While surfing the net today, I came across a thought provoking piece written at the Huffington Post by Valerie Tarico, author of "The Dark Side." In it, she interviews Dr. Tony Nugent, a scholar of world religions, mythology, ancient symbols and teacher at Seattle University's Department of Theology and Religious Studies.
Here's an excerpt from the post:
"A long, long time ago, before humans were even created, Inanna, the "Queen of Heaven," took a journey to the Underworld, a realm under the control of her sister Ereshkigal. She says she's doing this to attend a funeral, but her real motivation is unclear. Before heading out Inanna gives instructions to her assistant about rescuing her if she runs into trouble, which she does.
. . . Inanna is instructed by the gatekeepers to take off one article of clothing at each gate in order to pass through. She thus arrives naked at her destination, where she is arrested, put on trial by the judges of the Underworld, convicted of an undisclosed crime, sentenced to death, tortured, and hung on a wooden stake. The result of her death is that the earth becomes sterile."
It's an interesting story and, as I stated, a thought provoking piece about religion, death, resurrection and the possible mythic, symbolic origins of Easter.