Summer Solstice 1988 E.V.

Tiamat and Marduk

by G.M.Kelly

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Recently a certain Wiccan High Priestess and I were having a discussion and the subject of the Assyrio-Babylonian mythology of ancient Mesopotamia became one of the topics we pursued. In particular we discussed the characters of Tiamat and Marduk with the idea of employing such names as "Magical Names". Neither of us thought that Marduk would be a favorable choice since a Magical Name is a kind of Oath. It is supposed to represent one's True Self and one's True Will to the best of one's knowledge. Furthermore, choosing the name of a god or hero out of myth is a very tricky thing since one is then likely to lead the life of that character. Choose the name Heracles, for instance, and it is very probable that your well-meaning but insecure wife will be the death of you! In the case of Marduk, the lady and I primarily thought of the name in the astrological sense, supposedly the planet that exploded to create the present asteroid belt which Aleister Crowley attributed to the Abyss with the idea of a shattered ego and dispersion. We were also aware of Marduk as the slayer of Tiamat and who then became a rather Jovian or Jehovian character. This is all, however, somewhat beside the point. 

The lady and I also shared a chuckle over another woman involved in the Craft who, because of her androphobia, feminizes everything that is within her reach, completely eliminating all masculine concepts from her universe, which, as would be the reverse, is a very unbalanced thing to do. This lady claimed that Marduk's destruction of Tiamat represented the overthrow of the matriarchy by the patriarchy. Actually she is not entirely wrong, but her perverse point of view blinds her to the true nature of that "slaying". 

Tiamat was symbolized by the dragon and she was called the primordial ocean and chaos. Chaos is often thought to be "evil", "disorder", but in fact it is, more accurately, the Unmanifest containing the possibility of all forms of the Manifest. It is a state of Pure Being untainted by material creation. Chaos, or Tiamat in this instance, is that state of being that is more pure than Unity for it is Naught. That is to say, Tiamat may be attributed to Ain of Qabalistic philosophy, that which is beyond Kether, and so to NUIT, the Goddess of Infinite Space and the Infinite Stars therein according to Thelemic philosophy. 

Tiamat, the supreme aspect of the Goddess, is called the primordial cosmic ocean, and this "monstrous" personification of the sea (which may also then attribute Tiamat to Binah, the Great Salt Sea of Sorrow, the Supernal Mother), mingled with Apau, the cosmic sweet waters beneath the earth, perhaps attributed to HADIT, the compliment of NUIT, and from this mingling of the salt and the fresh waters the first gods, such as Anum and Ea, were created. 

In this Mesopotamian system, which has many similarities with the Egyptian system, and which, as time went on, became just as complicated and confused with the multiplication and fusing of god-forms, Enki (Ea), one of the gods created by this union, slew Apau. Having already given human emotions to these anthropomorphic gods it is easy for us to understand that Tiamat was very angry over the slaying of her mate, her compliment, and why she wished to take revenge upon the gods that they had created and which had so ungratefully replied to that creation. Therefore Tiamat waged war upon these younger gods who then turned to Marduk, one of their company, and asked him for help. Marduk said he would slay Tiamat if the other gods gave him supremacy over them and they agreed. According to one source, two implements in particular were used by Marduk to destroy Tiamat. First Marduk blinded the dragon with a magical disk, which is naturally the sun-disk, his symbol as a sun-god, then he slew her with a spear, which is the warrior's equivalent of the wand, symbol of the creative will, procreation, in turn symbolized in humankind by the phallus. Tiamat was then split open and her body cut into pieces from which the universe, heaven and earth, were created, and from the blood of Kingu, her marshal, as this particular creation myth goes, men and women, all of humanity was created to serve the gods. It is worth noting that Marduk had the assistance of the Seven Winds to "destroy" Tiamat. (Wind, Breath, Spirit, even Mind in relation to the Hebrew Ruach, are all symbols of the same concept. The ancients, before they understood the nature of human reproduction, believed that the wind impregnated women. Recall also in Genesis and elsewhere in the Judeo-Christian Bible and other sources how life is breathed into a person, as well as the descent of the Spirit, in some bestial form--dove, bull, and so forth--impregnates mortal virgins in various mythologies.) 

Often Tiamat is considered "evil" and/or "dark" and Marduk "good", a power of "light", but this is a typically naive but understandable point of view. Actually the moralistic idea of "good" and "evil" does not apply. These concepts are, as are all concepts, relative to one's point of view. Certainly Tiamat felt herself justified in destroying her children who slew their father, her husband! As for Chaos being "dark", it was/is, but it is also "light", and yet in the union of the two apparent opposites, neither darkness nor light. Simply put, Chaos is Naught! 

