Gold trail

On the trail of eternity

The expulsion from paradise in the traditions

By on 5 October 2021

Abandonment from Paradise

The expulsion from paradise by the cultures

Significant archetypes: The Woman, the Garden, the Man and the Serpent

The story of the expulsion from paradise goes back to the Sumerian tradition over 5000 years ago. This was then taken up by subsequent cultures and exerted a considerable influence on Babylonian, Jewish and Christian tradition. The central archetypes of this narrative are: the woman, the man, the garden, the tree and the snake.

From Sumer via Babylon to Judaism and Christianity

Sumer and Babylon

The Sumerian culture was the first advanced human civilisation and lasted from about 6000 B.C. to 2300 B.C. The intermingling of the Sumerians with Semitic immigrants gave rise to the Akkadian Empire under Sargon of Akkad, which in turn merged with the Babylonian Empire. The Babylonian ruler Hamurabi I had the oral Sumerian traditions, which were over 1000 years older, written down on clay tablets around 1800 BC. They were later incorporated into the Gilgamesh Epic (ca. 1500 to 1000 BC).

Reception by Judaism and Christianity

When the Jews were in Babylonian captivity around 500 BC, they edited and reassembled their traditions. It can be assumed that they had access to the older Babylonian sources on clay tablets, because many of their stories contain the same archetypes as these. Unlike the Babylonians, however, the Jews consistently interpreted the contents from the perspective of faith.

The Jewish traditions then flowed into the Bible.

The expulsion from paradise in the traditions

King and queen with branch (stele of Ur-Nammu)

Sumer: the Garden of the Goddess in Eden

[See also The Garden of Eden, Paradise: in Sumer!]

The relationship drama of the goddess of love

It is clear from the Sumerian mythology that it is a relationship drama between MAN and WOMAN that takes its course. The story begins when the young woman realises that her tree is occupied by strange beings of power. She is no ordinary woman, however, but the goddess of love, Inanna (from Sumerian Nin = goddess and AnNa = from heaven).

In the Tree of Life: Power through Robbery

The beings that occupy the tree are truly terrifying: the SNAKE, which cannot be tamed, nests in the roots, the trunk is inhabited by LILITH, the dark maiden, and above all - enthroned in the crown of the tree is the lion eagle. It was the heraldic animal of Sumerian rulers and unites in its form the two most dangerous predators of the air and the earth, namely the eagle and the lion. All three creatures are associated with drive and power.

Lion eagle, 2500 BC.

The felling of the tree

No wonder Inanna wants to get rid of the creatures in her tree. She has also planned to make her throne and bed out of its shiny wood. So she seeks help and finds it in her cousin Gilgamesh. He enters her garden in his mighty bronze armour and unceremoniously cuts down the tree with his axe. He cuts off the head of the serpent, Lilith flees to barren lands and the lion eagle rises from its nest with its young and flies into the mountains.

Gilgamesh - Hero King of the Goddess and Tyrant of Uruk

Inanna then makes Gilgamesh her king. But he does not stay with her, but brings much suffering upon the maidens, wives and mothers of Uruk.

The rest of the Sumerian lore is about the couple's long journey back to lost love.

[S. TheSumerian mythology of Inanna, the goddess of love.]

Gilgamesh Epic and Sargon of Akkad

Babylon: the Gilgamesh Epic

The heroic path of the king from tyrant to good king

The Babylonian Gilgamesh epic revolves around King Gilgamesh. The epic has been overwritten and rewritten several times. The more recent versions glorify the tyrant who takes what he wants and stops at nothing. The wild man has been civilised by a whore and Ishtar, the Babylonian goddess of love, is also called a whore by Gilgamesh.
But the symbols tell a different story. They describe the king's journey from ruthless despot to repentance due to the realisation of his transgressions. 

[S. Introduction to the Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh.]

Weighty archetypes based on Sumerian lore

The same archetypes also play a role in the Babylonian tradition. archetypes play an important role. It deals with the felling of a specific tree, the tall cedar and other trees. It also includes the goddess of love, other women, a fight against lions and monsters ... Only the archetypes are reinterpreted: instead of the woman, a man, the ferryman, now steers over the waters of death. And a flooded city in Sumerian mythology becomes a huge flood and the encounter with the man who survived the great flood and was raised to the status of the gods. It is to him that Gilgamesh wants to ask about the secret of eternal life.

[S. The Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh.]

Judaism: Adam and Eve's expulsion from paradise

Adam and Eve and the Expulsion from Paradise

The same archetypes

The Jewish tradition as an interpretation of the older sources also describes the expulsion from paradise as a drama in which man and woman are involved and uses the same archetypal symbols. These are:

  • THE MAN, "Adam" (= "from earth")
  • THE WOMAN, "Eve" ("the mother" or "the queen of the earth")

The expulsion from paradise

The drama takes place in a paradisiacal GARDEN in which there are several trees. In keeping with the fact that it is about a man and a woman, or more precisely about the two elemental forces male and female, there are also two special trees in the middle of the garden. two special treesthe tree of life and the tree of knowledge.

