For your enjoyment!
Musings on the Goddess
Look into the eyes of Lilith and know that you have met a Goddess of great power! Primordial Mother, Goddess, Demoness, Sorceress, Seductress, Queen of Witches, Child Killer, Beautiful Vampire; these names and more are all names associated with Lilith. Who is She and why does Her name generate such fear? For fear is certainly the way in which many patriarchal religions view Her!
There are several myths associated with Lilith. The most well known myth, written in the Talmud (non-biblical Jewish writings), is that Lilith was Adam’s first wife. This might account for the two creation stories in the Old Testament of the Judeo-Christian Bible. The story goes that Lilith and Adam, created together, lived in the Garden of Eden. Fast forward to a romantic evening in Eden and the couple are about to make love when everything goes awry. Adam expects that Lilith will be the one to take the bottom position. Well, Lilith is having none of that! She refuses to subjugate herself to Adam and flies away from the garden. Adam complains to Yahweh who sends angels after Her to bring Her back but She refuses, thus not subordinating Herself to Yahweh either. The said consequence being that She would lose one hundred of any children She bore every day. She was quite fertile!
Another myth tells us how Lilith obtained Her wings. She is said to have tricked Yahweh into telling Her his true name. We all know that once we have the true name of someone we gain power over them (many myths speak of this).
Lilith was also said to have slept with demons and created demon children and later still She actually slept with Adam and made demon children with him also (remember, the hundred children). According to myth Eve, Adam’s second wife, also bore his children but her children were human not demons. Patriarchal mythology tells us that Lilith out of rage, for the imposed consequences of leaving Adam and not allowing Yahweh to dominate Her, killed human babies especially males.
How is Lilith’s story relevant to us, especially to women? I can explain that by going back to my childhood years in a traditional Italian family. I was raised in a family where the traditional roles in marriage and family were the norm. The husband and father was the law in any family that I was close to including my own. The wife and mother took care of the children and the home, and of course the husband, too! The husband’s word was “law”. A comment often heard in my home was “This is a dictatorship, not a democracy!” Getting slightly off track, I have to say that my father was definitely not as bad as some. He was a loving father (as many Italian fathers are), a committed husband, hard worker, the life of any party, etc. My dad was pretty young, too, only 19 years older than I, his first child. Yet, still, in our home he definitely ruled his castle. A frequent scene in our family, at any celebration, saw the men sitting first at the dinner table with the women serving and then joining them. Afterwards the women cleared and cleaned up before yet again serving coffee and dessert. The men did not lift a finger to help most of the time.
Here’s how Lilith is relevant to us… She is an empowering force for any woman to draw upon. Her unwillingness to be subordinate to Adam and Her ability to persist in doing what is right for Her is something we can all use as an example for our own lives. She is a force for us to use in our lives so that we may stand on our own or in partnership with our significant other, not in a hierarchical relationship. We do not have to accept the traditional roles..
Lilith was demonized for Her power and strength. Might we also be demonized? Maybe, though these are different times. If so, we can use the strength She offers and the magick of this Primordial Mother to stand steady as the rock on the earth.
As Sorceress, Lilith knew the power in a name. Yes, names have power, so does knowledge! It is important that as women we know who our partners are. Not only is this good for the relationship it also keeps us safe. We can call upon Lilith’s energy and wisdom for guidance! One of Her animals is the Night owl or Screech owl. She is certainly wise like the owl (screech owl or not) and if you hear Her screech you might want to take heed!
Child Killer? Well, we know how much history and mythology has been rewritten over time. Maybe She just killed a lot of childish, egotistical dreams! Lilith had the guts to walk away from a situation that was wrong for Her, thereby slaughtering Adam’s hopes of having power over Her!
With all this power, Lilith is still female! She is sexy, We know this because one of Her names is Seductress. Strength and power do not negate being feminine and sexy, they are part of it! Lilith again sets the tone for us! We can be sexy and powerful! She lets us know that we have the right to choose what we want and that we can expect to get it!
Lilith is a worthwhile study project for anyone interested. I said in the beginning of this article that there are many myths associated with Her. So here’s a tickler; Lilith was also said to be the shadow side of Adam! How is this so, you might ask yourself…..
“The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines”
Llewellyn Publications 2000
“Magick of the Gods and Goddesses;
Invoking the Power of the Ancient Gods”
By D.J. Conway
The Crossing Press 2003
“The Witches’ Goddess”
The Feminine Principle of Divinity
By Janet and Stewart Farrar
Phoenix Publishing 1987