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 Ishtar

Great Goddess; mother goddess; astral goddess.  (star)
Moon / Venus / Mars / Neptune / Uranus / Fire / Water / July / Aquarius / Leo / Aries / Taurus
(Near Eastern: Mesopotamian: Sumerian, Akkadian, Babylonian)

Ishtar rules lust, love, sex, sexuality, war, warfare, fertility, procreation, rain, ambition, fate, comets, aggressiveness, impatience, duality, desire, dangerous love, physical passion, forbidden love, solar eclipses, all-consuming love, the vital force, the waters of life, the fertility of fields and flocks, everything that happens, and Venus as both the morning and the evening star. She is the matron of women and prostitutes.

Other names for Ishtar, which is also spelled Istar and Estar, include Ishara or Ishhara, Irnini, Mylitta, Har, Hora, and Shaushka. Her name is Dilbah as the morning star, and Zib as the evening star. Ishtar was worshiped as a god in some places. When her worship spread to southern Arabia she became the high god Ashtar, whose name was also rendered Astar, Atar, Attar, 'Attar, Atter, Athar, 'Athtar, Athtar, and Atra.

Ishtar has many titles. In her aspect as Great Goddess she is called Great Mother, Goddess of Goddesses, Ruler of the World, Lady of Heaven, Queen of Heaven, Queen of Heaven and Earth, Ruler of the Heavens, Highest Sovereign of the Heavens, and Great Goddess of Love and War. As war goddess, her titles include Lady of Battle, Leader of Hosts, and Queen of Attack and Hand-to-Hand Fighting. As goddess of the Moon and planet Venus, she is called Shining One, Light of the World, Bright Light of Nights, Sharrat Shame (queen of heaven), and Bright Shining One of the Heavens. In her sexual aspect, her titles include Goddess of Sighing, Lady of Passion and Desire, Great Lover, Glad-eyed Lady, The Harlot, Great Harlot, Heavenly Prostitute, Mother of Harlots, and Lady of All the Harlots of Ur. The Hebrews called her Whore of Babylon and Great Whore of Babylon.

Other titles of Ishtar include Star of Heaven, Beautiful Queen, Daughter of the Moon, Lady of Never-Falling Waters, Lady of Victory, Lady of Sorrow, Queen of the Rising of the Sun, Mistress of the Gods, Lioness of the Igigi, Bestower of Strength, Protector of the Weak, Mother of the Fruitful Breast, Lady of the Palace, She Who Holds Reigns of Royalty, Lawgiver, Righteous Judge, Framer of all Decrees, Giver of Justice and Laws, Beloved of Enki, Forgiver of Sins, Ishtar of Nineveh, Ishtar of Babylon, Ishtar of Arbela, Opener of the Womb, and Lady of Birth.

Ishtar's symbols are vulva, phallus, bundle of reeds, and a star of eight or sixteen points. Lions and dragons are her sacred animals. She is also associated with bulls and war horses. Her sacred bird is the griffon vulture. Sirius is her star and 15 is her sacred number. Acacia, palm, date palm, and willow trees are sacred to her, as is an acacia wood ark. Wheat is her sacred plant. January 27 and October 21 are Ishtar's feast days. The Assyrian month of Belti-ekallim, which corresponds roughly to July, was sacred to her.

Ishtar was described as a beautiful, voluptuous woman, who wears fine clothes and many jewels. Although often depicted as a winged woman standing on a lion, she was also portrayed as a prostitute in a window, or holding her breasts, or with attributes such as dragons, tiara, bow and arrow, serpent scepter, weapon cases, or vessel of overflowing water. Ishtarís vehicle is a chariot drawn by seven lions, and her shield is emblazoned with her star.

Invoke Ishtar for fertility, battle, pleasure, order, harmony, wisdom, power, passion, courage, joy, protection, strength, victory, rain, guidance, vitality, wishes, longevity, procreation, compassion, cleverness, boldness, benevolence, shamelessness, forgiveness, dragon magic, love spells, dream oracles, sex magic, female power, sexual freedom, sacred prostitution, decisive action, sexual satisfaction, multiple births, and spells and rituals which relate to fate. She can also be invoked for healing, hunting, making decisions, relieving suffering, defeating enemies, escaping danger, taking lovers, walking between worlds, and protecting those who are oppressed or mistreated.

Ishtar was served by transvestite priests, and sacred prostitutes of both genders. The priestesses who served as sacred prostitutes in her temples were called ishtaritu. Suitable offerings to Ishtar include stars, phalluses, daily prayers, the Great Rite, and entrusting your fate entirely to her.

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