How the Earth Mother and Queen fell in love with the Skyfather and King
RETELLINGS by Lishtar
At the heart of Ancient Mesopotamian religion, there was the Sacred Marriage of Heaven and Earth, the wondrous coming together of matching polarities to engender a new whole. This was probably how this time-honored ritual came into being for the first time. For Lillith of Lusitânia
(Texts: All Artefacts, Color Coding, & Writings in Bold Type With Italics Inside Parenthesis, are Added by Editor R. Brown, not the Authors, Translators, or Publishers!)
(gods in blue)
Before All Befores, there was Nammu, the Sea, She the Origin, Ever flowing Beginning.
Nammu was the First, the Source, the Mother of the Universe, the Self-Procreating Womb of Abundance,
Alone and All-In-One, Nammu was Primal Matter, the Deep Fertile Waters of the Sea.
Before All Befores (for time was yet to be),
Nammu revolved and flowed, squeezed, coiled and rushed like a double helix spiral.
Love she made for the first time to HerSelf, and she in Pure Joy reveled.
Nammu’s waters then opened up: she had given birth to Ki-An,
Creation’s first born, She the Mountain, He the Sky.
Before all Befores, wrapped around the liquid Body of the Mother,
Ki the Mountain, An the Sky held each other close in a most tender embrace.
Ki the Mountain, An the Sky lay in each other’s arms before all befores,
when An was an empty Sky, Ki a stony earth, laying barren and unfulfilled within Nammu’s fecund body fluid.
As Ki and An lay closer and closer still, something stirred, deep from within.
Love that bound An and Ki together brought into being a Sigh,
a Wind, a First Breath, and so was Enlil, Infant Lord Air (Enlil), manifested.
Thus, life throbbed in Cheerful Continuation, as An, the Mighty Bull of Heaven,
made love fifty times (and more!) to Ki, his Beloved, the All-Powerful Cow of Earth.
Ki responded to An’s enthusiasm and passion in kind.
She made herself resplendent, for her brother-spouse she beautified joyously her body with the most precious metals,
fuels and lapis lazuli, she adorned herself with diorite, chalcedony and shiny carnelian.
So did the Skyfather An (Anu) array himself in a cloak of the purest azure
to greet his dearest sister-spouse Ki (sometimes Ninhursag, sometimes Antu).
Then in great joy and reverence An, who called himself then Heaven approached Ki, whom he called Earth.
An-Heaven dived into Ki’s welcoming expanse.
Then Sky kissed Ki, pouring the semen of Trees,
Reeds and pastures into the beloved’s womb.
Ki, fecund, brave, sweet Earth, was impregnated with the rich semen of Heaven,
and joyfully gave birth to the plants of life.
Luxuriantly did Earth bear the rich produce, generously did she exude wine and honey.
Gleefully, she invited the Skies into herself over and over again.
Fifty times (and more!), Sky came into the Earth.
Fifty times (and more!), An’s seed met Ki’s; fifty times (and more!), An’s seed grew in Ki’s;
fifty times (and more!), An and Ki made love, and so the Anunnaki,
the first Generation of Gods (Anu’s descendants only), in Ki’s womb was formed, as yet unnamed, waiting to be born.
Only Enlil, first of the Anunnaki (second son of Anu),
Infant Lord Air (Enlil) was there within An’s and Ki’s lap, all surrounded by Nammu’s Depths.
Nammu feels and sees everything.
She must now create space for her offspring.
Under Ki, surrounding Enlil, above An, Nammu arches and stretches,
her Watery Form to further Depths she directs.
Nammu defines HerSelf as the First Ocean, cradle of other life forms to come.
‘Mine are the Depths reaching out to the Surface’, decrees the Fates Nammu,
‘mine is the Process of Becoming out of Nothing’s embrace.
mine is the Nurturing Womb, Life’s first Mystery, mine is the Silence that all Life Created.’
Enlil, who was An’s Divine Inspiration and Ki’s First Sigh of Exultation,
the first of the Great Gods to be born, struggled to grow.
Then, a Movement, Energy and Direction.
It was Enlil seeking Expansion.
He grows stronger still, eager for his Destiny to fulfill.
Out of his parents’ embrace he wants to escape off to unconquered Spaces.
Growth out of the protective Nest, all by himself, this is Enlil’s first Quest.
Thus he summons his Might from within, and manifests without as a Great Wind.
Focused, Penetrating, Directed, Enlil’s might cuts through An’s and Ki’s embrace,
on through the fluid body of Mother Nammu.
A roar, a Bang is then heard, and so are the Bull of Heaven and Cow of Earth once and for all separated.
What primal Oneness once was becomes Multiplicity.
This was the beginning of Evolution, the never-ending Adventure of Being
that transcends in Search for Wholeness and Fruition.
Nammu sees the changes that take place, and once again the All-Powerful Mother decrees the fate of Her firstborns:
(Anu in his winged sky-disc, king of the Anunnaki giants on Earth)
‘An, Beloved Son, from now on you will be ever Above. the Sphere of the Heights will be yours to protect
Let it be called Upper-world, whereupon the Lights of the Spirit will thread.
Knowledge, Inspiration, Dreams and Visions will be yours to share.
Ki, Dearest Daughter, you will lay on my surface, for I need to feel your presence, your embrace.
Let your abode be called Middleworld,
Sphere of Form and Substance, mundane reality and physical home of everything that lives and grows.
And to give sustenance to That Which is Above, in the Middle and Below, let another realm be found.
I’ll call it Underworld, source of Memory of what was, is and will be,
land of Challenge, realm that will go beyond my very Depths,
Inner Essence that gives Form and Spirit sustenance.
Meanwhile, Young Enlil, will dance and stretch, his Formless Power is the Universe’s First Breath.
So will My Seed be in everything there Is to Be as the Inner Power to Grow
and Transform in Multiple combinations of all Sorts.’
Ki, looking up to the Skies, to An, her Brother Spouse, longed for his closeness and touch.
Bits of herself to the Skies reach out, searching for An, dancing all round, up, down and round they fly.
Ki contemplated this mystery and revealed its Meaning: ‘An, beloved, Soul of my Body,
bound as One we can no longer be, but the Intangible that united us still exists.
By the Primeval Unity we once were, may all hear what I now declare:
That which is Below will ever be linked to that which is Above here and there I dare to fare!’
From Above, An looked down at his sister-spouse Ki (Antu), longing for her closeness and kiss.
‘Ki, Beloved, Body of My Soul, bound as One we can no longer be, but the Intangible that united us still exists.
So from the Highest Place I’ll watch over you, My Love.
I claim then as mine the Heavens, the Supreme Heights Above
And by the Primeval Unity we once were, may all hear what I now declare:
that Which is Above will be ever united to that Which is Below.
And to remind the Universe of this Great Truth, the horned crown upon the shrine I take as symbols of mine.
May the Universe never forget that the Bull of Heaven and Cow of Earth are one everywhere I dare to fare.’
Enlil contemplates the changes taking place.
Out of An’s and Ki’s nest, all by himself, the Primal Mover of the Universe feels bereft.
He then utters a Statement of Regret and a Request
‘Alone, all alone, I cannot be, so I ask you,
Mother, please stay with me! I need your touch and Company.
I vow from now on to guard you and protect you everywhere I go, your safety more important than my own.
So I ask to take Ki, the Earth, my Mother with me, and together we will build Ways to Eternity.
I’ll be Breath, you’ll be Form.
Please, dearest Mother, come right along and let’s the Universe transform!’
In the Heights Above, An wept, his tears Nammu’s waters met.
In the vastness of Nammu’s nurturing Depths, the Skyfather surrenders to a heartfelt sorrow for Ki,
longing for her lost love and kiss.
