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Author Topic: Learning more on the origin of Lilith  (Read 1403 times)

Cheshireheir

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Learning more on the origin of Lilith
« on: March 31, 2016, 05:03:31 pm »
Ive been worshiping Lilith for a long time, since I was probably 13. Though at the time that i found her I didnt know who she was. I just knew how she felt and how she made me feel. After doing some research she constantly stood out to me, and anytime i tried to worship another god or goddess it either never felt right or something bad would happen.

For example i have a celtic knot that means spiritual awakening that I would wear when i felt i needed it. But every time i put it on things seemed to get worse, or bad things would happen until i took it off.

I recently had my second child, a daughter. And from the second she was born i saw an owl. She reminds me of an owl and every where i look, owls stand out to me, or ill hear an owl hoot. I thought it was Athena, and i started offering worship to her. I didnt feel that connection with her though, and every time i offered prayers i tended to get stressed out afterwords.

After a bit I started constantly thinking of Lilith again and looked into her. It turns out that Liliths symbol is an Owl as well! I apologized to her that i mistook her for another goddess and offered my prayers and devotion to her and have felt peace and a connection ever since.

Now i know pretty much word for word the Judeo-Christian Bastardization of Lilith. Ive started looking into her Babylonian and Sumerian origins and have found a bit  but not much. When praying to her and reaching out to her, i always leave it open to her interpretation and never make generalizations.

Everything I know and believe about her if from what I have felt though intuition.

Anyone else worship Lilith, or know where to find more good information? Books, blogs anything? Or has anyone had such a singular strong connection to a god/goddess before?

Eastling

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Re: Learning more on the origin of Lilith
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2016, 01:28:04 pm »
Quote from: Cheshireheir;189278
Now i know pretty much word for word the Judeo-Christian Bastardization of Lilith. Ive started looking into her Babylonian and Sumerian origins and have found a bit  but not much. When praying to her and reaching out to her, i always leave it open to her interpretation and never make generalizations.

Everything I know and believe about her if from what I have felt though intuition.

Anyone else worship Lilith, or know where to find more good information? Books, blogs anything? Or has anyone had such a singular strong connection to a god/goddess before?


As it happens, I recently started seeking Lilith myself, so I do have some resources.

Raphael Patai's The Hebrew Goddess contains academic information on all the goddesses quietly worshipped by Jews over the millennia and devotes a well-researched chapter to Lilith. The original book is old (published in 1967, but updated with further editions up until the author's death) and comes from a cismale perspective which is sometimes questionable, but it's definitely worthwhile.

Anya Kless, here in the pagan community, is a valuable resource on Lilith. Her blog (The Fruit of Pain) has been deleted, but she published a book called Lilith: Queen of the Desert which is a combination of research and devotional to Lilith. She also recommends M. Kelley Hunter's Living Lilith: Four Dimensions of the Cosmic Feminine.

Lastly, to dip into my personal feelings, I'm not sure I'd call the Jewish and Christian treatment of Lilith a "bastardization." It's a significant part of Her history like any other and contains some fascinating stuff that often echoes and mirrors Her pagan past.
"The peacock can show its whole tail at once, but I can only tell you a story."
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Cheshireheir

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Re: Learning more on the origin of Lilith
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2016, 09:55:29 pm »
Quote from: Eastling;189429


Lastly, to dip into my personal feelings, I'm not sure I'd call the Jewish and Christian treatment of Lilith a "bastardization." It's a significant part of Her history like any other and contains some fascinating stuff that often echoes and mirrors Her pagan past.

 
I first learned of Lilith through the Jewish and Christian teachings of her, and the only reason i call it a bastardization is because of how they portray her. The books were written in a time when any strong female character was demonized.

Dont get me wrong, those stories are what made me fall in love with her, but the further in i looked and the more versions of the same story i heard, the more i realized she was truly a strong femanine Goddess and not a human hating demoness that was portrayed.

I love how she was made of the same dirt as adam and refused to submit to him, and how she spoke the unspoken name of God, grew wings, and escaped eden to the red sea.

I may not agree with the stories but i do enjoy them.

Eastling

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Re: Learning more on the origin of Lilith
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2016, 11:29:30 pm »
Quote from: Cheshireheir;189501
I first learned of Lilith through the Jewish and Christian teachings of her, and the only reason i call it a bastardization is because of how they portray her. The books were written in a time when any strong female character was demonized.

Dont get me wrong, those stories are what made me fall in love with her, but the further in i looked and the more versions of the same story i heard, the more i realized she was truly a strong femanine Goddess and not a human hating demoness that was portrayed.

I love how she was made of the same dirt as adam and refused to submit to him, and how she spoke the unspoken name of God, grew wings, and escaped eden to the red sea.

