of life, that is, for God as the unity of the Great Father with the Great Mother. This is also the meaning of the Holy Spirit. [S. God, wholeness 3-in-1, male and female and Ruach, Spirit of God - male and female].

Yin Yang and Hotu (the yin-yang of the world)

50: Overcoming negative dynamics and breaking through to fullness (Holy Wedding)

The number 50 refers to the couple's goal and mission in life. Having promised each other mutual fidelity, the couple is only at the beginning. The goal is to pass 49 tests within the framework of the negative couple dynamicswhereby the shadows are integrated are integrated (s. Anima and animus in the couple relationship).

For the couple relationship this means that 49 times pleasure and pain, passion and suffering, power and submission are played through. In each aspect, love must be enforced so that this first (!) relationship does not perish from the dynamics of power. (These 49 phases are described in the fairy tale Aladdin and the magic lamp in detail).

Wholeness through integration of the opposite-sex parts

Wholeness (symbolized by the 50) is the goal of every human being, regardless of whether he is in a partnership or not. It is achieved on the hero's path, through the integration of the opposite-sex parts (anima and animus). The latter is also possible without partnership (but results in a partnership as if by itself). Important here is the relationship to the opposite sex and its archetypes (so, for example, also the veneration of Mary as the Virgin Mother of God), which can lead to the integration of the opposite and thus to wholeness.

[S. 50, Pentecost and prophecy and the Holy Spirit.]

The continuation of the mythology of Inanna

The critical transitions in life (crises)

The Sumerian tradition of Inanna, the goddess of love, is about the "critical" transitional phases. Thus, with her initiation and subsequent marriage, Inanna has now successfully completed the transition from childhood and adolescence to adulthood. The next major transition is that from adulthood to mature age, which the continuation of the mythology deals with. It includes the path through the underworld and thus the demanding integration of the spirit (the opposite-sex personality parts, not least in the existential confrontation with the partner/the opposite sex).

Part 2: Inanna's path through the underworld

3 Days in the Underworld (the dying of love)

Inanna is killed in the underworld and resurrected on the 3rd day by the loving father (of the shepherd, the god of the earth). She gets up and returns to the earth. But the demons of the underworld accompany her (because no one returns from the underworld unless he provides a substitute for himself).

[S. Inanna's path through the underworld.]

Part 3: The shepherd is beaten

10th plague: The death of the firstborn (the first love relationship).

The resurrected Inanna immediately gets into a confrontation with her god-husband, who sits on her throne, dressed in her robes (of wisdom) and does not move (shows no empathy). Then the demons of the underworld, which accompany Inanna, fall upon the shepherd, put him badly and pursue him until there is nothing left. This means that the relationship is about to end.

Dying of Love and the 10 Plagues of Egypt

Death of the first born, the first relationship

This continuation of the Sumerian tradition also corresponds to the 9th and the 10th plague of a total of 10 plagues of Egypt (which show the aspects of negative couple dynamics). Thus, the 9th plague (3 days of darkness) stands for the way through the underworld and the died love, while the 10th plague (death of the firstborn) stands for the dying of the first relationship if power (the ego) cannot be replaced by love.

Sleeping Beauty and the Prince

The (true) Holy Wedding

Wholeness through unity of male and female

The great question to man

Thus, the question and the theme of the Sumerian mythology is: Will the couple, will Inanna and her hero king manage this way? Will they overcome the challenges and come to true love and forgiveness?
And this is also the most important question of all great traditions to man: Will he succeed in overcoming the identity of separation (the ego) in the limited human reality and thus find reconciliation, unity and wholeness?

Resurrection of Love: Reconciliation and Reunion as the Holy Wedding

Inanna manages it, because she is a goddess! That means in other words that she stands consciously and self-effectively in her life and takes responsibility for herself and her feelings.

At first her (justified) anger hits the shepherd, but then she calms down again. In the process, the goddess' compassion and sorrow for her beloved become the gateway for reconciliation and healing. Unity in maturity and wisdom is the deeper meaning of the Holy Weddingwhich transmits divine wholeness into the boundless existence of the spirit.

So also in Ruach, the Holy Spirit of God, the Great Mother ("Grandmother", destiny) and the Great Father ("Grandfather", spirit) are merged into unity.

Inanna's Praise of the Great Mother

The Sumerian tradition of Inanna ends with a hymn of praise to the Great Mother, goddess of the underworld and mistress of life and death, who represents the life force in matter and destiny.

Inanna placed Dumuzi in the hands of eternity.

Holy Ereshkigal! Great is your glory!
Holy Ereshkigal! I praise and extol you!

Shechina (Zak Yitro) for Ruach

We continue with part II of the Sumerian lore:

Inanna and the descent into the underworld


* Original text, translation from Sumerian into English: S.N. Kramer in WOLKSTEIN, DIANE / KRAMER SAMUEL NOAH. Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Earth. Her Stories and Hymns from Sumer. New York 1983 (translation from English into German by the author).

[1] Ancient Sumerian sacred texts about the "Divine Wedding" were written down as early as 2300 BC by the daughter of the Akkadian ruler Sargon, Encheduanna, and later written down in cuneiform by the Babylonian ruler Hamurabi around 1750 BC. Their oral tradition, however, is much older and probably originated around 3000 BC or much earlier. Here is a free compilation of texts by Wolkenstein/Kramer (pp. 36 to 49), translated into German by Verena Zingsem, "Der Himmel ist mein, die Erde ist mein... Göttinnen grosser Kulturen im Wandel der Zeiten" (2008), pp. 39 to 51.

[2], Lovers in bed for the union of king and high priestess, in Wolkenstein/Kramer (see above), pp. 43 and 187: Clay slab, Mesopotamia, Isin-Larsa period of Babylon, ca. 2000 - 1600 B.C., fired clay, Basel, Erlenmeyer Collection

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