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20 November 2006 @ 12:12 pm
Soul Awakening  
When a woman comes to a certain age, usually when her children are nearing adulthood, she may come under the influence of Lilith, Goddess of personal
freedom, rebellion, and antagonism toward family. Is this a good thing, or is this bad? Who is this Lilith, and what does she want with my wife/mother/self? How does one know when Lilith has come? And how does one cope with her?

First, it is important to understand Gods and Goddesses as externalized images of the inner forces of the psyche. Every soul urge, every fear, and every instinctive urge that nudges us away from our core self, for example the urge to procreate, the urge to sex and marriage, fear of Father/Mother, can be seen as a god or goddess making known their influence. This way of understanding our urges and fears can be very usefull because it puts the I, the true self, in the driver's seat as observer and mediator. We say: Aphrodite has filled me with lust for this lovey man, but I know this isn't a good time or situation overall, to become involved with him. We say: Demeter has given me the desire for a child and the I decides yes, or no, or later. When we come to an understanding of true self, and the forces of the human condition which act on us, we have a powerful tool toward personal happiness and spiritual evolution. I just want to make clear that I do not believe that there exists, in the etheric realm, external beings aprowl for the susceptible, within which to express, though I could be wrong.

So who is this Lilith? Historically there is some evidence of such a spirit as far back as Sumerian times, were she appears as the wind spirit, driven out of

Inanna's Huluppu tree.
"Then a serpent who could not be charmed
Made its nest in the roots of the huluppu-tree.
The Anzu-bird set his young in the branches of the tree.
And the dark maid Lilith built her home in the trunk."
In symbolic language any tree with a serpent at it's base (the kundalini), a wind-woman in it's midst (the cerebellum) and a great bird at it's crown (the silent forebrain), what is being spoken of is the human central nervous system. That Inanna wished to drive out these things which give a human divinity and freewill, is to say she desired worship and dominion over a group of humans. Some scolars object to the interpretation of this being in the midst of the tree as Lilith, but the icon is repeated in many cultures (the norse world tree, the tree of the Hesperides) and is consistant also with later understandings of Lilith as self will in women.

It is possible we see Lilith again in the Burney Relief (ca. 1950 BC) a Babylonian terracotta relief of a winged goddess-like figure with bird's talons, flanked by owls and perched upon supine lions, though the identification of this figure is hotly debated. One thing not debated however, is that the owl was later considered the animal form of this goddess, that they share the same nasty reputation, and that the goddess was appeased by the wearing of amulets depicting an owl. Obviously the demonization of Lilith was well progressed at this juncture.

Later, in the first millenium bce., there are three closely related, Lilith-like figures found Babylonian mythology. Lilu, a male demon. Lilitu and Ardat Lili, who are female succubi. And it is believed Lilitu eventually became known as the Lilith of Isaiah 34:14 in the Hebrew bible, litteraly:
"yelpers meet howlers; hairy-ones cry to fellow. liyliyth reposes, acquires resting-place."
Which was translated in the King James Bible as
"The wild beasts of the desert shall also meet with the wild beasts of the island, and the satyr shall cry to his fellow; the screech owl/Lilith/Night hag also shall rest there, and find for herself a place of rest."
This referring to the desolation of Edom.

Lilith is mentioned in the Dead Sea Scrolls
"And I, the Instructor, proclaim His glorious splendor so as to frighten and to te[rrify] all the spirits of the destroying angels, spirits of the bastards, demons, Lilith, howlers, and [desert dwellers…] and those which fall upon men without warning to lead them astray from a spirit of understanding and to make their heart and their […] desolate during the present dominion of wickedness and predetermined time of humiliations for the sons of lig[ht], by the guilt of the ages of [those] smitten by iniquity – not for eternal destruction, [bu]t for an era of humiliation for transgression. "

Another text discovered at Qumran seems to refer to Lilith, again as temptress, and night demon. She is mentioned in the Talmud.

But the mythos of Lilith really is fleshed out in the anonymous work, The Alphabet of Ben-Sira, written sometime between the 8th and 11th centuries.

