INNANA AND THE ATTACK ON IRAQ by Jocelyn Chaplin
In these times of human crisis it can help to look back at some of the root causes of the problems and at radical solutions. It is deeply significant that Iraq is the centre of conflict today. For it was in this same ancient land that humans first started developing rigidly hierarchical, patriarchal religions and social structures 5,000yrs ago. It was also where they began extending territory for the sake of it. Before, and for some time after this terrible transition the goddess Inanna was worshipped as representing the old ways.
Inanna, ancient goddess of Mesopotamia seems to have represented the alternating, feminine way of nature.(Perera. 1981). De Shong Meador (2000) describes her as epitomizing the essence of contradiction. She can also be seen embodying the mysterious order within chaos, the rhythmic equalising process that endlessly flows in nature. For thousands of years it seems that Mesopotamian societies lived in tune with her. Then around the 3 rd Millenium BC the new hierarchical paradigm began to develop. It has ruled most of the planet ever since. It underlies not only all patriarchal religions but even the idea of endless economic growth so prevalent today.
Today perhaps we are seeing a final peaking of the dominant hierarchical paradigm in the attack on Iraq and its aftermath. Saddam another patriarchal tyrant, was up against empire building US right wingers, profit seeking corporations and the most powerful war machine the world has even seen.
Ironically, in 2375 BC the first real empire on the planet was created in Sumer (in modern day Iraq ) forcibly uniting all the cities and towns together. Their male gods dominated religion and gradually demoted the goddess Inanna.
A return of Inanna (called Ishtar in Babylon ) to the land she once protected could be a vital metaphor for the radical transformation needed in the world.
This is taken from a longer article published by Jocelyn Chaplin in Psychotherapy and Politics International. Vol2. No.2. 2004.
De Shong Meador.B. Lady of Largest Heart. Austin TX: Univ. of Texas Press.2000.
Perera.S.B. Descent to the Goddess. Toronto : Inner City Books. 1981.