Babylonian eclipses and the animated world

Over here at Primal Derma we count ourselves lucky that you are with us and reading about ancient culture and the thread to modern times. But Babylonian eclipses? Cuneiform? What is cuneiform? And what does this have to do with skincare?

If you didn’t know, cuneiform is the script that Sumerian, Babylonian, and Assyrian culture used to write with. Using a stylus and pressing into wet clay formed into slabs that dried into tablets scribes made wedge-shaped depressions that we are fortunate to now be able to read.

The tablet here (I was lucky to see this display at the Morgan Museum in New York) is somewhere between 2100 to 2300 years old and speaks of the protocol when eclipses happen. The Babylonians were astonishing astronomers and had quite complicated math and so they knew a surprising amount about the progression of celestial bodies.

When the eclipse happens dirges, the mournful and pleading songs, are to be sung. But these dirges are to be sung to the rivers and to the fields. Normally when we sung we sing to someone. But the Babylonians were treating the fields and the waters as living beings that could hear and respond to their pleas. In this protocol there is this abiding sense that their very lives, at the moment of the eclipse, relies on the fields and the waters.

The world has been deanimated. It is so common that we see the world simply as resources to extract. But the Babylonians begged for their lives with a mournful prayer to the world because their lives were dictated by the fields and waters. And while the songs may have been heavy hearted there can be no doubt that they were beautiful so as to induce the fields and waters to listen.

Primal Derma is an expression of our understanding that not only is the world alive but that our lives and wellbeing depends on the world being alive too. Cows grazing exclusively on grass is good for the soil and the earth. And making Primal Derma is a handmade mournful but also life affirming song to how death feeds life.

Over here we pray that you might speak to your land and your water near you as the living beings they are and see what happens when you offer them gifts!

Thanks for walking this old path with us.

And if you need any Primal Derma to keep remembering and taking care of your skin…let us know!

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