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Tiamat ain't just the mother of the Mesopotamian gods...she's the mother of monsters. Well, 'least the monsters in the Mesopotamian line. It's said that before she died she gave birth to monsters, demons, and all sorts of abominable bastards that run 'round and fuck shit up. Includin', mind ya, the first dragons. Long story short, she's the reason why there's so much supernatural phenomena 'round modern Iraq.
~ John Constantine

The primordial goddess of Babylonian lore.She governs the sea and gave birth to many deities with her consort Apsu, the god of freshwater. When war broke out between her and those gods, she created 11 monsters to fight with her, but they were defeated by Marduk. Her body was ripped apart and used to make the world.
~ The Demonic Compendium.

Tiamat, also known as Tehom, is the Primordial goddess of the ocean, and the salt water which roared as it flowed in the original Chaos of creation. She is also known as the Queen of Chaos and the Mother of Dragons, though she was also once known as an Earth Mother Goddess, though this title has been long forgotten.

Overview

In the beginning, Tiamat and her partner Abzu filled the cosmic abyss with the primeval waters of Chaos. She is "Ummu-Hubur who formed all things". In time, she mated her lover Abzu, the Primordial god of freshwater, and produced the younger deities of the Mesopotamian pantheon.

It is suggested that there are two parts to the mythos, the first in which Tiamat is a creator goddess, through a "Sacred marriage" between salt and freshwater, peacefully creating the cosmos through successive generations. In the second, Tiamat is considered the monstrous embodiment of primordial chaos.

Description

Tiamat has been commonly portrayed as either a sea serpent or a dragon. Her physical description includes a tail, a thigh, "lower parts" (which shake together), a belly, an udder, ribs, a neck, a neck, and several eyes, nostrils, and mouths, as well as insides (possibly "entrails") such as a heart, arteries, and blood.

Her other form is unique, she had one head for each primary color of the most common species of Chromatic Dragons (black, blue, green, red, white). Each head was able to operate entirely independently of each other and had the powers of a member of the respective race of dragonkind. Her body also had traits in common with a Wyvern, including a long tail tipped with a poisonous stinger.

However, there are those who disagree with this depiction of Tiamat, and believe her to have manifested in the form of a radiant and divine woman.

History

Genesis

The Babylonian cosmogony, as outlined in the Enuma Elish and elsewhere, begins in the formless primordial chaos that predated the phenomenal world. In this void, two primeval principles met and intermingled: Tiamat, the "shining" personification of salt water, and Apsu, the male deity of fresh water.

When the Earth was newly born, and the virgin universe was still in its early stages of forming around chaos, Tiamat came into formation when the elements of Chaos fell and mixed with the salt water to create the primordial goddess. The darkness that would be the space between the material is viewed by the ancient Babylonians being beneath the primordial oceans represent the chaotic blackness that would be mentioned several times in biblical lore.

Tiamat and Apsu came together in a perfect union of duality between chaos and order as salt water and freshwater were opposites of one another in the spectrum. The offspring of the union between these two beings included the earliest generation of Mesopotamian deities, such as the Elder Gods Lahmu and Lahamu (the "muddy"). The gods, in turn, were the parents of the axis of the heavens (Anshar (from An ("heaven") and Shar ("axle or pivot")) and the earth (Kishar), who eventually sired Ea (Enki) and Anu—the two most important deities of their generation.

Contention with the Gods

The Enuma Elish then describes the younger generation of gods, in their zeal to celebrate their material existence, throwing an elaborate party, replete with dancing, laughter, and music. This racket aggravated Apsu, who decided that he could not abide by the noise and chaos of these youthful deities and decided to kill them. Hearing about this villainous plan, Enki (the crafty god) ensorceled the divine patriarch and slew him in his sleep.

