Artist: Roxana Paul
A woman in a red dress sits on a throne with the Babylonian measuring tool in her right hand and a heraldic shield in her left hand. A bull at her feet symbolizes the Taurus period (4,320 – 2,160 BC) of the Sumerian civilization roughly dated between 3,500- 2,000 BC. She is a goddess Ninhursag (also Ninhursaga) who embodies Motherhood. According to the legend, the kings of Sumer were nourished by Ninhursag’s milk.
Ninhursag, the mother of the gods, appeared in the Sumerian epic about Dilmun, an Arcadian paradise, the garden of gods, the land of immortals. Dimun anticipated the myth of Adam and Eve in Paradise from the Old Testament. In Dilmun, Enki, the wise god of magic, fell in love with Ninhursag, giving birth to a new line of gods. Participating in the creation of the humankind, Ninhursag had many titles, including “Great Queen,” “Lady of Birth,” “Mother Who Gives Birth,” “Supreme Queen,” and “Midwife of the Gods.”
The Empress, being a tender and loving woman, personalizes Motherhood and embodies all things that related to fertility, mothering, marriage, and pregnancy. She is compassionate and caring. In a general sense, she represents natural female forces, and this is how she is connected with Mother Nature. Representing earthly life, the Empress expresses an abundance of any resources and suggests material rewards.
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