The Goddess rituals: quršu ritual and sex songs of active female desire

In preparation for Villa Domme, I have also wanted to integrate some of my last six years of archaeological research on a topic that I believe will be of interest to attendees.

In my book 'The History & Arts of the Dominatrix'. I traced domination rituals back to the practices of the sex Goddess Inanna in ancient Mesopotamia. There were a range of cult personnel who included people of third gender identity, ambiguous gender, transgender, cross-dressers, "the manly woman", "the womanly man". The ancient texts list amongst Inanna's powers - the power to turn man into woman, woman into man, and rituals which included punishment, pain and ecstasy. 

Tablet Hymn to Ishtar perfect tablet.jpg

The relevant passage is found within Hymn to Inanna C:

"Those who do not respect her suspended net do not escape ...... when she suspends the meshes of her net. The man she has called by name she does not hold in esteem. Having approached the woman, she breaks the weapon and gives her a spear. The male jicgisajkec, the nisub and the female jicgi ritual officiants, after having ...... punishment, moaning ....... The ecstatic, the transformed pilipili, the kurjara and the sajursaj ....... Lament and song ....... They exhaust themselves with weeping and grief, they ...... laments."

The powerful hymn to the Goddess is linked to the high priestess Enheduanna, who is believed to have written or edited - the hymn. Within the first person she says:

"My lady, ...... mercy ...... compassion ...... I am yours! This will always be so! May your heart be soothed towards me! May your understanding ...... compassion. May ...... in front of you, may it be my offering. Your divinity is resplendent in the Land! My body has experienced your great punishment."

(Original source material: Hymn to Inanna C, available on Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature, Oxford University: http://etcsl.orinst.ox.ac.uk/section4/tr4073.htm - see sections within lines 80-90; and 243-253)

 Image: 'Queen of the Night' relief believed to represent Inanna's night flight - rising from the Underworld or as the star or Venus through the sky, as bird-woman with wings. (Image my own) from British Museum collection.

Image: 'Queen of the Night' relief believed to represent Inanna's night flight - rising from the Underworld or as the star or Venus through the sky, as bird-woman with wings. (Image my own) from British Museum collection.

As well as the domination rituals, there was also a sex ritual which was known as the quršu ritual. The term "quršu" translates as "fucking" or (active) "sex". It was practised for the New Year and involved days running of ritual and festivities, involving the sex Goddess (who was also conceived of as the star of Venus).

I have been working on a large project involving cross-cultural examination of the ritual across Mesopotamia (Sumer and Assyria), Levant and Cyprus, utilizing the ancient text fragments from Sumerian songs and literature, to later Akkadian era songs and historical accounts, to Cyprus and Mediterranean from Homeric Hymns and Sappho's songs, and even Egyptian material. Alongside the texts, out of which the components of the ritual I have been able to extract, are an incredible body of artwork and artifacts from these cultures.

I feel that the material will be relevant to Villa Domme attendees.

Quršu ritual

The quršu ritual involved self-praise of the vulva, setting up of a bed and the fragrant chamber, bathing and beautification rituals (later linked to the priestesses / Hours / Graces of Homeric Hymn), her chosen consort bringing gifts, sex songs sung, her active desire for fucking, and the subsequent procession and sojourn in the garden - associated on Cyprus with revelry and orgies. 

The Goddess and Dominatrix in her rituals goes on to hold power over these domains of wisdom; the vulva and the female pleasure is Her domain.

Cult Personnel and roles of devotion

Her cult personnel demonstrate their devotion, labour for Her, provide entertainment and song, and are dressed in a way which puts them through rituals of preparation and adornment. They held special roles within her cult, associated with sexual submission, with devotion, labour, and some with roles in entertainment (music and singing in rituals) and sacred roles in services. There are texts which refer to the kurgarra wearing the "leather of divinity", of clothing which mixed genders, sprinkling blood on the dais in Mesopotamia - a practice overturned at Paphos on Cyprus who distinguished that no blood was spilt on the dais.

