- Attributes: Goddess of chaos, creation, salt water and creativity
- Symbols: Dragons, Snakes, Earth, Water, Air, Fire and Metal
- Place: Mesopotamia / Babylon
Many of us have heard of the Goddess Tiamat. Her presence, distorted or not, is usually popular as the mother of monsters or as a dragon with seven or nine heads, and she is always powerful. This Goddess really has a lot of power according to her myth, but a greater interpretation of her is necessary to know her true face.
At first, there was only salt water, and Tiamat, the strength of all elements and chaos, dwelt in it. Some of the legends describe her as a serpent and some as a mixture of Dragon and Woman, but all converge on a truth: She is the mother of everything that exists, even of the Gods themselves.
It is said that at one point Apsu, the personification of fresh water, appeared and took Tiamat as consort. From this union, the first Gods were born: Lachmu and Lachamu, two annoying children who displeased their father. Apsu tried to persuade Tiamat to kill them and thus create heaven and earth, but she did not agree because she loved her children too much, not allowing them to irritate her and forgiving their mistakes.
More gods were born with the passing of the generations and they discovered the plan of Apsu. Due to this they revolted and killed him, causing the wrath of Tiamat. Facing the death of her husband, the Goddess began to fight against her children.
With a new companion, Kingu (also his son), she spawned an army of monsters: venomous clawed serpents, scorpion-men, demon-lions, storm-monsters, centaurs and flying dragons… and set off for combat.
Marduk, one of the younger Gods, was almost swallowed by Tiamat during the battle but he threw a storm into her throat, forcing her to spit him out. Then he shot an arrow of wind against her belly, killing her. Marduk cut the body of the Goddess. The upper half became the heavens and the lower half the earth. Her saliva turned into clouds and her tears shed during execution gave rise to the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Even defeated Tiamat remains alive as the great circle that contains everything, representing nature and life itself.
Tiamat: Goddess of Chaos
Even in a war, Tiamat is not a bad Goddess, nor a dark monster. She is a mother and fought against her children unwillingly. The chaos that she represents is simply the lack of natural order of things and should not be understood otherwise, after all, it is from chaos that order arises.
Some features of the Tiamat myth resemble the myth of another Mother Goddess, the Goddess Gaia. Some symbols, chaos, the creation of heaven and earth and etc are quite related. It’s worth the comparison.
Tiamat is also represented chaotically with various animal characteristics once this symbolizes the union of all existing constellations, while she is the center of the Milky Way. According to the Epic of Gilgamesh, in one of his trips to distant worlds he had the opportunity to meet the “scorpion men”, which seems to be a clear indication of a visit to the constellation of Scorpio and it reminds us Tiamat’s myth: Are the monsters created by her to fight against Murduk the constellations we know today?