The remains of Enlil's temple in Nippur.
The picture was taken from a site that declaired it was copyright free. If anyone disagrees, and feels he/she owns the picture, kindly let me know and I will remove it.
As I am waiting for the onslaught of Hurricane Sandy (aptly renamed Frankenstorm) to hit Manhattan, it occurred to me that it would be a good time to honor the Mesopotamian god, Enlil. His name translates to “Lord Wind” and he was the god of air, wind and storm. His power over the wind ranged from hurricanes to gentle zephyrs, and he was one of the three most important gods of the pantheon, on par with Enki and Ea. Sometimes he was called “Lord of the Air” and in one of the poems he is referred to as “The Roaring Storm.” I am hoping that honoring him on this posting might please him so I won’t have to evacuate. After all, Morticia and Timmy would not like to leave their domain.
For a short time I considered describing Noah and the Flood, and his counterpart in Mesopotamian religion, Utnapishtim, but I decided it would be better to wait and see first if the Great Flood is going to repeat itself. The weathermen, the mayors of all the cities that are about to be hit by Frankenstorm, and the media, are leaning toward forty days and forty nights of rain, but I tend to think they like to exaggerate. So I am staying with Enlil.
Enlil was an interesting character. He was not above raping (or seducing, some say) a nice young grain goddess, but one must give him credit – after being rebuked and punished by the other gods, he did marry her and they lived happily ever after and had five sons. Apparently she followed him to his place of punishment – the underworld – and gave birth there to their first son, so I imagine it really was seduction, not rape. The grain goddess’ name was Ninlil and she was as beautiful as the moon.
When in a good mood, Enlil could be very kind to humanity and give them many gifts. He was the inventor of several useful things, including agriculture, but sometimes he liked to smite people and bring on serious disasters. The aforementioned Great Flood was his doing in Mesopotamia, while Yahweh took the credit in the Hebrew Bible, so you can see he worked on a large scale. He was the owner of the “Tablets of Destiny,” and these Tablets gave him power over the entire universe, as well as humanity, the ghosts, and the demons. He wore an elegant crown with horns as a symbol of his power, and was the patron of the city Nippur, where he had a most impressive
temple, called é-kur, the "Mountain House."
When Enlil retired, he passed on his powers to Marduk, but that is another story. In the meantime, I must go look for a raven and a white dove so they can do their job after the storm is over. I'll need some birdseed too, of course, so I am off to the pet store before