Newsletter, 10 June 2018: 1. The project of the first Zuist temple in Reykjavík; 2. Zuist tax system and charity; 3. Sterile polemics in internet groups

—1. Project for the Ekur of Enlil in Reykjavík to meet the strong growth of Zuism in Iceland

On 29 May 2018 the Zuist Church of Iceland published on their main website the project for the first Zuist temple to be built in Reykjavík. It will be the Ekur of Enlil, literally the “Mount-Court of Enlil” or “Temple-Mount of Enlil”, the place where Heaven meets the Earth. On the same day, the community submitted to the city council the request for the allotment of a plot of land on which the temple will be built.1 Back in January 2018, the Zuists also asked the allotment of a plot of land for the burial of their dead.2

Zuism, that is Sumerian-Mesopotamian Neopaganism, is a scientific religion, based upon the harmonisation of earthly activities with the Heaven (An) and its laws (the gods).3 It is the most ancient religion of humanity, from which most of the modern world religions derive. The Zuist Church of Iceland has gathered around two thousand members in a few years, little less than 1% of the population of Iceland, so that the need for a location where to hold cultual activities and community rites, including baptisms and weddings, has become urgent.4 Between 2013 and 2017, 25 couples were married in the Zuist Church.5

The Mount-Court of Enlil will be structured on three levels: a ground floor and a first floor with spaces for the community, and the temple proper, with the shrine to the deity, on the third level. The temple will host, among other rites, the “beer and prayer” ceremony, which will entail hymns to the god Ninkasi accompanied by ritual drinking of beer.6 Another occasion for celebrations will be Christmas (or, better, Natal), that is to say winter solstice, the Death and resurrection of the shepherd-god Dumuzi/Tammuz, lover of Inanna, who dies in summer and resurrects in winter witnessing that chthonic forces may be defeated. Traditionally, Dumuzi was represented by the tree, which is asleep during winter and reawakens after the solstice demonstrating the victory of life over death. Natal is also the victory of Marduk, the victory of Zeus over Cronus among the Greeks, the Saturnalia and Mithraism among the Romans.7

—2. Zuist tax system and charity

Zuism is the only religion to allow its adherents to decide how to use the taxes which, according to Icelandic law, all Icelanders have to yield to the religious organisation they choose to belong to, or to the state if they do not choose any organisation or choose unregistered organisations. The Zuist principle is implied in the concept of amagi or amargi (literally “return to the mother”), which is itself inscribed in the Sumerian tax system called bala, which among other things acknowledges the risk posed to economies by an unlimited accumulation of debt, so that the latter has to be periodically cancelled.8 Starting in 2018, Zuist members in Iceland will be able to opt to devolve their taxes to the “Ziggurat fund” (Zigguratsjóð), created to finance the works for the temple.9

In 2017, the Zuist Church devolved funds to a number of social welfare organisations: 1.1 million Icelandic crowns were donated to the Circle Children’s Hospital (Barnaspítala Hringsins), 1 million to the Women’s Shelter (Kvennaathvarfsins), and 300 thousand Icelandic crowns to the emergency fund of the UNICEF.10 With the help of its members, according to the leader Ágúst Arnar Ágústsson, the Zuist Church may become a long-term sponsor of such organisations.11

—3. Sterile polemics in internet groups

Recently, the representatives of some Anglo-American internet groups promoting Sumerian-Mesopotamian and Semitic-Canaanite religions have been engaged in spreading misleading informations about Zuism and attacks on Zuists.

The basic mistake they make is to fully identify Zuism with the Zuist Church of Iceland and some of its members (among about 2000 registered members). Zuism, an officially recognised religion under Icelandic law, is a generic term synonymous of Sumerian-Mesopotamian Neopaganism; it is an international religious movement represented by many different people who believe in Sumerian-Mesopotamian religion. It has not to be confused with any institutional formation and with the past history of some members of the Zuist Church.

Zuist websites will not attack these groups, as Zuists are not interested in sterile polemics. Zuism is not antagonistic towards these groups, which include “Garden of Eden”, “Gateways to Babylon”, “Gnostic Temple of Inanna”, “House of Inanna”, “Purified with Cedar”, “Tablet of Destiny”, “Temple of Inanna”, “Temple of Inanna and Dumuzid”, and that which appears to be the largest one, called “Temple of Sumer”, from which the polemic started. Instead, Zuists are interested in harmonious cooperation, especially with spiritually mature and academically prepared people.

