This story was written in the summer of 2000,
between the first and second seasons of Angel,
and is an alternate telling of the events in the episode "To Shanshu in L.A."
This story is dedicated to the memory of the late Glenn Quinn, 1970-2002.
"Each year Inanna descends to the underworld to resurrect her consort, Dumuzi. At each of the seven gates she leaves one of her garments behind until, naked, she meets her sister Erishkigal, queen of the underworld. Erishkigal kills Inanna and hangs her on a hook until Inanna herself is resurrected and returns to life."
Thanks to Andrew for the Descent of Cordelia graphic!
Authors are Rebecca Michelle (chapter 2), Jenny (chapter 3), Jewels of DeNile (chapter 4), Sonya (chapter 5), Candy Kane (chapter 6), Dennis (chapter 7), and Ellen (all remaining chapters). Sadly, I do not have current contact information for any of my fellow authors. If you are one of the authors or you know any of them and can get me in touch with them, please let me know!
Thanks to A Touch of Magic Fan Fiction Archive for the original HTML formatting of this story.
Cordelia and all other characters and situations from the WB television series Angel are and remain the property of 20th Century Fox, Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, David Greenwalt, Kuzui/Sandollar et al.
"The Descent of Cordelia" is a work of fiction only. No affront is meant to the religious beliefs of anyone.
To learn more about the Inanna story, check out:
"The story of her [Inanna/Ishtar's] descent into the underworld in search presumably for the sacred elixir which alone could restore Tammuz to life is the key to the ritual of her mysteries."
"At the first gate the great crown is removed from her head, at the second gate the earrings from her ears, at the third gate the necklace from her neck, at the fourth gate the ornaments from her breast, at the fifth gate the girdle from her waist, at the sixth gate the bracelets from her hands and feet, and at the seventh gate the covering cloak of her body. Ishtar remonstrates as each successive article of apparel is taken from her, but the guardian tells her that this is the experience of all who enter the somber domain of death. Enraged upon beholding Ishtar, the Mistress of Hades inflicts upon her all manner of disease and imprisons her in the underworld."
"As Ishtar represents the spirit of fertility, her loss prevents the ripening of the crops and the maturing of all life upon the earth...The gods, realizing that the loss of Ishtar is disorganizing all Nature, send a messenger to the underworld and demand her release. The Mistress of Hades is forced to comply, and the water of life is poured over Ishtar."
- Manly P. Hall, Masonic, Hermetic, Quabbalistic & Rosicrucian Symbolical Philosophy
The role of Dumuzi/Tammuz is explained at length at Gateways to Babylon. Here's a brief excerpt:
"Another Sumerian text with the modern title Dumuzi´s Dream, also part of the cycle of Inanna, concentrates on Dumuzi´s psychological condition after he is condemned by Inanna to replace her in the Underworld. The storyline centers about a frightening dream Dumuzi had, which is then interpreted by his sister and wine goddess Geshtinanna. When Dumuzi is about to be seized by demons, he raises a prayer to Utu, the Sun God and Inanna´s brother, who shapeshifts Dumuzi into a gazelle to flee from the envoys of the Underworld. Later, in the grand finale to this most passionate cycle, we learn that Dumuzi, by Inanna´s decree, will indeed replace the Great Goddess of Love and War in the Underworld but for six months, returning to the Heights Above when Geshtinanna, Dumuzi´s sister, descends for him. Only then Dumuzi can return to the Heights Above and bring back a new cycle of growth."