Campaign of the Month: February 2017
The Anunna god of the moon and judge of the dead
Sin, the almighty god of the moon, is one of the most revered and respected among the Anunna and one of the most widely worshiped in his time. Keeper of the moon, whose phases govern the tides and the all-important growth of crops, he is also the patron god of cow-herders and one of the judges of the underworld, descending into it at the dark of every moon to sit in state and judge the wrongdoings and merits of the souls that come before him. A light in the darkness and hope in dire straits, he is a benevolent figure well-known for his fair rulings and loving treatment of his wife and children.
Sin and Enlil
One day Sin saw that his city was languishing under ignorance and poverty, unable to compete with the splendid grandeur of the cities where other gods were worshiped. Determined to better the lot of his people, he sent out emissaries to gather the finest offerings and materials from the nearby land and loaded them into a boat, which he set sail in until he reached the temple of his father. Enlil was so impressed by the rich offerings that he threw a feast in Sin’s honor and asked what he might wish in return; mindful of his peoples’ plight, Sin asked that they be granted prosperity and good fortune equal to the rest of the land. Enlil thereafter blessed the area with fertility and fortune, and Sin returned home to inform his people of the good news.
Sin and Ningal
Though Ningal lived in the marshes and reeds of the world, she watched the moon make its progress across the sky and fell in love with its beautiful silver light. Sin, in turn, saw her bathing in the reeds each night and was enchanted by her beauty. When he heard her sigh with longing for him, Sin called out to Ningal to come to him secretly the next evening so that they could meet without their families’ knowledge, too smitten with her to wait properly for marriage. Though he planned to marry her, the gods noticed the secret affair and scolded him for taking a lover out of wedlock and ruining her chances to marry. Chastened, Sin traveled to Ningal’s house to profess his love and ask for her hand from her family, and they were married without delay.
Sin and the Eclipse
Sin’s brightly shining face irritated the demons of darkness, who wished the night to be black so that they could go about their evil business, and consequently they plotted to discover how they could banish him from the sky. Using sweet words and misdirections, they went to Sin’s children, the mighty Ishtar and Ishkur, and convinced them that their father had insulted them and deserved to be punished. Full of rage, the two gods waged war on Sin, attempting to put out the moon with their thunderbolts; seeing this and knowing the cause, however, Enlil sent Marduk to fight at his side and subdue the two until the situation could be explained.