Fear of the Dark Feminine: Lilith
‘The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone’ : Old Testament, Psalms 118 vs 22.
Meister Eckhart: The ground of the soul is dark.
Barbara Koltuv, in her book The Book of Lilith says: ‘Experiencing Lilith in her many forms is part of the process of giving birth to the feminine self‘.
Hannelore Traugott, German Lilith expert: ‘ .. Lilith…is striving to become conscious again. Let’s call it archaic energy, spiritual femininity, something akin to the wisdom of the goddess. As long as we don’t have access to this energy we experience it psychologically as loss, suppression, isolation, emptiness, addiction and above all, power struggles’.
Lilith is seen as all we are NOT, she who is the container for the dark, earthy creative feminine. We have all sought to repress her through our projections. We have put her out there, as not belonging to us and the hard work is bringing her in again, allowing her her rightful place within our psyches.
Both men and women have suffered because of the repression of the feminine principle. Oddly enough, this served for the arising of ego-consciousness as masculine values of perception, behaviour and feeling came to be of supreme value. Bringing the feminine back into our lives will be a bringing back of the cornerstone that was rejected.
The ego-consciousness of patriarchy devalued the life-death-rebirth, instinctual values of women. Men took a stand against women for fear of falling prey to their wiles and seductive powers. Mary Magdalene was seen as both prophetess and whore, the Black Madonna covered over and unknown …
The feminine principle stands for all that is life giving as well as life destroying, paradoxical though that may seem. It stands for chaos from which order emerges in a new transformative, transcendent form. It is both joyful and grieving. It is dark and fecund, like the soil of the earth. It embraces ALL in life, and in death. Pain and suffering, sorrow, grief, anger, destruction, wildness, non-conformity, death and darkness are all embraced by Lilith. She also embraces compassion, joy, creativity, light, playfulness, mothering, nurturing, birthing, ugliness and beauty. She devours and she transforms. Nothing is meaningless to her. She knows that ALL is part of the whole of life and death (like Kali). Wanting only the light and the good and the heights is an awful denial of the depths and is overly fixed and one-sided which leaves little or no room for manoeuvre.
This is not a call for a re-emergence of the matriarchal archetype over the patriarchal archetype but for an integration of the two. If these two complementary archetypes are brought into play with each other, each recognising the value of the other, we would be on the way to being more psychologically whole as we become more aware and awakened on a personal and collective level.
Is she calling us to our own darkness and depth? Can darkness and depth be the deep unsolvable mystery of all mysteries? Have we been fleeing from the depths in our desperate desire to reach the heights?
How to integrate these energies is our personal and collective challenge.
It is important to be aware of Lilith’s divine and demonic powers. She is not to be cast out and banished. She needs to be redeemed through our conscious awareness of her. Becoming conscious of the conflict is an achievement.
Thank you for reading! (did you notice the man with the moustache in the middle of the women in the top picture?)