A to Z T Trees Taboo Lilith

T: Trees – Lilith

We drove from Plettenberg Bay to the George International Airport last Friday to fly back home. This time en route I took photos of two road signs, which I meant to use in my last post. But, since I didn’t I’m using them now. The first one is a little shady – 

The Garden of Eden with its 2 trees: one in the centre the other fairly close by. The Tree of Life in the centre, at the juncture of the 4 rivers (Pishon, Gihon, the Tigris, Euphrates), the other The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, its lush fruits for the picking –

Why were they separated?

What to make of the Tree of Life? When Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden of Eden, the Authority had angels and cherubim swoop down and place flaming swords guarding its path so that they could not make their exit from that Tree. They had to go the serpentine road out of Paradise – 

It is said that the reason for this is, now that their eyes were opened and ‘knowing’ good and evil that, had they taken the Tree of Life‘s path, they would have been immortal, and their sins and the sinners would be forever eternal, and never die. Forever living in an imperfect world – 

Eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and exiled from the Garden of Eden, gave them the opportunity to live in the world and act on their G.d given free-will, to use their discernment and ability to make choices between right and wrong. And maybe, in time, they would earn the right to return and to pluck from the Tree of Life – but, for the moment, it was taboo

I’ve heard it said that in order to be truly alive, we need to carry within ourselves the seeds of our own destruction. Adam & Eve ingested the seeds which, while they had the potential for good, now also had the potential for evil.

Are we carriers of seeds of self-destruction? It would seem so, the way we’re hurtling towards an uncertain and unstable future. And the plundering of the planet, not recognising it for the treasure it is.

Lilith has taboos against her because of her being seen inter alia as wily, unclean and as a temptress. Yet, we often fail to see beyond this one-sided view of her, and fail to see the need to experience her in all her modalities and her transformative powers, if we can but recognise her also as a Light Bringer –

 I’m adding an excerpt from a comment that Elaine Mansfield made on my R post Re-imagining Lilith, today: “Pay close attention to what makes you mad. Watch anger because it’s a teacher. That forever changed my attitude about “negative” emotions. I don’t blast away with rage, but I watch what makes me angry and see if it’s asking me to act or asking me to reflect”.

Did Lilith speak a lying truth in her stating that ‘when you eat of it you shall be like G.d’? Surely this is blasphemous? Yet, it is from this extreme and deceptive statement that the drama begins. In the shaking of the foundations lies the salvation. Her creation was necessary to get Eve and Adam out of the Garden, to exercise their G.d given gift of free-will (such a deceptive gift), for the ego to emerge from its captivity into the world of mind and matter, man and nature, self and other ..

I see Lilith and Eve as two trailblazers whose innocence was sacrificed in order to bring a greater awareness of the meaning of knowledge of good and evil and thus to consciousness. Knowledge obtained is not necessarily happiness or power, but consciousness of sin. There are always consequences – it is not sometimes about how much is gained, as it is what is lost.

Thank you for reading!

 

 

 

 

 

A to Z S Serpent Lilith

S Serpent as Symbol: Lilith

There is no such thing as a neutral response to the serpent, at least for me. I remember as a young girl hopping gaily from rock to rock on the shore-line on my way home, when a snake slithered out from the shadows and crossed my path. I almost jumped out of my skin from fright and ran all the way home. That immediate experience of fear stays with me still – and yet, a life-time later, I write about her, have painted the ouroboros (the serpent with its tail in its mouth) from a dream, and continue to experience her in my daily life. Remembering also that Lilith is a light bringer –

The image above shows Hermes, the winged messenger and trickster. The two entwined serpents at the top end of his staff symbolise good and evil, health and sickness. The staff is rigid, straight and unyielding related therefore to the masculine, whereas the serpents coiled around it are flexible and yielding and therefore representative of the feminine principle. The image of staff and serpents illustrates the union of the opposites (masculine and feminine inter alia) contained therein.

Hippocrates, the father of western medicine (4000BC), is represented to this day as a healer carrying a staff, around which is wound the serpent. Aesculapius, the ancient Roman god of healing, is symbolised by two serpents, representing the principles of sickness and healing entwined around his staff. Serpents were also renowned for their ability to seek out healing herbs and plants for the treatment of illness in the human population.

Moses in the desert and his bronze serpent – an interesting paradoxical story –

While the Buddha was sitting under the Bo tree after his years of trials tribulations and travelling, now to receive his enlightenment, Mara sent down a bolt of lightning to strike him down dead. But, at that moment, the King of Serpents, the cobra, emerged from the shadows to offer the Buddha its hood for protection. That which is most low, is the very serpent that saves the Buddha.