We might say that Tiamat represents the He (H) of Tetragrammaton, Apau the Yod (I), Marduk the Vau (V) and Enki or Ea, perhaps a masculine corruption or version of a name somewhat similar to Ge, Ga or Gaia, Earth, is He-final (H). IHVH. Father, Mother, Son and Daughter. (Note: Enki or Ea was said to come from the sea to Sumer and impregnate Ninhursag, "the mother of the land".) 

Enki first slew Apau, that is to say Apau's original purity was destroyed--the word "purity", of course, having no moralistic connotations in this place. 

As for the slaying of Tiamat by Marduk, well, this solar god, called "the bull-calf of the sun" and later symbolized by the Musrussu dragon, first employed the solar disk then pierced Tiamat with the spear, the wand, the phallus, which in fact impregnated her. The struggle is an ancient symbol for the so-called "war of the sexes", the natural struggle between the male and the female which are in some ways complementary, but by the very fact of their complementation different and sometimes antagonistic toward one another. The fact that Tiamat was impregnated is obvious since from this "struggle", this ecstatic union, the heaven and the earth were created, given birth. It is interesting to note that in this creation myth humankind is created from the blood of Tiamat's fallen marshal. As it is said, "the blood is the life", and blood in such a context represents seed or semen. As for the destruction of Tiamat, she was not utterly destroyed--her original purity was destroyed. The Unmanifest became Manifest. Spirit took form in Matter. 

Marduk awakened the sleeping Chaos--son united with mother. 

Enki or Ea awakened the sleeping waters of Apau--"daughter" united with father. 

Again, this complicated family system should not be interpreted moralistically, as the formula of IHVH should not be so interpreted. 

In a sense, first there was Tiamat, matriarchy, which was later dominated by patriarchy, but it is this very union which will eventually bring about--which HAS brought about--the New Ĉon wherein the female is considered the co-equal, as A.C. put it, of the male. Neither being superior nor inferior to the other. Existing in a Balanced state of Harmony and Beauty (reference to Tiphareth, Vau, the "Son", which in Thelemic philosophy is Heru-Ra-Ha, the union of Ra-Hoor-Khuit, the positive Lord of Speech, and Hoor-paar-kraat, the negative Lord of Silence). 

It might be worth our while here to investigate the various names in this drama, this Play of Our Lady Nuit, by means of transliteration and gematria. 

Turning first to the Hebrew because of the affinity with Mesopotamia we have the following spellings, numerations and attributions implied by words bearing the same numeration. (See the Key elsewhere for English equivalents to the Hebrew alphabet.) 

MARDUK: MRDVK = 270 = I.N.R.I., attributed to the sun/son-god, "Jesus". 

APSU: APSV = 147 = IHVH, ADNI AHIH, AGLA, the Four Names in the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram. 

ENKI: ANKI = 81 = ALIM, Gods; and ANKI, I (Ex. XXIII.20). Or HNKI = 85 = HMM, Put in motion; and PH, Pe, the mouth, which is actually the symbol for another orifice, the kteis. Please note the position of the "tongue" in the Hebrew letter. 

EA: H = 5 = BG, Back; and being the 5th letter of the Hebrew Alphabet; or AH/HA = 6 = the Mystic Number of Binah (1+2+3); GBA, To gather or collect; and HA or HE, the 5th letter of the Hebrew alphabet, meaning "a window". 

TIAMAT: TIMT = 68 = ChKM, To be wise; VIBN, Wise; and ChLL, Emptiness. Or ThIMTh = 850 = ThMThI, My perfect one. (NOT written) (Cant. V.2). 

Let us now turn to the Greek and see what that has to offer. (Again, please check the Key elsewhere for the English characters representing the Greek alphabet.) 

MARDUK: Mardyk = 565 = to kenon, the void, space; aneklaleton, that cannot be expressed in words; eleytheria, freedom, liberty, all of which identify Marduk, the "slayer", with Tiamat, the "slain", just as he was later identified with Tiamat through his symbolic representation as the dragon. Also: metron, measure, degree, quantity; ypedeixa, make known, that which Marduk accomplished through the "slaying" of the Vast Unknown Without Measure. And Dendron Bios, the Tree of Life, that which he manifest through the "slaying"; aspidos, a snake; Abba o pater, Father, my father (Mk. 14.36; Ro. 8.15; Gal. 4.6 of N.T.); and Narydi, Narudi, an Akkadian spirit, "lord of the great gods", whose image was placed in houses to ward off wicked people, all of which refer to Marduk, the first as the virile god, next the supreme god, and so for the third, Narudi, upon a lower plane. 

