F*rty-f*ve, Inanna’s Descent into the Underworld
On January 18, there are still bombs MARIA ALEJANDRA BARRIOS
Impact JARED WOLF
When It Gets Cold in the South, Only the Pumpernickel Survives EXODUS OKTAVIA BROWNLOW
Deviations CAITLIN BARASCH
A Great Fall MARK L. KEATS
Arizona LORNA ROSE
Wellness Check NATHAN WILLIS
Help from Diaspora MARIA OLUWABUKOLA ONI
The Place FRANCES DONNELLY
Repeat Visitor RACHEL WAGNER
Open Wide CAMILLE CLARKE
Soulsmithery SVANI PAREKH
The ancient Greeks might’ve thought Venus was separately the morning star and the evening star, but the Sumerians, in their wisdom, recognized her as one object – Inanna. The story of Inanna’s Descent into the Underworld is said to mimic the movement of Venus across the night sky.
In Sumerian religion, the Kur was a shadowy underground cave ruled by Ereshkigal, Inanna’s sister. Those who entered the underworld could not leave by law. Inanna went to her wearing the lushest clothes and the most expensive jewellery, and her sister didn’t trust her in all this finery. She instructed her ministers to only open each of her seven gates a crack, and to insist on Inanna removing a layer of clothing before entering each chamber. By the time Inanna reached her sister, she was naked. Nevertheless, she took Ereshkigal from the throne and sat in her place. The Anna – the seven judges – punished her by turning her into a corpse and hanging her on a hook.
Etcetera etcetera, it goes on. I think it has a happy ending, depending on whom you root for.
Inanna has become a popular figure in contemporary BDSM, a powerful woman who commands over men and gods. Though she has also been called the patron goddess of parking lots and crawl spaces. Venus is the only planet named for a woman.
Note on the art in this month’s issue
Most of the artwork for the stories this month came from the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall. A limited space, made into so many things.
Please give a little: Our manatees want top hats!
Art (Burney Relief) Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin FRCP (Glasg) CC4.0