The Goddess Lilith – Reclaiming Women’s Power & Survival

The Goddess Lilith - Reclaiming Womens Power and Survival by Kimberly F Moore on MotherHouse of the Goddess

The origins of the Goddess Lilith are shrouded in mystery which seems appropos for Her.  She is a banner for female power, authenticity, and the act of reclaiming parts of our Selves that are vital for survival.  Many of Her stories are dark – whispers of stealing babies and cavorting with demons.  They call Her a winged succubus, the bride of the devil and the patriarchy has seemed determined to make Lilith an object of fear and loathing.

As a Goddess with no cults or defined ritual ceremonies, seeking the threads of Lilith’s origins can be challenging.  Lilith’s most ancient forms seem to be of a Bird and/or Snake Goddess.  Her name appears as a spirit of the wind in early Sumer, associated with Queen of Heaven and Earth, Innana.  By 2400 bce, as patriarchy began to encroach on Sumerian myths and traditions, Lilith was transformed into a demon of the night who caused storms and destructive winds.  Several classes of demons were named for Her: the vampiric Lillu demons, the Lilitu (she-demons), and the Ardat Lili and the Irdu Lili who haunted lonely places waiting to prey on humans and conceive demon babies.

The Lilu, the Lilit, the night Lili,

Enchantments, disasters, spells,

Illnesses, evil charms,

In the name of heaven

and in the name of earth

Let them be exorcised.

~ from an ancient Babylonian seal

This litany of demonic beings is at complete odds with the graceful Spirit of the Air and Maiden of Innanna’s temples that was represented by a lily and surrounded by owls and lions.  

As Sumerian culture was further superseded by the Babylonian, Hittite,and Semitic civilizations, the demonization of Lilith continued.  In the Epic of Gilgamesh, Lilith is the snake that rests in the tree and refuses to vacate it.  The Goddess Innana turns to the”hero” Gilgamesh who in turn slays the serpent (sound familiar?) and restores the tree to Innana.  Of course, in this rendition as created by men, the Goddess Inanna is grateful to Gilgamesh for banishing Her previous handmaiden – more layers to the banishing of Lilith.

Lilith was absorbed into Hebrew legends after the Babylonian exile (approximately 586 bce) and installed into Jewish demonology as a “buyer beware” sign to the Hebrew women who continued their tradition of praying to the Great Goddess.  To promote submissiveness and adherence to the new monotheistic religion that the men were creating, Lilith was held up as a woman rejected and cast out.  When She does not submit to Adam as his first wife, She is called the mother of demons and accused of killing children.  She was the ancient symbol of what happened to women who demanded equality and disobeyed their husbands.

The Goddess Lilith - Reclaiming Women's Power and Survival by Kimberly Moore for MotherHouse of the GoddessThe bible speaks of the evil serpent who offers Eve (the new wife) a bite of the apple in the Garden of Eden.  Here again is Lilith as the serpent Goddess but in a twisted fashion as the root of the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden.  Eve has been blamed for accepting the temptation of the serpent for 2000 years, but Lilith was the vehicle for that temptation.

For centuries, Lilith was relegated to the dusty, depths of the Zohar and only spoken of in prayers of protection against Her evil behavior.  If men had wet dreams, it was blamed on Lilith. If infants died in their sleep, it was blamed on Lilith.  She has been shrouded not only in mystery but in hundreds of years of fear, blame, rage, and isolation.  Patriarchy established a pattern of a “woman” who disobeys man, flees from man, lives in isolation, takes out Her rage on innocents, and is the eternal femme fatale (emphasis on fatale).

What is left for modern women?  Is Lilith just another casualty of patriarchy or has She survived over two thousand years of histrionic repression?

Like the screech owl for whom Lilith is named, Her screech cannot be silenced.  She is all women who have been subjugated, humiliated, and cast out from male-defined society.  Her rage is the rage of women who have realized that our natural women’s sexuality has been made dirty by men who fear the power of it and the power of free women.