That which can kill can also cure –

What has this to do with Lilith and our lives today?

The serpent sheds its skin, as we do too. We shed skins when we emerge from our various experiences of life events, all our stages and phases – baby hood to adulthood to old age and death. Marriage, divorce, grief, illness, joy, retrenchment, success – the list is endless. Each phase requires a stretching out and a shedding of a skin that no longer fits. Nature does this automatically, like the butterfly, emerging from its cocoon. We as humans need to work at it. Our old skin, or attitudes, beliefs, conditionings that no longer serve their function, need discarding, so that a new skin can grow to meet the requirements of an impermanent inner and outer world. We are sometimes loathe to shed our old skins, even if they do not fit. We are more familiar with our comfort zones – habit plays its part –

There are so many stories in the literature that tell of women’s harrowing descents into the underworld, scathed and scarred from the storms of sorrows they’ve endured, to return, transformed – Isis, Inanna, Penelope, Persephone, Demeter to mention a few –

‘Where there is sorrow, there is Holy Ground’ – Oscar Wilde

Lilith, her myth and symbolism, represents for me the serpent as the primordial feminine, as do other myths of this ilk, eternally emerging from the devouring darkness, renewing, shedding skins. Yet, by using the same energy as that of the darkness, she creates, more into her own being each step of the way –

The first two pictures are of the ouroboros, one a painting, the other a clay ‘fashioning’ from some while back.

This last one was using my left hand when my right hand was out of action ..

done on 13 Aug 2013 with left hand

Can we look the hooded cobra in the eye?

Thank you for reading! Each time I promise myself I will keep these posts to 500 words or less – I fail each time –

 

 

 

A-Z R Re Imagining Lilith

R Re-Imagining Lilith

What do we really mean when we re-imagine Lilith? A woman who wanted creative communication and expression with Adam? A woman who was betrayed by both Lilith and G.d? A woman who returned to the Garden of Eden in order to tempt Eve to take the apple from the tree that was prohibited to her, in the guise of a serpent no less. Maybe she suspected that Adam would shun her again if she approached him; the risk in approaching Eve seemed a better one – another woman after all, with a certain receptivity – Were they both rebels? With or without a cause?

What was her politic? Was she standing up for herself? Did Lilith choose wandering in the wilderness as a preferred way of life to one of subjugation? Did she want to right the wrong of her expulsion and repression done to her by rising after her long and arduous reflection in the Red Sea? Could Eve’s eyes be opened so that she would not suffer a similar fate – that of having no choice? What did the seeds  of the apple represent that Eve took, bit and chewed and swallowed? Were those seeds of potential? Another way of life, of growth, one away from dependency where all their needs were met and choice of self-determination was not a possibility? Was Lilith offering a natural instinctual gift from nature? Did she sense that Eve, like her, may well have had a sense of being weighed down in this patriarchal atmosphere, with little chance of becoming her own person? Did she have an instinctual knowing that Eve would never be free to meet her own feminine ego had she remained stuck in the status quo?

There are many modalities of Lilith that we experience within ourselves. Her dark and light side, her manic and depressive moods, her sinner and saint qualities, her strengths and vulnerabilities, her wildness and her conformity. Her capacity for love and fear, for interdependence and independence. We may be inclined to call one side positive and the other negative, but this is a value judgment. The opposing polarities belong together and each requires the other for its wholeness. If we consciously bring her out of the shadows, we will be more whole and thus empowered.

We have every right to fear the darkness of Lilith and her rage, but rage has meaning and purpose. Highly charged emotions have a vibrational pattern; they are valuable in that they disturb us – they are meant to. They help to illuminate and elucidate those highly charged feelings and emotions that lie festering in the dark, and to bring them out into the open. The darkest corner of our souls is where the hardest work needs to be done. That which was rejected and repressed will become the corner stone. Psalms 118 vs 22: ‘The stone which the builders rejected has become the corner stone’. I like to think of the feminine principle, repressed and rejected for aeons, being resurrected and finally and taking its rightful place.

Thank you for reading!

A-Z Q Quest

Q: Quest, Lilith

 Quo Vadis: ‘whither goest thou?’ – Peter’s question to Christ –

In yesterday’s P post, two commenters Andrea and LB wondered if there was too much talking *about* Lilith instead of having a conversation *with* her in order to better connect with her ‘vital vein’ of feminine energies. So, I’m going to write of an experience of mine about 4 or 5 years ago. The small group I was in at the time met once a month and we took turns at being facilitators.

