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Basic Information

Ishtar was the Mesopotamian goddess of love, beauty, sex, desire, fertility, war, combat, and political power. Warfare and Sexuality: She was all about conquest. She was the Queen of Heaven.

The Sumerians called her Inanna. Her cult's headquarters was in the city of Uruk. She was later worshipped in the Akkadian Empire, Assyria and Babylonia. It's believed a fair amount of syncretism was involved in the way her cult spread and prospered across these varied empires. It's possible Ishtar and Inanna were originally two different goddesses, who became one about the same time they rose to primacy in the region. She appears in more Mesopotamian Mythology stories than any other god or goddess.

She descended into Kur (the ancient Mesopotamian Underworld) and returned, leaving her lover to suffer in her place. She destroyed mountains and caused floods. She made war. She turned men into werewolves. When Gilgamesh spurned her advances she unleashed the Bull of Heaven which slew Enkidu.

Her symbols were the lion and the 8-pointed star.

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Game and Story Use

  • Could be the source of lycanthropy in your game. Perhaps werewolves are former lovers of Ishtar, or are those who resisted her advances and were punished. Either would work.
  • She's one of the strongest most powerful deities in a mythology (and several cultures) that was mostly dominated by men. She's a very unique character, and a great ancient feminist icon.
  • She'd make a great antagonist (or mentor) in a Scion RPG or any urban fantasy genre game. One that won't take no for an answer, and is always stirring up trouble for the players. She's not a villain, but she is a source of drama and difficulty.
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