Who is Lilith?

LilithWhen attempting to get a sense of how to interpret an object in a chart, traditionally one of the best ways to go about it is to look to the historical and mythological origins of the body for which it was named. Mars is the god of war, and so we interpret that planet as anger, cuttings, drive, etc. Venus is the goddess of love and sexuality, so Venus in the chart is about love and pleasure. But when attempting to interpret Lilith, the waters are much murkier.

This is because Lilith’s mythological origins are murky, to say the least. We really have very little recognizable information about her until the middle ages. We can say confidently that she is derived from ancient Mesopotamian (Sumerian, Akkadian, Assyrian, Babylonian) demons, but that is about as far as we can go. The first mention of her we have on record is in an Assyrian addition to the Epic of Gilgamesh. There she is described as making a home in a huluppu tree that Inanna is attempting to grow. She is presented as a barrier to the tree’s health. But as scholars delve further into the etymology, it seems clear that the text is actually referring to a class of spirits, possibly associated with wind. It could also be referring to screech owls, as most mentions of the lilitu in the Hebrew bible are translated. As such, it doesn’t look like we’re working with the Lilith we know today. The same can be said for most ancient mentions of her.

It’s not until the middle ages that we get some of the lore that we might recognize. The first story we have of Lilith’s origins is from the Alphabet of Ben Sira, in which she is described as Adam’s first wife who refused to submit to him sexually. She then fled Eden and took up her life as a demon, vowing to cause sickness and death to infants. This story is part of a larger work that is thought to be largely satirical (seriously, try reading it sometime. It is…something else). It’s possible that it was even satirizing the common practice of creating charms to protect homes and children, since we have evidence of incantation bowls and amulets being used for many centuries before the book was compiled.

Lilith astrologyBut from there, Lilith’s myth was further fleshed out by mystics over the centuries. She is mentioned several times in Kabbalistic literature, where she is associated with seduction, particularly with nocturnal emissions. She is thought to be the cause of these emissions, copulating with both men and women either in their sleep or in disguise in order to bear demonic children.

Her myth is taken up again in the 19th and early 20th centuries, where is featured regularly in both literature, as a femme fatale, and in occultism, as a protector of witches. Finally, with the advent of the modern women’s rights movement, she was transformed into the symbol of feminist defiance we understand her as today.

So what does all of this mean? I think the confusion surrounding her place in history is an essential piece of her nature. She is unknowable. It also indicates to me that her dark feminine archetype is one that society has been uncomfortable with for millennia. It has been reduced to simply an evil essence, it has been feared, it has been minimized. But the archetype has remained. And our discomfort is the point. We have never known entirely how to handle a willful, headstrong, defiant woman, one who takes what she wants and rejects what she doesn’t, who insists on her rights and won’t take no for an answer.  We’ve never known where they fit. But I think it’s about time we figured it out. Despite all our attempts to relegate this energy to the fringes, the archetype remains, defiant, dark, and persistent. She remains. Isn’t time to hear what she has to say?

What do you make of Lilith’s jumbled origins? How does it play into your understanding of the energy?


Who is Lilith? — 6 Comments

  1. For me, Lilith’s most interesting origin is that she was left out of the Bible; a book that has played a significant role in shaping modern civilization. Instead, who gets mentioned in the Bible? a woman (Eve) that was made out of Adam’s rib to fill the void that Lilith left.

    The name Lilith translates to “night monster”.
    The name Eve translates to “living”.

    So, you get the subtle juxtaposition of night and day, similar to Venus. Remember Lilith moves 40 degrees and 40 minutes a year. Venus goes through her transformation during retrograde over 40 days and 40 nights. One could argue, that Lilith and Eve were the same woman, same feminine energy of light and dark. Which means to keep Lilith hidden by omitting her in the “great book” that has shaped civilization for centuries, is it to keep women unbalanced, subdued and unaware of the power they already possess within.

    This says a lot about Lilith!

    Even though Lilith was not mentioned in the Bible by name, there were many who believed that she transformed herself into the serpent (night monster) that gave Eve the apple. Since the serpent is also a metaphor for Kundalini (meaning coiled snake in Sanskrit) rising, this is where Lilith’s sexuality is referenced; not any good old bonk, but the tantric kind!

    Many artworks depict Lilith intertwined with Adan and Eve. Look closely at the Sistine Chapel and the Notre Dame Cathedral…. who do you see in the center?

    Lilith is The Holy Grail!

  2. Osiris Wife please can you go into detail how Lilith is the Holy Grail? I find that statement very interesting.❤️? And Midara thank you for your study into Lilith. I imagine what a wonderful way to pass you day, deep in research! My sister is a scholar (doctorate in chemical engineering) but unfortunately, although I love research I was not granted the brain for it! The best job for me is a manicurist and massage therapy. I can make people feel better and happier and there is that creative edge in a salon. I also have another career, I can not talk about that one though.?

  3. Dearest Ash,

    Firstly, none is more indicative of intelligence than curiosity – the lust of the mind. You have this, so don’t ever forget that. Above all, you also possess a key to the door every human seeks – happiness!

    Now to your specific question …

    Lilith is The Holy Grail: this is a book to be written as there is more on this topic than can be covered here.

    But simply put, The Holy Grail is also a chalice, a cup that is interestingly shaped a lot like a womb. The womb is where life begins, the universe of creation for all humans. Thanks to modern day science we know a lot about how a womb functions, but much is still a mystery … now imagine if you lived around the 1st Century AD when several stories in the Bible were written. What would you think a womb was? but The Holy Grail.

    We also now know that the gestation period for human life is about 40 weeks or 9 months. As I mentioned above, Lilith moves about 40 degrees and 40 minutes a year, but also on a 9 year cycle. So, is Lilith not a womb – the mysterious powerful center of all creation?

    Back to Adam and Eve, what did they do? they shagged, Adam was hung (the serpent) it was sweet (the apple) they made babies in a womb (Lilith). The Bible says, God wasn’t happy about all this bonking in the Garden of Eden so in Genesis 3:16 he said to Eve (women) “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children.”. Again here we get a subtle link to the Mythology of Lilith murdering, stealing babies sometimes savagely from the wombs of their mothers.

    • There is a relationship between the immune system and the womb that needs to be further explored. The immune system after birth assumes part of the womb’s function and is one key to working with in utero emotional foundations.

    • Thank You Osiris Wife. I appreciate your response very much. (It kind of touched my heart) ⚪️ God was upset with them because they were naked ~ and embarrassed ~ the reason for their embarrassment was due to eating from the tree of knowledge ???so yea you are right they were totally shagging. Lol ?
      I did a sabbatical back in 2008. I moved away from all my family and friends, into a church in the middle of nowhere, and I knew none of the other women at the church, but I lived with and studied under many people of the Bible. I did this for a year! We would fast food, sleep (all day, for days at a time it was called Spiritual Emphasis) in order to pray and draw closer to the Holy Spirit. We would also go through periods of silence where we would not speak a word to anybody! They longest I ever went without speaking to somebody else was 2 weeks. Trust me that’s a long time, and I did have major breakthroughs. The Christian world is just VERY different from the secular world. Talking about this is sounds crazier than it actually was. You can gain by denying. You know, we talked a lot about spiritual warfare. It was nuts but I’m glad I did it. I really learned so much. I don’t know why I’m telling you all this but there you go! Thank you Osiris Wife big hugs.

  4. Women have traditionally not been allowed to express anger, loudness and their sexuality. They have been expected to be receptive but not assertive. Lilith’s myth plays into what women need to feel whole & to fully be all they can be.

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