The facilitator provided crayons, pen and paper and gave us 20 minutes to write or draw or whatever we felt like doing and thereafter discussing it. I lightly shaded 3/4 of the A4 paper with a black crayon and drew a shadowy outline of the Black Madonna over the shading. I added a rough sketch of a fountain to the side of her that had crystal clear sparkling water. I had a dialogue with this Goddess.

This is what I wrote:

“Black Madonna, Lilith, Isis, Hecate all in the dense forest. There is no clear cut path.

“Me: O divine Goddess! So far yet so near! Beckoning –

Black Madonna: ‘Do not be afraid my child. Enter into the mystery. Know your womanhood and be joyous in it.

“Me: I’m not sure I know you my lady, or I have forgotten.

“BM: Merely forgotten my child, but enter and you can reclaim me – and yourself.

“Me: But it looks so dark and shadowy where you are, my Black Madonna. I’m afraid I will get lost and not find my way back again.

“BM: By being lost you will be found. It is always like that. I know you have always reached for the heights. The way to the heights is through the depths. Into the dark cavern of your soul. When you go there, you will shine a light on the darkness, and the darkness will begin to fade. I am the feminine principle, and with your help my child, by being in touch with your own soul, we will bring balance into the world and ease the suffering of both men and women. Come now and quench your thirst and drink of this crystal clear water”.

Over the next several days and weeks I spent a little while journaling on this, even though my resistance to this was strong. The image was powerful but I knew to not fixate on it. If anything, it pointed to something beyond. It demanded my attention and further exploration. Some sort of juncture maybe, a little bit of consciousness coming to the fore. Matters of soul importance came into clearer focus somehow. Similarly with dreams –

I feel very strongly the value of restoring, re-gaining, re-member-ing, re-cognising our lost Ladies of the Night, out of sight somehow, in the pregnant darkness where the soul resides, yet waiting patiently in the shadows, waiting to be reclaimed – to come towards the Light – and to be seen –

I feel very strongly about Lilith, a companion to me who encourages me to be braver and speak my truth. I feel the urgency of the restoration of the deep abiding feminine principle, if only to myself. But also with the hope that both male and feminine energies can be integrated and co-exist. For the betterment of ourselves and our beautiful planet. So, with my unconscious complexes in hand and always asking questions, yet with no expectation that there is an answer, I pay attention to my life and what is going on innerly – and outerly. And sometimes I just be –

Thank you for reading! I really appreciate your coming by and leaving comments. More than I can say – 

 

A-Z P Path, patience, process

Path, Patience, Process: Lilith

Isaac Asimov: In life, unlike chess, the game continues after checkmating –

Lilith’s path was arduous, tricky, fraught with peril. I’ve written before about her polarities. Her courageous act of rebellion against the patriarchal status quo set in motion far reaching consequences, of which we are only newly aware. She also represents the negative aspects of the feminine. Erich Neumann* lists Lilith among the ‘alluring and seductive figures of fatal enchantment’. Further on he writes: ‘She is an enchanting, seducing, orgiastic, and nightmarish form of the feminine’. To this day in traditional orthodox  Jewish marriages, the bride wears an amulet to protect her marriage and babies from her awesome powers.

It is as well to be aware of her demonic powers. I’m aware of those who’ve crossed my path who possess that demon-like quality about them. I invoke the powers that be for protection – seductive they are, charming on the surface – it took me a long long while to figure this out and to wonder what the hook was – ie what was my certain own role in this –

Paradoxically, she was also a woman of courage and depth, powerful energy and patience. Even though she was in deep pain at her plight in the Red Sea, through patience and processing all that had happened to her, she was able to transform, and arise again. She shows that striving for consciousness is a worthwhile task, even if it meant living in exile. Her energy was not a polite energy; it was the sort that was used by women in order to get the vote, to ban passbooks and to demand justice for rape victims. And today, those who stand against pipe-lines, march for better gun-control, better education, against corrupt policies, against pollution – 

Do some of us mask the inner pain we may feel? At events, psychological, physical, emotional pain? Do we disallow it? Although it can be paralysing, they are messages that need our conscious attention.

The Lilith myth of pain, peril and pilgrimage is alive in us today even if as a phantom lurking in the shadows. We are on a path. It has twists and turns, each day, each moment we select this one and not that. We are limited and expanded at the same time. One moment we are private, passive, personal and protected and then at another, public and seen. One enhances the other. The path alters, we prefer one over the other. The path defines us as much as we do it. In a way it is a relief to narrow the choices and be a specialist.

