Areas of Influence: Ereshkigal was the Sumerian Goddess of Attalu, the land of the dead and ancestral memories.
She ruled this land alone passing laws and judgment upon the deceased. Later she fell in love with Nergal who was sent with offerings of food during a feast.
As only the dead were able to stay in Attalu he had to return home. Ereshkigal was so upset by his departure that she threatened the king of the Gods that she would bring all of the dead back to life. Nergal was permitted to return and they ruled the underworld together.
Another Sumerian myth tells the story of her sister Inanna's visit into the underworld. The Goddess is not pleased to see her as she fears she has come to take over her Kingdom. She turns her into a corpse but is eventually she is forced to release her. For more information on this myth please go to the page listed for Inanna.
Some scholar's suggest that this Goddess represents another aspect of Inanna as they both symbolize the changing of the seasons.
Origins and Genealogy: This Goddess is said to be Inanna's elder sister her parents were Nammu and Na
Strengths: Not intimidated by other Gods and Goddesses.
Weaknesses: Jealous of her sister's beauty.
The Burney Relief is said by some archeologists to represent this Goddess. In this sculpture she is shown as a naked winged Goddess standing on a lion with owls flanking her sides.
She is also depicted as a big dark haired Goddess who sleeps naked in a palace made of lapis lazuli.
Sacred Animals: Lions and owls.
Sacred Crystals: Lapis lazuli.
The Crone: Ereshkigal is a classic example of a Crone Goddess, she is fierce and uncompromising and rules over the land of the dead.
In the Pagan tradition the Goddess is often split into three to depict the different stages of a woman's life: mother, maiden and Crone.
The Crone represents the wise old woman whose child bearing days are behind her. Other associations with this Archetype include: compassion, transformation, healing and bawdiness death and endings. She is the respected older woman or grand parent at the heart of family who enjoys life and sharing her experience.
Unfortunately the word Crone or Hag often has negative connotations as many wise woman and midwives were persecuted as witches in the middle ages.
Shadow Crone is the bitter, old woman who has failed to learn from her life. She blames all her failings and unhappiness on a society that no longer respects the elders. As a result she becomes increasingly isolated and fearful.
The Crone: The Crone maybe one of your archetypes if you have gained wisdom, learning from your mistakes and showing a willingness to adapt to changing circumstances.
You are experiencing the Crone's shadow if you have become rigid in your beliefs and have become stuck in a rut having lost all ability to let those areas of your life go that no longer serve you.