Wednesday, October 29, 2008


From Barbara Walker's "The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets." Lilith a/k/a Lilit Adam's first wife was a relic of an early rabbinical attempt to assimilate the Sumero-Babylonian Goddess Belit-ili, or Belili, to Jewish mythology. To the Canaanites, Lilit was Baalat, the "Divine Lady." On a tablet from Ur, c. 2000 BC, she was addressed as Lillake.(1) Hebraic tradition said Adam married Lilith because he grew tired of coupling with beasts, a common custom of Middle-Eastern herdsmen, though the Old Testament declard it a sin (Deut. 27:21). [Not the most auspicious of beginnings for a marriage...] Adam tried to force Lilith to lie beneath him in the "missionary position" favored by male-dominant societies. Moslems were so insistent on the male-superior sexual position that they said, "Accursed be the man who maketh woman heaven and himself earth."(2) Catholic authorities said any sexual position other than the male-superior one is sinful.(3) But Lilith was neither a Moslem nor a Catholic. She sneered at Adams's sexual crudity, cursed him, and flew away to make her home by the Red Sea. [Note the wings - an allusion to the ancient bird goddesses]. God sent angels to fetch Lilith back, but she cursed them too, ignored God's command, and spent her time coupling with "demons" (whose lovemaking evidently pleased her better) and giving birth to a hundred children every day. So God had to produce Eve as Lilith's more docile replacement. [Note: according to one of the biblical accounts of the creation of Eve, she was made out one of Adam's ribs; so, every time he made love to Eve, was he really making love to a clone of himself? Yechy!] Lilith's fecundity and sexual preferences show that she was a Great Mother of settled agricultural tribes, who resisted the invasions of nomadic herdsmen, represented by Adam [a/k/a man from the red earth - from the Bible, from dust you came and to the dust you shall return...]. Early Hebrews disliked the Great Mother who drank the blood of Abel the herdsman, after his slaying by the elder god of agriculture and smithcraft, Cain (Gen. 4:11) [Gen. 4:11: And now art thou {Cain} cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand; - King James Version]. Lilith's Red Sea was another version of Kali Ma's Ocean of Blood, which gave brith to all things but needed periodic sacrificial replenishment. There may have been a connection between Lilith and the Etruscan divinity Leinth, who had no face and who waited at the gate of the underworld along with Eita and Persipnei (Hades and Persephone) to receive the souls of the dead.(4) The underworld gate was a yoni, and also a lily, which had "no face." Admission into the underworld was often mythologized as a sexual union. The lily or lilu (lotus) was the Great Mother's flower-yoni, whose title formed Lilith's name. The story of Lilith disappeared from the canonical Bible, but her daughters the lilim haunted men for over a thousand years. Well into the Middle Ages, the Jews were still manufacturing amulets to keep away the lilim, who were lustful she-demons given to copulating with men in their dreams, causing nocturnal emissions.(5) Naturally, the lilim squatted on top of their victims in the position favored by ancient matriarchs. [No doubt thereby triggering lots of control issues and deep psychological wounds in their male "victims."] Greeks adopted the lilim and called them Lamiae, Empusae (Forcers-In), or Daughters of Hecate. [The ancient Greek men would have hated and dreaded these Forcers-In because of their cultural preference at the time for homosexuality, copulating with females usually only to produce children.] Christians also adopted them and called them harlots of hell, or succubae, the female counterparts of incubi. Celebate monks tried to fend them off by sleeping with their hands crossed over their genitals, clutching a crucifix. It was said that every time a pious Christian had a wet dream, Lilith laughed. Even if a male child laughed in his sleep, people said Lilith was fondling him. To protect baby boys against her, chalk circles were drawn around cradles with the written names of the three angeles God sent to fetch Lilith back to Adam - even though these angels had proved incapable of dealing with her. Some said men and babies should not be left alone in a house or Lilith might seize them.(6) Another common name for the Daughters of Lilith was Night-Hag. This term didn't imply that they were ugly; on the contrary, they were supposed to be very beautiful.(7) As with their brothers the incubi, they were presumed so expert at lovemaking that after an experience with a Night-Hag, a man couldn't be satisfied with the love of a mortal woman. Notes: (1) Graves & Patai, 68. (2) Edwardes, 157. (3) Graves & Patai, 67. (4) Hays, 183. (5) Graves, G.M. 1, 190. (6) Cavendish, P.E., 99. (7) Scot, 512.

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