Collections of posts on Lilith from alt.mythology

compiled by M Barnard (barnard@io.org)

Note: I don't have the names or email addresses of all the authors of these
posts. If you wrote one of them and you want your name and/or email address
attached to it, please email me and let me know.

>According to the midrash with which I am most familiar, Adam insisted
>that Lilith always "lie below him" -- that is, always be on the bottom
>during sex. When Lilith complained and got no sympathy from Adam or help
>from God, she "called the Holy Name of the Creator" and flew away. She
>was transformed into a demon of the air, who is responsible for killing
>infants in their cradles (because her children are condenmned to death by
>the thousands) and for provoking erotic dreams and nocturnal emissions in
>men.

Actually, when she fled the Garden, God sent three angels to bring her back.
She did not want to go back, so the Angels KILLED 100 of her children per
day. This accounts for the fact that she kill/steals children in their
sleep. During the first weeks of their birth, children could be killed by
Lilith. (Explanation for cradle death). Only an amulet with the names of
the three angels, adam, and eve, combined with a spell, could keep her away.
These amulets are still on display in some museums.

She also seduced men in their sleep, forcing them into sex. She needed the
semen to give birth to more demons. This is how they explained the male wet
dream.
In the bible, she is referred to as NightDemon or Night Rider in Isaiah
37. ( I am not exactly sure, don't have my reference on me)

In later myths, she became the wife of Lucifer. She also has ties with the
Greek Lamia.

Mark
***************Member of the M38C Recon & Strike Team*******************
Mark R. Murkes |"A passing fancy is nothing more than an Autumn
Parttime G.O.D. | breeze, which makes you long for something
m.r.murkes@let.rug.nl | you cannot grasp." - SoulShadow

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'Liltih's Cave' (copyright 1988 by Howard Schwartz) is primarliy a book
relating Jewish supernatural tales. Mr. Schwartz does, however, offer a
synopsis of the evolution of the Lilith myth in his introduction. For the
most part the emphasis of this book is on the gathered tales and where
they come from (a fascinating subject all its own),but the "Sources and
Commentary", bibliography and glossary are very valuable sources of
information. This one's worth buying.

ElzieC

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I was checking my personal archives, and found this article by Ellen M.
Umansky (for The Encyclopaedia of Religion) on Lilith. It states that:

Identified in postbiblical Judaism as a female demon who seduces men and
kills unsuspecting children, Lilith (Heb., Lilit) also became identified
as Adam's first wife, created from dust to be her husband's equal.As the
name of a demon, _Lilit_ is etymologically related to the Sumerian _lil_
("wind") and not, as some once supposed, to the Hebrew laylah ("night").
Yet like the Sumerian wind demon and her later Babylonian counterpart,
Lilitu, a succuba who seduces men in their sleep, Lilith is active at
night, seizing men and forcing them to copulate with her. Although as
child slayer Lilith bears greatest resemblance to the Babylonian demon
Lamashtu, Lamashtu eventually became confused in the popular imagination
with the succuba Lilitu.
In the Hebrew scriptures, there is only one clear reference to Lilith.
_Isaiah_ 34:14, describing the devastation of Edom, maintains that Lilith
shall be at rest in the desert, among the wild animals, screech owls, and
satyrs. This reference to Lilith as demon is more fully developed in
postbiblical Jewish literature, where Lilith is associated with the
_lilin_, one of three classes of demons that appear in rabbinic writings.
In the Babylonian Talmud Lilith is portrayed as havinga woman's face, long
hair (_'Eruv._ 100b), and wings (_Nid._ 24b) like the cherubim. Her
identity as demon is underscored in _Bava' Bashtra'_ 73a, referring to the
demon Hormiz or Ormuzd as Lilith's son, and in _Shabbat_ 171b, where men
are warned against sleeping alone lest they be seized by Lilith.

It goes on quite a bit, but I hope this is adequate enough to point out
some of the references.

Cheerio.

--
Ta Niu, the Akane-enamoured moo daniel@dojo.pl.my
The Restless Undead Celestial Cow.
Last reported trapped in the Umbra while spreading the faith of her
eternal majestic greatness, Kasuga Kurumi. [yappari ne....]

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mudie@crete.eecs.berkeley.edu (David C Mudie) wrote:
>Lilith has been neatly excised from the New Testament and most modern
>versions of the Bible...

