How fair and how pleasant art thou, O love, for delights
This thy stature is like a palm tree, and thy breasts are as clusters
of grapes. I will take hold of the boughs thereof: now also thy breasts
shall be clusters of the vine, and the smell of thy nose like apples;
and the roof of thy mouth like the best wine for my beloved,
that goeth down sweetly, causing the lips of those that are asleep
to speak. ~ Song of Solomon 7:6-9
On this day we gather early to celebrate the golden dawn, dressed in Her gown of light, approaching. Together in the early light we eat cakes for the Queen of Heaven. Their honey sweetness a pleasure shared with her lord, and with the people who, on this holy day, will all rise up to play.
Thick ropes of incense snake up to heaven: so dense at the gates its hard to see. The scent is heady, even before the wine, and the people are drunk with joy. Their light hearted banter in the morning, their warm greeting, begins this day of love. And after the ceremony, when The Two are wed, we will come flushed with pleasure, to the feasting.
The streets are festooned with flowers. They spill from the windows onto the street, wrap around the eaves, and join the amber beads in the braids of laughing young women. All the men and women of the right age dress the streets in beds of straw, covered with palm leaves. The beds of palm line the streets from the gate of the city through the streets to the temple doors. They surround the temple. The beds are piled high at the sheep gate.
Grandmothers set the sweet cakes on the street corners. They place water vessels on their doorsteps. The young will enjoy their leisure today. Their will be no work at the well. Laughter and music sweep up the streets, and the priests, waving their censures, begin the invitation… calling the people to Her love.
The spirit of our city calls to us, and to Her shining lord. Calling with music we follow, in song, to the place of supreme joy. Here, Her chosen lord will know her loves. Here, he becomes our king. We gather beneath the high place, at the gate, where our Lord will meet the Holy Daughter of Jerusalem. We stand together looking up at the curtains of their bedchamber and wait for the Beauty of Israel to show Herself. We wait for the sacred dove to light upon the new king. To crown him with her love. Her lap, his new throne.
Let our prince of peace lie in the lap of love! Let him marry the land! Let the sacred Shepherd tend Her flock, and father plenty for the people! Roaring like thunder… he waters the Tree of his delight. In the honey of Her love, let Him move like thunder and, with Her Love, give the people a share in earthly plenty… and heavenly joy!
…we will certainly… burn incense unto the queen of heaven, and pour out drink offerings unto her,
as we have done, we, and our fathers, our kings, and our princes, in the cities of Judah,
and in the streets of Jerusalem: for then had we plenty to eat, and were well, and saw no evil.
A low muttering roll of drums makes the sound of distant thunder. He approaches the Tree. A high female voice rises above the rumble. She is ready. Her desire goes out to him in thrills of song. The people are shoulder to shoulder now, embracing one another. We stand as a body that sways with their song. Our gazes fixed upon the high place… and the darkened curtain of their bed chamber. As their voices rise together, the curtains are suddenly illuminated and Beauty appears!
Inanna opened the door for him.
Inside the house She shone before him
like the light of the moon. ~ Sumerian hymn to Inanna
Her radiance, luminous as the moon, strides like dawn toward the marriage bed. The drums roll like thunder and he stands before her with raised head. His glory, a rod of iron, held up to heaven! She reclines for him.
Tammuz looked at her joyously.
He pressed his neck against Hers.
He kissed Her. ~ Sumerian hymn to Inanna
Every heart in every chest is pounding. Our song, a fervent prayer of purest pleasure! Joy to the Shepherd who comes eagerly to Beauty! Joy to the new born king at his throne of love!
My yoni, the horn,
The boat of heaven,
Is full of eagerness like the young moon.
My untilled land lies fallow.
I, Inanna, ask you
Who will plow my yoni?
Who will plow my high field?
Who will plow my wet ground?
His response is urgent and tender.
Great Lady, the king will plow your yoni!
I, Tammuz, the king will plow your yoni!
Then plow me, man of my heart!
Plow my yoni! ~ Sumerian hymn to Inanna
Peals of thunder roll loud from the drums as he bends over the bed.
The king went with lifted head to the holy loins.
He went with lifted head to Inanna. ~ Sumerian hymn to Inanna
She took hold of the rising cedar in the Shepherd’s lap. She anointed his head with fragrant oil. He sang to her then his song of wisdom and his song of peace.
My sister, I would go with you to my garden.
I would go with you to my orchard.
I would go with you to my apple tree.
There I would plant the sweet, honey-covered seed.
Make your milk sweet and thick, my bridegroom!
My shepherd, I will drink your fresh milk.
Wild Bull, Tammuz, make your milk sweet and thick.
I will drink your fresh milk. ~ Sumerian hymn to Inanna
He cried out with a loud voice as he entered heaven. He bellowed his bull pleasure. She moaned a soulful response. They move together now, as one writhing body… their cries sending chills through the crowd.
He brought me into his garden
My brother Tammuz brought me into his garden
I strolled with him among the standing trees,
I stood with him among the fallen trees,
By an apple tree I knelt…
Before my lord Tammuz.
I poured out plants from my womb.
I placed them before him.
I placed grain before him.
I poured out grain before him.
I poured out grain from my womb.
He shaped my loins with his fair hands,
The shepherd filled my lap with cream and milk.
He stroked my hair.
He watered my womb.
He laid his hands on my sacred yoni.
He smoothed my black boat with cream.
He quickened my narrow boat with milk.
He caressed me on the bed.
Then the Queen of Heaven,
Inanna, first daughter of the moon,
Decreed the fate of Tammuz.
In all ways you are fit.
May your heart enjoy long days!
As the farmer, let him make the fields fertile.
As the shepherd let him make the sheepfolds multiply.
Under his reign let there be vegetation.
Under his reign let there be rich grain. ~Sumerian hymn to Inanna
The music swelled at the moment of his death. His great cedar felled. The candles are snuffed and the magic of the bedchamber goes black. A breath later and the doors below the bedchamber open up. Her gate opens and out pour the fruits of divine union. Out comes the wine and the grain. Out come the figs, fruits and cheeses. Out comes the meat, fish and bread. Enough for all.
For the sun and moon conspire together for the benefit of their children. And we, the children of Benjamin…the children of gods’ love… receive in gladness what the divine couple give in joy. Such is the covenant between our Mother and Father, for the sake of the children of earth.
I am come into my garden, my sister, my spouse:
I have gathered my myrrh with my spice;
I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey;
I have drunk my wine with my milk:
Eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved! ~Song of Solomon 5:1
What I tell you let the singer weave into song.
What I tell you, let it flow from mouth to ear.
Let it pass from old to young. ~ Hymn to Innana