Blue Rising wrote:Lord help me, I still have questions once in a while. I haven't wanted to ask any in quite some time. Gets me into trouble. Oh well. I needed a place to ask. Not a person. But a place. So here it is.
Anybody know why Innana descended into the underworld? I can't find it to read, can't tap into the space, and can't grasp it otherwise apparently.
Ancient Egyptians regarded the pomegranate as a symbol of prosperity and ambition. According to the Ebers Papyrus, one of the oldest medical writings from around 1500 BC, Egyptians used the pomegranate for treatment of tapeworm and other infections. 
The Greeks were familiar with the fruit far before it was introduced to Rome via Carthage.  In Ancient Greek mythology, the pomegranate was known as the "fruit of the dead", and believed to have sprung from the blood of Adonis. 
The myth of Persephone, the goddess of the underworld, prominently features the pomegranate. In one version of Greek mythology, Persephone was kidnapped by Hades and taken off to live in the underworld as his wife. Her mother, Demeter (goddess of the Harvest), went into mourning for her lost daughter, thus all green things ceased to grow. Zeus, the highest-ranking of the Greek gods, could not allow the Earth to die, so he commanded Hades to return Persephone. It was the rule of the Fates that anyone who consumed food or drink in the underworld was doomed to spend eternity there. Persephone had no food, but Hades tricked her into eating six pomegranate seeds while she was still his prisoner, so she was condemned to spend six months in the underworld every year. During these six months, while Persephone sits on the throne of the underworld beside her husband Hades, her mother Demeter mourns and no longer gives fertility to the earth. This was an ancient Greek explanation for the seasons.  Dante Gabriel Rossetti's painting Persephona depicts Persephone holding the fatal fruit. The number of seeds Persephone ate varies, depending on which version of the story is told. The number ranges from three to seven, which accounts for just one barren season if it is just three or four seeds, or two barren seasons (half the year) if she ate six or seven seeds. 
The pomegranate also evoked the presence of the Aegean Triple Goddess who evolved into the Olympian Hera, who is sometimes represented offering the pomegranate, as in the Polykleitos' cult image of the Argive Heraion (see below).  According to Carl A. P. Ruck and Danny Staples, the chambered pomegranate is also a surrogate for the poppy's narcotic capsule, with its comparable shape and chambered interior.  On a Mycenaean seal illustrated in Joseph Campbell's Occidental Mythology 1964, figure 19, the seated Goddess of the double-headed axe (the labrys) offers three poppy pods in her right hand and supports her breast with her left. She embodies both aspects of the dual goddess, life-giving and death-dealing at once. The Titan Orion was represented as "marrying" Side, a name that in Boeotia means "pomegranate", thus consecrating the primal hunter to the Goddess. Other Greek dialects call the pomegranate rhoa; its possible connection with the name of the earth goddess Rhea, inexplicable in Greek, proved suggestive for the mythographer Karl Kerenyi, who suggested the consonance might ultimately derive from a deeper, pre-Indo-European language layer. 
In the 5th century BC, Polycleitus took ivory and gold to sculpt the seated Argive Hera in her temple. She held a scepter in one hand and offered a pomegranate, like a 'royal orb', in the other.  "About the pomegranate I must say nothing," whispered the traveller Pausanias in the 2nd century, "for its story is somewhat of a holy mystery."  In the Orion story, Hera cast pomegranate-Side (an ancient city in Antalya) into dim Erebus — "for daring to rival Hera's beauty", which forms the probable point of connection with the older Osiris/Isis story.  Since the ancient Egyptians identified the Orion constellation in the sky as Sah the "soul of Osiris", the identification of this section of the myth seems relatively complete. [original research?] Hera wears, not a wreath nor a tiara nor a diadem, but clearly the calyx of the pomegranate that has become her serrated crown.  The pomegranate has a calyx shaped like a crown. In Jewish tradition, it has been seen as the original "design" for the proper crown.  In some artistic depictions, the pomegranate is found in the hand of Mary, mother of Jesus. 
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