Nammu accepts the bittersweet tears of her firstborn, and he loses himself in her, accepting her tenderness and love.
Mother and Son, An and Nammu, meet and make sweet love, and from the mingling of their bodies a boy and a girl,
Divine Twins are born. ‘Enki and Ereshkigal, you I call,’ says Nammu. ‘
May the Wisdom of the Depths to you belong!
As high as An rests Above, as Deep as my Waters go below, so will you two go: as Within so Without.
Inner Beauty is your Quest, revealed for all to know!’
(BEFORE ALL BEFORES II)
How the Great God/desses and Cosmic Powers came into being
A retelling on the birth of the Great Gods and Goddesses, and the Dark Guardians, the ones who are sometimes our best teachers, if we can see and act beyond their trials
Ki, the Great Cosmic Mound, hardly had time to cry for the loss of Anu, the Skyfather,
her Beloved and Soul Counterpart, for something extremely important was about to happen:
‘Soon, very soon, I know, the time will come, the sacred time of Birth’,
said the Great Goddess, ‘then I will give birth to the Divine Babies,
the Great Gods and Goddess, sons and daughters of mine and Anu, offspring of our great love.
Ah, Anu, from the Great Above wherever you are, my love, watch over me
and those who will grow up to adore you in the Depths Below!’
To her surprise, deep with tenderness and love the voice of the Skyfather sounded loud and true:
‘Body of my Soul, Womb to my Seed, wherever you or my children go in all worlds,
look up skywards and I will be there watching over you.
By my word, by my very being, I bind myself to you from all Heights I trail upon!’
Delighted, Ki blew a kiss to the skies, and took action.
To welcome the gods and goddesses to be
She needed a place, a most special place: safe, sacred, pure and sound around herself.
‘I wish a birth rut, a holy hill, and sacred mound, whereupon the Anunnaki, my very seed and Anu’s,
the first gods and goddesses, your brothers and sisters, Enlil, will be first found.
I’ll call this place Duku, creation chamber of the world, place of the truest judgments, Integrity and Discernment.
Thus, once and for all I reaffirm the Bond Between Heaven and Earth,
(Enlil’s temple / residence in Nippur–Earth Colony Command Center, top added by American archaeologists in 1900)
the Holy Duranki between the Great Below and the Depths Above.
And as I will, so be it!’
Enlil promptly gathered all stones his hands and eyes found.
Ki plastered them her belly round, thus newly created shapes appeared on the ground.
Ki, Lady Fashioner, panted and squeezed until her babies, seed of An and her own, came tumbling without.
Ki, Aruru (Ninhursag), Foetus Loosener, Urash, felt them moving unto her holy lap
and contentedly smiled at last: Ki panted and squeezed until her babies,
without any labor or pain (1), the holy seeds of An and her own, came tumbling without.
She felt them moving unto her holy lap, and a boundless sense of wonder and joy filled her inside out:
‘I’ve given birth to the Powers that will shape the Land,
I’ve given birth to the Guardians that will protect the Land!
I’ve given birth, I’ve given birth to those who will ensoul the land!
May this day will be forever praised, may this hour for Eternity remembered, for out of my womb,
out of the holy Mound the Anunnaki, the first gods and goddesses of the land have sprouted!’
An contemplated the Mystery that took place and from the Heights Above the Skyfather’s Words
could be heard in all spaces: ‘Ki, Beloved Body of my Soul, Sister without peer,
Heart’s Desire and Spouse so dear, many Names will be given to you.
But for me you will forever be Ninhursag,
Queen of the Holy Hill, dearest Ninmah, Most Exalted Lady,
Queen and Best Companion along the Heights I trail You will be remembered,
Beloved, as Nintur, Lady Birth Hut, and nothing or no one will quite compare to you!
Urash, Birth Giver, most sacred Aruru (Ninhursag) everlasting praises will be sung from now on to you!
Lady of Mound, where Life sprouts happy and free.
Body of my Soul, sister without peer,
Heart’s Desire and Spouse so dear, mine is the Voice but for all I sing,
Mother of all Life, Lady of my heart, Beloved and Queen!’
This was how the Great Gods and Goddesses of the Land between the Two Rivers came into being.
This was how the Children of Earth and Sky became known in all worlds,
this was how they started to grow in Diversity to reveal the treasures of the Earth and greatness of the Heights.
Most of the children of An and Ninhursag–Ki were beautiful and perfect, the truest expression of a of great love.
Nevertheless, a deep, earlier anguish had left its mark on some.
These babies were the ones scarred in Ki’s womb
by the terrible moment of loss and agony when An was torn from Ki.
They therefore grew in pain and loss, thus bringing ambivalent benedictions without.
Their experience of Primal Oneness and Joy was too short,
for what nurtured them was Ki’s and An’s pain, loneliness and loss.
Within the Mother, they felt Pain and Repression, the Opposite of the Stuff Life is made of.
Dark Guardians this is how we will know them from now on,
the Challengers and Toughest Teachers one may find as one goes along.
Theirs will be the Unbalanced Energies eternally fighting Balance everywhere they go.
‘Children of our pain, Dark Guardians of Existence, the most difficult Teachers one may come across,
this is how I feel you will become,’ declared Ninhursag–Ki to Anu
when she saw the scarred little ones come out crying out and screaming out of her sacred womb.
‘Theirs will be the Uneven Energies, eternally fighting Balance wherever they go.
But I, who gave birth to you out of my womb,
I who was the first together with your father, declare a hope to such hard destiny.
For the Daring, mastery will be granted over Chaos but only for those who will be able to see beyond pain,
suffering and loss to retrieve the light that was the primeval union of mine with Anu, my first love’.
From his post as a Watcher over Mother Earth, faithful to his promise to keep Her safe, and sound,
young Enlil was stunned by what he saw: ugly , misshapen dark little brothers and sisters
leaving the protection of the Birth Mound, crying out loud.
(Ninhursag, Anu & others in flying disc above, & Enlil)
Disturbed beyond measure, Enlil turned to Ki, also known as Ninhursag,
Exalted Lady and the Skyfather’s Soul Counterpart.
‘Mother, are you alright?
Ninhursag–Ki’s eyes reflected immense sadness: ‘I am terribly sad, but can handle it, Enlil.’
‘Mother, what is going on?
What ails my new brothers and sisters?
Why are they so different?
Are they my real brothers and sisters too?’
Ninhursag–Ki sighed deeply:
‘Yes, Enlil, these are your brothers and sisters too, but let them be and follow their own destinies.
Learn to see beyond appearances, my firstborn, to reach out for the True Essency, learn to reach out
to the Source where yourself came from, the Union of all Opposites, The Holy Complementarity that was lost.
Indirectly, Enlil, it was your fault the suffering of these little ones, when you caused the Separation of Heaven and Earth.
Therefore, I demand you to let the Dark Guardians be.
Theirs will be another Quest, much harder, I’m afraid so’.
(Apkula / winged eagle-headed pilot, Enki, Anu in his sky-disc, Enlil, & another pilot)
A shadow of guilt and regret covered the face of the young Lord Air:
”If I am at the root of all their suffering,
I vow by my Gifts of Mind, Thoughts and Never-ending Inspiration to try and understand them
to heal what needs to be healed, to make whole what was once broken.
Mother, this is such a brave new world, we cannot do it all alone!
I long for the company of my brothers and sisters to ensoul the world, make be and grow!’
Because Words of Creation have been forming in Enlil’s mind,
and they will take shape in each and every little god and goddess that come out of the Duku.
These brother and sisters, gods and goddesses-to-be, like himself are the true offspring of Ki and An.
They will continue the Work of Creation started up by Mother Nammu.
But Enlil is uncertain about the Dark Ones.
