Inanna & the God of Wisdom

Inanna placed the shugurra, the crown of the steppe, on her head. She went to the sheepfold, to the shepherd. She leaned back against the apple tree. When she leaned against the apple tree, her vulva was wondrous to behold. Rejoicing at her wondrous vulva, the young woman Inanna celebrated herself. She decided to make a journey.”

Inanna:

“I, the Queen of Heaven, shall visit the God of Wisdom. I shall go to the Abzu, the sacred place in Eridu. I shall honor Enki, the God of Wisdom, in Eridu. I shall utter a prayer to Enki at the deep sweet waters.” Inanna set out by herself. When she was within a short distance of the Abzu, He whose ears are wide open, He who knows the me, the holy laws of heaven and earth, He who knows the heart of the gods, Enki, the God of Wisdom, who knows all things, Called to his sukkal, Isimud.

Enki:

“Come, Isimud, The young woman is about to enter the Abzu. When Inanna enters the holy shrine Give her butter cake to eat. Pour cold water to refresh her heart. Offer her beer before the statue of the lion. Treat her like an equal. Greet Inanna at the holy table, the table of heaven.”

Isimud heeded Enki’s words. When Inanna entered the Abzu, He gave her butter cake to eat. He poured cold water for her to drink. He offered her beer before the statue of the lion. He treated her respectfully. He greeted Inanna at the holy table, the table of heaven.

Enki and Inanna drank beer together. They drank more beer together. They drank more and more beer together. With their bronze vessels filled to overflowing, With the vessels of Urash, Mother of the Earth, They toasted each other; they challenged each other.

Enki:

“In the name of my power! In the name of my holy shrine! To my daughter Inanna I shall give The high priesthood! Godship! The noble, enduring crown! The throne of kingship!”

Inanna:

“I take that!”

Enki:

“In the name of my power! In the name of my holy shrine! To my daughter Inanna I shall give Truth! Descent into the underworld! Ascent from the underworld! The art of lovemaking! The kissing of the phallus!”

Inanna:

“I take that!”

Enki:

“In the name of my power! In the name of my holy shrine! To my daughter Inanna I shall give The holy priestess of heaven! The setting up of lamentations! The rejoicing of the heart! The giving of judgments! The making of decisions!”

Inanna:

“I take that!”

Fourteen times Enki raised his cup to Inanna. Fourteen times Inanna accepted the holy me. Then Inanna, standing before her father, Acknowledged what Enki had given to her.

Inanna:

“My father has given me the me: ”

He gave me the high priesthood,

Godship,

The noble, enduring crown,

The throne of kingship.

He gave me the noble scepter,

The staff,

The holy measuring rod and line,

The high throne,

Shepherdship,

Kingship.

He gave me the princess priestess,

The divine queen priestess,

The incantation priest,

The noble priest,

The libations priest.

He gave me truth,

Descent into the underworld,

Ascent from the underworld,

The kurgarra.

He gave me the dagger and sword,

The black garment,

The colorful garment,

The loosening of the hair,

The binding of the hair.

He gave me the standard,
The quiver,
The art of lovemaking,
The kissing of the phallus,
The art of prostitution,
The art of speeding.

He gave me the art of forthright speech,
The art of slanderous speech,

The art of adorning speech,

The cult prostitute,

The holy tavern.

He gave me the holy shrine,
The holy priestess of heaven,
The resounding musical instrument,
The art of song,
The art of the elder.

He gave me the art of the hero,
The art of power,
The art of treachery,
The art of straightforwardness,
The plundering of cities,
The setting up of lamentations,
The rejoicing of the heart.

He gave me deceit,
The rebellious land,
The art of kindness,
Travel,
The secure dwelling place.

He gave me the craft of the woodworker,
The craft of the copper worker,
The craft of the smith,
The craft of the leather maker,
The craft of the fuller,
The craft of the builder,
The craft of the reed worker.

He gave me the perceptive ear,

The power of attention,

The holy purification rites,

The feeding pen,

The heaping up of hot coals,

The sheepfold,

Fear,

Consternation,

Dismay.

He gave me the bitter-toothed lion,
The kindling of fire,
The putting out of fire,
The weary arm,
The assembled family,
Procreation.

