"The story goes that she demanded equality right from the start. When Adam demanded that she be his 'helpmate' (i.e., slave), Lilith responded: "Why should I lie beneath you, when I am your equal since both of us were created from dust?" - Ariel Guttman
[Lilith] is a “Tree of Life,” … [this] of course is a cosmogram—a picture of the universe itself. It’s no wonder that one version of Lilith’s story claims that she was pure, primordial creation of cosmic energy. Lilith is the cosmos! – Kenneth Johnson
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Catalyst for: Thriving in your original nature
Lilith is one of the most misunderstood archetypes of all time; historically she has been villainized for asking that her needs are met and she be valued for who she is, versus who she should be, and ultimately standing up for herself. She has been type cast as many horrible things, as the turn of the wheel went from a Goddess centric mindset to a Patriarchal mindset. Her archetype is a fascinating study of projection. All of the horrors that she was accused of and said to facilitate were, in fact, inflicted upon her first. The masculine in her life threatened horrible punishment toward her, striking at what was most likely perceived as the areas that would make her most vulnerable and therefore compliant: her children, her personal choice, her sexuality, her core-self, and her divine purpose. The story twisted and made her the villain versus the mistreated. This is where I would like to start this story:
Originally he and she, Adam and Lilith, were created equal and together and set in the Garden of Eden to give things their names and thereby bring the world into manifestation. They had a very difficult time because Lilith insisted upon full equality, which Adam refused, and they could not agree upon anything. Adam would have sex with Lilith only if he was on top and she was on the bottom because he was superior, having been created from pure dust, and she was inferior, having come from filth and sediment. After some time Lilith realized that Adam was never going to accept as valid and worthwhile anything she had to offer, so she uttered the secret name of God, flew off, and vanished into the air. - Demetra George
This is a fascinating glimpse toward the attitude concerning bringing into form our history’s original matter, or mother energy, in one of its earliest records from the western tradition.
Lilith was to be the first – mother to the world – who was set in the Garden of Eden to bring the world into manifestation. Even though she was not to fulfill this role at this time in the Garden, later stories say it was Lilith herself in the guise of a serpent that helped Eve awaken. Snake’s energy is that of old knowledge and ancient wisdom and matter becoming conscious. It is associated with the dynamic experience of radical awakening and shifts in awareness that push one over a threshold, requiring one to never go back to an old way of being.
Snake appears in the Garden of Eden, aiding humankind in its first shaky steps of awakening by encouraging Eve to eat of the fruit of the tree of All Knowledge. This act awakens Eve abruptly from her naivety and sets human kind on course in the world as we know it now. It is also interesting to note that almost all cultures have a Tree of All Knowledge, and Lilith herself can be understood as this energy.
Adam, her husband, her partner, her presumed love, told her continually she was not good enough the way she was. Just sit with that for a moment.
The first aspect that the archetype of Lilith can help heal or balance involves the energy of believing that you are not whole, capable, and beautiful in your original state.
Lilith was named flawed and unworthy because she had come from filth and sediment (prima material). As we know, those words could be just another way to say bountiful, because it is filth and sediment that make soil fertile and able to create and sustain life. This telling of the story, however, distorts the words to make them sound sullied. The story says Adam was made from pure dust, and that might be, but when has anything grown or thrived in a dust bowl? It cannot, as that is the very definition of barren.
After Lilith decided she was not going to be emotionally mistreated, she found refuge at the Red Sea. Many suggest that the Red Sea is a symbol of a woman’s menses and “ancient sources spoke of the two flows that come from a woman’s vagina. The clear flow of ovulation was called the River of Life because its procreative nature supported the patriarchal system. The forbidden red flow of menstruation was called the River of Death because a woman’s power and sexuality that arose at this time did not have the end purpose of pregnancy.” - Demetra George
George continues her thought:
[This Red Flow is an] aspect of a woman’s femininity that is self-directed, uncompromising, powerful, and impersonal. She has the audacity to focus inward rather than to relate to others. At the menstrual time the power of a woman’s erotic sexuality can be used for transformation, renewal, divination, healing, and magic rather than procreation. As the patriarchy grew to fear the erotic sexuality of the dark moon, they sought to separate women from the source of their power. Menstrual women were maligned as bitchy hysterical, angry, furious, and irrational while they had the disgusting impure “curse.”
I find it fascinating that Lilith was labeled a baby killer by the patriarchal society, when, in fact, it was Hebraic God who ordered her children killed daily. I feel that her being labeled as a baby-killer in the first place, was no more than her being an emanation of the feminine that does not focus on the procreation of humankind in the role of obedient wife and mother.
Although Lilith birthed many mystical progeny, that make our world a richer place to dwell. You may use her archetype to turn deeply inward to renew, find personal magic and power, and be self-directed.
God sent three angels to capture Lilith – Senoy, Sansenoy and Semangelof. The message from her husband, Adam, and God was – if you don’t come back and submit yourself, we will kill 100 of your children every day. When she would not give in to that kind of bullying, they countered with: We will drown you then. So far we have Lilith facing mental abuse and threats of physical destruction and harm to her family. You may, therefore, invoke her archetype to heal from the energy of abuse from a partner.
Up to this point, the sum total of “rebellion” Lilith participated in was asking to be valued for who she was. When the powers that be applied abusive force toward her and she held strong, the next chapter of her story emerged.
