Image provided by Sacred Source
Lilith is best known today from the Jewish tradition as a lusty, demoness who
preys upon men at night and kills babies. She is scorned in their stories and
legends, as she was the outcast first wife of Adam. According to Barbara
Black Koltov, PhD, in this tradition she represents the Shadow woman, one
who refuses to be subjugated, who embodies the irrational, rebellious aspect of
womanhood, the terrors that abound in the dark of the night and the dark of
the moon. She inspires fear and revulsion, as she alternately is a nubile,
young woman who seduces men and leads them away from their pious lives, and
an ugly hag who brings death and kills babies descended from Eve, out of
revenge upon Adam. Koltov, in The Book of Lilith, describes this
mythology of Lilith, and the rituals, habits and purification rites undertaken by
men and women to protect themselves from her, such as following specific
guidelines before engaging in marital sexual intercourse, and the use of birthing
amulets for mothers and infants in which protection spells and entreaties to
appease Lilith were inscribed to prevent her for taking the infant’s life (1).
Sumerian Goddess Lilitu (2), described by Demetra George as “an
emanation of the great winged Bird Goddess” of old (3).
She is also recorded in Sumerian myth as a young handmaiden of the
Sumerian Queen of Heaven and Earth, Inanna, who’s job is to bring the men
from the streets to Inanna’s temple for holy rites involving sacred sexual
customs of the time (3).
Sadly, when the Hebrew culture took over ancient Sumerian culture, it
destroyed the ancient spiritual traditions and practices of the region because
of the religious belief that salvation of the spirit is attained through abandonment
of the desires of the body. These beliefs relegated women’s spirituality to
wisdom and virginity, and they suppressed the notion that female divinity is
based on the sanctity of her sex and the powers of her body. (2)
The traditional ways in which Lilith interacted with her followers in ancient
times have been forever lost to us. However, modern thinkers such as
Demetra George in Mysteries of the Dark Moon. (3) and Betty De Shong
Meador, in Uncursing the Dark (4), provide us with though-provoking guides
to interacting with Lilith in a positive, healing manner. They encourage all
modern women, as part of their spiritual growth, to go within and find their
Shadow self. This Shadow self represents the part of the feminine psyche
that has been outcast, suppressed, denied, feared, and abused since ancient
times, like Lilith. Through anger, outrage, rebellion and acceptance of the
feelings brought up through our invocation of Lilith, we go through a
healing crisis and grow spiritually. Through experiencing and accepting
Lilith, we become able to integrate our Shadow self, our irrational, cycling with the
moon, intuitive, feeling, in the dark of the night, the dark of the subconscious,
the darkness of our wombs, the powerful monthly bleeding, our sensuous,
sexual sacred bodies, back into ourselves and our understanding of femininity and
become whole again.
A Ritual Process to Meet Lilith:
Here is a ritual process, inspired by my research on Lilith and my meditations with
Her. This process is designed to assist you to invoke Her and begin to integrate
your Shadow Self. The process of integration will not be complete until all aspects
of femininity are accepted by our culture, but change needs to begin at home, right
here, right now, within you.
§ Commit to two moon cycles for this ritual process.
§ Prepare for this ritual for one moon, beginning at the break of the New Moon.
§ Record the guided meditation below on tape in your own voice to use the night of the Ritual, or ask a trusted friend to lead you on this meditation.
§ Find an image, symbol or artifact that represents Lilith or your Shadow Self.
§ Make time alone every day, to reflect and meditate on your Shadow self. Write in your journal. Keep track of your dreams.
§ Each night, take a moment to tell Lilith that you are preparing to meet her. Ask her to come to you to show you your Shadow on the Dark Moon.
§ To bolster your courage and will to journey to the darkness and face your Shadow Self, invoke Inanna nightly under the New and Full Moon with this invocation by Z. Budapest (5):
I invoke you, mother of the night!
Let your angels of inspiration open my heart,
Let your angels of courage fly inside.
I shall make a golden cradle
To make a place for courage.
I shall make a place for courage.
I shall make a golden fire
To warm courage inside.
I shall put my hands in your lap
For you to bless and use.
I shall put my heart in your lap
To be caressed by your blessing hands.
To grow courageous with your use
To put high purpose in my heart.
Inanna, Lady of the evening star,
Inanna, Lady of the morning star,
Study my words.
May courage dwell inside my soul.
As you have dwelt in the Great Above.
May courage dwell my soul.
As you have dwelt in the Great Below.
May courage dwell in my soul and in my destiny.
Make it so.
Make it so.
Make it so.
§ During the Waning Moon, take further care to prepare by cleansing and purifying yourself. Eat well, drink plenty of water. Take warm, soothing, herbal baths. Get a massage or reiki if you can. Smudge yourself with sage. Perform the Self-Blessing. Free up your schedule from external stressors. Make sure you have time to be alone one night of the Dark Moon (the three days before it breaks into New).
Dark Moon Ritual to Invoke Lilith:
§ On one of the three nights before the New Moon breaks, set aside time alone, in a safe, cozy, dark space to carry out this ritual. For instance, create a cozy nest of pillows and blankets in your ritual area in which to lie or sit during the meditation.
