From the Moon Oracle by Caroline Smith & John Astrop
Ishtar, Assyrian and Babylonian goddess of fertility, is pictured here holding a serpent in her right hand and a lion, her sacred animal, in her left. The potted plant represents the plant Gilgamesh sought at the bottom of the ocean that would have given immortality to man (and woman). But the serpent got there first and ate it, gaining immortality for itself. Obviously that didn’t translate down to all snake-kind.
At the bottom of the card we see the glyph for Pisces on the left and the Moon on the right. An eight-pointed star is also said to be her symbol, although that’s not depicted here.
Ishtar was known as both a warrior goddess and a goddess of love. When depicted as a warrior, she was shown in a chariot that was drawn by seven lions. The outfit she is shown in here is half that of a priestess and half warrior. Her love of Tammuz, the god of the harvest, somehow caused his death. She went to the Underworld to get him back, but the Queen of the Underworld, Ereshkigal, told the gatekeeper to open one gate at a time for her. At each of the seven gates, she had to shed one piece of clothing so that by the time she reached the Underworld she was naked. While she is imprisoned there, all sexual activity on earth ceased. The King of the Gods, Ea, hears about this, and sends an envoy, Asu-shu-namir, down to Ereshkigal the bag that held the waters of life. Ereshkigal is furious but can’t say no, so Asu-shu-namir takes the water and uses it to revive Ishtar. On her way out of the Underworld she stops at each gate and retrieves her clothing, and so arrives back on earth as she started.
The book says that if this card is selected you will need to fight for what you wish to regain, stripping away anything you don’t need, and getting down to basics. Even then it may not be enough and it may be necessary to ask for help. Also, March will be an important month in this quest. Pisces, a water sign, reminds us that water can wear down the most solid rock, given enough time, and can flow around obstacles. The key phrase given in the book for this card is “Be malleable.”