Opposition & Ordeal Lilith

Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one. ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

The Commonwealth Games are taking place in the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. One of our athletes, Caster Semenya continues to do us proud in her running races. Some years ago when she was winning races, there were questions raised by men and women about her being too manly and claims that she was not a woman. For a long time, she was subjected to medical examinations to determine whether she had a vagina or had undergone surgery to pass off as a woman, or had been taking drugs to suppress her testosterone levels and to increase her oestrogen. It was simply awful to imagine how she endured. Seeing her up on the podium last evening after winning the 800 metre race, and the gold medal placed around her neck, made me feel so proud. Her smile was so endearing. A little shy, a little coy –

Like Semenya, Lilith’s energetic force arose as a result of opposition and suppression. Her spirit was broken but not indefinitely. If we bathe her, wash and cleanse her with our tears she will be redeemed and transformed. We need to cleanse her from the socially conditioned and condoned guilt that we have taken it upon ourselves to suffer. Can we reach deep inside ourselves and connect to the core of our sadness, anger and wounding and allow healing to take place, so the divine feminine is restored? Can we orient and open ourselves in a different more life-affirming way?

My husband, son and I went on a major hike on the Robberg Peninsula today. Instead of walking the usual route, we went in the opposite direction, so’s to avoid the tides. Somehow we took a wrong turn. It was up and down, clambering over rocks. My legs got trembly. I wanted to call the National Sea Rescue Institute to lift me off the peninsula. What was interesting to me, was that when there was level ground (not often), I scampered along quite happily on my own. But when Neil & and Mike were with me, I stumbled. I wondered what this meant. Some ingrained wiring? Needing to be rescued? I really thought about this – I also knew that I didn’t want to be dependent and hold them back. My balance was off, in part because of an otological inner ear problem. But as the afternoon wore on and the sun beat down, my legs got more and more trembly, and all I wanted to do was sit and sleep. Which I did a few times for a few moments. It was surreal. Young, lithe hikers came by and offered their water which Neil and Mike poured over my head to revive me. Onwards, upwards, downwards – they were so patient in helping me. I was utterly powerless. I couldn’t have managed this ordeal without their masculine energy, not only of masculine strength, but of care and concern. For me, this has been an opening to myself – though I still have to digest it all. 5 and a half hours later, the end was in sight.

Marion Woodman –“As consciousness develops, the body will act as donkey for only so long. Men as much as women need to know that their soul is grounded in their own loving matter. ‘This is who I am. Every cell in my body tells me this is of value to me – not to my persona, to me.’ That is the container whose feeling can be trusted because it is grounded in reality.” 

Thank you for reading!



32 Comments on O Opposition and Ordeal Lilith

  1. Hi Susan – Semenya has had a tough time … the imposition of unthinking people … I’m amazed at how opinionated we are without knowledge … and thus how unfair. Cheers Hilary

  2. Thank you for Caster Semenya’s story and this life affirming post. I remember the controversy some years ago, but didn’t know the outcome. I’m grateful this woman who doesn’t fit society’s collective rules emerged victorious. Yes, you could have managed without your masculine rescuers of the feminine, but I’m glad you didn’t have to. Yes, the body will only act as a donkey for so long. Thanks for the quote from Marion, too. It’s a favorite.

    • Caster Semenya is truly a heroine .. I’m not so sure I would have managed Elaine without the others. Had my sister been there she would have helped I know. Probably would have called the National Sea Rescue Institute 🙂 Heat stroke, complete loss of balance (probably on all levels not just the inner ear), mired in Lilith, maybe over confident about my physical ability …

  3. I am so glad to read about caster Semenya and how she went through all the trials, finally winning the race- I liked the comparison with lilith’s energies of how it rose above oppositions and ordeals, powerful reflection to look within open up and reaffirm… I am impressed with your courage to go for hiking… and too much to digest.Hope you are fine and all is well with you, take care..

