The Fascinating Balanced Sacred Assyrian Tree of Life

Slab B-23 of the throneroom of Ashurnasirpal II

Dedicated to the noble Prof. Simo Parpola, whose contribution to the Assyrians is not any less than King Ashurbanipal. May Ashur Bless him always.

Everything started on January 17th, 2009, when Shamiram, my sister showed me the article, “The Mesopotamian Soul of Western Culture by Prof. Simo Parpola”. The nine years of waiting to see the Assyrian numbers were suddenly over. I had come across the Jewish numbers in the year 2000 but never had a chance to find the Assyrian numbers. Finally, the numbers associated with the ilāni rabûti (great gods) of the Sacred Assyrian Tree of Life were in front of my very own eyes, shown on the Figure 4 of the mentioned masterpiece article.

Looking at those numbers, I noticed some patterns, so the pre-planned long calculation journey commenced. Deeper calculations led into more amazement, and the moment results displayed real patterns, it was time to inform Prof. Simo Parpola of the possible findings. The very next day, Prof. Parpola responded and wrote the following encouraging words:

“Dear Benjamin,

Many thanks for your message. I think you may have discovered something significant. Your numerological calculations resemble those found in the second-millennium BC esoteric work I.nam.giš.hur.an.ki.a edited and discussed by Alasdair Livingstone (a.livingstone@bham.ac.uk) in his Mystical and Mythological Explanatory Works of Assyrian and Babylonian Scholars (https://www.eisenbrauns.com/ECOM/_2KA0D7D1V.HTM), pp. 17-52, so it is entirely possible that they were already inherent in ancient numerology of the Tree. Perhaps you could have a look at this text and publish your findings in the form of a short article, either on the Internet or in a scholarly journal (JAAS? SAAB?).

Best wishes,

Simo Parpola”

And now, after a challenging year and half of research, meditation, and reviewing my work, the calculations are ready to be published on AssyriaTimes while I shall mention that I am not a scholar, but an Assyrian IT professional with great passion towards the unrevealed knowledge of my beloved Assyrian ancestors.

To ease the understanding of the approach in the calculations, the Tree of Life and Ashur shall first briefly be described as they are the most important aspects of the Assyrian doctrine. After all, King Ashurnasirpal II himself and his mirror image that has passed through the Tree clearly point to these aspects. [Figure 1]

The Sacred Assyrian Tree of Life:

The Sacred Assyrian Tree of Life is the divine knowledge. The Tree is ancient wisdom.

“It is a path for human to become a ’perfect-man‘ (insan kamil)” [1].

The Tree is a bridge between the world and God and His Heaven. It is a ladder to be climbed through ascetic life and a device to receive divine powers and knowledge.

“Tree generally represents the nature of the forces behind Creation on all levels, from microscopic to macrocosmic.” [2]

The significance of the Tree is seen in the ancient world among Assyrians and Egyptians. Jews later on inherited the concept of the Tree, apparently from Babylon, slightly modified it and formed Sacred Teachings of Kabbalah, a Jewish mysticism which means, “Ghabel Alahah”, in English, “Accept God/Receiving”.

The Tree is seen at the second chapter of the Old Testament, and throughout the whole Bible.

"And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil." (Genesis 2:9)

And amazingly enough, even the very last verse of the Bible refer to the Tree of Life.

“Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” (Revelation 22:14)

One is about to discover the secrets because the Assyrians doctrines were guarded as “secrets of heaven and earth” that were passed on to a limited number of initiates only. [3] The use of terms such as, mūdû mūdâ likallim lā mūdû aj īmur, “Let the learned instruct the learned, the ignorant my not see.” And, pirištu ša ilāni rabûti, “Secret of the great gods” resemble the confidentiality of their knowledge same as the Tree of Life in Christianity and Judaism. For example the Kabbalah was kept a secret for centuries, and only Jewish married men over the age 40 were allowed to learn the teachings.

The body of the Assyrian Tree is constructed by nine great gods, all of whom are Ashur’s powers. And Ashur, the creator of himself and the universe is the Almighty God, unseen but existent, Ashur is the source of all manifest divine powers. Ashur could not be known directly neither by human nor even by gods, all of whom he created. His nature is not fully comprehendible, but Ashur is the “sum total” of all gods.

the reconstruction numerical structure of the assyrian sacred tree

The spelling of in Ashur’s name could be analyzed not only as “The Only God” but also as “God is One,” and “The Hidden God”. The winged disk, a symbol of the sun, symbolized him as the infinite ocean of light engulfing the visible world and radiating its brightness into it. [1] Ashur is surrounded by the flames in his insignia.

Ashur

Interestingly, Exodus narrates how Moses sees God as the flames of fire and asks His name:

“And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.” (Exodus 3:2)

“And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?” (Exodus 3:13)

And Lord replies that His name is Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh (Hebrew: היהא רשא היהא). How close the name phonetically could be between Ashur and “Asher”? I strongly believe the three Hebrew letters “Aleph”, “Shin”, “Resh” (רשא) could also be pronounced as “Ashur” as the same case implies to the modern Assyrian language.

