#AtoZ Lilith April Blog Challenge Reflections Post

Firstly, a huge thanks to Arlee Bird and all the hosts of the #April A-Z Blog Challenge for their encouragement and support throughout!Β 

I’ve been reflecting on this latest April A-Z blog challenge for several days already. I decided only just before the sign-up deadline to take part. I’d known that April was going to be a busy month, what with being away for 10 days or so during April so I thought this time round I’d give it a miss. Plus, there were ongoing travel arrangements to be made for Europe in June. Plus the usual busyness of everyday life.

But Lilith and the Dark Feminine pressed upon me. The #metoo movement when women were speaking up and out, the political dramas here and abroad, the destruction of Mother Earth were also issues that pressed on me, and had me wondering about this missing archaic feminine energy.Β 

This time round unlike previous April A-Z blog challenges, I created my posts only on the day. In the beginning I’d stated that I would keep my posts to 500 words or less, but this did not happen!Β 

It was worth the sweat for me … I learned SO much from the comments and the engagement of those who came by and I’m still learning. I was challenged and affirmed, broadened and deepened in ways I could not have imagined. I am deeply grateful to all who came by knowing how time is so precious. The A-Z posts that I did follow were wonderful. If I had the know-how I would provide links to them.
I so appreciated the tweeting that many of you did. I would look at twitter occasionally and be amazed at how often my posts were re-tweeted. Thank you!

I would have liked to get to many more other A-Z blog posts even if they did not come to mine. I failed in that regard. I also didn’t put up the icon for each letter of the day as I have up top – for Reflections post.

Β I’ve gathered from the stats site that there were many 100’s of likes even if not comments. Do the stats mean anything to me? I suppose on some level they do; on another level not so much. All I know is that I LOVED the engagement on Lilith and being stretched in so many ways. I have you to thank for that – thank you!

The above photo of a butterfly wing is one I took a year or so ago which I found on the driveway in Plettenberg Bay. Why do I choose this one when I have plenty of other images? Well, it’s beautiful while sad in a way that the butterfly ‘lost’ a wing. I guess it’s a reminder to me to look for all that has been lost, still to be found. And to find the sacred in the mundane –

Thank you for reading – this post is (just) under 500 words!


51 Comments on #AtoZ Lilith April Blog Challenge Reflections Post

  1. I know it’s a butterfly wing, but I can’t help looking at it and seeing the fawns face in its markings. Is it just me? Am I thinking too out of the box?

  2. What a way to end: “I guess it’s a reminder to me to look for all that has been lost, still to be found. And to find the sacred in the mundane –”
    Thank you, Susan. May we stay earthbound and take flight at the same time.

    • Must add that I admire your courage in taking this challenge on. I don’t think I could do it, but maybe I need to try sometime. I doubt I’d be able to sleep through the whole alphabet–fretting in the night about what to offer the next day. You are a gem!

      • I can imagine you writing evocatively as you always do Elaine on Inanna or any of the mythological women who continue to impress on us – and telling stories from so long ago and weaving them into contemporary life. Yes, I fretted enormously throughout about what to write on the day in spite of zillions of notes strewn about as thoughts came to me. But beautifully prompted in many ways by the engagement of the readers. If I’m a gem, you are a diamond … thank you πŸ™‚

  3. I’m sorry I didn’t get to read all your posts, Susan. I did enjoy the ones I read. I hadn’t known of Lilith and it was good learning about her. I will try to read a few more as time goes on. It was interesting to read your reflection too. I don’t know how one could write a 500+word post a day, but you did it. Congratulations. I think you must have a book about Lilith right there. Well done.

  4. Butterfly wings are beautiful, but like you, I prefer them on the butterfly.

    Congrats again on surviving another A to Z Challenge. I’m glad you met some great, thought-provoking people. That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?

    Enjoy your upcoming holidays!

    • Thanks Holli for coming by! It is all about meeting thought-provoking and great people! Thanks for good wishes re upcoming travels – I hope I get my visa 1) that it’s approved and 2) that I get it in time ..

  5. Susan ~ If I’m correct in thinking theses posts were intended to challenge the negative aspects of our patriarchal systems and strictly masculine ways of objectifying and dominating the world, humans and life, for profit and power, then based on our final exchanges (public and private, most notably in connection to your *WATWB post), then I’m not seeing how your (or anyone else’s) perspective has changed.

    Our cultural conditioning can make it almost impossible to see how we’ve been brainwashed or that we’re actually deeply entrenched in and supporting the very same oppressive capitalistic/imperialist (patriarchal) systems we claim to challenge. Instead, we make the false choice, believing if one side is obviously ‘bad’, then the other must be good, when in fact both ‘sides’ frequently serve the same oppressive system(s). Jung understood this is how ‘projection’ works . . . until it doesn’t.

    I’m only able to recognize it because I’ve been conditioned too and once shared some of the same or similar perspectives. Feeling comfortable and encouraged because everyone in our tribe likes (or loves) who we are and what we say tends to dumb down our capacity for critical thought and deeper self reflection. I wasn’t immune.

