Chapter One: Gods and Goddesses: “Our Mother, the First Deity”
Our love for our mother is natural. She feeds us, cuddles us, and kisses our booboos. She provides everything we need, and we love her because she first loved us (1 Jn. 4:19). She went into the valley of the shadow of death for us, destroyed her body for us, gave of her own sustenance to bring us into being, and then sustained us, again, from her own body through breastfeeding. Mother is “food, warmth, comfort, reassurance. She is the only help of the helpless.” She is life, for without her we wouldn’t exist and then, as soon as we were born, we would die. We “eat and drink” her so that we might have life (Jn. 6:54). In summary, our mother gave us her blood wherein is life (Lev. 17:11), she provided for us the breath of life (Gen. 2:7), she birthed us through “water and blood” (1 Jn. 5:6), and we partake of her body as we nurse from her sweet “manna” (Ex. 16:1).
The connection between a mother and her children is even greater than we once realized, as we have discovered that a fetus leaves DNA in his or her mother, which travels to her brain and “many organs of the body including the lung, thyroid muscle, liver, heart, kidney and skin,” remaining with her throughout her life and even being passed to other children. Walker wrote that the “supreme deity . . . before fatherhood was understood, was a Great Mother, the creatress of the universe.” We have generally called her “Ma, or Mah, or Maa, or Ma-Ma, which linguists say refer to ‘mother’s breasts’ in nearly all languages.” As Walker noted, when we pray we lift up our arms like a baby reaching for his mother.
Because women create and sustain life, the natural inclination of the ancients was to imagine a goddess as the supreme being, as any god had to be related to the birth process. Joshua J. Mark wrote regarding the ancient goddess Inanna:
“Inanna is the ancient Sumerian goddess of love, procreation, and of war who later became identified with the Akkadian goddess Ishtar, and further with the Phoenician Astarte and the Greek Aphrodite, among others. She was also seen as the bright star of the morning and evening, Venus. Through the work of the Akkadian poet and high priestess, Enheduanna (2285-2250 BCE) daughter of Sargon of Akkad (who conquered Mesopotamia and built the great Akkadian Empire) Inanna was carefully identified with Ishtar and rose in prominence from a local vegetative deity of the Sumerian people to the Queen of Heaven and the most popular goddess in all of Mesopotamia. . .
“In the Mesopotamian pantheon Inanna is the daughter of the sky-god An, but also is depicted as the daughter of the moon-goddess Ningal and her consort Nanna. Alternately, she is the daughter of the god of wisdom Enki and sister to Ereshkigal (goddess of the underworld) and Utu the sun god. Her husband Dumuzi transforms in time (as Inanna does into Ishtar) into the dying-and-reviving god Tammuz and, annually at the autumn equinox, the people would celebrate the sacred marriage rites of Inanna and Dumuzi as he returned from the underworld to mate again with Inanna, thus bringing the land to life. Her temples throughout Mesopotamia were numerous, and sacred prostitutes of both genders were employed to ensure the fertility of the earth and the continued prosperity of the communities.”
Regarding Inanna, historian Gwendolyn Leick wrote:
“Inanna was the foremost Sumerian goddess, patron deity of Uruk. Her name was written with a sign that represents a reed stalk tied into a loop at the top. This appears in the very earliest written texts from the mid-fourth millennium B.C. She is also mentioned in all the early god lists among the four main deities, along with Anu, Enki, and Enlil. In the royal inscriptions of the early Dynastic Period, Inanna is often invoked as the special protectress of kings. Sargon of Akkad claimed her support in battle and politics. It appears that it was during the third millennium that the goddess acquired martial aspects that may derive from a syncretism with the Semitic deity Ishtar.”
Tina Rae Collins
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 Walker, Man Made God, 23.  Robert Martone, “Scientists Discover Children’s Cells Living in Mothers’ Brains: the connection between mother and child is ever deeper than thought,” scientificamerican.com, 12 Dec. 2012, web, 16 Nov. 2014.  Walker, Man Made God, 57. See also: Peter Farb, Word Play (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1974), 317.  Walker, Man Made God, 58.  Joshua J. Mark, “Inanna,” Ancient History Encyclopedia, ancient.eu, 15 Oct. 2010, web, 23 Apr. 2015.  Gwendolyn Leick, The A to Z of Mesopotamia (Scarecrow Press, 2010), 89.