I may not agree with the stories but i do enjoy them.


Given how much of her history is tied up in being a demoness who obstructs the cosmic order, I'm not sure that dismissing all of that as propaganda is wise.

In her earliest and most pagan appearances, she's making things difficult for Inanna by occupying the tree she wants to use. In ancient times, she was best known for destroying fertility and killing infants, whether you asked a pagan worshipper of Ishtar or a pious Jew a few centuries later.

Like you say, Lilith's history in the Alphabet of Sirach as "the one who won't lie beneath Adam" is still important! By the same token, so is the fact that she went into exile and gave birth to monsters, because it means people considered monstrous can call themselves Lilith's children even today.
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Jack

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Re: Learning more on the origin of Lilith
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2016, 03:00:49 am »
Quote from: Eastling;189503
By the same token, so is the fact that she went into exile and gave birth to monsters, because it means people considered monstrous can call themselves Lilith's children even today.

 
It's natural to want to defend a deity that seems to have been maligned, but this point is really important to me. In the game of respectability politics, everything that's worth taking is brought to the in-group, cleaned up and made more acceptable.

Lots of people try to take Lilith or any of the outsider gods or goddesses and decide that the parts they find monstrous are not really there, or not supposed to be there. At the same time, some of us identify with that monstrosity and that outsider status. Decrying what you find unpleasant about her can feel like being told that the monstrous are not allowed to "have" her and should give her up to be seen as acceptable.

Lilith is a particularly interesting example because, whatever she may have been in ancient Babylon, she's been a part of the Jewish tradition for thousands of years and nearly everything known or said about her is a reflection of that tradition. Trying to strip all of that away feels baby-bathwatery to me.
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Re: Learning more on the origin of Lilith
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2016, 08:54:33 am »
Quote from: Eastling;189503
Like you say, Lilith's history in the Alphabet of Sirach as "the one who won't lie beneath Adam" is still important! By the same token, so is the fact that she went into exile and gave birth to monsters, because it means people considered monstrous can call themselves Lilith's children even today.

 
Augh, I just had this moment where I stared into the "kills babies and births monsters" and crossed it with changeling lore and suddenly I've got this complicated tangle of stuff around the 'Autism Speaks' model of neurodiversity (or rather, their policy of monsterizing autistic folks) and what that means about who Lilith might be interested in.
as the water grinds the stone
we rise and fall
as our ashes turn to dust
we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

Cheshireheir

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Re: Learning more on the origin of Lilith
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2016, 02:56:19 pm »
Quote from: Jack;189507
It's natural to want to defend a deity that seems to have been maligned, but this point is really important to me. In the game of respectability politics, everything that's worth taking is brought to the in-group, cleaned up and made more acceptable.

Lots of people try to take Lilith or any of the outsider gods or goddesses and decide that the parts they find monstrous are not really there, or not supposed to be there. At the same time, some of us identify with that monstrosity and that outsider status. Decrying what you find unpleasant about her can feel like being told that the monstrous are not allowed to "have" her and should give her up to be seen as acceptable.

Lilith is a particularly interesting example because, whatever she may have been in ancient Babylon, she's been a part of the Jewish tradition for thousands of years and nearly everything known or said about her is a reflection of that tradition. Trying to strip all of that away feels baby-bathwatery to me.

 
Its not as though I pretend that all that is written about her is false or that i dont believe it. I don't intend to make her seem as someone that she is not or make her seem that she doesn't have anything to do with the darkness in life.

When i was younger i worshiped all of her darkness, though as i am older and with children i find myself trying to look into other aspects of her. She gave birth to demons but they were her children, when God sent the angels to kill her children as punishment for not returning to Adam she took revenge and went after pregnant women and infant sons.

In all honesty i stopped worshiping Lilith after i became pregnant with my son because i didn't feel it was completely appropriate for me. After my daughter i tried worshiping Athena because I saw owl signs and felt that i needed a goddess back into my life. I didn't think it could be Lilith until i suffered a miscarriage. I cursed Athena in wonder why a matron goddess could allow something to happen to me i started thinking of Lilith.

No i dont blame her for that happening, but i do think it made me realize I was worshiping the wrong goddess.

I just know Lilith is very intense and am hoping to find a happy medium where i don't fall back into darkness but I don't want to offend her either.

Beryl

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Re: Learning more on the origin of Lilith
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2016, 03:52:12 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;189520
Augh, I just had this moment where I stared into the "kills babies and births monsters" and crossed it with changeling lore and suddenly I've got this complicated tangle of stuff around the 'Autism Speaks' model of neurodiversity (or rather, their policy of monsterizing autistic folks) and what that means about who Lilith might be interested in.

 
Hmm. Suddenly (as an autistic Jew) a LOT more interested in Lilith...

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