I have been aware of the Goddess Lilith most of my life but growing up in the toxic environment during my childhood, Lilith was characterized as an evil and malicious demon which I later learned is a Christianized version twisted for that religions own purpose. The truth is that Lilith’s origins is shrouded in some mystery and is quite a complex Goddess who is deserving of true respect, honor and dedication. That is my purpose of this blog post which is important to me as I have close friends who work with her in their magick practices.
The exact origins of Lilith are uncertain and there is lot of speculation around the historical accuracy of most versions of her myth.
In Mesopotamian mythology, Lilith was associated with the figure of a female night demon. In this culture, the shadowy creature symbolized the wind and, therefore, had its image related to pests, malaise and death. To get in touch with her universe, Lilith used water as a portal. Already in Hebrew mythology, with quotes in the Midrash and Talmud, Lilith is also seen as a demon.
Among the Sumerians, in the middle of 3000 BC. C., Lilith was known by the name of Lilitu. In that period, her figure appeared, at first, in the representation of a group of demons or spirits related to storms and winds. According to some mythologists, in 700 BC the name was changed to Lilith. As in Sumer, the peoples of Babylon associated Lilith with evil spirits and demonic entities. Symbolizing her by the moon, the Babylonians believed that the female devil varied between bad and good phases. SOURCE
Lilith is a Sumerian or Babylonian demon Goddess, Who is perhaps better known for Her role in Jewish legend. Called “The Dark Maid” or “Maiden of Desolation,” Lilith is associated with owls and is a creature of the night. She is depicted on a Babylonian clay plaque from 2000-1600 BCE as beautiful winged woman with bird’s feet and claws.
As a young woman, Inanna, the Sumerian Goddess of love and war, plants a sacred huluppu-tree from which She hopes to make Her throne (representing Her power as an adult woman) and bed (representing Her full sexuality). But Lilith, along with the serpent and the lion-faced anzu-bird, takes up residence in the huluppu-tree, as a symbol of Inanna’s fears. The hero Gilgamesh eventually drives Lilith out, and Inanna is then able to claim Her throne and bed.
In Jewish legend, Lilith is Adam’s first wife. She refused to have sex with him because she did not want to be beneath him. She left him and was cursed to give birth to one hundred demon children a day who were then killed. She was said to take Her revenge for this curse by stealing or killing human children. Her name means “Screech Owl” or “Night Creature.” She is mentioned in the Bible: as the Hebrew God, Yahweh, threatens the destruction of Edom (a land located to the south and east of the Dead Sea) He describes what will happen after it is laid waste: “…The night creature shall rest there, and find for herself a place of rest” (Book of Isaiah, chapter 34, verse 14). Like in the Inanna legend, Lilith’s presence symbolizes a dark time of fear or desolation. SOURCE
Epithets and Names of Lilith
Lilith has had many names throughout history, some with known origins and some without. A few popular titles are:
- Screeching Owl
- Demon of screeching
- Night Monster
- The First Feminist
According to the book Folk-lore of the Holy Land, these are the names of Lilith:
Satrinah, Lilith, Avitu, Amiz Raphi, Amizu, Kakash, Odem, ‘ik, Pods, ‘ils, Petrota, Abro, Kema, Kalee, Bituah, Thiltho, Partashah. SOURCE
Lilith out of Eden: Asmodeus’s companion
There are at least three versions of Lilith’s fate outside Eden: the first tells that she was confined to the caves of the Red Sea, where she would still live dedicating herself to pagan rites in full harmony with nature.
On the other hand, the second version says she was the lover of every demon in the world: in essence, once she left the Garden of God, she would have lain with the demons present on earth to prove that she did not need divine grace.
This version, however, would be forced and is not very valid for the followers of Lilith, who point out that since there are only two human beings on a still pure earth, there certainly could not be many demons.
A third version says that Lilith could be allowed to return to Eden as long as she became the protector of all newborns. Lilith, however, saw it as an affront: taking care of children not her own would be a punishment. It seems therefore that she went far away until she met the demon Asmodeus.
Between the two it was an instant love or, at least, it was something that resembled it; it seems that they chose each other as companions and that Lilith gave birth to many Lilim, or demon children, also called jinn.
