I wonder if the public is more familiar with the Gods of War (i.e. Egyptian: Montu, Roman: Mars, Greek: Ares) versus the much cooler Goddesses of War? After a little digging, I was excited to stumble across the ancient Sumerian (Mesopotamian religion) goddess of war, passion, sexuality, love, fertility, prostitution and justice- Inanna (or Ishtar in Akkadian). She is associated with the morning and evening star, the planet Venus and was later elevated as the Queen of Heaven by the Sumerian people.
However, after the declined of the Sumerian civilization patriarchy began to rise reducing the Goddess to the semi-deity Ishtar. Inanna is often depicted with a pair of wings, double-knotted reeds and serpent-twisted staff rooting from the ancient Neolithic Bird and Snake Goddess. The symbolic caduceus and the double-headed axe represented her power to begin (fertility) and end (war) life. If the Goddess is seen with a lion, it reflects her inner courage and ability to tame the "King of Beasts".
Inanna cleverly gained power by challenging her father, Enki (or Ea in Akkadian- the powerful Mesopotamian God of fresh water, wisdom, intelligence, trickery, crafts and creation- "The Lord of Earth") to a drinking competition. Once her father fell into a drunken stupor Inanna stole Enki's meh (or me). The meh was an important decree regarding the rules of civilization or "Divine Law". The following morning, Enki noticed the meh was missing and sent demons after Inanna to retrieve the tool. However, with her wit she easily evaded the demons as she found safety in Uruk (an ancient Sumer city or ancient Iraq) and established residence at the Temple of Eanna.
In the 21st century, Inanna is still remains one of the more beloved Gods or Goddesses in Sumerian culture. Marriage, Sister, th