I: Imagining Lilith

What insight do I gain by imagining Lilith’s action of returning to her younger sister Eve in the Garden, she who was now wife to Adam? In disguise as a serpent no less? And the repercussions of it all? Maybe the whole drama was a necessary Fate, initiating the break from unconsciousness to consciousness. Have I allowed any insights to mature sufficiently so that I can say that they feel real? Am I inspired by her? 

Are such stories which invade my consciousness an invitation to consider the real impact of patriarchy? What has the rise of consciousness really meant? 

Yes, mythological stories are of value for me. Especially when I see patriarchy’s historical prevalence and one sided view of women alive and ‘well’ in today’s world. This is not to say that women are innocent – often they are not, in their collusion with ego ambitions of conquer and control at all costs. I’m very much in favour of a healthy, well-adapted and necessary ego – but when we identify with an overbearing and fixed one, we are in trouble.

I’ve learned that history shows that the natural, instinctual impulses of women were seen as a threat to the male order’s emerging ego consciousness – and still today we fear the feminine.

Lilith took time to process this event of being an outcast and isolated from the familiar. I imagine her not only in the deep waters of the Red Sea, but also in the fire. I imagine her kindling the fire, wondering about being reduced to ashes, yet feeling akin to the fire’s flames and ashes. I imagine her wondering if she is is being forged and fashioned in some alchemical way by her burning. She felt a relationship with all that was as she was burning and drowning. Passive, struck down one moment, and yet an active, initiating force was building in her –

Many of us are initiated into the darker side of life through lightning strikes and all sorts of outer circumstances eg death, divorce, betrayal, illness, estrangement from family and friends. Do we truly reflect on our sadness and deep felt emotions when this happens? Can we suffer our anguish and agony? Even if it means meeting the Lilith within, with all her terrifying manifestations –

You need chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star. Friedrich Nietzsche

Tell me, what is it that you plan to do with your wild and precious life? Mary Oliver

Thank you for reading! I much appreciate your visiting and your wonderful comments!

(The picture above is a photograph of a very beautiful ‘stone’ which I found somewhere and which I planned to plant under a tree in Botswana when I was there a few years ago, where my brother David is buried. I couldn’t find it in my back pack when the time came. On another later occasion when I was down in Cape Town, I tossed it from the pier jutting out into the sea where the ashes of my mother and father were strewn so many years ago. It was for David too – The stone was hard yet there was a wonderful softness about it also .. it reminded me of Lilith – like velvet, yet iron hard).

36 Comments on I Imagining Lilith

  1. I love your insights. Maybe Lilith’s return to help Eve shows us how difficult it is to liberate the feminine from subjugation by patriarchy. These old stories tell us this battle has been raging for many thousands of years. I agree that women are not innocent since they’ve been teachers of patriarchal values as a way to keep their children safe. Trapped between acting from strength and saving the offspring. You’re helping me see the anger I’ve felt (not as strong as a week ago as I practice stepping back and work with it) about being left as my mother-in-law’s caregiver is associated with Lilith energy. I look at it and take it in. Nice women give their heart and soul to others without complaint, don’t they? (Thanks for the story about the power stone.)

    • I would have to agree Elaine that women are caught between a rock and a hard place and that they’re not innocent. We have to look at it and take it in as you say – and delve further in to see where our anger originates. We do give our hearts and souls to others, but we have to consider our own hearts and souls somewhere along the line. It makes me wonder about the philosophy that says ‘be of service to others’ without considering the question ‘I will give when I have something to give’ … I struggle with this …

  2. Every time I go to the gym I see these words by Deepak Chopra: “All great change is preceded by chaos.” It fits my life story so many times. I’ll see it again today when I go to my Pilates class. Great series, Susan.

  3. “you need chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star”:) like that, deep and profound thought. The stone is beautiful, thanks for sharing..

  4. Hi Susan – we need leaders to rise above the milieu … see the best in us, and help us all get the best out of the world together … I am loving the education – having been of the sort that rarely questioned everything … cheers Hilary

    • Thanks Hilary – we too asordinary citizens, can also rise above the milieu … maybe show our ‘leaders’ a thing or two .. but maybe more importantly, we will all be in concert at the same time .. Susan

  5. I think we skimp in the all important analysis and absorption that should happen whenever there’s a major event in our lives. Instead we adopt a “just get through this” mindset until the initial pain passes. The only thing that does for us, though, is bury the pain more deeply to be met again another day with much more intensity. 😩
    Lovely post, Susan.❤️

    • Thanks Pam – as I write on a very windy balcony down at the sea and admire the beauty of the view, and read your comment, I’m thinking that it is not just in our personal lives but in the damage we do to Mother Nature. Yet somehow we overlook major ecological disasters and believe that we will get through this too – bury the reality – and it keeps on happening until the intensity canNOT be ignored any longer …

    • Thanks Holli – hopefully it will change if only because it is seen that change IS necessary, for both men and women. Thankfully not all men despise women and do value their gifts, and vice versa –

  6. Dear Susan, You know the more I read about the wonderful Lilith (here) in the Garden of Eden, the more I love and can relate to her allegorical story in my own life! Thank you so much for sharing your deep insights and karmic wisdom. For in life, I have been cast out, isolated, cut off and reduced to a pile of ashes while (at the same time) being forged and fashioned. A necessary exile from my tribe and fearful initiation that followed yet one which helps every day to form both tough outer shell and soft inner centre. Learning to hold the tension of the opposites is beginning to feel like the Holy Grail. Warm and wild blessings, Deborah.

