The Descent offers a chance to look clearly at tired habits of thought and action. A woman may finally admit to an addiction or see how some long-denied pattern of action has failed her time and again. The Return offers a chance for something to be born or recovered. A woman may reclaim a talent or a forgotten dream, put aside years before, that suddenly offers itself, once more, as a viable choice. The possibilities are endless and unique to each individual on the journey. The point is change.
The Goddess, in every form she takes, is all about change. Inanna,
the Queen of Heaven, replete with every kind of talent, adoration, and power, begins her journey because of
a desire to change. We don’t know why. Often in old teaching tales the
questions left unanswered hold their own secret wisdom.
Perhaps she doesn’t know. Perhaps she longs for mystery. Undoubtedly she is aware that in undertaking this journey nothing will ever be the same again. The point is she decides on change and then rides out to meet it. A wise woman once told me, “Change or die!” At the time she terrified me and I had no idea what she meant or why she would say such a terrible thing. But her words continued to ring in my ears through the years every time I had a choice, every time a risk presented itself or a circumstance demanded courage. Her directive did indeed change my life and always for the better, though at times it took a little hindsight to understand how.
Inanna’s descent and return exemplify the “both and” inherent in Goddess Spirituality. One may change one’s self and hence the surrounding world both by releasing and/or embracing. Possibly, yesterday’s release will one day become tomorrow’s embrace or vice versa. The journey is an ongoing process of dismantling and rebuilding that goes on throughout life.
Inanna’s ritual gives us focus, a sacred space in which to step out of time and consciously enact a psychological process that one way or another life will force us to undertake anyway. Engaging in it willingly, we emerge chastened, humble, and radiant, suffused with the power and strength of an ancient archetype. Inanna returns in glory to walk the world anew, as she has so many times before.
turning our usual defense mechanisms and excuses into exemplary life knowings…
inquiry for today~ what myth are living through right now?
Our happiness comes not as a goal,
but as a byproduct
of engaging honestly