[personal profile] asthefiretree
For Ostara, we had clear weather and were again able to return to the circle of Cedarlight’s outside sanctuary. Our celebratory ventures took yet another twist, this time somewhat outside of the bounds of Indo-European tradition as we told the story of the Descent of Inanna (Though a few in our Grove did some research and believed that they found some degree of justification to include it under the IE umbrella, I won’t try to argue that here.)

Sometime shortly after Imbolc, Caryn got the brilliant idea that it would be great to learn the story of Inanna’s descent into the underworld, and to do a ritual based on the story. She wrote the ritual and used invocations that had been written by another Grove member some time back that was familiar with Sumerian mythology. Some liberties were taken in associating each of the items that Inanna gives up during her descent with each of the seven charkas. Doing that, we created a “gate” in the form of a colored flag and used these flags as the gates instead of the fire the well and the tree and the opening of the gates occurred as Caryn walked around the circle, miming giving up each of the seven items that the goddess left behind: jewels, clothing and all until Inanna arrives in the underworld, stripped bare of all that she has to confront her sister, Eriskigal, Queen of the Underworld.

Instead of making offerings to the outsiders, those of us that had held the “gates” walked around the circle with bells and chimes. In Sumerian mythology, the spirits that we would equate to outsiders take no food not drink nor any other sort of bribe. Instead they might be kept at bay for a time by the ringing of bells.

Aside from the treating of the gates and the outsiders, the ritual kept to the ADF format. The night before the ritual, a small group of us gathered at the Grove to watch a video of a performance of the poem The Descent Of Inanna so that we might get a better idea of the original story.

This particular ritual held some novelty in its deviations from normal ADF style and IE tradition. Because, I think, of the unfamiliar gods, I did not find a lot of spiritual significance for myself in it, however I was happy to again be gathering with my Grove, and to have learned something new in a story that was previously unknown to me.

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asthefiretree

March 2010

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