His bright, inquisitive Mind cannot accept the Unknown, the Bizarre, and this is what the dark guardians are.
thought endlessly Enlil,”but of order, the power of mind,
the conception of what needs to exist before action, this I am learning to know.
And the Divine Guide to every concept along all Existence it is the Word
born of Ensouled Silence which was the meeting point of Nammu, Ki and Anu.
Not the Spoken Word, but the Revelation born of Silence that is not empty but full of Meanings to Be-Come.
This Divine, Unspoken Word will lead the Way
and its power will be the Silence of Accomplished Deeds to Transform.
I, Enlil, vow to follow the Silence that is Full of Meaning, I will live its Truth with the Innermost of my Being,
I will be the Inspiration that will be the Energy of Creation,
I will be the Holy Breath that permeates all that lives, gentle and yet strong to create all worlds.” (2)
Enlil’s logical, brilliant mind could not yet conceive of the Unknown,
of the Bizarre and Unclear and this is the Essence of all Dark Guardians.
But although he tried and tried, he could never achieve his main goal, to bring back the Dark Guardians into the fold.
The oldest, biggest and fiercest of the Dark Guardians,
Kur, found his way out the farthest he could from the Duku, out of Ki’s involving hug.
“I need to get away,” Kur thought.
“Closeness only brings pain eventually one day.”
Kur looked round and realized he wasn´t quite alone.
There were others, not many, as scarred as himself.
So he turned away from the face of Ninhursag–Ki.
She, the Earth Mother, loved all Her Children.
Kur and the little dark ones were her own and An’s, the children of their loss and sorrow.
The Great Mother felt Kur’s retreat and immediately moved towards the scarred son,
despite the fact that he deliberately tried to avoid her.
‘Kur, son born of my pain and loss, external differences are but the veil to cover True Essence.
All of you came from me and Anu, and I love you all in equal measure and form,
Perhaps for you, who were wounded in my womb I care more deeply so.
Kur, fruit of the loss for the deepest desire of my Body and Soul, try and do what I am myself doing,
remake yourself and be whole, transform your present into a a future of hope and growth.
Leave pain as sorrow behind, start a brand new time in your life!’
For a brief but intense moment mother and son really linked, but he broke the bond.
‘Don’t leave us’, said Ninhursag’s eyes, but she already knew that Kur had decided to leave.
‘Mother, this place is alien to me.
And I am the alien in this place‘, cried out Kur, looking beyond the Mound,
beyond the Stony Earth that brought him into being.
He did not see Enlil’s expression of utter astonishment and dismay.
A bitter cry of rage, anguish and violence came out from within Kur.
‘I will never fit in here! I don’t want to!
So I’ll leave for other places, here coming no more.
But in case there is anyone as scarred and outcast as me, I say ‘Do come along!’
So Kur did slip over the edge of the world, followed by his dark misshapen siblings.
Long they traveled, underneath caves and mounds of the stony earth
and beyond the deep waters of Nammu the Sea.
finally, over the edge of the Middleworld, at the entrance of the Underworld,
Kur and his dark little brothers and sisters stopped and kept watch, just waiting.
Kur, looking at the ugly little faces raised towards his,
straightened his back and raised his voice so that it could be heard afar:
‘Father and Mother, I claim the ends of the Earth for my domain and for my own kind.
And let it be known that we will challenge and fight to the very end
whoever dare to venture in our land! And beyond!‘
A dark cheer seconded Kur’s words: ‘We will fight to the very end, and beyond!’
From the safety of the Duku, the Chamber of Creation,
Enlil and Ninhursag, heard Kur’s and his followers’ shout.
Immediately, Enlil, whose powers have grown enormously, now that he was a teenager god,
made a barrier formed the the strongest winds he could create and he projected them all to the land’s end,
where the Middleworld met the still empty Depths Below.
The voice of the Air god sounded loud and clear in all worlds: ‘By the Strength of the Winds of my Desire,
from this moment on I vow to banish the powers of darkness to the boundaries of the Physical World.
Mine is the duty to protect mother Earth,
mine is the atonement for having separated what was born to be united.
Mine is the duty to re-establish Balance and Order, mine is the Promise this vow to fulfill
wherever I go to ensure the growth and success of what I call now civilization.
I vow to raise the Sword of Truth and the Power of Knowledge and Discernment to protect all worlds!’
It was this way that Life’s Energies were created and manifested,
under the tutelage of the ones who called themselves from then on the Hosts of Heaven and Earth.
But Ninhursag never stopped grieving for the Dark Guardians for many, many years on a roll.
It was one of these times when the Great Mother and Queen was immerse in her thoughts,
looking at the stars, that she saw the Bull of Heaven take Human Form.
Delight so great filled Beloved Earth,
as she realized the Age of Taurus was back in the Skies for brand new time.
‘It is me, Beloved’, said Anu, and Ki did not blink twice and rushed to his arms.
In the minutes that followed, the magic of their sacred mating took hold and it seemed there had
been no separation of Heaven and Earth for millenia long.
‘But how…?’, she asked, to make sure she knew.
Anu gave her a quick squeeze, laughed and replied: ‘I followed your movements through the skies
(knowledge of our solar system — impossible for earthlings to know, obvious alien star knowledge)
and saw that it takes 26,000 years (3) for you to go round the solar system and travel along my stars.
We may have met, or finally made aware of each other, in the first Age of Taurus in time immemorial,
for there was yet no time at that moment.
But this was the way you called me, this was the form I chose to come back to you for a while.
So by the winds of my Desire I came to you, who are the Body of my Wandering Soul,
dreaming with the reality of your touch.’
She kissed him back passionately.
‘Come, beloved, and see this beautiful, green and brown earth we created together
and whose beings are the multifaceted versions of our offspring.’
Together, they wandered all over the Living Earth to enjoy the Never-ending
Workings of Creation and Wonders of Evolution.
‘Amazing, isn’t it? All there is came from mother Nammu and us two’,
(Ninhursag’s early failed attempts to develop “modern-man”, replacement workers for the gods)
said Ninhursag to Anu after they had visited the whole earth.
‘From the heights where I was I saw all this unfold, but nothing really compares to being here
and see, feel, hear, smell and touch this jolly world.’
A shadow crossed Ninhursag’s visage.
‘Not everything that bears our seed is pleasing to the eye… or soul.’
He felt the pain and disappointment in her voice.
‘Are you referring to our children who are the Dark Guardians?’
It was a rhetoric question, because he knew the answer.
‘Yes’, she replied with her heartbreaking sincerity.
He hugged her for a long moment, and whispered:
‘Don’t feel so guilty for what happened to them’ ‘But I wish I had done more!
They left because they wanted to follow their own paths and I… let them go, let them be!’
It was the first time that Ninhursag admitted the full truth,
her frustration and immense sadness towards the Guardians of Darkness.
At the same time, it was a relief to share her doubts with Anu.
Of course she had to: he was her partner and son to her and his offspring!
‘I wish I had done more myself, beloved’, admitted Anu.
‘Nevertheless, when I look at everything that came into being from Mother Nammu and ourselves,
this Physical World full of Wonders and Challenges that reflect our greatness
and yet follow its own designs guided by our signs, I don’t think we did such a bad job.
Even considering the Dark Guardians, those who teach through pain and loss,
but only for those who are capable to see the smile beyond the tears.
Do you know why I am convinced of this truth?’
‘No. Why? ”Because of a Greater Mystery we are all part of,
and which is somehow always ahead, waiting to unfold shaped by Free Will, for nothing is a clear-cut plan,
but a Promise of Wholeness and Holiness on the Go.
Even gods and goddesses, who are the Beams of Light that point out the way to eternity,
are subject to this Mystery, which we cannot fully dominate,
but handle and sometimes interfere, under the right words and biddings.’
