Please read Part 1 here first.
Inanna begins to make her way to the Underworld, a place of magic and mystery, a vital and important force in our life and journey. The Underworld is the womb where all things grow, not the Hell of Christianity.
As she arrives to the outer gates of the Underworld, she announces herself, “Inanna, Queen of Heaven, on my way East.” Neti/Bedu, the gatekeeper of the underworld, tells Inanna to wait while he delivers the massage to his queen, Ereshkigal.
When Bedu tells Ereshkigal that the glorious Inanna, robed in all her Me and feminine allure is here, she is enraged. She tells Neti to bolt the seven gates of the Underworld, and then, one by one, open each gate just a crack to let Inanna enter, and as she does she must remove one of her royal garments. She tells him to make sure she enters bowed low.
At each gate she must give up one of her Me, her protection. At the first gate, she puts up a fight. She says, “I am Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Earth! Don’t you know who I am?” Bedu simply replies, “Quiet, Inanna, the ways of the Underworld are perfect and must not be questioned.” Inanna begrudgingly gives up something at each gate. At each gate, it gets harder and harder to give up her Me because each item of protection is increasingly more important to Inanna.
Finally at the last gate, she gives up her breech cloth. She is beaten down, she has given up everything she held dear. She has nothing left. She is nothing. She enters the underworld naked and bowed low.
Can you imagine how vulnerable you would feel with nothing to protect you, no identities, no garments? It would be just you. No fake barriers, no false pretenses. Just you, the real you. You would be so vulnerable and naked that it would be an opportunity to tap into your true and authentic self.
Her encounter with Ereshkigal can be seen as a meeting with her creator and her destroyer at the same time. And remember, the destroyer is not a bad thing. Something has to be destroyed before something can be born anew in its place.
When Inanna enters naked and bowed low, she looks into the eyes of Ereshkigal and at once falls upon the eyes of death. She is turned into a corpse and hung on the wall, left to rot. Nothing can stop this, she has to die. No amount of Me or protection could have prevented this death. It is the natural order of the journey.