Type of Spiritual Experience
Nippur was among the most ancient of Sumerian cities. It was the special seat of the worship of the Sumerian god Enlil, the "Lord Wind," ruler of the cosmos, subject to An alone. Nippur was located in modern Nuffar in Afak, Al-Qādisiyyah Governorate, Iraq.
Nippur never enjoyed political hegemony in its own right, but its control was crucial, as it was considered capable of conferring the overall "kingship" on monarchs from other city-states. It was distinctively a sacred city, important from the possession of the famous shrine of Enlil.
Originally a village of reed huts in the marshes, Nippur was especially prone to devastation by flooding or fire. ‘For some reason, settlement persisted at the same spot’, and gradually the site rose above the marshes - partly from the accumulation of debris, and partly through the efforts of the inhabitants. As the inhabitants began to develop in civilization, they substituted, at least in the case of their shrine, mud-brick buildings instead of reed huts. The earliest age of civilization, the "clay age", is marked by crude, hand-made pottery and thumb-marked bricks - flat on one side, concave on the other, gradually developing through several fairly marked stages. The exact form of the sanctuary at that period cannot be determined.
This people gave way in time to another, ‘markedly inferior in the manufacture of pottery, but apparently superior as builders’. In one of these earlier strata, of very great antiquity, there was discovered, in connection with the shrine, a conduit built of bricks in the form of an arch. At some point, Sumerian inscriptions began to be written on clay, in an almost linear script. The shrine at this time stood on a raised platform, and apparently contained a ziggurat.
Late in the 3rd millennium BC, Nippur was conquered and occupied by the Semitic rulers of Akkad, or Agade, and numerous votive objects of Sargon, Rimush, and Naram-Sin testify to the veneration in which they also held this sanctuary. Naram-Sin rebuilt both the temple and the city walls, and in the accumulation of debris now marking the ancient site, his remains are found about half way from the top to the bottom.
The Weidner tablet (ABC 19) suggests that the Akkadian Empire fell as divine retribution, because of Sargon's initiating the transfer of "holy city" status from Nippur to Babylon.
The temple continued to be built upon or rebuilt by kings of various succeeding dynasties, as shown by bricks and votive objects bearing the inscriptions of the kings of various dynasties of Ur and Isin. We shall probably never know its true plan, which is tragic, as of all the city states Nippur was once one of the most sacred.
A description of the experience
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 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/SON OF GOD *
- 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 ‘Son of God’ and collectively all the sons of God are then the World soul