Inanna Goddess of the Heavens: 14 Ways to Work With Her
Inanna is a primal ancient goddess who emerged from the Cradle of Civilization. Some know her as Ishtar or Inanna-Ishtar. Even being one of the oldest known goddesses, her worship is making a comeback in modern times. When she calls to you, heed her call. Listen to her song. Hear her war-cry. Gaze upon her beauty in the night sky. Her devotees believe she is gathering her children to her for a reason. Here we’ll meet Inanna, learn of her sacred ancient origins, and her characteristics. And we’ll learn how to work with Inanna Goddess of the Heavens, Love, War and Empowerment.
Who is Inanna Goddess of the Heavens?
Inanna is a goddess of ancient Sumerian origin, whose worship spread throughout the ancient Middle East to Akkadia, Assyria, Greece and Phoenicia (among others). Her name means “Lady of Heaven”, derived from ancient Sumerian word nin-a-nak. Her Semitic name is Ishtar; sometimes she’s called Inanna-Ishtar.
She is often portrayed as a beautiful young woman with a pair of wings. Her sacred animal, the lion, accompanies her in her travels. Inanna carries her symbol, the eight-pointed star, in most manifestations. The Queen of Heaven sits upon a lion throne and holds a snake-scepter. Inanna’s named in many ancient myths including The Epic of Gilgamesh, Inanna and the Huluppu-Tree, and The Descent of Inanna.
Goddess of Fertility, Love, Procreation, War, and Death: she is a complex Goddess embodying ALL aspects of the divine feminine. Ancient peoples who went against the gender-binary were cult members. She is a goddess who brings self-empowerment, protection, love, strength and abundance. She will aid in your spiritual endeavors and will also help heal and bring to light your shadows. Inanna is a fierce goddess who dominated the gods’ realms, boldly journeyed through the Underworld, and acquired her innate wisdom from the god Enki. Inanna is linked or associated with other goddesses: Astarte, Ashtoreth, Aphrodite, Demeter, Persephone, Athena and Venus.
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Inanna’s Magical Correspondences and Associations
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13 Ways to Work With Inanna Goddess of the Heavens
The relationship you develop with Inanna will be unique to you. How you experience Inanna Goddess of the Heavens might be completely different from another of Inanna’s followers. No one way is the right or perfect way to connect with the Divine. But here are some suggestions to get you started with this powerful Sumerian goddess:
1. Study Inanna in Myth
The first way to get to know a deity is to learn everything you can about them. Read their myths, legends, and lore online and in mythology books. I highly recommend a library trip to get your hands on books you might not find elsewhere. For Inanna, read The Epic of Gilgamesh, The Descent of Inanna and Inanna and the Huluppu-Tree. But also look for Sumerian mythology, as well as Semitic in your research.
2. Dedicate Sacred Altar Space to Inanna
Inanna the Goddess of the Heavens appreciates a sacred space in this dimension in which to rendezvous with her followers. Give her a cleansed, clear and beautiful altar space to visit when you invoke her. It doesn’t have to be anything extremely elaborate, though I feel Inanna probably enjoys beautiful things. A small shelf with a candle, incense and incense burner, an offering cup or bowl and a few crystals would do the trick! She particularly likes lapis lazuli. Purify the altar space and dedicate it in her name.
3. Provide Regular Offerings
Just as you would give gifts to your friends and significant other, give gifts to Inanna. We call these offerings. Regular offerings show the Goddess that you care and are thankful for her presence. Some believe offerings feed the spirit with energy to aid in your workings. Inanna enjoys any foods that mimic ancient Sumerian fare including figs, dates and wine. Any dish with garlic, onion, beans and dairy. In addition, she enjoys homemade cake, craft beer, fruit, incense, perfume and artwork. She is also long associated with wool, meat and grain.
4. Star-gazing With Inanna, Queen of the Heavens
Inanna is called the Queen of the Heavens, so a great way to honor her is simply to look up. Become a star-gazer. I enjoy using a star app on my phone, in which I point to a star and it tells me the name and info. If you want to get really fancy, purchase a good telescope and explore the Heavens in Inanna’s name. She is also known as the personification of Venus, so pay particular attention to this planet when star-gazing.
