W Wandering with Lilith & Eve

I was up early this morning attending to some matters I should’ve done last night. With a mug of hot tea as fortification I accomplished a fair bit. Then I went for a walk – I was in a bit of a day dream and found myself not taking my usual route – I wondered whether to turn back after a while, but I pressed on. It was refreshing. I soon removed my scarf.

While walking, I was wondering what to say in today’s W word for Lilith. She’s around the world in us in one way or the other, we have her in our astrological charts, lunar, her wounds, her strengths, her wildness, and I like that she spent time in the salty Red Sea – salt being one of the three primary alchemical elements, sulphur and mercury the other two. 2 Sundays back when we were at the Plettenberg Bay Nature Reserve I took this short video. My son did the necessary from my phone to put it in a drafts folder for my blog. So, I’m using it today – I like that these hippos were wallowing one moment above water, descending into it the next, not unlike Lilith –

A few women writers from earlier times have defended Eve and her actions. They write from their own perspective and experience and not from that of a patriarchal view. They may not have ‘known’ of Lilith –

Hildegard of Bingen (1098 -1179) was benign to Eve, seeing in her the woman who bestows divinity onto humanity and seeing in her the prefiguration of Mary. Pain in childbirth is not seen as inevitable or a curse. Rather, each time the Mother gives birth, the hidden God is revealed. By giving birth, God’s image is revealed in every child that is born. *

Christian de Pizan (1365 -1430) was disillusioned with the male humanists of the era who had a denigrating view of women. She argues that Eve was made in the image of God and that Adam & Eve’s souls were of equal value. Eve, she writes, since she was fashioned from the rib of Adam, shows that she should be at his side as a companion, not as a slave, and that a master craftsman’s hand must have been at work to make Eve out of Adam. **

Sarah Joseph Hale (1788-1879) contends that Adam needed assistance to cultivate his good qualities and ‘left to himself, his love becomes lust, patriotism (becomes) policy; and religion, idolatry. He is naturally selfish in his affections; and selfishness is the sin of depravity’.  Eve took the apple because of her ‘higher faculties of the mind, … desire for knowledge and wisdom,’ and that Adam ate with ‘compliance’, typical of a person of a ‘lower nature’ and motives no higher ‘than gratifying his sensuous inclinations’. ***

If Adam had not taken the apple that Eve offered, would he still be waiting for his supper?

* Pamela Norris: The Story of Eve

** de Pizan: The Book of the City of Ladies

***  SJ Hale: Womens Record

Thank you for reading! 

28 Comments on A to Z W Wandering with Lilith and Eve

  1. Thank you again, Susan. For the hippos (such primordial creatures and you get to see them in the wild!) as well as the insights. I love reading about these other writers who defended Eve rather than judging here. I didn’t know that about Hildegard of Bingen. No wonder I love what little I know of her. Yes, we are wanderers, even if we live in one place as I mostly have since 1973. We have to wander inwardly and go through those periods of exile as part of the spiritual journey.

    • Thank you Elaine for coming by. Those hippos, so huge and yet so graceful, grunting away as they rise and fall. They come onto land as well, lumbering about, though always fairly close by to water. The wilderness always makes a connection with our inner wilderness which is why I’m so grateful to get to witness every now and then.

      I have a book on Hildegard of Bingen which I must still read, actually find which I now can’t … and some chants as well someone gave me from 3 cd’s ..

      Yes, periods of exile are part of our spiritual journey … thank you for saying ..

  2. Hi Susan – wallowing hippos … always love seeing them. Thanks for the links and quotes – when I return after this month … then I can check in more wakefully! A walk is required … but it’s soaking it down … so may have a zizz ready for a St George’s Day do out in English Canada!! Cheers Hilary

  3. Sarah Joseph Hale’s words describe what’s happening today. Don’t they? There’s never been a greater need for the feminine to assist the masculine to ‘cultivate his good qualities.’
    This takes me back to your U post Susan.
    Thanking your son for sorting the hippo video–it’s so relaxing to watch it:)
    X is for Xavier’s college canteen

    • Yes, Sarah Joseph Hales words are apt Arti – 🙂 Mind you, men can assist the feminine as well! I thank Mike for much believe me. I had such major problems with the computer over the last 24 hours or so – but, with his patient help from a distance all is Well!

