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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

35 comments on “AtoZ Blog Challenge M Lilith as Metaphor”

  1. Susan, sometimes I want to snuggle into your blog posts like I’d burrow under a blanket on a cold winter night. I find such comfort in your insights and analogies–and your metaphors. Whatever the topic, I always click away feeling enlightened or enriched or reassured, frequently all three.
    Today I am grateful, among other things, for the reminder that the “devouring festering darkness” is transformative, that the moon will swing the shore back into the light. It can be too easy to forget that when we’re floundering about in “raging seas and storms.”

    • Kern, thank you so much for coming by. I’m so happy to see you here. We have a long friendship and association and I’ve missed you these last few years. I know you popped in in the early days of these Lilith posts.

      I came across this quote last night by Bernard Melamud last night -‘ I love metaphor. It provides two loaves where there seem to be one. Sometimes it throws in a load of fish’ .. 🙂

      I hope all is well with you, your sister and your puppy –

  2. It’s wonderful to read these posts every day. Thank you, Susan. I feel held under, but anger, in her more socially acceptable form of resentment, simmers underneath. Anger at deafness that became an impediment for new interactions in the world just when I needed to step out on my own. Anger at being stuck with my mother-in-law, but there’s some movement there. I’ll soon finish her application for government assistance (Medicaid), but I’m still the one the nursing home calls when she falls or has any need. That won’t change. Where am I when I look at my seething underworld feminine metaphorically? I’m focused on learning to relate to the hearing loss rather than trying to fix it. I’m also trying to release the suffocating sense of responsible for someone else’s life. The best medicine is to take up my own inner dark feminine metaphors and dig in. I’m leading a writing exercise about Kali in our mythology class this week.

    • Thanks so much Elaine – I’m glad you find them of value and find resonance. We so often have to hide our anger and distress and mask it in socially acceptable ways. Or we’re not even aware of the simmering tensions underneath, until it explodes, in an accident to oneself, or unintended wounding to another, or overeating to stuff those feelings down, for a moments satisfaction, followed by self-disgust (in my instance). It is so essential to keep track of the wounded feminine as you clearly do. You face deep issues of responsibility, loss of hearing – relate and release, two powerful words for the inner work we have to do. Digging in – like an archeologist in search of the treasure. Your mythology class on Kali sounds wonderful! She who embraces ALL of life. I’ll be writing about a personal experience in today’s Q post ..

  3. Hi Susan – Lilith is certainly coming into her own through your words … I will enjoy reading through in one fell swoop of a read … and seeing the comments too – cheers Hilary

  4. I like the metaphors you have used for Lilith.. blooming like a lotus in a mud or the waxing and waning of the moon… Your reflections and discussions are helping me know more about her. Thanks for sharing. Susan!

  5. Hi Susan I loved the beautiful images of lotus and moon- this was such a nice post, loved the metaphor of waxing and waning and the lotus appearing in full amidst, you have mastered the art of reflecting so beautifully and meaningfully, I am becoming a little more knowledgeable with your post and mature too… thanks susan for sharing:) I will read the comments later on as its quite a lot of discussions and learnings here.. I am yet to visit a few more and complete my posts too…

  6. Only by virtue of the darkness can we see the light. If everything was always peachy we wouldn’t have anything to compare it to. Am loving these posts, Susan. ox

  7. “The wound is the place where light enters you.” said Rumi and your words today are resonating this truth to me.
    Thank you.
    The lotus is a symbol for finding the self in the messiness of everyday in so many philosophies. I love what it symbolizes.
    M is for Mawphlang

    • I love that saying of Rumi’s too Arti, and about the lotus finding its way upwards in the messiness as a symbol in our everyday lives …thank you for coming by!

  8. I join you in your thoughts and prayers for all of us.
    Through your posts, and the comments that it has generated, my perspective has also widened. Thank you for this!

  9. Susan ~ In describing the attack on Syria, I find the MSM’s misrepresentation of events and your choice of words (“mitigate”, “deterrent”) both meaningful and disturbing.

    I hope you’ll consider how they reflect our normalization of war and neutral acceptance of the bombing and murder of people in sovereign nations (who have not attacked the US, UK or France) by imperialist powers. Once again, the US is using an unsubstantiated and highly suspicious claim (originating from a highly suspicious source) of chemical weapons as an excuse to kill, destroy and impose its will and gain power in the region, while feeding the industrial war machine.

    A similar claim was used 15 years ago to justify the invasion of Iraq, torture and murder of millions in an imperialist war that continues to this day.

    Martin Luther King once said “I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today — my own government.”

    He paid a price for speaking out against war and violence. What many don’t know (or fail to remember) is that during his last year of life, Dr. King had, for the most part, lost the support of the public, media, even the black churches. He was shunned and demonized by the same people who’d once admired him, only became popular again after he was murdered and his message was essentially neutralized.

