In the late 1970s I was one of the first Australians to travel to America to train in Feldenkrais Method. While there I took the opportunity to do a 3 day intensive with Jean Houston, the darling of the trance induction circle on the west coast and a magnificent facilitator (she came equipped with a buddhist leader, an Indian shaman, a full sound system with operator, a spontaneous song maker …). The theme was: the Myth of Parsifal & the Search for the Holy Grail as I remember it. The first exercise, while in trance, was to create a name for our God or Goddess and to look down on our mortal to see what we needed most. Abandoning myself to the altered state I coined the name ‘Inanna’ – it rhymed with bananna, I was from Queensland. Clever chick, nice cosmic joke. The following day a book display was set up for sales. The first title that leapt off the table was: ‘Inanna: Queen of Heaven and Earth. Her stories and hymns from Sumer’.’ After the hairs had gone down on the back of my neck I bought the book. I read my way into a 4,000 year old myth which was a journey into the underworld: ‘the descent’. Inanna is stripped of everything and her body ‘turned into a piece of rotting meat and hung on a hook on the wall’. After much pleading by her maidservant through the lineage of her family, messengers are sent and successfully negotiate the release of the corpse on which they sprinkle the ‘food of life’ and ‘the water of life’ with which they have been entrusted.
In a later trance during that same weekend I envisaged my future self. She was strong, a bit hippie as I remember. I have returned to this mythology as part of my understanding of the journey I am on. I am Inanna now. I have truly embodied the touch of her ancient finger. I will emerge from the descent into chemotherapy as my future self.