Saturday, November 19, 2011


"Queen of the Mountain". The Sumerian earth and mother-goddess, and a goddess of fertility who created all vegetation. She is the consort of the supreme god Enki (and is as such identified with Damgalnunna). Ninhursag is one of the oldest members of the Sumerian pantheon and has prestigious titles such as 'mother of the gods' and 'mother of all children'. She is also called Nintu, "lady of bearth", and Ki, the earth. She was the tutelary deity of the Sumerian rulers, who styled themselves "children of Ninhursag".

Ninhursag ensures fertile fields, but when she cursed her husband for his incestuous affairs (with the plants she gave birth to) and his descend into the underworld, the earth became barren. Only when the hastily assembled gods managed to mollify her, the earth became fertile again and the cycle of the seasons was instituted.

A temple of Ninhursag was excavated near Tell Harriri (the ancient Mari) in Syria, near the Iraquian border.

From: here
Ninhursag is the Sumerian Goddess of fertility. She also supplanted Ki as Goddess of the earth and mother of the Gods. Myths of her origin vary, but many state that she is the sister of Enlil, God of the air, which would make her the daughter of Ki and Anu, God of the sky. Whatever her origin, Ninhursag is most closely associated with Enki, God of the waters, as his consort. In a well-preserved myth entitled “Enki and Ninhursag,” Ninhursag bears Enki a daughter named Ninsar, who in turn is impregnated by Enki and bears Ninkurra. Ninkurra too has Enki’s child, a daughter named Uttu. Uttu, unwilling to bear Enki’s child, was instead advised by Ninhursag to bury his semen in the ground, where it grew into eight plants. These were the first plants on the earth, and Enki proceeded to eat them.


Ninhursag’s name means “lady of the mountains,” and she was also called Nintu (lady of birth), Ninmenna (lady of the tiara), and Ninmah (exalted lady), although it is likely that these were names of other Goddesses who were later assimilated with Ninhursag. Other names associated with her include Ninmug (lady of the vulva), Ninzinak (lady of the embryo), Ninsigsig (lady of silence), Ninbahar (lady of pottery), Nindim (lady fashioner), Nig-zi-gal-dim-dim-me (fashioner of all things in which there is breath of life), Nagarnam-luulu (carpenter of mankind), Nagar-sa-ga (carpenter of the insides), Tibira-kalam-ma (bronze caster of the nation), Sag-zu-kalam-ma (midwife of the nation), Sag-zu-digir-e-ne (midwife of the Gods), Mud-kes-da (blood-stancher), Ama-dug-bad (mother spreading her legs), Ama-dumu-dumu-ne (mother of all children), and Ama-digir-re-ne-ke (mother of the Gods).

From: here
In Sumerian mythology, Ninhursag (NIN.ḪURSAG) or Ninkharsag was the earth and mother goddess, one of the seven great deities of Sumer. She is principally a fertility goddess. Temple hymn sources identify her as the 'true and great lady of heaven' and kings of Sumer were 'nourished by Ninhursag's milk'. She is typically depicted wearing a horned head-dress and tiered skirt, often with bow cases at her shoulders, and not infrequently carries a mace or baton surmounted by an omega motif or a derivation, sometimes accompanied by a lion cub on a leash. She is the tutelary deity to several Sumerian leaders.

Nin-hursag means "lady of the mountain" (from Sumerian NIN "lady" and ḪAR.SAG "mountain, foothill"[dubious – discuss])[9]). She had many names including Ninmah ("Great Queen");[9] Nintu ("Lady of Birth");[9] Mamma or Mami (mother);[9] Aruru[9] probably connected with Homeric arura (arable land,land generally). Belet-Ili (lady of the gods, Akkadian)[9]

According to legend her name was changed from Ninmah to Ninhursag by her son Ninurta in order to commemorate his creation of the mountains. As Ninmenna, according to a Babylonian investiture ritual, she placed the golden crown on the king in the Eanna temple.[citation needed]

Some take the view that Ki ("Earth") the primordial goddess of the earth and consort of An (sky), was identical to or an earlier form of Ninhursag. This may very well be the case, since some authorities argue that Ki was never regarded as a deity in her own right in the historical period. There is no evidence of a cult for the goddess and the name appears in a limited number of Sumerian creation texts. As Ki, Ninhursag would be the mother of Enlil, whereas in other sources she is his sister.

Some of the names above were once associated with independent goddesses (such as Ninmah and Ninmenna), who later became identified and merged with Ninhursag, and myths exist in which the name Ninhursag is not mentioned.In the legend of Enki and Ninhursag, Ninhursag bore a daughter to Enki called Ninsar ("Lady Greenery"). Through Enki, Ninsar bore a daughter Ninkurra. Ninkurra, in turn, bore Enki a daughter named Uttu. Enki then pursued Uttu, who was upset because he didn't care for her. Uttu, on her ancestress Ninhursag's advice buried Enki's seed in the earth, whereupon eight plants (the very first) sprung up. Enki, seeing the plants, ate them, and became ill in eight organs of his body. Ninhursag cured him, taking the plants into her body and giving birth to eight deities: Abu, Nintulla (Nintul), Ninsutu, Ninkasi, Nanshe (Nazi), Azimua, Ninti, and Enshag (Enshagag).

In the text 'Creator of the Hoe', she completed the birth of mankind after the heads had been uncovered by Enki's hoe.

