Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A Chant to Ishtar

In a vision, seven stars call joyfully for the queen of earth and skies:

Kaddousa kadousa ya Ishtar: you are so sacred so sacred, Ishtar!

In the name of the first and the last,
The one that angels praise and worship,
I call for her help to protect me from the evil spirits.
I call upon the guardian spirits to keep me safe.
Kaddousa kadousa ya Ishtar!

Ishtar, queen of stars, is perfect with no flaws.

My heart calls for you and belongs with you.
Kaddousa kadousa ya Ishtar!
Light of the skies and the universe, my spirit calls for you--
To you all the creatures bow.
Kaddousa kadousa ya Ishtar!

Queen of all,
Creator of things that were and will be,
My heart belongs with you.
Kaddousa kadousa ya Ishtar!
My body calls for you,
Longs for you.
Kaddousa kaddousa ya Ishtar!

To the merciful Ishtar, my goddess:
Humble and loving,
My emotions to you call.

Ishtar, my goddess,
Light up my spirit with your eternal light
And heal my heart with your love.
Ishtar my goddess
For eternity

I, I gave myself to the stars.
I, I gave my eyesight to the cats and lions.
I, I threw my spear and unleashed my emotions for you.
I played my guitar for you.
I put my feathers to make wings for justice.

"I am the hidden flame in all religions."
Is this the truth your lips are telling, my dear?
Are these fantasies that your fingers are trying to touch?

Do you know what am asking for:
Am asking about your blood...does it bear her breath?
Am asking about your mind...can you feel her tears?
Ears listen very well and eyes watch very carefully.

I am the lover and you’re the object of my love.

"They talk of a heart...I talk of a god.
They talk of a father...I talk of I.
I am your father and I am your mother;
I am the king and the queen.

"I am who I am:
I am the first and I am the last.
I am your breath.
I am your tears.
I can hear you calling before you even speak it.
I am love and I am anger."

Sacred, you are queen of earth and skies!
Sacred, you are our muse.
Your name is the light;
You are the highest light.
All creations are yours.

You are the lover and the loved--
And love itself.


To do such a thing in Arabic to a goddess indigenous to the lands where Islam is now the primary religion--certainly to the exclusion and almost extinction of polytheistic religions--is nothing short of revolutionary.

Translation above by my friend Roy from Lebanon. The chant was uploaded to YouTube by Society of the White Flame, but I do not know who originally wrote and performed the chant. This ode is in Arabic and is a modern one.

The goddess Ishtar comes from the Babylonian culture in the area called Mesopotamia, the Fertile Crescent. Babylonian culture lasted from about 1950-635 BCE (about 3962-2647 years ago.) She is a protective, powerful goddess of warfare and sexuality. Although not a Canaanite goddess, she is a goddess to the Canaanites' neighbors, the Babylonians and the Assyrians. She is related to the Canaanite goddess 'Athtartu. The Canaanite goddess 'Athtartu does not have the same association with sex, but she maintains influence over warfare, hunting, justice, treaties, and vows.

Image Notes:
This statue is likely from the Hellenistic period in Mesopotamia, and the statue dates to about the 2nd Century BCE. She is made of alabaster, gold, and rubies. The photo is by Marie-Lan Nguyen and was released into public domain.

Today is:
7 Dabchu-Pagruma (month), Shanatu 85 (year)
This is the seventh day from the new moon which marked the beginning of the month Dabchu-Pagruma in the Canaanite/Ugaritic calendar, as noted in primary texts from circa 1200 BCE. It has been 85 years since the Canaanite city of Ugarit was rediscovered. It is the third month of the year, the year starts with the new moon before autumnal equinox.

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  1. How beautiful and marvelous. That this exquisite hymn was written and recorded in modern Arabic takes my breath away.

    1. I agree, it is magnificent. And when you listen, it is easy to get into an altered state.

  2. I think it would be nice to have the chant set up phonetically with the translation underneath so it's easier to follow along or chant on our own.


    1. Honestly, I'd like to see a bouncing ball with lyrics as the video played so folks can chant along...