Lilith is the experience large and small of each and every woman on this planet at one or more times in our lives: the rape victim who was asking for it; the woman who is told to shut up and, if she fails to do that, who is ignored; women who bump up against “glass ceilings;” women whose natural rhythms are disrespected, bullied into hiding, and are even denuded through pharmaceuticals and surgical manipulations; women who are told through nearly every aspect of society that they are not good enough, pretty enough, thin enough, or accomplished enough – and that they never will be; women told that their growth depends on the surrender of their bodies against their will and true desires; women who are subjected to sexual mutilation; the woman who lives in fear and isolation in her relationship with a man.

As I was writing this copy, I saw Lilith standing on the shores of the Red Sea.  She was standing in the surf, wind blowing Her long red hair in tangles and the expression on Her face was one of calm defiance.  Gone was the rage, the humiliation.  The elementals danced around Her in delight.  Here was a woman, a Goddess who has heard it all and been called every negative name in the book.  Here was a woman, a Goddess who mourned and then gathered Herself together to stand tall and straight and beautiful once again.  Here is a woman, a Goddess that is the symbol of reclaiming our Women’s Power and surviving.  

Lilith brings us the message of creative female force in the breath of Her beloved spirits of Air. In Her serpent form, She calls us to cast off the parts of our lives that our suppressing us. Through all forms, She invites us to stand with Her and to know that we are never, ever alone.

Additional Resources to connect with the Goddess Lilith:

Which Lilith? Feminist Writers Re-Create the World’s First Woman edited by Enid Dame

Lilith – The First Eve by Siegmund Hurwitz

The Book of Lilith by Barbara Black Koltuv

Living Lilith – Four Dimensions of the Cosmic Feminine by M. Kelley Hunter

Eliza Fayle did a Lilith column for many months on The MotherHouse of the Goddess based on the following book and her personal experiences with the Goddess Lilith:

Lilith – Healing the Wild by Tom Jacobs

 

 

About Kimberly - Priestess & Founder

25 Responses to “The Goddess Lilith – Reclaiming Women’s Power & Survival”

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  1. Wow…this made me cry. Lilith has always been a Goddess I was fascinated by, but still never got a chance to learn deeply about. This SCREAMED at me in a good way! Thank you Kimberly!

  2. Priestess Auset Ra Amen says:

    Thank you for this, in fact I’m about to correct a man who just posted an article using black magic to subjugate a lover, and of course the patron deity of such foolery is none other than the dreaded succubus demonic Lillith. I’m also a lifelong goddess worshiper and channeled Lillith years ago, what was told to me is these stories are lies and you cannot destroy Lillith anymore than you can destroy the wind, keep in mind this was before I knew of her association with the wind. I too was distraught hearing all these wicked things about her, so being a necromancer I channeled her and quite frankly she’s very tickled with patriarchy and its rabid witch hunt of her. so thank an may the Goddess continue to richly bless you as you continue to manifest your destiny here on earth Ase!!

    • Kimberly - Priestess & Founder says:

      Thank you for your comment – Goddess has a way of teaching Her lessons in Her own special way.

  3. Shakti says:

    This is so needed! Thank you for sharing your powerful words. They struck a cord deep within me. Blessed be Her… always!

  4. Scott says:

    You ladies are delusional and pathetic.

    • Kimberly - Priestess & Founder says:

      Thank you, Scott, for effectively illustrating what this article is about. Name-calling and attempts to suppress women’s opinions are exactly what Goddess, Lilith, and women have been experiencing for thousands of years. And yet … here we are. Radiantly present and amused by petty attempts to undermine. May Goddess shine Her light on you and your fear.

  5. Elodie says:

    So many times we as women are told to be ‘nice’. Our outrage we are told to repress. We are told our shadow side is somehow wrong. There’s nothing wrong with our rage at the people and society that rape us on regular basis. We are endoctrinated to be ‘good’ girls. What’s wrong with a young woman expressing her sexuality? What’s wrong with our fierceness against the rapist? Why must I deny my rage against my abuser? We as women need to recognize and become comfortable with our darkness. The shadows that dwell inside. Own ourselves, all of ourselves. Men, patriarchy fears us because we guard the gates of life and death. They demonize our Goddess, and seek to keep us in a box they can quantify, and control. Birthright, and hereditary used to be matrilinear. Because only a woman can name the father of a child. I refuse to lay down, and cut off peices of myself to fit into someone else idea of who I should be. I will love and accept myself, my tears, my joys, my scars, my beauty. Lilith is representative of all my sides. She is beautiful and deserves to be restored to her former glory.

