Welcome to The Ishtar Gate!
This page is dedicated to the customs, practice, and worship of ancient Mesopotamia, as first codified by the Sumerians, inherited by the Babylonians and Assyrians, and highly influential on many cultures of the ancient and modern world.
Their faith, culture, and language endured in the land of Mesopotamia for over three millennia, and connects us directly with the origins of human society, civilisation, and writing.
This site works from a Reconstructionist Pagan perspective, looking to the texts and stories of the Sumerians themselves as a source of meaningful information about our practice, rather than eclectic traditions with a high degree of modern influence.
The modern Sumerian religion is still in its infancy, but is presently attracting attention as never before, with a wealth of new information constantly being made available. It's hoped that this site can contribute to a wider, vibrant, thriving Mesopotamian Pagan community.
This site is a constantly growing endeavour and there is much information still to add to it. It presently contains a broad outline of the principles of the modern Sumerian faith; more in-depth information is constantly being added, and as such this site is under continuous construction.
If you're looking to find out more about the Sumerian religion, begin with our page on faith and beliefs.
Collected information on Sumerian language and culture, and framing the stories of the Sumerians in a wider historical context, can be found in our section on society and culture. We have also brought the Sumerian calendar into the modern age.
(Mobile users: to navigate the site, tap the ≡ icon at the top left of the header image.)
Click the banner (or click here) to access the House of the Adornment of Heaven, a virtual temple operated by The Ishtar Gate and dedicated to Inana.
2022-08-01: I am delighted to open August with the dedication of the House of the Adornment of Heaven, a virtual temple sacred to Inana, who has a place of primacy amongst the gods of my heart and who I first encountered at the beginning of my Sumerian path. May it be a place of contemplation and reflection for all who pass this way in search of her.
To mark the occasion, The Ishtar Gate has published a modern rendition of the ancient Ode to Ninsiana (= "Red Lady of Heaven", an epithet of Inana).
2022-07-29: A second version of The Ishtar Gate has launched.
It was common in ancient days for temples and holy sites to be rebuilt on their foundations, perhaps because they'd fallen into ruin or perhaps because their original purpose had been superseded. That's the case with The Ishtar Gate now; I've learned and grown much in my spirituality since launching this project three years ago and the site was in need of a touch-up and a redesign. This new phase is already underway, and I'll be continuing to review and rework the site's content.
2022-07-27: The Calendar page has been rewritten and reworked.
2022-07-25: At the suggestion of a reader, I've updated the site's terms of licensing to a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 license, rather than a copyright notice. This allows the sharing of all original material on the site with attribution, for non-commercial and non-derivative use.
Upcoming Feast Days
Month of the Mound of Creation
The month began on 1 Duku = 26 September, 2022.
At the start of the month, an akitu festival is observed. Its length was variable throughout Mesopotamia, but the linked page suggests a seven-day akitu program for the modern practitioner.
The regular All-Shrines festival, where a great offering is made to all the gods of our shrines, households and cities, falls on the full moon of 14 Duku / 9 October.
The customary observance of kisiga, the new moon festival in honour of our blessed dead, occurs on 30 Duku / 25 October. The following month, the Releasing of the Plough, begins the next day.
Calendar information is for Toronto (EST/EDT), where The Ishtar Gate is based, and may be +/- 1 day depending on your local time.