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Who is Ereshkigal? Mesopotamian Goddess of the Underworld

Cave like the underworld

Ereshkigal is the queen of the underworld, also known as Irkalla.

She’s a goddess from Mesopotamian myths that plays a major role in several other myths.

The underworld is a scary place, but it’s not an evil one. Ereshkigal has many different interpretations.

Some people see her as the personification of death underneath all the complexities of her story.

But in truth, she’s much more than that.

Here are some things you might not know about Ereshkigal:

Who is Ereskigal?

Ereskigal is the queen of the underworld, also known as Irkalla.

She has famous gods in Mesopotamian myths in her family, and her family relations are as follows:

  • Father: Anu, the sky god, or Enlil, the atmospheric god
  • Sister: Ishtar, or Inanna of Sumer

The sisters are at odds with each other as they each preside over the opposite attributes of death and life, and are never close.

Her spouse god will be Nergal, the god of the underworld, who presides over pestilence and death.

At first, Ereshkigal hates Nergal so much that she wants to kill him.

But eventually, after a great love affair, they marry.

If you want to know more about such a great love affair between Ereshkigal and Nergal,

Please read this article.

What’s Mesopotamian mythology?

Mesopotamia is an ancient region in the Middle East where the Tigris and Euphrates rivers meet.

Several civilizations, notably Babylon and Assyria, flourished there.

Mythology was a key part of everyday life in those cultures, and myths were understood as real events that had happened in the past.

The most famous myths include Gilgamesh and the Great Flood.

But the story of Inanna and Ereshkigal is also incredibly important.

It takes place in the underworld, which was a very important part of Mesopotamian culture.

Inanna's descent into the underworld

Inanna is the goddess of fertility, love, and war.

She is also a very powerful and independent goddess.

At the beginning of the story, Inanna travels to the underworld to visit her sister, Ereshkigal.

People image

The souls of the dead had to travel to the underworld – a dark and terrifying place – through a long, winding road.

In the ancient world, people believed so.