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Lilith, Mesopatamian Bird Goddess of Fertility

Lilith is known to be the Sumerian/Babylonian Dark Goddess, and Demon Goddess. She was portrayed with dark wings and sometimes with clawed feet. It seems as though she might have originally been seen as a Bird Goddess from ancient cultures. She also has strong associations with serpents, and in some of her depictions in earlier myths, she is portrayed as having half of her body in the form of a serpent, and the other half with breasts and that of a woman. Some dispute her origins saying that she was much older than the Sumerian/Babylonian culture. Her most famous depiction and myths comes to us from Hebrew texts in the Story of Adam.

Her original myth from Sumerian culture speaks of her being the “hand of Inanna”. She was said to find men in the streets and lead them to the temples of the sacred prostitutes. She was also known to assist in childbirth and infant care. Lilith lived inside the huluppu tree which grew in Inanna’s garden. After a few years, Inanna came out to harvest the tree for a throne she wanted to build, only to find a serpent living at it’s base, a Zu bird with a nest in the branches and the Goddess Lilith living in it’s trunk. Gilgamesh, who was known to be a demigod and a king in Sumerian mythology, helped Inanna remove the snake, and the bird, then he forces out the Goddess Lilith who fly’s away into the Dark goddesses sky.

Her most well known myth comes from the Hebrew stories of her being the first wife of Adam. Since Lilith was a powerfully independent, sexual Goddess, she was not used to being submissive to men. That was not how her culture worked. Sexuality was not seen as something bad or evil in the ancient world. Only when the patriarchal cultures such as Judaism and Christianity took over did sexuality become seen as an evil sin. So Lilith refused to lie on her back while Adam took the dominant sexual position. She believed that love making should be equal. Adam did not agree with this and demanded that she be submissive to him. So Lilith left the garden of Eden. Later in Hebrew myth, she became demonized as an evil sexual demon who preyed on men at night. Better known as the Succubus, she would sneak into men’s bedrooms at night and give them wet dreams.

It seems that Lilith, like many other Goddesses, was demonized by Patriarchy, in an attempt to stop her worship. Today Lilith represents a strong woman confident in her sexual powers. She teaches us to not be afraid or ashamed of being sexual, and to be comfortable in our sexuality. To be strong and never be submissive to anyone. To stand up for ourselves and be strong confident women. Call on Lilith when you need to feel more power to handle a difficult situation, or to feel more confident in your sexuality as a woman.

Lilith, in my opinion, is really a Goddess for women. Everything she represents is women’s power and strength, and her sexual side represents that women too are sexual beings. And that’s not something to be demonized as it has been for many years. Many times in our society, if you are a woman who is comfortable in her sexuality, you may be seen as being “promiscuous”. It is not as acceptable for a woman to be sexual than it is for a man. It was not this way in the ancient world. Sexuality was seen as totally equal for both men and women, and had no relation to anything evil, sinful or dirty.

On your altar for Lilith, have a picture or statue of the Goddess, colors of black, red, white and blue, have dark feathers and a representation of a snake. Have crystals of turquoise, moonstone, black obsidian, herbs of mugwort, vervain and mandrake. Her moon phases are dark and new.

 

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