When Overwhelm Meets Inner Strength
a myth about the Goddess of love, war and fertility
Hey there, Happy Easter! For the day that's in it, we're going to delve into a lesser-known story of resurrection and love. It's a little bit longer (but worth it), so grab some chocolate, pour yourself a fresh cup of tea, and let's explore this story of inner strength.
Ishtar is a goddess who embodies the essence of feminine power and resilience. I love her story, it is one of passion, betrayal, and ultimately triumph in the face of some fairly chaotic family drama!
According to the myth, Ishtar descended into the underworld to confront her sister Ereshkigal, the Queen of the Underworld who had killed Ishtar's husband. Ereshkigal, consumed by jealousy over Ishtar's happy marriage, had sent a savage wild boar to kill Ishtar's beloved husband Tammuz.
As Ishtar journeyed through the underworld, she was stripped of her divine powers and made to pass through seven daunting gates. At each gate, she was forced to remove a piece of clothing until she stood before Ereshkigal naked and vulnerable. Which symbolises her descent into the depths of her own psyche. Despite the obstacles, Ishtar refused to give up and finally faced her sister.
Upon her release, Ishtar learned that her husband Tammuz had been resurrected and was now living in the underworld for part of each year. In some versions of the tale, Ishtar agrees to take Tammuz's place in the underworld for part of the year as a way of ensuring his safe return, the switch places. This magical exchange offers a mythical explanation for the change in seasonal cycles that we witness every year.
Think about a time when you felt overwhelmed or stuck in a difficult situation. Instead of fighting against it or running away, what would happen if you were to face it — and allow yourself to fully experience the depth of your emotions?
Like Ishtar, when we have the courage to confront our fears and shadows, we can emerge stronger and more empowered on the other side.
Unlocking Your Strength: Lessons from Ishtar's Journey
How can this 4000-year-old story help move you in real life?
Ishtar's journey to the underworld is a metaphor for facing our fears and confronting the things that scare us. By going through this experience, Ishtar regained her power and became stronger. In our own lives, it can be so tempting to avoid difficult situations and just put up with difficult people. Sometimes the only way to overcome our challenges is to face them head-on.
Despite the obstacles that she faces at each gate Ishtar persists. A reminder that success requires perseverance. When we encounter setbacks and pain keeping focused on the end goal and our inner strength, helps to find meaning in it and we can overcome even the nastiest of challenges.
In this story, Ishtar bravely follows her heart and her intuition even in the face of opposition, which is perhaps the most potent message. By staying true to ourselves and trusting our inner guidance, we can maintain good mental and emotional health.
No matter what you believe, or don't believe this story of Ishtar, and the more familiar Easter tales can be a reminder to trust our inner knowing. Even in our darkest moments, connecting with and trusting our inner wisdom can only bring positive affect. With meditation practice, that wisdom gets a lot closer. As the wise Albert Einstein said:
The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant.
We have created a society that honours the servant and has forgotten the gift.
It's not always simple to connect with the gift of our intuitive mind in the busyness of life — but it is always worth it.
Beannachtaí na Cásca ort / Happy Easter!
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