The Descent of Ishtar into the Underworld

The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature

 

(Texts: All Artifacts, Color Coding, & Writings in Bold Type With Italics Inside Parenthesis, are Added by Editor R. Brown, not the Authors, Translators, or Publishers!)

(gods in blue)

 

To Kurnugi, land of [no return],

1a - Inanna with Liberty Torch (Inanna / Ishtar, daughter to Nannar / Sin & Ningal, the patron gods of Ur)

Ishtar (Inanna) daughter of Sin was [determined] to go;

The daughter of Sin (Sin / Nannar) was determined to go

           To the dark house, dwelling of Erkalla’s god (home of Nergal & Ereshkigal in the Nether World),

To the house which those who enter cannot leave,

On the road where traveling is one-way only,

To the house where those who enter are deprived of light,

Where dust is their food, clay their bread.

They see no light, they dwell in darkness,

They are clothed like birds, with feathers.

Over the door and the bolt, dust has settled.

4 - door to Ereshkigal's Underworld (gate to the Nether World)

Ishtar, when she arrived at the gate of Kurnugi,

Addressed her words to the keeper of the gate,

“Here gatekeeper, open your gate for me,

Open your gate for me to come in!

If you do not open the gate for me to come in!

If you do not open the gate for me to come in, I shall smash the door and shatter the bolt,

I shall smash the doorpost and overturn the doors, I shall raise up the dead and they shall eat the living:

The dead shall outnumber the living!”

The gatekeeper made his voice heard and spoke,

He said to great Inanna,

“Stop, lady, do not break it down!

Let me go and report your words to queen Ereshkigal.”

The gatekeeper went in and spoke to [Ereshkigal],

4d-ninlil-followed-enlil-to-ereshkigals-underworld  (Ereshkigal, Queen of the Nether World)

“Here she is, your sister Inanna [. . .]

Who holds the great keppu’toy (alien technologies),

Stirs up the Abzu in Ea’s (Enki’s) presence [. . .]?”

When Ereshkigal heard this,

3a - Ereshkigal, Inanna, Nannar, & Utu (Nannar’s children, Ereshkigal, Inanna, Nannar, & Utu)

Her face grew livid as cut tamarisk,

Her lips grew dark as the rim of a kuninu-vessel.

“What brings her to me?

What has incited her against me?

Surely not because I drink water with the Anunnaki, I eat clay for bread, I drink muddy water for beer?

I have to weep for young men forced to abandon their sweethearts.

I have to weep for girls wrenched from their lover’s laps.

For the infant child I have to weep, expelled before its time.

Go,gatekeeper, open your gate to her.

Treat her according to the ancient rites.”

The gatekeeper went.

He opened the gate to her.

“Enter, my lady: may Kutha give you joy,

May the palace of Kurnugi be glad to see you”

He let her in through the first door, but stripped off (and) took away the great crown on her head,
2aa - Hittite, Inanna In Her Skychamber (gatekeeper, winged naked Inanna, & Ereshkigal)

“Gatekeeper, why have you taken away the great crown on my head?”

“Go in, my lady.

Such are the rites of the Mistress of Earth.”

He let her in through the second door, but stripped off (and) took away the rings in her ears.

“Gatekeeper, why have you taken away the rings in my ears?”

“Go in, my lady.

Such are the rites of the Mistress of Earth.”

2-inanna  (Inanna with alien technologies, & beads around her neck)

He let her in through the third door, but stripped off (and) took away the beads around her neck.

“Gatekeeper, why have you taken away the beads around my neck?”

“Go in, my lady.

Such are the rites of the Mistress of Earth.”

1-inanna-goddess-of-love  (Inanna with alien technologies, goddess of love, younger sister to Ereshkigal)

He let her in through the fourth door, but stripped off (and) took away the toggle pins at her breast.

“Gatekeeper, why have you taken away the toggle pins at my breast?”

“Go in, my lady.

Such are the rites of the Mistress of Earth.”

He let her in through the fifth door,

but stripped off (and) took away the girdle of birth-stones around her waist.

“Gatekeeper, why have you taken the girdle of birth stones around my waist?”

“Go in, my lady.

Such are the rites of the Mistress of Earth.”

He let her in through the sixth door,

but stripped off (and) took away the bangles on her wrists and ankles.

“Gatekeeper, why have you taken away the bangles from my wrists and ankles?”

“Go in my lady.

Such are the rites of the Mistress of Earth.”

He let her in through the seventh door, but stripped off (and) took away the proud garment of her body.

4b - nude flying goddess Inanna (Inanna wearing royal family crown, stripped of all alien weaponry, naked alien goddess of love)

“Gatekeeper, why have you taken away the proud garment of my body?”

“Go in, my lady.

Such are the rites of the Mistress of Earth.”

          As soon as Inanna went down to Kurnugi (Netherworld, Under World, Hades),

Ereshkigal looked at her and trembled before her.

Inanna did not deliberate (?), but lent over her.