    I wonder if you and your readers realize how what your #WATWB post was promoting (the false ‘rebranding’ of systemic capitalist oppression by corporate advertisers trying to sell product), as well as the views expressed in comments left in response to it, might come across to someone on the ‘outside’ looking in. Or how it made all previous and subsequent posts on the wise feminine seem farcical.

    • Susan ~ Though you’ve been consistently polite in your responses, I realize my comments and presence have been out of place and out of sync with other members of your online community. If my last comment comes across as harsh, it’s only because I haven’t fully mastered the feminine art and wisdom in remaining silent, dealing with things as they are rather than as I wish them to be ~ which makes my continuing participation farcical and self-serving.

      Sometimes it’s easier to spot the speck in someone else’s eye than it is to take the beam out of my own.

      • Thanks LB … see my below response. The feminine art and wisdom in remaining silent? Not silent – speaking up and out is how I see and feel it.

    • Thanks for coming by LB. My own posts and readers’ comments have acknowledged the negative aspects of the patriarchal system, as well as women’s collusion with it. Our cultural conditioning has also been acknowledged and the need to break free from this. We’ve acknowledged being stuck in the trenches and the realisation of women to get out of them. Similarly, many of us are aware of the greed rampant in the capitalist system and the need for this to change. For historical wrongs to be righted, to keep alert to advertising that dumbs us down, or any system that keeps us complacent and complicit – not that that necessarily came out of the posts; it was not the place … though it did in some instances.

      Not for one moment do I assess that if one side is bad then the other is good .. choices often have hidden or unconscious agendas; thus one has to make choices being aware of intended and unintended consequences .. therefore this is also where the hard work begins – ie making choices.

      Re the #WATWB blog post – if I remember correctly it was in private correspondence that I said that ‘hope’ could also be branded. Now that I think about it, there is such a thing as false hope … reminds me of one of T.S. Eliot’s four quartets …hope for the wrong thing.

      Some months ago, Bell Pottinger, a UK based PR company, was complicit at the behest of a dark bunch of heavies here in SA in spreading racist ‘news’ about my country. Not just racist but economically skewed information about the opposition parties. It caused huge divisions – until they were exposed and brought down. Fake news continues here at a lickety split pace. Many of those links you supplied in the #WATWB were part of it … news reports on TV and newspapers continue to take comments out of context and twist the actual context. Anyone with a modicum of intelligence can see this. Sadly many of our people are illiterate, due to the appalling education system …

      I’m sorry you feel the whole story on Lilith and the Dark Feminine is farcical. I don’t – it gives me hope ..

      • Some of the “fake news” you refer to only seems fake to those who aren’t yet ready to see or understand the dark truths of our world and of the oppressed. In a sea of turned-away faces and comfortable illusions, it’s where those of us on the outside find support and small glimmers of hope. I try to be discerning, so whether I agree with everything or not, I’m not alone in saying I’d be lost without the voices of these courageous, plain-speaking truth-tellers.

        My participation here ~within an online community where familiar ideas are exchanged ~ has taught me an important lesson about the futility of believing we can intentionally influence established systems from the inside. We can’t. It’s a pattern I’ve observed and found frustrating in others and have repeatedly addressed in comments (on this site and others) . . . but until now hadn’t recognized in myself. If you’d been less gracious in your responses, I might have retreated much sooner and missed this insight into my own projections. This is no small thing, and I’m grateful. I wish you and your readers well.

        • Thank you LB for this … I believe we can each make a difference in the wider world, and it begins as individual acts. From the micro to the macro. We have a shared humanity and we can begin by leaning into that more than we already have. Change begins with ourselves first. I’ve appreciated your comments LB – they’ve helped enormously in widening the issues. Thank you πŸ™‚

  6. Thanks susan- I enjoyed the journey with you reflecting for 26 days and was glad. I also read all the comments, and so much of learning only by listening to different perspectives. Appreciate you for being so kind in mentioning my name in a couple of your posts, I feel so honoured. The image posted is heart breaking…. to see one wing missing means a life lost… I couldn’t at first understand it was butterfly’s wing… till I read your post completely, for me it appeared like a snake’s head…

    • Thanks Genevive for coming by! I’m glad you also saw the snake’s head! And, like me, enjoyed all the comments, of which yours were also wise and deep. I was glad to include them ….

  7. Extra kudos to you Susan for taking on the challenge and navigating it so masterfully given your April’s schedule. But I especially love that you answered answered Lilith’s and the Dark Feminine’s call despite it all. And it’s clear to me that magic was conjured from such engagement, sending us all into the depths of discovery and or own clarifications.

    What an extrarordinary image you’ve chosen for this post – and how perfect indeed. To see what is fallen, and to honor it – so much of the journey you have taken us on . Thank you!