Janet Hendrickson wrote:
>I beg to differ with the above response. Lilith does not, nor never did,
>appear in either the Old or the New Testaments. She is a figure out of
>the Jewish midrash tradition, a sort of initially oral and then written
>"commentary" on scripture, often in story form.

Yes, my mistake. I checked my book "Lilith's Cave: Jewish Tales of the
Supernatural" (Howard Schwartz, Harper & Row 1988, ISBN 0-06-250779-6) and
found the following in the Introduction:

Among the legends with biblical origins and rabbinic and folk
elaborations, none had a greater influence that that of Lilith. It is not
an exaggeration to say that much of the demonic realm in Jewish folklore
grew out of this multifaceted legend, which came into being as a
commentary on one passage of the Bible, "Male and Female He created them"
(Gen 1:27). This passage was interpreted by the rabbis to mean that the
creation of man and woman was simultaneous, whereas the later accounts of
the creations of Adam and Eve appear to be sequential. Working on the
assumption that every word in the Bible was literally true, the rabbis
interpreted this contradiction to mean that the first passage referred to
the creation of Adam's first wife, whom they named Lilith, and the other
referred to the creation of Eve.
This initiates the long legend of Lilith, whose name actually appears in
the Bible only once, in a passage from Isaiah, "Yea, Lilith shall repose
there" (Isa 34:14), referring, probably, to a Babylonian night demon. Of
the post-biblical texts, a few references to Lilith are found in the
Talmud, where she is described as a demoness with long black hair, and a
demoness with identical characteristics is found in the apocryphal text
"The Testament of Solomon". But the earliest version of the legend that
portrays all of the essential aspects of Lilith is "The Alphabet of Ben
Sira", of Persian or Arabic origin, in the eleventh century.
The legend tells how God created a companion for Adam and named her
Lilith. But Lilith and Adam bickered endlessly over matters large and
small, with Lilith refusing to let Adam dominate her in any way. Instead
she insisted that they were equal. Eventually Lilith pronounced the
Ineffable Name of God and flew out of the Garden of Eden to the shore of
the Red Sea. There she made her home in a cave, taking for lovers all the
demons who lived there, and giving birth to a great multitude. This
explains the proliferation of demons in the world.

I have omitted Schwartz' citations to other works. He goes on to relate
the tale of Lilith being threatened by angels and her growth into a
negative female archetype who is "assertive, seductive, and ultimately
destructive".

Thanks for the clarification and the other references.

David

--
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
David C Mudie c/o House of Style mudie@eecs.Berkeley.edu
Oakland CA 94609 ...ucbvax!eecs!mudie
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX Deny everything. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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In article <3ecf48$6d6@agate.berkeley.edu>, David C Mudie
wrote:

>Lilith has been neatly excised from the New Testament and most modern
>versions of the Bible. I don't have references handy, but I believe the
>only reference left is a comment in Genesis that Eve was Adam's second
>wife. Lilith was created as his first wife but was cast out of the garden
>for being a strong independent woman. (Sorry, I've forgotten her exact
>sin.)

Lilith is a result of an early ecumenical effort on the part of Hebrew
scribes. The book of Genesis contains two separate and mutually
contradictory accounts of the creation. In one account woman is make form
adam's rib, in the other men and women are formed from clay and given
life.

The scholarly explanation for this is that there were two traditions, and
both were included when Genesis was written down. (c. 600-700 bc) The
delineation is the name for god in each tradition, one referred to god as
YHVH and the other referred to god as Elohim. YHVH was a storm god, while
Elohim was a mountain god. Including both versions evidently calmed the
tribal rivalries.

By the end of the Babylonian/Persian captivity (c. 500 bc) the only tribe
left was the tribe of Judah (Juden -> Jews) who had forgotten the whole
reason there were two stories in the first place. By the time the Romans
finally destroyed the last temple around 70 AD it became an article of
faith that the Torah was inviolable. This left readers in an awkward
position, since the same author contradicted himself in the first few
pages of the first book. Presto, Lilith was born. Like any really good bad
girl, she has developed quite a reputation. She, by the way, is the one
created equal with man out of clay. :)

--
Larry Caldwell larryc@teleport.com

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A couple of things that are often unclear about Lilith: She was made from
mud and dust, not sticks. She was intended to be Adam's first wife, but
when he wanted to take a dominant role over her in sex, she basically told
him where he could shove that bad idea and she struck out on her own. She
wasn't really identified as a vampire, but rather as a demon and a very
fertile mother of demons.
K.