Uligang Ansbrandt, the curator of this website ( is an independent Zuist, is not from Iceland, and does not know in person neither the Icelandic leaders of the Zuist Church nor the members of the aforementioned internet groups. His interest is just to publish well-written and academically sourced articles about the Zuist/Sumerian-Mesopotamian Neopagan movement through this website.12


1. Zuism sækir um lóð í Reykjavík., 29 May 2018; Embættisafgreiðslur skrifstofu borgarstjórnar 31. maí 2018 – R18040226. Fundargerðarsíða, Reykjavíkurborg.

2. Fundargerð framkvæmdastjórnar KGRP., 16 January 2018.

3. Ansbrandt, Uligang. Zuist theology – The trinity of An, the seven deities, the word and the measures., April 2018.

4. Zuism sækir um lóð í Reykjavík., 29 May 2018; Populations by religious and life stance organizations 1998–2018. Statistics Iceland.

5. 148. löggjafarþing 2017–2018, Þingskjal 349 — 147, mál. Svar dómsmálaráðherra við fyrirspurn frá Helga Hrafni Gunnarssyni um fjölda hjónavígslna. Skrifstofa Alþingis.

6. Zuism sækir um lóð í Reykjavík., 29 May 2018; Bjór og Bæn., 9 February 2018.

7. Zúistar og jólin., 25 December 2017.

8. Amargi (Endurgreiðsla Sóknargjalda).

9. Zuism sækir um lóð í Reykjavík., 29 May 2018.

10. Zuism styrkir Kvennaathvarfið um eina milljón króna., 8 December 2017.

11. Yfirlýsing frá Ágústi Arnari Ágústsssyni, forstöðumanni trúfélagsins Zuism., 24 October 2017.

12. About Uligang Ansbrandt., 1 January 2018.

Zuist theology – The trinity of An, the seven deities, the word and the measures

Helical model of the Solar System, put forward by DjSadhu and reviewed by the astrophysicist Rhys Taylor. The image is taken from a set made by DjSadhu.


An or Dingir1 𒀭 (Akkadian: Anu or Anum, or Ilu,2 West Semitic: El), literally meaning “Heaven” or “Sky”, is the supreme God of the universe, the supreme Being, the utmost power3 and “prime mover” of creation, and therefore the utmost ancestor of all beings.4 It is “the one who contains the entire universe”.5 He is the father of all star-gods and contains them all. His most visible manifestation from the Earth’s perspective is the north ecliptic pole winded by the constellation Draco (the Dragon, symbol of primordial protean undeterminacy and therefore infinite potentiality).6

Together with Enlil 𒀭𒂗𒆤 (“Wind Lord”; also Nunamnir,7 in Akkadian also simply Bel, “Lord”8) and Enki 𒀭𒂗𒆠 (“Squared Earth Lord”; Akkadian: Ea), An forms a trinity, a threefold conception of the supreme God. In this trinity, An in itself represents the supreme in its state of “transcendental obscurity”,9 while Enlil is its “transcendent” aspect, and Enki is its “immanent” aspect.10 In our theology, “transcendental” may mean, in the wake of the meanings that this term has acquired through German idealism, something that is both transcendent and immanent, that is transcendently active as the energy begetting any immanent being. In this sense, An manifests as the dynamism of Enlil and Enki. They are An’s twofold face.

According to the eminent scholar Simo Parpola, at least in Assyrian theology it is rather Ashur 𒀭𒀸𒋩 or Anshar 𒀭𒊹 (which may mean “Whole Heaven”, “God as Many”, “Flowing One” or “One Flash”) to be the wholly transcendent God, while Anu is the first stage of its process of manifestation in the flesh.11 According to the theology of the Enuma Elish, Ashur, the infinite Heaven, “reflects” itself as Anu in the material universe.12

Scene from an Assyrian cylinder seal representing Enlil and Enki (gods of kingship, as the “mirrored king”) surrounding the tree of life, which has the guise of a pomegranate tree and is the structuration of the supreme God in the flesh, and also in the “perfected man” as the “image of God” (Parpola 1993, pp. 167–168). The winged disk hovering over it is An, or Ashur, the transcendental aspect of God (Parpola 1993, pp. 184–185). The two gods hold a rope which symbolises the keeping of the balance between Heaven and Earth, and the link between them (Gabrieli 2017, p. 77), or the stream of energy, with lightning ends, emanated by the supreme God, source of all wisdom (Parpola 1993, p. 185, n. 93). The winged disk and the rope also represent the north pole in Draco (Didier 2009, Vol. I, p. 259). The eagle-faced and winged figures are the men of wisdom (𒍪 zu), the apkallu or ummanu (court scholars) (Parpola 1993, p. 167, n. 31), in the act of sprinkling holy water (Parpola 1993, p. 165, n. 24). Like eagles (Parpola 1993, p. 198, n. 143), they are able to gaze directly at the Sun of God.

