The White Moon Gallery Presents

TIAMAT

Created by Tannim

Painting by Tannim

© Painting by Tannim

Tiamat's Myth.

You will find Tiamatís story in the Babylonian epic, the Enuma Elish. It begins with the mother of creation, Tiamat. Tiamat is the personification of saltwater. Tiamatís consort, Apsu, personifies fresh water. Their waters mingle and create the first two gods, Lachmu and Lachamu. Together the godís create offspring that produce other offspring. These offspring irritated Apsu greatly.

Apsu wanted to end his disturbances by killing the source. Upset at Apsuís suggestion, Tiamat asks how can you destroy something you have created? Tiamatís displeasure did not stop Apsu from continuing to plot. The offspring learned of his plan and decided to take action. Ea, one ofthe great grand children, finds Apsu sleeping and kills him.

After learning about the death of her lover, Tiamat eventually decides to avenge him. She creates an army of terrifying monsters and prepares for retaliation. Marduk , a sixth generation god, sets out to destroy her. He succeeds, slaying her into halves. Tiamatís upper half was used to create the heavens, and her lower half made the world.

Comparison to Genesis.

Tiamatís story of creation is often compared to Genesis. There are quite a few similarities between the two tales. They both begin with the coming together of waters. In the Enuma Elish there are six generations of gods. Genesis contains six days of creation. The Hebrew word Tehom, which is found in Genesis, is said to be derived from Tiamat.

Painting by Tannim
© Painting by Tannim

Tiamatís Themes and Symbols.

The Goddess Tiamat is often associated with creation, chaos, change, spirituality, fertility, birth, history, the moon, sea water, and reptiles. Tiamat also represents oneís higher and lower self. When these two forces work together, the result is amazing. Tiamat is often shown as a dragon-like creature, mermaid, sea serpent. The serpent is a symbol of change and womenís bodies.

Tiamatís Influences.

If Tiamatís story sounds familiar to you there is a good reason. The story of a valiant young man slaying a fierce dragon is something that has lived on. It is believed to be symbolic of the destruction of matriarchies. It is a common theme found in many tales. For instance you can find the slaying of dragon-like creatures in the Enuma Elish, Beowulf, and many medieval fairy tales.

Tiamatís Ritual for Creativity.

For this ritual you need:
Three white candles
A bowl or chalice containing salt water
Blue Vervain
A full moon


It would be ideal to perform this ritual outside with the full moon in sight. Begin this ritual by purifying your workspace and tools. Cast your circle. Invoke a Moon Goddess for each element. You may use Tiamat for water. Draw down the moon and the powers of Tiamat to charge your salt water. Ask that she bless the saltwater with her amazing powers of creativity.

Mediate on the aspects of your life that would benefit from this new creativity. Then take the salt water and pour it on you. Let Tiamatís creative energy saturate you. After feeling her surge of creative power, begin grounding. Thank the Moon Goddesses that you invoked, and open your circle.

References.

Telesco, Patricia. (1998). 365 Goddess. San Francisco-HarperCollins.

Stein, Diane. (1990). Casting the Circle: A Womanís Book of Rituals. The Crossing Press.

Dallery, Stephanie. Myths From the Mesopatamia: Enuma Elish. http://www.mindspring.com/~mysticgryphon/enuma.htm


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