Family Deities: Nammu

Thanks for joining us for another Families Deity! We’re exploring deities that tie into families and family values, or who are important to the family unit or children in some way. This month, we are exploring the life-giving goddess, Nammu.

Who is Nammu?
Nammu is the primeval creator and birth goddess, a goddess of life, of water and also a mother goddess, in the Sumerian pantheon. Essentially without Nammu life would not be. She was the sea and represented the “Apsu” which was the ocean of water that lay beneath the Earth and was the source of life. She gave birth to “An” the sky father and “Ki” the Earth mother and “Enki” creator God and God of wisdom and sweet water.

We find small references to Nammu in ancient writings such as the Creation Epics and in temple hymns and poems. In one text she has been referred to as the power of the riverbed with the ability to produce water and in another poem is named as the mother of all mortal life. The story states that she moulded clay that had been collected by creatures called sig-en-sig-du, brought it to life and thereby had created mankind

Although there are literary sources for Nammu much mystery surrounds her so a deal of information that is held about her seems to come from her counterpart Tiamat from the Babylonian pantheon. Nammu appears to have faded into the background after Enki was born and he seemed to take over his mother’s roles leaving her status as merely as a primordial goddess of antiquity.

Why is Nammu one of our Family Deities?
She is one of the oldest mother deities, she is the ultimate mother goddess, and she is the foundations of life.

Honouring Nammu
To honour Nammu today she could be included in celebrations of birth and on days designated to mothers or by visiting bodies of water as she was the one who gave us the gift of water. She could also be included in World Water Day.

Nammu Correspondences
Her correspondences are anything to do with water, the animals and the plants who live in and around the water and as an offering you could take part in a clean up of a waterway such a beach litter pick.

What are your experiences with this fascinating god? Pop over to our Facebook group and let us know.