As the transcendently active aspect of An, Enlil is identified with the north celestial pole, that is to say the culmen of the Earth’s axis of rotation, and the culmen of the sky from the Earth’s perspective, which moves in circle through the constellations around the north ecliptic pole. As the transcendently active aspect of An, Enlil is also identified as pure breath or spirit, lil13 𒆤 being the Sumerian concept for the pneuma, the substance of all things, especially in its shifting and moving state prior to coalesce into any shape.14 Lil, and thus Enlil, is also comparable to the Greek concept (later adopted by the Christians) of the logos, the “word” and “order” (also discussed in the next chapter as utu).15

Enki is the supreme power manifest in the Earth, in earthly beings, and in mankind as well through the struggle to emulate Heaven by learning its craft. He rises out of the AbzuNammu 𒀊𒍪/𒇉 (the primordial “Abysmal Matrix”, his mother,16 discussed in the next chapter), mastering its waters to establish the civil world,17 the “squared” Earth (𒆠 Ki). He therefore represents the incarnation of the supreme God in matter (the concrete action of the north pole[s] in shaping matter), and in mankind’s ancestors, founders of blood kinships, of lineages of power-craft. He is associated with semen (and the phallus), the life-giving male power coming from the “channelled” waters of the Abzu.18

In Zuist theology, therefore, Earth is necessary for the manifestation of Heaven. The idea of “cosmos”, of ordered world, is indeed expressed by the compound Anki 𒀭𒆠, “Heaven–Earth”.19 This is also highlighted in mythologising, by the fact that An’s vehicle (of manifestation) is Damkianna, the “Lady of Earth and Heaven”, another name of Ninhursag 𒀭𒊩𒌆𒉺𒂅 (the “Lady of Mountains and Valleys”), who is identified as the constellation closest to the north pole, the Little Dipper (or Small Chariot, or Little Bear), in Sumerian called, the “Chariot of Heaven”.20

The three aspects of Heaven are also identified with three concentric rings of the physically visible sky from the Earth’s perspective, and with the star-gods (constellations) moving within these rings, drawing the scheme of time (the calendar).21 The three aspects of Heaven, and their three skies, are also associated to a colour symbolism. The inner sky of An as Enlil is conceived as red, white and black,22 representing the threefoldness withheld in potence in the transcendent supreme God. These three colours are together known as luludanitu. The middle sky is lapislazuli-blue, the colour of Inanna, and the outer sky of An as Enki is jasper-green.23

Mapping of the three sky bands associated with the three faces of the supreme God. The names just below the Roman numbers are the months, according to the nomenclature of Nippur (acknowledgedly the best Mesopotamian calendar); the mul are the associated “stars”.

① The inner or northern sky, nearer to the north pole, is the “Path of Enlil”, with Enlil himself identified as MULApin (“STARPlough”, that is Triangulum in modern astronomy, whence the god’s association with the invention of agricultural tools24) and his female consort Ninlil 𒀭𒊩𒌆𒆤 (“Wind Lady”; in Akkadian also simply Belit, “Lady”25) as MULMar.gid.da (“STARChariot”, that is the Big Chariot or Big Dipper in the Great Bear);26

② The outer or southern sky, farther from the north pole, is the “Path of Enki”, with Enki himself identified as MULIku (“STARField”, that is the Square of Pegasus);27

③ The middle sky, in-between the two paths of Enlil and Enki, is the “Path of An” itself, with its starting point in MULDili.bat (which may mean “STARForbearing”28, but scholarly sources also suggest “STARDaisy”29), which is Venus–Inanna (or better spelled Ninana, the form without the initial N being an Akkadian alteration of the Sumerian name) of the seven planetary gods (discussed later in our essay).30

It is worthwhile to heed, given the recent resurgence in Iceland and Europe (and among European-ilk people in America) of Germanic Heathenism, that Germanic theology (and the Indo-European tradition in general), has an equivalent vision of the triune supreme God, conceptualised as Odin (the “Force”, “Spirit”, or “Sight”) in its transcendental aspect, Thor (the “Thunder”) in its ordering activity, and Ing-Frey (the “Lord of Begetting”) in its generativity as the male spermatic power. Furthermore, as already explained, An (and its two faces, especially Enlil) is identified as the north ecliptic and (as Enlil) celestial pole, the heart of the skies and source of all gods and beings, like Varuna and Indra in Vedic Sanskrit culture, and the Chinese supreme God (口 Dīng, 帝 or 天 Tiān), amongst other theological traditions.31

Zuist cosmology of the forces of Earth, showing the ecliptic axle associated with An, centred in the constellation Draco, and the Earth’s axis of rotation, centred in the precessional celestial pole, currently α of the Little Bear or Small Dipper, drawing the sky band of Enlil. The two spinning Chariot constellations draw a swastika in the four phases of time, a symbol associated with the polar supreme God in many cultures (Didier 2009, Vol. I, p. 259).


