Made with Xara Website by Susan Smily Inanna as Goddess of Fertility and as Goddess of Love Notes by Dr. Honora M. Finkelstein The stories of Inanna, which we shall shortly consider, (follow the links) are cultural prototypes for two forms of goddess worship that we find in later cultures. The Sumerian Inanna myths are important, because they show Inanna as both sexual partner and as fecund mother figure, roles that were essentially split off into two paths by later cultures. The culture that produced these particular myths was one of the last Western cultures where women were valued equally with men.  We see goddess worship in Egypt, Greece, and Rome, and in the reverence for the Virgin Mary in the Middle Ages, but it is secondary to the worship of the gods in those societies. Hence, the Sumerian culture that created the myths and songs of Inanna was the last fading remnant of societies in which the honoring of women for their roles as life givers and as sexual partners blended; perhaps this blending also contributed to the balanced cultural and societal interactivity between men and women.    For more information on the early worship of the Great Mother Goddesses, see the following sources: Eisler, Riane. The Chalice and the Blade: Our History, Our Future. San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1987. Gimbutas, Marija. The Language of the Goddess.  San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1989. Sjoo, Monica, and Barbara Mor. The Great Cosmic Mother.  San Francisco: Harper, 1991. Stone, Merlin. When God Was a Woman.  San Diego, New York, and London: Harvest/HBJ, 1976.