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When We Were Gods

Observations on Mesopotamian Mythology

by Brother Sibelius of the Mnemosyne
Submitted to the Alexandrian Symposium on 09/17/1995


I have been asked to expound the enlightening insights Marduk whom I found underneath the ruins of Baghdad disclosed to me concerning the genealogy of the Kindred race. In my testimony before the Symposium I have given antediluvian names and clan affiliations to certain members of the Sumerian/Babylonian pantheon as they were explained to me by Marduk. I regret having given the impression of unquestionable truthfulness in regard as to these interpretations, as interpretations they were and nothing more.

It should have been made clear that in Marduk's time as the God's representative at Ninive the names of Caine, his childer and their progeny as well as the names of the clans as we know them today were not yet known. As the following text will disclose, the history of the Kindred race was very different in the eyes of Marduk and his contemporaries. The texts and fragments which comprise our Book of Nod would for the greater part not be written for centuries, even millennia to come, while the First and Second Cities and the Great Flood were unwitnessed mythic past even for the long-lived Gods of the Cities who were created after the Flood. The Antediluvians were still rumored to roam the land then, but to most Kindred they were but myths; they were the Gods who had died and from whose flesh, bone and blood the earth had been molded.

The names of Caine, his progeny and of the founders became known to Marduk only during his later short wakeful periods, while the old names had already been forgotten, and some of the old ones had passed into obscurity completely. Marduk himself was forgotten and his name did not instill fear in mortal or Kindred hearts as it had in the past.

Marduk recognized some of the Antediluvians from their description which was even then whispered only in secret for fear of awakening that which was no longer meant to rise. Together we reconstructed the affiliations I have given in my testimony, but perusal of the extensive library at Alexandria, even the Apocryphal Vault, has led me to reconsider these claims. This work attempts to set straight the facts which Marduk and I both misinterpreted. Other historical sources collected in the Apocryphal Vault have been assessed and included, although they shall not be named.

I now understand my Elders' concerns regarding my findings and I swear a solemn oath never to disclose any of the following observations to anyone outside the Symposium, be they of our blood or not.

I also wish to express my thanks for the opportunity given to me by the Symposium to rise in rank and become instrument to their quest for pure knowledge.

1. The God who was Caine

The Gods of the Cities, Kindred all, believed themselves to be children of a race of Elder Gods who had lived previous to the Great Flood. They were venerated as such by their mortal flock.

In Marduk's Babylon, ruled over by King Hammurabi whose Code of Laws is one of the earliest examples of written law, the lore of many cultures mixed. The Sumerians had built their city states, mere villages reflecting poorly the glamour of the First City at first, about 5000 BC along the rivers Euphrates and Tigris. Wars between these city states were common, as were attacks by surrounding nomadic savage tribes. The cities prospered under the tutelage of the Gods. Centuries of conquests uprooted and displaced people and their beliefs which began to mingle into one, not always coherent, whole. Thus it is difficult to discern which particular myth is closest to the truth. The world view I am about to portray is as reliable as our contemporary myths of Caine, maybe less so. What Marduk and his contemporaries, Kindred and kine alike, believed to be the truth had been filtered down the aeons and could even then no longer be proven.

The founding father of the Gods was called Abzu. Abzu was the first of our kind, and Marduk later identified this Abzu to me as Caine.

The myth of the brother-slayer was unknown to Marduk. Abzu was a mighty being, unfathomable and not even remotely human. With his consort Tiamat (whom I will describe later) he begat what we would call today the Second Generation. But Abzu / Caine could not abide the clamour that the Younger Gods made and he set out to slay them. In Marduk's faith, a Younger God called Enki slew Abzu to save himself and his siblings.

Tiamat may be the Lilith of the Book of Nod. She is the Mother of Demons, spawning manifold dragons and other twisted breeds and half-casts. Together with Abzu she is the origin of the Kindred. She rejected Abzu's plan to slay the Younger Gods, but she swore revenge on the Younger Gods when Abzu was slain.

Tiamat may have been more than Kindred - she may even be the mother of all the supernatural races which could and can still be found on Earth.

