Honest Myth:Sumarian- Ningal

Art from the game Forgotten Realms. I could only find one piece of art depicting her in cultural context, but it had such realistic eyes it creeped me out. Instead, I opted for this one because it is an interesting modern rendition. I am not sure who the artist is, the signature says SW.

Art from the game Forgotten Realms. I could only find one piece of art depicting her in cultural context, but it had such realistic eyes it creeped me out. Instead, I opted for this one because it is an interesting modern rendition. I am not sure who the artist is, the signature says SW.

So I have finally come back to the mythological posts. School is going to start soon, and this can no longer be done daily. Even so, I plan to do as many as I can as frequently as I can. Today’s myth revolves around a Goddess that exists in many cultures (Canaanite and Phoenician and Sumerian). She is known as either Nikkal or Ningal the Goddess of Fertility.

Ningal is the Goddess of Fruit and Fertility. She is married to the God of the Moon, whom she refused to marry until he made the whole world fruitful. It has also been said that her father refused the marriage, but was won over when the Moon God presented gifts of lapis lazuli necklaces (a beautiful stone that was the diamond of the culture). The legend says that each night he waters her plants for her and so dew appears in the morning.

Her children vary slightly from culture to culture. For instance, the Phoenician’s believed she had a daughter named Ishtar the Goddess of Love, Lust and War and a son named Shashmah the God of the Sun. While the Sumarian’s believed that she had two daughters: Inanna (equivalent of Ishtar) and Ereshkigal the Goddess of the Underworld.

She is honored as the Goddess to thank during the harvest time of fruits. She is strongly connected to fig, date, olive, and apple trees. In some areas, she was also connected to a variation of nut trees as well.

One of the most famous of Sumerian Laments (sad poetry/music) is the Lament for Ur. The poem describes Ningal weeping after the destruction of her city Ur. In this, she begged Enlil the Lord of Storm not to destroy it, but he does so anyways because the council of Gods decided that Ur had stood long enough and had to end.

 If you wish to learn more check out: http://www.thaliatook.com/OGOD/nikkal.html

-Blog Barista

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