The photos below show me on my path on Robberg yesterday. We took the ‘no entrance’ way. The road less taken. Backwards. To avoid the tides. The first one is all good and pleasant, we’d reached about a quarter of the way, going downhill. The last two, well it was downhill symbolically all the way, while creeping upwards. My scarf is wrapped around my head. I thought it would never end. I like the last photo of my husband’s extended hand. I’m still processing our taking the wrong ‘path’ yesterday – 

* Erich Neumann: the Great Mother (Princeton University Press, Bollingen Series, 1972).

Thank you for reading!

O Opposition and Ordeal Lilith

Opposition & Ordeal Lilith

Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one. ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

The Commonwealth Games are taking place in the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. One of our athletes, Caster Semenya continues to do us proud in her running races. Some years ago when she was winning races, there were questions raised by men and women about her being too manly and claims that she was not a woman. For a long time, she was subjected to medical examinations to determine whether she had a vagina or had undergone surgery to pass off as a woman, or had been taking drugs to suppress her testosterone levels and to increase her oestrogen. It was simply awful to imagine how she endured. Seeing her up on the podium last evening after winning the 800 metre race, and the gold medal placed around her neck, made me feel so proud. Her smile was so endearing. A little shy, a little coy –

Like Semenya, Lilith’s energetic force arose as a result of opposition and suppression. Her spirit was broken but not indefinitely. If we bathe her, wash and cleanse her with our tears she will be redeemed and transformed. We need to cleanse her from the socially conditioned and condoned guilt that we have taken it upon ourselves to suffer. Can we reach deep inside ourselves and connect to the core of our sadness, anger and wounding and allow healing to take place, so the divine feminine is restored? Can we orient and open ourselves in a different more life-affirming way?

My husband, son and I went on a major hike on the Robberg Peninsula today. Instead of walking the usual route, we went in the opposite direction, so’s to avoid the tides. Somehow we took a wrong turn. It was up and down, clambering over rocks. My legs got trembly. I wanted to call the National Sea Rescue Institute to lift me off the peninsula. What was interesting to me, was that when there was level ground (not often), I scampered along quite happily on my own. But when Neil & and Mike were with me, I stumbled. I wondered what this meant. Some ingrained wiring? Needing to be rescued? I really thought about this – I also knew that I didn’t want to be dependent and hold them back. My balance was off, in part because of an otological inner ear problem. But as the afternoon wore on and the sun beat down, my legs got more and more trembly, and all I wanted to do was sit and sleep. Which I did a few times for a few moments. It was surreal. Young, lithe hikers came by and offered their water which Neil and Mike poured over my head to revive me. Onwards, upwards, downwards – they were so patient in helping me. I was utterly powerless. I couldn’t have managed this ordeal without their masculine energy, not only of masculine strength, but of care and concern. For me, this has been an opening to myself – though I still have to digest it all. 5 and a half hours later, the end was in sight.

Marion Woodman –“As consciousness develops, the body will act as donkey for only so long. Men as much as women need to know that their soul is grounded in their own loving matter. ‘This is who I am. Every cell in my body tells me this is of value to me – not to my persona, to me.’ That is the container whose feeling can be trusted because it is grounded in reality.” 

Thank you for reading!

 

 

April AtoZ N Nature Narrative and New Moon Lilith

N – Nature, Narrative and New Moon: Lilith

I’ve yet to see the new moon, maybe later tonight if the skies are clear.

What is it about a new moon? I think of many things, the dark invisible side of the moon, slowly coming to its fullness. Following its natural cycles of ebb and flow, light and dark. From the nigredo to the albedo – not only in the moon cycle but for all men and women, who go through the night of the nigredo (blackness – the dark night of the soul) and who seek wholeness within and peace without.

Is it time to set a new narrative for Lilith and free her from the negative connotations attributed to her? Yes, she does own many of those nasty qualities e.g. overly aggressive, secretiveness, deceit, addictions, flightiness, as do we all, men and women. We have blind spots to those qualities in ourselves, seeing them more readily in others.

