The sister who does a deal with death and learns to live in the Great Below.
The sister, on account of her brother, roamed the city like a circling bird.
Tears blind Geshtinanna seeking her brother beyond the city, out into the desert of grass, Eden (Edin-na-u-sag-ga)
She goes, she goes,
towards the breast of the hills of death
The day waning, the day waning,
towards the hills still bright
to him who lies in blood and water,
the sleeping lord
To him who knows no healing lustrations
to "The Road That Destroys Him Who Walks It"
She, following his path into Eden, knowing that he had been attacked and beaten, ultimately hacked to death by the servants of The Great Below, the lifeless and deathless Galli...
"I will go to the one who committed this outrage on my brother.
I will enter any house."
With those words, Geshtinanna lays down a challenge to Ereshkigal, Queen of the Great Earth...
Translation of names is the first step to understanding..
Geshtinanna is "the leafy grapevine' and also Ama-mutinna (Eme-sal dialect) meaning 'Root stock of the grapevine'.
She and her brother are the 'spirit' within grape and barley; a power created through death.
Alcohol via fermentation.
Both sister and brother must die and both will be stored in jars buried under the earth. The two equinox of the year mark their ascension and descent.
As the autumn sun begins to sink below the Celestial Equator, Geshtinanna comes to Eleusis- until the cults and mysteries are outlawed.
Geshtinanna, Dumuzi (Enlil) and Ereshkigal are names forgotten centuries before in Crete, and gods remembered.
Geshtinanna and Ereshkigal become Persephone: Maiden and Queen of the Underworld, whilst Geshtinanna and her brother become Dionysos dancing along the road, leading the dead, and Demeter, Mother of the Mysteries and the Grain.
In early spring the late January-February full moon signals the festival of The opening of the wine vats (the Anthesteria) celebrating Geshtinanna's return; but no one remembers her name.
It also heralds the death of Dumuzi.
It is a strange time, a Halloween time, because whenever the entrance to the Otherworld is opened, the ghosts and spirits closest may rise and wonder among the living.
They appear as the strangers, the foreigners.
More disconcerting still, are the Galli.
They are all The Kur..or Kares.
Even in Crete- the Eleusinian festival was probably Cretan in origin- Geshtinanna's name had been forgotten. A Cretan text found at Kydonia reads: "I die at twelve years of age, unmarried ... I have left the light and lie in the depths in Persephone's murky chamber." This chamber (thalamos) implies a store-room where seed-corn was often put in underground pits so that it might be fertilized by contact with the dead. (Willetts Cretan Cults, p. 149)
At the time of Eleusinian mysteries, in September, Dumuzi, the brother, has been dead and gone since the spring.
Now the sun grows weaker, it is time for Geshtinanna to die once more.
And for Dumuzi to return to the arms of the Queen of Heaven.
This had been forgotten at Eleusis.
Dumuzi's return and Enlil's (breath of life) is remembered though, as Triptolemnos- 'The Three-fold warrior' charged by Demeter with the task of spreading agriculture through out the world. Enlil, by whose power the wind blew life, in the form of fertilized seeds, into the earth.
None of this name changing business matters!
It is time for Geshtinanna to leave, once more.
I like to think of her in The Great Below brewing medicine for the Galli to ease their troubled hearts, and seeking out the hidden books so that she alone knows what is written in those forbidden tomes..