Sunday, May 11, 2008


I found this book on the internet. It sounded intriguing, so I ordered it. I have no opinion yet, since I haven't yet received the book. However, because the subject is the descent of Inanna, I wanted to share it with our group. Sylvia Brinton Perera is a Jungian analyst. It lists for $25, but I found a copy for $6.oo on

Descent to the Goddess: A Way of Initiation for WomenSylvia Brinton Perera (New York)
ISBN 0-919123-05-8. Index. 112 pp. 1981. Pioneer study of the need for an inner female authority in a masculine- oriented society. Interprets the journey into the underworld of Inanna-Ishtar, Goddess of Heaven and Earth, to see Ereshkigal, her dark sister. So must modern women descend into the depths of themselves.

Happy Mother's Day to all of us...


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Hello to everyone. I like this blog.

I purchased two "Inanna" books: 1) "Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Earth" by Diane Wolkstein and Samuel Noah Kramer and 2) "Innana: From the Myths of Ancient Sumer" by Kim Echlin. The latter is written simply, rather like a children's poem. I read it first and I could then quickly follow the story of Inanna before I began the more erudite Wolkstein/Kramer version. I also found a wonderful sculptural piece of jewelry called "Astarte" by the Arroyo Seco artist, Claire Haye. I will wear it to our performance.When I asked myself today, "What do I think of Inanna?" another question immediately emerged as my initial response, "What would it mean to be a woman without fear? I ask this question both as an individual woman, and on behalf of all women.I have not seen Carol's poem. Would someone send a copy to me at kscordova@aol.comSamuel Noah Kramer also wrote a wonderful book that I believe is called "History Began at Sumer."

Kind thoughts to all....Karen

Sunday, April 13, 2008

First-time blog to the "First"

Hi Everyone-I've been remembering of all you wonderful poets since last Fall at the Rane Gallery show and reading. I'm the potter/poet from Cedar Crest, NM. I've been wondering what the results of the survey that you sent out showed about everyone's ideas about first poems and Inana; I've been reading the Wolkenstein book. Also reading some other research about Enheduanna, first recorded woman poet of 2300BC and her poems in praise of Inana. Also read 1000 SPLENDID SUNS. What an amazing book. It is extraordinary that in just a few thousand years, women can go from priestesses to a beloved goddess to slaves without civil rights in a male dominated politico-religious culture, all in the same geography.

Thinking about ideas on language and art. Looking into cuneiform and, since I'm a potter, clay tablets. We would not know about Enheduanna if not for these.

Scanned a book by Lucien Polestron called BOOKS ON FIRE about lost libraries through time. He writes about the first Englishmen to find the ruin of the Assyrian King Ashurbanipal's library at Nineveh. The library had been purported to be 7 stories of clay and stone tablets, the collected writings of that time. All 7 stories had collapsed down into one large pile of rubble. The excited Englishmen walked over the "rubble" smashing tablets into dust in their zeal to reach a wall of friezes-the recognizable art work. They thought the clay and stone tablets were floor tiles and did not recognize the cuneiform designs as language or the tablets as books. I wonder what other "first things" may have been lost then.

So lots of things floating around in the haze here and very interested in seeing what objects and words solidify. Thanks for setting up this blog for us to talk through our ideas. What is everyone else thinking about or working on for July?-Kristin Thacher

Friday, March 14, 2008

first blog

I'm going to read the book as soon as I get back to Taos. Meanwhile, I'm hoping that the work I'm in the middle of can pertain... it always seems to be "the first" . But, maybe not. In which case, I will attempt to be more focused. For now, I'm glad to have blogged.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

A daunting narrative

I hope all is well with everyone and that your muse is ever-present in all your creative endeavors!

I've never blogged before-- never even read a blog-- and I'm getting the sense that many of us are in the same place. I feel as if I've been thrown into this without a road map or compass, but hey! I'm giving it a go. Personally, I like email!