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Sorry I haven't been lurking long enough to be sure I'm not repeating old
information... Yahweh originally had a consort, a female counterpart (the
original nuclear family) and I'm sure that's mostly because before the
Yahweh "reforms" there was only the original divinity who was of course
female, life-giving, the ultimate mystery of creation, etc. etc. The reforms
not only crowded Yahweh in but then proceeded to crowd the consort out, to
relegate her to the prostitute form -- erotic mysteries instead of
life-giving /slash/ erotic mysteries -- and thence to diss her altogether in
an increasingly male-dominated (business-not-agricultural) world... Lilith
is to those early ones what witches were in the middle ages -- a warning
that we'd better not get too close to women because they tend to melt us
(which is true) and a punishment of women for the effect they have on us.
When you had an ongoing ideological /slash/ national /slash/
ethnic-linguistic /slash/ racial? /slash/ political conflict, across the
generations (i.e., a "vendetta" involving male gods on one side, female gods
on another, and "cosmopolitan" spirit-form gods in transit on the desert, it
was as inevitable that a demon-form like Lilith should develop as it was
that a Satan should also emerge personalized. Yahweh's consort, by the way,
shows up in all sorts of (Catholic, Protestant, etc.) biblical commentary,
as well as the Talmud and non-sectarian readings. Actually, much of the
Bible is much livelier reading when you realize it was a "royal couple" in
action and not just the white-haired old man of Blake's vision, pulling the
strings. Also makes much of Greek mythology read as just another version of
ongoing West Asian holy scripture, with much in common with our "old
testament."

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

In Article <3fpp8u$1k9@newsbf02.news.aol.com>, altonalton@aol.com
(ALTONALTON) wrote:
>Sorry I haven't been lurking long enough to be sure I'm not repeating old
>information... Yahweh originally had a consort, a female counterpart (the
>original nuclear family) and I'm sure that's mostly because before the

The original form for the god of the early Hebrews was Elath, male begining
and female ending. which does conferm your thesis.IMO

Sharon
+----------------------------------------------------------------------------+
| Sharon A. Steiner | We're all myths. |
| sharon@best.com ||
+----------------------------------------------------------------------------+

Subject: Re: Lillith - Judaic trad., 1st wife of Adam.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Warren B. Musselman (wbmussel@archetype.com) wrote: : I'm looking for a
telling of the Lillith myth. All I've heard is that she was
In article , you say...

: Adams first wife, the one that wouldn't obey him. God replaced her with Eve
: after Adam complained that she always wanted to be on top and wouldn't be
: subservient to him. Anybody know the full story or can point to a printed
: reference?

There's a brief 1 1/2 page summary in _The Vampire Book: The
Encyclopedia of the Undead_ by J. Gordon Melton, an here's even
more brief one:

Lilith was originally a Sumerian storm demon, part of a group of vampires,
but was adapted to the Hebrew mythology as Adam's first wife. They had
disagreements (of sexual nature), and she gave birth to the demon subclass
of the succubi and incubi (sing. succubus & incubus).-------
n article <3k79u1$p6u@uwm.edu>, you say...
I wonder if anyone else found this paticular myth of interest? I
noticed that the mythology surrounding the "bad girl" of Hebrew demonology
to be quite intriguing. First off because she has not one but two origins.
The first being in babylonian, possibly - sumaerian, cosmology.
Where the three forms of Lilith: Lilit, Lilu and Arda Lilit function as the
earliest recorded version of "the three furies" - i.e. demon women who come
in the night, etc.
The second, originating in Talmudic speculation with regard to the
two creation stories at the beginning of Genesis. (pun intended). Where the
Bible has god creating woman twice. (The unidentified one becoming Lilith -
whereas we all know about Eve.)
These two myths originated/combined/evolved during the babylonian
captivity. They completed thier evolution during the Middle Ages where: 1)
Lilith became queen of the underworld along with her husband Samael. - Or
Asmodeus, depending on which source you read. 2) She became responsible for
crib deaths and SIDS. & 3) She ruled the "Yenne Velt" or other side of the
mirror in an early "parralel worlds" story type thingy.
Any thoughts? Has anyone read "Lilith's Cave" which deals with
much of the above? Comments, suggestions, parralels welcome.
"As you were people"

Josh.