Also, if Upsilon (y here, 400) is replaced by Digamma (F, 6) we have the following: 

Mardfk = 171 = aor, a sword; oar, a consort, mate; kalon, good, proper; and krima, the power of authority to judge, referring, respectively, to Vau of Tetragrammaton (IHVH) and his function as a warrior, Marduk as the "slayer" or mate of Tiamat, the fact that all of this is proper or natural, and his supremacy gained from the "slaying" of the great cosmic dragon of Chaos, Tiamat. 

APSU: Apsy = 1101 = thaymatopoion, wonder-worker, conjurer, juggler; gnomes, the purpose, intent, will; AOT (AFT), "Male-Female Spirits", to be found in Liber Samekh, all of which point to the nature of Apsu; ekkechymai, to pour out or shed blood, abandon oneself to; martysin, a martyr, Apsu's nature; apokalypteria, unveiling, and his accomplishment through union with Tiamat. 

And again if Digamma replaces Upsilon: 

Apsf = 707 = logon theoy, God's word (which creates); sandarakinos, bright-red, the colour of the dragon in Revelation. 

ENKI: Enki = 85 = oida, I know, destroying the essentially Unknown by knowing it and thus making it the Known; gamma, the third letter of the Greek alphabet as, in part, a reference to the Earth; endeka, eleven, the number of Magick, referring to the formula implied in ABRAHADABRA. 

Or: Hnki = 88 = Nike, Victory personified as the Goddess Nike. 

EA: Ea = 6 = F, Digamma, or Vau, the Son; as well as abba, the father; and Ada, one of Lamech's two wives; and ea itself is essentially "ah!", an exclamation of wonder and pleasure. 

Or: Ha = 9 = aza, dryness, heat, mould; but more importantly, gea, earth. 

And finally we make a full circle, so to speak, returning to: 

TIAMAT: Tiamat = 652 = lymainomai, to destroy, to treat with indignation or outrage, to persecute, as well as to be maltreated or destroyed. Note that 6+5+2 = 13 = Achad (AChD), Unity, the perfect expression of which is Naught! 

There is also another possible spelling of TIAMAT which is: Tiamath or Thiamat = 361 = anti, opposed to (partly), which the Unmanifest is to the Manifest, in a manner of speaking; timia, precious, highly repsected, and so therefore she should not be considered as a gross concept such as "evil"; admete, untamed, unmarried, her nature as pure, undisturbed Chaos; o pais, the child, which is within her--the Unmanifest filled with all-possibility in Manifestation; aneleos, merciless, her primordial nature, especially when aroused; and sarx, the physical body, flesh, humankind, earthly life, the realm of existence, the sexual impulse, all of the Unmanifest potential for Manifestation that resides within Tiamat. 

Let us now return to the quiet calm and silence of the Great Unmanifest of Tiamat or NUIT, having thus Manifest being in so many forms, but before retiring let it be said that "good" and "evil" are relative concepts, pertinent only to the human mind, and that very often that which is considered "evil", such as the Dragon of Chaos, Tiamat, the most supreme aspect of the Goddess, is actually a most sacred arcanum hidden by the veils, behind the guise of moralistic "evil". The only true "evil" in existence is IGNORANCE. 

Love is the law, love under will.

POST SCRIPT: Just as a matter of interest--a certain Goddess of Mesopotamia called Innin, the Akkadian Ishtar, is also called Inanna. While there existed a certain perverse cult of Inanna in which the priesthood emasculated itself (and we know of a eunuch or two today who worships this Goddess in a perverse manner!), the Goddess herself is most interesting. She is associated with Venus and has collected within herself the attributes of several goddesses, thus becoming Queen of Heaven and Earth, the aspect recognized in Wicca as she who descends to the Underworld, divesting herself of her garments and insignia as she goes, a Mother Goddess, Mistress of all the Gods (i.e. a Holy Whore!), the Lady of the Worlds, Giver of Vegetation, Creator of Animals, Goddess of Sexual Love, Marriage and Maternity, and interesting to the Thelemite in "The Exaltation of Inanna", a Sumerian hymn, she is described as "the Lady mounted on a Beast", often depicted in art as mounted on a lion, and furthermore, there is the name Nanna which is said to be that of the Moon God, otherwise called Nannar or Sin (note the similarity to Cynthia, a Greek name for the Moon Goddess), yet this name, Nanna, also seems to be a variation of Inanna. The paternal Yod merely being dropped. This name, Nanna, transliterated into Hebrew would be NANNH or Nun Aleph Nun Nun He, i.e. 50+1+50+50+5, which comes to the numeration of 156, the numeration of BABALON, both in Greek and Hebrew--the Scarlet Woman or Whore that rides the Beast 666.


