Lilith. Oh, but how easily a name can conjure up such angst, especially with regards to the prevailing Judeo-Christian worldview that seeps its insidious way into even the hardest of agnostic’s hearts. Screech Owl. Queen of the succubi. For some, the first vampire, for others, the first woman. Since the Garden of Eden she has worn many faces and held many names, all of them evil. Except there may never have been any such place, and far from being dependant on its existence she instead predates it entirely, finding one of her earliest homes near ancient Sumeria in the years before Christ.
I know this of Lilith from what I have read. Anyone could find out the same and more. Yet this blog entry is not about accepted sources and dusty old tomes. As as a chaos magickian I am a creature of personal experience, willing to accept the truth of my own history even when this leads me away from that enshrined by others. I worked with her as my personal goddess for a number of years you see, and though we parted company recently what I found out during that time just might surprise you.
Known almost exclusively for her all consuming sexual lusts, a personality quirk that could at best be considered predatory in nature, there is far more to her and her children than just unchecked passion. I became aware relatively quickly that while she could live up to the title of succubus queen all too well, Lilith actually represents something unashamedly primal instead. She is the first rebel, bloodied, bruised but ultimately unbowed by the consequences of her refusal to give in to accepted social norms.
In this, Lilith forms the natural counter-swing to the more formulaic and established male-oriented cultural paradigm, a shard of entropy forever stabbing at the rib cage of Adam and his desire for an ordered world. More trickster spirit than demoness, she seems to have been deliberately miscategorised by sex starved priests who were willing to vilify the entire feminine principle in a vain hope to make their wet dreams go away.
Some would argue that in this Lilith shares her fate with Mary Magdeline, another fallen woman in the eyes of the Church. Though I personally have little interest in the majority of Christian dogma, their neurotic need to document spiritual evil in exhaustive detail remains a valuable historical tool. It is doubtful that modern Paganism would have gained its darker aspects without the records of the witch trials, after all.
In our personal dealings I have found Lilith willing to do almost anything for the right price. Pacts with her tend to work best if there is a well defined target, be it living in the case of a hex or conceptual in the case of a desire or need, but definition is key. Chaotic by nature she brings a certain mercurial tendency to any working, even for those who claim a long and mutually beneficial relationship with her.
As such while this goddess will generally deliver what you ask for, there is always a price. If given any scope to play havoc within the magickian’s life along the way she will proceed to do so with gusto, all the wile testing and retesting the resolve of the mortal that dared to seek her out. Lilith’s allies are not immune to her natural tendency to dance on the razors edge between pleasure and pain, though such incidents are very rarely deliberately damaging.
And yes, she has her uses. I have appealed to her sensual side to find a lover, her vengeful aspect to bring my enemies low, and threatened the dead more than once with her otherworldly charms should all else fail me. Of course there were lumps and bumps along the way. Allowing her into my life has made it much more abstract in general terms. But those that sow the wind, shall reap the whirlwind as they say, even if it feels more like riding the lightning at times.
Above all Lilith is more than the etheric, child murdering whore that prevailing pop culture opinion would make her out to be, and therein my fellow gravehounds lies the lesson. It is all to easy to blindly follow the party line with regards to the occult. We perceive the work of others as somehow carrying more weight than our own personal experience by virtue of being in print and published, or just unbelievably old.
Yet no matter how good the grimoire, or how well attested the text, those static and lifeless objects can only ever be a starting point from which your own living relationship with such forces will grow and mature in its own unique way. Perhaps our interaction with such archetypal spirits naturally necessitates that they manifest as reflections of our own deep mind. If that is the case then ask yourself this: when you gaze at your chosen god or goddess, what aspect of yourself stares back in return?