Whether or not you were present at the initial conversation last summer, never fear. We are all in this now, eh? One thing I remember was that a lot of our conversation centered on Iraq... on the war and Bagdad and its place in human history. That was almost a year ago and the war is continuing even as I write. Inanna came from that first, ancient civilization. I believe the layers of history and memory living in that place, that are written into the earth, present us with a daunting narrative. I ask myself, does it beckon me to listen or does it demand to be told? Inanna's story, the story of the land past and present; it's all woven of a piece to me.

I'd like to open our inspiration to that narrative. RESPONSE ANYONE?


Sunday, March 2, 2008

We Continue the Dialogue...

I am responding to Mary Ann's idea of "The First". I like the way in which the theme of the "first" could be interpreted in a wide range of genres, from art to poetry to music. I also like the idea of "The First Poem".

I hope that by continuing to respond to the blog, and to one another, we will be able to be ourselves, to tell our own stories, and to ultimately come together to create a theme and an exciting and dynamic show at RANE Gallery.

Andrea L. Watson

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Be yourself please!

Thanks Mary Ann, the intent of the blog is to be yourself and see how we can create a unique show. We welcome your energy and honesty. This will be an exciting journey. Nancy

First Woman

I have enjoyed reading the blogs from everyone and especially intrigued by Carol's poem. Don't know if I am at a disadvantage or advantage in some way because of not being at the Rane Gallery and in on that discussion about Inanna and the First Poem. I think I was initially interested in the concept of "First"...being "First Woman" in my mind.

Following my own path of creativity this morning I opened a book by Paula Gunn Allen, THE SACRED HOOP, Recovering the Feminine in American Indian Traditions, and her first sentence was:

"In the beginning was thought, and her name was Woman."

My life's work is the empowerment of women. The same threads run through many cultures, old and new. I enjoy the possibility of reading other womens comments and being able to blogg about my own thoughts, and experiences. In a way it feels like communicating to a Feminine Collective Unconscious because I have not met most of you and blogging is new to me. It is like an anchor because I have to put my thoughts into concrete language, which seems like some form of energy I then send out into the universe and I in turn receive this energy back. 

My concern is "Do I need to fit in? Can I just be myself and not disturb the intention of this process?

Sunday, February 24, 2008

We begin here

Hello all-
I'm so excited to see our creative and juicy conversation last summer at the Rane Gallery coming to fruition. We begin here I guess, learning how to blog (new to me). Myth is so rich with possibilities and Inanna... such a potent subject for poets.

And now the sun has entered Pisces, watery sign of the Poet and the Dreamer, sign of creative and fluid imagination. Quite auspicious.

I love the poem you sent Carol. Thanks so much. And thanks to Nancy and the rest who organized and created this blog for us.


Saturday, February 23, 2008

Inanna's Descent


This is my first time participating in a blog. I have been interested in the Inanna myth for a long time, especially in her descent into the underworld/shadow world, being stripped of all symbols of her persona and left naked and vulnerable. I am probably more interested in this aspect than in the "first poem" piece which I'm not sure I understand. Below is an old poem about her. I am happy to continue in dialogue and to participate in any way I can.



Night Diving

Night eloped in high heeled slippers.
Eluding moon’s scrutiny, she banished
dawn for a few more hours.
I followed her down darkened paths,
transcending fear: Inanna’s descent
on curled lips, her journey familiar as fire.

I danced in cloudless skies, dedicated
in shadow, sought her counsel far
from civil tongues and floodlit streets.
She spoke to me in tones of dusk and gray,
sent me back to quilted dreams
of death, of destiny.

I wanted more--to leave behind all falsehood,
view the bridal chamber cloaked in mourning,
then return to innocence, my vision unobscured
by even hints of grasping. My dream turned lucid;
I awoke within its envelope, still wrapped in gossamer.
First light brought with it certainty; I’d waltzed
through long night’s wedding, witnessing a miracle.


Just checking that I'm on board -
Love the idea -
What are you looking for in the long run?

Monday, February 18, 2008

We are on our way.......

Thank you Madelyn for your response. I am also for the idea of keeping things wide and far-ranging to allow for the greatest degree of creativity and response. I do however think there needs to be a thread that holds it all together in a loose way. I also want to welcome Dawn, Mary Ann your story is great, Andrea this will be fun. Kate thank you for providing the platform for building the show, and Cheryl I appreciate your energy. Dorothy and Jennifer we look forward to comments from you. I guess we are on our way.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

The First Poem

I'm very interested in participating in the Inanna show in 2009. Have pen will travel.