Taken by surprise, Ninhursag held her breath.
Anu’s thoughtful eyes held hers as in the past, with the same intensity and longing,
so present as they had never been apart… he was real and touchable, not pure unreachable Spirit.
And suddenly there was no past, just glorious present.
Ninhursag smiled finally, anticipating the beloved’s answer,
surprised for not being capable to understand what he was making so easy to see.
‘I guess I know what you mean, my love.
What a great Mystery you are talking about, and with it, we can hardly interfere!
How badly I needed this knowledge and knowing, how dumb I was not to know!’
He stopped her with a kiss.
One of the most delightful ways to prevent Ninhursag from thinking when he had other things in mind.
‘What is this great mystery then, Lady of my Heart, Mind, Body and Soul?’
Ninhursag’s smile was a sight to behold: ‘The name of this Great Mystery is Future,
the cycle and wheel that never ends, bringing return and healing
always in a higher level to accomplish evolution and growth.
But the Mystery lies in the fact that no future can be built without the past and present.
We sometimes cannot interfere that much, as it was with the Dark Guardians, our Children of Darkness.
I wish I had know all this before, not to have grieved so much!’
Anu kissed Ninhursag deeply and completed her thoughts: “Whenever I thought of the future,
long and not so long ago, I never lost faith and hope to hold you close in my arms again.
Mine was the desire to see come true the Dream that brought me today to you.
The Future will always bring Brightness and Hope, but Brightness and Hope will only happen
for those who will keep the flame alive to make their dreams real in all worlds.
It is the present that holds the key to all destinies, and when one works with passion, integrity and daring,
reshaping goals as the Path unfolds, the Triumph will come to the Spirit and Matter, the coming together of the Soul.
As the Sky is married to Earth from the Highest Heights to the Depths Below!
How Ereshkigal chose the Underworld for her domain
Ereshkigal, is the mighty and very much feared Queen of the Underworld. Here is how she might have chosen to be so!
After Ki, Mother Earth and Queen, was separated by Enlil, Lord Air,
Master of Winds, their firstborn, from An, Skyfather and King,
and the primal Unity of Heaven and Earth was forever lost, in the Heights Above,
An wept for Ki, longing for her embrace and kiss.
His heartfelt tears met Nammu the Sea.
She reached out for the Sky Lord, and Mother and grieving son made for the first time sweet Love.
From the mingling of their bodies a Boy and a Girl, Divine Twins were born.
Enki and Ereshkigal, they were called.
As time went by, Ereshkigal and Enki grew with the blessings of Creation’s dawn.
Curious and sometimes wise beyond their years,
brother and sister played especially in the Watery Deep of Nammu the Sea.
Enki would float here and there, whereas Ereshkigal swam and dived everywhere.
‘Ereshkigal, I can’t see you! Come back to the surface, will you?
Why do you have to hide within the waters when there is so much to see and do without?’ asked Enki with a sigh.
‘A rhetoric question, young brother, without doubt’, countered Enlil amusedly from the shore,
where he kept watch over the Duke, the Holy Mound of Creation, and Mother Ki, his eyes gleaming with fond laughter.
‘Just let Ereshkigal be for a while.
At least I could do without her whys and wherefores for a minute or so!’
‘I heard you, Big Brother!’ replied Ereshkigal.
She came out to the surface riding a wave, and immediately put all her efforts together
to raise a mighty wall of splashing water towards the rock
where Enlil watched over the Earth and Enki’s floating body.
Both Enlil and Enki ran for cover.
They were going to succeed and escape Ereshkigal’s watery rage… perhaps this time?
“Not as yet”, thought Ereshkigal with a satisfied grin, dripping with water
and as fresh as the purest springs of Mother Urash.
She sat by Enlil’s and Enki’s feet.
‘So I ask too many questions, brothers of mine? Of course I do!
I want to Know and to Know I must ask first!
At least this is what I feel it should be!’
Ereshkigal ignored the resigned amusement of Enlil and Enki and proceeded with confidence:
‘ There is a whole world within the Sea and I suspect in everything there is.
Moreover, there must be things beyond and below I feel I should know, and I will, one day.
While you, Enlil, devise the Plans of Creation, and you, Enki,
busy yourself with forms and shapes these plans may take without,
I am concerned with the power within that binds these plans and images together in combinations of all sorts.
I don’t know how to explain it, but I simply feel there is a refulgence within,
there is a Pattern that binds words and shapes together, beings and things,
and it is this pattern I want to know. I will know. I just need to find out how.‘
A fleeting shadow crossed Enlil’s smiling face.
‘I wish I saw things your way, Ereshkigal, just to understand and explain the unexplained.
Take Kur, for example, and our dark little brothers and sisters who followed him to the land’s end.
It is true Kur and the others looked different from us.
But why did they leave the safety of the Duku, the mound of creation,
why did they go beyond the Waters of Mother Nammu.’
‘You are worrying about Kur and the Dark Guardians again, Enlil.
Why don’t you take them and Kur for what they are?
Whatever and wherever they are?’ asked Ereshkigal.
‘Had you laid your eyes on Kur, you’d understand my concern.
He and the others are different from us, from our younger sisters and brothers.’
But why should we all be the same, Older Brother?
Indeed, I believe we are all very, very different.
In Form and Essence, despite some Resemblance in Appearance.
I may be very wrong, Enlil, but I feel that if you keep fixing your eyes on but one thing,
you’ll miss out what could be the other side of the same thing.
Or person and being,’ remarked thoughtfully Ereshkigal.
‘Wise words, little sister!
The point is that I take my Guardianship over the Earth too serious’, agreed Enlil.
‘But there is something odd I cannot understand about Kur.
And I for sure wouldn’t like to visit the place where he chose to dwell either,
at the entrance of the Underworld’, countered Enlil.
‘I am sort of curious about these unknowable things.
And I don’t fear what I don’t know.
Even this Kur you don’t understand, Enlil.
Indeed, I am curious about Kur,’ replied Ereshkigal.
‘And where is this Underworld, by the way?’
‘None have gone there yet’, answered Enki.
‘It is beyond the edge of this world.
Mother Nammu says that it spreads itself as deep below as the heights of Father An stretch above.’
‘This sounds really interesting!
A whole new realm nobody has been to or knows so much about!’ exclaimed Ereshkigal.
‘O, sister, sometimes I wish you showed more respect for what you don’t know.
Just for safety’s sake’, supplied Enki.
‘I am careful. And Inquisitive and Curious.’
In her mind, Ereshkigal added silently “even about this mysterious Kur and the Underworld.”
And so it was that Ereshkigal, the daughter of Nammu the Sea,
born of the bittersweet loss that the Skyfather felt for Ki, twin Sister of Enki,
grew with the Desire to Know the Unknown and Reveal Patterns Unseen.
Everyday she would play with Enki, her Companion and Best of Friends, and pester Enlil with countless questions.
Everyday Ereshkigal would dive into the deep waters of the Mother and swim longer distances
to resurface energized, with more and more questions in her mind and a deeper resolve forming inside.
One day, Ereshkigal chose not to return to the Middleworld.
This was the day she had found Kur (or he had found her perhaps?), and the little dark half brothers and sisters of theirs.
They looked ugly and threatening, scattered over the edge of the world, at the entrance of the Underworld.
They seemed to be lonely too, for all kept to their spaces, alone and isolated, but looking pretty menacing.
“So much pain and loneliness, such rage and hunger for what they know not what.
Such desire to belong, but they know not where or how”, she thought, but didn’t say a word.
Faithful to herself, Ereshkigal didn’t flinch at Kur’s features or at the misshapen faces of the dark little ones.
Yes, he did not look like any of the other Anunnaki Ereshkigal knew very well, but this didn’t make him threatening to her.
