Gold trail

On the trail of eternity

Paradise: the Garden of the Goddess in Eden (in Sumer)

Garden of Eden

By on 13 April 2020

Garden of Eden

Paradise, the Garden of Eden in Sumer

According to biblical tradition, paradise was located between the Euphrates and Tigris rivers, i.e. in Mesopotamia, where the first advanced human civilization, the Sumerian civilization, was established. The Sumerian tradition also tells of a garden which belonged to Inanna, the goddess of love, and in which a very special tree also grew ...

The Garden of Eden, Paradise between the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers

Both the word "paradise" and the term "Garden of Eden" point to the early cultures in Mesopotamia and the areas to the east of it.

Paradise: Persian PARDES for a pleasure or magic garden

The word "paradise" comes from Persian PARDES and means: enclosed area, animal, pleasure or magic garden.
The Jewish tradition, which was incorporated into the Old Testament of the Bible, makes a very specific statement: Paradise was located between the two rivers Euphrates and Tigris[1] (today's Iraq).

The Garden of Eden: Sumerian GuAn Edin: a heavenly land on the edge of the steppe

The word "Garden of Eden comes from Sumerian lore. GuAn Edin has been translated as "green steppe" or "edge of heaven". But literally the word can be composed of these syllables: EDIN for steppe; GU for earth or land and AN for sky, god or divine. So GuAn Edin can also be translated as: "Divine land in the middle of the steppe".
The word became Hebrew "Gan Eden" and German "Garten Eden".

Paradise in the Jewish tradition

Both terms, the Garden of Eden as well as Paradise, became a concept or archetype for a place of harmony and abundance. Just as a garden oasis on the edge of the hot, arid steppe must appear to the weary wanderer as a paradisiacal place where he experiences cooling and refreshment, .

Mesopotamia, part of the Fertile Crescent

Thousands of years ago a wide green valley

At that time, the two rivers Euphrates and Tigris flowed through a green, fertile valley called Mesopotamia. Here was the centre of the advanced civilisations of Sumer, Akkad and Babylon. The Sumerian culture was the first. Its beginnings date back to around 6000 BC.

Together with greened Egypt on the banks of the Nile and the eastern Mediterranean, the early cultures of Mesopotamia formed a green belt. This is called "the fertile crescent" and is considered to be the cradle of human culture.
For this purpose, see this illustration:

Fertile crescent

Paradise as the Garden of the Goddess 

The Garden of the Goddess in Eden

Sumerian mythology, more than 5000 years old, tells the life of Inanna, the goddess of love. She had a garden in which a special tree (a "huluppu" tree) grew. This tree, according to the Babylonian interpretation of the Sumerian tradition, was cut down prematurely by the hero Gilgamesh ... 

[S. The Sumerian creation story ("In the first days ...", Prologue I) and Inanna's tree in the Garden of Eden (Episode 1).]

The Song of Songs by Solomon

The woman's womb as a paradisiacal garden

In the Song of Songs, in King Solomon's Song of Love, the connection is already made between a pleasure garden and a woman's womb. It is described as a place of fragrant balsamic oils, a fountain, a refreshing spring.

A garden with a spring

A closed garden is my sister, my bride,
a closed well, a sealed spring.
What arises from you is a pleasure garden of pomegranate trees with delicious fruits, henna bushes with nard, nard and saffron, spice cane and cinnamon with all kinds of incense, myrrh and aloe
with the very best balsam bushes.
A garden spring you are, a well of running water
and water flowing from Lebanon.
Wake up, north wind, and come, south wind!
Let my garden be fragrant, let its balsamic oils flow!
My beloved come to his garden and eat its delicious fruits! [2]

A wall and a door

We have a sister who is small and has no breasts yet.
What shall we do with our sister on the day she is wooed?
If she is a wall, we will build a silver battlement on her.
But if she be a door, we will shut it with a cedar board.
"I am a wall, and my breasts are like towers.
But now I am before him as one offering peace."[3]


Paradise as the female womb 

Source of life and love

The woman has to give love, life, joy and refreshment with her womb. By letting her beloved into her "garden", into her womb, she gives herself completely. She gives herself away with body, soul (her womb as a source of new life; the terms life and soul are used synonymously in many languages) and spirit (her love; see The Woman's Womb as a Miracle-working Grail and The Woman, 3-in-1).

John Bauer: Lena and the Knight (the goddess and her hero)

The Goddess of Love, the Land and the Hero King

The Promised Land

The first traditions are already about love and life, which is the goddess. She dwells hidden in the woman and is the land and the treasure which the chosen hero-king can win (see The Woman as Goddess and Her Hero-King, Parzival and the Fairy Tale The Ironman (Introduction)).

Oppression by the unjust ruler

Likewise, however, the first traditions thematize the drama that occurs when this land is illegally conquered and thus comes under the rule of a despotic ruler. (This one takes instead of surrendering and is symbolized by the god of the air or the Anti-Christ. On this theme, the Babylonian epic of Gilgamesh tells the story of the long and rocky road of the evil ruler to the good king).

The death and resurrection of love

The underworld: dead love as Fall of Man or "Original Sin

Thus, the first traditions also deal with the death and resurrection of love. This applies not only to the couple relationship, but always has a collective dimension. It is told that the Great Feminine, life itself , has fallen into the underworld and thus into negativity, illness and death (see also "Ereshkigal, Mistress of the Underworld").

This is the deeper meaning of the Fall and the curse on man, also called original sin. Thus, the died love and the loss of wholeness as expulsion from paradise are already a central theme in the first traditions up to the fairy tales and modern stories (such as Sleeping Beauty and Maleficent or The Lord of the Rings).

Resurrection of love

However, all the great traditions tell of the true hero who overcomes all obstacles in the power of love, finds the virgin and wins the kingdom and eternal life with her.

These are symbols of the heroic path of man, in which it is a matter of overcoming the enemy (the ego) in the power of loving consciousness ("king") and integrating the shadows on the way through the realm of the dead (the underworld). Through this victory of love (Virgin), the hero and heroine attain wholeness(Holy Wedding), authority over matter and eternal life.

Love is the highest good
Pure, unencumbered love must be preserved and protected, for it is a treasure more precious than gold. It is paradise and a source of eternal life.


[1] Bible, Old Testament, 1st Book of Moses, Chapter 2, 14

[2] Bible, The Song of Songs (Song of Songs by Solomon), Chapter 4:12-16

[3] Bible, The Song of Songs (Song of Songs by Solomon), Chapter, 8,8 - 10

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