In Zuist theology, the supreme God of Heaven is also the power of the performative word (utu 𒌓, which is also the name of the Sun in Sumerian). The word-power of An, Anutu (also rendered “Anship”), is the “foundation of the cosmos, around which the hierarchy of all divine powers unfolds”. It is the creative word which begets things and events, not necessarily ex nihilo, but in an ordering process which configures reality,32 making order out of still undeterminacy (Abzu–Nammu, the “Abyss” of the primordial “Matrix” or “Noise”,33 called Tiamat 𒀭𒋾𒊩𒆳 or Tamtum 𒀭𒌓𒌈 in the Akkadian tradition).

The word-power of An, reflecting its twofold face, may also take the form of a destructive power or a preservative power, reabsorbing or maintaining creation, respectively  the Enlilutu (“Enlilship”, the word-power of Enlil) and the Enkiutu or Eautu (“Enkiship” or “Eaship”). The word-power of Enki is particularly associated with magic/witchcraft and technique in tangible reality, that is to say the power to alter the forces at play in an already given configuration of reality.34

It is worthwhile to stress that Enlil is not conceived as a malevolent force, but as the necessary destructivity which prepares the way for a new beginning, the force to make plans for it, as well as a punisher of evil-doers.35 Enki is instead the resourceful, skilful, hardy and wise force which puts into practice the ideas of Enlil.36


The term Anunnaki literally means the “offspring of Heaven–Earth”, and in Sumerian religion it was a general term comprising all the gods.37 A later, Babylonian term for the gods was Igigi. In the Babylonian sources the two categories are often distinguished, with the former being the netherworld (earthly) gods and the latter the upperworld (heavenly) gods, or viceversa.38

The most important amongst the Anunnaki are the seven gods of the stars nearest to the earth: Marduk 𒀭𒀫𒌓 (“Sun Calf”; Jupiter, the white deity of air and authority, lieutenant of Enlil), Ninurta 𒀭𒊩𒌆𒅁 (“Barley Lord”; Saturn, the black deity of war and hunting), Nergal 𒀭𒄊𒀕𒃲 (“Underworld Lord”; Mars, the red deity of woe and dearth), Inanna 𒀭𒈹 (“Lady of Heaven”; Venus, the blue deity of love and war), Nabu 𒀭𒀝 (“Announcer” or “Glowing”; Mercury, the orange deity of wisdom and writing), Nanna 𒀭𒋀𒆠 (the Moon, the green deity of fertility and fruitfulness) and Utu 𒀭𒌓 (the Sun, the yellow deity of justice).39 In a sheen description, the seven Anunnaki “represent the seven nether spheres, [are the] guardians of the seven gates through which the sun [i.e. word] of God passes into the netherworld”,40 perfusing light and order into the netherworld’s darkness. The star-gods are also poetically described as the “heavenly writing”, the writing of An.41 In other words, they influence, energetically shape, the life of beings on Earth. They are stages in the “tree of life”, the process of God’s manifestation in the flesh, structuring all beings, as reconstructed by Parpola based on Assyrian sources.42 The seven planets are also the near-Earth reflection of the seven stars of the Chariot constellations which spin around the north celestial pole, regarded as the active power of the utmost God of Heaven in the traditions of Eurasia. The seven-day week, with each day associated with a star-god, is a heritage going back to Mesopotamian religion.

Cylinder seal representing the scene of the Epic of Gilgamesh in which the hero and his companion Enkidu kill the monster Humbaba while entering the Cedars’ Forest. Over the figures there are seven spheres, likely the seven planets, but also the seven stars of the Chariot constellations.43 The larger eighth star is unmistakeably an emphasised Ishtar, Utu or rather the ecliptic north pole itself, thus An.