He gave me the kindling of strife,
Counseling,
Heart-soothing,
The giving of judgments,
The making of decisions.

And I said, “I take that!”

And when Inanna had accepted the last of the me, When she had accepted the making of decisions, Inanna wisely decided to return to Uruk immediately. Enki, still reeling from drink, gave Inanna his blessing as she went.

Enki:

“My sukkal, Isimud — Inanna — is about to leave — for Uruk. It is my wish that she reach her city — safely.” Inanna gathered all the me. The me were placed on the Boat of Heaven. The Boat of Heaven, with the holy me, was pushed off from the quay.

When the beer had gone out from Father Enki, When the beer had gone out from the great God of Wisdom, Enki looked about the Abzu. The eyes of the King of the Abzu searched Eridu. King Enki looked about Eridu and called to Isimud.

Enki:

“My sukkal, Isimud –”

Isimud:

“My king, Enki, I stand ready to serve you.”

Enki:

“The high priesthood? Godship? The noble enduring crown? Where are they?”

Isimud:

“My king has given them to his daughter.”

Enki:

“The art of the hero? The art of power? Treachery? Deceit? Where are they?”

Isimud

“My king has given them to his daughter.”

Enki:

“The perceptive ear? The power of attention? The making of decisions? Where are they?”

Isimud:

“My king has given them to his daughter.”

Fourteen times Enki questioned Isimud, Fourteen times Isimud answered, “My king has given them to his daughter. My king has given all the me to his daughter Inanna.”

Enki:

“Isimud, the Boat of Heaven, with the holy me Where is it now? ”

Isimud:

“The Boat of Heaven is sailing away from Eridu. Inanna is sailing the Boat of Heaven to Uruk.”

Enki:

“Go! Take the enkum-creatures Let them bring the Boat of Heaven back to Eridu!” Isimud gestures to the enkum-creatures to come out and pursue Inanna. Enkum-creatures come running out of the Circle and surround Inanna and Ninshubur.

Inanna:

“Ninshubur, my sukkal, My father has changed his word to me! He has violated his pledge — broken his promise! Come Ninshubur, save the Boat of Heaven with the holy me!” Ninshubur slices the air with her hand. She utters an “earth-shattering cry”. The enkum-creatures run away.

Enki sent Isimud a second time to take the me back from Inanna.

Enki:

“Go! Take the uru-giants Let them bring the Boat of Heaven back to Eridu!” Isimud gestures to the uru-giants to come out and pursue Inanna. Uru-giants come running out of the Circle and surround Inanna and Ninshubur. Ninshubur slices the air with her hand. She gives a cry. The uru-giants run away.

Enki sent Isimud a third time to take the me back from Inanna.

Enki:

“Go! Take the lahama-sea monsters Let them bring the Boat of Heaven back to Eridu!” Isimud gestures to the lahama-monsters to come out and pursue Inanna. Lahama-monsters come running out of the circle and circle around Inanna and Ninshubur. Ninshubur slices the air with her hand. She gives a cry. The lahama-sea monsters run away.

Six times Enki sent Isimud to reclaim the me Six times Ninshubur rescued the Boat of Heaven for Inanna. Enki called to Isimud a final time.

Enki:

“My sukkal, Isimud — Where is the Boat of Heaven now?”

Isimud:

“The Boat of Heaven has entered Uruk Inanna has brought the Boat of Heaven to Uruk.” Inanna brought the me back to Uruk, The Boat of Heaven docked at the shrine of Uruk. The Boat of Heaven docked at the house of Inanna. As the holy me that Inanna received from Enki were unloaded, They were announced and presented to the people of Sumer.

Then more me appeared — more me than Enki had given Inanna. And these, too, were announced, And these, too, Inanna presented to the people of Uruk.

Inanna:

“I bring the placing of the garment on the ground. I bring allure. I bring the art of women. I bring the perfect execution of the me. I bring the tigi- and lilis-drums. I bring the ub-, the meze-, and the ala-tambourines.” The people say, “I take that!”

Then Enki spoke once more to Inanna.

Enki:

“In the name of my power! In the name of my holy shrine! Let the me you have taken with you remain in the holy shrine of your city. Let the high priest spend his days at the holy shrine in song. Let the citizens of your city prosper, Let the children of Uruk rejoice!”

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