Heaven and Hell

Pagan Blog Project 2012

The Descent of Inanna, the Queen of Heaven, into Hell; A Shamanic Journey of Transformation

From the Great Above she opened her ears to the Great Below.
From the Great Above the goddess opened her ears to the Great Below.
From the Great Above Inanna opened her ear to the Great Below.

My lady abandoned heaven and earth to descend to the underworld.
Inanna abandoned heaven and earth to descend to the underworld.
She abandoned her office of holy priestess to descend to the underworld.

Inanna’s Descent (con’t)

Inanna/Ishtar depicted on the "Ishtar vas...

Inanna/Ishtar (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The world is filled with stories, and in this ancient Sumerian tale you will find a Shamanic story of change and transformation.

Inanna heard a call which led her to leave behind nearly everything she owned to follow that call.  I say nearly everything because she dressed herself in her finery before going to the Gates of Hell to seek entrance. Inanna passed through seven gates and at each gate she had to release one item until at the last she stood before Erishkegal, Queen of the Underworld, having nothing, stripped bare of everything.

Naked and bowed low, Inanna entered the throne room.

Inanna: Amulet of the Goddess

Inanna: Awesome Queen

The Call to Shamanism

The student hears a call from the Underworld and in some way answers that call. Many shamanic practitioners report having undergone a profound healing experience, up to and including near-death.

In the same way that Inanna was asked to remove one item before she could proceed further, the Shamanic journeyer may be asked to shed ideas, beliefs, thoughts, or illusions which keep him shielded and “safe” before he is allowed to proceed further into the Underworld. Emerging finally fully exposed and vulnerable, his soul laid bare.

This doesn’t happen overnight, and it doesn’t happen easily. It is not easy to give up all that we think makes us who we are. The trappings and illusions of ego are worn for a reason, to keep us safe, and at one time they were necessary.

The way is not easy, the costs can sometimes seem high. But for those who are willing, the rewards can be great.

If you facing your own call into the Underworld, I encourage you to read and study the story of Inanna’s Descent.

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3 thoughts on “Heaven and Hell

  1. Pingback: My Writers Cramp | My Writer's Cramp

  2. Pingback: Saturday Amulet Reading: The Norns (2 days late) | Writings of a Pagan Witch

  3. Pingback: Amulet Journey for Guidance in Journeying to the Underworld | Writings of a Pagan Witch

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