Ishtar priestess

Ishtar, the ancient Mother Goddess, was worshipped in rich temples and at lavish shrines with rituals of blood sacrifice and orgiastic frenzy performed before sensuously carved idols of ivory.

For those who serve her, Ishtar bestows bountiful harvests and many children in exchange for sacrifice. The voluptous temple prostitutes which are found in Ishtar's temples are well known even outside the lands where the goddess is worshipped.

Ishtar is worshipped in Shem, Ophir, Argos, Koth, Khoraja, Khauran and Zamora, and has small cults elsewhere. She is also known under such diverse names as Ishnigarrab, Shupnikkurat and Shub-Niggurath.

Unlike Mitra worship, which uses the altar only as a focus, the Shemites believe that their gods actually inhabit their omnipresent brass idols. These idols are caricatures: the swollen breasts and belly of Ishtar appear repulsive to the more refined worshippers of Mitra.

Ishtar can take any form, male and female, although she is most likely to appear as a young, voluptous woman dressed in white robes, wearing a golden crown. Birth of hideously deformed children, as well as drought, are regarded as bad omens from Ishtar.

Ishtar has both male and female priests. Their ceremonies include the blood sacrifice of animals.

Sigurd Redbeard once cursed by the 'breasts of Ishtar'.


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