The Goddess Lilith is a strong, sensual and passionate woman goddess, demonized in early Judaic and patriarchal traditions. Her name means “night” or “night owl”. She represents the power of the dark feminine, embodying authentic power and the ability to go deep within the darkness of the unknown, deep into the emotional and sensual experiences, bringing unbridled freedom.
As an ancient Sumerian Goddess, Lilith is known for her sexual, healing power. Her recorded history begins with the legend of Inanna, who is the “Queen of Heaven” in early Sumeria. Lilith is a priestess in the temple of Inanna. As priestess, she knows the sacred and holy sexual temple rites, and gives healing through her sensuality and sexual powers. In the Goddess Cultures of ancient times, pre-patriachy, this was accepted and honored as only sacred and holy. As this temple priestess, Lilith was seen as the maiden, or virgin aspect of the Triple Goddess, sacred in all aspects of her sexuality and a true example of the Divine Feminine.
Between 3000 BCE and 2500 BCE, the patriarchy began to come on the scene and conquer the Sacred Feminine ways of being. At this time the ancient Sumerian culture began its fall into the patriarchal views and ways, defiling the sacredness of the Goddess and all she offered to the people. The inner temple of sexual love healing was one of the first and most important desecrations the patriarchy imparted to overthrow the Goddess, distorting and making evil the Divine Feminine.
The Goddess and all the powers of Woman were oppressed which include intuition, sexual healing, sacred temple priestess rites to lead and guide the people, the power of the heart rather than the head, and the wisdom of the body as the temple to name a few. These sacred qualities and rites were sent into the shadows, feared and demonized. Women, and the feminine aspect within men, were pushed underneath the male, linear, conquering, power-over way of being.
Lilith’s story doesn’t end here. In another story of Jewish folklore from the 8th-10th century, Lilith is said to be Adam’s first wife, born of the same earth as Adam (not from his side as was Eve.) She was born of equal ground, and given equal rights by God. When she wanted that equality expressed in every way, particularly the ancient sacred sexual ways, Adam said no and wanted his patriarchal dominion. Lilith wasn’t going to have anyone dominate her. She knew her core power and essence, and called God forth, demanding he release her from this union and allow her to have her way in the world. God honored her desires, giving her wings and talons. Lilith then flew away, to live her life unfettered by the lack of cooperation, respect and dominance Adam wanted to have for her.
Once Lilith flew away to her freedom, the stories continued to demonize her as a thief of newborn infants, and one who was condemned to kill her own children. Though Lilith was demonized by the patriarchy, she always defied it, refusing submission and ending marriage with Adam so she would not be under his rule.
Understanding the story and energy of Lilith shines some light on the imprint of oppression of women and the Divine Feminine that has been going on for a very long cycle now. We are at a turning point now, of reclaiming the Divine Mother energy within and without. I find Lilith a wonderful Goddess to call upon to awaken that power and to help shed the shame and fear.
Sage Holloway, author of the Mythical Goddess Tarot, chose the Goddess Lilith for the major arcana card of the Mythical Goddess Tarot which represents the Divine Feminine essence of power. Lilith invites us to fly free from the shackles of our physical world and man’s patriarchal laws, to embrace our full unbridled power and essence of expression. She challenges us to move beyond patriarchal power and convention, to honor our heart’s desires and true nature as Divine. She asks you to be loyal to your own inner passion and make no compromise to your authentic self. Her wisdom and power challenge all that we know of our culture, yet lead us into the re-emergence of the Goddess ways of joy, pleasure and love as the core guiding wisdom.
When given the assignment of painting Lilith, and embracing her story, I must admit Lilith invited all fear I had about true power to arise and get out of the way. This Goddess is no nonsense, honest, naked and bold to be herself. She does not apologize for her strength, her passions and her sensuality. My role as artist and channel was to engage every bit of her energy, and to call it forth into imagery and form on canvas. Any fear I had of embracing this in myself had to die as I called her in. She reminded me I had this power within myself, as we each do.
Painting Lilith came with the intention of opening a doorway to her essence. It is very clear that Lilith is alive and well and ready to awaken within our very bones, loins, hearts and minds. She has no fear of the masculine and calls for equality and cooperation.
We are now in a time of restoration of the Divine Feminine, of returning to balance, and to reclaiming our sexuality, our sensuality, our sacred bodies as temples, and our essence as that which is only Divine.
Invoke the Power of Lilith into Your Life
If you have been drawn to Lilith today, whether you are male or female, call upon her courage, passion and power to be yourself. Invoke her presence by calling her sacred Name, and invite her into your heart and your life for major transformation to align with your essence. She understands and has the ability to fly away from injustice, to summon forth the power of the heavens for freedom of her true essence. Let her wisdom of holy and sacred rites come into your body, to honor it, as well as your voice, that you may give to all of yourself in a sacred life.