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Ninhursag and the Garden of Abundance

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She was reported to be a mother goddess, a great and true Lady of heaven, a goddess of the mountain, she was harvest queen, depicted with a wheat sheath in hand, with a moon crescent headdress; as Ninto she was a birth goddess, sometimes referred to as Belet-lli, [AK] which would make a consort of Baal, or Ba’al. it was said that she was originally called Ninmah, but her son Ninurta changed her name when he created mountains.

A closer look

Her original name is interesting because in the Old Testament we read the Lamech had two wives, one was called Zillah and she bore him two children, one was called Tubal-Cain and he was a smith god who forged all sorts tools from bronze and iron, the other was a girl called Naamah, so if I am correct, Tubal-Cain was a form of Hephaestus the Greek god of metal work, if not he can only be a storm god, it is likely that the two forms were once combined. Either way in astrological terms Tubal- Cain resided in Scorpio or Sagittarius, which means Naamah was a personification of the moon goddess, or Virgo as the queen of harvest, and that is what Ninhursag appears to be. In the many depictions of her, one of the most common parts of her appearance is the shape of her hair, which almost without fail forms what the authors have called the omega sign, shown upside down, but she is also often depicted sitting or standing facing forwards, that being she looks out at us, with her hair forming two omega signs one over each shoulder, thus we ought to be reminded of a balance, she often also holds a sceptre with the omega sign the other way up, this eventually will be developed into the caduceus, we are more familiar with. Indeed the whole picture is one of balance, six staves, which may be phallic or snake symbols arise from her shoulders three on each side, her headdress is also balanced having small horns on either side, and in between in the centre we have what could be an Ankh type symbol but it is more like a triangle with a crescent on balanced of its back, with a leaf either side of it, in her left hand she holds what flail, used for threshing or it may be a handful of wheat or barley stalks with the seed still attached. In another depiction she is standing two male figures sit in a squatting position one on either side of her skirt looking toward her, an omega sign sits above their heads, but two heads appear out of her shoulders one on either side looking away from her, while she faces forwards her hair forming the same omega sign. She is also often near the tree of life, and just as often there seems to be a contention or negotiation going on between her and Venus, who although sometimes she appears to be male is made obvious by the eight-pointed star that accompanies her, oddly this figure often appears to be holding a necklace in one of its hands. A few other icons also appear with Ninhursag, a goose, and a dove, which also sacred to the Greek Demeter, and Rhea amongst others. In conclusion I would say that Ninhursag may not have been simply personification of the moon, and Virgo, as the queen of Harvest, but may have been a triple goddess who embodied the powers of mother earth, the moon and Virgo combined; certainly, the mythical story points to this.

The myth

According to myth she had a daughter called Ninsar [maiden goddess of vegetation] by Enki, but Enki also had union with Ninsar, who brought forth Ninkurra [pasture] Anyway, it seems the ever-lustful Enki also went with Ninkurra, and she bore him a daughter called Uttu, although another myth reports that Ninkurra, brought forth Ninimma, a personification of a woman’s privates, and she gave birth to Uttu, a goddess of weaving (who is the equivalent of the Greek goddess Arachne) and Enki pursues Uttu also, but Enki’ wife Ninhursag warns her that her father will no doubt try it on with her, as he had all his other daughters, and wishing to avoid his advances Uttu spins a web and hides herself in it. But Enki, does not give in easily, and tries to entice her out, but she demands that she will only submit to him, if he brings her fresh fruit and bread and promises to marry her first. Enki soon finds a farmer, and in return for filling his dry irrigation ditches with water the farmer gives him the fresh food, and loaded with goodies he persuades her to let him in, where he plies her with beer and rapes her, but it seems his wife Ninhursag has had enough of his antics and she rescues Uttu removes his semen and buries it in the ground. Shortly after eight new plants sprout from the ground, and Enki spotting them becomes upset that he does not recognise them, Enki, sends for Isimud his adviser, who names each plant and gives it to Enki to eat, but they made him ill, each one affecting a different organ in his body.

The cure

To cure him Ninhursag took the plants from him and placed them in her body and gave birth to eight gods, they were Abu, the father of vegetation, Nintulla, who he called ‘Lord Magan’ the lord of copper and diorite, Ninsutu or Ninkauta, who married Ninazu, a god of underworld and Healing, Ninkasi the goddess of beer and brewing, Nanshe a goddess of justice, water, fishing and fertility, Azimua who also married Ningishzida, god of trees? Ninti, healing goddess of the ribs, and Enshag- Enshagag, who was made lord of Dilmun.


Looking at the daughters, and there offspring we see Ninhursag produces Ninsur=vegetation, vegetation as Ninsar produces Ninkurra=pasture, either Ninkurra, or more likely Ninhursag produce a woman called Ninimma, (a woman’s privates) while Ninkurra actually gives birth to Uttu, weaving; next we have Enki unsuccessful attempt to impregnate Uttu, Ninhursag’ intervention leads to Enki seed being used to impregnate the earth, which produces eight plants, having identified them Enki eats them, but he is male and cannot bear children and thus becomes ill, Ninhursag, removes the plants-semen and swallows it herself, thus conceives and bears eight new gods, Abu the sun or atmosphere which then brings forth vegetation, thus he is called the father or lord of green things, vegetation; Nintulla who is the god of all the precious things found in the earth, like copper, iron, crystalline rocks and so on; Ninsutu or Ninkauta, who married Ninazu, a god of underworld-hades and Healing, Ninkasi the goddess of alcohol, Nanshe a goddess of natural justice, water, fishing and fertility, Azimua who also married Ningishzida, god of trees, who first caused trees to flower and bear fruit; Ninti, healing goddess of the ribs, for Eve was made from Adams rib, (perhaps that is why so many of us like sticky, juices spare rib, it anciently signifies a woman, lol.) and Enshag- Enshagag, who was made lord of Dilmun, that being the garden of Abundance, better known to us as Eden.

Further insights

If we take Ninhursag to primarily represent Mother earth, and we take Enki to be a personification of the power of water and sunlight to generate life, then our story will begin to make sense, the order of seductions and births needs slight adjustment, for the first daughter born to Ninhursag was Ninimma, she was firstly manifest as caves, or natural crevices in the surface of mother earth (Ninhursag) where it was thought that the water god Enki entered and had his union with mother earth, thus such places were thought of as being the personifications of a women’s privates, this first union which happens immediately after the arrival of atmosphere had illuminated the naked body of mother earth, which leads to the birth of the first vegetation, the virgin Ninsar. Enki then seduces Ninsar causing the vegetation to spread and bring about a daughter called Pastures, or Ninkurra as she is called; Ninkurra anxious to attract the attention of the water come sun god even more, she gives birth to Uttu, the goddess of weaving who takes the form of a spider and spins webs all over her mother’s greenness to attract Enki sun gods attention, but Ninhursag is not happy and warns Uttu not to go near the places, where Enki hangs out especially not near water, so Uttu hides herself deep within her web, and hopes he will not find her, but as Enki father rises at dawn, and Enki takes the form of mist to greet his great father, Uttu web catches beads of Enki (water) which sparkle and glisten, as if fertilised by as it. These beads of water caught by the spider’s web are pretended to be, as the Druids pretended the seeds of the mistletoe to be, the semen of the gods, or god. Of course, the beads-seeds drop off onto Ninhursag, the earth and eight new plants grow. These eight new forms then come together to make the garden of abundance.


And there you have it, a myth about making the earth habitable the very garden of Eden.