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The primordial powers

The archaic powers of creation.

Introduction, the creation mythology in different times and areas

Three primary variants exist in the creation mythology of A.N.E., The Nammu divine conception, and the Nammu-Absu union of opposites, and 'The Enuma Elish' Scenario. After a thorough comparison of the Creation mythologies, one finds a developmental pattern based upon the idea of paired opposites acting in symmetry to one another.

In the article that follows, I will touch upon the primary patterns of this symmetry of primordial couples, and I include a brief description of the three main versions of the mythos as well. Each power will be presented in a manner that seeks to get behind the small amount of available material to distill what the mystical functions of these powers are. I have gathered information for some portions of this section from a series of books that are to be published through out 2005. All material is used with permission of the authors.

Nammu self created:

The Goddess Nammu is presented as self-created and self-impregnating. It is a divine conception She brings forth all things, her children are: Anshar and Kishar, The heavens and the Earth, Absu comes into being as well, and Nammu's birth waters become the mighty sea that not only embraces the lands, but also a great sea held at bay behind the boundary of heaven (Kishar). It is of important note that she is the sea that surrounds the heavens thus showing she is the great womb. Thus, all creation is in her womb.

Anu is first born of the gods is some versions, in some they do not specify.
Anu, Anshar and Kishar are specified as first born children of Nammu. Anshar and Kishar were formed in a joined primordial mass. A lump of mixed earth and sky. It is unclear exactly how they were eventually separated or why. Some sources say Anu divided them; some say it was Enki, some fragments reference another power but the name or identity is hard to draw out. The signs used for the dividing entity seem to read as az-ag. In Lagash where these fragments come from the three great powers were Ningirsu, Bau (his wife) and Gatamdug his sister. Bau is specifically called the mother of Ea, and many other things point to Bau being Nammu. In the fragments, this Az-ag divides the heavens from the earth, but this same epithet of Azag is applied in Lagash to Gatamdug. She is called Azag meaning 'Brilliant. If we take a clue from this, it may mean that the light 'brilliance' was what separated Anshar and Kishar. Anu carries away heaven, and Enki carries away earth.

In the early period of A.N.E. culture, the mother of all was of vast importance. In the above-mentioned triad of Lagash, the city was divvied among these three gods but the most lavish and greatest temple was to Bau / Nammu.

The goddess cult of the Sumerians at Jemdat Nasir and other extremely early periods show a goddess cult that had three female statue elements. Mothers, fertility women, and a crow headed female, in addition a lion headed male is found in some cases. The mother was the Nammu analog, the fertility figure the Inanna / Ninki analog, the Crow headed female is Ereshkigal (death) and the lion headed is the warrior / ploughman.

Nammu and Absu Unite:

In this version, we have a progression similar to Nammu genesis, but it is a uniting of Absu and Nammu that sparks creation. The indication is that Absu and Nammu are primordial twins or halves of a whole. The evidence is compelling as the Cuneiform symbol used to write Absu and Nammu's names are identical in meaning and form.

It seems that these twins came together and Absu flowed into Nammu's womb. This image is of a womb filled with semen. It is made clear that Absu is never 'rebirthed' out of Nammu's womb, and since Absu interacts with other gods and powers, it is clear that all of them (Absu and these gods) must then STILL BE IN THE WOMB. This in conjunction with the 'Nammu self created' scenario of the same previous period shows a hold over of Nammu as all encompassing womb. The remainder of the information seems to hold is strong agreement with the 'Nammu self created' Scenario.

Enuma Elish:

"When on High..." are the words that begin the Neo Babylonian and Neo Assyrian. In Akkadian 'Enuma Elish...".

This mythology is very thoroughly documented and It is quite easy to locate on line. While the story itself is a praise story of Marduk the national god of Babylon, it was also told in the end days of Assyria with Assur as the hero rather than Marduk.

A vast amount of festival and ritual was attached to the Enuma Elish and the King and many priests and priestesses played out the parts of the myth at each New Year.

Once again we encounter the polar symmetry as the myth opens; Tiamat, a great serpentine female that personifies the salt waters, and Absu the vast fresh waters, rush together Just like Nammu and Absu in the previous myth. The produce Lahmu and Lahamu, two shaggy primordial gods. These gods in turn produce the familiar Anshar and Kishar. Anshar and Kishar unite and birth Anu.

