Creation Myths

Creation Myths:
Selected Musings from the Sacred Cuneiform tablets of Sumer.


Enlil, the king of all the lands, set his mind.

He thrust his penis into the Great Mountain (HAR.SAG)…
Summer and Winter, the fecundating overflow of the land, he poured into the womb.
Wheresoever Enlil would thrust his penis, he roared like a wild bull.
There, HAR.SAG spent the day, rested happily at night,
Delivered herself of Summer and Winter like rich cream…
Smooth, big Earth made herself resplendent, beautified her body
joyously.
Wide Earth bedecked her body with precious metal and lapis lazuli,
Adorned herself with diorite, chalcedony, and shiny carnelian.
Heaven arrayed himself in a wig of verdure, stood up in princeship.
Holy Earth, the virgin, beautified herself for Holy Heaven.
Heaven, the lofty god, planted his knees on Wide Earth,
Poured the semen of the heroes Tree and Reed into her womb.
Sweet Earth, the fecund cow, was impregnated with the rich semen of Heaven.
Joyfully did Earth tend to the giving birth of the plants of life,
Luxuriantly she brought forth rich produce, and gave birth to wine and honey.

After heaven had been moved away from earth,
After earth had been separated from heaven,
After the name of man had been fixed;
After An had carried off heaven,
After Enlil had carried off earth,
After Ereshkigal had been carried off into Kur as its prize;
……………………….
Behold the “bond of heaven and earth,” the city, . . .
Behold Nippur, the city, . . .
Behold the “kindly wall,” the city, . . .
Behold the Idsalla, its pure river,
Behold the Karkurunna, its quay,
Behold the Karasarra, its quay where the boats stand,
Behold the Pulal, its well of good water,
Behold the Idnunbirdu, its pure canal,
Behold Enlil, its young man,
Behold Ninlil, its young maid,
Behold Nunbarshegunu, its old woman.

 In those days the mother, her begetter, gave advice to the maid,
Nunbarshegunu gave advice to Ninlil:
“At the pure river, O maid, at the pure river wash thyself,
O Ninlil, walk along the bank of the Idnunbirdu,
The bright-eyed, the lord, the bright-eyed,
The ‘great mountain,’ father Enlil, the bright-eyed, will see thee,
The shepherd . . . who decrees the fates, the bright-eyed, will see thee,
He will . . . . he will kiss thee.”

Enten caused the ewe to give birth to the lamb, the goat to give birth to the kid,
Cow and calf he caused to multiply, much fat and milk he caused to be produced,
In the plain, the heart of the wild goat, the sheep, and the donkey he made to rejoice,
The birds of the heaven, in the wide earth he had them set up their nests
The fish of the sea, in the swampland he had them lay their eggs,

In the palm-grove and vineyard he made to abound honey and wine,
The trees, wherever planted, he caused to bear fruit,
The furrows . . .,
Grain and crops he caused to multiply,
Like Ashnan (the grain goddess), the kindly maid, he caused strength to appear.
Emesh brought into existence the trees and the fields, he made wide the stables and sheepfolds,
In the farms he multiplied the produce,
The . . . he caused to cover the earth,
The abundant harvest he caused to be brought into the houses, he caused the granaries to be heaped high.

Enlil answers Emesh and Enten:
“The life-producing water of all the lands, Enten is its ‘knower,’
As farmer of the gods he has produced everything,
Emesh, my son, how dost thou compare thyself with Eaten, thy brother?”
The exalted word of Enlil whose meaning is profound,
The decision taken, is unalterable, who dares transgress it!
Emesh bent the knees before Enten,
Into his house he brought . . ., the wine of the grape and the date,
Emesh presents Enten with gold, silver, and lapis lazuli,
In brotherhood and friendship, happily, they pour out libations,
Together to act wisely and well they determined.
In the struggle between Emesh and Enten,
Enten, the steadfast farmer of the gods, having proved greater than Emesh,
. . . O father Enlil, praise!

In those days Enki says to Enlil:
“Father Enlil, Lahar and Ashnan,
They who have been created in the Dulkug,
Let us cause them to descend from the Dulkug.”
At the pure word of Enki and Enlil,
Lahar and Ashnan descended from the Dulkug.
For Lahar they (Enlil and Enki) set up the sheepfold,
Plants, herbs, and . . . they present to him; p
For Ashnan they establish a house,
Plow and yoke they present to her.
Lahar standing in his sheepfold,
A shepherd increasing the bounty of the sheepfold is he;
Ashnan standing among the crops,
A maid kindly and bountiful is she.
Abundance of heaven . . . ,
Lahar and Ashnan caused to appear,

In the assembly they brought abundance,
In the land they brought the breath of life,
The decrees of the god they direct,
The contents of the warehouses they multiply,
The storehouses they fill full.
In the house of the poor, hugging the dust,
Entering they bring abundance;
The pair of them, wherever they stand,
Bring heavy increase into the house;
The place where they stand they sate, the place where they sit they supply,
They made good the heart of An and Enlil.










After the water of creation had been decreed,
After the name hegal (abundance), born in heaven,
Like plant and herb had clothed the land,
The lord of the abyss, the king Enki,
Enki, the lord who decrees the fates,
Built his house of silver and lapis lazuli;
Its silver and lapis lazuli, like sparkling light,
The father fashioned fittingly in the abyss.
The (creatures of) bright countenance and wise, coming forth from the abyss,
Stood all about the lord Nudimmud;
The pure house be built, he adorned it with lapis lazuli,
He ornamented it greatly with gold,
In Eridu he built the house of the water-bank,
Its brickwork, word-uttering, advice-giving,
Its . . . like an ox roaring,
The house of Enki, the oracles uttering.



“O name of my power, O name of my power,
To the bright Inanna, my daughter, I shall present . . .
The arts of woodworking, metalworking, writing, toolmaking, leatherworking. . . . building, basketweaving.”
Pure Inanna took them.
 “O name of My power, O name of my power,
To the pure Inanna, my daughter, I shall present . . ..
Lordship, . . .-ship, godship, the tiara exalted and enduring, the throne of kingship.”
Pure Inanna took them.
“O name of my power, O name of my power,
To the pure Inanna, my daughter, I shall present . . . .
The exalted scepter, staffs, the exalted shrine, shepherdship, kingship.”
Pure Inanna took them.


 all photos copyright of shani oates
gnostic painting from wiki images
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~ by meanderingsofthemuse on March 20, 2012.

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