The near naked dancer wove in and out of the blaze. The scent of myrrh hung heavily on the air. The fire reflected in the eyes of the onlookers; all of them scared to look upon the wrath but mesmerised by the flicker and spark. Reds, oranges and black.

The mass of people encircling the stone dais, mingling into a mass of one. Only space remained, a horse-shoe shape they take; for to the East is a pathway. For Her.

The people were silent; all that could be heard was the crack of wood splintering.

Azad walked to the fire. He called forth the goat. Wild and unruly, it kicked and fought against the bearer before coming becalmed at the altar.

Azad told of the scapegoat to the masses. Tradition tells of…

“Tradition tells of a dark spirit that dwelt in the woods. A demon of the Forest. Every night his booming voice could be heard intoning:


“I am your destruction; my fingers, my body do subjugate;

For I am fire incarnate,

and I destroy all that man do create.

I will burn the creatures, I will burn the trees;

I will destroy your crops and your home, your vain follies.

For nothing does stop me, I will chase you unto death;

Leaving no essence, no soul but ashes,

Your dying breath.”


We asked of She to protect us from this spirit, the malevolence of which knew no bounds. She heard us and took the form of this creature, the goat; wild of spirit and quick of foot.

She entered the woods and our Goddess ran chased by the fire. For moon upon moon they ran. Until finally the demon drained off all strength, drifted defeated into the sky.

The demon hid no longer within the wood, and all the Forest had surrendered unto Her. She brought rain upon rain. She brings forth the Flood, the first. The fire had perished. We were free of wrath once more.

We fell to our knees in thanks.

She said unto us, ‘I did this not for thee but to save my fair Dumuzid. For He is sweet as a date, lad, husband, lord, sweet as a date’

We remember Her fight by releasing a goat unto the wilds. To assume Her fleet of foot and vanquish the blaze once more.

Tonight, the Sakrisan gives his body unto the Goddess in payment to Her and Her sweet love, Her sweet husband Dumuzid.

Tonight I call upon Dumuzid, the husband of the Goddess to enter my body; to please Her and walk with Her, my love, for I am He who kisses the holy lips and dances on the holy knees, the holy knees of Inanna.”

Sakrisan I, The Book of Beginning

The Sakrisan raised his arms; the red linen of his robes joined inexorably to the fire. They burned along with his flesh. The Sisters came forth and smothered him with their robes and themselves. Covered he remained, hidden from sight until She entered from the East. She walked slowly, languidly. Approaching the mound concealing the Sakrisan, She released the Sisters uncovering him with a flick of Her hand. Her breath, the words of Enlil, soothing the fire.

‘Away my sisters, O he is Dumuzid, he of the sweet mouth, the sweet mouth that called my name’

He stands and She moves to him. They embrace, They embrace for an eternity.

They walk through the fire, They are not scared, They show no fear. They will not be harmed. She has tamed the fire, it is Her child, Her innocent dancing child. The Sisters follow on their hands and knees, crawling through the fire in Their wake. The Sisters clothes do burn, their clothes of simple white are with the fire. The Sisters do not burn as they crawl.

She has blessed Her people once more.

To Chapter Twenty-Three – Inanna and Her Dumuzid Ascend the Heavens