Utu–Sun is the “judge of the Anunnaki”, while Marduk–Jupiter is the “commander of the Anunnaki”. The “king” (i.e. begetter) of them all is Enlil, the transcendently active face of An.44 The eldest amongst them is, however, Nanna–Moon, better spelled Nannar and in Sumerian also called Enzu or Zuen 𒂗𒍪 (“Lord of Wisdom”), pronounced as Suen and later Sin in Akkadian. Regarded as gentle and reliable,45 Enzu is, in some Akkadian esoteric literature, the symbol of the pleroma (the sum of the powers of all the gods),46 thus of An,47 and is the third stage in the Assyrian “tree of life”.48 The crescent of Enzu, for these reasons, often surmounted Mesopotamian temples’ cusps.49

Inanna–Venus (goddess of love and war) and Nabu–Mercury (god of healing, literacy and communication, as it moves swiftly through the sky) are conceived as both male and female, though the former is predominantly female and the latter is predominantly male. They are female as the morning star in the east and male as the evening star in the west.50 Ninurta–Saturn, moving slowly through the sky, is the god of stability, but also war and hunt, called MULGenna (“STARLaw and Justice”) as an astral body and as a representative of the Sun during the night.51 Nergal–Mars is the god of plague, war, death and of the underworld. Identified as Gibil, the fire god, he also the patron of craft and smithing. Nergal even has a connection with the constellations Square and Plough, and therefore with the supreme trinity.52


Like Enlil, Marduk is associated to the north celestial pole.53 Thus, Marduk as Jupiter may be considered as a representative of the supreme north pole among the stars closest to the Earth. A frequently-used Sumerian term for Jupiter intended as an astral body, amongst the many epithets denoting its positions in the sky and qualities, is, Nibiru, or Neberu, especially when in culmination and when associated to the north pole. Another frequent name, from Akkadian times, is, literally “STARLord of the Bright Dawn”, denoting Jupiter in the east.54

Marduk is an important figure, since in the Enuma Elish he is the slayer of Tiamat, the Akkadian name of Abzu–Nammu, the primordial unlimited matrix, symbolised by the sea.55 Marduk, being of the same ilk of An, is endowed with the power of the performative word, the Anutu, in its three possibilities: Creative, destructive and preservative.56 Tiamat has the infinite potential to generate monstrous beings, that is to say beings without limit, order and measure, and without ancestry, whom she unleashes against the ordered world. Her word-power is cacophony, senseless noise, while the power of Marduk is that of the intelligent word which governs matter making ingenious and useful things out of it.57

Marduk slays Tiamat, who threatens to destroy all gods and all boundaries dissolving again the ordered world into chaos. Marduk represents the order of the world, which may be dissolved but always re-founded. After having killed Tiamat, he uses the substance of her body to re-mould Heaven (the stars and their cyclical movements) and Earth (the rivers, seas and lands) within a web, this last being a symbol of the laws and the finitude of the re-established cosmos.58

Scene from a cylinder seal depicting Marduk who fights Tiamat, here represented as a horned dragon. Marduk holds his weapon, the abubu, the thunderbolt of discernment, discrimination, or “deluge” (Gabrieli 2017, p. 167).


Mankind’s role in creation is to cultivate the manifestation of the gods.59 Entities and behavioural phenomena are generated and kept in harmony among themselves by internal laws which in Sumerian are called me 𒈨, “measures”, “manners” and “morals”. They are the plans laid down by the gods.60 Yet, within this structure, mankind enjoys a degree of detachment from its own internal laws, and therefore a degree of free will, a gift which is necessary for mankind’s spiritual ability to co-work with the gods in creation by emulating Heaven. The gods favour those who act in conformity with the laws of morality, which means upkeeping goodness and truth, righteousness and straightforwardness, justice and freedom, mercy and kindness. Disgrace falls upon those who act evilly and falsely, unjustly and oppressively, sinfully and perversely, cruelly and pitilessly.61

The eagle represents the bright aspect of the human soul, capable of ascension to Heaven by following the gods, whereas the snake represents the dark force of descension towards the Earth. The eagle’s wings are a symbol of spiritual heightening, and its eyes a symbol of spiritual sight (wisdom), as it is traditionally considered the only animal able to gaze directly at the Sun (God), training its youth to do likewise and rejecting those who fail.62

The divine laws, when practised, become habitual and are transmitted genealogically. Progenitors who grasped these laws and established them in kinships and cultural lineages are worthy of veneration. In this way the divine reveals itself in mankind, so that “the centre itself [i.e. the supreme God] forever remains absolutely central to the human world but simultaneously infinitely transforming in the particular, to be reborn in each generation, in each human birth”.63 It is, therefore, a vision which may be described as a synthesis of principled structuralism and behaviourism.

