The eldest texts available to us start a journey of politics and coupes in the ranks and positions of the gods that tend to
reflect astronomical changes in the sky such as procession of the equinoxes, Political and military conquests, and social
needs of each period.
Because of these changes, we can start with Enki's over throw of Absu and follow a sequence of events that lead to the
final state of belief in the Age of Sargon the second, through to the fall of the A.N.E. Empires.
These complex changes of role alter the specifics of a god's authority, but they do not tend to reflect a change is the
god's specifics regarding their mystical domain.
For example Enki's name may change to 'Ea' but his particular function as the god of cleverness, compassion, magic, form
and wisdom remain unaltered. His magic number is still 40 and he still has the Absu as his home.
I have intended to stay away from the political rollovers that plague our clear understanding of the mystical significance
of the gods. Instead, in these articles I search for the relationship of that god to human kind, the heavens, and the underworld.
I have sought out the sign and symbols, myths and personas in order to give an insight to these powers as to who they were
once seen to be both in and out of the temple.
Some of the material listed here comes from a series of books that are coming to publication in the year 2005. All such
entries are quoted with full permission of the author.
High above us, beyond the sapphire boundary of the atmosphere, and further out than the vacuum and the curtain of Night time
stars, lay the heavens of the A.N.E.
In the furthest away of these heavens, the highest of the heavens, was the throne of An and upon the throne of An sat
Tradition says that Anu has Nammu or Kishar as his mother, and Anshar or Absu for his Father. We will touch briefly
on the significance of each of these partnerships.
Tiamat and Absu:
In Neo Babylonian, and in some very late Assyrian accounts of the creations, Absu and Tiamat united to start the universe,
they begat Lahmu and Lahamu (two primordial gods of silt and mud), these gods begat Anshar (the heavens) and Kishar (the earth).
Upon their union, Anu was created. The Anu conceived of by the Babylonians was a far away figure, a lord of kings that was
not the least concerned with the affairs of Man. The Anu conceived of by the late Assyrians, was preempted by Assur (who became
the distant one) and Anu resumed his role as the all mind, the awareness of the whole universe. Sargon the second appears
to have been a part time archeologist, he had tablets and objects dug up and gathered together. He also used the information
gathered in this way to reinstitute a number of the old ways of worship. His collection of old Akkadian texts seems to have
strongly influenced his view of the gods, especially Anu.
In some of the Sumerian and Akkadian accounts, Nammu the 'womb of all' created the universe. Her first-born children were
Anu, Absu, Anshar and Kishar. Shortly after that came Enki, Enlil, and Ereshkigal. Anshar and Kishar were united as a single
huge mountain. An event brought about a splitting of Anshar and Kishar. Anu 'carried away the heavens' and Enki 'carried away
The Anu conceived of in the mythology of this period is certainly a high and aloof power, but he is wed to the earth (under
the name Antu(m) or Ki), thus binding himself to both heaven and earth. He is seen as holding sway over all things, yet he
delegates his realm to several of the younger gods.
Anu is the master of all, but like a CEO, he sits in his office and lets 'middle management handle common affairs. Despite
this he seems to be thought of as the sum of all things in the universe just as much as was lord of all things. In short he
was not only the CEO of the company, he was the company too.
Nammu and Absu:
In some old texts that come from Lagash, we have Nammu and Absu as the pair that create the universe. They are seen as halves
of a whole. Absu is the life creating semen, which fills Nammu's womb. Anu, Anshar, and Kishar are born of the union, and
the story continues as in the Nammu account above. This Anu is all seeing and interactive, he need simply speak and it is
so. He seems to be much less withdrawn and entertains certain mortals in his halls. He seems likewise, to rule over and inhabit
all things. He functions as the grand design that binds all things into harmony and order. While all things seem to be an
emanation of the first patterns to come into being, Anu seems to be the Melam (divine light) that is threaded through out
all things in the universe.
Anu's wife is variously given as Antu, Anitum, and Ki. In all cases, she seems to be an incarnation of the earth. In
the older mythology, it appears that this wife is the goddess Kishar. In the old texts there is a definate relationship between
Nammu and Anu, but there is little evidence that they were husband and wife. Kramer (1961) works to make a connection of
them as a divine couple. They do seem to create several gods through unions, but this is given the sense that it is not incestuous.
Rather it seems more like a joint project.
Several texts imply the idea that when Anshar and Kishar were split apart,
Anu took the spirit of Kishar with him to his heavenly abode. The effect of this taking away of Kishar's spirit was that the
spiritless earth became Ninki / Ninhursaga / Damgalnuna (all are given at one time or another as the wife of Enki). In this
fashion the male sky carries of the authority and wife of Heaven (Anshar) and Enki carries off the Authority and Body of Kishar
as a new goddess and wife. High unites with low and vice versa
In the Neo Babylonian mythos, Anu was seen as the father of Enki through his union with Kishar, but in earlier texts, it is
Nammu and Absu / Anshar that parent him. Both versions agree that Anu fathered a group of seven monstrous children that were
so mighty that they could not be restrained or resisted.
Once again accounts differ but in the Neo Babylonian, Anu fathered a number of gods including Enlil, Ninhursaga, Martu, Ninurta,
Adad, and so on.
Symbol: sacred shine surmounted by the divine horned cap.
Sacred number: 60 (his horned cap often has 6 horns 6X10=60)
Astrological region: heavenly equator (the band of sky straight up from east to west)
Sacred animal: the heavenly Bull
Personal assistant: Papsukkal
Enlil king of the gods:
Enlil is the highest of all gods other than Anu. He is king 'wind'. The atmosphere is his domain. He is king of kings. His
decree is law and his power causes the plants to grow, the winds to stir and the planets to stay in their courses.
He was a god that meted out judgment, the common people knew him as the motivating force behind the order in society and
keeping the laws of gods and men. The kings knew him as father and model of the Kingship. Only by decree of Enlil, and the
ratification by his wife Ninlil, could a king be made and an heir chosen to be placed in the womb.
In early late Akkadian accounts, he is born of the union of AN (heaven) and KI (earth). It is said that when Anshar and
Kishar were separated that they yearned to be together again. They reunited and Enlil was born. In other accounts, he is the
son of Anshar or Anu and the goddess Nammu.
His wife is Ninlil, though his parentage is claimed with other goddesses and thus we are lead to understand that the king
had a number of trysts prior t his wedding. He fathered children with Ninlil, Ninhursaga as well as a few others.
His Children include, Ninurta, Ishkur, Adad, Ningirsu, Sin-Nanna, Nergal, Pabilsag, Nusku and others.
The underworld rites are a very important theme in the stories of the gods. At various points, all the gods of greater
position have been forced at one time or other to descend in the under world.
Enlil is no exception. When he sees the young Ninlil for the first time he knows he has found his true love. She feels
the same but wants to follow right action and be prudent about things. When she does not agree with Enlil's insistence that
they make love on the spot, he forces her. It is not truly clear whether it is rape or overwhelming seduction. In either event,
she is furious and so is her mother. They take their dissatisfaction to Anu and Enlil is sentenced to death. He descends into
Symbol: sacred shine surmounted by the divine horned cap.
Sacred number: 50
Astrological region: northern sky
Personal assistants: Pabilsag and Dagan (Kalkal is his doorman)