The Order of the White Moon Goddess Gallery Presents
By Mystic Sage
A Level 1 Final Project for Dark Moon’s Heart School
(© 2017. All original material in this site is under copyright protection and is the intellectual property of the author.)
Origins and Story of Lilith
The origin of Lilith is obscure and varied. Her recorded story begins with Innana, the Queen of Heaven in early Sumeria. The legend of Innana told of sacred sexual customs that were a gift from Innana to the people of Erech. The temple priestesses took as lovers members of the community who came to worship the Goddess and receive healing. Lilith’s name is recorded as a young maiden, the “handmaid of Innana,” who gathers the men from the street and brings them to the temple at Erech for the holy rites. As the patriarchy moved in, they needed to sever the people from the Goddess’ power and did so by rejecting and suppressing the sexual rites of the Goddess religion. Women’s sexual power became demonized as a force of evil and the handmaid of Innana, Lilith, became the embodiment of everything evil and dangerous in the sexual realm.
Lilith’s name derives from a Sumerian word for female demons or spirits - the lilitu. The literal meaning is “screech.” She was associated with the screech owl of the night, and later as a demon of screeching. Some sources claim that she lived in open spaces of the desert, ruling over the storms and wind, and preying on pregnant women and infants. An early appearance of Lilith is in “Gilgamesh and the Netherworld,” a Sumerian epic poem found on a tablet at Ur which dates from around 2000 B.C.E. Gilgamesh was a ruler who boldly slayed monsters and searched for the secret to eternal life. In one episode, Gilgamesh goes to assist Inanna where she is in her garden near the Euphrates River, tending a huluppu tree, the wood of which she hopes to fashion into a throne for herself. Her plans, however, are thwarted when Lilith comes to possess the tree. “Inanna, found herself unable to realize her hopes. A dragon had set up its nest at the base of the tree, the Anzu bird had placed his young in its crown and in its midst the demoness Lilith had built her house.” Gilgamesh kills the dragon, causing the Anzu bird to fly to the mountains and Lilith to flee to the desert.
Lilith later made her way into Israelite tradition, and even into the Bible. Isaiah 34:14, describing an inhospitable wilderness tells us: “The goat-demons shall greet each other, and there the lilit shall find rest.” Some believe the word “lilit” is a reference to a night owl and some biblical versions even translate the Hebrew as “screech-owl.” Others say it is indeed a reference to the demon Lilith. There is also reference to Lilith in the Dead Sea Scrolls. She appears in Song for a Sage, a hymn possibly about exorcisms: “And I, the Sage, sound the majesty of His beauty to terrify and confound all the spirits of destroying angels and the bastard spirits, the demons, Lilith. . .” Centuries after the Dead Sea Scrolls were written, the Talmud was written. In it, Lilith becomes not only a spirit of darkness, but also a figure of uncontrolled sexuality. The Talmud says: “It is forbidden for a man to sleep alone in a house, lest Lilith get hold of him.” This image of Lilith reinforces older impressions of her as a succubus, a demon in female form who had sex with men while they were sleeping.
Sometime prior to the year 1000, The Alphabet of Ben Sira was introduced to the Jewish community. The Alphabet, an anonymous text, contains 22 episodes, corresponding to the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. The fifth episode tells the story of Lilith as the first wife of Adam. This interpretation comes from the two creation stories of Genesis. In Genesis 1, man and woman are created at the same time while in Genesis 2, Adam is created first and Eve is created from his rib.
Lilith was not made from, nor taken from Adam’s body. She was made the same as he was from the dust of the earth. She felt entirely equal to him and insisted on being treated with full equality. She refused to lie beneath Adam during intercourse which enraged him. He felt superior and refused to give up his dominance. They argued and Lilith fled the Garden, turning into a screech owl as she flew off to the Red Sea.
The legend concerning Lilith as the first wife of Adam merged with the earlier legend of Lilith as a demon who preyed on pregnant women and infants and her story became one of feminine evil. She was condemned to survive as a demon and became the essence of depraved sexuality. She was believed to steal semen when men were sleeping, which she used to fertilize herself, producing demons. Lilith was also believed to kill children, and mothers gave their children amulets to protect them from her.