Kur was… different.
Indeed, with his huge scaly body and wings, Primeval Snake and Dragon,
Ereshkigal felt he was like the raw power of Mother Ninhursag–Ki.
A Beast, but she knew there was beauty within him… or it?
Still, Ereshkigal l felt no fear for the Unknown and a longing embrace it and make her it own.
‘I am not afraid of you. Of any of you’ she said out loud, and she meant it. ‘
You are my half brother, Kur, and so are the dark little ones.
And somehow I feel there is beauty within you all, even if you and others don’t have eyes to see. But I have.
Dive into your Essence, brother, search for the seed that brought you, me and all into being.
I also came from that seed.
There you will find what unite us, what make us One of a Kind with the One who is All Kinds.’
Thus she dived into the immensity of Kur’s anguish and loss, for she accepted Kur for what he was,
ugliness, pain, rage and loneliness to find out his all whys.
‘I vowed to challenge and fight to the very end all who dared to fare to the world’s end’, said Kur.
‘And I take up the Challenge’, answered Ereshkigal.
‘But I’ve traveled long and far to come to you.
You are a Challenge to me. I need to understand you.
And myself along the process.’ “Why are you doing this?”
Ereshkigal heard the question in her mind, as she held Kur closer and closer to her own self.
‘I myself don’t know very well why, but I simply need to.
Perhaps to grow in Understanding of who I am, of who and what you and your own are.
To learn and Share, out of a Desire for Love and Healing that comes from the bottom of my heart, mind, body and Soul.
And may this way, when I am wise about these things,
may I perhaps earn my crown in a brand new Realm‘, she replied loud and clear.
Kur’s features must have shown the equivalent to a smile, for his voice sounded also lighthearted and interested.
‘You are strange, half sister. I won’t fight you… as yet.
Tell me about this new realm where you want to conquer your crown’, said Kur, his curiosity stirred.
‘How… I still must find out.
Ereshkigal turned round pointed at the distance, where the Unknown lied yet unexplored.
‘There,’ she said, ’the Unknown, the Underworld, the Depths Within, where Appearances don’t count, just Essence.
Perhaps I’ll go further by going deeper. Who knows?’ Kur came closer and closer still.
Ereshkigal kept her ground, just waiting.
So although he might think he was seizing her, indeed it was she who had captured him.
To stretch his and her boundaries of being.
Heart pounding, but keeping very still outwards, Ereshkigal felt her awareness grow
as she experienced the wounds Kur had inside, his desire to belong anywhere, to fit in.
Suddenly, she also realized how different she had always felt.
Even from Enki and Enlil, whom she loved with all her heart, mind and soul,
but who could never dive into the depths she longed to thread upon.
Ereshkigal sighed deeply, and glanced into the distance for a brief moment,
in the direction where Enlil and Enki sure were.
Maybe her Quest was another. She turned to Kur.
‘ What I will be from now on, I must discover’, was her cryptic reply to Kur’s unspoken question,
but she knew he understood what she still was unable to say out loud.
‘It may be a long task,’ Kur replied.
‘Perhaps if I let each day bring what it has to offer, and see what I can do with what it brings,
I will be able to accomplish something different.
To learn something different and grow likewise. Will you do this with me?’
Thoughtfully, but with an engaging smile,
Ereshkigal stretched her hand to hold Kur’s scaly paw.
Together, they crossed the threshold to the Underworld.
Ereshkigal had always felt the pull to feel and experience the Unknown.
Now she chose to go where no one had gone before,
to stay in the uncharted realms of the Great Below, to fill up its Emptiness with her Being.
Her voice then resonated loud and clear in all worlds of Creation,
Heights Above, Middleworld, over the edge of the Earth and, for the first time, echoed in the Depths Below:
‘I claim the Realm of the Depths, the Underworld as my domain.’
She had found her life’s Quest. Not looking back,
Ereshkigal crossed the threshold to the Below, never to come back.
ENKI AND ERESHKIGAL
Enki goes further by going deeper
Enki and Ereshkigal as twins share close ties, and when she disappears from the Middleworld, it is said that he goes after her to bring her back. This is a myth about loyalty, the ties that bind brother and sister and the need to accept change to pursue one´s own individuality.
For Mark and Albanie and friendship everlasting
In the first days after Ereshkigal, the daughter of Nammu the Sea
and the Skyfather An had disappeared from the Middlearth,
Enki, her twin brother, could hardly bear the pain of being apart from his twin and friend.
‘Let Ereshkigal be, Enki’, repeated Enlil, Lord Air, for the hundredth time that day.
Ereshkigal’s loss was heavy on him, but she had gone beyond any known boundaries to him.
‘Maybe one day she will return to us. Who knows?’
Enki looked up at Enlil this time, his face darkened by sorrow:
‘Can’t you do anything to bring Ereshkigal back?’
‘Do what, brother?’ ‘ Whatever you have to do!
You could separate Mother Ki form the Skyfather An.
Your Word, Enlil, has the power to bring things forth.
Please, brother, let’s create anything we need to rescue Ereshkigal!’
Enlil considered the question for a long moment, and then lifted troubled eyes
to the distant line beyond horizon where Ereshkigal had vanished.
‘I can’t. She is beyond reach. I am the Guardian of the Earth,
I watch over Mother Ki, so I cannot leave the Middleworld unattended.
This is my duty, the responsibility I took upon my shoulders
after I caused the separation of Mother Ki from the Skylord An.
But you can rescue Ereshkigal, Enki.
If anyone can bring her back to us, this is you.
The bond between you and her as Perfect Twins is too strong.
Only you can seek her out, wherever she is.’
‘But how can I bring her back?’
‘You´ll know,´ answered Enlil.
The world was so young.
At least he hoped Enki would find a way to do so.
‘Then I must learn whatever is needed to bring my sister back.
I just wish I had a clue where to start though!’
Enlil suppressed a sigh of heartfelt relief.
He had been so afraid of loosing Enki to the bottomless Depths of Despair and Hopelessness.
But his fears might be unfounded.
Enki’s curiosity had been aroused, he was getting in contact with Life again! ‘While you learn what you must,
I could very well do with some help from you, little brother’, continued Enlil wistfully.
‘It is true that by my Word I called the Anunnaki, the Great Gods,
out of the Mould of Creation, but this is not enough.
There is more to life and being than only mere Existence.
Who knows, perhaps Life should be organized into Meaningful Patterns. I sure need help.
Would you be by my side to get the Middleworld organized so that it can be safe for all?’
‘ What do you mean, Enlil?’ asked Enki, his old eagerness to Learn and Grow resurfacing.
Enlil smiled inwardly. ‘ It is for you to find out, Enki… as well!’
Enki raised to his feet, considering Enlil’s request, the trust the young Lord Air was bestowing upon him.
A wave of conflicting emotions, awe and wonder, swept Enki.
If Enlil considered him capable, Enki would do his best to help.
‘Out of Mother Nammu the Sea, the Watery Deep, we all came from’, Enki said thoughtfully.
(Utu, Ninurta, Enki on his throne in Eridu, & Abzu worker)
‘Water, my Nature, can also be molded in countless forms
depending on the vessel that receives it, and yet it never loses its Essence.
So perhaps Life should be a sort of Molding and Shaping,
always Evolving and Changing to allow for Countless Possibilities.
Not as a pre-conceived plan, but as a Process and a Goal as Existence unfolds.’
‘As I myself must learn, evolve and grow
if I want to be able to rescue Ereshkigal one day’, completed Enki.
‘Life and Being as a Process and a Goal!
Yes, Enki, you may be very, very right!’, exclaimed Enlil in true delight.
As usual, he never ceased to get amazed at Enki’s skill to Understand all Realities and Visualize all Possibilities.