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In article <43eu5g$iob@kodak.rdcs.Kodak.COM>, Kimberly Burkard
wrote:

> Anyways.....Lilith was Adam's first wife. Adam and Lilith were incompatable
> in bed - they both wanted the top. So she decides that she's had her fill of
> Adam and God so she speaks God's true name and boogies on out of there.

What a cool retelling!

> I believe there are stories about her being the mother to all manner of
> demons and one of the angels (maybe Michael) goes around nuking her
offspring.
> Lilith and the angels worked out some deal by which the angels would leave
> her and "hers" alone and she would only bother unprotected children.

Here's what I got: (Taken from "Fallen Angels and Spirits of the Dark, by
Robert Masello."

Lilith searched for men who were sleeping alone, then seduced them and
sucked their blood. She was also a great danger to . . . any boy under
the age of eight, or any girl less than 20 days old. To protect them,
parents were advised to draw a charcoal circle on the wall of the room,
and write inside of it "Adam and Eve, barring Lilith." On the door they
were supposed to write three names ï "Sanvi, Sansanvi, Semangelaf"

According to the myth, these three names belonged to the three angels whom
God sent down to get Lilith back into Eden, and who eventually struck the
deal mentioned above with her.

> Personally, I think the 'ol Night Owl is taking a bum wrap for being a
> strong, non-submissive woman of great power. It's not everyone who can utter
> God's name and tell him to go to H-ll. In a patriarcal(sp?) society a woman
> like this would definately not be appreciated! ;)

Go on girl!

-

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lilith does appear in the Bible once (Isaiah 34:14). This hebrew word
_lilith_ is translated in most English Bibles as "owl". She is seen in
this passage in the negative light, in line with the usual
patriarchal/rabbinical attitude.

Blessed be,

Yuri.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jason Silzer (4bjs2@qlink.queensu.ca) wrote:
: In article
,
: "Meg J. Levine" wrote:

: > In the Bible, Lilith was the first woman. God made man and woman at the
: > same time. I am not sure of all of the details, but supposedly Lilith
: > was too domineering and God created another woman for Adam - Eve. Eve
: > was made from Adam's side (generally translated as rib.) Lilith is the
: > temptress who haunts men in their dreams, according to the myth.

: Not to be nit-picky, but she doesn't appear in the Bible. She does,
: however make an appearance in Jewish oral lore. I've got a copy of her
: myth in "The Other Bible, Ancient Alternative Scriptures" Editied with
: intros by Willis Barnstone.

: --

------------------

Hi Steve:

Point Netscape at...

http://www.intellikey.com/~tanab/Lilith.html

M

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According to a nummber of sources, among them _The Women's Encyclopedia of
Myths and Secrets_, Lilith means "screech owl" in Hebrew. She was the
goddess of rage, alienation, stillbirths, abortions; and her devotees gave
us fingernail/toenail polish. She was Adam's first wife, and left him
rather than suffer the indignity of being on the bottom during
intercourse. She flew to an island where she copulated with demons, and
gave birth to 100 children a day.

She gets a bad rap in Judeo-Christian lore. In more contemporary thought,
she represents the part of a woman who would rather be alone than lose her
dignity. However, in my opinion, that choice is often accompanied by rage,
thus it loses any chance to be a healing process. The rage implies
rejection and the fury speaks of the inability to let go gracefully and
lightly.

I know too much about Lilith. My husband's X changed her last name to
that, altering the spelling to "Lillith," and sending her re-named little
girls to school without telling them the meanings or stories about Lilith.

Ugh.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thanks, Chris.
Don't you think a maid who lives "in the midst" of a tree sounds a
lot like the spirit of a tree, who in other contexts might be called a
goddess? "Lilith," afterall does translate to "Goddess" ("Lady God"),
and is the same thing as "Belit-ili," which is not only what Marduk's
lady was called, but also what Ninlil ("Lady God") had always been
called. I am trying to build a case for Ninlil's being Ningishzida,
who is Lilith. Does it make sense for Ningishzida to be male with
"Nin" on the front of the name? And if Tammuz and Ningishzida were the
two trees and everything else came in male and female? There is other
evidence, but what do you think? Just 'cause she lived in somebody's
tree and laughed a lot doesn't make her evil, what?
Gwen

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In article <9511040715041234@wyof.com> gwen.saylor@wyof.com (Gwen Saylor)
writes:
>Thanks, Chris.
> Don't you think a maid who lives "in the midst" of a tree sounds a
>lot like the spirit of a tree, who in other contexts might be called a
>goddess?

