At The First Gate, the Gatekeeper Demands Inanna’s Crown:
A crown symbolizes wisdom, age and status. Inanna’s crown is the emblem of her queenhood. In giving up her crown, she must give up her superior position. She must acknowledge that to be queen in someone’s heart is a privilege that is earned, not a right to be expected. She must also acknowledge that nobility obligates her to be generous and kind. Using her status to win relationship arguments is contrary to her goal of intimacy. Why would anyone allow someone with such arrogance and superiority into their deep, dark underworld? She must let go of being right and this is only the beginning of what she must let go.
At The Second Gate, the Gatekeeper Demands Inanna’s Scepter:
A scepter symbolizes force and the willingness to use it. A scepter is a threat, a way to control behavior.
Most people who bother to be in a relationship want it to continue and almost everybody feels a fear of abandonment, however well concealed it might be. If a relationship is seen as a contract to stay together and bond, then a threat of withdrawing love, attention or compassion is a powerful one.
This kind of threat is most effective when it is hidden; when seen in the light of day, it is clear what it is—a way to control. But a loving relationship is no place for coercion, whether obvious or veiled.
At The Third Gate, the Gatekeeper Demands Inanna’s Necklace
A necklace covers the throat, which symbolizes Inanna’s voice. A person’s voice is at once an aspect of her selfhood and a medium for connecting with others. To have a voice in a matter is to speak your mind truly, honestly and completely, leaving nothing out. However, to connect with others, you must modulate your voice, soften it and consider the other’s point of view when you speak, so that your words can be heard. You must also be prepared to listen, because communication is not just speaking—it is also hearing.
Inanna’s necklace covers her voice, thus muting her message. She might well be using the necklace to sweeten her voice, to persuade and manipulate and avoid speaking her truth. Or she may be using her words as weapons to sting and hurt. Either way, the necklace is in the way of her truth and the Gatekeeper says it must go. And if Inanna is struggling to speak, then chances are good she is having trouble hearing too.
At The Fourth Gate, the Gatekeeper Demands the Gems Inanna Wears on Her Breast:
Inanna’s gems represent decoration, charm and distraction. They draw attention to Inanna’s feminine assets. They sparkle and delight the eye, as if to say “but look how cute I am!” The gems are a way to seduce and persuade instead of really relating. They are a distraction from what is really going on.
When you feel you are losing a battle, do you switch tactics to seduction or enticement? Do you need to look good in front of your partner? The gems are distracting decorations that draw attention to your good parts rather than your flaws. What might happen if you stopped trying to look good—to your partner or to anyone?
At The Fifth Gate, the Gatekeeper Demands Inanna’s Ring:
The ring is a contract. The gift of a ring seals a bond between two. It is the physical reminder of an agreement to marry, to share one’s life with another and to hold fidelity. A ring symbolizes a pledge, a vow, a promise.
Promises are hard to keep—that is their nature. A promise to love and remain true to someone is easy to speak when the heart feels that love; but when the heart is out of touch with love—this is where the work begins. The ring is there as a reminder that love once was spontaneous, and that the work of getting back in touch with that love is worth doing.
Inanna’s mate has left her and gone to the dark underworld. She is following him there to reclaim the love they once had. He is lost in the dark, suffering: love has died. She cannot make him love her again and to forcibly remind him of his promise to love her would be cruel and would not reawaken spontaneous affection. In an earlier post, I hinted that Inanna cannot afford, while in the underworld, to take the attitude of victim. To hold the beloved to the letter of their promise when the heart of their promise is suffering is to beat him over the head with that promise. “But you promised!” is a poor welcome back into relationship.
At The Sixth Gate, the Gatekeeper Demands Inanna’s Breastplate:
A breastplate is armor for the heart. It is self-protection against life’s discomfort and pain. The armored heart feels no pain, but it also feels no love. Love cannot penetrate the hard exterior.
At The Seventh Gate, the Gatekeeper Demands Inanna’s Raiment:
Inanna’s raiment is her royal garments. They are the mark of her dignity and self-possession. They are the last thing that protects her. Her identity is vested in them. “But I’m a queen!” she cries, “These garments are mine by right!”
Without clothes, you are utterly naked and your dignity is no longer there for you to hide behind. In removing them you are removing the last vestiges of a false self-esteem. You are saying, “I need no embellishment; I am enough just as I am.” Pretense is entirely gone.
The human heart is meant to be soft and penetrable. Relationship is not a battleground.
I don't know that it is what I interpret it as, but it's a good interpretation for teaching about relationships. I'll meditate on it to see what I think.