    • Thank you so much Deborah! I love that you say about the image, of honouring what has fallen. This is what I love about others’ comments; I’m not sure that I was fully conscious of that, but now I am. And, because it’s apt, I’m adding your M word …. ‘There will always be challenges to face, but I believe the margaritiferous nature of life invites us to heal into wholeness. With time, wisdom and devotion, what we build of our lives is the treasure we bear and what we have to offer’.

  8. Hi Susan, Just stopping by to say hello. Your reflections post gets to the heart of the A-Z – it’s about the learning for me too. I’m so intrigued by Lilith. Following you now and I will be back.

    • Hi Nilanjana, thanks so much for coming by! I’ll be back to yours too … what I saw I much liked. I remember looking for a following button for me, for you – will check again..

  9. Hi, Susan – I was interested to see what you would write for your A to Z Reflection. It was well worth the wait. Challenging, stretching, affirming – your posts took us all on an incredible journey. Thank you! I look forward to reading what you have next in store.

    • Thank you so much Donna for sharing the journey which for me made it so worthwhile! Next in store? I’m not sure … we’ll be ‘on the road’ in less than a month though it will be air travel and going to places never visited before. I remember from a long time ago gazing into the Seine leaning against the rails with my then fiancΓ© Harry, although we did not marry πŸ™‚ Oh, and we’ll be flying home from Amsterdam, where I met one of the loves of my life, also from a verrrry long time ago. TMI? Maybe …

      I’m hoping my schengen visa comes through in time or I’ll be wailing like a banshee πŸ™‚

      • Those sound like very interesting travels. Please post about them – with lots of photos! And tidbits like that are never TMI!

  10. You did a fantastic job with the A to Z Challenge and educating me about Lilith. This has been a tremendous year for connecting Lilith and Eve to the modern day issues. I think it is utterly critical that we see the connection between the past and modern events. We so forget how one era and cycle of events can continue to impact us. Thank you for the excellent job! Congratulations on surviving too!! <3

    • Thank you dear Gwynne and for your ongoing support! Maybe you’ll do the A-Z next year – as I said to Ally Bean? You’ve done it before and it was always so enjoyable with your inimitable grit and grin πŸ™‚ Yes, the past has its influence on the present – and the future ..

  11. Congratulations on a job well done. It takes effort and focus to finish the challenge. And then to write such insightful posts while doing it, you rock.

    • Thanks Ally Bean! I’ve much enjoyed your posts – you would have managed the A-Z
      beautifully I know, with wit and grace…maybe next year?

  12. Hi Susan – I will be back to read through all your posts – as you’ve had wonderful comments adding to your amazing posts on Lilith.

    That’s what I don’t like … the ‘likes’ – perhaps 2 secs to click the link and then away … engagement it has to be for me … is an essential. You replied fully to your commenters – and thus will add to this reader’s enjoyment when I come back.

    Love the butterfly wing – so like an eye, and perhaps a snake’s head … funny what we see sometimes … cheers Hilary

    • Thanks Hilary. I saw both the snake and the eye in the image! Those who commented on my posts and who were also doing the A-Z blog challenge were pretty much engaged in commenting back when I commented on theirs … it made visiting others a pleasure! As in your posts on Canada and reading the comments on yours, and your engagement in your responses … that sounds awfully long-winded but you know what I mean! Susan.

  13. Sorry to have missed it Susan. I have curtailed everything in the past six months for both domestic reasons and writerly ones. I do congratulate you on such consistency. Well done. P

    • Thank you Philippa! I hope you get your writerly wings back soon – from your last post you clearly have and they’re firmly attached.

  14. β€œCome to the edge, he said.
    We are afraid, they said.
    Come to the edge, he said.
    They came to the edge,
    He pushed them and they flew.
    Come to the edge, Life said.
    They said: We are afraid.
    Come to the edge, Life said.
    They came. It pushed them…
    And they flew.”

    Dear Susan, Thank you so much for sharing more rich reflections from April’s A-Z Blog Challenge … I absolutely loved all twenty six of your “Lilith” posts, and learnt so much from so many other warm and wild women! Oh my, I’m struck by the separation of butterfly and wing. It speaks to this poet deeply with the quote above coming instantly, along with the idea that the wing was no longer being needed … or perhaps if read another way, as it was you who came across it, the universe may well be gifting you this image because well, you have wholly earnt your wings dear lady! In sisterhood and soul, Deborah.

    • Thanks Deborah for your lovely comment and ongoing support. I couldn’t have done it without it yours and all others’ engagement. ‘.. wholly earned my wings ..’ so dear πŸ™‚ I honestly thought a 100 times about using that image. Your quote is familiar – methinks maybe something you wrote in one of your posts? In soul, Susan

      • The quote is attributed to the poet and author Christopher Logue, it’s one of my all time favourite sayings! The reason I love the fallen wing image so much is because it “shows” rather than “tells” much like all good writing.

  15. I wish I’d read your reflection before posting mine–Yikes I forgot to thank the hosts!!!

    Lovely reflection. You get to the gist of why AtoZ matters. I’m quite happy to have participated this year also, for many of the same reasons.

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