How much are we conditioned by the Thou shalt Not commands? By our parents, schools, colleges, religious organisations? What of the natural needs of Lilith, her need to experiment more in the Garden instead of living in a sort of narcissistic langour? There was no room for negotiation or discussion. Her needs, especially those of her bodily and sensual ones, were distrusted and disregarded and just as worse, repressed. Anything that is repressed into the deepest layers of one’s psyche is in danger of erupting at a moment’s notice, like a volcano, spreading poisonous lava and gases in its path. Is it any wonder that an insensitive, thoughtless remark, made by that man or woman, touches a deep nerve within us and we explode in fury, our response seemingly inappropriate to the event?  Also, we are so numbed by political events and their nefarious agendas and the cruelty of our world that we are in danger of turning to stone –

If we can sit awhile with those painful feelings, even if we feel momentarily like wringing our child’s neck for breaking yet another glass, for having a temper tantrum, or we fantasise about setting the breaks to fail on the car of person who stole our partner and wishing ill upon the partner too, these are real feelings and these impulses are a natural expression of the life force. They do not have to be acted upon. It requires a conscious suffering, much like Lilith in the depths of the Red Sea, for a newer more constructive re-orientation.

Mother Nature – we spent a few hours yesterday afternoon at the Plettenberg Bay Nature Reserve a little way away. We were thrilled to see lion, cheetah, buffalo, giraffe, elephants, and much more – below is a brief video clip of those magnificent matriarchs – Nature is never narrow, always enriching …

May the new moon tonight herald new growth and nurturing.

Thank you for reading!

AtoZ Blog Challenge M Lilith as Metaphor

M Lilith as Metaphor 

 Nietzsche called truth “a mobile army of metaphors”.

As I write, I’m aware of the strikes by the UK, US and France into Syria, to mitigate against the use of chemical weapons Syria is believed to have used, such strikes to act as a deterrent. My thoughts and prayers are with us all.

The lotus, whose original home is as a seed in the mud, blossoms when its time is right. It rises to her full expansive flowering, floating upon the waters of the lakes and rivers (hopefully pristine), petals turned up, basking in the sun in the light of day, before she folds herself to rest in the ‘curtain of night’ – to another unfolding the following day – 

I like viewing and experiencing Lilith metaphorically. Like the lotus, Lilith burst forth into the world, from dust and ashes, from the same clay at the same time as Adam. I like to see her a seed, containing all potential, germinating, like the fully fledged tree is contained in the acorn. Its beginnings follow a natural effort – it’s shells to be pierced and shattered and to burst forth to allow its further growth –

Sometimes the soil in which it grows is dry and arid; sometimes fertile and receptive. I see the metaphor in our everyday lives as well. Sometimes the seed grows stunted and withers away or gets struck down midway, earlier or later in its growth, maybe to be revived and renewed when attended to and fertilised with tender loving care …

Like the moon, Lilith waxes and wanes. We also experience those cycles of light and dark, fullness and emptiness, brightness and dimness, visibility and visibility. 

Lilith means both ‘light’ and ‘night’. Her associations with the moon has associations with the feminine. Sometimes soft and diffuse, sometimes reflective, sometimes non-reflective emitting no light, sometimes metaphorically experienced in raging seas and storms –.

Lilith’s emotions were highly charged and they still are. Many times our woundedness is insufficiently differentiated or clarified and we don’t take the time and hard work involved in digging to its source. We experience her in our everyday lives when she acts out her woundedness by eg affairs, spending wildly, ongoing dramas, addictions, being mean and nasty, over-or-under-eating, being stuck in the mud, or a stick in the mud…

The primordial feminine very often appears as a monstrous serpent. She appears in our dreams as a deformed creature, a tidal wave about to envelop us, a car smash, a stranger holding a knife to our throats. She is part of us. 

Yet it is out of that devouring festering darkness that this energy can be transformed. The energy that has been used in blocking emotions and keeping things hidden and avoided, can be released and freed in order to use it constructively, in a life-affirming way. Lilith and the feminine are ‘…open to – and able to integrate – woundedness, pain, and ugliness, as well as joy and beauty’.*

What other force is there greater than the moon that pulls the oceans from shore to shore? Its force is less diffuse, less direct, less definite, yet no less powerful. What a lovely metaphor for Lilith – 

*Edward C. Whitmont, Return of the Goddess Arkana 1982 pg 197

Thank you for reading! I really appreciate your comments. My perspective is widened and I feel engaged.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

L Lilith A to Z blog challenge

L Lilith – 

 Lilith, the bringer of Light – into the darkness. I liken her to the leviathan that dwells in the deep dark sea, unseen, hidden yet there.

What loss Lilith must have felt when she was thrown out of Paradise, of all that was pleasant and good, until a lethargy began to set in her relationship with Adam and which she questioned. What loss we all feel at times when personal tragedy strikes. Earthquakes on the inner level. We feel the aching loss of Mother Nature too, when the natural cycles are disrupted by flooding, drought and fires and too often by those in power’s lust for more and more. Our link to her deep rhythmic cycles are broken – and our natural instincts are greatly lessened. This is true for both men and women …

Do we have a universal longing to return to the containment of love being given and returned? Do we sense a disillusionment with ourselves and our lives and the way of the world? Are we so lethargic because we feel powerless? Do we have to pay a price if peace or balance or harmony is ever be achieved? What is that price? I’ll hopefully elaborate on that in a later post.