Thus, what Enlil named with the power of his Word, Enki’s craft conferred shape and meaning.
Enki, son of Nammu the Primeval Mother Sea and the Skyfather An, became Nudimmud (Enki),
the Image Fashioner, Lord of Archetypal Forms, the Patron of all Crafts and Skills.
And to him were assigned all sweet fertilizing waters and the underground Springs, called the Apsu.
When many of the arts of civilization had come into being,
when the Anunnaki had developed the craft of making boats,
Enki withdrew to the south-western edge of the Land Between Rivers,
where he had found a lagoon of the deepest jade and calm blue fringed by palm trees.
Nearby a settlement was being built.
But Enki did not spend much time overseeing the laborious setup of reed huts,
fences and the first temple, and he called the place Eridu (Enki’s patron city).
At that time Enki searched the precious, silent companionship of the lagoon and the marshlands.
He took long walkabouts over the land and profound dives into the deep blue waters,
considering how he could fulfil the promise he had made to himself
to rescue Ereshkigal from wherever she had been taken to.
As far as the ends of the Earth he would go for her, wherever this was.
During his long walkabouts he would only stop by the Great Reeds to see the tireless diligent work of their Mistress,
a young Anunnaki goddess called Ningikuga (Nannar’s mother-in-law).
It was she who brought to humankind the art of binding and weaving reeds,
it was by her craft that the huts to live and worship were first built..
And it was by looking at the way Ningikuga weave the long reeds in a patterned
way that he felt he had found what he needed to go after Ereshkigal.
(Enlil, Haia, Ningikuga / Nisaba, Ninlil, & worker / shepherd)
‘Sister Ningikuga, Lady of the Reeds, Mistress of this Place,
I ask your permission to cut some of the stoutest reeds under your protection
to build a structure that will carry me through the toughest waters and seas
so that I can attempt to rescue Ereshkigal’, said Enki, a greeting and a request as one.
Ningikuga looked at the expanse of the Great Reeds, contemplated with pride her work and then turned to Enki.
As a Craftsperson, she understood Enki and his Request with her Mind, Body, Heart and Soul.
She smiled at the Water God: ‘So you have not given up to take our older sister back?
Everything I own, from the smallest to the greatest reeds of the land are yours for this mighty task.
Do cut the stoutest in my canebrakes to make the structure that will float on the surface of all that flows.
Use also sacred cedar wood to build it safe and strong, and you will have my blessings everywhere you go.’
‘Sister, I can see already the shape this new structure will take!’
Enki’s voice sounded full of wonder. ‘ Yes, I can see it in full.
I’ll call it boat, and endow it with the gift of floating on all that flows.
Moved by long spears called paddles it will travel the toughest seas and return where it belongs.
Indeed, I can see it all ready to sail everywhere and anywhere!.
Let my boat, the magur boat be long, let its prow rear up and curve like the head of a swam,
let the stem sweep over and coil like the neck of a crane.
Sister, I’ve found what I need to undertake my Quest after my sister and friend, the very best!’
Ningikuga laughed at the contagious enthusiasm of the Water God:
‘And when you are ready, when you have built the boat you need,
I will call upon our brothers and sisters, the Anunnaki and the Igigi,
to bring you their gifts and send you off to journey the Lands Beyond, with our blessings.’
Using all his craft, Enki fashioned a boat, a magur boat out of reeds and cedar wood.
With its sides elegantly curved and planked, as well as imposing mast, it was the strongest ship ever built.
While he worked, diligently and determined, many of the Anunnaki brothers and sisters came to help.
Enki reserved though to himself the work to get the ship done.
In a way, it was not only the magur boat that was being done up:
Enki was also getting himself ready, gathering Strength to face Kur
and the Underworld for the love of his Twin Sister and Best Friend.
Then, one day finally the boat was ready to set sail. And so was Enki.
Faithful to her promise, Ningikuga had come with the Igigi and the Anunnaki, who brought Enki gifts for the journey.
Thus he was cloaked with chain mail to protect his body, helmet to guide his Reason and Decisions,
a Sacred Horn so that he would never run out of food and drink
and Spear to focus his Will and to pierce the heart of the fiercest enemy.
With a graceful leap, Enki got into the boat.
There he stood for a while, contemplating the seashore, losing himself in Ningikuga´s eyes.
This last salute was for her… for the time being.
Then he took his post and started rowing.
On, past the sterile shores of desert still waiting for the kiss of the sun.
On, past the palm trees of the beaches of the south seas.
Out into the deep blue of the open ocean, the magur boat plunged down the back of still-climbing waves.
On, beyond the frozen seas. On and on Enki rowed.
The cold tumble of salt waters, nevertheless, sounded strangely encouraging to Enki.
These were the waters of Mother Nammu, he felt safe, although there was no sun to mark the days,
no moon to light the night, no stars to steer by.
‘It doesn’t matter where I go’, thought Enki.
‘In all directions the world must end somewhere and wherever it is, I’ll find the way to the Underworld.’
As if he had summoned the Powers of the Unknown with his Resolve to find the Entrance to the Great Below,
suddenly the wind started blowing hard, followed by stones falling from the heavens.
Frantically, Enki held on to the prow of the magur boat, protecting his head from the violence of the storm.
He could feel the stones hitting the keel of the magur boat, but it withstood the attack.
Waves rose to devour the head of the boat, like a hungry wolf , waves hit the rear of the ship striking like a furious lion.
All this was not enough to turn the ship upside down.
All the time Enki commanded his mind and racing heart to stillness.
He had to take control over the physical discomfort
and the fear that threatened to paralyze his mind, body and questing soul.
Above all, he had to take control of his emotions and forget the numbness that threatened to paralyze his body.
Then, when he was almost giving up to the force of the elements without,
silence and darkness fell upon him, upon the waters.
As the magur boat slowed down, Enki rose his head, fought for balance and stood up, blinking once, then twice.
The waters were so dark and still.
The ship had stopped moving, and his breath caught as he found himself watching the pure blackness
become a columnar figure of blazing fire towering over him.
A mighty challenge had been issued.
Fire was the Power opposite to his own Watery Essence,
the Power that could prevent him from going further anywhere and everywhere.
In actual fact, Water could likewise extinguish Fire,
but he didn’t want to put out this Strange Fire or get himself killed along the process.
“What do water and fire have in common?
How can Opposition become Co-operation so that I can proceed?’, thought Enki frantically.
He dived then into the Essence of his own Being to find where Water could meet Fire and not be consumed by it.
He pressed then the magur boat forward, intoning a Verse that came
from the Bottom of His Questing Mind, Body and Soul like a mantra:
‘I am the Well of Truth that Brings Enlightenment I am the Disperser of the Spirit’s Darkness
I am Form that Transforms Brightness is my Gift to Beings of all Sorts!’
It worked! Out of its own volition, the magur boat started moving,
and Enki saw himself going through the blazing column without being hurt.
He couldn’t rejoice much though as a voice boomed in the darkness.
‘Welcome to my realm, Nammu’s son!’
The resonant roaring voice could only belong to Kur.
Enki filled himself with all courage he could summoned and asked:
‘Where is my sister? Where did you take Ereshkigal?
I came to rescue her back to the Worlds Above.’
The answer seemed to come from before him.
‘Ereshkigal reigns sovereign here, and those who worship her may never leave.
Would you go back now, little Lord?’ ‘ I won’t go back without Ereshkigal.
I’ll fight up to my last breath, but alone I won’t return to the Middleworld.
Not as a loser, not without her.’
Deep inside though Enki’s heart was heavy with terror.
For the first time he contemplated the immensity of Ereshkigal’s loss to him and the Realms Above.
What if Kur was right and she had found a kingdom in the Worlds Below?
