Magick & Ritual » Lilith
In preparing for the Fall Series of magick, Lilith came to me in a dream. We stood on the shores of the red sea where I watched three angels threaten her life and the lives of all children should she not come back to Adam in the Garden of Eden. She stood her ground and declared her authority over all children but refused to submit to Adam. In an instant, we were cast into the sea where we ultimately succumbed to the violent waves and sunk to the bottom of the sea. Our bodies died, but we were very much alive. When I woke, I felt the pain of injustice done to her, then I felt guilty for admiring her rebel ways without respect for her suffering. I knew at that point Lilith was calling.
If you are familiar with Lilith, you know her story as a demon, sexual wonton, baby killer, Adam and Lucifer’s first wife, and/or the first feminist. All stories told about her and not a single story told by her.
Let's source the story of Lilith from the beginning so we understand the magnitude of curses that have put on her and by association all men, women, and children. But before I go any further, it is important to note that this has nothing to do with believing in God or following any religion. We are studying the timeline of historical facts and responding to unresolved ancestral traumas. Personal belief in God is irrelevant in this perspective. What matters is the greater population of humanity believed it and it has shaped our belief systems today.
I believe Lilith plays an important part in the equal rights movements of today but there is a great amount of ancestral, cultural and familial traumas that need to be addressed. Ancestral healing involves the healing of our ancestors conflicted emotions, experiences, problems, and traumas that remain unresolved to this day. This healing process is important because we are impacted by emotional and energetic patterns from prior generations.
Since energy is never lost, the emotional issues or problems that were not resolved in our ancestors’ time can hover in our energy field thus creating obstacles in our lives, blocking our pathway to authenticity.
By connecting with our ancestors in a deep and meaningful way you can release and liberate both you and your ancestors. This is done in a meeting of the higher selves accomplished through akashic record retrieval and channeling. It is here that we can discover unresolved issues and express love, compassion, gratitude, comfort, or forgiveness for whatever they may have done, thought, said, felt or experienced that needs healing.
Living in reverence for our ancestral lines, making decisions based on the effect we have on future generations and healing the past for a better future are practicable and observable virtues that take root in spiritual principles.
I have dedicated the first part of the Fall Series to cultivate that ancestral connection, so we can clear away obstacles preventing us from living authentically. When I speak of authenticity I am talking about our greatest potential and truth without judgment, shame or shaping of external forces.
I'm going to scratch the surface on Lilith for a bit. First, I will piece together the bits in which we find her in ancient texts starting with the origin of her legend proceeding throughout the centuries to modern times. Then I will explain the thousands of years of curses put onto her. After that, I will share what we can do about it! Here we go!
The modern Legends of Lilith derive from Proto-Semitic, hypothetical and reconstructed meanings of the ancient Semitic language. The origins of her name have translated to spirits, air spirit, night, a female demon, south wind, lady air, moon, screech owl, night creatures, night monsters, night hag and disease bearing winds.
In Tablet XII of the Epic of Gilgamesh, the word ki-sikil-lil-la-ke was translated as Lilith which associated her with a serpent and a zu bird (which we see much later on further connecting her to Midrash with Eve and the serpent in the Garden of Eden.)
In the Old Testament Lilith is referred to in Isaiah 34:14 as one of the unclean animals of Edom. The original Hebrew word is lilit translated as Lilith. According to Isaiah, when God's vengeance has turned the land into a wilderness, "there shall the beasts of the desert meet with the jackals, and the wild goat shall cry to his fellow; the Lilith also shall settle there, and find for herself a place of rest."
Translations of Genesis 1 and 2 of the Old Testament clearly contradict one another regarding women’s creation and equality. In an effort to explain these inconsistencies, Jewish Rabbis developed a complex interpretative system called the Midrash. Midrashic literature attempts to reconcile biblical contradictions and bring new meaning to the scriptural text. According to Midrashic literature, Adam's first wife was not Eve but a woman named Lilith, who was created in the first Genesis account. Only when Lilith rebelled and abandoned Adam did God create Eve, in the second account, as a replacement.