(This article was originally published in the December 1987 E.V. issue of WEIRD, Volume 2, Number 4. Anyone interested in this publication should contact Ms. Goldie Brown at P.O. Box 624, Monroeville, PA 15146.) 


Winter Solstice 1988 E.V.

Babalon and the Beast

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

"...I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns." Revelation, Chapter 17, Verse 3. 

Ever since John the Divine experienced his Revelation the concept of Babalon and the Beast has been misinterpreted as an absolute evil, despite all of the internal evidence to the contrary. First it should be noted that there cannot be such a thing as an absolute evil, nor an absolute good for that matter, in our relative universe. In fact, one might say that no-thing is absolutely anything--and that is an absolute fact! Second, while all reasons given to "prove" that Babalon and the Beast are evil only prove to be irrational and illogical, there is a great deal of "proof" that they are, in fact, sacred and holy symbols! We will examine some of this "proof" by way of the science and art of gematria. 

To begin: Babalon (Greek: Beta Alpha Beta Alpha Lambda Omicron Nu; Hebrew: Beth Aleph Beth Aleph Lamed Ayin Nun, i.e. 2+1+2+1+30+70+50) = 156, The Scarlet Woman, e Kokkine Gyne (8 + 20+70+20+20+10+50+8 + 3+400+50+8) = 667, and the Beast, Therion (9+8+100+10+70+50) = 247, and his number is of course 666. 

156 + 247 = 403, which is 13 x 31, as well as the numeration of logikos: rational, belonging to reason, logical, (according to some also "spiritual); presbeia: age, seniority, rank, dignity, the body of ambassadors (according to some also "messenger/s, representative/s"); Epistata: Master (Lk. 5.5, 8.45, 9.49; st = 6). 

156 + 666 = 822, the numeration of agiazo: sacred; oi pharmakoi: those who practice Magick (Re. 22.15)--note that pharmakon means "a medicine, drug, remedy; a charm, spell, enchantement, any secret means of effecting a thing; a means of producing something", while pharmakos means "one who is sacrificed as a purification for others", i.e. a scapegoat; aphtharsia: imperishability, immortality; Setheys, Hidden Place, That in which are all things surrounding the twelve Paternities, in the midst of which It dwells (Gnostic); stegazo: house--a possible reference to Beth, et al (st = 6). Most interestingly 822 is the numeration of Agion Poterion, the Holy Grail, the ultimate goal of the Authurian Quest. 

667 + 247 = 914, the numeration of gnonai, to perceive, to gain knowledge, mark and to know, understand, determine, to know, etc.; pneymatike (pneumatike): spiritual, pertaining to the spirit, spiritual person, thing or gift given by the spirit, supernatural (Col. 1.9); theomorphon: of form divine, god-form; idro: sweat, perspiration (see CCXX I.27); phragmos: fence--a possible reference to Cheth, et al; eyornithos: of good augury, auspicious; Isphan Darmaz: the tutelary spirit of the earth and the angel who presides over the month of February, the month of Valentine's Day, and who also serves as the genius or angel for virtuous women in Persian lore; philommeides: laughter-loving, an epitaph commonly applied to Aphrodite (Venus), the Goddess of Love; epta salpiggas: seven trumpets (Re. 8.6). 

667 + 666 = 1333, the numeration of aggelon aytoy (angelon autou): his angel (Ac. 12.11); pantarchas: ruler of all; noeseos: thought, intelligence; Astanphaios: Astanphaeus, an archon of the Ophitic Gnostic system, one of the Hebdomad; Xoybao: Gnostic; eycharistias: eucharist (st = 6). Most appropriately, oyranoy (ouranou) kai ges: Heaven and Earth (bound by kai, the numeration of which is 31). Most interestingly, to paidion Iesoyn (Iesoun): the child Jesus (Lk. 2.27). 

The above information provides a veritable feast for thought and we may consider the following to be dessert. 

