The Art of Forthright Speech

So, there’s this story, about Inanna.  Basically, she goes to the God of Wisdom, Enki, and is all, “Hey there, I’m Ereshkigal’s little sister, I’m the goddess of Lurve and Battles, and I’m smokin’ hot.”

Enki says,  “Heh heh heh. Yes, honey, you sure are.”

Inanna says, “Would you like a beer?”

So Enki (who is supposed to be the God of Wisdom, some metaphor there I guess), drinks all of Inanna’s beer.  And gives her all his me, the holy powers of the Gods.  Inanna says, “Thanks, Enki!”

In the morning, he wakes up with the Hangover of the Gods.  And Enki says, “Dude…where’s my me?”

His sukkal says, “You gave them to Inanna.  Look, there she goes. What a fine ass that girl has.”

Enki, who still has the Mother of All Godly Hangovers, is pissed.  He sends some demons off to chase Inanna down and take back the me.  But Inanna’s good buddy Ninshubur, who is the Queen of Spirits and even more kickass than Inanna (rather like Cato and the Green Hornet) fights them off for her.  She does so three times, after which Inanna reaches Uruk, and Enki gives up.

Inanna says, “Ninshubur!  You are my BFF!”

Ninshubur says, “Aww, thanks.”

Hometown crowd on the docks says, “Yaaay!  Iiii-nan-na, Iiiii-nan-na, hey heeeey, she’s our Goddess!”

Inanna says, “Say, would you unpack these me for me?  They are getting a bit heavy.”

When the me are opened up, there are more even than there were before, more than Inanna brought from the house of Enki.  All the powers and skills and knowledge you need to run a civilization are there.  Including the art of writing, and different kinds of speech.  There is the art of adorning speech, the art of forthright speech, the art of deceitful speech.  All have their purpose, and their distinct power.

Words are one of the holy powers of the Gods.  Use them wisely, and purposefully, and well.

About Sara Amis

Sara Amis writes fiction, poetry, non-fiction, and rants. She is a Faery initiate who kicks it old-school, a member of Hellbender Coven, and has many opinions. Her work has appeared in Datura, Jabberwocky, Lilith Queen of the Desert, Witches and Pagans, Moon Milk Review, A Mantle of Stars, and her blog, the Consequence of Chance. Her poem series The Sophia Leaves Text Messages was published as an artist's book by Papaveria Press. She teaches Tarot and magic sometimes.

  • Edge

    Theres a bit of this that reminds me a little of Lilith learning the name of God

    • Sara A

      Yes, and also the story of Isis learning the secret name of Ra through trickery, and thereby becoming “the mother of the Gods.”

  • Edge

    Theres a bit of this that reminds me a little of Lilith learning the name of God

  • http://elinor.livejournal.com/ Elinor

    I love this! Especially:

    Inanna says, “Ninshubur! You are my BFF!”

    Ninshubur says, “Aww, thanks.”

    Hometown crowd on the docks says, “Yaaay! Iiii-nan-na, Iiiii-nan-na, hey heeeey, she’s our Goddess!”
    :-D X-D

  • http://elinor.livejournal.com/ Elinor

    I love this! Especially:

    Inanna says, “Ninshubur! You are my BFF!”

    Ninshubur says, “Aww, thanks.”

    Hometown crowd on the docks says, “Yaaay! Iiii-nan-na, Iiiii-nan-na, hey heeeey, she’s our Goddess!”
    :-D X-D

  • Wes Isley

    I have a certain thing for Inanna myself but it has nothing to do with her rocking bikini bod. Love the modern rip on this story!

  • Wes Isley

    I have a certain thing for Inanna myself but it has nothing to do with her rocking bikini bod. Love the modern rip on this story!

  • Galina Krasskova

    Wow. that is just about the most disrespectful and impious piece of crap that I have ever read. For someone writing about the gift and grace of forthright speech, I’m surprised. I would expect a bit more respect for the Holy Powers from someone writing on this blog.