Anu and Antu(m) give birth to many young gods and they rush about in Tiamat's belly. This disturbance also interferes with Absu's rest and he plots with his minister Mummu to slay the young gods. Enki the god of cleverness hears of it and slips his father Absu a sleeping drought. He slays his father and takes his powers.

This incites Tiamat to seek vengeance against the young gods and one of several gods comes forth to defeat her. In Babylon, it was Marduk, in Assyria it was Assur. There is a proto version of this myth hat features Enlil or Ninurta as well.

The vanquishing hero sets the universe to rights and becomes king.

In some places where the Nammu versions of the creation were prevalent, there are instances of Enlil over coming Anu in much the way that Enki took down Apsu but they are not written in the tone of Anu being slain by force or deceit. Instead it comes across as Anu being slain to give kingship over to his son Enlil and as a result becoming one with all things.
Enlil does the job with vigor and Anu's benificial forced flow out into the world.

The players in the scenarios:


As indicated above Nammu is the great Creatrix. Over time, she gained several epithets representing different aspects of her mythic duties, and some of these epithets evolved into unique goddesses. Inversely some goddesses of various locals were adopted into the image Nammu when they were interactive with their neighbors.

Nammu, Bau, Mami(tu), Belet Illani, , and Ninmah all have merged together by the end of the Neo Babylonian period. Even though each was once an aspect of the Nammu archetype. As a result of thi smerge, the mother goddess figure becomes a confusing polyglot of ideas. The symbol of these united mother powers are often given as a sylized womb, a umbilical lancet, or 'birthing brick'.


An examination of Absu in the writings both old and new shows Absu to be the progenitor of 'FORM'. The idea of 'Gishur' (Pattern-plan) is intimately connected to Enki who rules over the powers of the Absu after slaying him.

In associaion with both the Nammu (Sumerian) and Tiamat (Babylonian) myths he is Form, Order, and His consort is Chaos.

In the Nammu association, she is a creative nurturing Chaos, and he is a stabilizing force that brings about stability of the patterns, he is also the key that starts the creation sequence. His existence brings change to a slow trickle, and when Enki slays him, change is unleased as randomness and entropy.

In the Tiamat senario Absu is the tendency of all things to fulfill a pattern until they come to rest. This is why he wishes to sleep. He is entropy first establishing pattern in chaos and then bringing its slow ending.

It is no crime or suprise that Enki should have slain him (death being the ultimate stillness) nor that he should have used sleep as the means to over come him (sleep being the desired state of Absu from the start).

Absu began as the primordial sea of form and substance, he was attended to by his personal minister named Mummu ('word'). Both Absu and Mummu came under the control of Lord Enki because Enki slew absu to stop him from destroying the young gods. It is interesting to note that Absu has no magic number, beast, color or iconography associated with him. He lays dead (yet somehow aware) beneath the earth as a sea of potential. Lord Enki uses the waters of the Absu to create what ever is needed in his plans.


In the texts, Tiamat is rather a conundrum. On one hand she is presented as a destroyer bent on the extemination of the young gods, on the other she is presented as a creatrix, the mother of all things. In the Enuma Elish senerio, Absu comes to her after he is influenced by Mummu. He wants to destroy the young gods because they disturb his rest. Tiamat refuses to destroy her progeny and it is only after Enki slays Absu that she gets hostile to the young gods.

IN the Babylonia account, Marduk uses her body to repair the heavens and the earth after the battle, and her skull becomes the source for the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.

In a manner like that of Nammu, Tiamat remains the mother that we reside IN. Many modern theories run willynilly in the occult community. Many seek to connect Tiamat to the fictional power 'Cthulu', and it is not uncommon to talk to 'Dragon Masters' that envision Tiamat as she is (fictionally) described in a game called Dungeons and Dragons. This fictional characterisation of her is not at all acurate and I encourage those of you interested in Tiamat to ignore it.

Upon examination of the Babylonian creation account, we learn that Tiamat is not evil, indeed she does not seek harm to any until she learns of Absu being slain. It is then the wrath of one who is grieving and seeking retribution that arises in her.