§ Prepare yourself a mug of hot, soothing herbal tea. I recommend making a lavender, peppermint, rosemary tea to alleviate anxiety and help clear your mind. You can also try Easy Now by Traditional Medicinals. Any herbal tea you find soothing and comforting is fine. Drink your tea as you set up your space.
§ Creating Sacred Space:
o Set up a small altar with a single tea light candle, lotus incense and holder, and your item representing Lilith or your Shadow Self.
o Purify the space and yourself with Sage or whatever you normally use.
o Cast a circle and invite in elements, directions, guardians, guides etc… in your normal manner.
o Light your incense and tea light candle. Dim or darken the lights so that your small candle sheds light on the symbolic item on the altar.
o Finish your tea.
o Sit comfortably and set your gaze on your altar.
o Take 10 deep breaths, breathing in and out slowly, until you are relaxed and focused.
o When you are ready, begin the ritual.
o “Tonight, on this darkest of nights, I am prepared to journey into the darkness, into my Shadow self, to meet my Lilith and listen to her story. Inanna, you who have given me courage, guide my journey into the darkness and out of it again, as you have done yourself. Lilith, ancient one, I invoke you to guide me into my darkness tonight to meet my Shadow self.”
§ Guided Meditation:
o Sit or lie comfortably. Look at your symbol. Take a few deep breaths and feel your body connected to the earth. Ground deeply. <long pause>
o Close your eyes. There is darkness all around you. It is warm and inviting, like being held close as a child, by a loved one. Let it comfort you. <pause>
o Ahead of you, you see an opening to a cave, dimly lit as if by candle or fire light. Walk to the cave entrance, and enter it. <pause>
o The cave entrance leads right into a passageway, lit softly as if by candle or firelight. You will soon be walking down the passageway into the cavern below. Before you go, you may ask any of your guides or guardians to join you on this journey. <pause>
o When you are ready, begin to walk down the passageway. <pause>
o The passageway curves gently to the left, and you realize that you are walking down a shallow slope. The passageway is spiraling to the left slowly towards the central cavern below. <long pause>
o As you reach the end of the passageway, you find yourself in a comfortably warm, large cavern, softly lit as if by candle or firelight. Ahead of you, you see a dark pool, sparkling here and there with the reflections of the light. <pause>
o There is a stone bench near the pool. Go to it and remove your robes and jewelry. Reach into your pocket, and pull out the gift of offering you brought for Lilith. What is it? What have you brought for Lilith? <long pause>
o You see a small stone altar next to the bench, covered with lotus flowers and lilies. Place your gift for Lilith on her altar. <pause>
o You say to the darkness, “Lilith, I have brought you this gift. I am ready to see you. Please come and visit with me.” <pause>
o Now, walk to the shallow, dark pool, and wade into it. The water is warm and comfortable, and comes up to your knees. Kneel in the water, it feels so good. You decide to wash your face and smooth back your hair. <pause>
o As you wipe the water away, you see a beautiful, radiant, woman on the other side of the pool sitting on a bench. She beckons you to come to her. You realize that the woman is Lilith. Go to her and sit down next to her as she indicates. <pause>
o As she reaches for your hand, wise Goddess that she is, Lilith whispers to you and shows you parts of your Shadow Self, only that which She knows you are ready to meet. <very long pause>
o When you have seen and heard all that you came to discover, you find yourself in her warm embrace. There are tears in her eyes, running down her face, as she understands where you have been and what you feel. Lilith offers you a gift, take it from her. What is it? What has Lilith given you? <long pause>
o Lilith gives you a hug, and you find yourself back in the pool, kneeling. This time, your gift from Lilith is in your hands. <pause>
o You get up, and go over to your robes and get dressed. You don your jewelry. You see your guides or guardians standing nearby ready to lead you out of the cavern. <pause>
o The entrance to the passageway is ahead of you, and you walk back up the spiral, in the opposite direction, with your guides. <pause>
o In front of you is the cave entrance, and you walk out. You find yourself back in your own body. Right here, right now.<pause>
o You feel your toes and feet, your legs and belly, your chest rising and falling with your breath. You feel your arms, your hands and wiggle your fingers. Take a deep breath, a big stretch, and slowly sit up. <pause>
o Take time now to write out your experience with Lilith in your journal.
o “Thank you Inanna for guiding me on this journey through the darkness. Thank you Lilith for showing me what I needed to see.”
o Give thanks and say goodbye to all elements, directions, guardians and guides that you invited into your circle.
o Close or open circle in your manner.
o Be sure to ground more fully by having a snack.
o Take extra special care of yourself with the new knowledge you have.
§ For the rest of the moon cycle, follow up this ritual with daily reflection sessions on what Lilith showed you. Write in your journal. Keep track of your dreams. Treat yourself well by eating well, drinking plenty of water, and taking, long, warm, herbal baths. Get a massage or reiki if you can.
§ If you feel fear or anxiety about your emotions or the process of integrating all that Lilith has shown you, invoke Inanna again during the New and Full Moon for courage.
§ If you feel that you want to speak with Lilith again, on the following Dark Moon, repeat the ritual. Again, give yourself a month to process all that she has shared with you.
May you always feel the Goddess spark within you!