Ansbrandt of Reykjavík, April 2018

The article is also availabe in PDF and on Academia

CC BY-SA 3.0, except for DjSadhu’s image on top


1. Gabrieli (2017), p. 99.

2. Didier (2009), Vol. I, p. 84.

3. James (1963), p. 23 ff.

4. Black & Green (1992), p. 30.

5. Parpola (1993), p. 180, n. 77.

6. Vv.Aa. (1951), pp. 300–301.

7. Didier (2009), Vol. I, p. 116.

8. Murdock (2014), passim. Also see the entry “Enlil” of the Encyclopaedia Britannica (2018).

9. James (1963), p. 140.

10. Saggs (1987), p. 191.

11. Parpola (1993), passim, and pp. 206–207 for the etymology.

12. Ibid., p. 191, n. 113.

13. Kramer (1956), p. 47.

14. The lil is analogous to the Chinese concept of 氣  and 理 .

15. Murdock (2014), passim.

16. Black & Green (1992), p. 134.

17. Ibid., p. 75.

18. Horry (2016), passim.

19. Kramer (1956), pp. 46–47. Anki is equivalent to the Chinese concept of 天地 Tiāndì (“Heaven–Earth”), it itself meaning the “cosmos”, Heaven’s manifestation.

20. Rogers (1998), p. 18.

21. Didier (2009), Vol. I, p. 95.

22. Ataç (2018), p. 78.

23. Ibid., p. 78; Wright (2002), pp. 34–35.

24. Kramer (1956), p. 52.

25. Entry “Ninlil” of the Encyclopaedia Britannica (2018).

26. Rogers (1998), p. 18.

27. Ibid., p. 21.

28. “Enduring Star” is the accepted meaning of the Semitic name of Inanna, that is Ishtar (Hellenised: Astarte).

29. Kasak & Veede (2001), p. 23.

30. Rogers (1998), p. 17.

31. Didier (2009), passim, but for the direct comparison see Vol. III, pp. 265–266; Vol. II, p. 228.

32. Gabrieli (2017), p. 128.

33. Abzu 𒀊𒍪 literally means “Before Knowledge” or “Watery Knowledge”, “Dissolved Knowledge”, and was also named Engur 𒇉. Nammu, also better rendered as Mummu, is the primordial “Mother”, is written with the same grapheme as that for Engur, and is the personified Abzu. See Black & Green (1992), p. 134. Mummu has also been rendered as “Matrix”, “Chaos”, “Noise”, “Confusion”, “Scream” amongst other translations. It is the primordial, unshaped potentiality. See Gabrieli (2017), p. 88 ff. It is analogous to the Chinese concept of 混沌 Hùndùn.

34. Ibid., p. 129. Also see Stephens (2013), Stone (2016) and Horry (2016).

35. Kramer (1956), pp. 52–53.

36. Ibid., pp. 55.

37. Murdock (2014), passim.

38. Gabrieli (2017), p. 119, n. 617; Bertman (2005), p. 119.

39. Kasak & Veede (2001), passim. For the colour associations see James & Van der Sluijs (2008), passim.

40. Murdock (2014), passim.

41. Kasak & Veede (2001), p. 14.

42. Parpola (1993), passim.

43. Didier (2009), Vol. I, p. 113.

44. Murdock (2014), passim.

45. Kasak & Veede (2001), pp. 17–18.

46. Parpola (1993), p. 185, n. 93.

47. Ibid., pp. 176, 184, nn. 66, 89.

48. Ibid., p. 179.

49. James & Van der Sluijs (2008), p. 69.

50. Kasak & Veede (2001), pp. 22, 24.

51. Ibid., p. 26.

52. Ibid., pp. 27–28.

53. Didier (2009), Vol. I, p. 118.

54. Ibid., Vol. I, p. 88; Kasak & Veede (2001), p. 21.

55. Gabrieli (2017), p. 89.

56. Ibid., p. 130.

57. Ibid., pp. 103, 159.

58. Ibid., p. 139.

59. Kramer (1956), p. 56.

60. Ibid., p. 50. The concept of me corresponds to the Chinese concept of 禮 .

61. Ibid., p. 56.

62. Parpola (1993), pp. 197–198, n. 143.

63. Didier (2009), Vol. III, p. 268. The author speaks of the humanisation of the divine in the Axial Age.


Theory and layout of Zuist temples (with a project for Reykjavik’s Temple of Heaven)


Zuism is the worship of Heaven–𒀭 An–, which is the north ecliptic pole coiled by the constellation Draco, the source of all the star-gods.1 Heaven is the active whirling force which proceeds throughout all the heavenly bodies, the Earth, and also all the beings on Earth, generating all of them. It is the whirling force that resides at the centre of all beings, producing their whirl of life. Humans are able to craft Heaven’s force by emulating its order, for good or bad aims.2

Zuism is an “open” religion, which accepts different ways to worship Heaven, depending on the different points of view from which Heaven is perceived. The different gods themselves, the different stars and constellations and their forces, but also the Earth herself, are all “faces” through which Heaven manifests to us. Different temples for the various deities shall thus be built, and there is the need for common architectonic principles.