He is the same God, the God of Assyria, of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob. His name is Ashur, and hence the monotheistic religion of Assyria.

“The Assyrians were monotheists before Christ and Christians after him, and the past therefore led on to the present without a break.” [4]

The nine powers of Ashur (the great gods) each have a name, number, and function.

the great gods

And if one is curious to ask why nine, the answer would be, the Assyrians believed nine was an optimum number. Systems built based on nine, mysteriously and magically were more optimum. And to support the idea, some traces of nine shall be mentioned, for instance, nine planets in our solar system, nine levels of angels, the highest single digit number, nine ministers in the ancient “Assyrian Cabinet”, nine levels of priesthood in the Assyrian Church, and nine natural months of pregnancy for human being.

The Tree has three pillars. Strikingly similar to the Christianity the Trinity is the basis of the Assyrian doctrine. Assyrians believed in Ashur to be the father, Mullissue/Ištar the mother, and the son who was the King of Assyria sent upon man for his salvation. It is no wonder Assyrians converted to Christianity as a nation in early years of the first century AD and welcomed Jesus in their hearts so quickly, and no wonder Tatian, the Assyrian taught the Holy Trinity in the second century to the Greeks.

The winged disk displayed in the [Figure 4] is similar to Ashur, but she is Ištar, the mother representing the love, spirit, and energy.

"The portrayal of the Word of God as a female entity in Judaism (Shekhinah) has a parallel in Mesopotamia: Ištar as the Word of God. In the Assyrian oracles, called the 'words of Ištar,” the goddess speaks as the mother aspect of the supreme god, but can also be viewed as god’s 'spirit’ or 'breath,’ which resides in the heart of the prophet, inspires him or her, and speaks through his or her lips, thus being the functional equivalent of the Biblical 'Spirit of God’ (the 'Holy Spirit’). It should be noted that the Biblical Holy Spirit was likewise originally female, and the masculine gender of the Christian Holy Spirit (the third Person of the Trinity) is only the result of a relatively late (4th century) development. Thus, in both cases, the word of God is viewed as a female entity that unites with a human: with the prophet in Assyria, and with the Zaddiq in Jewish mysticism. The Christian Holy Spirit has been equated with the Old Testament prophetic Spirit since the early second century and made explicit in the formulation of the Nicene Creed (4th century): 'We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who … has spoken through the prophets.’” [5]

In our modern Assyrian language, the Holy Spirit “Rookha d’ Ghoodcha” is female in gender.

A close look at Ištar shows her arms shaped as a cross, and hands pierced with nails. Who else’s arms where shaped like a cross and hands pierced during history except Jesus, the son of male God and female Holy Spirit?

ishtar with pierced hands

Ištar, being all energy has been associated with rainbow, and she was God’s weapon against sin and death. [1] Undoubtedly, Ashur holds a bow in his insignia, and the bow ends in flames of energy.

About two weeks ago, while studying Ištar and rainbow as her weapon, this idea suddenly came to me that until this day, we, the modern Assyrians call rainbow, “Gheeshti Maran”, it would translate to “Bow God” or “My Bow, God”. The term “Maran” in the modern Assyrian language is used to refer to Jesus and God.

Now we could also conclude the name of Al-Ghoosh, the current Assyrian village located in the heart of Assyria (Nineveh), has also been driven from the two words, “Alaha” meaning God, and “Gheeshta” meaning “bow”.

On the reconstructed numerical Assyrian Tree, Ištar is centered and she is the only one who interacts with all other gods/powers. Most likely due to her nature, she is the medium between all interactions taking place between the powers. [Figure 2]

Isn’t it interesting that the symbol of “love” is the center of the Tree, and it is “love” that plays the role of the medium?

"God is Love" (1 John 4:8)

Back to our brief description of the Tree, the Sin, Šamaš, and Adad are placed on the left pillar, the Anu, Ištar, and Nergal in the middle, and the Ea, Marduk, and Ninorta to the right. Detached and on the top of the Tree, Ashur is being seen as the God. The Nergal, king of earth, at the root of the tree represents the physical world we live in. The other gods are the celestial powers.

Numerical Tree:

Prof. Parpola in “Monotheism in Ancient Assyria” writes:

“A closer study of the ‘numerical tree’ reveals that considerations of harmony and balance also played a role in its planning. The numbers of the middle column, when added up, yield 30, the median number of the sexagesimal system, which beautifully agrees with the position of the column between the two rows of symmetrically decreasing tens to the right and left. At first sight, the left and right columns seem to upset the numerical balance of the ‘tree,’ the numbers on the left being consistently smaller than those on the right. However, taking the left-hand numbers as negative, each pair of opposite tens yields the same ‘number of balance’ (30) as the middle column: 60 – 30 = 30, 50 – 20 = 30, 40 – 10 = 30! The right and left ‘branches’ of the ‘tree’ thus balance out each other. The sum of the ‘branches’ and the ‘trunk’ (4 x 30 = 120) added to the total of the individual numbers (1 + 10 + 14 + 15 + 20 + 30 + 40 + 50 + 60 = 240) yields 360, a significant number in Assyrian royal ideology.
The 360 has been a sacred number in Assyria, and the Assyrians based their calendar on 12 x 30 days = 360 days. Fact or fiction, ever since Assyrians stopped using their ancient 360 day calendar, they have not lived life of a happy sovereign nation.

