A Journey through Mesopotamian Magick and Beyond
By Jan Fries

The Seven Names of Lamastu is an exploration of the religions and mysteries of the cradle of civilisation, Mesopotamia by Jan Fries, author of Kali Kaula and Dragon Bones. The Sumerians developed the first functional script (3500-3200 BC), the priests wrote god lists, dictionaries, catalogues, recorded spells, myth and poetry – and committed the first known medical prescriptions and rituals into writing. In the centre of their faith lurks the lustful animal-headed goddess DIM.ME/Lamaštu , exiled from Heaven for her forbidden desires, and charged by the council of Gods with a fearsome task: to cull the vulnerable and keep the human population within manageable limits. For all but a few, her name conjured terror in the hearts of Mesopotamians.

Jan Fries seeks to redress the balance, by showing that this rebellious goddess, so demonized by superstitious folk and modern academics, is an essential expression of the divine. Lamastu’s numerous, but rarely discussed, positive attributes bring her into focus. She is a victorious goddess, who listens to prayers, haunts both swamps and the mountain forests she loves, banishes lethal spirits, helps with the birth of wild animals and adopts stray piglets and puppies. She is a sacred woman, a priestess and a midwife to her brothers, the gods.

This is a modern translation of the famous Lamastu Series, with commentary, which can be used as a dictionary and travel companion through the earliest form of religion and sorcery. It is a journey that takes us through the rise and fall of empires, the changing status of women, Sacred Marriage, everyday rituals, sacrifice, divination, ritual training, conjuration, banishment, vengeful magic, spells and counterspells, dream-magic, the dawn of science, medicine and ritual music – with teachings on how to build your own civilisation using only rivers, reeds and clay. Lamastu takes us from a lion-headed Stone-Age statuette in Central Europe all the way to China. Identified with the goddesses Lilitu and Ardat Lili by the end of the second millennia, she emerges in medieval Spain as the modern Lilith. In the Arabian desert her counterpart is the dreaded Ḳarīna, in ancient Greece, she becomes the Lamia. She inspired the artwork of the Gorgo Medusa, connects with hundreds of terrifying and deadly “mothers” in India, and becomes the dreaded Albasti/Lobasta in Turkey and China. In China, she is closely related to the tiger-fanged Daoist goddess Xiwangmu, the goddess Guimu (Mother of Ghosts) and the Buddhist deity Harirī.

The book concludes with the mysteries, meditations and practical rituals of Siṁhamukhā, the Lion-headed Goddess of Hindu and Buddhist Tantra, and a set of innovative, syncretistic meditations and trances based on the Seven Names of Lamaštu.

Child of Heaven.
Watchful One of the Gods of the Streets.
Oathbound, Free to Fly.
Seven names of an ancient goddess. Seven names to remember.

2017, 580 pages. Hardback laminate, paperback & Kindle editions available.
ISBN 978-1-910191-04-0
B&W 8.5 x 11 in or 280 x 216 mm Perfect Bound on White w/Gloss Lam

ISBN 978-1-910191-05-7
B&W 8.5 x 11 in or 280 x 216 mm Case Laminate on White w/Gloss Lam

The Seven Names of Lamastu by Jan Fries

  • Rites of thanksgiving
    Time and space
    Swampland mysteries
    Marvels of irrigation
    City people
    Inventing cuneiform
    Early Sumerian religion: fertility cults, dying gods, sacred marriage or what?
    God lists
    The nature of the gods
    Religious specialists
    A fast journey through Mesopotamian history

    The Lamaštu series
    This compilation: sources, scholars and the problem of evil
    Face values and hidden meanings
    First part of the Lamaštu series
    Second part of the Lamaštu series
    Third part of the Lamaštu series
    Supplement to ls iii, 105
    Lamaštu: origins what’s in her name?
    A cluster of Dimme’s
    Lamaštu: iconography
    Pigs and dogs
    Anu’s daughter
    Lamaštu and sorcery
    Diagnosis by bubbles, flames and dreams
    Medical textbooks
    Diagnosis and treatment
    Placebo medicine
    Meet the conjurers
    The training of a conjurer
    Lamaštu diseases
    Heat and shuddering: a magical interpretation
    The hands of the gods
    Inseminating yourself
    Waters from Eridu
    Knot magic
    Maths, star-gazing, and sacred numerology
    God numbers
    A sacred calendar
    Sacred music
    Lamaštu: diaspora
    In the wake of the winds
    Inventing a goddess
    The making of a myth
    Appeal for Ištar
    Goddesses, with and without feathers.
    In the hands of Ereškigal
    Close cousins
    Living in a tree
    Riders of the gale
    Lilû diseases
    Holidays in Edom
    The amulet of Arslan Tash
    Lilith in Talmud and Midrash
    Incantation bowls from Nippur
    Lilith reloaded
    Lilith the seducer
    Sisters of Lilith
    Child slayer
    Family affairs
    Our lady of crisis
    Names of Lilith
    From Lamaštu to Lamia
    Tiger goddesses of China
    Albasti and āl: across Asia
    Indian mothers
    The lion-faced goddess
    The seven names of Lamaštu:  innovative trances and meditations
    Meditations, trance and magick
    Short glossary: priestly offices, temples and cities

  • The author of Kali Kaula, Dragon Bones, Manasa and Neta, and The Seven Names of Lamastu, Jan Fries is one of the leading magickal authors of the 21st century. Jan is known for his exciting and practical works, and the breadth of scholarship with which he infuses them.

    He lives and works in Germany.