God of the Week: Ishtar

God of the Week 10/12/09: Ishtar

Ishtar

Ishtar is the ancient Assyrian goddess of war, and sweet sweet lovin’. She was the lover of the dying and rising god Tammuz and was portrayed as causing his death.

She is believed to have been the personification of the planet Venus and variations of her as the Queen of Heaven was worshiped in many of the surrounding cultures.

From Tammuz and Ishtar by Stephen Langdon:

In Babylonian religion the earth goddess appears in three aspects in her relation to the dying god. As in the Semitic, Phrygian, and Hittite cults she was here regarded as the mother and wife of Tammuz, and as in the Egyptian cult she was also regarded as his sister and wife. We have here at the very beginning of historic Sumerian religion as strange mixture of principles which probably arose from a mixture of the Sumerian and Semitic cults.

The entire book can be downloaded at Archive.org: Tammuz and Ishtar: a monograph upon Babylonian religion and theology By Stephen Langdon

I have learned that it is very difficult to find information on Ishtar; not because it’s not there, but because it’s difficult to weed out the crappy movies, world music, and neo-pagan references.

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3 Comments on “God of the Week: Ishtar”


  1. “… regarded as the mother and wife of Tammuz, and as in the Egyptian cult she was also regarded as his sister and wife.”

    Wow…sounds like they lived in the Bible belt.

  2. Christopher Says:

    The image above is not Ishtar but Lilith. Not even remotely close.


  3. I LOVE the Goddess Ishtar. A building was built in her honor called “Ishtar Gate” in the city of Babylon.


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