Here Lilith becomes the modern woman's heroine by refusing to assume a subservient role to Adam during sexual intercourse, and deserting him.
"She said, 'I will not lie below,'
and he said, 'I will not lie beneath you, but only on top. For you are fit only to be in the bottom position, while I am to be the superior one.'"
Lilith promptly uttered the name of God, took to the air, and left the Garden, settling on the Red Sea coast, where she further insulted Adam by taking demon lovers such as Samael, and birthing demonic children. Adam urged God to bring Lilith back, and three angels were dispatched after her. She did not return to Adam, so God had to produce Eve as Lilith's more docile replacement. The angels, swore to kill one hundred of Lilith's demonic children for each day she stayed away, but she countered that she would be revenged by preying eternally upon the descendants of Adam and the usurper of her position, Eve.

I highly recommend this link for more information: http://www.sacred-texts.com/bos/bos244.htm

It is easy to see that the myths of Lilith, that evolved in patriarchal cultures - Judaic, Islamic, Christian - would be viewed by women today as something of a smear campaign. To the modern woman Lilith is Adam's soulmate, his equal, who refused to be anything other than such. Lilith embodies woman's disappointment with the man of her girlish dreams, who never came for her, but, as embodied by all the men she has known, only wished to keep her in line with patriarchal intimidations. Lilith embodies the rage of a woman who knows her place has been usurped; who knows the world is a hostile place for her daughters; who's son grew up to be 'a man'. And the modern woman has hope that Lilith, as a storm Goddess, brings in on her wings the winds of change in midlife.

Our need for, and understanding of, Gods and Goddesses evolves as our culture evolves. To be reborn in this modern era Lilith had to speak to something in a woman's soul that hungered for expression. Thus, the historic depictions of Lilith are only relevant when they speak to this soul hungering, and those who point to the historic Lilith and say modern understandings are eroneous are speaking as folklorists, without recognizing the validity of her modern role. In decrying the modern woman's understanding of this Goddess they do us a disservice. It is they who have failed to understand her rebirth.

Much is written of man's midlife crisis, but not so much of woman's. How a woman may come to a point in her life when she has done all that society told her would bring her happiness and fulfillment, she has been a mother, a wife, she has served life, and has come to see that while society needs this service it has perhaps been a misservice to herself. She may feel society tricked her into assuming these roles. She may look ahead to oldage looming and recall the dreams of her youth, which slept forgotten as she was caught up in the dramas of motherhood and relationships. She may resent the people in her life who demand by their need that she remain as she has always been, 'Mom' and 'wife'. This is the influence of Lilith, or may be described so. This is really the reawakening of the soul.

This is bad news for those who need her to continue to serve their needs, children who cling to her strength, children who need Grandma to babysit,
husbands who would prefer her to remain a comfortable known. But it is good news for the woman. This is her second chance at spiritual evolution, which is the whole point of incarnation on this plane. So here we come full circle, back to the wind maiden in the tree, the cerebellum (in unromantic terms), which is the seat of God in the body.

What a woman needs at this time of life is strength and understanding. To understand the importance of her urge to destroy what has been and create something new from it; a new life, a step in spiritual evolution. The strength to fearlessly destroy that which is stultifyingly comfortable, and be faithful to her dreams. The strength to evade the chains of guilt over being 'selfish' enough, really self loving enough, to seek personal fulfillment.

In self love lies the key to reunion between Adam and Lilith. If they are soulmates, then to love self is to love the other self too. Love forgives, and after so many bitter years perhaps it is time Lilith dropped the angry victim role, and gave poor Adam some understanding and forgiveness. Afterall, we all came here, into bodies on a physical plane, to experince life, and other lovers is part of that. Without knowing the unfulfillment of other lovers how can one appreciate the greater love, of self. Most of us have experienced all that the human condition has to offer and now the experience only has to be resolved into wisdom, and once this is done love, true love is the natural next step in our evolution.

Lilith is a terrible Goddess, but great; and, if you are ready, represents a wonderful opportunity. So go out of your home some night and bless the wind. Embrace it and ask for it's blessings to flow into your life. Then hang on.