Ishtar has been a part of my life since I first began my journey. For several years, she lived in the background. I would hear her name, see something about her, or read something related to her mythos. But, it took me until the last few months of 2020 to actually integrate her into my daily practice. Now, it feels like we’ve been close forever.
Ishtar is the Akkadian goddess of war and sexual love and many other contradictory energies such as sex and violence, life and death, beauty and terror, order and chaos. Nothing is ever one extreme over the other. Balance is important to her and she reminds me of this fact every single day.
She has been called the “Mother of All” but has never been portrayed as a mother-goddess. She is seen more as a recklessly beautiful firecracker and respected for it. For this reason, fire is her element and, like fire, she represents the ability to create or destroy at will.
There is very little known about Ishtar, as she has been dated to be the oldest known deity to historians. But, based on the few stories we do have about her, she was well-known in ancient Mesopotamia. She seems to have been associated with Kings, justice, and warfare. It is said that she would guide the ancient leaders in their conquests.
Her planet is Venus and it is believed that is where she originated to begin with. In most of the information out there, she is seen as an astral being. If you subscribe to the idea of Starseeds, she would be the Source for Venusian DNA.
The specifics of ancient Ishtar worship is unknown and I couldn’t find much on modern day worship either. But, I can share with you how I honor this great and powerful goddess on the daily.
As for each of my other main goddesses, I have a white 7-day candle to represent her. Ishtar’s candle has a very simplified drawing of a Star, one of Ishtar’s symbols, that I light daily. Every time I have new alcohol, I give each of the goddesses some in a shot glass as well and, occasionally, I will give them some fruit or other food offering. Ishtar is pretty fond of dates, even having one of her titles as Lady of the Date Clusters.
I’ve offered her my gold and citrine necklace and earring set. Citrine, as well as lapis lazuli, is one of her favored crystals. I have the necklace draped around her neck then the earrings in a lapis lazuli heart-shaped bowl next to her statue. In her permanent offering glass, she has several tiny lapis lazuli crystals as well as herbs and spices associated with her. I’ve also offered her a piece of artwork that I drew specifically for her. Finally, there is a Star tarot card next to the artwork.
When I want to take her with me throughout the day, or when I want to invoke her energy for myself, I dab on some Ishtar anointing oil that I bought from Blazing Torch on Etsy. I highly recommend this shop as the owner, Helena, creates her oils at auspicious times associated with the needs of the oils themselves, using specific ingredients as well. I also have some Sekhmet oil on its way in the mail right now. She will be another goddess I mention later on, so stay tuned.
I definitely consider myself a Daughter of Ishtar and am proud to work with this amazing goddess on the regular.