  6. Jennifer says:

    Her time has come again, and we are her voice. I find much healing and strength in the goddesses that are most feared and misunderstood…those who guide us when the moon is dark.

  7. medusawink says:

    She has survived – the humiliation, the denigration…
    the moments, the centuries when her shoulders slumped under the burden of hate,
    when she hung her head to hide her burning tears as voices raised and spat out lies and poison.
    Yet in a hidden cave within her soul her flickered pride and certainty – a small flame
    that warmed her through the most chill winters,
    and when they came again,
    at first the faintest whispers,
    that resolved into the melody of women’s voices singing, calling her name…
    the beat of dancing feet and the ferocious alala war cry of women
    reclaiming their Goddess.
    And she dances,
    red hair flying free,
    strong hands raised to
    the open sky – her eyes
    farseeing, and her heart
    pounding the rhythm of the blood
    that flows
    through my veins
    and yours.

  8. Jennifer says:

    Thank you so much for this.Lilith has called out to me and released me from my christian bonds. I was minimized and stepped on by their god and followers but I have awoken to a new understanding of my role as a strong woman ,capable of rising above.Your words warmed me and helped reveal a few things that I hadn’t realized.Thank You

  9. Kristina says:

    Thank you so much for this post! I am truly inspired by Lilith! Your words are so powerful! I am in the process of creating my own blog about reclaiming the feminine. Could offer any advice on blogging about this content? I am a bit nervous because of the vulnerability of writing for the public. Anyway, thank you for this!

    Blessed Be, lovely.

  10. Julia says:

    I’ve always been drawn to Lilith. Always found comfort in her energies.

  11. Kenneth says:

    Hi,

    I’m looking for good sources of information about goddess Lillith and came by this site. I’m studying primordial gnostics and seek ways to liberate my spirit (not my soul) and her name came is called in fragments i have about primordial gnostics. Here is one fragment:

    TO GIVE LILLITH A FACE is a supreme experience that means: TO CONTEMPLATE THE DIVINE FACE OF THE HYPERBOREAN WOMAN AGAIN, AFTER MILLIONS OF YEARS OF INFAMY.

    To me she is not a demon and she isn’t even from this world we call creation (nor are our spirits). Also in my oppinion our world is simply hell (why do we must suffer the pain and suffering?) and this is also stated in primordial gnostics. This gnostics also states that all known gods are simply one and the same……satan the creator of our world/universe.

    Like lucifer she has been demonised so we the confused human-animal will never know our true origen nor would we really know our true self the uncreated spirit but Lillith is an important part of it. So i’m studying the origens of Lillith now so i can start to determin which women are those of the flesh and which are those of the divine.

    I hope you can help me with some good sources.

    Many thanks in advance!

    • Kimberly - Priestess & Founder says:

      HI Kenneth! Thanks for your comment and love your study! Check out the books at the end of the article – they are some of my faves for Lilith!

  12. Anonymous male says:

    I am a senior citizen from a Christian background who has only recently become attracted to Goddess Spirituality. I want to learn all that I can about the Goddess path and this article is very enlightening for me. I appreciate it. Thank you and bless you.

    • Kimberly - Priestess & Founder says:

      Thank you for your comment and many blessings on your path! There is lots of good info on the site. xo Kimberly

  13. ruby salaz says:

    she is a goddess in my eyes. you told her story so beautifily. any way to invite her in my life , please let me know

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  1. […] authenticity, and the act of reclaiming parts of our Selves that are vital for survival” (Kimberly Moore). The earliest Lilith was a Sumerian snake or bird goddess, later incorporated into Babylonian and […]



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