“Stream” by Hojatollah Shakiba

Ningal’s themes are ecology, nature, abundance, earth and water. Her symbols are water, maritime art, seafood, reeds and marsh plants. This ancient Mesopotamian Goddess abides in regions filled with reeds or marshes, which She also vehemently protects. She is also considered an earth and vegetation Goddess who visits us with abundance during the autumn.

The Wings ‘n Water Festival takes place over two days during the third weekend in September. It’s dedicated to fund-raising for Ningal’s endangered wetlands in southern New Jersey and educating the public on the tremendous value of these regions to the local ecology. To honor this effort and the spirit of Ningal, consider making a donation to a group that strives to protect wetlands (please investigate them first!), and perhaps enjoy a nice seafood chowder as New Englanders do today. This meal reconnects you with the water element and Ningal’s fertility.

For tokens that bear Ningal’s power into your home, look to cattails, lily pads, mosses, indoor water fountains, or art that depicts these types of things. First thing in the morning, don dark greens, mossy browns, or clothing that depicts reeds or marshy scenes.  Also, drink plenty of water or take a cool bath to create a stronger connection to this element’s power and to commemorate Ningal’s dwelling place.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

“Anqet, Goddess of the Nile” by ~ThornErose

“The ‘Great Lady’ of the fruitful earth was courted by the moon god [Nanna], the Sumerian and Ugaritic people said.  He brought Her necklaces of lapis lazuli and – for he was the rain provider – turned deserts into orchards to win Her heart” (Monaghan, p.230).

This Goddess of reeds was the daughter of Enki and Ningikurga and bore to Nanna Utu the sun god, Inanna, and in some texts, Ishkur.  She is chiefly recognised at Ur, and was probably first worshipped by cow-herders in the marsh lands of southern Mesopotamia. [1]

Upon further exploration of Ningal, I came across this very informative and in depth piece from GatewaysToBabylon.com entitled “Ningal: The Joyous Bride, Initiator of the Mysteries of Femininity”.  It explains:

“Ningal’s character as far as the myths where She figures is concerned comprehend two fundamental phases in the life of Every Woman. She is first the beloved daughter and maiden who becomes the joyous Bride of Nanna, the Moon Lord, a bit on the shy side who by Herself finds out about love and Her own sexuality wooing and being wooed by the most courteous and impetuous of all the young Anunnaki gods, Nanna the Moon, the Torch of the Night, the firstborn of Enlil and Ninlil, the Prince of the Gods. Hers and Nanna’s is perhaps the second most beloved of all Mesopotamian courtship songs…Ningal is also connected to Dream Divination and Interpretation, so the link with the Moon in all senses and spheres, and introspection as well. The most beloved of all love stories in Mesopotamia is, of course, the Courtship of Inanna and Dumuzi, and Inanna, Ningal’s and Nanna’s daughter, is the archetypal and universal Joyous Bride of world myth and religion.

Secondly, as the mother of Inanna, Ningal features in many of the Sumerian love lyrics that Gwendolyn Leick (Sex and Eroticism in Mesopotamian Literature, Routledge, 1994) calls The Bridal Songs, defines as ‘the group of texts which feature Inanna as a girl expecting to be married’ (page 66).

“Inanna In The Morning Mist” by ~EroticVisions

Fundamentally, the Bridal Songs [are] concerned with the preparation for and the anticipation of wedding bliss, when groom and bride meet on the threshold of the bride’s home. They talk very much about the first longings and joyous expectation the young couple feel to meet in public or in hiding to get to know each. Ningal in the Bridal Songs is Inanna’s loving mother and initiator of the young Goddess in the Mysteries of Femininity. It is to Her that Inanna runs to upon the arrival of Dumuzi in their home, and Ningal gladly answers the girl’s questions and guide Her on what to wear, say, act and expect from the upcoming events. Indeed, we could very well say that Ningal preceeds the archetypal Fairy Goddessmothers of later fairy tales.

Here lies a profound healing for the Feminine in all levels and spheres, because it is clear the bond and trust between Ningal the mother and Inanna, the daughter, as well as the embedded social norm that a girl’s initiator into full adulthood should be preferably her mother. Incidentally, in Enlil and Ninlil, Ninlil’s mother offers the advice of caution, to which Ninlil and Enlil paid lip service.

I may risk a hunch that nowhere in world myth and religion is a mother-and-daughter relationship so joyous and trusting on both sides such as in Ningal and Inanna.

We can see therefore that Inanna expresses all that Ningal as a young lady could not tell Her mother Ningikuga about Nanna, and it is clear to see that having learnt to assert Herself with Nanna, Ningal empowered Her only daughter to express Her feelings, to act and prepare Herself to welcome the beloved into Her life.

Finally, it is Ningal’s sad fate to lament the downfall and destruction of Ur, Her city, in the famous Lamentation over the Destruction of Ur. In the second millennium before common era, if not earlier, She was introduced to Syria probably via Harran, the ancient centre of moon-worship. In Ugarit She was known as Nikkal.” [2]


Gatewaystobabylon.com, “The Joyous Bride, Initiator of the Mysteries of Femininity“.

Monaghan, Patricia. The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines, “Ningal”.

Wikipedia, “Ningal“.



Suggested Links:

Black, Jeremy & Anthony Green. Gods, Demons and Symbols of Ancient Mesopotamia, “Ningal“.

Crystalinks.com, “Sumerian Gods“.

Goddess-Guide.com, “Sumerian Goddesses“.

Green, Tamara M. The City of the Moon God: Religious Traditions of Harran.

Lishtar. Gatewaystobabylon.com,Nanna and Ningal or: A Young God Meets Young Goddess – Sumerian Style“.

Moss, Robert. Blog.beliefnet.com, “The Warning from Ur: Don’t lose the Goddess’ gift of dreams“.

MXTODIS123. Reclaimingthedarkgoddess.blogspot.com, “Ningal and Nanna, A Love Story“.

Took, Thalia. The Obscure Goddess Online Directory, “Nikkal“.

Wikipedia, “Lament for Ur“.