Most of what we know today about Lilith comes from Midrashic literature based on their understanding of the fifth alphabet in the Alphabet of Ben Sira. The Alphabet of Ben Sira is an anonymous medieval text attributed to Jesus ben Sirach, the author of the Wisdom of Sirach. It is a compilation of two lists of proverbs, 22 in Aramaic and 22 in Hebrew, both arranged as alphabetic acrostics. Each proverb is followed by a Haggadic commentary. This text is believed to be written sometime between 700 and 1000 CE. The text is best known because of its reference to Lilith, and it is the fifth of Ben Sira's responses to King Nebuchadnezzar. It is translated and copied here in its entirety:
Soon afterward the young son of the king took ill. Said Nebuchadnezzar, "Heal my son. If you don't, I will kill you." Ben Sira immediately sat down and wrote an amulet with the Holy Name, and he inscribed on it the angels in charge of medicine by their names, forms, and images, and by their wings, hands, and feet. Nebuchadnezzar looked at the amulet and asked: "Who are these?" Ben Sira answered, “The angels who are in charge of medicine: Snvi, Snsvi, and Smnglof.” [In English: Senoy, Sansenoy, and Semangelof.]
While God created Adam, who was alone, He said, “It is not good for man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18). He also created a woman from the earth, as He had created Adam himself, and called her Lilith. Adam and Lilith immediately began to fight. 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 responded, “We are equal to each other inasmuch as we were both created from the earth.” But they would not listen to one another.
When Lilith saw this, she pronounced the Ineffable Name and flew away into the air. Adam stood in prayer before his Creator: “Sovereign of the universe!” he said, “the woman you gave me has run away.” At once, the Holy One, blessed be He, sent these three angels to bring her back.
Said the Holy One to Adam, “If she agrees to come back, what is made is good. If not, she must permit one hundred of her children to die every day.” The angels left God and pursued Lilith, whom they overtook in the midst of the sea, in the mighty waters wherein the Egyptians were destined to drown. They told her God's word, but she did not wish to return. The angels said, “We shall drown you in the sea.” "Leave me!” she said. “I was created only to cause sickness to infants. If the infant is male, I have dominion over him for eight days after his birth, and if female, for twenty days.”
When the angels heard Lilith's words, they insisted she go back. But she swore to them by the name of the living and eternal God: “Whenever I see you or your names or your forms in an amulet, I will have no power over that infant.” She also agreed to have one hundred of her children die every day. Accordingly, every day one hundred demons perish, and for the same reason, we write the angels names on the amulets of young children. When Lilith sees their names, she remembers her oath and the child recovers.
In Jewish Folklore, Lilith is an actual demoness who is blamed for mothers dying in childbirth, still-birth, crib-death, "night-hag syndrome," and erotic dreams among men.
Derived from the Latin word succubae, translated as "to lie beneath" Lilith has also been named a Succubus excusing all forms of unholy sexual release as the evil corruption of Lilith.
But the demonizing of Lilith did not stop with stories and legends. Aramaic incantation bowls, commonly known as magic bowls or demon bowls were widely used to protect families from demons such as Lilith. Scribes were commissioned to write specific incantations, spells and curses on the surface of the bowl where they would later bury it upside down to catch demons and/or the night terror Lilith from stealing their babies, or causing death, sickness, and divorce.
So, there it is in a nutshell…Ancient legend recreated by medieval prophets and religious scholars to control women. We must persist in the undoing until it is completely undone.
Lilith today is a liberator of women’s rights. She represents the struggle for authenticity and equality that we all face. Inviting Lilith into our life allows us to reflect on the parts of her story that represent truth in our life. Working with Lilith is a journey of authenticity, personal power, truth, and freedom.
So it will be. The Fall Series kit in September has a specially curated ritual for Justice using an ancestral healing incantation bowl to invoke Lilith on the Libra New Moon October 9th. By the end, I hope to have opened a place within us to feel her strength, hear her words and release the curse.