The House of the Adornment of Heaven

The House of the Adornment of Heaven - Temple Banner

The banner of the temple is a device symbolising the numinous presence of Inana, our Lady of Heaven, for whom it is intended as a dwelling place and a point of contact for people spread around the world who may seek her. It functions as an idol in a physical shrine would: a representation of Inana, placed here to express our love and devotion for her and our desire for her to take up residence in our midst.

The text across the top of the banner is the name of the temple, in Sumerian: 𒂍𒃶𒌌𒀭𒈾. This differs by one sign from the name of Enheduana, a high priestess of Inana and her father Suen in the city of Ur, and was chosen to honour her legacy as history's first named author as well as her beautiful praise hymns of Inana, which are among the finest and most evocative examples of worship literature from anywhere in the land of Mesopotamia.

Running down each side of the banner are two lines from one of Enheduana's poems, Lady of Largest Heart, which embody Inana's profound and irresistible character. On the left, "To interchange the brute and the strong and the weak and the powerless is yours, Inana", and on the right, "To give the crown, the throne and the royal sceptre is yours, Inana."

The figure of the Goddess herself depicts her wearing a horned Assyrian-style crown, representing her divine authority and her worship in regions far beyond the Sumerian heartland, topped by the eight-pointed star, her traditional symbol. She also wears a dress the Sumerians called pala, the garment of ladyship, tadiant in splendour and beauty. In her right hand, she holds the rod and ring, a traditional Mesopotamian symbol of the world order, and she stands astride a conquered lion that is a symbol of her martial aspect.