The Light of Ishtar
November 7, 2016
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The surface of the planet Venus, which is sacred to Ishtar
Ishtar is a Goddess of Venus, which is otherwise known as the Morning and Evening Star. As the Morning Star, She drives the creatures of the Earth to make war; as the Evening Star, She beckons all lovers to bed. And while some might argue that Ishtar is more or less equivalent to the Roman Goddess Venus – after whom the planet is named – the original Latin name for the planet is Lucifer (“Light-bearer”). It’s no accident that the Christian devil acquired this name once the Bible was translated into Latin, for almost every culture has viewed Venus as a contrary force. This is because it’s usually the first star seen after sunset and the last star seen before dawn. Based on this phenomenon, people all over the world have imagined that Venus is a “rebel” who defies the Sun, refusing to disappear when the Sun rises and rushing to appear when it sets. Even before Christians reinterpreted the Judaic angel of darkness as a rebel of fallen light, almost every God and/or Goddess associated with Venus was perceived as an unruly cosmic shit-disturber.
I don’t agree that Ishtar is identical to the Roman Goddess Venus, but She’s certainly a Luciferian force to be reckoned with. She stole the sacred mes, the powers of civilization, from Her uncle Ea and gave them to the mortal people of Uruk. She insisted on visiting Her deadly sister Ereshkigal, the Queen of the Underworld, and conquered death in the process (with some help from Ea). When She discovered that Her husband Tammuz hadn’t grieved for Her at all while She was dead, She killed and kicked His ass straight down into hell. When the “hero” Gilgamesh refused to marry Her, She sent the catastrophic Bull of Heaven after him. And when Her father Anu refused to give Her the Bull at first, She threatened to raise all the dead across the Earth and send them to feast on all the living. Ishtar’s no “Disney princess”; She’s a heavy metal album cover come to life! She rebelled against the divine hierarchy to help human beings long before Prometheus; She died and rose from the grave long before Jesus; and She invented the “Zombie Apocalypse” long before George A. Romero. Yes, Ishtar is a Goddess of light; but Hers is a light that burns.