5. Visionary Journeying
Inanna travels to the Underworld and returns to the heavens in more than one ancient myth. It’s beneficial to your spiritual growth, as well as favorable to Inanna, to partake in visionary journeying. This is a form of meditation that requires practice and discipline and has the ability to take you to other planes of existence. Some of us do this in our sleep when we astral project and travel to other dimensions. Ask for Inanna’s guidance and protection when you journey. You can use drumming as a trigger (more on the drum later). I don’t recommend journeying to the Underworld, if you’re a beginner. But once you’ve become adept, take the journey with Inanna from the Underworld and to the Heavens.
6. Justice Workings
The Ancient Sumerian Goddess of Love is also a goddess of war and divine justice. We see this sacred polarity in nearly all ancient goddesses who hold great power. Inanna is no different. In one tale, she is assaulted by a gardener and “unleashes her fury” on him thereafter. This goddess is a no-mess-around type of woman. Her wrathful side emerges when provoked by greedy, violent men. She is a protector of abused women and can be called on in times of need. Justice workings are within her domain, as well.
7. Drumming and Dance
In the myth “Inanna and the Huluppu-Tree”, Inanna is gifted a drum made from her sacred tree. And because Inanna is also a sensual deity, drumming and dancing are right up her alley. Acquire a magical drum and learn how to play it in honor of Inanna or when invoking her presence. In addition, belly dancing and other sensual dances are a favorite of the Sumerian Goddess of Love.
8. Willow Trees
By working with the Willow tree spirit, you invoke the essence of Inanna. Again, if we read Inanna and the Huluppu-Tree, Inanna grows a tree (presumed to be a Willow) in her garden. This tree is so special, she plans to use it as her throne once it’s full grown. Sadly, her enemies inhabit the tree and it is destroyed. Then her brother makes it into a drum (see drumming above). Use Willow bark in your magical workings, study the willow tree’s medicinal and magical properties, and meditate in its shade.
9. Inanna’s Symbols
Some of Inanna’s devotees choose to have her symbol tattooed on their bodies. You don’t have to go that far to work with Inanna; however, it is wise to use her symbols with invocation. The eight-pointed star is linked to the Sumerian goddess. It’s also called the Star of Ishtar or Star of Inanna and is seen on numerous ancient carvings and reliefs. Other symbols sacred to Inanna-Ishtar include the owl, the rosette, and the snake-scepter. Draw these symbols on your grimoire pages, paint them on your altar cloth, and carve them into candles.
10. Storm Magick
Inanna is a goddess of rain and thunderstorms, and her sacred lion ally is frequently depicted with a “thunderous” roar. Per the Britannica, her power in war may have arisen from her association with powerful storms. This is your chance to make storm magick: cast spells during rainstorms, thunderstorms and harness the energy of stronger storms like hurricanes and tornadoes (safely, of course). Collect storm water and use it to cleanse and charge Inanna’s altar and tools.
11. Fire Element Magick
Inanna-Ishtar is a goddess who rules over the fire element. She has a fiery, hot energy and enjoys lending it to fire workings for passion, revenge, and motivation. Isn’t it interesting that she’s the ruler of rain and storms, and yet in the same breath ruler of fire? There’s that divine polarity we see repeating itself with nearly every ancient goddess.
12. Poetry and Writing
Enheduanna was the world’s first known author and a high priestess of Inanna-Ishtar in the 2200s BC. She was a catalyst in elevating Inanna as a smaller vegetative goddess to the regional Queen of the Universe, and one of the most popular Middle Eastern goddesses of all time. Honor her memory, and Inanna’s, by writing stories and poetry. Pieces dedicated to the High Priestess and Inanna are especially favored.
13. Chanting and Praying
Every deity appreciates it when we talk to them (also called prayer). I know quite a few pagans who feel weird about praying to ancient pagan deities, but you shouldn’t. Talk to Inanna as if she is your sister or close friend. Write a poem or prayer for Inanna and recite it daily. I like using prayer beads for specific deities, as well. Chant her name during invocation and ritual to draw up power from the earth and the goddess herself.
14. Explore Her Connections
The more you work with Inanna, the more you understand she is a complex goddess. Her cult was widespread and disseminated across the ancient world. And it’s highly likely that Inanna became other goddesses over the centuries. A helpful practice in working with this goddess is to explore her connections to other deities. Some people believe Aphrodite might even be a derivative of Inanna.