Lilith’s Message for Today
Renée Starr in You are Woman, You are Divine tells us that “our journey back to The Divine Feminine must begin with Lilith’s mystical story because unlike other early goddesses of ancient cultures who were re-named and then re-integrated into religious myths, Lilith was entirely removed from our Feminine history. . .Her story has been buried under so much secrecy and intrigue that it causes one to wonder why it was covered up in the first place.” Why did the patriarchy banish Lilith and suppress her story? There are many possible reasons. Lilith is a keeper of The Blood Mysteries. She holds the keys of understanding our first blood, standing at the threshold of our sexuality and she holds the keys of understanding for our last blood when we are the elder, wiser woman standing at the edge of this world looking towards the one beyond. Eve is the one who helps us understand our mother blood - the blood of cycles, creation, and childbirth. But Lilith, is one of the dark goddesses who helps us understand our menstrual blood as potent, filled with the power of our sexuality, and femaleness. She is one of the first powerful, sexual personifications of The Divine Feminine.
Lilith represents the hidden, powerful, and instinctive feminine sexuality within us as well as the shadow parts of ourselves. Lilith is the voice within us that “demands absolute equality in whatever situation we find ourselves and she will not settle for anything less. She is unwilling to compromise if that means denying our essential values, beliefs, or ideals. Lilith radiates strength, courage, and passion, and she takes a stand for independence and freedom from tyranny.” Lilith is an unapologetically powerful and sexual Goddess and within many women, her energy lays dormant. Her myth teaches us to accept ourselves as divine, sacred, and sexual.
Lilith meets us in the dark underworld of our subconscious - in our shadow self. When an aspect of the wholeness of the self is denied, it develops into the shadow which is the repressed part of ourselves. It is the rejected, traumatized, and wounded parts of ourselves as well as the darker behaviors, patterns, and tendencies we exhibit. As we meet Lilith in the dark underworld of our souls, we uncover and face the wounds we have received during our lifetimes and the shame and hurt they have instilled in us. We face the darker tendencies and patterns that motivate our behavior. Lilith gives us the strength and courage to face the wounds and bring them into the light of our conscious knowing. She helps us face the grief, pain, and shame held in our stories so we can be healed, released, and set free. Lilith helps us acknowledge the behaviors that hurt others and find the source so that they too can be healed and we can move to greater levels of emotional and spiritual maturity.
Many old amulets for protection against Lilith are in the form of knives, which represent Lilith’s quality to instinctively cut to the essential nature of things. In this, she represents the destroyer aspect of the Triple Goddess, brandishing her curved knife in one hand and in the other holding a severed head. She ruthlessly destroys all that is not our true self or appropriate life path. Her compassionate wrath allows us to see who we really are and forces us to be true to ourselves and to express our true essence.
The Associations of Lilith
When we honor Lilith and seek to reconnect with her and allow her wisdom to bring healing in our lives and integration of our shadow aspects, it is helpful to do so during the time of the dark moon. The energy of the dark moon is one of transformation and the power of releasing and gathering. It is a perfect opportunity to travel into our own darkness for healing and insight.
A flower associated with Lilith is the lotus and the symbolism of the flower tells us much about her. The lotus is a flower that grows out of dark, decaying earth and represents spiritual unfolding and the blossoming of our wisdom. Like the lotus, Lilith challenges us to integrate the woundedness and hurt of our shadow selves into our wholeness so that our great beauty can blossom forth.
Lilith is also associated with the owl, a figure of darkness and deep wisdom. In many North American traditions, the owl is known for its healing abilities, fertility, and sexuality. The owl is also associated with the essence of darkness that is within us all.
