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Intelligences - ELEMENTS Nergal and Ereshkigal

Identifier

022106

Type of Spiritual Experience

Background

Nergal is an ancient Sumero-Babylonian deity and the god of the netherworld, where he rules with his consort Ereshkigal.

Nergal, Nirgal, or Nirgali (Hebrew: נֵרְגַל, Modern Nergal, Tiberian Nērḡál; Aramaic ܢܹܪܓܵܐܠ; Latin: Nergel) was a deity worshipped throughout Mesopotamia (Akkad, Assyria and Babylonia) with the main seat of his worship at Cuthah represented by the mound of Tell-Ibrahim.

Nergal is mentioned in the Hebrew Bible as the deity of the city of Cuth (Cuthah):
 "And the men of Babylon made Succoth-benoth, and the men of Cuth made Nergal" (2 Kings, 17:30).

Netherworld

The netherworld in very ancient cosmology was the set of vibrational layers which are now called the Elements.  Thus the netherworld is the combined Earth, Water, Air and Fire.

Over time extra sub-layers were identified which rather confusingly became known as the underworld [and Hell].  Strictly speaking, however, at the time this ancient cosmology was being described netherworld = Elements.

This is because for a very spiritual people, the netherworld is where one goes to when one is born, and when one dies one goes ‘up’ figuratively speaking to the higher levels.  To a very spiritual people death is ascent to the realm of Light, birth is descent to the world of darkness.  In other words being born is not necessarily the best deal!

One descends to the netherworld and just like the Greek myth where Persephone descends to the underworld – leaves heaven and enters the physical world – there were Babylonian myths in which descent was also described to the realm of Nergar. 

Nergar is thus strictly speaking the god of the Elements whose equivalent is Pluto

Nergal was the deity who presides over the netherworld, as such he is somewhat similar to Pluto and just like Pluto stands at the head of the special pantheon assigned to the government of the dead (supposed to be gathered in a large subterranean cave known as Aralu or Irkalla).   We can see all the similarities with Greek myth as he too did the same, with the ferryman Charon and the three headed dog Cerberos to guard entry.  The same three headed dog appears in some reliefs too associated with Nergal.

Given the associations with the scythe or sickle, Nergal is also associated spiritually with Night/North and either rebirth or death depending on the path being followed.

Ereshkigal's messenger Namtar (Fate) appears frequently in spiritual texts and Erra, the god of pestilence and war was also a part of Nergal's domain. [The Erra Epic is included on the site].

Standard iconography pictured Nergal as a lion, and boundary-stone monuments symbolise him with a mace surmounted by the head of a lion.

Akkadian Seal of Nergal with a sickle-sword and a mace with two feline heads (c. 2360–2180 BCE, carved from soapstone

 

 

City states and Intelligences

Given the looting that has taken place and the destruction, the constant rebuilding and the sheer time – thousands of years – that has gone by, it is not possible to precisely state which Intelligences were the deities of which cities.   Wikipedia has made many brave attempts, but they all contradict one another and this is not a criticism, it is a reflection of the fact that one cannot pin down the history of a mystic system when it is 6000 years old. Using their tables and a snapshot of the earliest allocations that could be found this is a possible allocation of deities to city states:

The Planets

The Babylonians coloured the seven planets as follows: the moon, silvern; the sun, golden; Mars, red; Saturn, black; Jupiter, orange; Venus, yellow; and Mercury, blue

  • Uruk – Anu and then Ishtar/Inanna, VENUS
  • Ur - Nanna (in Akkadian, Sin) the MOON
  • Marad - Ninurta was the god of hunting and war MARS.
  • Lagash – and Girsu, dedicated to Ningursu/Ninip SATURN
  • Larsa – and/or Sippar.  Shamash also known as Utu – the SUN
  • Eridu – Enki [later called Nebo] MERCURY
  • Babylon [old] - Adad or Hadad, JUPITER.  Jupiter the planet was called ‘Merodach’  - Marduk, in Babylonia.  In other words when Marduk was introduced by the Babylonians, they also associated him with a planet.  Jupiter was associated with Marduk by the Hammurabi period

The major divisions

  • Kish - Ninhursag EARTH
  • Nippur – Enlil - CREATOR
  • Shuruppak – wife of Ninlil CREATED
  • Bad-tibira – Dumuzi better known as Tammuz.  WORLD SOUL/THE SON*
  • Cuth – or Cuthah/Kutha represented by the mound of Tell-Ibrahim.  Nergal, Nirgal, or PLUTO.  The UNDERWORLD [including Hell]

*Tammuz (Syriac: ܬܡܘܙ‎; Hebrew: תַּמּוּז, Transliterated Hebrew: Tammuz, Tiberian Hebrew: Tammûz; Arabic: تمّوز‎‎ Tammūz; Akkadian: Duʾzu, Dūzu; Sumerian: Dumuzid ), is translated as "faithful or true son".  Symbolically the ‘the Son’ and collectively all the sons of God are then the World soul

A description of the experience

The source of the experience

Mesopotamian system

Concepts, symbols and science items

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps

Activities

Commonsteps

References