Ereshkigal - Babylonian

Queen of the Underworld.

    Ruler of the kingdom of the dead, a place of dust and dismal bleakness where priests, prophets and kings alike share the same eternal fate to sit like motionless birds and subsist on mud.
Ishtar, a principal goddess, after causing the death of one of her lovers, demanded entry into the Underworld to see him. She was escorted by one of Ereshkigal's guides who told her that she must part with different items of her finery on the way so, by the time they meet, Ishtar was naked and enraged at her treatment. She attacked Ereshkigal who overcame Ishtar and compelled her to remain in the kingdom of the dead. lshtar’s influence as the goddess of love was lost to the world with the consequence that no creatures were able to breed. Ereshkigal was eventually persuaded to sprinkle the water of life on lshtar and return her finery.
In the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh, the story of a king's search for immortality, Ereshkigal allowed Enkidu, the bosom friend of Gilgamesh, to witness the sorrows of her morbid dark kingdom. Enkidu described to Gilgamesh how he saw Ereshkigal with the Book of the Dead and her scribe, Belit-Sheri, amongst the souls of the dead wearing garments of wings.

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