The Seven Glorious Aphkallhu

In the Simon Necronomicon we can find a beautiful prayer concerning the Seven Aphkallhu.
However, beautiful as this prayer may be, it doesn’t give us much more information about these mysterious figures. This doesn’t mean that they weren’t well-known in ancient Mesopotamia, for they certainly were.

Images of these Seven Sacred Ones have been uncovered in numerous archeological excavations and they come in a variety of forms. On the unearthed walls of ancient palaces of Babylonian and Assyrian kings we find the images of strange human-like creatures with wings and birds’ faces and others that are strangely dressed in fish-like garb. The most famous of these fish garbed humanoids is most certainly the figure of Oannes.

Oannes was a mythical being that one day rose up out of the sea and taught wisdom to mankind.
He is described as having the body of a fish but underneath the figure of a man. During the daytime he rose out of the waters to instruct mankind in various sciences, writing and all other kinds of arts.
Oannes was given his name by the Babylonian writer Berossus in the third century BC.
Oannes is also known as Adapa.

According to Babylonian legend, Adapa was the ancient “wise man” or “sage” (apkallu) of the city of Eridu, reputed to be the earliest city of Sumer. To each of of the other six Apkallu was also assigned an important Sumerian city as we can see in the opening of the prayer given here below.

UR! NIPPUR!
ERIDU! KULLAH!
KESH! LAGASH!
SHURUPPAK SELAH!

Day of Living, Rising Sun
Day of Plenty, gracious Sun
Day of Perfect, Grand Delight
Day of Fortune, Brilliant Night
O Shining Day!
O Laughing Day!
O Day of Life, and Love and Luck!
Seven Oldest, Wisest Ones!
Seven Sacred, Learned Ones!
Be my Guardians, polished Swords
Be my Watchful, patient Lords
Protect me from the Rabishu
O Shining, Splendorous APHKALLHU!

What God have I offended? What Goddess? What sacrifice have I failed to make?
What Unknown Evil have I committed, that my going out should be thus accompanied
by the fearful howlings of a hundred wolves?
May the heart of my God return to its place!
May the God I do not know be quieted toward me!
May the Goddess I do not know be quieted toward me!
May the heart of the Unknown God return to its place for me!
May the heart of the Unknown Goddess return to its place for me!

The Seven Aphkallhu mentioned in this prayer lived before the Flood. And their names and the seven cities from which they were believed to have come can be found in Neo-Babylonian and Neo-Assyrian ritual texts. Unfortunately, our prayer only contains the names of the seven cities.

Of Adapa we know that he was a mortal of godly lineage, being the son of Enki. He brought the arts of civilization to the city of Eridu. When he broke the “Wings of the Southwind”, who had overturned his fishing boat, he was summoned by the supreme god Anu for punishment. Enki warned him to apologize for his actions, but not to partake of food or drink while in the presence of Anu, as it would be the food of death. Meanwhile, the two Gatekeepers, Dumuzi and Ninnghizhidda had interceded with Anu on Adapa’s behalf, causing a change of heart. When Adapa was offered the food and drink he heeded Enki’s advice, and refused. Unbeknownst, Adapa had refused the bread and water of eternal life, which Anu had offered due to his change of heart, thus losing the chance of immortality.

This story is often regarded as an explanatory myth of the mortality of man. In Sumerian language the Seven Aphkallhu are called the Abgal. And next to Adapa, who is also known as U-an, stood the other six sages who are known as, U-an-dugga, En-me-duga, En-me-galanna, En-me-buluga, An-enlilda and Utu-abzu.

These Seven Abgal were greatly revered by the ancient Sumerians and should be honored by the practitioner of the Necronomicon in the form of the prayer that is given in the Book. This prayer should be recited at least once a day, preferably as a morning prayer.

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