The north ecliptic pole centred in Draco.


Temples or templates (the Latin word templum literally means a place for “contemplating” Heaven, drawing meaning from its stars) are meant as reproductions of the order of Heaven on Earth, therefore connecting with Heaven’s force.

The specific meaning of Mesopotamian temples—𒂍 é in Sumerian—, whose characteristic feature is the central raised platform or tower (𒅆𒂍𒉪 unir in Sumerian or ziqquratu in Akkadian, literally “mountain”, “mountain peak”), is to emulate Heaven’s force which proceeds throughout all things in the manner of their rotational shaft, the axis mundi. Mesopotamian temples were specifically built to represent mountains; the mount itself is a symbol of the axis mundi, as studied by Mircea Eliade, of the cosmic mountain which comes down from Heaven (the north pole, the progenitor of the universe), and, in the opposite direction, ascends towards Heaven, and therefore provides the way for returning to Heaven.3

Another foremost feature is the quadrilaterality of temple buildings, given the importance of the square form in symbolising the north pole and therefore communing with it.4 Temples, essentially, function as centres of irradiation for establishing a cosmos, a structured experience of reality.

Temples are also meant as observatories for the study of Heaven. Zuism, as a scientific religion, encourages the study of Heaven, which, in its broadest sense, is both the nature immediately perceivable by mankind and the deep space-time (the outer space-time of astronomy, and the inner space-time of particle physics).


The images above show the roof dragons of a Chinese and a Germanic temple. The image below shows a temple of the popular conception of the supreme God of the north pole (Jade Emperor) in Qinghai. The shrine is built on top of a mount-like platform, possibly a heritage from Mesopotamia.

As the coalescence of a new gnosis, a new ark of knowledge for the awakening and spiritual heightening of human beings, the Zuist Church needs a physical centre of presence to align with Heaven and study and emulate its order, thus providing a cosmic focus. Iceland will be at the forefront of the Zuist spiritual renewal, and the centre of the Zuist Church in Iceland will be the Temple of Heaven in Reykjavik.

The project for the Temple of Heaven in Reykjavik envisions a structure built with modern materials (sealed coloured concrete, better if Roman concrete which includes volcanic ash and is both stronger and cheaper than modern concrete) and characterised by the sharp lines of modern architecture, but inspired by the Mesopotamian, Chinese and Germanic architectural traditions.

All these cultural sources are related, as demonstrated by academic studies.5 The Temple of Heaven in Reykjavik shall function as a cosmic centre similarly to the Temple of Heaven in Beijing. The roofs shall feature lithe dragons just like those of Chinese, but also Germanic, temples. The dragons symbolise the constellation Draco at the north ecliptic pole but also the chthonic spirits and kinship spirits which sublimate themselves when they are inspired by, and organise themselves according to, the order of Heaven, in the struggle for ascending towards it.

Other features adopted from the Chinese tradition shall be elements for worship, including squared and round incense cauldrons and a squared table for sacrifices. The importance of the square for communing with the north pole will thus be affirmed even in worship practices, just like in Chinese religion.6

The Temple of Heaven shall be built with the sides pointing to the four cardinal directions, and with the ingang to the south,7 so that the staircase to the top shrine, the “stairway to Heaven”, would emulate the ascension towards the northern skies, towards the north pole, towards the supreme ancestor of the universe, the heart of An. By aligning with the Earth’s axis of rotation, the temple would connect to the whirling force of the north celestial pole, which in turn rotates, through the precession, around Draco and the north ecliptic pole, thus ultimately linking to the heart of An.

Ancient historians, notably Herodotus, reported–and modern archaeological study has proven–that Mesopotamian temples were painted in seven colours. Each level of the “mountain” (the unir) was associated with one of the major seven planetary gods (the Anunnaki) seen from the Earth’s perspective, and painted in the associated colour. The sequence of the colours, and therefore of the star-gods, has generally been reconstructed as follows (the list starts from the lowest level of the unir and ends with the highest level):8

WHITE – Jupiter (Marduk)

BLACK – Saturn (Ninurta)

RED – Mars (Nergal)

BLUE – Venus (Inanna)

ORANGE – Mercury (Nabu)

GREEN (SILVER) – Moon (Nanna)

YELLOW (GOLD) – Sun (Utu)

Our project for the Temple of Heaven in Reykjavik has a very dark blue as the colour of the top shrine, with the surmounting pyramidal roof in a slightly lighter blue. The grapheme “An”, in yellow, is featured on the front side of the pyramidal roof, above an outline of the constellation Draco in the same colour. The apex of the pyramidal roof is surmounted by a crescent Moon, just like it was for ancient Mesopotamian temples,9 being Nanna a symbol of the oneness of all the gods, the pleroma of An,10 and as such also called Enzu 𒂗𒍪 (“Lord of Wisdom”).11 As for the shaft, the unir, we present two versions for it, one reflecting the colouring of ancient Mesopotamian temples, and the other one with the unir in the same shade of blue as the top shrine, but decorated with yellow depictions of the circumpolar constellations Little Dipper/Chariot and Big Dipper/Chariot.

The following illustrations depict the two models. What is drawn is conceived as the central, and essential, complex of the Temple of Heaven. Further shrines, dedicated to the seven planetary gods associated with the colours and to other deities, as well as buildings for community uses and priests’ quarters, may be constructed behind or besides the central complex.

Temple of Heaven in Reykjavik, model 1: unir with the colours of the seven planetary gods. PDF version

Temple of Heaven in Reykjavik, model 2: deep-blue unir with Chariot constellations. PDF version


Zuist temples dedicated to lesser deities–that is to say deities who come below the utmost An–, and minor temples in general, may be built according to less strict rules than those governing the major Temple of Heaven. It is also worthwhile to take into consideration that, given the current trends, the Lutheran Church of Iceland will likely see a swift decline in the coming years. Many church properties might be put on sale, and other religions might acquire them as it is happening throughout Europe to Christian churches of all denominations. The Zuist Church might buy former Lutheran churches and convert them into Zuist temples.

These minor temples will not necessarily have to be oriented towards the point of the horizon where the star-gods rise, also given that the locations of the rising of constellations change throughout time. It will be important, nevertheless, for prayers and sacrifices to be directed towards these locations, or, otherwise, towards the north which is the source of all.

Temples of lesser deities shall be characterised by the colour associated to the given enshrined deity. Former Christian buildings acquired by the Zuist Church should be painted in the colour associated to the deity they would be dedicated to, and the Christian cross on the top of the building should be replaced with the symbol of An, or with the 𒍪 zu symbol.

General model for minor Zuist temples, with the zu symbol on the top, and the name of the deity whom the temple is dedicated to featured on the front side of the pyramidal roof (in this case 𒀭𒂗𒆤 Dingir Enlil, “Divine Wind Lord”). PDF version


1. As already defined in the short article Elements of Zuist theology, published in February 2018 by the Zuist Church. It is also recommended to read Didier (2009), especially Vol. I, p. 88 ff and 115 ff (“Mesopotamian Views of the Pole”), where he describes Mesopotamian astral religion.

2. Umbe the energy of the north pole, it is suggested to read the article Why is the Earth strung on an axis? Hypothetical considerations, published on 16 March 2017 by the Russian site “Point of View Analyst Team”. This site promotes a Gnostic-Theosophical-New Age vision and its terminology may not be Zuist, but some of the studies in the article are relevant for our discourse.

3. Didier (2009), Vol. I, pp. 203–210.

4. Ibid., Vol. I, p. 218 ff.

5. Ibid., passim and Vol. III, p. 257 ff, where the author discusses the close relation between Mesopotamian and Chinese culture.

6. Ibid., Vol. II, pp. 78–83.

7. Sparavigna (2017), passim.

8. James & Van der Sluijs (2008), p. 69.

9. Ibid.

10. Parpola (1993), pp. 184–185, nn. 89, 93.

11. Kasak & Veede (2001), pp. 17–18.

Ansbrandt of Reykjavík, March 2018

The article is also availabe in PDF and on Academia


Credits for some elements of the images:

Praying man outline: Jon Candy, CC BY-SA 4.0

Running man outline: Charlie Llewellin, CC BY 4.0

Contemplating woman outline: Cathleen Trawhiti, CC BY 4.0

Trees: AnySnapshot, CC BY 3.0

Potted plants: Vector Graphics, CC BY 3.0

Smoke: Freepik, CC BY 3.0

The rest of the article is under CC BY-SA 3.0 license