return to Home Page
or move on to Goddess Eriu, next chronologically,
or use Her Cyclopedia Index

Ereshkigal, Queen of Deadland.

Alternate meaning: Mistress-of-Death.

[To Whom the eighth day of February is dedicated]

Geography/Culture: Sumerian, Babylonian.

Description: She Who is Holy and of great renown; Compassionless, violent chthonic Goddess of gloom, death and the dead; Receiver of offerings made to the dead; She Who is full of rage, greed and loneliness; Embodiment of the night-time aspect of the feminine, powerful, insatiable sexuality that seeks solace for the wounds of accumulated rejection in physical union; Queen of the wilderness at the world's end; She Whose food is clay; Ruler, with seven judges, of Kur-nu-gi-a 'The land of no return', the dry, dark enemy territory, where at each of it's seven portals (some say fourteen), the descending spirit must divest one garment or ornament [the roles of life] till shehe arrives as naked as the Queen Herself; Granter of peace and wisdom; Giver of the gifts of fertility and growth; She Who nutures the buried seed; Birth-giving Mother, Shw Whose black hair 'swirls around Her like leeks'; Owner of the Tablets of Wisdom; Fallow season of earth; She Who is the darkness to Her Sister Inanna's light. Some call Her realm Irkalla, Kigalla,or Aralu.

To Whom are sacred: wood (symbol of impermanence and decay); lioness; lion-cub; horse of death; river of death; boat; rain-bow garden; lapis-lazuli (Her temple is made of it); the number 7 (symbol of wholeness in Akkadia).

Icon: She is sometimes portrayed as lioness-headed suckling cubs); sometimes She is shown in a boat kneeling on the horse of death).

Male Associates: In the beginning She ruled alone, but eventually Her consort was Nergal, of Kutha. A sky-god, regarded as the sun of the summer solstice and noon-day heat, the harbinger of suffering and death. She is also associated with Gugalanna, Bull of Heaven, [possibly a title of Dummuzi], who rests with Her six months of the year and rises again in early spring [perhaps March when the planet Taurus arises].

Titles, Variants, etc.

Sources: Britannica v9 736cd; Cotterell DWM 36, 39; Monaghan BGH 97-8; Wolkstein & Kramer IQHE 55-7, 64-7, 89, 157-8, 160-1, 168.

Allatu, Underworld-Goddess.

Alternate meaning: Goddess.

Titles, Variants, etc.

Alukah, Horse Leech.

Alternat emeaning: [Insatiable].

Description: She Who is insatiable, as are Her two Daughters (Who were named by Solomon Give and Give.

To Whom is sacred: horse-leech (a fresh water animal akin to the medicinal leech with thirty teeth; it swims into the jaws of drinking animals and fastens on the back of the throat -- as a type of relentless greed it takes its name from Her).

Titles, Variants, etc.

Source: Graves WG 448.

Belit-Seri, '---'.

Geography/Culture: Babylonian.

Titles, Variants, etc.

Nin-Edin, `Lady---'.

Geography/Culture: Babylonian.

Description: Goddess who records all human activities who assists Ereshkigal at the judgement of the newly dead.

Titles, Variants, etc.

Source: Sout: BGH44.

Nin-Azu, `Lady-[of-death]'.

Geography/Culture: Sumerian.

Description: Sleeping naked Death who holds the sleeping dead in the perpetual embrace of a mother.

Titles, Variants, etc.

Source: Sour: BGH/219.

Return to the top of this document.