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Lilith and Paganism

Discussion in 'Paganism DIR' started by MoonWater, Dec 17, 2009.

  1. MoonWater

    MoonWater Warrior Bard Staff Member Premium Member

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    6,648
    I've heard the story of Lilith as Adam's first wife and this aroused my curiosity to research her more. In the process I discovered brief notes about how Paganism has come to view Lilith very differently, not as a rebellious, vengeful, baby killer; but in a sense as a symbol of feminism and the fight for female equality. I'm wanting to do more research on this aspect of Lilith and thought it might be neat to have a thread here where people could post up what tidbits, web links, and books they were aware of that could offer more insight.

    So has anyone else here heard of Lilith in association with Paganism? And if you have what do you know of her in regards with this association?

    Please remember this is in the Pagan DIR
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2009
  2. Storm

    Storm ThrUU the Looking Glass

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    Religion:
    UU/ panentheist/ neopagan/ process theology
    I don't know much of the historical Lilith, but the Dianic movement (among others) has completely reinvented her.
     
  3. Mr Cheese

    Mr Cheese New Member

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    6,579
    lillith is often placed at the bottom of the tree of evil in satanic kabbalah and soem golden dawn based sytems

    although she is also placed at Yesod, quite rightly, being a moon Goddess...and essentially the Goddess of the genitals...
    Cycles of the Aeons | A Valentinian Exposition
     
  4. MoonWater

    MoonWater Warrior Bard Staff Member Premium Member

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    It is those reinventions that I'm interested in primarily. Do you know anything about how the Dianic movement has reinvented her?
     
  5. Storm

    Storm ThrUU the Looking Glass

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    Religion:
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    A bit.

    She's come to be seen as the original feminist icon, cast out of Eden for refusing to submit.
     
  6. Gentoo

    Gentoo The Feisty Penguin

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    This is what I've heard...
     
  7. smitten508

    smitten508 New Member

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    The new lilith is the woman that wouldn't sit at the back of the bus... I can't give any concrete book titles, but many pagan books have come to veiw her as the patron goddess of those women who "don't need a man". This is also a semi-Christian veiw of her as well, although with a slightly different slant.lol. But she is indeed a beautiful expression of femininity among a patriarchal society.
     
  8. WayFarer

    WayFarer Rogue Scholar

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    266
    If I may give a brief run through of one of the Lilith histories for those who find this to be their starting stop for research on her...

    Our story begins in the Garden of Eden...
    God creates Adam. This is well and good.
    God's right-hand-man and second in charge Samuel (all angels names are titles/attributes and end in "el" indicating they are part of/aligned with God) thinks he'll help out and create Lilith.
    Adam is kind of a jerk since God created him (first) and thinks Lilith should be subservient. Lilith doesn't see it that way.
    Adam whines to God about it and God gets upset that Samuel overstepped his boundary. God tell Samuel to get rid of Lilith.
    Samuel tells Lilith to leave Eden. See goes east of Eden. There Samuel creates for her a man. His name is Asmodeus (sometimes Asmodean). This is unbeknownst to God.
    God then makes Eve from Adam to show she comes from him and is a part of him hoping this would make her feel subservient to him.
    After a bit Samuel gets upset about Eve and his being slighted for trying to help out and so he goes and tempts her with the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge to make her look bad in God's eyes.
    It gets God mad at both Adam and Eve. He kicks them out of Eden.
    About this time He figures out what Samuel has been up to, Samuel gets stripped of his name/title and things go to Hell.
    We hit the Cain and Able story. Cain offs Able and then goes east of Eden to the Land of Nod and finds a wife. (How come most people don't say "A what? Where did she come from?" I'll never know. There are some interesting stories here about Cain meeting Lilith and his turning his back on God's forgiveness because he can not forgive himself, but these aren't really a part of this outline. Just "FYI".)
    So from here we have regular people (other children of Adam and Eve), demons and things-that-go-bump-in-the-night (children of Lilith and Asmodeus), and witches and various other sorts (children of Cain and Lilith's daughter).
    That's the quick and a generally accepted version.
     
