Lecture: The Carved-out Ground Plan of Heaven and Earth. The Mesopotamian goddess Inanna wears on her robe "the carved-out ground plan of heaven and earth," thus declaring herself to be the architect of perceived reality. Her plan, as described by the poet and priestess Enheduanna, encompasses both the beauty, joy and goodness of life as well as sorrow, tragedy, pain, violence and death. Inanna herself embodies paradox and creates for her human subjects all the difficult opposing forces of the outer and inner worlds. From Jung’s psychology we learn that the demanding contradictions that challenge every human being are the whet stones on which we hone our individuality and widen the circumference of our consciousness. We will explore transformative strategy of embracing dark and light, examining this process as a gateway to understanding the Divine Feminine.
Workshop: Warrior, Priestess, Lover, Androgyne. The variety and potency of the images of the Divine Feminine in Mesopotamia suggest that these ancient people had access to energetic expression long since stifled in men and women in the west. Because the divine beings of Mesopotamia are direct precursors of Judaism and Christianity, they are latent in the western psyche as the shadow of an overly exclusive masculine god. We will explore through slide images, text and discussion such shadow figures as the ecstatic priestess, the warrior goddess, the divine life force as sexuality, and the androgyne, all of whom carry a balancing potential for the traditional western individual and offer the possibility of a greatly expanded consciousness.
Betty De Shong Meador, Ph.D., is a Jungian analyst in Berkeley, California, and a past president of the C.G. Jung Institute of San Francisco. Her translations of myths and songs to the Mesopotamian goddess Inanna appear in her book Uncursing the Dark. The Inanna poems of the first poet of record, the high priestess Enheduanna, are featured in her forthcoming book Inanna: Lady of Largest Heart to be published by the University of Texas Press, 2000.