Sure, and the Huluppu tree myth could tell of the deposing of Lilith,
Anzu and the Serpent by Inanna and Gilgamesh. After all, when it is
finished she has the tree chopped down and made into a throne. That
seems sound enough.

>"Lilith," afterall does translate to "Goddess" ("Lady God"),
>and is the same thing as "Belit-ili," which is not only what Marduk's
>lady was called, but also what Ninlil ("Lady God") had always been
>called. I am trying to build a case for Ninlil's being Ningishzida,
>who is Lilith. Does it make sense for Ningishzida to be male with
>"Nin" on the front of the name?

It makes perfect sense. 'Nin' is not gender-specific and is found
attached to names of gods and goddessess. Nin is listed in the glossary
of Kramer and Maier's _Myths of Enki:the Crafty God_ as 'a title of
authority' and in Dalley's _Myths from Mesopotamia_ it is translated as
'lord' or 'lady' depending on the gender of the deity refered to.
I'm not enough of a linguist to say if Lilith=Belit-ili=Ninlil is a
fair assumption, but I'd be cautious, especially when the names seem
to translate as titles. There's a fair variety of Baals and El's out
there that I'm not comfortable sorting out without appealing to outside
authorities.

>And if Tammuz and Ningishzida were the
>two trees and everything else came in male and female? There is other
>evidence, but what do you think? Just 'cause she lived in somebody's
>tree and laughed a lot doesn't make her evil, what?
> Gwen

I'm still hazy on the Tammuz=a tree idea, but it's certainly turning
into a interesting take on the Garden of Eden story.

'course it doesn't make her evil, just a squatter. Inanna should have
gotten a court order from An and Enlil before sending in Gilgamesh
to bodily evict them. :-) Of course from Lilith's perspective, if
she is a goddess and not some minor spirit, this makes Inanna an
obnoxious upstart. Inanna is nothing if not strong-willed.

Chris Siren
cbsiren@hopper.unh.edu
http://pubpages.unh.edu/cbsiren
http://pubpages.unh.edu/cbsiren/myth.html

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Where in any Sumero/Babylonian text does it say Lilith, the
Imdugud-bird, or the serpent were DEMONS? Chris Siren posted the
Sumerian text (The Sumerians, Kramer):

The tree grew big, its trunk bore no foliage,
In its roots the snake who knows no charms set up its nest,
In its crown the Imdugud-bird placed its young,
In its midst the maid Lilith built her house -
The always laughing, always rejoicing maid,
The maid Inanna - how she weeps!

My guess is that Inanna, in a whiney mood, didn't want these other
living beings living in her tree. At any rate, Lilith was no
demon either.
Gwen

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Gwen Saylor (gwen.saylor@wyof.com) wrote:
: Yuri, Yuri, Yuri....
: The passage in Isaiah is proof of nothing except a later desire to
: chronologize the description.
: Gwen

The passage in Isaiah 34:14 mentioning _lilith_ is a remnant of an
ancient Hebrew female-centered religious tradition. This is a view
accepted by a large number of scholars.

The reference is _negative_ (a monster rejoicing at the misfortune of
Israel) as it should be coming from an exponent of the patriarchal
ideology.

The fact of the matter is that archeological evidence is abundant proving
that the Hebrews worshipped goddesses up to the 7 century BCE. This is
confirmed by the biblical account of the Reformation of worship during
the reign of King Josiah in the year of 625. Thereupon, patriarchy
ruled.

I think the idea that Lilith is a medieval myth is, frankly... absurd.

For anybody looking for more information, I can recommend the excellent
HEBREW GODDESS by a highly respected Prof. Raphael Patai. In this book he
brings together many of the vestiges of female-centered ancient hebrew
traditions.