  4. Eve offered knowledge, Lilith offered emotions? Is that how one thinks about these two female archetypes? Just wandering down my own path of musings, without any wallowing hippos, of course.

  5. Love our Eve. Like Lilith, definitely a forerunner. As was Hildegard. And yes, Adam would still be waiting for dinner, Susan. oxo

    • He would indeed Pam – glad you commented on that! Hildegard said quite a bit more which was very interesting. Thank you for coming by – 🙂

  6. I have never heard of Lilith susan till I met you here and thanks for introducing me to her and yes there is so much of write up on eve… some blame her for the fall and others feel that she is part of man coz she was taken from his ribs.. still there are thoughts on how women has an independent identity for herself, without adam. Nice to be here and learn, reflect, share.. the video of the hippo is so nice and the way you have used W-walk and Wonder, World, Words, Wounds, Wander, Women, Writers, Wallowing is great… thanks for sharing:)

    • Thanks Genevive for coming by – we’ll be wallowing when the A-Z is all over – 🙂 The w’s all came up as I was writing without my even being aware of them until I edited; and each time I noticed more w’s ..

  7. Hi, Susan – I had just begun typing this comment, and noticed that your comment to my last post just came through. I think that is three times during this challenge that we have commented on each other posts at the exact same time. Considering that we live many time zones apart, that’s an incredible coincidence!
    So many things struck me about this post. The above-below-in-out hippo video especially. Also your own wandering as you contemplate this post. I love how you maintained writing each new post daily, instead of taking the temptation to write a bunch of posts all at one to get them over with (which by the way I am totally doing if ever participating in this challenge in a future year). 🙂

    • Thanks Donna – yes I was also amazed! I am now able to access the dashboard so am responding from that and hope this ‘takes’… Thank you for coming by 🙂

  8. It is interesting the mindset of various people about Lilith and Eve. Many of my Christian friends don’t believe in Lilith at all. It is fascinating the various opinions and mindset that women have developed since the coming of Adam, Eve, and Lilith. Thanks for your thoughts.

    • Thanks Gwynn – well of course she is a mythological figure and this is the way I’m viewing her. As a psychological study, she has been written about a fair deal by many, historians, theologians, psychologists in an indepth sort of way – as a way of understanding how this figure is in our psyches …eg Cain & Abel ..

  9. I love all the wandering and wondering we’ve done this past month in the land of Lilith, and I think the hippo video is fabulous. Above, below, in, out – all perfect. And for some reason I was also struck by the shadows on the bank – I’m assuming it was your group doing the taping – and somehow that seemed like a perfect addition to this study as well.

  10. Wandering is such a contemplative activity. It too often gets poor press. As you note, we can all benefit in allowing for wandering…

  11. Different opinions from various women writers of the past are interesting, Susan. I too wonder at all the what ifs. What if, for example, Eve was portrayed as being her own being rather than part of the man? Womanhood as a whole may have had quite a different existence. Great post, thank you.

    • I wonder too! Thanks Silvia. Your current post on Wordy I am unable to comment on – have tried many times. My comments may be in your spam according to my son – we’re trying to solve it long distance.

  12. Wandering is quite useful. It allows us to follow our instinct. It is an accepted reason why man populated the world.

    Love the hippos wallowing video. In my current WIP, I include hippos wallowing so it was spot on.

    • Thanks Jacqui – great re hippos! Have tried 10 times to post on your worddreams post – my son is trying to help me long distance – we suspect my comments on yours have gone/wandered into spam – still trying to sort it out ..

  13. How wonderful it’s been to wallow in your words Susan in so many wonderful ways. One moment we’re above, the next, we’re below. Ha-ha! Much like the happy hippos! With Eve above (conscious), and Lilith below (unconscious), yet they’re together in sisterhood and in soul, and will be forever. Walking is one of my favourite pastimes, especially if there’s woodland, mountain or a forest to explore! Thank you so much for setting aside the receptive feminine space for us to wander along with you in the beauty of the Garden of Eden. It’s all been wonderful and so enriching! Warm and wild blessings, Deborah.

    • Thank you dear Deborah – I sort of thought of both of them being up and then down – but what you say about Eve being conscious and Lilith unconscious, yet together ‘in sisterhood and soul’, is a far more real image! Wild blessings to you! Susan

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