Labartu is a Mesopotamian goddess with Demonic characteristics, associated with Lilitu, the prototype of Lilith. Labartu carries a Serpent in each hand and attacks young children, mothers, and nurses.
Labartu, an ancient Demon and disease spirit, is described as the “hag Demon.”
Assurbanipal, King of Assyria (died 626 BCE) had a vast library of magical texts collected from all over Babylonia. Labartu is the subject of one such book.
Labartu lives in marshes or in the mountain wilderness. She attacks children and induces miscarriage. Labartu may manifest as a fever Demon. Texts describe protective measures: images of Labartu were formed and accompanying incantations chanted.
Mothers and babies were guarded via engraved stone amulets. Labartu’s power is at its peak for the first nine days after a birth and so mother and child were never left alone until this period of danger ended. Information is now scarce: Labartu was somehow associated with Ishtar and is sometimes identified with Lamashtu.
See also: Al Karisi; Inanna-Ishtar; La mash tu; Lilith
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From the Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses – Written by Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.