By Ninshubur

Ishtar as a winged Goddess
(Paris, Musée du Louvre)

What I call the Goddess is partly the feminine side of the Divine, and partly an individual personality on her own right.
I believe that that there are several deities as opposed to only one; that they are male and female respectively; that they are their own personalities and individuals, but that all are divine; but that we cannot know their exact number, for each has several aspects and several names.
Thus, to me, "the Goddess" is both acknowledging that the divine can also equal female, not only male, and my own personal patron, Ishtar/Inanna. The latter is whom I worship, whom I love, whom I'm devoted to, and whom I admire. I give her my worship and my attention, and she gives me her love, her protection, and her blessing. I can relate to her as a woman can relate to another woman, and I can talk to her about intimate issues, knowing that as a woman she will understand me.

I see Inanna as a girl, a maiden, who was not born to become a queen but who achieved that position through her own nature and her achievements. According to the myths, Inanna can be aggressive and fickle, and passionate and loving, ambitious, heartless, compassionate and regretful. She is a strong personality, someone who is not afraid to stand up for herself, and make most of any given situation. She is not afraid of her body or her sexuality, and while those like Gilgamesh may judge her wrongly she always knows what she's doing.
In my mind, she then grows up to be Ishtar, to whom I relate most. As Ishtar, she is the Majesty of the Stars, the mature Queen of Heaven. She is as whole as a woman can be, a shining diamond with countless facets. She has found herself and is comfortable with who she is, and with her unimaginable power. As Ishtar,
to me she is the consort of Anu the king of heaven, who is her equal partner in everything, and there is no oppression or belittling in any direction. (Although I suspect that may be in a mythical sense - I am not sure if gods have lovers or romantic relationships. I suppose, why not. To understand mortals they'd have to.)

It is difficult to explain a relationship with one's personal deity to someone who is not familiar with the concept. If you're religious, I'd say, think of a time when you were in a church and felt particularly close to God. Now imagine that you can invoke that feeling whenever you want to, just by directing your focus and thoughts towards your patron. And if you're not religious, I'd ask you to think of a time when you felt completely safe, perhaps when you were a child, and you didn't have to worry because no matter what happened, you knew your mother would love you and everything would be ok. (Obviously it's not like that in this case since I do not perceive my Goddess as very maternal, nor giving unconditional love, but the feeling is similar.)
It is like silver starlight, flowing through your body, and when you close your eyes, you can see her glorious face, and her smile, which seems to be reserved for you only, and you can feel her love and attention as a caress of your soul.


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