    • Sara A

      Galina, do not ever again presume to tell me how to relate to or depict MY Goddess. For one thing, it might piss Her off.

      She and I go way back. I have gone down into the dusty dark with her. I have sung the vault of Heaven with her. She is cocky and funny and the most badass of them all, and I am Her priestess. Don’t even.

      • Tamyris

        Then you might want to think about the impression your words give to those who don’t have a relationship with her. I will presume. I know your Goddess too.

        • http://ianphanes.livejournal.com/ Ian Phanes

          you might want to think about the impression your words give

          Galina,
          I find this statement deeply ironic. Your words in your original comment gave me an impression of you as an ungenerous and unmannerly person. (Though I am aware that one comment on the internet may not be an accurate reflection of the individual.)

          • Sara A

            It’s three, so far. There’s having a kneejerk reaction, and then there’s entrenching in it. In any case, if you read what’s available of the original Sumerian and Babylonian material, it’s clear that Inanna/Ishtar (in this case, they really were the same deity) was something of a trickster as well as a warrior, rather hot-headed, and often bawdy.

            In the story of the huluppu tree, she basically goes around and complains to everyone about the bird and the snake and the dark maid messing up her tree, until big brother Gilgamesh fixes it for her. Then she argues with Dumuzi until they fall in love…”from the word of anger, came a word of love.” It’s not a coincidence to me that she is the only deity in that pantheon who has experienced death. She’s charmingly human, and that gives her power, not lessens it.

        • http://lilyshahar.myvidoop.com/ Witch Mom

          It has been my experience that They come to us in a way that makes us comfortable and likely to understand. Why would you presume the way She appears to you is the way She appears to everyone?

  • http://ianphanes.livejournal.com/ Ian Phanes

    Galina,

    Have you ever read the pagan texts that come out of the circum-Mediterranean, particularly the eastern end? Maybe some Greek myths, or the Epic of Gilgamesh? They are blunter than this post. Did you know that Apollo got in a fight with another god (Zeus?) over a human male because of his ass? (Yes, the text specifies the body part.)

    While I wouldn’t choose this version for ritual recitation, I love how it conveys the gods as people.

    ————————-

    sarra,

    Thank you for this post. While I don’t know all that much about Sumerian culture and myths, I have heard this story before and love the concept of the me.

    • Galina Krasskova

      I”m familiar wtih many stories to that effect. in the Norse we have Odin and Thor getting into a verbal contest over who was stronger (in which Odin talks about His sexual conquests while Thor talks about his prowess in combat). I’m familiar with the genre. I just don’t think this particular piece fits into it.

  • http://www.patheos.com/ Star Foster

    We all have strong feelings about our paths and how we perceive the Divine, but let’s keep it civil.

  • http://lilyshahar.myvidoop.com/ Witch Mom

    Wow, I would never tell anyone how to write about their Gods. “Piety” is for the Abrahamic religions. Most Witches I know consider the Gods to be peers.

    A great tale, Sara- modernized for us all!

    • http://kauko-niskala.blogspot.com Kauko

      Agreed, I don’t think that any of us here have the right to use our own personal, subjective experience of our gods as a standard by which to cast judgement on how others relate to their gods.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Q4J4GCRKYTEMDJR72RTLC6FNVY Shimmer

    Great re-telling of a classic tale. All Hail Inanna, the Spicy, Tricky, Glorious One!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Q4J4GCRKYTEMDJR72RTLC6FNVY Shimmer

    Great re-telling of a classic tale. All Hail Inanna, the Spicy, Tricky, Glorious One!

  • http://www.patheos.com/ Star Foster

    I’d just like to remind everyone to be civil, and for the record “pietas” is an ancient Roman virtue. I think people sometimes forget many Christian ideas about religion came from Rome, Greece and Egypt. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piety

    • http://kauko-niskala.blogspot.com Kauko

      To be fair, though, I think that there is only one person guilty of being uncivil and disrespectful of others in this thread. I have yet to see any other person say anything that warrants them being given a warning to act civil.


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