Lilith as Catalyst
Lilith has had many projections made upon her and still does. She is seen as a demon who usurps man’s sperm while he sleeps at night, steals babies, tortures men by their overt sexuality, is wild, undomesticated, ruthless, destroying everything and everyone in her path. A harmful spirit who spreads chaos by casting spells all around her. She is called ‘Alien Woman’, Impure Female’ – and many other such pejorative adjectives. This is a one dimensional approach though, but sadly, the images remain in the modern psyche.
She challenged the patriarchal authority, and though she was severely punished for this, she knew that her voice was to be honoured and not callously dismissed by those who thought her inferior and of no worth, worth only to be tamed into obedience and submission.
Counter forces arise naturally when one’s ‘way in life’ is too one-sided, too fixed, too stagnant. Things cannot remain that way forever. I suppose they can if it serves the status quo or entropy. Lilith was such a counter force and thus was a catalyst – for change, for not settling for the status quo. Something in her must have said, no, things cannot always be like this. A real sense of her desire for freedom, not necessarily equality – some desire to stand as her own woman, to be her own ‘authority’ –
This is the energy of Lilith that we can use as a catalyst for our own awakening.
We see this today, strong women who say look at me, listen to me, who courageously write or speak of their pain and anguish in their lives from being oppressed from patriarchy. Their voices are being heard and shared gaining recognition for speaking out, in poignantly expressed lines of poetry, artworks, writings, laying bare and articulating what many times has been impossible to do. We receive a jolt when we read and remember e.g. the witch hunts from the Middle Ages. We remember the courage of Rosa Parks (1913-2005) refusing to give up her seat to a white man on a city bus in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1955, and who helped initiate the civil rights movement in the United States. We remember the Quakers. We remember the Black Sash movement here in South Africa, started in 1955, by women, as a protest against apartheid. We remember the Helen Suzman’s of our world, the Ruth First’s, our past public protector Thuli Madonsela who stood up against our ruling party. We remember Malala Yousafzai who took a bullet to her head by the Taliban and young Emma Gonzàlez who stood in silence for over 6 minutes which is how long it took to mow down 17 students at the Parklands School in Florida. Standing up to the NRA no less –
So many many women past and present who said No! and took action. All catalysts for each of us. Lilith was the first. Eve the 2nd …
picture: Sumerin/Assyrian relief of Lilith – though this is in dispute by scholars ..
D: Daimon or daemon