    Similarly, a redeemed Lilith’s consciousness and voice always come at a price. If it’s easy and everyone likes what we’re saying, it’s probably not Lilith. Lilith’s flowering represents a gradual turning inward, a return to God and nature, and away from the muddy, misguided illusions of the world.

    • Thanks LB – what is MSM? I am very disturbed by this and the normalisation of war. I merely used their words deterrent and mitigate. I wondered why I didn’t hear any mention of 2003 and the invasion of Iraq because of their supposed WOMD. Maybe there’ll be discussion of this. I remember Bush Blair Powell and their evidence. I remember Cheney & Halliburton – Theresa May has stated very clearly that the intention is not to impose regime change. I remember a year or so ago, reading an interview of one of Assad’s ministers – she spoke in defence of him, stating that this is all engineered by others. I have to say, I believed her. But I do not know what to believe anymore except that show me a decent politician, and I’ll levitate… Confusion is one of the states our pols want us to be in – throw in some fear and a few other undesirable qualities, or ways of being, then we’re well on the way to hell –

      MLK was brave. His daughter Bernice is I think continuing his legacy. I did not know about the last year of his life. That is unbelievably sad.

      A proper stripping away of illusions – are we brave enough for that? Is it enough to turn inwards to God and nature? Leading a monastic life?

      • Susan ~ MSM is mainstream, corporate-owned media (TV, online and print), though I’d also include NPR, PBS and the BBC, stations that generally promote some version of the official narrative and illusion.

        For a fuller story and critical analysis, many of us rely on (blacklisted) independent, leftist journalists and news sources, mostly available online but also a few TV stations. If you’re interested, reading Chris Hedges would be a good place to start.

        Wishing you a blessed and inspired New Moon.:)

        • Thanks LB … it’s essential to read between the lines and keep one’s critical thinking at maximum levels. We ought to know by now that we are never told the full truth – only what MSM and other non worthies wish us to believe, or what we wish ourselves to believe.

          Thank you for New Moon wishes! Same to you. No doubt I’ll be using that in part for N 🙂

          • Thanks, Susan. This will be a long comment, only because I think it’s important to respond (and elaborate on your reply) in a meaningful way. If you disagree and decide to erase my comment, I’ll understand and will leave it at that.

            There was a time when journalistic ‘dissent’ and critical perspective as a part of the news was at least allowed. The nightly news and print journalists still covered the horrors we committed in war (Vietnam), as well as the protests in response to these horrors, without pretending they didn’t exist.

            After the 2016 election, journalists and thinkers critical of our system, government and its ruling class (and of their endless wars and corporatism) were accused of advancing Russia propaganda and of attempting to destroy public confidence in our so-called ‘democracy’ ~ as if to say any independent thought or critical way of thinking that deviated too far left of the official narrative would no longer be tolerated, something many refer to as the New McCarthyism and ‘silencing of dissent.’ Many were labeled and censored, making public access to the information and perspectives provided by these sites far more difficult for anyone not already familiar with them.

            In the US, most citizens have no idea how many countries we’re currently at war in (7, I think) or who our government supports and sells weapons to ~ or how those nations use our support and weaponry to oppress, torture and murder innocent people who love their families and homes as much as we do and who are trying to live their lives, just like us. Our wars, bombs, interventions, regime-changes, trade deals, consumerism and unrestrained capitalism create chaos ~ destroying homes and jobs and lives, and environments, sending millions of (unwanted) refugees out into the world with no place to go.

            We talk about treating Muslims and other minority immigrants with respect. But we never talk about WHY so many people have had to leave their homes, or the role the US played in turning them into refugees and migrants. Nor do we talk about (or protest) the murder of millions of Muslims by our wars ~ how many of us are aware our drones are killing men women and children in Yemen? Or that some reports say US-NATO wars have killed as many as 4 million Muslims since 9/11, and as many as 20 million people in 37 nations by the US since World War II.

            Instead, we’ve been conditioned to normalize, ignore, and endorse these actions with our votes. Think about that for a minute and what it means that we’ve killed so many. For what?

            Nor do most have any idea how, in the US, the working or unemployed poor and (once) middle-class, or veterans, or immigrant workers (the people who watch our children, grow or prepare our food, slave in factories), or the sick, elderly or homeless, are exploited, criminalized and even murdered, as they struggle daily to survive ~ and are without access to jobs, a healthy working environment and living wage, affordable housing, health and dental care, safe neighborhoods, healthy whole food and drinking water.

            For the past 4 years, the people of Flint Michigan have been living with pipes that send toxic tap water into their homes, water our former (Democratic) president endorsed as being safe to drink. Now their (free) bottled water supply is being cut off by our government, and all the while they’re expected to pay for this life-destroying tap water. Some with unpaid water bills are at risk of losing their homes.