Then Ereshkigal would be lost to him and to the worlds above forever.
Never before the Lord of Sweet Waters, the Master of Magic and all Crafts
felt so powerless to Change what perhaps Couldn’t be Changed.
With profound sadness he confronted the Naked Truth:
his was the power to Create and Give Shape to Things, not to Unmake What Already Was.
“No, I can’t go back’, he admitted after some time to himself
with full acceptance of the Choice he had made to continue the Descent. ”
Not now that I’ve gone this far.
I’ll have to find out where Ereshkigal is.
It is of my free will that I descended into the Netherworld,
it is my Desire to Know why Ereshkigal has chosen to stay in the Land of Below.
Even if it is likely I may not rejoice at the Truth I’ll find out.”
Enki straightened then his back with a brave attempt at dignity.
Kur should know where Ereshkigal was.
Kur, who was also his half-brother, fathered as he had been by An the Sky.
‘Take me to Ereshkigal!’, he said to Kur, a command and a request as one.
A mocking laughter greeted him. ‘’Where else? All who enter here must come to her.’
Enki felt the boat steer towards the dark shore,
stopping with a loud bump when it reached the Land of the Netherworld.
Enki drew his mailed clothing tight about him, grasped his spear.
All the time he was being watched by Kur and some wraith-like creatures
his eyes started discerning as he got used to the enfolding darkness.
‘Not like that! Leave any weapon or shield behind!’
Enki looked down at himself and raised despairing eyes to Kur.
‘You must enter the Netherworld as you were born into the Great Above:
naked, carrying no weapons and with a purpose to fulfil’.
Enki tried to proceed, but paralysis took hold of his body, despite the effort he made to move on.
‘Is there any other way?’
‘No. Decide or return. Now!’
In the Worlds Above, his first Breath and Awareness he had shared with Ereshkigal, his Beloved Twin.
For Ereshkigal he had built his magur boat, for Ereshkigal he had come this far.
For Ereshkigal now Enki laid down his shield, mail and spear
in the hope to fulfil his promise to rescue Ereshkigal to the Worlds Above.
‘For you, sister, I came.
If it is the Rule of this Great Place that all come naked, carrying no weapons at all, I bow to its designs.
So be it the Highest Will in me as well.’
So naked as a new-born Enki set foot upon the shore of the Netherworld.
As soon as his feet touched the coarse, dark sand, Enki was overcome by a powerful feeling of disorientation,
as if every aspect and fragment of his being was being reversed, reviewed and scrutinized.
He felt very vulnerable, with everything he had assumed to be valuable inverted,
challenged, turned upside down and inside out.
The feeling was totally overwhelming: thresholds for a much deeper awareness were being open to him.
Enki braced himself, just hoping he would be able to withstand the mounting pressure from the inner.
‘ Don’t fight the feeling,’
Enki heard a deep voice sounding strangely soothing in the darkness.
‘You will adapt to the Underworld vision in time.
Remember, though, that if your soul is pure, then your contacts here will be harmonious and will make you whole.
But if you come with fear, anger and all that is negative or unbalanced, you will have then t
o confront the shadows left within your heart, mind and soul before you find regeneration and healing ’.
A few more minutes or an eternity later perhaps, Enki could raise his head without feeling it spin.
He let his eyes absorb the new environs.
Below his feet, the dark coarse sand glittered here and there.
Above, the sky had the mystery of twilight.
Enki could not see the source of such subdued brightness.
There were no stars, sun or moon in the Worlds Below.
Instead, the light seemed to come from within the land itself.
Ahead, he could see the outline of a huge lapis lazuli building, a palace or temple under construction.
As for beings, strange ghost-like forms could be seen everywhere in all sizes and shapes,
fleshless, but mobile and, if he could use the term, seemingly alive.
Enki finally turned in the direction of the Voice.
A silent figure cloaked and hooded in a shimmering black robe stood in front of him.
The figure’s visage was hidden.
Tall, slim and very imposing, the Form rendered Enki speechless.
Never before had he seen such aura of authority and seriousness.
The Lord of Sweet Waters swallowed hard before speaking:
‘Perhaps I should first introduce myself to… to the Presence who is greeting me in this Great Place‘, said Enki.
Presence was an ambiguous and more fitting term to address to that fleshless, frame-like Figure standing in front of him.
‘I already know who you are. And why you came too.
You made it very loud and clear that you want to bring your sister
Ereshkigal back to the Worlds Above’, continued the Voice.
‘But how can you be so sure that she wants to return with you?
Time has gone by, she might have found the Depths are her home now, not the Heights Above.’
The cool objectivity of the Presence both shook and impressed Enki.
‘I knew Ereshkigal as I did my own soul’, replied Enki, and stopped short before he spoke his True Mind.
And knowing your soul, you wouldn’t want to live in the Underworld, would you, Lord Enki?’
completed the Presence, saying the words Enki had thought, but stopped himself short from saying.
‘ But all who live come to this realm at the end of their life cycles in the Worlds Above.
All, with no exception.´
With a wide gesture, the Presence pointed at the strange ghostly,
frame-like creatures of all sorts Enki saw roaming about the Underworld.
‘All who live come to this realm at the end of their life cycles…‘, repeated Enki thoughtfully.
‘ So all these… presences, are they all dead?’
He knew this was a rhetoric question as soon as the words came out of his mouth.
The Presence remained silent, but somehow Enki did not find It threatening.
‘I didn’t think about death until now.
I knew that it was something that happened to the living, to humankind, plants and beasts alike.
Not to the Anunnaki though.`
‘What did you experience upon arrival in the Underworld, my lord?’, asked the Presence quietly.
‘Disorientation, challenge, intense scrutiny of everything that I was, believed or did.
But wait! Are you saying that I also died when I set foot upon this land?`
Enki sensed the Presence’s quiet smile.
‘You were also reborn here.
The Underworld is the Inner Reality that Gives Sustenance to Everything There Was, Is and Will Be.
It is the Realm of Essence, where Life and Death meet and merge out of one another.
Here Life and Death are both rhythm and transformation
between Energy and Form so that Healing and Regeneration can take place.
You, my lord, who by your Craft confer to all there is the Knowledge of what they can Become,
must know that this Knowledge is seldom realized in the Middlearth.
Thus, all the living at the end of their life cycles come to the Underworld for Justice and Balance.
Remember, my lord, that out of life comes death, out of death life,
out of the young the old and out of the old the young, out of waking sleep and out of sleep waking.
This way we in the Depths Below are linked to the Worlds Above
as part of the stream of creation and dissolution that never ends.‘
‘And how does this occur?’ ‘ What was Form becomes the Energy of What It Was
while the Essence rebuilds itself in Strength of What It Can and Will for Sure Be,’
the Presence’s tone became at once gentle and positive.
’ Existence is both a Process and a Goal that finds its justification in its Own Evolution and Self-Transcendence.
As such, it is not a pre-established plan, but a Seed of Becoming,
containing Within All Possibilities to be Realized Without.’
Silence followed, and Enki was taken by deep emotion.
A hot, lonely tear streamed down his face, at the same time that he consciously shifted his awareness,
transforming the Energy of What and Who he saw into the Forms of What They Were and Would Be.
The Land of No Return became then the Image of Paradise Restored, the Primal Land that also contains the stars.
He turned to the Presence with deep respect and acknowledged who She actually was.
‘Sister, Ereshkigal, Beloved Twin, I lend you graces.
And I beg you to forgive me for not having recognized you!’
Indeed, who was smiling at him was not the bone-like, skeletal figure and projection of one’s deepest fears,
but a tall, slim, young and serious woman, with long dark hair,
all dressed in black and silver, who Enki knew as well as his own soul.
‘Do you understand now, Enki?