I am part of Interwoven Illuminations I and have been featured in Braided Lives. I remember the discussion about the First Poem at the RANE show and was excited about it being limited to women and possibly offered nation-wide. My "first" suggestion? Keep the topic wide and far-ranging to allow for the greatest degree of creativity and response.

Looking forward to meeting other writers and artists.

Madelyn Garner

Friday, February 15, 2008

Inanna and Owls

Excuse me while I just go ahead and jump in with both feet.

What excites me most is the opportunity to explore the strength of this first goddess, Inanna, and in turn strengthen ourselves and hopefully all women.

I just finished reading "Kite Runner" and "A Thousand Splendid Suns" by Ahaled Hosseini. Views of modern day Afghanistan and surrounding countries, what I think of as modern day Sumeria. It is always a shock to read about the abuse of women and men in these countries. 

A few nights ago I dreamed that two black spiders spun webs over my head where I was sleeping in my bed. I startled awake and grabbed my bedside flashlight, shining it up above me thinking they were really there. But it was just in my dream. I thought of it as a harbinger of important mythological work to come and hopefully these were dream catchers being fashioned for me. Perhaps this is some of that work.

When I picture Inanna the first image that comes to mind is the bas-relief attributed to "Lilith". She is naked but winged with spurs and taloned feet that grip the back of the reclining lions who are her natural guardians and flanked by two sacred owls.

I am reminded of the time I retrieved a dead owl from a ditch and took it home to collect some of the undamaged parts. It was opening of bird hunting at that time and someone had shot this beautiful Great Barn Owl. I was concerned that I would offend some spirit but wanted to honor this lovely creature. So when I got home I said a prayer that I wouldn't offend but be guided to honor this owl. I laid the bird on a round wooden table outside and got my sage bundle and my kitchen knife. (Of course I knew how to cut up a whole chicken but this was different, rather sacrilegious!) I lit my sage bundle, purifying myself first then went around the owl and the surrounding the table. Having purified the area I first cut one leg with the foot from the owl. The smoldering sage bundle then rolled on its own accord over to the severed leg and seared the cut area. I understood I should do this to all cut places as an acupuncturist would stop the energy from leaving your body after pulling out a needle. I retrieved one wing and the two legs with feet  then I buried the rest of the owl on the East corner of our home.

After burying the owl I then got my Yupik (Eskimo) drum and performed what I thought might be an owl dance to release the spirit of the owl back to the heavens.

If there is anything to use as a symbol of "HOLDING ON TIGHT TO SOMETHING' it would be owl feet. Because if you have ever seen owl feet they are very muscular and covered with round balls that when closed could capture and hold on to something as small as one hair. They leave no wiggle room to escape.

I have done artwork about this experience and it is called "Moon Woman Welcomes the Return of Owl Spirit." The story I just told you is but a part of the story of this one painting.

Mary Ann Warner, Red Crow Studio,

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Thank you.

I am new to this group and this blog. I am honored to be included, and look forward to participating in the discussion and evolution of this enticing and inspiring theme!

~ Dawn

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Inanna: Queen of Heaven

Nancy, thank you for setting up this blog for an art and poetry event. I hope that many other poets and artists will respond and begin the amazing collaboration process.

I too remember the discussion about Inanna and The First Poem, as mentioned by Kate Cain after the Reflections on RANE show in September, 2007.

I hope that the future event will be designed by women poets and artists coming together to share ideas and concepts.

I love the idea of the "first poem" and indeed any theme about "the first". I have read the work, "Inanna: Queen of Heaven", and encourage both poets and artists to read the original lecture series by Diane Wolkstein.

I am interested to see and hear how others view this collaboration and what the ultimate theme will be, when all is said and done. Count me in for anything that evolves.

And let's meet, when we all can, at the wonderful RANE Gallery and talk and dream with Judith.
Andrea L. Watson