God of the Month: Tiamat of Babylon

ndtiamat

Tiamat is the Dragon on the right

In the Enuma Ellish, the Babylonian Creation Epic, Tiamat of the Seas merges with Apsu of the Rivers. From Their Union comes the first generation of Gods. (These would be the original Gods of Mesopotamia.) Tiamat, the roiling chaos of the ocean, provides the primeval procreative force for life to begin on the Earth. For the people of Sumner, Tiamat is the Lady of Primeval Chaos.

I recite this part of the Enuma Ellish to honor these primal powers of Tiamat.

Enuma Elish (The Babylonian Epic of Creation)

From Tablet I

1   When the heavens above did not exist,
2   And earth beneath had not come into being—
3   There was Apsû, the first in order, their begetter,
4   And demiurge Tia-mat, who gave birth to them all;
5   They had mingled their waters together
6   Before meadow-land had coalesced and reed-bed was to he found —
7   When not one of the gods had been formed
8   Or had come into being, when no destinies had been decreed,
9   The gods were created within them:

From “Mesopotamian Creation Stories” by W.G. Lambert.

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4 thoughts on “God of the Month: Tiamat of Babylon

  1. Hi, I make handouts about different polytheist traditions and send them to people in prison so they have access to a wider range of pagan traditions and religious. Trying to do one for Babylonian or Sumerian polytheism has been hard because a lot of mythology books seem to be obsessed with comparing it to the Bible negatively. It’s really frustrating. Can you suggest good mythology books that are not Bible connected? And then are there different blogs of people practicing today in very different ways that you can suggest? I don’t write the handouts because I don’t have any desire to have people be like me , and they don’t have any access to the Internet so they really miss out on a lot of the personal different ways people do things . The more variety they get about practicing the better because very few of them have access to ritual tools , going outside to do rituals, and other things we take for granted. Also so many of them come from a Christian background where you have to do things from the book and we know when polytheism was the norm people did it differently city to city , household household . And had different ideas about why and I assume the majority of the people didn’t think about it that much just like today with Christianity. So by showing a wide variety from whatever is currently traditional mainstream (that changes so quickly in paganism) to different private practices it helps them get out of the Bible mindset and find the path that works best for them. I have to say I was pretty shocked when I first looked at the books on the mythology I first found. Everything was portrayed so negatively, but the writers had agendas that didn’t match my goal of bringing as much information as possible to people.

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    • I will have to check my book hoard. Tess Dawson does Canaanite religion and has written three books. The most accessible for Christian readers is “The Horned Altar.”

      Stay tuned, and I will get my list, etc – probably post tomorrow.

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    • Here is my list besides Tess Dawson’s books.

      General
      The Old Ones in the Old Book by Philip West does Middle East.
      Awakening Higher Consciousness by Lloyd Dickie and Paul Boudreau discuss Egyptian and Sumerian myths
      Astrology in Ancient Mesopotamia by Michael Biagent includes the Gods

      Web
      Siren, Christopher, “The Assyro-Babylonian Mythology FAQ.”http://home.comcast.net/~chris.s/assyrbabyl-faq.html
      “Sumerian Mythology FAQ.” http://home.comcast.net/~chris.s/sumer-faq.html .
      “Ancient Mesopotamian Gods and Goddesses.” U.K. Higher Education Project.Web. http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/amgg/index.html .

      Academic
      Black, Jeremy and Anthony Green, “Gods, Demons and Symbols of Ancient Mesopotamia.”
      Jacobsen, Thorkild, “The Treasures of Darkness.”

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  2. Pingback: Marduk and Tiamat (Enuma Elish: The Epic of Creation) | Neptune's Dolphins

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