Astrology 4000 years ago was just as popular as it is now. But when you had your Mercury Retro fuq-ups you had to etch discontent into stone.
“…Take cognizance that (from now on) I will not accept here any copper from you that is not of fine quality. I shall (from now on) select and take the ingots individually in my own yard, and I shall exercise against you my right of rejection because you have treated me with contempt.”
This tablet is from nearly 4000 years ago, found in the ruins of Ur, a major city-state in what was Mesopotamia but is now Iraq. Some historians say it was once the largest city in the world.
The chief deity in this place was “Sin” – their Moon God. He had a beard made from lapiz lazuli and rode on a winged bull. Bulls were everywhere then – in some astrological theories that era was the Age of Taurus. The Queens of Ur had ornate lyres upon which was a bull.
The Moon Gods partner was more associated with the Sun and her name was “Ningal” – which means “Great Lady”. Ishtar/Inanna (represented by the planet we now call Venus) was one of their children.
The City Of Ur Had Astrologers, Spies, Terrace Housing And Priestesses
Ur had sanctuaries, astrologers, poets, cosmologically designed gardens, spies, shrines, terrace housing, cats and priestesses.
Ur means “city of light” and it is the city where we found the world’s oldest known astrological text: Enuma Anu Enlil. Their version of Mercury was called Nabu, the God of Water, Wisdom + Writing. No doubt somewhere in these still yet to be totally translated writings is a reference to Mercury/Nabu Retrograde.
And well, Mercury Retrograde and/or bad help happen in any century but imagine dealing with it when the complaint had to be etched into rock and delivered. Every time I see evidence of magic and ancient cities with priestesses or reverence for cats, I think of how anti-fragile a certain style of being is. Astrology 4000 years ago reminds us that somethings remain essentially the same.
Image: British Musuem