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Deities & Heros >> Mesopotamian
open robe, temple prostitute, female deity, divine guide


Author: Obsidian

(Sumerian) "Lady of the Thousand Offices", She is the primary female Deity of Her people, and in some ways the focus of the entire pantheon. Her epithet refers to the fact that She is Patroness and divine Guide to a myriad different functions and powers. One tradition has Her the daughter of An, but a more persistant one makes Her the child of Nanna-Suen. All agree that She is the younger sister to Ereskigal. She has many lovers and consorts, but her strongest attachment seems to be with Dumuzi. She rules the natural world, and the vitalizing effect of the rain, but beyond that Her functions seem to revolve around pairs of contending ideas. Thus, She is both the morning and the evening star. She represents motherhood and the family, but She is also the harlot and temple prostitute. She governs lightning, but also the dousing of fire. Her spirit is one of praise and gladness, and also dismay and sorrow. Her imagery usually portrays Her as a winged female bearing weapons and some armour, wearing an open robe, nude underneath.

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