She defended them against Absu and sued for their survival, they then turn around and slew him. This offense put her beyond any reconcilable reaction. Her rage is such that she cannot be turned aside from her vengence.

Indeed we will find that the power that was cunning and malign in this is Mummu. Mummu was the one that incited Absu to slay the young gods. The very seed of all that lead to the war. This is interesting in that it makes clear that the spoken word (Mummu) could be used for good or ill.

Lahmu and Lahamu:

These two primordials powers, appear in the Babylonian Creation account as the first off springof Tiamat and Absu. Interpretation of these figures has taken a some what round about course and for a long while the Assyriologists thought that their names meant 'Mud' and 'Silt'. It is funny in a way because what little is known of them seems to support that this is indeed what they represent. It is now known that their names derive from the word for 'hairy' or 'shaggy'.

These powers are beastial, almost proto gods. They are full of vital energy and in later times were used as defence against demons. In Neo-Assyrian they were buried in house foundations for that purpose. Texts of the Babylonian tradition make Lahmu the Male of the pair a guardian figure (usually wrestling a lion or Bull). Their function in the magical tradition is well summed by this quote from an as yet unpublished work on the subject (quoted with authors permission).

"Lahmu was more than simply a primordial of the Enuma E., there were an entire race of these beings and fifty of them searved Enki the lord of the Absu. These 50 were available for use by the 'Ashipu' priests of Enki and were conjured to fight demons and to protect structures. The original Lahmu and Lahamu seem to have been protogods, spirits of elemental might like Absu and Tiamat their parents. Their primitive nature was indicated by their shaggyness and vast animal strength. They were the mud of the bottom of the ocean and the silt that settled when the great seas of Absu and the mother Tiamat (the bitter waters) united.

It has become apparent that they united at the bottom of the mixed seas and from them land and sky were raised above it. Anshar and kishar, the combined mountain that rose from the depths became the earth and sky were formed and rose. Alonng with them their seemed to come other progeny. Thus the earth is peopled in its interior by the lahama, the off spring of Lahmu and Lahamu that serve Enki."


In texts of many periods Anshar and Kishar arose from the primordial sea. They were a united gob of earth and sky and were eventually seperated.

Of the two, Anshar is raised up and becomes the boundry of the heavens, the place where the stratosphere ends and the dark heavens begin. He is reflected in his sister Kishar who is the Horizon of the landscape.

In the early myths Anshar involves himself with the works of Anu and this is not suprising since he is the boundry of heaven. His proximity to Anu and heaven makes this a natural occurence. In later myths he does not figure in the affairs of men or gods much at all.


Kishar is the twin of Anshar, and just like him she is seen as a horizon line. When we look to the horizon and see the place where sky meets earth we are seeing Kishar. Kishar once inhabited the earth but was 'carried away' with Enlil.

This idea of Anshar being carried away by Anu and Kishar being carried away by Enlil or Enki is what defines Anshar and Kishar as Horizons. Upon examination of the texts it seems most likely that Enlil carried off Kishar and Enki carried off or wed the new goddess Ninki (Damgalnuna) that formed in the earth after Kishar was raised up to be the horizon.

In some accounts Kishar is wed to Anu and Enlil only carries off the physical firmerments.

Below is a demonstration of these many layers that were typified by gods:

The 3 heavens in which the gods of the 'above' reside
The boundry between sky and heaven; the band encircleing the earth
LIL the skies
Ruled by Enlil, the skys reach to the horizons above and below.
The boundry between earth and Lil / sky. This is the horizon line.
A or Mu the waters
The waters of the ocean were characterised by Nammu and the fresh waters by Enki
Ki or Ersetu, The earth
The mighty mountains like Kur, Mashu and Ninhursag were the heights of of the earth and the earth itself was the goddess Ninki (Ninmah, Damgalnuna) the wife of Enki
Kur, Allatu (the underworld)
Kur was the first primordial underworld power, later he was replaced by the idea of the underworld as a realm within the body of Kur, called Allatu, the great below, and the land of no return.
Absu / Apsu the abyss
Ruled over by Enki, this is the ocean of fresh water that resides in the earth's heart or womb, in microcosmic reflection of Absu in the womb of Nammu or Tiamat.

The Temple of Anu Most High