Legend tells that when Adam and Eve departed in shame from the Garden of Eden, Adam had his arm around Eve, trying to comfort her in her weeping and loss. Lilies sprang up from the ground where her tears fell. Lilies often adorn the caskets of the dead and can be part of the floral arrangements in places of worship where the dead are laid to rest ..

I wonder sometimes if Adam mourned the loss of Lilith, and whether men and woman currently do too. I wonder if he considered her dark chthonic powers and whether that energy that they had between them could have been turned into something more loving and compassionate. Maybe it’s a reasonable hypothesis that he saw Lilith as someone to be tamed and lulled into how he wanted her to be, much like mankind has an agenda to tame nature and make it subservient to his needs – and how much as women we collude in trying to live up to a false ideal –

The picture above is one I took several months ago at night. It’s from my garden – a little solar lamp standing in the middle of some plants. It really is small, the lamp that is, but I love how it casts its glow – may your inner lamp glow and lessen the shadows..

Thank you for reading!

 

 

K Keys to Knowledge Lilith

     K: Keys, Knots, Knowledge: Lilith

“If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.”
Elaine Pagels, Insights from the Secret Teachings of Jesus: The Gospel of Thomas

Keys are used to close and unlock, to open or close. If, for a door to open, will we step inside to what lies beyond even if we do not know what is there? Or do we lock that door forever? We are keyed up when life does not go the way it is planned, and tie ourselves into knots.

Lilith evokes many reactions, not least dismissing her with disdain as not real, merely a tale from the past that has sweet nothing to do with us. We’ve moved on, it’s gone, old news, old hat, we’re getting on with our lives, no time for this mad, bad and sad woman who took newly born babies from their suckling mothers, robbed men of their powers of logic with her sensuous charms inter alia and blasphemed against G.d.

 The past very much informs the present – and the future. The knots we’ve made, knowingly or unknowingly, are hard to untie when we deny our past. The wounds that women and men have suffered are real. Not only humans but our planet is suffering and is in grave danger. How is it that our seas and river are clogged with plastic and are seriously threatened; as are the rich and beautiful coral homes to fish and other sea creatures, a delight to those who swim close by; to lands that are grabbed, forcing people off them in order to lay pipe lines that break and leak, pumping its toxic effluence into the soil, rivers and sea in search of more affluence for the few. The war machine ever present –

The wounds to Great Mother Nature, are plain to see.

The wounds that Lilith suffered, may not be the same as those we have and conceal today. Our journeys may be quite unlike hers, but suffer them she did, refusing to be a scape-goat.

The wounds we humans suffer and hide are in plain sight. Is depression and anxiety prevalent in the western world? Do we feed the fraternity of pharma, unthinking, uncaring as they appear to be? Like other ‘big brothers’ – Could depression in part be because of baggage we still carry from the past – our parents’ un-lived lives – and we live lives of quiet desperation? Because we are not living a life of our own self-expression? This is not to diminish those who suffer from deep life destroying depression – it is very real and I am witness to it in a family member. Pharmaceuticals would be absolutely necessary. I do not walk in those shoes, so I can only imagine … and empathise … 

What lies behind that door? Will we take the risk of using one or two of available keys to unlock it? And step beyond the boundary?

Thank you for reading!

A – Z J Job and Lilith

J Job & Lilith

CG Jung CW 10, para 310. ‘Even if the whole earth will fall to pieces, the unity of the psyche would never be shattered. And the wider and more numerous the fissures on the surface, the more the unity is strengthened in the depths’.

On our flight down to Plettenberg Bay from Johannesburg this morning, I was wondering about what to say about Lilith and the J headline and words for this post. I had been thinking of jewels, judgment, justice, and some other words that I forget right now. I am missing a talk that Dr. Deon van Zyl is giving this Friday evening to the Jung Centre here in Johannesburg on ‘Job’ from the Old Testament; I would have loved to attend but since I’m not there, this is of course impossible.

I’m in a small study group that meets most Monday evenings. We’ve been meeting for the last 15 years or so. Last year we tackled Job, initially reading straight from the Old Testament in our bibles and thereafter studying C.G. Jung’s “Answer to Job”. We actually read ”Answer to Job” about 10 years ago and I remember feeling very, very disturbed by it. Even ill at ease. I was out of sorts for a long while during and after the reading of it. To me it seemed blasphemous at times. We decided to tackle it again last year and see if and how our perceptions had changed. It took the whole of last year.