For the assinu role, his "anus" belongs to the Goddess Inanna. I am busy retrieving these texts to try and delineate as far as possible the ancient cult roles as relevant to Dominatrices and the identities of those who seek and attend Her.

Bringing the Lady "what she desires" 

 Image: Drawing of frieze detail from Uruk Vase, from city of Uruk, Southern Iraq, c3200 BCE.

Image: Drawing of frieze detail from Uruk Vase, from city of Uruk, Southern Iraq, c3200 BCE.

The ancient texts make clear that the consort (King-God) is to bring the Lady / the Goddess "what her heart desires". From valuable stock of sheep, lambs and goats, to milk products such as cream and cheese, to precious stones of lapis lazuli and jewellery. 

Her devotees also brought abundant offerings to her temple. Elsewhere she is described as the great sacred Hierodule. She receives tribute in honour of her role. 

 

 

Her vulva and pleasure at the centre of ritual

Her domain is libido and abundance - that is both what she invokes, and what is taken away from earth when she descends into the Underworld in mythology. The songs begin with self-praise of her vulva. Interestingly, the visual images feature the pubic triangle in dark contrast emphasized, but due to paint having been lost from the artifacts by the ravages of time, the contemporary public visiting museums have no idea what these artifacts once looked like.

Nude dedicated to Ishtar.jpg
Aphrodite Female figurines with hands under breasts.jpg

The selection of the King-God "wild bull"

(& its relevance to Dominatrix cuckolding)

Naturally the Goddess must have a worthy male consort to give her pleasure. The myth is of Dumuzi, the shepherd-God (and possibly a historical King figure who became myth), but the role was played out by either an attractive powerful man chosen for the Goddess or historically played by the King of a reign who had demonstrated his power and prowess as a worthy suitor. 

The sex songs feature each complimenting each other on their attractive and erotic attributes.

Bathing and beautification

The Goddess prepared for the ritual by way of bathing and beautification, annointing with fragrant precious oil, the application of kohl eye liner ("come man come" directly translated) and cosmetics.

 Bath from Sanctuary of Aphrodite, Kouklia, Paphos on Cyprus.

Bath from Sanctuary of Aphrodite, Kouklia, Paphos on Cyprus.

 Shells with cosmetics from the Tombs of Ur.

Shells with cosmetics from the Tombs of Ur.

The Goddess put on a sacred dress and jewellery which featured symbols of the sacred sex Goddess; the star-rosette, the sacred horn / boat of heaven, the bird-woman Goddess.

Demanding her vulva be filled

The songs feature the Goddess actively desirous and demanding. She wants him to lie on the couch or bed with her. She wants him to plough her vulva; "plough man of my heart!"

 Three graces performing at Passionfruit for my quršu ritual.

Three graces performing at Passionfruit for my quršu ritual.

It is this annual ritual which ensures libido in the land, in people and animals - the Goddess's sacred role.

I gave a presentation for the first time ever of the material at Passionfruit Sensuality Shop in Melbourne on 13 February in the outside courtyard which was set up with garden and banquet aspects, and three beautiful "Graces" gesturally enacting priestesses / Goddess.

The talk was sold-out well in advance, and well-received with excellent feedback.

I am busy preparing the ancient texts and images to present at Villa Domme, as I feel it's going to be very interesting to the attendees to hear. A lovely counterpart and expansion of the material on the Dominatrix's 'Realm Arts' practices, her history, insight into psychology and discussion of the range of devotees who come to see a Mistress, and practicum techniques and equipment.

I welcome your feedback on including this new material. It's been years in the process, similar indeed to the work involved in writing my first book 'The History & Arts of the Dominatrix' in terms of gathering sources often from within museum vaults, texts relating to sexuality which were obscure to locate and in rare academic articles, to gather together and make these available. 

Looking forward to seeing you all soon,

x Anne O Nomis