Lilith as a sexual being and destructive force
So far in her sad tale, Lilith’s mate has rejected her sexually and as an individual. In her alleged home, she is not allowed to participate in bringing the world into form. So she fulfills her basic needs by procreating and having passionate sex with demons. She was labeled promiscuous for having fulfilling physical relationships. Considering Adam was the only being near her own image, and he refused to be in a balanced relationship, sexual or otherwise, with her, what was her choice? Being celibate and alone? The powers that be seemed to think so.
This illuminates the next aspect that Lilith’s archetype helps balance: Enjoying your own ecstatic sexual nature without shame or guilt and knowing, within that realm, what feels fair and healthy to you.
Lilith knew submitting to Adam and agreeing she was less than he was not satisfactory to her on a deep level; whereas, coupling with water spirits, for example, and birthing “the sea of the unconscious, from which the feminine aspect of our wisdom arises from the depths of our psyche,” (George) is an incredibly rich and wonderful gift for humankind. The projection around her actions just amplifies from here, and she is labeled a seductress that creates wet dreams and steals the breath from children in their sleep. These perceptions carried on in the collective energy until recently, where there has been a shift in how people are looking at her archetype with owl eyes.
The shift paints her energy closer to this: She calls you into the darkness of uncharted territory of the soul, to the truth that you must undo something before you can gain something new. The concept of flat or false enlightenment (blindly doing what is deemed “good” behavior) has deceived us into being afraid of the darkness and running from it in an attempt to avoid strong, unpleasant emotions (personified as the demons in her myth). However, it is necessary to engage in such emotions in order to truly rectify discontent.
I am not suggesting that you behave badly, but rather that you act according to what your gut tells you instead of being trapped by notions of what you think you are expected to do or be. Expectations are silent killers of soul, and if we are strangled by ideas from the outside that we have outgrown, or never fit us to begin with, we become frustrated and impotent. As a result, we accomplish nothing and sink into misery.
The darkness is not frightening if we look at it with owl eyes; rather, it is a sea of nourishment, possibility, and growth. (The owl is one of Lilith’s totems, and she is depicted with owl legs in some myths.) To cut oneself off from the soul is to be cut off from one’s power, strength, and potential. This Dark Goddesses also allow us to tap into our anger and moral outrage.
Mother Nature will orchestrate a forest to burn when it is needed for healthy progression. After the fire, in the charred remains, there is breathing room for new green shoots instead of the under-nourishing brittleness of a dead forest. You, too, may need to use great force to make way for new growth.
The terrain of the soul is uncharted territory that you will not have a map for. Your journey into the soul is about undoing reference points, so there will be feelings of being out of control, afraid, and not knowing, but in this you will find your gifts. In his book Your Night Journeys, Thomas Moore describes the experience as such:
In your dark night, you may have a sensation you could call “oceanic”—being in the sea, or immersed in the waters of the womb. The sea is the vast potential of life, but it is also your dark night, which may force you to surrender some knowledge, thing or way of being you have achieved. You must unravel the self, and the culture you have woven over the years. The night sea journeys back to your primordial self, not the heroic self that burns out and falls to judgment, but to your original self, yourself as the sea of possibility, your greater and deeper being.
Lilith brings you to the brink of greatness of self and will serve as a guide in the darkness. She will give you star eyes to burn in the darkness, the strength to be fierce and firm, and the vision of your own terrible beauty. She will open you to your own inner bravery until you find firm footing in your unique, perfect soul. Anyone who is strong enough to take on in love one of the most difficult but important journeys—understanding one’s true self outside of any context, such as family or culture—is a true heroine!
Remember, her energy is beautiful, seductive, independent, and perhaps frightening for some, as she is not controlled by outside forces – only by the dictates of her own heart. She listens solely to her own counsel and refuses to belong to anyone—mother, father, mate, society, or children. This energy is awesome in its true meaning, as it is pure possibility without restriction.
Lilith, in Sumerian and Babylonian myths, is depicted as the spirit who inhabited a willow tree (the energy of willow involves taking responsibility for one’s life and not allowing oneself to be a victim), with a dragon coiled at her feet (kundalini energy) and a mythical bird in her branches (understanding, enlightenment). This suggests the Tree of Life archetype – pure primordial creation of cosmic energy. A supportive legend from the Kabalic text states that Lilith was not created by Yahweh at all; instead “she arose from chaos as a pure primordial energy, created from the universe alone.” This archetype will not be subjugated in any way and must be treated with respect in all situations. Woe unto those who do not honor this energy!
Use this archetype to impart deeply passionate, free, feral woman energy into your life.
Lilith originally was an emanation of the great winged Bird Goddess, a wind spirit. Her flower is the lilu or lily. In the Hebrew tradition, her name means screech owl. She birthed the collective unconscious and is a living cosmos unto herself. That is quiet the resume!
Vibrational Essence Summary for Lilith:
- Heals the energy of believing that you are not whole, capable, and beautiful in your original state.
- Facilitating turning deeply inward to renew, find personal magic and power and be self-directed.
- Helps heal from abuse from a partner.
- Enjoying your own ecstatic sexual nature with out guilt or shame and knowing within that realm, what feels fair and healthy to you.
- Understanding ones true Self outside of any context, such as family or culture.
- Imparts deeply passionate, free, feral woman energy into your life!
 Mater : MATER (mate’ er) n. Word for mother taken directly from the Latin
© candice covington