Tiamat

A year ago today, on Walpurgisnacht of 2018, I performed a small destruction ritual during which I read an original epyllion I wrote treating the myth of the destruction of the primordial chaos goddess of the saline sea, Tiamat, from a Satanic perspective. Seeing as to how the wheel has once more come round and we find ourselves once again on the Witches Eve, I’m sharing the text of the poem, together with a montage video featuring audio of me reading it, here. For the video, click the link here. I hope you find something in the work that brings you joy. Happy Walpurgisnacht, one and all. Hail Tiamat! Hail Satan!


Summer inevitably burns out into the cooler obsequies of autumn. Until the rigor mortis of winter sets in, and the world turns ice-brittle and frost-thin. Then, spring erupts its chaos of vegetal sex and aerosol fertility. Roofs barely withstand whatever firmament was supposed to hold the waters above at bay’s apparent bursting overhead. 

The month opened with the words of death-cult hypocrites, pretending to celebrate life as they trade “vital existence” for “spiritual pipe dreams.” “Christ has risen,” they say. “Truly he is risen.” Yet the supposed proof of their claim is emptiness: the voided tomb, a barren cross. Not presence, but absence. A season of fertility, of sensual arousal and rebirth, deserves better. 

Now we have the opportunity—here, tonight, on the Witches’ Eve, Hexennacht—to bring the month to a close by having the final say. Since Spring is here—and Spring in North Texas brings rain sufficient to flood fields and perforate houses—let me tell you a tale of primal, chaotic water at the birth of the wild world, from the land between the rivers: Mesopotamia, where, before earth and heaven were formed, there was water, water everywhere, and not a soul to tame it to mere drink.   


In a world of water only, she 

is a still more fluid thing. 

Ocean of the ocean, depth of the deep. 

Tamtu. Tehom. Tiamat. In a world still hot 

from birth, she roils in chaotic mirth, 

smiting with her tail, slapping her thighs, 

sliding her great belly, ribs, and breasts on high. 

The spittle from her mouth is a violent rain. 

Her mighty nostrils flare tempests. 

Her eyes will one day weep 

the Tigris and Euphrates. She 

is the Mother Formant: from her body, 

all things. Yet she chooses to form 

nothing. A great, wet, sucking nothing 

that holds potential for everything. 

She does not shun the light, cowering 

in darkness. No. She is 

the serpentine shadow rising to scuttle ships: 

fear and exhilaration of the fathoms. 

She revels in her far chasms, but not alone. 

Mingling with her, thrust up hard from below, 

is Apsu: fertile sweet water from beneath. He 

is her lover. They are inseparable. Their union 

effortless and eternal. Together 

they craft generations of gods supernal, 

heaven and earth, and the limit of the heavens, 

ends of the earth that meet on the horizon at sea. 

But the younger gods shout in contests 

and shows of strength. Children raise such a ruckus 

that Mother Formant and her Apsu cannot sleep. 

So father calls his vizier to complain: 

“The peace of my world is ruined! I’ll maim 

the nuisance that robs us of our dormancy.” 

“Yes!” plots the vizier. “Lawless is their way indeed!”

But fuming, raging, crying in distress, Tiamat 

exclaims: “How can we butcher what we have birthed? 

They need discipline, not death.”

Of the younger gods who hear this quarrel, Ea-Enki—

who fashioned men’s sickness and breath; 

who confounded the speech of people, sowed division in their midst; 

who taught Atrahasis to build a boat and survive the flood myth—

hatches a plan. The Promethean 

says a spell and sends slumber on his sire and, 

in his sleep, rends the flesh and rips off the crown, 

killing Apsu and leaving his vizier bound. 

Ea-Enki seizes his father’s shrine, makes it his house, 

where his wife, Damkina, bears him a son, 

Amar-Utuk, Solar Calf, Marduk, Mother-Slaying Mighty One. 

With a gift of winds, rash Marduk heaves 

hurricanes to shake the sea. What delicious fun 

as salty old Tiamat grows restless with worry, 

frantic day and night, night and day. Her writhing 

rouses other gods, older gods who implore: 

“For shame! You did not rage when your husband was slain. 

Didn’t raise even a single wave. And now, tossed 

by dreadful winds, we cannot sleep. And you—

you give no thought to fallen Apsu 

or his captive vizier. You lie utterly 

alone. Henceforth, frenzy and alarm 

shall be yours alone as well, you snake! 

Make battle on the upstarts, that ours 

and our father’s vengeance may rest assuaged.”

What fresh fury now cleaves her barnacled brain! 

What pain pulses her demon heart! What anguished 

cries conspire to prize her dread lips apart. 

As she who refused to sanction slaughter 

of her children must now honor 

those same children’s own murderous claim. 

And so, from the only source there ever was 

and still remained—herself—she amasses a host: 

four monster snakes; three beasts of adverse clime; 

lion, scorpion, fish, and bull raised  

to the menace of man almost. And 

for her general, Qingu her son, unskilled 

laborer, Tablet of Destinies for his breastplate. 

Chaos and the proletariat arrayed 

against the would-be king in this awful game. 

Mid-battle, Marduk hurls shame alongside his stormy blasts: 

“Why are you so arrogant and aggressive, Old Mother Snake? 

We are the younger gods! You old myths’ll never last. 

So what if we shout, bring outrage on your old age! I see 

you’ve taken your rabble son for lover, 

raised him far above his fetid rank.”

Hearing this, Tiamat loses reason to rage, 

roaring the fiercest of incantations 

as Marduk lets loose a wicked gale. 

And the evil wind sweeps down her gullet, 

weighs in her belly as no child she ever gave. 

With an arrow, he splits the distended shape, 

casts down the cosmic corpse, 

her fearsome mouth still agape.

He pierces her eyes 

that the great twin rivers might flow. 

Plugs up her nose and leaves the mouth ajar 

that her cooling breath might seep out 

to inspire our weather. Heaps 

mountains on her breasts, bores a well 

into her navel, and weaves 

together the plaits of her tail 

that the structure of the world entire 

might be held on its tether. 

Her lap now holds aloft the heavens; 

her belly, the pleasant loam beneath our feet. 

No part of her body remains her own, 

but is allotted to whereof gods and men claim need.  

Sometimes, though, slivers of the old 

chaos stand out still, like shark’s teeth 

on the sea floor. She rises still 

in the mountain heights, still 

plummets in the depths of ocean, still

reminds us of her ancient sway 

as earthquakes spur the sluggish earth to motion. 

I see her smoldering in the smoking caldera. 

Feel her cold-shouldering in the driving rain. 

Finding these bits of her still untamed, 

I whisper: “Hail Tiamat! Hail Qingu! 

Indomitable Feminine and Hireling Hand! 

May your chaos and conquest forever challenge 

the upstart, adamant ways of man!”     

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