The ban

And above all is the prohibition to eat of the FRUIT of the tree of knowledge. Man and woman, manoeuvred into mistrust and confusion by the SNAKE, disregard this prohibition. The consumption of the forbidden fruit has fatal consequences for all mankind, because paradise and eternal life are lost.

[S. The Fall Report.]

The Expulsion from Paradise and its Archetypes

Common archetypes from Sumer to the Bible

So the archetypes that play a role in all these cultures as core human themes are a woman, a garden with a tree, a snake and a man.

Let's look at this in detail:

The garden

The woman's womb as a pleasure or magic garden

The word "Garden of Eden" comes from the Sumerian GuAn Edin and can be translated as: "Land (GU) of the gods (AN) in the midst of the steppe (EDIN)".
The word paradise comes from Persian PARDES and means: enclosed area, animal, pleasure or magic garden.

Both terms, "the Garden of Eden" as well as "paradise", have to do with a place that, like a garden oasis in the middle of the hot, arid steppe, promises cooling and refreshment to the weary wanderer. In this way, the man also finds new vitality in the woman for the harshness of daily reality (s. The woman's womb as the grail).

The bride as a closed garden

King Solomon wrote in his "Song of Songs" (full text: Song of Songs , 4, 12 - 16):

A closed garden is my sister, my bride,
a closed well, a sealed spring.
What you will find is a pleasure garden of pomegranate trees with delicious fruit

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!

[S. The Garden of Eden, Paradise: in Sumer!]

The tree as a symbol of life

Life between heaven and earth, spirit and matter

Tree of Life

The tree is a symbol for life on earth with its roots in matter and in the unconscious (under the earth, in the "underworld"), with its branches and fruits "in heaven", in the realm of spirit. Life takes place between heaven and earth, spirit and matter. The trunk that connects the two realms symbolises life.

[S. The World Tree or Tree of Life.]

Two trees in Jewish tradition: love and life

According to Jewish tradition, there were two trees in paradise. They symbolise the female and the male spirit. The tree of knowledge represents the female side of the spirit, love, while the tree of life represents the male side of the spirit, life. After love has died and with it access to the all-embracing spirit, (eternal) life has also fallen out of reach.

[S. The Two Trees in Paradise and the Forbidden Fruit.]

Two figures are associated with the tree and its fall in traditions: the snake and the dark maiden. They symbolise the instinct that occupies life (s. The snake in the head - the reptilian brain).

In detail:

The Serpent and the King's Treasure

The snake that cannot be tamed

The naked drive

The serpent is said to dwell in the roots of the tree. The area below the surface of the earth, i.e. the underworld, symbolises the realm of the body, matter and the unconscious. This is where the serpent is at home (see . The third eye and the treasure of the king).

The unconscious

It cannot be tamed. This means: it is completely inaccessible to consciousness. Thus it symbolises the naked drive that cannot be controlled by reason and will stop at nothing. It must be overcome by love (s. Life and the snake: ascent and descent.).

The man - "Adam" - from earth: wild strength

In the traditions it is often the case that the man is strong and wild. He comes from the earth, which means that he is "at home" in the realm of the body and matter. However, he must learn to control his drive and sets out on the hero's path to use his strength for good. Thus he occupies the realm of the soul and spirit. Depicted in traditions by winning his "goddess", namely princess and the love of the virgin as the victory prize and with her the promised land, i.e. kingship.

[S. The Way of the Man and the Masculine into the Spirit.]

The Woman - "Eve" - Mother and Queen of Life

Women's power and responsibility

The woman who carries life in her womb has a great power and a great responsibility, namely the task of protecting life and love.

[S. The Feminine Way / The Woman's Way;
The Woman's Heroic Way - Preserving Love;
Mary Magdalene and the Woman as Hero].

The dark virgin: the female (negative emotional) drive

Lilith, Queen of the Night (Burney Relief)
If the woman has been hurt with her love, then there is a danger that she lives power out of negativity (frustration, revenge) and abuses even her body for this purpose. This happens when she is in negativity and in the grip of her inner shadow man(pain body).


The name comes from Sumerian ITU = dark and the LIL = wind, thus dark wind. The wind(god of air or wind) is a symbol of stormy macho masculinity seeking power. (Fig. right: Burney relief, Babylon, c. 1800 BC).

[S. Lilith.]

The expulsion from paradise: Power instead of love

Conclusion: Man corrupted by the spirit of power

Separation from wholeness

It boils down to the fact that man in the grip of lack and mistrust is corrupted by the negative spirit of power. Power, however, separates him from love and wholeness.

[S. God, wholeness, 3-in-1, male and female.]

The fallen love

The Knowledge, in other words, love has fallen, says the tradition, and with it life itself has fallen out of reach (see The Great Original Sin).

The way back leads via the hero's path and the trial by fire to the integration of the shadows. By integrating his unconscious, man experiences healing, that is, salvation or wholeness. This is symbolised in the traditions by the holy wedding.

We continue with:

The great original sin
The account of the Fall
The expulsion from paradise as a collective drama

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