Crystals associated with Lilith are dark. Black Moonstone has deep feminine energies and helps us to connect with feelings and emotions. It is good for opening blockages and facilitates healing from past emotional traumas. Nuumite helps us explore the deep layers of our psyche to help us find and release hidden hurt, guilt, fear, or shame from our past. Obsidian works to clear negative energies and is helpful in releasing anger and the lingering effects of mistreatment, abuse, oppression, and grief. Golden Sheen Obsidian is especially useful in shadow work and integration as the golden sheen seen only when the crystal is held in the light emulates the beauty that comes when we bring our darkness into the light of consciousness.
Lilith Oil Blend created by Mystic Sage, for empowerment and shadow integration:
2 drops Basil - for courage and inner strength
2 drops Jasmine - a night flower associated with the moon which increases inner strength (Lotus oil could be substituted)
2 drops Patchouli - enhances sexuality
4 drops Bergamot - for overcoming disempowerment and releasing grief
1 drop Roman Chamomile - facilitates the releasing of fear and gaining confidence based on inner attunement
3 drops Vanilla - grounding, stimulates root chakra, associated with wholeness
Combine essential oils in 10-15 ml carrier oil.
Ritual for meeting Lilith and integrating our shadow aspects
Sage, matches, jasmine or lotus incense, Lilith Oil Blend, crystals (golden sheen obsidian, nuumite, black moonstone), four black candles to represent the directions/elements and one white Goddess candle, piece of paper and pen
Decorate your altar with black candles for the directions and a white Goddess candle on top of a black altar cloth. Include your crystals and anything else you would like (flowers, picture or representation of Lilith, etc.)
Light the candles and open the circle. Invoke the elements and request their support during your ritual. Light the sage and visualize the smoke purifying yourself and your space. Light the incense and breathe in the scent for a few minutes as you center yourself.
Lilith, I call upon you and ask you to guide me through the dark underworld of my subconscious. Show me the fear, shame, or guilt hidden there that you wish to heal.
Bring them to the light and help me know the truth about myself.
Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Hold your obsidian crystal and tune in to its energy. Imagine that you are in a beautiful, serene garden on a dark night. There is darkness all around but it is a peaceful, nurturing darkness. As you walk around the garden, you come to a cave. It is inviting and you enter in. The scent of jasmine invites you deeper in and you go, unafraid. You enter a room in the cave and Lilith is there waiting for you. She greets you gently and with love. You feel safe. She asks you why you have come and what you would like and you tell her you would like her to show you what she would like to heal in you. She smiles and leads you deeper into the cave. Notice what images come up as you walk. Notice what feelings surface. Are you reminded of anything from the past as you wander? As you tell Lilith what comes up for you in the darkness, allow her to explain what it means and then soothe your hurt, or fear, or shame. Listen as she tells you the truth of who you are. When you feel ready, give your appreciation to Lilith and say goodbye. Turn back to the entrance of the cave. Walk back out into the garden and breathe deeply. When you are ready, open your eyes.
What lies about yourself have you believed because of the incident or feeling that came up for you? What truth about yourself and who you are did Lilith share with you? Take the piece of paper and write an affirmation that will remind you of the truth about yourself shown to you by Lilith.
Using the essential oil blend, anoint yourself as you repeat this chant:
From the darkness of fear, I call in my light,
From the darkness of grief, I call in my strength,
From the darkness of my true essence, I call in my power.
Anoint the paper with the affirmation you have written and repeat the affirmation several times. Allow the scent of the oil to strengthen your knowing of the truth.
Thank Lilith and the elements for guiding you and being with you during your ritual.
Open the circle.
by Susan Seddon Boulet
 Demeter George, Mysteries of the Dark Moon: The Healing Power of the Dark Goddess (New York, NY: HarperCollins, 1992), pg. 175.
 Renée Starr, You Are Woman, You Are Divine: The Modern Woman’s Journey Back to the Goddess (Los Angeles, CA: Over and Above Press, 2015), pg. 71.
 Starr, pg. 71.
 George, pg. 188.
 Susan Seddon Boulet, The Goddess Paintings (Rohnert Park, CA: Pomegranate Artbooks, 1994), pg. 74.
 Starr, pg. 81.