Motherhood/ Pregnancy & Birth

The Story of Inanna: Part 3


You can read part 1 here and part 2 here.

After three days and three nights, Ninshurbur does as she was instructed and goes to Inanna’s father to plead for help. She beats the drum and contacts Inanna’s paternal grandfather, Enlil, and then Inanna’s father, but both are angry at Inanna for her actions and refuse to help.


Then Ninshurbur goes to Inanna’s mother’s father, Enki. He is troubled and grieved for Inanna. He understands the value of the journey and has compassion for the difficulty she has endured. To save her, he creates two creatures, the kurgarra and the galatur, to whom he gives the food and water of life and instructs them to enter the underworld like flies, silently slipping through each gate. He tells them that Ereshkigal will be moaning with the cries of a woman about to give birth, complaining of her inside and her outside and that they are to echo her cries and be empathetic.


The kurgarra and the galatur do exaclty as Enki instructed. Ereshkigal was in deed moaning and in pain. You see, Ereshkigal and Inanna is the same person. Ereshkigal is the neglected side of Inanna, the part that had to go underground, so that other parts of Inanna could flourish. She is angry at Inanna for forgetting her, because Inanna’s glories in her life have been achieved at Ereshkigal’s expense.


One way you can think about this turn of events: it is like when you become a mother, new parts of you are going to rise up and flourish, but in order for that to happen there will be other parts of yourself that will die, although not forever, they will just go underground until you are ready to go back and get them and use them again. Ereshkigal writhes in pain because Inanna’s death, that she herself willed, is also her death. If Inanna is changing, so is she.


The kurgarra and the galatur echo the pain of Ereshkigal and she stops to look at them and ask them who they were and why were they moaning with her. She is so touched by their attention, she offers them a gift for their compassion, but they decline. She asks what they want and they say they want the corpse of Inanna.


Ereshkigal gives them the corpse and the kurgarra and the galatur sprinkle the food and water of life on her and Inanna rises up. Ultimately, it was Ninshurbur (Inanna’s Higher Self) that interceded and saved Inanna’s life.


As Inanna begins her journey home, her ascent, she stops at each gate and gathers her Me. She ponders each item and contemplates if they still serve her like they once did.


Once home, it takes Inanna awhile to integrate back into her life. She is a new person. She sees her world differently now and must make adjustments to get her new footing grounded in her new strength and understanding.


I think Inanna is a powerful role model for modern women. We, like Inanna, challenge ourselves to know more, learn more, be more. Each of our personal journeys, our personal growth, the ordeals we go through and suffer from and all the suffering and pain that comes from that journey, from going to the underworld again and again throughout our lifetimes to shatter old ideas, old visions, identities. And like Inanna, we rise up, aware of our vulnerabilities and the new strength created from them.


Inanna sought out wisdom and understanding. Things you can’t learn from a book. This is the kind of knowledge you can only learn through experience through initiation of going on a spiritual journey.

If you would like to read and learn more about Inanna, check out this book.

Thanks so much for reading this story. Please let me know what you think and feel after reading it!


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  • Karla
    June 15, 2013 at 12:07 PM

    Thank you for sharing. These posts make me respect your blog and your personal path so very much.

    • Stephanie
      June 16, 2013 at 12:21 AM

      Thanks for reading!! These posts do not get a lot of traffic, but they are so special to me and such a big part of my motherhood journey.

  • Erika
    August 1, 2016 at 2:31 PM

    While not a mama, I’m a big fan of Pam England’s (and Virginia Bobro’s). Thanks for this telling of the Inanna story, and for weaving your insight into it.