Salma Hayek as “Santanico Pandemonium” in From Dusk ‘Till Dawn (1996)
As explained previously, I had a very intense one-on-one relationship with Ishtar in the late 1990s/early 2000s that even eclipsed my relationship with Seth-Typhon. That phase of my life ended in an extremely painful manner, and my spiritual life from February 2001 to December 2007 became very confused. I spent most of it trying to rebuild my relationship with Seth in a very “trial-and-error” fashion, sometimes identifying Him purely as Seth and sometimes conflating Him with various other Deities (including Lugh Lamfhada at one point, if you can believe it). I flirted around with Lilith for a while, and I had almost nothing to do with Ishtar or any other Goddesses at all. I wouldn’t start worshiping or praying to Ishtar again until June 2009, when I first met my wife in person.
However, there were a few times during that uncomfortable stretch when I tried reaching out to Ishtar again. I remember one day when I got up really early and went outside in my backyard for an astral working. (I had intended to do it in full view of the Morning Star just prior to sunrise, but I unfortunately wasn’t up early enough for that.) I visited the Goddess in one of Her temples, and She appeared to me looking like Salma Hayek in From Dusk ‘Till Dawn (1996). (The only difference was that She was dressed in white rather than red.) She smiled at me and accepted my votive prayers as offerings; then She kissed me on my forehead and disappeared. The Goddess had seemed genuinely happy to see me, but She also clearly had other things to do. It was kind of sad to think that our relationship wasn’t what it once was, but I didn’t take it personally.
I never completely let go of Her, either. You see, I have six of these things that I call my “Black Books.” To the rest of the world, they just look like black composition notebooks; but for me, they’re personal “grimoires” that detail all the spiritual transformations I experienced during my first decade of walking my path. I started writing in them from the moment I began my walk with Typhon in 1997, and I seem to have stopped writing in them around the time I experienced my “born again” experience in 2007. These Black Books include my random thoughts, some interesting excerpts from books and websites that I found, some details about my ritual experiments and their results, and plenty of pictures that I drew. (How else do you think I’m able to remember half the things I talk about from 17 years ago?) Anyway, one of these Black Books – the one in which I was writing during my years without Ishtar – actually includes a fair amount of material about Her. These passages prove that while I was no longer experiencing Her directly, I wouldn’t be happy unless I could still include Her in my spiritual life somehow (even if it was only from a distance).
In LV-426 speak, this is what it means to be a “friend of a Deity.” It means you’ve met the God or Goddess before, but you no longer experience Them for yourself; yet you are still friendly toward Them and wouldn’t be opposed to meeting Them again. This is just one of seven major categories that are included in our conceptual model of God-and-human relationships, which I’ll be discussing in more depth sometime soon (perhaps once I’m finished with this series of posts!). Anyway, the other category in this schema that’s significant to the current discussion is that of “layperson of a Deity.” This means you’re devoted to worshiping the God or Goddess in question, but that you only interact with Them occasionally (like at certain times of the week or on holidays). This is the relationship I currently enjoy with Ishtar, and I became one of Her laypeople in June 2009.
During our very first weekend together, my wife and I visited an Occult/New Age bookstore in our area, and guess what we found when we came across the statuary they had for sale? A statue of Ishtar smiling and holding a jug. I had almost no money at the time, but I spent most of what I had to buy that statue for my wife. It was my very first gift to her – aside from an Elvis shot glass I found in Memphis, Tennessee while traveling from Texas to Michigan – and while it’s unfortunately been damaged a couple of times in the years since, we still keep it on our living room altar along with my statue of Typhon. I think it was when I decided to buy that statue that I switched from being just a friend of Ishtar to being one of Her laity. It seemed absolutely necessary to buy it, and I’ve felt a much stronger connected to the Goddess ever since.