Why my place is here, why I cannot return with you?’ asked softly Ereshkigal.‘
I’ve become one of the Great Guardians now., and my choice to be so.
Father An for the Sky, Ki–Ninhursag of Many Names for the Earth,
Enlil for Air, you for the Sweet, Shape-Forming Waters and myself for the Underworld.
There was a great need for a Presence here.
So many come to this Realm in Pain and Sorrow,
missing so much what they never experienced or accomplished in the Worlds Above.
They need to learn about Balance and Healing.
I am here to ensure that all who look for the Essence beyond Appearances will seek and find it,
if only they are willing to bare and reshape their souls to accomplish this.
Because so many will never see the Underworld as the Land of Balance.
Like yourself upon arrival, who saw this land and Her beings as ghosts, and life here as labor and tears.’
‘O, sister, isn’t it too much for you to balance all pain for the Worlds Above
before Healing and Regeneration can take place?’ asked Enki,
taken aback by the sheer amount of responsibility Ereshkigal had willingly put on her delicate yet strong shoulders.
‘You have faced the Underworld initiation upon arrival, brother.
At the deepest level you’ve changed and grown with the experience, I can say.
Gone is your arrogant attitude, your desire to take me back for your sake without asking whether this was my desire too.
And because you know me as you know yourself, I believe you’ve come to realize that although
I may miss the Worlds Above, that I have not known the playing of other girls
or the company of my brothers and sisters of the Heights Above,
there are hidden treasures in the Land of No Return and I’ve become their foremost Guardian.
Many can’t see what and where these treasures are. I can. I am needed here.
As your magic, brother, is needed in the Worlds Above.’ Enki let the tears flow freely.
He was painfully coming to terms with the fact that Ereshkigal was lost to the Worlds Above.
To himself too. ‘Can I ask you about Kur?
I’ve always wanted to know why you left us’, asked Enki.
He finally had asked the question that ate his soul since Ereshkigal had disappeared from the Heights Above.
‘Kur is a Guardian of this realm now.
He was a friend who helped me to understand things I needed to know and learn about.
But this is not what you really want to know, Enki.
Say it, brother. To me, loud and clear.
Once and for all leave the past behind, all you found yourself guilty for and never were.’
Enki took a deep breath before baring finally his soul:
‘Did you leave me and the Worlds Above for Kur? Did we… did I fail you in any way?’
Ereshkigal’s voice became so gentle, yet there was a tenderness made of steel in it:
‘I did not leave the Worlds Above for Kur.
I came to the Underworld because this was the Highest Will in me,
the fulfillment and realization of my very self to be shared in all worlds.
Kur was a friend, a Companion along my path, and now he is bound to me in freedom because
he chose to stay as one of the Guardians of the Underworld.
Never again, I beg you, Brother of my Soul, Best Companion of my Early Days, think you failed me.
Perhaps I failed you and Enlil instead?
But I somehow I don’t think there was any failure on all sides.
We all made our choices, we all became Guardians in our own right.
This way I am bonded to you, Enlil and all the Anunnaki.’
A silence charged with emotion followed Ereshkigal’s words.
Enki felt a heavy load had been lifted off his shoulders, mind, heart and soul.
‘Don’t regret your choice of having descended for me, Enki,’ continued Ereshkigal.
‘Indeed, I knew you would come, and expected you all along.
Our bond was and will always be strong, so whenever you seek me out,
you will find me, if only you know how and where to look.
But before you understood my Life’s Quest I could not say a word.
Somehow you belong to the Heights Above and I to the Depths Below.
By coming to my Realm, I sincerely hope you have learnt to see Everything that Is as Form and Essence.
If the Above is the Realm of Form, where the Essence is within, the Underworld is the domain of Essence,
which encompasses Form only for those whose Insights are True to go beyond Appearances.
This way we are also forever linked to the Worlds Above,
for the Underworld is the Inner Structure that Gives Sustenance to the Realms Above it.
All that is Without is the same to All there Is Within to reveal the Secrets of the One and the Many.’
Enki drank her words, her deep quiet wisdom with his mind, body, heart and soul.
In as swift, graceful movement, Ereshkigal knelt on the ground,
her hands diving into the Solid Foundation of the Worlds Below.
‘ Before you leave, brother, take this.’
Her hand took out of the ground a small, pale oval form and laid it in his palm.
A seed! Enki raised puzzled eyes to her. ‘Plant it. And watch what comes out of it.
If this seed grows into fullness, it will be the gateway to this and many other worlds.
And by Nammu, the Mother who gave birth to me, and the Skyfather An,
I now declare a most auspicious fate: the one who finds my fully grown seed and cares for it
will be the one who will keep the Door to the Worlds Below and Above wide open.
And as I will, so be it!‘ Enki knew the seed she was giving him was a parting gift.
‘Will I ever see you again, Ereshkigal?
Or are you forever lost to the Worlds Above?’ he asked.
Ereshkigal’s lovely laughter filled the air:
‘I don’t think you and the Worlds Above are lost to me, Enki.
Am I forever lost to you, brother? ‘ Enki’s heart wanted to shout “Never!”,
but the words that his soul formed could not be uttered by his mouth.
‘Seek me out and you will find me. Always!
Now, Brother, Companion and Best Friend, I bid you farewell.’’
Next Enki saw himself totally alone by the magur boat.
Hot tears streamed down his face.
He bowed graciously with deep respect to the Great Lady of the Underworld,
and for a brief moment he envied Kur for being free to stay with Her.
But he could not stay. He felt, nevertheless, stronger than ever,
very moved, with an expanded consciousness that could embrace the universe.
Something was growing within his very Self,
and although he could not yet give a Name to it, he new it was important.
At the same time Ereshkigal’s seed seemed to grow warmer in his hand.
As the magur boat left the Land of No Return,
Enki held it high in his hand in a silent and loving farewell to Ereshkigal.
‘May the Light of the Underworld of Regeneration and Growth
that one day shone upon me Crowns all who come to you with their Hearts,
Minds, Bodies and Souls open to All Mysteries, Sister and Best Friend!!
And may you be remembered by the beauties and trials you set upon
all who guided by Truth come to the Underworld!’
Enki turned then his back to the Underworld,
with a firm resolve to enter again the Worlds Above, to return to Eridu.
He was truly coming back home! To Ningikuga perhaps?
Enki smiled to himself, his old confidence surfacing again:
‘For sure, and to be more than just a friend this time!’
With this thought, Enki started rowing with renewed energy.
Eridu was certainly harbor, haven and home.
Months later, Enki took the magur boat and off he went to the place by the riverbank
where he had planted Ereshkigal’s seed.
Would the Seed of the Great Below have taken root and be reborn in the Middleworld?
Enki had his doubts, but having experienced the power of Ereshkigal,
he knew that out of the Land of No Return life and healing, growth and regeneration could also be found by all.
Anxious, Enki craned his neck to peer ahead.
It took a couple of minutes, but when at last he saw what he had come to look for,
a delighted laughter burst out from the depths of his being.
Not far from the water’s edge, a shoot of leaves had broken through the ground.
Enki rowed to the shore, stepped out the magur boat and reverently knelt to admire the growing little plant
by the marshland’s edge: ‘Life comes indeed from the Inner’, he said.
‘Seed of Growth, I welcome you into the Middleworld, you who carry within the Bounties of the Worlds Below.
May your roots stay firm in the ground in all Kingdoms, may your trunk grow strong and true,
may your branches, leaves and fruits empower with Knowledge to Share,
showing us the Ways of Becoming in all Worlds and Spheres.
May all those who find you climb to the Highest Heights and Descend to the Lowest Depths for Healing and Fruition.
I name you the Most Sacred, the Most Precious of All Trees, the Huluppu Tree.’