January 17-18, 1997: Betty De Shong Meador

Lecture: Elements of a Spiritual Life: The Individuation of the High Priestess Enheduanna

Enheduanna was a poet and a priestesss in Sumer in 2300 B.C.E. The record of her devotion to the goddess Inanna is contained in three long poems apparently written at different periods of her life. Pre-dating the advent of monotheism by 1000 years, the poems contain a picture of a woman’s spiritual life in the period when goddess as well as gods ruled the pantheons of our ancestors in the ancient Near Easy. Drawing on the passionate, personal account of the poems, we will trace Enheduanna’s individuation and compare her passage to our own contemperary experience. 

Workshop: Inanna, Lady of Largest Heart

The myth of Inanna’s Descent to the Underworld paralells our modern experiences of spiritual death, transformation, and rebirth. Perhaps the oldest descent myth of record, Inanna’s Descent contains the elements familiar to us from alchemy as well as from other mythologies and religions. With this myth as our background, we will explore the stages of the psychological and spiritual process involved in a prolonged encounter with the unconcious. 


Betty De Shong Meador, Ph.D., is a Jungian analyst in Berkely, California. She is the past president of the San Francisco Society of Jungian Analysts. Her translations of poems and myths of the goddess Inanna are contained in her book, Uncursing the Dark, and the poetry of Enheduanna is the subject of her forthcoming book, Inanna: Lady of the Largest Heart. 

Elements of a Spiritual Life: The Individuation of the High Priestess Enheduanna