Ereshkigal made her voice heard and spoke,

2a - Ereshkigal, Nannar's Daughter (Ereshkigal on her throne in Erkalla, Nether World)

Addressed her words to Namtar her vizier,

“Go Namtar [ ] of my [ ]

Send out against her sixty diseases [ ] Inanna:

Disease of the eyes to her [eyes]

Disease of the arms to her [arms]

Disease of the feet to her [feet]

Disease of the heart to her [heart]

Disease of the head [to her head]

To every part of her and to [ ].”

After Inanna the Mistress of (?) [had gone to Kernugi]

No bull mounted a cow, [no donkey impregnated a jenny]

No young man impregnated a girl [in the street (?)]

The young man slept in his private room,

The girl slept in the company of her friends.

4m-utu-inanna-nannar  (Nannar’s children, Utu, Inanna, father Nannar, & Papsukkal damaged)

Then Papsukkal, vizier of the great gods, hung his head, his face [became gloomy];

He wore mourning clothes, his hair unkempt.

2a-nannar-statue-2000-b-c 3ea-inanna-presents-king-shulgi-to-nannar  (Nannar; Ninsun, mixed-breed king Gudea, Inanna, & Nannar / Sin)

Dejected(?), he went and wept before Sin his father,

His tears flowed freely before king Ea (Enki).

Inanna has gone down to The Earth and has not come up again.

6b-inanna-dumuzi-in-the-underworld  (widowed Inanna at the door to the Nether World, & deceased spouse Dumuzi)

As soon as Inanna went down to Kurnugi

No bull mounted a cow, no donkey impregnated a jenny,

No young man impregnated a girl on the street

The young man slept in his private room,

The girl slept in the company of her friends.

2b-enki-his-hybred-experiments  ( Enki seated, master of Earth’s creatures, & DNA experiments)

Ea (Enki), in the wisdom of his heart, created a person.

He created Good-looks the playboy.

“Come, Good-looks, set your face towards the gate of Kurnugi.

The seven gates of Kurnugi shall be opened before you.

Ereshkigal shall look at you and be glad to see you.

When she is relaxed, her mood will lighten.

Get her to swear the oath by the great gods.

Raise your head, pay attention to the waterskin,

Saying, ‘Hey my lady, let them give me the waterskin, that I may drink water from it.'”

(and so it happened. But)

When Ereshkigal heard this,

She struck her thigh and bit her finger.

“You have made a request of me that should not have been made!

Come, Good-looks, I shall curse you with a great curse.

I shall decree for you a fate that shall never be forgotten.

Bread (gleaned (?)) from the city’s plows shall be your food,

The city drains shall be your only drinking place,

Threshold steps your only sitting place,

The drunkard and the thirsty shall slap your cheek.”

2 - Ereshkigal (Ereshkigal, volunteered to make the Nether World her kingdom)

Ereshkigal made her voice heard and spoke:

She addressed her words to Namtar her vizier,

“Go Namtar, knock (?) at Egalina,

Decorate the threshold steps with coral,

Bring the Annunaki out and seat (them) on golden thrones,

Sprinkle Inanna with the waters of life and conduct her into my presence.”

Namtar went, knocked at Egalina,

Decorated the threshold steps with coral,

1h-procession-lg  (King Anu’s royal family descendants stationed on Earth Colony)

Brought out the Annunaki, seated them on golden thrones,

Sprinkled Inanna with the waters of life and brought her out to her (sister).

He let her out through the the first door, and gave her back to her the proud garment of her body.

He let her out through the second door, and gave back to her the bangles of her wrists and ankles.

He let her out through the third door, and gave back to her the girdle of birthstones around her waist.

He let her out through the fourth door, and gave back to her the toggle-pins at her breast.

He let her out through the fifth door, and gave back to her the beads around her neck.

He let her out through the sixth door, and gave back to her the rings for her ears.

He let her out through the seventh door, and gave back the great crown for her head.

“Swear that (?) she has paid you for her ransom and give her back (in exchange) for him,

5a-inanna-in-underworld-dumuzi-looks-on  (deceased Dumuzi at the door to the Nether World)

For Dumuzi, the lover of her youth,

Wash (him) with pure water, anoint him with sweet oil,

Clothe him in a red robe, let the lapis lazuli pipe play(?)

Let party-girls raise a loud lament(?)

2 - Geshtinanna, daughter to Enki & Ninsun (Geshtinanna, scribe, singer of songs, Dumuzi’s sister, Enki’s & Ninsun’s daughter)

Then Belili (Geshtinanna) tore off (?) her jewelery,

Her lap was filled with eyestones.

5a-dumuzi-is-dead  (the death of Dumuzi, son to Enki & Ninsun, the gods were mortal!)

Belili heard the lament for her brother, she struck the jewelery [from her body],

The eyestones with which the front of the wild cow was filled.

“You shall not rob me (forever) of my only brother!

2c - Dumuzi, Enki's son, Inanna's spouse2b-dumuzi-the-shepherd (Dumuzi the Shepherd)

On the day when Dumuzi comes back up,

(and) the lapis pipe and the carnelian ring come up with him,

(When) male and female mourners come up with him,

The dead shall come up and smell the smoke offering.”