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!