    • Thank you dear Deborah for coming by and being so open about your own painful journey. Talking about it, writing about it as you do, so beautifully, imaginatively and poetically is a true gift of the artist who knows that life is dark much of the time, if one faces it, and that you for one, have come through the tunnel. Yes, that’s exactly it, holding the tension of the opposites – not easy, but if one is search of the Holy Grail … from a wild and windy Plettenberg Bay – just arrived, warm blessings to you .. Susan

  7. We initiate chaos in our own lives, on our own and with help from the patriarchy prevalent over centuries. Progress feels so slow at times. I like the idea of Lilith taking time to process this.
    Beautiful picture of the ‘stone’ Susan, and the story behind it. Glad you found it.

  8. There are, and have always been, courageous, imaginative men and women who stand on the edges of society, trying to make a difference. Some gain attention, most don’t.

    In the US and UK, most of the women holding positions of political and corporate power are as deeply entrenched and supportive of our imperialist systems as are the men. If they don’t start out that way, they soon become corrupted by how the ‘game’ is played. We kill our prophets. Then after they’re dead, we twist their messages to better serve our systems of oppression. The truth of it is harsh, something a conscious Lilith understands and doesn’t shy away from, even when it means recognizing these failings within herself.

    I agree, Susan ~ A conscious Lilith’s imagination is active, life-affirming and creative, born in the dark womb of chaos. Imagination allows us to think beyond our prisons, to seek God (or Source) and connection. Imagination is different from the illusions, fantasies and denials that shape our obsession with personal happiness and comfort.

    As an aside, did you post something last week (on “C” for “Catalyst” day, I think) saying your “I” word would be “Imagine”? Or did I only imagine I saw it?

    • ‘A conscious Lilith’s imagination is active, life-affirming and creative, born in the dark womb of chaos. Imagination allows us to think beyond our prisons, to seek God (or Source) and connection. Imagination is different from the illusions, fantasies and denials that shape our obsession with personal happiness and comfort’. Beautiful words LB thank you ..

      And sadly, I have to agree with you – the oppressed often turns into the oppressor. I may well use those as my O post.

      Thank you for coming by, I appreciate it.

      • Thank you, Susan.

        During the election (and even now), I hate that so many well-intended and misinformed women have been misled into supporting Hillary Clinton as some kind of feminist/feminine savior. This is just one example, there are many others.

        Mass murder, endless war, and oppression at the hands of a women are are still mass murder, endless war and oppression. It’s the way our system works, which doesn’t mean we have to promote or endorse it with our voices and votes.

        • A contender for president of our country was the ex wife of that pres. She had been chair of the Africa Union but was totally ineffective there. The pres of the Women’s League here in SA is equally ineffective. How tell me how do they get elected? By adopting similar strategies of patronage. Sickening to see. Democracy as we have known it is getting a very bad smell.

  9. All of us have both the dark and the light/right side inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on and show to the world. That’s who we really are!!

  10. I really do think you’ve come to the perfect conclusion about Lilith – velvet and iron. I think to see her any other way is a misunderstanding of her wholeness and what she offers to us.

    What an extraordinary rock Susan – a perfect tribute I think with its spiral. Reminding us always of the iterations of everything. Nothing is truly lost, only changed.

    • I’m glad you noted the rock Deborah thank you. I’m glad I took a few photos of it to remind me. The spirals were truly lovely and are a reminder of the spiral or circular approach being wiser than a straight and linear one …

      Iron velvet … they do go well together! Somehow!! 🙂 Thank you for coming by!

  11. I am so enjoying your thoughts about Lilith and mankind. Thanks for the education! It is interesting to me that I was never taught to think about the adversity in my life to learn from it. Am I the only one, OR do others think this way? I realize I have become more independent. Also, I wonder as originally the world was far more wild and wooly than now. Was man created to protect woman? We are different in physics and mindsets… at what point does a man’s mindset and a woman’s mindset compromise and work together to make a strong team? Or do any of us think about building a team and working together? Share from what we have learned of our challenges and inspire one another. I wish I could read God’s mind as to what he intended when he created mankind. Lots of questions…

    • Thanks Gwynn .. I don’t think we are taught it – we experience it individually and then reflect on it and hopefully learn from our experience and derive some meaning from it? Your questions are challenging – team work is wonderful made up of individuals who have a common aim. Individual sharing is also powerful. Hopefully as a species, men and women, can inspire each other as they have in the past and present. Helen Keller, MLK, Mandela, are a few that continue to inspire even though they are dead .. G.d gave you free choice, limited though it is … (free choice i.e.)

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