            The US (with the support of both Democrats and Republicans) uses economic, corporate, environmental, police and military violence to commodify life and exploit, murder and destroy ~ at home and throughout the world, spending trillions of tax-payer dollars to do it. Our leaders vote to raise taxes and cut services/support for those who live in the US, while spending unbelievable amounts on war and weapons of war.

            We bombed Syria for allegedly using chemical weapons hours before the OPCW (Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) was scheduled to investigate (WHY would we do that?), yet have little to say about the recent murder and wounding of oppressed Palestinians ~some of whom were throwing rocks, and rolling burning tires in response to US-supported Israeli soldiers using chemicals and exploding bullets to squelch their protest. Our media doesn’t talk about *why* the Palestinians protest (the 70th anniversary of their expulsion) or the terribly inhumane conditions they’ve been forced to endure since being expelled from their land and homes.

            In our mass obsession with the ongoing scapegoating and demonization of Russia (and Putin), to talk about or report on the injustices committed by the US (or its obvious hypocrisy) is to be labeled a supporter of Russia, which is why many blacklisted journalists are speculating our president felt pressured to bomb one of their allies.

            We are not the heroes the mainstream media, NPR, PBS, BBC, and our leaders make us out to be ~ even if some truly believe it.

            Thanks again.

            • To correct something I said in my previous comment, “Or that some reports say US-NATO wars have killed as many as 4 million Muslims since 9/11”

              It should read since *`1990*, (not since 9/11). Some of these deaths were direct, while others were caused by the resulting “deprivation.”

              Source: “Unworthy victims: Western wars have killed four million Muslims since 1990”, on the website, Middle East Eye.

            • LB Believe me, I know this to be true. Here in SA some politicians are convinced that journalists paint an unpretty picture about them on purpose, and that they (journos) are following left wing policies, deliberately to upset democratic processes in SA, and thus feel that they should be restricted. So far we’re doing ok with the freedom of the press, who knows for how much longer. We have alternative credible press sources which leave nothing to the imagination and fill me with hopelessness at how ugly it all is.

              But the ugliest thing is how it is all normalised.

              I know about the Flint Michigan water drama – it is actually unbelievable … I guess all these unspeakable dramas cause cognitive dissonance.

              It happens here – underhandedness, assassinations, bribery and corruption eg (licensing depts issue licences to people who can’t drive, and who kill or maim innocent drivers on the road), and on it goes. SA was captured in all it SOE departments – it is coming to light now – we hope.

  10. I very much like Nietzsche’s take on truth! I think Lilith is especially suited to exploring through metaphor, and I particularly like your lens of the lotus flower. You’ve added a new dimension for me – thank you!

  11. Domination can be traced back to times when the story of woman centered on bringing down man in one form or other. We experience her and know her, as we roll through cycles of light and darkness back to light. We owe her more light, more goodness, for she is us, and we are her.
    Thank you, Susan.

    • Thanks for coming by Silvia – there have been times in the literature when women brought down men for all sorts of reasons, eg political power, revenge .. We do owe her more of an uncovering so that she can be brought to light. I’m thinking of the Black Goddesses who were hidden and covered in stained wax, their beauty shining through as they were discovered and recovered ..

  12. Dear Susan, Thank you for sharing more magical metaphors with us! This has to be your best A-Z Challenge yet! I agree, Lilith, or any other Goddess/God, is best described by the muse, using this ancient symbolic language. I’m hugely enjoying the marriage of your words and images today, Lilith certainly bring the poet out in you! The potential we hold as “seeds” is astonishing, if only we could but stay awake long enough for this wisdom to be integrated into our being, and for our ego to stop telling us otherwise. The wild feminine is deep within all. A true seed waiting to be nourished and nurtured! Warm and wild blessings, Deborah.

    • It may be my toughest A-Z yet Deborah! I wasn’t sure up until the last moment if I was going to take part in it. I’m glad I did. I’m never sure what I’m going to write about – I remember that ‘muse’ was going to be word that I noted, on a scrap of paper, one of many. It is hard to keep the posts short and I have failed in keeping them to 500 words or less – but enough belly aching from me, I appreciate as always your comments, thank you, wild and wonderful woman. Susan

  13. I see Lilith as the ‘metaphor’ for all things feminine. We have our bright and happy moments as well as the despair and darkness that Lilith experienced. We are all created from the earth and ashes… our genetics. Even with Eve, Adam and God did not escape the feminine mindset and the desire for us to be independent from the masculine mindset. As time evolves, women slowly are developing their own mindset.

    • Thanks Gwynn for coming by. Lilith as metaphor for the feminine is present and it needs to be present in men as well; in much the same way women can make use of men’s qualities or energy in a constructive way such as ambition, logic, a healthy aggression, men can and have though repressed, feminine qualities of eg nurturing, relatedness. A ‘marriage’ or a ‘meeting’ of the two would be more ideal .. each coming towards their true self ..

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