Summary: Ishtar is a fertility Goddess.


    Babylonian name: Ishtar

    Sumerian name: Inanna

    (NOTE: In addition to native variations by locality or over time, there are often several possible transliterations into the Roman alphabet used for English.)

basic information:

    Ishtar: Babylonian Goddess of love, fertility, and birth.

Ishtar’s relations:

    Derived from the earlier Sumerian Goddess Inanna and influenced by the Egyptian Goddess Isis. Influenced by and influenced the Phoenician Goddess Astarte and the Canaanite Goddess Asherah. Influenced the Greek Goddess Astraea.

    During the New Kningdom, Ishtar was absorbed into the Egyptian religion at the same time that Babylonian people moved to the Nile valley.

    Amenophia II asked his brother-in-law Tsugratta of Mitanni to send the cult statue of Ishtar of Ninevah to the Nile valley so that the power of the Goddess could cure the Pharaoh of his (unspecified) sickness.


    Planet: Moon

herbs associated with Ishtar:

holy days

    Nativity of Inanna: Birth of Inanna celebrated on January 2nd.


    Ishtar of Mari — Babylonian culture flowered from 600 to 200 BCE. under Ishtar, She who endowed [the king] with prestige. A version of the ancient Sumerian Goddess Inanna, Ishtar’s priestess-queens may have engaged in periodic ritual sacrifice of their kings to insure good omens and prosperity. Her king’s blood, whether symbolic or real, was assumed to fertilize fields and bring bountiful harvest. The city of Mari worshipped Ishtar as a birth Goddess symbolized by the Urn of Life clutched tight to her belly. Worship of her consort Tammuz was imported by the Jews after the Babylonian captivity, and his symbolic death was lamented annually in the temple at Jerusalem. The identifications with Mary, the Virgin Queen, and her divine yet dying son whose blood brings life, are important Christian borrowings. —picture and text © 1996 JBL Statues (now called Sacred Source), original web page and text created by Tom Laudeman

Picture courtesy of JBL Statues
this reproduction was sold by Sacred Source
JBL Statues is now Sacred Source

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Last Updated: October 31, 2010

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