U Universality: Lilith
I took this photograph in Plettenberg Bay in October last year when I was there. It is a washed up log (still there, I saw it last week). From this angle I can see a creature on the right hand side, with an eye, with its fish tail ending in the middle on the left hand side, embracing the cave – maybe a slumbering serpent underneath –
Does Lilith represent a universal myth? Isn’t she just one of those stories from so long ago? The ‘herstory’ is not a pretty one; full of angst and drama, revenge, entanglement, diminishment, humiliation, unsound, flight and fights. Haven’t we got over these primitive ways of being already? Surely we are more civilised?
Civilisation – where and what has it brought us?
What does rejection of the dark feminine really mean? All that hurt, pain, rage, loss and betrayal – is this really necessary for growth?
Do we keep it buried underground and uphold a veneer of calm in order to appear civilised, for fear that were it to emerge it would erupt into a volcano? I work at a doctor’s rooms on a regular basis as receptionist and managing other rooms things. A patient will come through to the reception area after seeing the doctor to book the operation either for herself or her child in tow. In discussing dates, times, procedures etc, she may say that she is very nervous if she is the one to have it. Of what I ask? Of being under anaesthetic, she responds. O I ask? Why? If I’m under anaesthetic she will say, I have no control. That is always interesting to me though for professional reasons I can’t ask any further much as I would like to. But I wonder what she thinks will happen if she is no longer ‘in control’. Or if she even wonders? Do we have a fear of not being ‘in control’ of our dark energies if we allowed them to emerge? The rage that we feel, the hurt, the anger, the unfairness, the grief –
How much have we all internalised and ‘normalised’ the patriarchal way of life? It goes so far back. It is evident in today’s society, so much harm being done. I remember the rape trial of the ex-president some years ago. The ANC Womens League turned up at the courts daily in their thousands, bussed in from far and wide in support of the then president. They shouted slogans at Fezekile Kuzwayo, known as Khwezi, who brought the rape charges against him, that she was a slut, a whore. The trial was ugly. Zuma’s lawyer, a male, brought in her earlier child rape experiences and concluded that as a 5 year old she must have been willing to have had sex with a man in his 30’s.
In war, rape, pillage, killing of innocents are seen as part of the spoils – collateral damage. The country that steps into a foreign one as an ally, sells weapons to the enemy at the same time. Highest bidder wins each time. Deals go on behind closed doors in the political power boardrooms, each angling for a way to be on top of the pile.
What is our arsenal?
Would the world be wiser and healthier if we brought feminine energy into our lives and became more conscious of the gifts she brings? If she spoke her truth, so too can we.
Is there a way we can repair the wound to both men and women?
‘Love thy neighbour as thyself’: This carries the ‘hidden’ assumption that we love ourselves, and therefore we can love our neighbour as ourself. And being ourself we love ourselves, because we are worthy. We have intrinsic value – each part of ourselves. And we can love the other as ourself. Not loving yourself means not loving your neighbour – is this one of the reasons that we project onto the other, and make it our enemy? To deny this love of self is also to deny compassion towards ourselves and therefore to others. Can the injunction, love thy neighbour as thyself, including the unknown stranger within, help towards healing ourselves and the world?
Is this maybe our arsenal – that we are willing to go deeper into our lunar energy in reclaiming love and feminine wisdom?
Thank you for reading!