So, why Job and Lilith?

Lilith is first put through the fire by a judgmental and vengeful G.d; Job finds himself face to face with the most high and he too goes through the fire losing his livelihood, his family, his health. Like Lilith, Job questions ‘why’? Job dialogues with G.d; Lilith does not.

Both stories or myths belong in the archetypal realm. Lilith and Job had different responses for the suffering imposed upon them. Is there any relevance to these existential issues in understanding or coming to terms with the nature of human lived experience?..

Jung, in his book Answer to Job, presses upon the reader that he writes as ‘.. a modern man with a Christian education and background (who) comes to terms with the divine darkness which is unveiled in the Book of Job, and what effect it has on him” Jung, C.W. 9, par. 561.

Lilith does that too – with the Patience of Job –

In spite of the fissures of earthquake magnitude, the unity of the inner depths is strengthened. The divine darkness is revealed.

Each of us has different ways of experiencing and responding to the slings and arrows that life brings. We are many times required to have the Patience of Job as the amoral cycle of creation & destruction, change & re-creation is iterated.

Thank you for reading!

 

 

 

I Imagining Lilith

I: Imagining Lilith

What insight do I gain by imagining Lilith’s action of returning to her younger sister Eve in the Garden, she who was now wife to Adam? In disguise as a serpent no less? And the repercussions of it all? Maybe the whole drama was a necessary Fate, initiating the break from unconsciousness to consciousness. Have I allowed any insights to mature sufficiently so that I can say that they feel real? Am I inspired by her? 

Are such stories which invade my consciousness an invitation to consider the real impact of patriarchy? What has the rise of consciousness really meant? 

Yes, mythological stories are of value for me. Especially when I see patriarchy’s historical prevalence and one sided view of women alive and ‘well’ in today’s world. This is not to say that women are innocent – often they are not, in their collusion with ego ambitions of conquer and control at all costs. I’m very much in favour of a healthy, well-adapted and necessary ego – but when we identify with an overbearing and fixed one, we are in trouble.

I’ve learned that history shows that the natural, instinctual impulses of women were seen as a threat to the male order’s emerging ego consciousness – and still today we fear the feminine.

Lilith took time to process this event of being an outcast and isolated from the familiar. I imagine her not only in the deep waters of the Red Sea, but also in the fire. I imagine her kindling the fire, wondering about being reduced to ashes, yet feeling akin to the fire’s flames and ashes. I imagine her wondering if she is is being forged and fashioned in some alchemical way by her burning. She felt a relationship with all that was as she was burning and drowning. Passive, struck down one moment, and yet an active, initiating force was building in her –

Many of us are initiated into the darker side of life through lightning strikes and all sorts of outer circumstances eg death, divorce, betrayal, illness, estrangement from family and friends. Do we truly reflect on our sadness and deep felt emotions when this happens? Can we suffer our anguish and agony? Even if it means meeting the Lilith within, with all her terrifying manifestations –

You need chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star. Friedrich Nietzsche

Tell me, what is it that you plan to do with your wild and precious life? Mary Oliver

Thank you for reading! I much appreciate your visiting and your wonderful comments!

(The picture above is a photograph of a very beautiful ‘stone’ which I found somewhere and which I planned to plant under a tree in Botswana when I was there a few years ago, where my brother David is buried. I couldn’t find it in my back pack when the time came. On another later occasion when I was down in Cape Town, I tossed it from the pier jutting out into the sea where the ashes of my mother and father were strewn so many years ago. It was for David too – The stone was hard yet there was a wonderful softness about it also .. it reminded me of Lilith – like velvet, yet iron hard).

Heart of Lilith

 H Heart: Lilith

Where there is sorrow, there is holy ground – Oscar Wilde*

What and who is at the heart of Lilith? 

What does she mean to me? Why my fascination with her?

