Skip to content

Introducing Gestishtar

May 5, 2016

Merry Meet Everyone!

In order to get everyone excited for IshtarFest, each week we’re going to give you bits and pieces of information about the production in hopes that each of you will have a better understanding before attending the festival! We still have several spaces available, so if you’ve not already done so, registration links will be below this post. This week we’re going to introduce to you to the Gestishtar, Tammuz’ loving sister. Continue reading on for all the fun:

Gestishtar, also known as Geštinanna is an early goddess from southern Mesopotamia. She is the sister of Dumuzi (Tammuz) and appears to be associated with writing and with the netherworld.

gestishtarGeštinanna’s exact functions remain unclear. It is possible that she was identified with the goddess Ama-geštin “Mother wine/vine,” but this has to remain. She is referred to as “mother” (ama) or “old/wise woman” (um-ma), and, like other goddesses, functions as a dream interpreter, while her association with the netherworld is possibly a secondary development.

In Sumerian mythology Geštinanna is considered to be the god Dumuzi’s sister. She appears in the tale Dumuzi’s Dream, a mourning song for the dead Dumuzi. The tale recounts an ominous dream, in which Dumuzi foresees his own death. Much of the tale involves Dumuzi trying to escape death in the form of demons, while his sister tries to protect him. Ultimately she is unsuccessful and Dumuzi dies. The tale Dumuzi and Geštinanna similarly recounts Dumuzi trying to escape death and his sister trying to protect him but ultimately failing.

The tale of Inana’s Descent to the Netherworld also mentions Geštinanna, though not by name. It describes how the goddess Inana decides to conquer the realm of her sister Ereškigal, the netherworld. Ultimately, Inana succeeds in her endeavor but dies, which results in procreation on earth coming to an end. The god Enki, who often functions as the helper of humankind, decides to help Inana and rescues her from death. Yet not even a goddess can escape death without consequences…

To find out how Gestishtar is a key to the Shapatu of Ishtar, join us on Friday, June 17th, 2016 – Sunday, June 19th, 2016 for the IshtarFest in Central NJ. This information is brought to you by the Hands of Change coven, a non-profit organization for Earth based spirituality. To register for this event, please click here. If you’d be interested in vending for this event, please click here.

Source: “Geštinanna/Belet-ṣeri (goddess).” Ancient Mesopotamian Gods and Goddesses -. Web. 25 Mar. 2016. <;.


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: