Lilith: The Symbolic Embodiment of the Left-Hand Path Woman
by Thomas LeRoy, Founder of The Sect of the Horned God
Lilith’s origins, it is said, stem from the Great Mother Goddess of the settled agricultural folk of the Middle East. These were the tribes that resisted the advancement of the nomadic herdsmen invaders, later called the Israelites. As is customary throughout history, the gods and goddesses of many conquered regions are often twisted into devils and demons. Lilith is no exception. Because of their contempt for the Canaanites and those other agricultural tribes of the region, the ancient Hebrews turned this otherwise docile goddess into the mother of demons, one that drank the blood of Abel, the herdsman, after being slain by the elder “god” of agriculture and smithcraft, Cain.
Hebrew myth tells of Lilith being Adam’s first wife, which also has a relation to the Sumero-Babylonian Goddess Belit-ili, or Belili. Yahweh created Adam and Lilith as twins joined together at the back. Strong willed, Lilith demanded equality with Adam. Adam tried to make Lilith lie beneath him during sexual intercourse, but she would not meet his demands of male dominance. Lilith cursed Adam and left Eden to make a home by the Red Sea. While there Lilith became a lover to demons, producing 100 babies a day. It is said by experts in comparative mythology that Lilith’s Red Sea is but another version of Kali Ma’s Ocean of Blood, which gave birth to all things, but needed periodic sacrificial replenishment.
Adam, furious at being abandoned by his wife, complained to Yahweh. In response, Yahweh sent three angels, Sanvi, Sansanvi and Semangelaf, to bring Lilith back to Eden. Lilith rebuffed the angels by cursing them. The angels said to her that Yahweh would take her demon children away unless she returned to Adam. When she did not return, she was punished accordingly. And, to appease Adam’s needs, God sent to him the more complacent Eve.
Enraged at Yahweh, Lilith became a female demon of the night who supposedly flew about, searching for newborn children either to kidnap or strangle. While on her night-time ventures she would also seduce men into propagating more demon sons, thus the myth of the succubi was born. From a psychological point of view, this plays into the Jungian idea of the dark anima, or the feminine shadow, represented in the evil seductress. Belief in Lilith’s sinister erotic powers were so great, it led some Jewish communities into adopting the custom of not allowing sons to accompanying their dead father’s body to the cemetery. The reason being was that they could be shamed by the hovering presence of their demon half-siblings, born of their father’s seduction by Lilith.
Although Lilith has become a demonized representation of promiscuity and disobedience, she should instead be seen as a positive figure, a symbol of autonomy, sexual equality, and control of a one’s own destiny. Often associated with the Serpent in the Garden of Eden, in this incarnation Lilith symbolically freed humankind from the tyrannical rule of a trickster god. The expulsion from the Garden should not be looked at a curse, but as the beginnings of a destined journey to consciousness. Lilith is the supreme representation of the left-hand path woman, independent, having discarded the patriarchal yoke, and not afraid to use all the tools available to her, including her sexuality, to gain the most out of existence.
“NEVER FORGET THAT YOU ARE A WOMAN, AND THE GREATEST POWERS YOU CAN EMPLOY AS A WITCH ARE TOTALLY DEPENDENT UPON YOUR OWN SELF-REALIZATION THAT IN BEING A WOMAN YOU ARE DIFFERENT FROM A MAN AND THAT VERY DIFFERENCE MUST BE EXPLOITED!”
― Anton Szandor LaVey