  9. MoonWater

    MoonWater Warrior Bard Staff Member Premium Member

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    wayfarer this thread is specifically about the character of lilith as it pertains to pagansim and the feminist movement, not the old lilith myths of christianity.

    though I am curious as to your source for that version as it is one I have never heard of before. The one I came across most was the one where Lilith left of her own volition when adam demanded she be subordinate to him. On the way out she spoke the name of god which gave her great power. God sent to angels to retrieve her but she refused to come back so god cursed her to lose 100 of her children every day. Lilith decided to return the favor by saying that 100 of god's children would die everyday.That's the one I keep coming across in my research so I'd like to know where you got the one you put forth
     
  10. WayFarer

    WayFarer Rogue Scholar

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    266
    Moonwater
    I was aware that primary area of focus was Lilith in relation to paganism. And if read with another view that is were the time line I put forth would take it there. It has shows Lilith as the primary cause for witches. Now admittedly this is from a Jewish/Christian/Islamic (to a degree) perspective, however it is just an origin of Lilith time line. Not what is done with it. Certain groups take that timeline (or variation thereof) and make her a focus for mankind's woes. Another and icon for feminism. Another the source of witch(s)/witchcraft. Some have a different Lilith story all together, though a good number of those still start her out in Eden and with Adam so it is hard to get away from her association with the book of Genesis.

    As to my source for the time line, well lots and lots of research. Specifically studying a lot of Jewish writings. From folklore, the Talmud to Kabbalah. I have read a few stories of interest - years ago - that were Islamic folklore on Lilith, but that was a while back.

    It was offered as a quick origin pseudo-historical timeline for Storm and/or anyone else who did not have much info on her origins and encourage all who are interested to study all you can get your hands on about her. There is quite a bit out there if your interested and want to spend the time. I must admit that most of my research was done the old school way with books and often in libraries instead of the internet because the world wide web did not exist when I did most of my research on her.

    Oh there is an interesting (Stregan?) version of her origin somewhere that associates her with Diana (as another name perhaps?) and Ardia. Stories abound.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2010
  11. Shyanekh

    Shyanekh Well-Known Member

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    3,869
    Lilith is a dreadfully complex figure... I know that one of her earliest incarnations was as a storm/disease demon, but she has been through countless different evolutions throughout her existence. The idea that she was the first wife of Adam was a romantic invention (I think) and she was mentioned in various poems and dramas (including one version of Dr Faustus I believe).
    My knowledge of Lilith is a bit scattered due to the fact that I've read up on her a fair bit and it seems that opinions of what she is and what she does vary drastically from scholar to scholar (that and since I've been snowed in and unable to do any shopping I haven't eaten for two days...)

    From what I've read she has been:
    a storm demon
    a succubus
    the first wife of adam
    the bride of Satan/Lucifer/Samael and the Queen of Hell
    an angel of prostitution
    a goddess of sex
    a feminist goddess
    the Queen of Vampires (as in, traditional demonic vampires, not the modern notion)

    and that's to name just a few.

    One of the only groups I've heard of that worship her as a deity is the Church of Azazel, who hold her to be a powerful liberating force for all women (and indeed, all men too).
     
  12. Reverend Rick

    Reverend Rick Frubal Whore Staff Member Premium Member

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    20,908
    As a former Pagan, I cannot comment on the subject but may ask respectful questions.

    Has anyone ever heard a tale about Lilith seducing God?
     
  13. te_lanus

    te_lanus Alien Hybrid

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  14. MoonWater

    MoonWater Warrior Bard Staff Member Premium Member

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    my apologies, yes I didn't catch that side of it. Very interesting, thanks for sharing
     
  15. MoonWater

    MoonWater Warrior Bard Staff Member Premium Member

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    a very interesting read, thanks te lanus
     
  16. ChaoticCreature

    ChaoticCreature Chaos Magician

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    I'm new here and a lot of you seem very knowledgable. See i had a dream last night that had Lilith mentioned. I was in my house and some group was building a shrine to Lilith in my living room. Ok well most people would say "that means she's calling to you" but here goes the confusing part. Another person that wasn't part of the shrine building group was trying to invoke Lilith to put a curse on me or a curse on somebody. I was like an invisible obserbver in the dream and now that I think of it I might have been the one doing the curse. Anyway in my dream I was paranoid thinking I might get cursed so yeah. What could this mean? Any help greatly appriecated.
     
  17. Sylvan

    Sylvan Unrepentant goofer duster

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    I would say it means to be careful regarding any power you hold. Whether magical or over others. Being of a habit of cursing people invites the belief that others are cursing you.

    I know and have known people two different people who worked with Her very seriously. Both of whom advised extreme caution re: her and in fact oathbound me from saying anything more about it. She is not typically someone who just lightly calls to people. This is just my experience.
     
  18. ChaoticCreature

    ChaoticCreature Chaos Magician

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    4
    Thankyou so much Sylvan. But do you think she might be calling to me or just giving me some information.
     
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