Innana is the name of my guide. Innana is the name of the Lady in my heart.
This is the story of how I came to think of my Guide as Innana: Along time ago now, pretty well 20 years, I was a daddy. I had a lovely daughter named Daphne, who has grown into a very fine young woman her father is very proud of today. :). But at this time she was tiny, maybe 3. It seemed I was going to be a daddy again soon, and it came to me to name a second daughter Innana-Ki.
It really just came to me, I did not try out various Goddess names, or thumb through my copy of Ancient Mirrors of Womanhood. It just came to my mind, and it was right, and after that moment there was no other choice in my mind. Innana was Queen of Heaven. A goddess of Pride and Power, and strong figure a young girl could aspire to be like in this world where girls so often loose and diminish themselves. Ki was the Gaia, goddess of fertility, and also goddess of poetry. Ki would bless the child with beauty and an appreciation of beauty. I had agreed with my wife, Lauren, that we would not raise Daph either Pagan or Methodist, and we kept to that promise. I felt strongly though I wanted to raise 'nnana Pagan.
Tragically my wife miscarried, but since that time, Innana-Ki became the primary name by which I call the Lady. Still for a very long time, my being Pagan was not that different from my wife being Methodist. It simply meant we both recognized a higher power, by different names. It just meant that I had a desire/need to pray under the full moon that Lauren did not share. Yet for a long time I was not a particularly religious Pagan, Just as I had not been a Particularly religious Catholic. It was a small piece of my larger life.
Life goes on, I get out of service, and start working on the outside. I get caught up in the first Bush recession and wind up working at the cable company. I cannot afford to live without working 2 jobs or massive amounts of overtime, but I really dont want to work my current job 12 hours or more a day, so I opt for 2 jobs through most of that time. Needless to say my spiritual life grinds to a halt. I have hardly anytime for anything for myself, outside the grind of work. Life without a spiritual aspect can be pretty grim. I get angry with God (Masculine aspect) for my crappy life and tell him off regularly. I blind myself to the choices I am making that keep me in a long dark tunnel through the 90's.
My daughter needs a computer for school. All her friends have one, and her teachers leave homework notes online for the kids to down load, she is falling behind and I am letting that happen. So I buy a lap top on clearance. Not that I didn't want it too, its a great toy, but if she did not need it, I dont know if I would have gotten it. I take it into my head that my handle will be blackbird. We had alot of crows in my neighborhood in Virginia, and they would perch on my balcony. It was not an easy handle to get because a lot of people want the blackbird handle, eventually I found an unclaimed blackbird Id.
Time goes on and I discover the Gendron Tarot, purchase it and start reading. I grow as a reader, and immerse myself for a time in the literature. I become reasonably knowledgeable about the subject, and expose myself to a wide range of interps of the cards by comparing the art in the various decks I acquire. I become very interested in the Idea of comparative Tarot.
Now the second event happens I described in more detail on my bio-page. The night before my wife gets ill, I feel a powerful nudge to pick up one of my decks and read. Two cards really stand out in the reading, the 8 of Wands and the 10 of Pents Rx. I do not realize it at the moment, but they are a warning about what is about to occur. By 5am I am rushing my wife to the hospital.
This event convinces me I have a guide. But what to call the guide. "Hey you!" does not seem appropriate, so I call her Innana, and she responds. I have acquired some prayer beads, and have modified the prayer that comes with them to honor, Innana, Ki and Nammu. Matron, Maiden, Crone. (Actually there is no real Maiden in the Sumerian I am aware of, all the Goddesses I am aware of have lovers.) Still it seems to work, and I am reconnecting with my spiritual self. I am praying almost daily and growing as a reader.
Over time, I evolve a ritual of praying just before reading, and again just before the final cut of the cards. The readings I get display an observable increase in there internal consistency. One can see how an energy can display itself through the window of several different cards in one spread. I describe it to friends by saying the readings stitch.
About the time I come to question if my guide Innana, is the INNANA, and not say - the daughter who in the end did not join us in this world, or a priestess from long ago. My world changes again. I discover I tiny little store, chuck full of Pagans. After 20 years as a solitary, I got Pagans popping out of the wood work. Some beginners, Some Advanced, and Some mad as a March Hare. Its quite a mix. At the same time, suddenly my readings challenge me. Its not that they are hard to read, they are not for the most part. I get a string of readings with tremendous internal consistency. Reading I feel can only be read honestly one way, but they are troubling readings. They are telling the Q, things they are not likely to want to hear.
I feel I am being tested by my guide, do I really want to walk the path of a Seer. Will I honestly empty myself as a vessel and pass on to the Q, what is given to me for them. I do not see it as a coincidence that she chooses this moment, when I am wondering about who she is, and when I have friends who can support me through this trial.
I purchase a Pendulum, thinking it might help with the Tarot. I may be able to ask some quick Y/N things during a reading to clarify some points. While I am learning to use then pendulum I do an exercise at my alter. I ask/see if the pendulum will go from card to card. High Priestess, Empress and so on. The stone swings easily from card to card. I think Innana, just once, the stone swings back and launches itself at my statue representing her as if the stone had been grabbed by an unseen hand. It really took my breath away. Its the first time I really feel her energy in the pendulum, but not the last. Shortly after that I do some readings with Tarot and Pendulum asking a few questions. It leads me to believe I had been her Priestess and Priest in previous lives. I also believe something of my Karma is playing out, in all of this. Allow me to stitch it together for you:
20 or so years ago, Innana-Ki comes to me as the name for a daughter since then it has been the name of the Lady in my heart.
Later I discover the Gendron Tarot: It becomes the means of my rebirth as a reader, and my spiritual rebirth as well. The two go hand and hand and are inseparable. The Image that first caught my eye, and that I still love best the Princess of Swords could easily be a painting of Innana.
The name Blackbird, that was so important for me as a handle at at time when I did not consider myself a reader, becomes my online Identity. The name Q's all over the country know me by, and the blackbird has a long tradition of being the messenger who ferries news between the worlds.
Finally at the moment that I really need them to continue to grow, and to face the test just up the bend in my road. Pagans, wacky, eccentric, wonderful pagans explode into my life. My life is suddenly very rich in very good friends. Friends who are also knowledgeable in the things I need to know if I am to serve Innana better.
Of course I dont know my guide is INNANA. What I can say is as reader, if I look at my life as a spread its beginning to stitch together I am reader enough to see what looks like a Karmic thread emerging that involves Innana, and Involves Tarot. I'm very glad it involves Tarot. If I read slaughtered Goats innards in a previous life, ok, that a was previous life, but the Idea strikes me in this 21st century as rather gross. Viva le' Tarot!