Friday, August 31, 2018

Inanna's Ascent by Tamara Albanna

Inanna's Ascent by Tara Reynolds

When we think of Inanna, she is usually envisioned as the descending Goddess—and often, it is her time spent in the Underworld that is most alluded to. While the Underworld, or the “shadow” is vital, it is equally important to remember what happens after the time spent in the darkness, the void, or the long dark tunnel.

Something wonderful happens—the caterpillar emerging from the chrysalis, the child leaving the womb, the flower bursting through the soil to bloom.

As you come out of that space, when things looked so utterly helpless at times, that’s the “miracle“ of the ascent, but it’s not really a miracle at all, it’s what comes next.

We are very much focused on the shadow. This is valid, and incredibly warranted, because not all is “Love and Light,” all the time—that’s just not realistic. One only has to turn on the news and see the intense darkness of this planet of ours. Balance is so desperately needed, but that balance works both ways.

Unfortunately, it seems as though the “shadow” has become somewhat commoditized, as with everything else that has a potential market in New Age circles. People realize the value, monetarily, of the shadow and shadow-work as it were.

Everywhere you turn these days there seems to be an obsession with the descent, and the darkness, as though we are somehow meant to spend a lifetime or two, in that space.

Even the title of this book, Inanna’s Ascent, drew questions from those who thought Inanna is only about the descent. Have we not earned the emergence from darkness?

I descended from the Priestesses of Sumer—the keepers of Inanna’s temple, during a time when the divine feminine was honored, and the name of the Goddess was on the tongue of all the inhabitants of the land. When the murderous patriarchy swept through, the civilization slowly began its descent, along with the Goddess—and all things feminine. Slowly, the Goddess was forgotten, and Her name became a distant memory. 

The people of the land have suffered—particularly the women and girls—and although the Goddess is in their DNA, we are in need of a remembrance. Inanna descended, was killed, and re-emerged three days later—long before Jesus made that same journey. 

Inanna descended for us, she was cleansed of her sins—and she cleansed us all as well—so why do we continue to suffer?

We descend our entire lives it seems—only coming up for brief moments of respite. Patriarchy pushes us down repeatedly—and sometimes, we just stay there.

When Al-Qaeda came into towns and raped women and girls en masse, we descended. When Daesh swept through the land, raped and murdered women and girls—while the world watched—we descended further and further. Wars, and sanctions, starvation and hopelessness—all by the patriarchal machine—we descended.

What is the response to this? In my view—and in the pages of this anthology as you will see—it is to remember. The beautiful women who have contributed to this work are all daughters of Inanna; they were all called home in one way or another. Inanna's Ascent examines how women can rise from the underworld and reclaim their power, sovereignly expressed through poetry, prose and visual art. All contributors are extraordinary women in their own right, who have been through some difficult life lessons—and are brave enough to share their stories.

Inanna is known as Queen of Heaven, but she really is a sexual Goddess. She is the very essence of woman—with divine spark in her womb: creation and destruction all at once. She chose her lovers, she did not allow a man to rule over her, and she knew her power. We are her daughters, and we have been silenced, made to feel unworthy, abused, hated, made to forget.

It is time to remember.

It is my hope that in the pages of this anthology, you too will remember, and begin your own journey—or continue the one you are currently on with renewed strength. My wish for you is to be the Goddess in your own life—to embody Her, and know your divinity.

For the women and girls of my Motherland, Iraq—the home of the Goddess, the cradle of civilization—may we rise again. May we once again turn to Her, and within ourselves, and remember who we are.

We have earned this ascent—all of us.

It is our time now.

An excerpt from the Introduction to Inanna's Ascent.

Order your copy of Inanna's Ascent: Reclaiming Female Power here

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