Digital root:

Most of the following calculations are being done based on the digital roots of the numbers. The method is to add all the digits in a number until obtaining the single digit, for example the digital root of the number 360 is nine as 3 + 6 + 0 = 9 and the digital root of 6760 is one.

6 + 7 + 6 + 0 = 19

1 + 9 = 10

1 + 0 = 1

The digital root could also be achieved based on the number associated with each alphabet, for example the digital root of the word “Ashur” in the modern Assyrian language is equal to three.

the digital root of ashur

The number three represents Trinity in biblical numerology. Once again, another supporting idea to the fact that Ashur is God.

Fascinating Balance in the Tree:

The main pattern revealed by calculating the digital roots of the numbers of the Tree strongly demonstrates the sheer fact of existence of balance and harmony. As you can see in the below figures, I tried to approach the Tree from different angles. Each time, the result was mysteriously balanced which left me no other choices except to conclude by admitting to the genius design of the Tree something far beyond a mere coincidence! The following are my findings.

digital roots of the pillars
sum of the prime numbers on each pillar
digital roots of the pillars plus top and bottom numbers
diagonal digital roots of the numbers on the edge
diagonal digital roots of the inside numbers
digital roots of the numbers in the cross path and not on the path
digital roots of the numbers at the top and bottom of the tree compared with the digital roots of the numbers on the inside
even diagonal digital roots of the tree are balanced
digital roots of the three top numbers compared to the digital roots of bottom three numbers
ishtar is involed with all other gods amazingly the division of the sum of all gods by ishtar is equal ishtar
the exclusion of the number 14 world from the rest of heavenly gods is equal to 10

But why people of the ancient world should have emphasized on balance and harmony? Most likely the answer relies in the absolute “perfection” that could only be achieved in the physical and metaphysical world throughout the balance.

“Equation with the tree was a sign of perfection: Gilgamesh, the ‘perfect king,’ was a man who according to the Assyrian spelling of his name ‘equaled the tree of balance.’” [1]

ilāni rabûti, the great gods, played a great role in the life of the Assyrians, the gods, as Ashur’s powers were presented as numbers, as one whole celestial body, as family, as government’s cabinet, and as colors. Thus, Assyrians lived literally among the waves and radiations of Ashur surrounding their daily life, in mathematics, art, religion, literature, and music while trying to achieve Ashur’s perfection.

On a physical level, today, modern human enjoys the life more when balance is established in every aspect of life, and that is the perfection, and lack of balance, imbalance, shall end up in rejection, destruction, and chaos.

Beside the valuable message of balance, I strongly dare to believe the Sacred Assyrian Tree of Life’s wisdom has more to offer. The genius way the numbers are arranged, the Tree must have a real physical application that has been hidden for millenniums. The questions flooding in my mind these days are, is the Tree an optimum matrix? Is the Tree an undiscovered formula in science such as math, physics, chemistry, or even astronomy? The road ahead would be to seek answers to these questions.

Perhaps, one day, if any intelligent application discovered in the Tree, it would be the way to bring the perfection to the world, the perfection and peace that comes from no one except the God, Ashur.

Please visit my Tree of Life website to see my work and more of the findings.

Note of Gratitude:

  • To my sister, Shamriam (Shammuramat) Daniali; none of the above was possible without her knowledge and support.
  • Bet-Nahrain Organization and Dr. Sargon Dadisho for providing remarkably fertile platform and advocating the truth about the Sacred Assyrian Tree of Life
  • Anabell St Vincent of Assyrian Universal Alliance (Australia Chapter) for her help and support
  • Assyriology society around the world, all of whom efforts shall deeply be appreciated and not forgotten by the modern Assyrians

Resources:

  1. Monotheism in Ancient Assyria by Professor Simo Parpola
  2. The Tree of Life Crop Circle Formation by Joseph E. Mason
  3. The Mesopotamian Soul of Western Culture by Professor Simo Parpola
  4. Patricia Crone and Michael Cook, Hagarism: The Making of the Islamic World (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1977), p. 57. On the conversion of Syria and Mesopotamia to Christianity
  5. Lapinkivi 2004, 228Lapinkivi, Pirjo. The Sumerian Sacred Marriage in the Light of Comparative Evidence. State Archives of Assyria Studies 15. Helsinki: The Neo-Assyrian Text Coprus Project 2004.