Recruiting Followers: Lesser Known Gods: Babylonian

ndtiamatThe Babylonian Gods have a problem in attracting many followers. They and the Canaanite Gods are often first encountered in a negative light in the Old Testament of “The Bible.” Therefore, it is hard for the average Pagan to want to know any of these Gods since they associate Middle-Eastern Gods with Christianity. Also, the Old Testament treats these Gods as figments of people’s imaginations. For these reasons, Marduk, Nanna, and the other Gods do not seem as “real” as the Egyptian Gods. Often the Babylonian Gods will fade into the background.

Another problem for the Babylonian Gods is the meme set forth by the late Zecharia Stichin that the Anunnaki are space aliens who created humans to be their slave species. Stichin took various Babylonian myths and re-invented them to fit his theories.  These aliens come from the planet Nibiru (“the 12th planet”) which supposedly passes by Earth every 3,500 years. At that time, they come to earth to bedevil humanity. The meme goes downhill from there and into ancient astronaut theories and alien-human hybrids.

The popularity of Inanna (Ishtar), the Goddess of Love and War often impede people from knowing the other Babylonian Gods. (A popular chant includes Her Name with others Goddesses.) The Pagan devotion to Inanna is often divorced from the other Babylonian Gods. Usually, it is centered in Goddess Worship, whose followers see the Goddesses as individuals and not rooted in particular pantheons. Therefore, Inanna becomes attached to Isis and the other Goddesses.

The devotion to Inanna does not usually transfer to the other Babylonian Gods. This is in contrast with Isis and Hecate, who followers will become acquainted with other Gods from their respective pantheons. I think it has to do with the Babylonian Gods Themselves. More formal in their relations with humans, these Gods expect a sense of propriety from their worshippers. Moreover, They want to be their worship to be rooted in their culture, which makes These Gods reluctant to deal with Eclectic Pagans.

My experience with the Babylonian Gods came from studying mythology and comparing various myths to popular culture. My choice for these comparisons was the gangster – mobster genre of America. The rise of Marduk, the Head of the Babylonian Pantheon, parallels the historical rise of Lucky Luciano of the 1930s. (Luciano was known as “The Chairman of the Mob.”) At that point, Marduk decided that I understood the “Enuma Elish,” the Babylonian Creation Epic. From intensive studying of that epic, I developed a devotion to this pantheon. The Babylonians, from what I can infer, prefer people who have little or no Christian residue, and are willing to take their myths seriously.

Other posts in this series:

How Gods Find Followers: Intro

Recruiting Followers: Lesser Known Gods: Roman

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3 thoughts on “Recruiting Followers: Lesser Known Gods: Babylonian

  1. It’s interesting that you say that the Babylonian Gods prefer to be worshipped in their own cultural context (paraphrasing). Inanna was the first Goddess that I ever really felt calling to me. But even back then I got the distinct feeling that she wanted to be worshipped in the same manner as she had been. As this was back in the days before so much was written and available it was difficult. And ultimately I got passed off to others. But she, and Tiamat, hold affectionate places in my heart.

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  2. I have no Christian residue and I feel very blessed for that. I never studied the bible or went to church. My parents were both raised in different Christian denominations but found it boring and so didn’t take me or my siblings to get baptism or go to church. I am grateful for their indifference; because of it I am free of the Christian baggage other Pagans and polytheists carry with them in their hearts.

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  3. Pingback: Gods Recruiting: Open and Closed Cultures | Neptune's Dolphins

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