Papsukkal (or Pazuzu) is the messenger god in the Akkadian pantheon. He is identified in late Akkadian texts and is known chiefly from the Hellenistic period. His consort is Amasagnul, and he acts as both messenger and gatekeeper for the rest of the pantheon. A sanctuary, the E-akkil is identified from the Mesopotamian site of Mkish. He becomes syncretised from Ninshubur. He is the regent of the 10th month in the Babylonian calendar.
Pazuzu is often depicted as a combination of animal and human parts. He has the body of a man, the head of a lion or dog, eagle-like taloned feet, two pairs of wings, a scorpion's tail, and a serpentine penis. He is often depicted with his right hand pointing upward and his left hand downward. The position of the hands means respectively life and death (or creation and destruction). Although frequently regarded as a malevolent demon of the underworld, Pazuzu seems also to have played a beneficent role as a protector against pestilential winds (and particularly the south-west wind). Moreover, Pazuzu's association with Lamastu led to his employment as a force against her evil, forcing her back into the Underworld. Amulets of the demon Pazuzu (or simply of his head and face) were therefore often situated in houses or hung about the necks of pregnant women.
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