The Goddess Lamaštu - a letter from our friend David Tibet

The Goddess Lamaštu Dear Susie and Nick,

Thanks so much for the two gorgeous t-shirts, which arrived yesterday. They are beautiful and beautifully printed, too. I was going to take some photos today of me and Polka wearing them, but the weather is very overcast. Tomorrow promises better, so I hope to do them then, and will send immediately.

I was thinking about Susie’s project’s so-evocative name. You know I study Akkadian and Coptic? There is some terrific literature in Akkadian about terrifying female vampires, especially the Goddess Lamaštu (mother of Pazūzu, the famous demon who you might know from his appearances in the film The Exorcist). I was translating a lot of LAMAŠTU material recently. Here are some pictures of her. In one of them, you see her son Pazūzu is holding the entire tablet. The descriptions of her are so powerful. She was worshipped, of course, in order that she wouldn’t attack the petitioner. I love the lines below—“her hair is hanging in loops” is particularly creepy.

She is fierce, violent, of divine power, terrifying.
She came up from the marshes raging wildly.
Her hair is hanging in loops, her forehead is hard as stone.
A team of horses and a pig go in front of her.

If there is anything I can ever do to help, let me know.

All Love David+++ xxx xxx