Friday, August 26, 2011

The Joy of Sumer: The Sacred Marriage Rite

The people of Sumer assemble in the palace,
The house which guides the land.
The king builds a throne for the queen of the palace.
He sits beside her on the throne.
In order to care for the life of all the lands,
The exact first day of the month is closely examined,
And on the day of the disappearance of the moon,
On the day of the sleeping of the moon,
The Sacred Measures, the Me, are perfectly carried out,
So that the New Year´s Day, the day of rites,
May be properly determined,
And a sleeping place be set up for Inanna.
The people cleanse the rushes with sweet-smelling cedar oil
They arange the rushes for the bed.
They spread a bridal sheet over the bed.
A bridal sheet to rejoice the heart,
A bridal sheet to sweeten the loins,
A bridal sheet for Inanna and Dumuzi.
The queen bathes her holy loins,
Inanna bathes for the holy loins of Dumuzi,
She washes herself with soap,
She sprinkles sweet-smelling cedar oil on the ground.
The king goes with lifted head to the holy loins,
Dumuzi goes with lifted head t the holy loins of Inanna.
He lies down besie her on the bed.
Tenderly he caresses her, murmuring words of love:
"O my holy jewel! O my wondrous Inanna!"
After he enters the holy vulva, causing the queen to rejoice,
After he enters the holy vulva, causing Inanna to rejoice,
Inanna holds him to her and murmurs:
"O Dumuzi, you are truly my love!"
The king bids the people to enter the great hall,
The people bring food offerings and bowls,
They burn juniper resin, perform laving rites,
And pile up sweet-smelling incense.
The king embraces his beloved bride,
Dumuzi embraces Inanna.
Inanna, seated on the royal throne, shines like daylight.
The king, like the sun, shines radiantly by her side.
He arranges abundance, lushness and plenty before her.
He assembles the people of Sumer.
The musicians play for the queen,
They play the loud instruments which drowns out the Southern storm,
They play the sweet algar-instruments, the ornament of the palace,
They play the stringed instrument that brings joy to all people,
They play songs for Inanna to rejoice the heart.
The king reaches out his hand for food and drink,
Dumuzi reaches out his hand for food and drink,
The palace is festive, the king is joyous
In the pure clean place they celebrate Inanna in song.
She is the ornament of the assembly, the joy of Sumer!
The people spend the day in plenty.
The king stands before the assembly in great joy.
He hails Inanna with the praises of the gods and the assembly:
"Holy Priestess! Created with the heavens and earth,
Inanna, first daughter of the Moon, Lady of the Evening!
I sing you praises!"