    • Thanks Genevive – she’s won many in the past and is bringing home many medals again this time round! Thank you for your concern re the hike – I am still digesting the whole thing! Achey bones but mobile 🙂

  4. As a strong and capable person who manages her own life and that of those who rely on my — often exhausting and worrisome — sometimes you just need a break. Maybe that was your body’s way of saying you need a timeout and to let someone else take the reins, Susan. It’s okay. We don’t have to go it alone.❤️

    • Thank you Pam, that is perceptive and I’m taking this on board. I have achey bones today but not too bad! A good sleep last night did the power of good! 🙂

  5. Dear Susan, I felt immense pride as a woman to see Castor up there on the podium with her gold medal and modest smile! What a superstar! What a true “Warrior Woman” she is and inspiration. Much like your own heart, mine leaped and danced in delight. Opposition and ordeal is a great, and fitting title to this excellent post, in what has be your greatest series!

    Wow, what an amazing hiking journey you took across the Robberg Peninsula! I felt myself journeying beside you all the way. Hmm, now I don’t feel you went the wrong way about it at all, in fact I feel (unconsciously) you definitely chose the right way to trek, in order to correct an imbalance within. Just a thought, although please do dismiss if it doesn’t fit …

    Perhaps your “Animus” was out of balance and needed reorienting? While rapt on the wild feminine, Lilith, can be a JOY … there comes a time when the body breaks down, well down to the bone in my case, before we tune inwards. Here’s one of my challenging animus adventures: http://theliberatedsheep.com/animus-diet-part-three/ Warm and wild blessings, Deborah.

    • Dear Deborah, thank you for your lovely comment! Believe it or not I wanted to do a post on the opposites, but that would have been too much for me after the hike. We did a post mortem last night and again this morning when our son joined us for breakfast. Normally, we would have walked down to Old Nic’s, but driving there was the only way today! I probably had heat stroke, hallucinations and all that. Apparently I said when I sat down, leave me here, I’m in another universe. Apart from things like, where am I? And much more. I’m grateful to the strangers who gave their water. Grateful to my son and husband for being there …

      There’s truth in taking the wrong path .. I like what you say about correcting an imbalance. This I am still to process. My animus was there when needed – a BIG lesson for me to learn …

      re-reading your animus diet, I am struck by Patience Strong and the juxtaposition of the virtues, patience and strength. Your whole poetic piece of writing was a joy! Yes, sometimes that ankle needs to broken twice … but what a frigging process! Warm wild wonderful blessings coming your way! Susan

    • Thanks Arlee for coming by! I plan to do this climb at least once a year. The scenery is gorgeous. We just went about it the wrong way –

  6. Hi, Susan – That was quite a hike, with much to digest. I hope that all is well for you now.
    I love Eleanor Roosevelt quotes, and the one that you opened with is no exception. I also like her quote “Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent”. That fits this post as well!

    • Thanks Donna all ok now! Bit achey but very mobile! Glad you like ER quotes- I like your one too though I don’t see how it applies vis a vis me! I felt pretty powerless and was willing to accept help!

  7. You had quite a hike, and my guess is that you are out of practice with such an extensive route. If you were out hiking more often, I’ll bet you would not have been so exhausted. Like today, my husband’s doctor told him that he has to keep exercising to keep his strength and help up. Sometimes, we want to rebel and not push. Keep pushing!

    • Gwynn, you must be psychic! We come down to Plettenberg Bay fairly often during the year and it’s always my intention to hike the Robberg at least once a year. This was actually the -first time in many years! We gotta keep pushing on as your husband has to. Pushing on is the name of one of thekiffness songs!

      • Keep pushing, but break it into smaller pieces so you don’t overdo and hurt yourself. I totally understand the “I CAN DO THIS” attitude, but sadly sometimes we have to accept our aging process. I know… I’m only as old as my mind says, right? 😉

        • ha ha! I actually hadn’t thought of the difficulty of it as part of the aging process, but maybe there’s something in that. I plan to walk the Robberg every year irrespective of age … maybe I was a bit gung ho in attempting it. Mike reminded me this morning how many have to be rescued and it’s often much younger ones ..