2. The Founding Generations

The children of Abzu and Tiamat were four: Lahmu, Lahamu, Anshar and Kishar. It cannot be said how the names of the Childer of Caine we know - Zillah, Irad and Enoch - relate to these beings. It has been theorized that neither Abzu nor Tiamat were actually Kindred, but that the race was spawned by them. In this light, Anshar may be the Caine of our mythology instead of Abzu, maybe slaying one of his siblings, thus giving rise to the brother-slayer myth. There may have been more than one forefather or -mother. The odd Kindred which can be found in the Far East may even be descended from a sibling of this Caine, if the theory is correct. Sadly, there is no proof either in favour or against this theory.

Anshar and Kishar (another possible Lilith) are believed to be the parents / sires of Anu who then begat the Younger Gods. To complicate matters further, it is perfectly possible to see this Anu as a third Caine, as all the later Gods are believed to be descended from him. I prefer to believe that these names and various generations are in truth one - that Abzu, Anshar and Anu are one and the same mythic God, and that the different names stem from the religions of different peoples. Not realizing that the different names spoke of the same person, the priests of Babylon invented this complicated family tree to give every God and Godess his or her place in the hierarchy.

Several other Gods are mentioned in the myths who are not descended from Anu and seem equal in power to the Elder Gods. These may have been different, now extinct races of Kindred or even more outlandish species from spheres outside our reality - perhaps we will know one day.

3. The Antediluvians

Whichever of the aforementioned theories may be correct (if any), the Children of Anu seem to correspond best to what we call the Third Generation, the Antediluvians. If Anu is Caine, then of course these may -all or in part- be considered the Second Generation. It is not ours to know - perhaps we should take our system of descendancy as we know it with a grain of salt from now on.

Anu's consort, another possible Lilith, was Antu. From Anu and Antu were descended the Annunaki and the Utukki, the former being Gods of the Underworld, the latter being seven evil demons.

The sources are not clear as to the identity of all the descendants of Anu and Antu. Inanna is counted among them, but some accounts place her at the side (and equal power level) of Antu, whom she replaces later as Anu's consort. Further get of Anu and Antu include Enlil, Enki, Gerra, Anad and Shara; several others are reported to be sired by them, among them Marduk (possibly sired by Enki), but sometimes they are equal to the get of Anu and Antu. Some of these Gods may have been Fourth or even Fifth Generation according to our reckoning, but I believe that the practice of Amaranth may have been more common in these days.

There was a war between the Elder and the Younger Gods, during which Enki slew Abzu and Marduk slew Tiamat. This devastating war was followed by the Great Flood which washed away all traces of the earliest civilizations, and may even have been caused by this conflict.

4. The Gods of the Cities

After the flood, little remained. The ancestral Gods were in torpor or destroyed and their progeny was left to their own devices. These, named after their sires, were what we call the Fourth Generation. The sire of the Marduk I met was among them, as were the other various Gods I mentioned in my testimony before the Symposium earlier this year. This Fourth Generation swore to learn from the errors their sires had made and regulated Kindred proliferation. Each member of this generation was allowed to procreate, but their childer were not. My Marduk was one of these childer; he, as he told me, never gave of his blood to another, and none of the Kindred of the Fifth Generation were suffered to live if they did, and neither were their unhappy progeny.

The Gods of the Fourth Generation ruled supreme in their respective cities. Marduk was the God of mighty Babylon, and the great king Hammurabi himself was his protege. My Marduk was his ambassador at Ninive, which was a city belonging to Inanna.

At that time, a side line of Kindred who were in league with demonic powers rose in the south; they were the sons and daughters of a stray Kindred, whom we would term Caitiff, but who may just as well be another survivor of the flood. His name was Bel, later Ba'al, and his progeny was called the Ba'ali.

Another great war soon broke out between the Gods of the Cities and the Ba'ali. In this conflict, the Ba'ali were almost destroyed, but the Gods of the Cities paid a price for their victory - soon, the mortal servants, who had slowly grown in number to an extent even these mighty forefathers of our kind could not easily control, rose against their immortal Gods, who existed among them, and cast them out of the temples in a first rush of iconoclasm. Soon, the Gods were Gods no more and seeked refuge in torpor. Thus the corporeal Gods disappeared from the lives of mankind.

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