When Tiamat was informed of her consort's murder, she flew into a rage and decided to exterminate younger gods once and for all. In her rage, the elder goddess decided to use her generative power for ill, spawning a legion of monstrosities. Tiamat gave birth Eleven Monsters of destruction, which included the first dragons, whos bodies she filled with "venom instead of blood", and made war upon her treacherous children. Two of the gods, Enki and Anu, initially attempted to stand against her wrath, but were repelled by her ferocious forces.

Rise of Marduk

Fearing for their lives, they beseeched Marduk, Enki's powerful son, to stand against the vicious goddess. Once they promised to revere him as "king of the Gods" after his success, the divine hero sallied forth, battled the chaotic goddess (and her minions) and eventually overcame her. After Tiamat was destroyed, Marduk dissected her enormous body and used her remains to construct the cosmos.

Robert Graves considered Tiamat's death by Marduk as evidence for his hypothesis of an ancient shift in power from a matriarchal society to a patriarchy. Grave's ideas were later developed into the Great Goddess Theory by Marija Gimbutas, Merlin Stone and others. This theory suggests Tiamat and other ancient monster figures were presented as former supreme deities of peaceful, woman-centered religions that were turned into monsters when violent. Their defeat at the hands of a male hero corresponded to the manner in which male-dominated religions overthrew ancient society.

Cosmic Corpse of the World

Slicing Tiamat in half, he made from her ribs the vault of heaven and earth. Her weeping eyes became the source of the Tigris and the Euphrates, her tail became the Milky Way, all of which were in the spiritual and metaphysical sense. With the approval of the elder deities, he took from Kingu the Tablet of Destinies, installing himself as the head of the Babylonian pantheon. Kingu, the servant of the saltwater goddess, was captured and was later slain, so that his red blood could be mixed with the red clay of the Earth to make the bodies of the first humans. From a philological perspective, Hansen notes that these transformations are more homologous than alchemica.

The roof of the Babylonian cosmos would be the upper half of Tiamat, just as the Norse sky consists simply of Ymir's unmodified skull. This could mean that quite literally the kingdoms that lay beyond the veil of normalcy and ones that normal humans could not perceive are constructed out of the mutilated bodies of ancient primordial beings who were the preceding rulers of the cosmos.

Consequently, unlike radical transformations, in which the central fact is a permanent physical change, in homologous transformations it is a permanent change of function. Seeing that the ecosystem was already established, there is no need for her, one who designs life randomly, and it is said that regarding the course the lifeforms who acquired intelligence conforms to, she was nothing but an impediment by now. Hereafter, Tiamat's essence was left waiting, lingering across the confines of the Alterworld until she finally has the chance to return.

Personality

Tiamat was originally arrogant, greedy, hateful, spiteful and vain. She never forgave the slight her children committed against her and their father, though she did in time come to hold a dark sense of adoration and proudness for her children as they managed to repeatedly thwart her attempts to eradicate them.

Although at some point she raised and loved her children, which she viewed as her only meaning in life, she later set out to fight against the humans and other living creations of the gods. As a result, they have declared “you are not needed.” Tiamat has explained that her ideology when becoming a this destructive beast is extremely simple; she runs under the extremely primitive system of “If I do not kill humanity, I will be killed.

Power and Abilities

Tiamat, as the Mother of Dragons and a Primordial being of chaos, is among the most powerful entities in existence. She is considered to be the dark counterpart of Gaia, the Greek mother goddess, as the latter birthed the first generation of deities and monsters in the greek pantheon, just as Tiamat birthed the first generation of gods and monsters of the Mesopotamian pantheon, which included the dragons.

Derous, a powerful dragon in his own right, believes that no dragon, no matter their age and experience with their power, could ever hope to match Tiamat, much less even defeat her. He also goes as far as to say that should Tiamat somehow return, she would pose as a near impossible challenge comparable to that of when they faced Lucifer and Satan during the Apocalypse. In the beginning, Tiamat's very presence distorted and warped the weather and the fabric of nature itself, with an aura so heavy and so dense that it could crush mountains make oceans boil.

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