Nanna-Suen, Father Time of Mesopotamia

crescent moon

Photo by Flickr on Pexels.com

One of the most ancient of the Mesopotamian Gods, Nanna-Suen is the God of the Moon. Considered by the Babylonians to be one of the Younger Gods, Nanna-Suen measured time, offering the wisdom of the stars. Since He knows the past as the future, He is the God of Foresight who guides diviners (especially astrologers). One of the Seven Who Decrees the Fates (Note 1.), Nanna-Suen is the God of Wisdom. Since He illuminates the darkness of the night, Nanna-Suen protects people from harm.

I have known Nanna-Suen for years, but not his name. The moon has always been male to me. This God seemed to be content to have me worship Him on a basic level of following the moon’s phases.

For this year from the autumn equinox until the spring equinox, Nanna-Suen has asked me to carry the moon in my pocket. I have a collection of “moon hearts” in lapis and other semi-precious stones to use. As I carry the “moon hearts,” I am to listen to the whisperings of Nanna-Suen. He has asked me to sleep under the moon, so that He may come to me in my dreams.

The Names of Nanna-Suen
The New Moon: Asimbabbar
The Crescent Moon: Suen
The Waxing and Waning Moon: Inbu (the Fruit)
The Full Moon: Nanna

When the moon is dark, Nanna-Suen is thought to be dead. This is the “Day of Laying Down” (Udnua). During this time, He goes into the Netherworld to judge the Dead.

From the various hymns for Nanna-Suen

Father Nanna, Lord, conspicuously crowned,
Prince of the Gods,
Father Nanna, grandly perfect in majesty
Prince of the Gods;
Father Nanna (measuredly) proceeding in noble raiment,
Prince of the Gods
Fierce Young Bull, thick of horns, perfect limbs,
With lapis lazuli beard, full of beauty,
Fruit, created of itself, grown to full size,
Good to look at, with whose beauty one is never sated;
Womb, giving birth to all, who has settle down in a holy abode;
Merciful forgiving Father, who holds in his hand,
The life of the land;
Lord! — (the compass of) your divine providence,
(vast) as the far off heavens, the wide sea,
is awesome (to behold).


When you have measured the days of a month
When you have reached this day,
….
When you have made manifest to the people
Your “day of laying down” of a completed month,
You grandly judge, O Lord, law cases in the Netherworld, make decisions superbly.
…. On the broad firmament of heaven…
You spread light, the darkness You illumine,
….
Upon your splendidly rising new light,
Full of loveliness, a goodly sight,
Waits for You in joy the great Lady of Kiur, Mother Ninlil.

Note 1: The Seven are Anu, Enlil, Enki, Ianna, Ninhursaga, and Utu as well as Nanna-Suen.

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