Lilith is one of the great goddesses of ancient times – (those would have been great ‘g’ words for yesterday’s post!). She has traversed many lands – of the inner and outer kind. She has both descended and ascended. She belongs firmly in the long line of historical and mythological figures whose stories alternately scare us, jolt us, make us wonder anew –

I love the metaphor of her, the meaning of her. I feel for her rejection, my heart is pierced. I feel for her that she could not resolve this issue with Adam, that he did not listen, and that dominance was important to him. I feel for her patience in the Red Sea, the salty waters mingling with her tears, biding her time, wondering how her broken heart could be healed. I feel for her deep deep sorrow – and the holiness of that –

I feel for our world and its history from aeons back, the stories told of dismemberment and re-member-ment inter alia. I remember the earlier matriarchal myths such as Sophia, the consort of God; the Indian myth of Kali; or the Greek myths of the goddesses, Artemis, Aphrodite, Demeter and Persephone; all had Mother Nature as their Supreme Goddess. They were replaced by the worship of the monotheistic Sun God Apollo who assumed ascendency as the matriarchal goddesses began their descent and subsequent repression.

Does Lilith have any place in our social discourse? Can we relate to Lilith on a personal level?

I remember Lilith initiating change. I remember Eve and her disobedience and being blamed for the expulsion. It is fitting that we, as women and men, question ourselves as to the psychological, sociological, political and cultural ramifications of this myth that is a patriarchal one and one deeply embedded in our psyches – even if we give scant regard to the tale – 

For me, getting out of my head into my heart by having an ongoing dialogue with a myth such as Lilith, puts me back in touch with the deeper layers of my psyche, inner forces that play themselves out on the world stage –

I sense a deeper awareness of bringing the feminine back into our individual and collective consciousness for the betterment of all. Its aim is NOT the destruction of the masculine ‘principle’ but to bring those energies into play, together. They are not at war with each other; at least that is not the original or ontological intent. They are meant to blend and merge with other, each offering to the other their highest best. The denial of ‘the feminine’ has ongoing severe repercussions. Denial of it can stunt our growth on all levels – individually and collectively. We don’t have to look far to see the world for how it really is. We are thankful that there appears to be a hunger for renewal on all levels, bringing what has been denied out into the open. We are thankful to those who have and do speak out in our current times on issues that impact us all. We are thankful for those among us who honour all that is Life and Death and are heart-deepened by all that it is. We are thankful for all who toil the soil and tend to the ground of our being, past present and future – 

*Oscar Wilde: ‘De Profundis’

Thank you for reading!

 

 

 

 

 

 

G Grounded Lilith

April A-Z G Grounded – Lilith

LB made a comment last night on my yesterday’s post ‘F – Fear of the Dark Feminine: Lilith’.

LBs comment: ‘We fear her truth because it’s grounded in the beauty of the *real*, and in what’s too terrible for most (men and women) to imagine ~ about themselves, their beliefs, tribes and nations. A conscious and informed Lilith combines critical thought with intuition and visceral knowing, as she constantly challenges the too-narrow doctrine and homogeneous thinking of the group and official narrative’. 

What about the order: you are grounded?

In our once monthly Saturday dream workshop this morning, this theme of groundedness came up in someone’s dream. Again, I thought of it’s opposite, of being grounded, in the negative sense. So, instead of headlining my G post with words such as Growth, Gold, Gnosis, I’m writing about grounded as it pertains to Lilith – in both senses.

What does it mean to feel grounded? Is it to feel that one is on the right track in one’s life, that one is true to one’s self, that there is certainty and predictability in some things and that we can face uncertainty as it comes. That we have a roof over our heads, food on the table, can walk in the neighbourhood, educate our children, bringing them up in stable homes in spite of the normal dysfunction that comes with the territory.

When we are told, you are grounded! – as in: ‘you are not allowed, you may not, you stay where you are, in the corner, do not move, you are not deserving, you are a worthless piece of garbage, do not waste space …’? – what then?

Harsh words … which Lilith faced.

Her descent to the Red Sea, ungrounded from Paradise, gave her time to reflect on her estrangement. I see her in the watery depths, wet also from her tears of rage and frustration, anger and deep sadness at her plight. She sits still and doesn’t move, yet feels movement in the stillness. She feels a sharpening of her wits and a loosening of her bonds. She feels looser yet tighter at the same time. Her perceptions and attitude change – she sees that there is more – out of her grasp for now but worthwhile reaching for and waiting for.

So, she ascends – in the guise of a serpent. To the upper ground. To take matters into her own hands and to ensure that Eve does not suffer the same fate as she, one of sterility, subordination and obedience to the status quo.

 ‘ …A conscious and informed Lilith combines critical thought with intuition and visceral knowing, as she constantly challenges the too-narrow doctrine and homogeneous thinking of the group and official narrative’.

Lilith, both grounded and ungrounded, illustrates that there is a way through the conditioning of mass thinking and way of being. There is light in the darkness. Lilith means among other meanings, the bringer of Light …

Thank you for reading!

 

%d bloggers like this: