The Four Winds

The Four Winds

The South Wind

Cuneiform: 𒅎𒍇𒇻

Name: im-u18-lu

Meaning: Wind of Forgetting

Deity: Ea

Gender: Female

Element: Water

Commentary: Primeval, Harmful to man, when it blows, dizzies people with dust

Fortune: If someone’s door opens to the south – his heart will be happy.


The East Wind

Cuneiform: 𒅎𒆳𒊏

Name: im-kur-ra

Meaning: Wind of the Shining Mountain

Deity: Enlil, Anu

Gender: Male

Element: Wind

Commentary: which has caused the rain above to rain down its lightning, makes a man’s body waste awayNeumann

Fortune: wherever he goes […]


The North Wind

Cuneiform: 𒅎𒋛𒁲

Name: im-si-sa2

Meaning: Wind of upright advice

Deity: Adad, Ninurta, Ninlil, Sîn

Gender: Female

Element: Earth

Commentary: when mightily blowing splits open the broad land

Fortune: his income will be abundant.


The West Wind

Cuneiform: 𒅎𒈥𒌅

Name: im-mar-tu

Meaning: Wind of the western desert

Deity: Ea, Anu,

Gender: Male

Element: Fire

Commentary: Girra, evil, tirelessly brings devastation to the arallû-plains

Fortune: death will be determined for him.



u18-lu to forget (‘ears, understanding’ + ‘great storm’) (Halloran)

mar-tu desert (‘earthworm’? + ‘interfere’?) (Halloran)

The Sumerian concept of North, South, East and West is not the same as our modern one, as it was oriented based on the rivers, not based on the rotation of the earth. As such, each direction it is rotated 45° counterclockwise from their respective compass direction. (Neumann)

Sources Cited

“en2-e2-Nu-Ru Explanation.” Enenuru,

Halloran, John Alan. “Sumerian Lexicon: Version 3.0.” Sumerian Lexicon,, 28 Aug. 2018,

Neumann, J. “The Winds in the World of the Ancient Mesopotamian Civilizations.” Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, vol. 58, no. 10, 1977, pp. 1050–1055. JSTOR, Accessed 9 Feb. 2020.