She Who Sends Messages of Desire
Also known as: Kalili; Kilili
Abtagigi is the Sumerian spirit of sacred sexuality. She awakens and stimulates erotic impulses. Babylonians and Assyrians used the Semitic form of her name, Kalili, in the same manner that they called Inanna, Ishtar. Abtagigi-Kalili is among the spirits in Inanna-Ishtar’s entourage. Ancient Sumerian rulers maintained their power by annually enacting the Great Rite, consummating (literally) their relationship with Inanna-Ishtar, who was temporarily in possession of her high priestess’ body.
The resemblance of the name Kalili to Lilith cannot be ignored. Sister spirits, both are concerned with the power inherent in sexual desire as well as esoteric aspects of sexuality and sexual energy, but Abtagigi-Kalili works within the temple while Lilith, a spirit of wild nature, remains outside.
Abtagigi is sometimes described as an evil spirit of harlotry, but that perspective derives from those who associate sex with sin.
Abtagigi possesses the secrets of the Great Rite and may be petitioned by those who seek them. She protects sex workers. She may also be petitioned to awaken or reawaken sexual desires, especially for those for whom sex has been profaned by abusive, humiliating, or traumatic experiences. She is a powerful spirit and may be requested to punish those who profane the sexual act.
Altar: Place Abtagigi’s altar in the boudoir or in a shrine dedicated to love.
See also: Inanna-Ishtar; Kadesh; Lilith