In Revelation, Chapter 17, Verse 5, the Scarlet Woman is called Babalon the Great, although her name is spelled "Babylon", which, according to Thelemic philosophy is incorrect, yet either way our rose smells as sweet: 

(1) Babylon e megale = 1380 = o Oylon & o Teleios (or o Oylon & o Oylon, or O Teleios & o Teleios): the Perfect and the Perfect (CCXX I.45), and better yet, e agape ek toy theoy (theou): the love from (or of) God (1 Jn. 4.7; agape, love, equals 93). 

(2) Babalon e megale = 251 = Kairon: Cairo, the city in which The Book of the Law (Liber AL vel Legis sub figura CCXX) was delivered unto the Master Therion; katharon: pure, clean, innocent; Ompnia: a name of the Goddess Ceres, Mother of Corn; A'athoor: Ahathoor (CCXX III.38); Koppa: a letter in the Greek aphlabet, with the appearance of a raised circle with a line extending from below it to the base line, once set between Pi (P) and Rho (R), equivalent to "Q" and so related to the Hebrew Qoph and all that pertains to it. 

In Revelation, Chapter 17, Verse 3 quoted at the beginning of this writing, the scarlet or red Beast is mentioned--this of course being the Beast 666. (It is worth noting that the symbology in this last book of the Christian New Testament has been confused and twisted over the centuries and symbols have been misinterpreted, fused and in some cases divided.) 

The Scarlet Beast, Therion Kokkinon = 557, which is also the numeration of kathegetes: teacher, leader, Master, and gametes: husband. By adding Babalon the Great and the Scarlet Beast together we arrive at the following: 

(1) 1380 + 557 = 1937 = katecheso: to teach by word of mouth, teach the elements of religion; katartiseos: restoring, restoration, a making perfect, educating. 

(2) 251 + 557 = 808 = zao: live, be alive, come back to life; peristere: a dove; ermeneys: an interpreter, dragoman, an expounder. 

The Beast 666, adding in the number of the Beast, i.e. o Therion 666, comes to the numeration of 983, which is also the numeration of apokalypta: unveiling (CCXX I.2), as well as Aster Argos: the Argenteum Astrum or Silver Star as Therion translated it into Greek. 

983 and 251 (Babalon e megale, Babalon the Great) added together come to the numeration of 1234, an important sequence of numbers which implies the full scope of existence, the manifestation of All, i.e. 1+2+3+4 = 10, in relation to the Tree of Life. 1234 is also the numeration of to thysiasterion: the altar (Re. 11.1; st = 6). 

And a little random translation and calculation gives us: 

Babalon kai o Therion, Babalon and the Beast, 504 = to agathon: the good, what is good; to agion: the sanctuary, the sacred, the holy. 

Babalon kai ton Therion = 854 = o Aglaotriaines: the God of the bright trident; Edoyardos: Edward, Aleister Crowley's given name; epiphanes: glorious, coming to light. 

H Kokkine Gyne kai Therion = 945 = ephoros: an overseer, guardian, ruler; ocheos: a chariot--perhaps relating to Atu VIII of the tarot. 

H Kokkine Gyne kai o Therion = 1015 = Aidos: the personification of conscience; zoes: life; agoges: way of life. 

H Kokkine Gyne kai ton Therion = 1365 = ey poio: do good, help; phaethon: beaming, radiant, the sun. 

Baffled? Bewildered? Confused? Inundated by information? We will try to make rational sense of all this. Basically the secret gematria coding implies that Babalon, the Scarlet Woman, and the Beast are agents of reason and logic in a society ruled by irrational, superstitious religions. They are ambassadors of great dignity and rank--together Master of all life. Babalon and the Beast are sacred and holy concepts, representatives of those who sincerely and rationally practice Magick; they are the remedy for the illness of society, the secret means of effecting beneficial change. Also the Beast and Babalon are the scapegoats used by the cults of the Dying God, the religions of the Slave God, who refuse to take responsibility for the ills of society that they have created through ignorance and greed. 

Babalon and the Beast are representatives of the Holy Grail, the object of our quest in life, the perfect union of the two apparent opposites. 

Babalon and the Beast united represent and affect many things beneficial and important to humankind, and while the enemies of Thelema rant and rave nonsense of the most irrational kind to "prove" otherwise, we can see by internal evidence, as here briefly touched upon, that rationally, logically the truth can be proven with secret information provided by the ancient Initiates. 

Love is the law, love under will.