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Introducing Tammuz

May 17, 2016

Merry Meet Everyone!

Some important information about registration has developed! We are now offering Saturday Only Passes at a discounted rate of $35! You will be bale to experience the entirety of the event with this ticket price but the $50 weekend pass will include some extra camping fun. 

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 Tammuz, Ishtar’s husband. Continue reading on for all the fun:

tammuz

Tammuz (also known as Dumuzi) was the name of an ancient Near Eastern deity who was best known for his patronage of herdsmen and his romantic entanglement with Inanna (Astarte or Ishtar). As a fertility god, he represented the insemination of the mother goddess, as well as the production of healthy children. The best-known myth of Tammuz describes his death at the hands of his lover, a punishment earned for his failure to mourn adequately when she became lost in the Underworld. The god’s sojourn among the dead was commemorated in various forms of human expression, including poetic laments and ritual practice.

Building upon the intriguing possibility that Tammuz could have been a mortal man apotheosized through the love of Ishtar/Inanna, archaeologists have recently discovered a list of Sumerian kings that includes two monarchs named Dumuzi:

  • Dumuzid of Bad-Tibira, the shepherd (reigning 36000 years), the fifth King before the Flood
  • Dumuzid of Kua, the fisherman (reigning 100 years), the third King of the first dynasty, reigning between Lugalbanda andGilgamesh the son of Lugalbanda

Other Sumerian texts showed that kings were to be married to Inanna in a mystical marriage, such as a hymn describing the mystical marriage between the goddess and King Iddid-Dagan (ca 1900 B.C.E.).

In the various mythological accounts depicting Tammuz/Dumuzi, he plays a variety of roles—from lowly shepherd to divine ruler.One relatively common element, however, is his association with various powerful Goddesses, in particular, the regal Ishtar/Inanna. As his mythical/religious import is particularly dependent upon these relationships, it follows that an exploration of these various accounts is the best way to gain insight into the god’s character.

The multifaceted relationship between Inanna and Dumuzi, which was characterized equally by sensuous, erotic love and bitter recriminations, provides fodder for a considerable body of Sumerian and Babylonian mythology.

According to the myth of Inanna’s descent to the underworld, represented in parallel Sumerian and Akkadian tablets, Inanna (Ishtar in the Akkadian texts) set off for the netherworld—the demesnes of her sister Ereshkigal—perhaps with the intention of taking it as her own. Undeterred by her sister’s exhortations to return to the world of the living, the goddess passed through seven gates, though at each one she was required to leave a garment or an ornament behind, so that when she had passed through the seventh gate she was entirely naked (and defenseless). Despite warnings about her presumption, Inanna did not turn back but dared to sit herself down on Ereshkigal’s throne. Immediately the Anunnaki of the underworld judged her, found her wanting, and transformed her into a lifeless corpse hung up on a nail. With the goddess of fertility thus imprisoned, all sexual congress throughout the universe abruptly ceased…

To find out how Tammuz 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. Vendor application deadline is coming up soon!

Source: “Tammuz.” – New World Encyclopedia. Web. 25 Mar. 2016. <http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Tammuz&gt;.

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