At this point, it seems that once again God tried to bring her back. He commissioned three angels, Senoy, Sansenoy, and Semangelof, to look for her. The three did not use the right strategy: they ordered her to return by threatening her with death, but she replied that she could not return to Adam after having had a relationship with a demon and that she would never be able to die because she became immortal. Continue reading HERE.
Sigil of Lilith
Lilith is a symbol of femininity, beauty, freedom, rebellion, strength and courage. She is the liberator of the women, encouraging them to be strong and to fight for their rights. Lilith is also known to help during the childbirths and all which concerns the femininity.
Lilith is associated to the night and to the moon, to the water, to the rose, to the snake, to big cats, and more particularly to the cat, to the owl and to the hyena.
In the tarot, she is symbolized by the Empress and the High Priestess.
Lilith is often associated with Ishtar/Inanna, with Isis, or with Kitra for vampyres. In the Luciferian Wicca, she embodies the goddess, the symbol of the feminine energy of the universe (associated with the God, Lucifer, the symbol of the male energy).
Calling on Lilith Ritual
In most Wiccan and pagan traditions, the sacred feminine and masculine represent different aspects of life, personalities, and energies. Often, the masculine (either in energy or via the God) is utilized for spells and rituals focused on strength. But sometimes, what you need can’t come from the masculine. Sometimes what you need is unmatched feminine ferocity, strength pulled from the fury and darkness that has built over millennia. In those instances, calling upon Lilith will aid you in finding your inner strength and releasing that power.
For this ritual, you will need:
- a sliced apple (to eat, make sure it is in good shape)
- red wine (or grape juice if you don’t drink alcohol)
- bloodstone (for strength, courage, and confidence)
- a small plate
- any owl or serpent statuary or imagery you’d like to include on your altar
- music from a female artist you like
Perform this ritual at night. If there is a dark moon soon, wait for that if you can. If you can perform it outdoors, that will work best, as Lilith lives in the wilds. Set your statuary or imagery on your altar if you’d like. Place the bloodstone at the center. Place the plate with the sliced apples to the right of the bloodstone. Place the chalice with the red wine to the left of the bloodstone.
Begin by focusing your intention on calling Lilith and finding your strength. Meditate on your intentions for a few moments. Play the music, pick up the bloodstone, and begin to dance. Dance wildly, widely, without inhibition. Feel the wild within your heart grow and let it flourish in your dance. Dance to a few songs, holding the bloodstone tightly as you do, letting the energy you are raising be intensified by the power of the stone.
Turn down the music (but not off) and return to your altar. Touch the stone to the apple and the wine, then replace it in the center. Hold your hands over the apple and wine and recite this incantation:
Lilith, First Witch, Dark Mother
Protector of all who are othered
Help me release my power
No longer see me cower
Move both hands over the apple. Recite this incantation:
Knowledge from its flesh
Wisdom that is refreshed
I bring your power into me
I set my wildness free
Eat one slice of apple, focusing your intention. Move both hands over the wine. Recite this incantation:
Millennia of tears and blood
Building into a flood
Of women’s fury and power
I bring to myself in this dark hour
Take a sip of the wine, focusing your intention. Turn the music up again and call to Lilith to dance with you.
Lilith, wild, strong, and free
Join in and dance with me
Help my strength to grow
My own power let me know
As you dance, take breaks to thank Lilith, eat more of the apple, and drink more of the wine. Continue until both are gone. Carry the bloodstone with you when you need the strength of the dark feminine. SOURCE
Correspondences and Offerings to Lilith
- Clay: Lilith is said to be made of clay.
- Figures of animals such as owls and snakes.
- Books and artwork depicting Lilith
- Lilith’s Sigil
- Symbols of the Dark Moon
- Crystals such as tiger’s eye, amber, bloodstone, moonstone, and obsidian.
- Black candles
- Use a scrying mirror to invite her spirit
- You can use scents such as jasmine, dragon’s blood, musk, and sandalwood.
- Alcohol, specifically red wine.
Some may choose to use blood as an offering for Lilith, but blood is a powerful connection to your own energy. You should only use blood in a ritual if you have a complete understanding of the energetic implications of doing so. This is not recommended for those who are just beginning to work with any deity. SOURCE
**NOTE** A close friend of mine who works closely with Lilith shared with me that Red Carnelian stone is also associated with Lilith.