In creation texts, Ninmah (another name for Ninhursag) acts as a midwife whilst the mother goddess Nammu makes different kinds of human individuals from lumps of clay at a feast given by Enki to celebrate the creation of humankind.Her symbol, the omega Ω, has been depicted in art from around 3000 BC, though more generally from the early second millennium. It appears on some boundary stones — on the upper tier, indicating her importance.

Her temple, the Esagila (from Sumerian E (temple) + SAG (head) + ILA (lofty)) was located on the KUR of Eridu, although she also had a temple at Kish.

From: Wiki

We meet Ninhursag-Ki as the beloved of Anu first, when the first Divine Couple joined to conceive all the Great Gods, the Igigi and the Anunnaki. Then, when Earth (Ki) was separated from the Skies (Anu), we meet Her again in the introduction to the Dispute of Summer and Winter, where we are told that Enlil joined with the foothills (hursag) to engender Summer (Emesh) and Winter (Enten). As the consort of Enlil, She is the mother of Ninurta or Ningirsu. Ninurta, by the way, can be considered the favorite amongst Her children in myth, and the young god addresses Her with terms of endearment such as Ninmah, or August Lady. We need to point out that parallel to the tradition that places Ninhursag as the spouse of Enlil runs another more common one according to which She was his sister and Ninlil Enlil´s consort. I tend to prefer the latter.

Ninhursag´s most constant and creative partner, or better still, savy contender in myth is Enki/Ea, the God of the Fertilizing Waters of the Deep, Magick and all Crafts. Their relationship is passionate with lots of reciprocal happy banter, and somehow Enki almost always graciously defer to Ninhursag. Together, they form one of the most passionate, rich and interesting couples in Mesopotamian myth and religion, and their relationship clearly tells us of a time where gender and Sex balance was much more than scholarship allow us to see.

To better understand how Ninhursag and Enki relate to each other, it is important to take into account that our Soul Ancestors also saw Enki as the primeval conception of Form very much along the lines of the concept of archetypes, which can be described as the Idea or Mental Conception of all forms that may exist. Thus, Enki contains the Ideas of all There is, and as such He is the Magician and Transformer of all things and beings in Nature.

Ninhursag-ki, on the other hand, is the Earth Mother, in whose womb all precious things grow: from the Great Gods and Goddesses, metals, and beasts to all that blossoms. We can therefore understand Enki´s relationship to Ninhursag in the light of the oldest conception of alchemy, where the Goddess is the Living Earth or Prima Materia and that grows and transforms in combinations of all sorts, whereas Enki is Her Beloved Artisan, the Shaman, Magician and Priest. Theirs is fundamentally a universe where the Divine and the Human co-exist, where lovemaking and magick are fundamental ingredients, of times which are so old and immemorial like the tune of a favorite song we never tire to listen to. It is by Ninhursag´s and Enki´s art that humankind is created, as described in the myth of Enki and Ninmah, and it is in another delightful and passionate myth of Sumerian origin, Enki and Ninhursag in Dilmun, that we have many motifs which were later reversed in the Hebrew Genesis myth of the Old Testament Bible. But in Mesopotamia and Sumer in special, there was no idea of fall from grace, because humankind was created to be co-workers with the Great Gods in the makings of existence, giving birth was easy and painless instead of suffering and tears, and there is no expulsion in sight for gods in love in Dilmun, the Mesopotamian paradise and land of the living.

I have described Ninhursag-Ki as the holy body of the Skyfather´s Soul in very first days of the beginnings of existence. Likewise, She can be described as the Creative Principle and Precious Stone all shamans from time immemorial seek to find and with it everything to transform.

From: here
When one looks for a mother goddess in the Sumerian pantheon one should look to Ninhursag, the goddess of the foothills. She is the goddess of the cultivation of the earth, and is also the Sumerian mother goddess. You would expect this to make her popular with modern neo pagans, but this is not the case. She has been forgotten for the most part as a mother goddess, ironically in favor of goddesses of war and also a demoness of demons of crib death.

Ninhursag is a nature goddess, but this doesn't exactly make her a goddess of the wilderness. Civilization was a central focus of the Sumerian gods. Cultivation and gardening is a major part of what makes a people civilized.
She is perhaps most notable as Enki's most influential consort. Enki was wed to her and also to Damkina who lived with him in his home in the Apsu. Ninhursag is also is the mother of Ninurta the storm god of the farmers and several of the other gods and goddesses in the pantheon.
In myth she is seen most prominent in two myths in connection with Enki. In the first myth Enki has children with her and then with the next subsequent generations of goddesses. Ninhursag discovers this infidelity and grows angry cursing her husband. She later forgives Enki and removes her curse.

In another myth Enki and Ninhursag have created humans and they are coming up with jobs for flawed humans. Enki finds jobs for all of the flawed humans that Ninhursag can come up with, but Ninhursag cannot do the same for the flawed human Enki comes up with. In this myth the creation of humanity might be better explained as the civilizing of humanity, a constant process. Enki is the primary inspiration with Ninhursag as the chief among several goddesses of childbirth.

From: Temple of Sumer

Also see:
Gateways to Babylon: PDF with myth of Enki and Ninhursag
Wiki: Goddess Ki (ID'd with her)Temple of Sumer -- myth text
Short article

No comments:

Post a Comment