the rite

To break open the exoskeleton of the self (my fear of people) which has limited growth. To reconcile the inner aspects of Ishtar and Ereshkigal. Metamorphosis!

Wreck Beach, Vancouver.


Before I began the initiation rite I did a few other workings in the weeks leading up to it. I made a 'magical hall pass' collage using Mercury's iconography. I also spent a couple of weeks purposely making eye contact with every person I passed by. I also tried to be conscious of the times when I felt nervous and to purposely relax my body when that happened. As above; so below ...

I did this rite at Wreck Beach in Vancouver which is located on the edge of the UBC campus. It is a very magical place. People have planted huge pieces of driftwood into the sand to look like totem poles randomly dispersed. At the centre someone has woven a huge dreamcatcher. Its diameter is about 15 feet. To get there you have to walk down a long, steep staircase. When I arrived, a woman dressed in a hooded cloak was trying to start a lantern. We walked down together and I thought it was sort of like walking with the Hermit. Halfway down the trail is a cedar tree that must have been blasted by lightning or something. It is hollow and blackened. I left an offering of white, fragrant flowers there for Erishkigal.

I wore blue face paint as a emblem of Erishkigal. I traced out a crossroads in the sand and put sigiled candles at each end. That didn't really work because the breeze kept blowing them out. I wound up burning the candles later. At the centre I put the paper arachnid sculpture.

d'nammu-me-en d'nammu-me-en d'nammu-me-en agruna-ka-me-en
e'-kukku-sche a-ba hu-mu-da-du ga-e abzu-ta h'e-da-du

("I am of Nammu, I am of Nammu, I am of Nammu the daughter of the Agrun.)
("Who will go with me to the House of Darkness? I come out from the Abzu.")

Called the quarters. I included Mercury who is obviously not Sumerian but has proven very helpful lately.

point one:
In theory I was going to light the first candle and name the place Ganzir (the gateway to the underworld). No such luck. I did evoke Ningizsida and say:

This is the place where we wear darkness like wings.
Open the gate that I might pass;
or, I shall burst it and smash the lock.
I shall destroy the threshold and break the doorposts.
I shall make the dead rise
and they will outnumber the living.

I offered the paper sculpture to Ningizsida for hir help. Inside was a beetle. When I opened the sculpture I thought of it as an aspect of the self that needed to be released or set into motion to facilitate transformation. The beetle corresponded to the Gal-La demons scurrying off to do their busy chaotic work. I spoke to the beetle and asked it to decompose my fear.

point two: moonset
No luck with this candle either which was to name the place Kidbabbare the land where the moon leaves to represent the chaos of memory. I did recite this excerpt from the prayer to the night godz though:

They are lying down, the great ones.
The bolts are fallen; the fastenings are placed.
The crowds and people are quiet.
The open gates are now closed.
Veiled is the night;
The temple and the most holy places are quiet and dark.
O great ones, godz of the night,
O bright ones, shining ones
Stand by, sleep and dream your dreams
and when you awaken
help me wake up too

I did a pathworking where I re-visited my most terrible memories.
I culminated this with a visualization of the mythic destruction of Ishtar. Saw her hanging on the hook, rotting like meat.

point three:
Originally I was going to light a candle and name this place Kinamtarrida the place of fate where chaos opens the way to transformation.

Here beyond the edge of fear all time is suspended.
This night even the godz sleep to wake to a new dream.
Alone Alad awakes weaving seven winds through the mists of time
He awakens Dim-Me silent as leopard feet
Out of the marshes like a serpent she glides with wisdom.

Well. I originally had planned a pathworking here but something different happened. I was up in the forest when a bunch of drunk guys came up the path and I admit I was kind of scared at first but I could feel the darkness surrounding me and I knew I had nothing to fear at all. I felt like a creature of the night. In fact, I thought that maybe the drunk dudes were the ones who should be afraid. ha ha =) Anyway, they were ok really and left without incident. I fell asleep a little while after.

Point four:
Originally I planned to light the fourth candle at sunrise and to name the next stage E-ana (House of heaven). Well, I slept in. I woke up around 10 or so and went back down to the beach.

I visualized the godz waking up and then recited part of Ishtar's hymn:

Ishtar is clothed with pleasure and love,
She is laden with vitality, charm and voluptuousness.
In lips she is sweet, life is in her mouth.
At her appearance rejoicing becomes full.
She is glorious; veils are thrown over her head.
Her figure is beautiful; her eyes are brilliant.
She holds the fate of everything in her hand.
At her glance there is created joy,
Power, magnificence, the protecting deity and guardian spirit.

I offered some flowers that I had stolen from various gardens.
I made an oath to be friends with Ishtar and to make a place in my life for her full aspect. Originally I was going to set a bird free but I didn't think it would survive the night vigil. Luckily, as I was eating my lunch a bunch of sparrows visited me and so I fed them crumbs instead. One of them was brave enough to land right on the palm of my hand. Very kewl.

I was suntanning and relaxing and frankly at this point I was thinking of cheating and not taking off my clothes as Ishtar did when she passed the seven gates of Irkalla. That's when Raphael showed up. He gave me a reflexology massage and said I should take off my clothes. I did. He also put sunscreen on me and had some very interesting things to say. I put on a gold coloured dress before I left the beach. I also got a tattoo a couple days after. I want it there as a visual reminder that I can break through any prison: even the ones my mind creates.

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