  8. Quite a hike you had — not like mine today which was quite simple. Our creek crossing was a bit challenging due to high water, but much easier than yours…

  9. As a kid, I was a sprinter ~ agile, strong, and very fast. The neighborhood I grew up in could be violent and oppressive; adding to this, as I got older I attracted a lot of unwanted male attention, even stalkers, which doesn’t justify or excuse predatory or entitled behavior. Being able to run gave me a feeling of power and independence, came in handy several times in my life when I needed to run. My father once told me I was like a wild horse whose spirit needed to be broken. My mother and family agreed.

    This opposition and wounding only strengthened my inner resolve, though in retrospect, I’ve realized the focus of some of my earlier efforts (to defend my innate worth and autonomy through fight or flight) were misplaced and self-destructive, sometimes hypocritical ~ in the same way the actions and attitudes of my family, and many others in the surrounding culture and environment were and continue to be. I see it as a human issue rather than being strictly a man/woman thing. It’s bigger than that and affects everything.

    As an archetype, Lilith is the holding place of valuable shadow material. She touches on the unique place in each of us where the wild, dark feminine has been rejected and made us afraid. What we do with our fear and pain is up to us. We can continue to repress and unconsciously project it, or use our pain as an opening (and opportunity) to become more Self-aware, compassionate, and conscious.

    Much as I love and appreciate my husband, like you, I walk better alone (once, when I was following his lead, I just barely escaped being hit by a speeding bicyclist). Depending on where we, I sometimes need to gently remind him of why I resist him holding my hand.

    Thanks, Susan.:) I agree, our oppositions and ordeals provide openings and opportunities.

    • Thanks LB for coming by. I wouldn’t have minded being likened to a wild horse but would have wounded if I’d been told that therefore my spirit must be broken.

      It’s amazing how such a comment can cause further resolve to ‘prove’ one’s self, and/or the others ‘wrong’ until it gets tempered by one’s own life.

      I love what you say about Lilith LB. thank you -‘

      • Hope you’re recovering nicely, Susan. As I’ve aged, I’ve limited my ‘hiking’ to walks among the trees and along the beach. The hike up and down the hilly street leading to our local library occasionally stresses my knees and ankles. Physically, you’re way more adventurous than I am.

        • Thanks LB – my legs get more sore every day that passes. It was WAY more than anticipated. We’ve just got back from dinner for our last night here and son Mike who lives here was saying how often the NSRI has to be called out to rescue people who’ve slipped, twisted their ankles, broken legs, arms, can’t go on – heat stroke, dehydration etc etc . I’ve climbed the mountain many times before but it is a while since last time .. I need to get back to ordinary walking which I will do when back in Johannesburg. Thank you for your concern 🙂

  10. What a fascinating, albeit I’m sure quite distressing at the time, experience Susan to have during this time of excavating Lilith’s journey. I know I’ll be thinking about this quite a bit this.

    And how perfect to consider Caster Semenya at this time as well! Wild cheering as she takes her rightful place as one who has endured and overcome oppression and opposition.

    • I also thought of Lilith during that 5 1/2 hr hike, Deborah! A pale experience by comparison. But one I felt deeply in my bones and cells. And well tempered by my husband and son’s care. Thank you for coming by-

  11. I had that sort of awakening when my husband and I took my daughter to her college for the first day–which was also a parents day. Lots and lots of walking in the hot sun. I started to faint and spent the next hours in a coffee shop. There are times I don’t like aging.

    • Oooo if only I’d had a coffee shop near by! Aging? I hadn’t thought my lack of power could have been due to aging! Maybe – thanks Jacqui for coming by –

  12. “You have the right to be an individual.” “The body will act as donkey for only so long.” Your wonderful quotes were perfect and necessary today. My soul is singing with with abundant synchronicities, the joy of learning to be an individual, and the rewards of trusting my own feelings because they are grounded in reality. Thank you for adding more meaning to this moment, this day.

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