With best wishes,

--
Yuri Kuchinsky
Toronto

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Gwen Saylor (gwen.saylor@wyof.com) wrote:
: Renee Rosen --
: There may not be evidence of modern worship, but the Babylonian text
: certainly does not make it clear that Lilith was any kind of "demon."
: Are you aware that the very name Lilith means *Goddess*?
: Gwen

On the contrary: there is plenty of evidence of *modern* worship, at
least among some Wiccans, Neopagans, Satanists, Judeopagans, Goddess
worshippers, etc. What I was disagreeing with was whether or not there
was *ancient* worship of her. In which language does Lilith mean
"Goddess?" Could you please site the source? I'd be most interested in
this, considering all the sources I've seen either derive her name (most
probably falsely) from the Hebrew word for "night" ("Laylah") or from a
word meaning "screetch owl." Hurwitz in his book _Lilith: the First Eve_
goes into a fairly detailed etymology of her name. Unfortunately, I
don't have a copy of this book with me at the moment or else I'd look it
up and post it here. From my recollection of it, though, the word
"Goddess" was never mentioned. If anyone has a copy of this book, I'd be
most oblidged if they'd either post the etymology here or email it to
me. Thanks in advance!
--'--,--{@ --'--,--{@

Renee Rosen
r-rosen@ukans.edu
http://lark.cc.ukans.edu/~rrosen

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Lilith Bibliography

Cavendish, Richard Man, Myth, and Magic: The Illustrated Encyclopedia
of Mythology, Religion and the Unknown Vol. 6 New York,
Marshall Cavendish, 1983.

Edwards, Carolyn McVickar The Storyteller's Goddess: Tales of the
Goddess and Her Wisdom from Around the World San Francisco,
California, Harper, 1991.

Hurwitz, Siegmund Lilith: The First Eve Historical and Pyschological

Aspects of the Dark Feminine trans. by Gela Jacobson, Einsiedeln,
Switzerland, Daimon Verlag 1992.

Koltuv, Barbara Black, Ph.D. The Book of Lilith York Beach, Maine,
Nicolas-Hays, Inc. 1986.

Leach, Mark, Ed. Funk and Wagnalls Standard Dictionary of Folklore,
Mythology, and Legend. New York. Funk and Wagnalls, 1950.

Mircea, Eliade, ed, The Encyclopedia of Religion Vol 8, New York,
Macmillan Publishing, 1987.

Schwartz, Howard Lilith's Cave Jewish Tales of the Supernatural New
York, Oxford University Press, 1988.

Starck, Marcia and Stern, Gynne The Dark Goddess: Dancing with the
Shadow Freedom, California The Crossing Press, 1992.

Wolkstein, Diane and Kramer, Samuel Noah Inanna Queen of Heaven and
Earth: Her Stories and Hymns from Sumer New York, Harper and Row,
1983.

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[from Succubus-L: Cthulhu@tfs.necronomi.com (Clifford Hartleigh Low)]

>From Snake Power magazine (Vol 1, Issue 1) no longer in print
>
>Notes: Lillith was the first woman, made at the same time, and from the same
>stuff, as Adam. So when Adam refused her equality and forced her to lie
>under him, she spoke the forbidden name of God and flew from Eden. In
>mythology she bacme the succubus, shown as a winged woman with taloned feet.
>The stories differ, and I have selected from among them. Sanvi, Sansanvi,
>Semangelaf are the angels sent by God to bring Lillith back to Adam.

Couple of points I have to disagree with here:

1) Lilith was not a woman, but a hermaphrodite; as was Adam before Eve's
creation. Admittedly, this is the Kabbalistic understanding of things, but
Lilith is generally considered an aspect of the Kabbalah (among Jews).

2) She was made from air and fire, and Adam from earth and divine breath.
Some legends indicate that she was made from sterile soil and night wind.

3) According to about half of the tellings of the story, Lilith insisted on
exclusive dominance, and when this was refused she lost her temper and
departed.

4) The succubus aspects of Lilith are fairly downplayed in Jewish/Hebrew
culture as far as we can tell. She primarily was the smotherer of newborns,
secondarily the killer of wives, and tertiarily (?) the wasting seducer of
young men. This is supported by the proliferation of amulets protecting
children and women from Lilith, few if any have been found to protect adult
males. It is the children of Lilith who sometimes are succubi and incubi,
not usually Lilith herself.

5) Depictions of Lilth on these amulets, when they appear at all, show an
insect headed creature covered with hair or spines, a flipper for a tail,
and a pair of tentacles for arms. It's hard to be sure, these were carved
crudely onto cheap silver with a heated knife.

6) The three angels were not sent to entrap Lilith, but to inform her of
God's command.

-CHL

+--------[ Clifford Hartleigh Low ]---------+------------------------+
| Email: cthulhu@tfs.necronomi.com | admin@necronomi.com |
| cthulhu@necronomi.com | familiar@intac.com |
+-------------------------------------------+------------------------+
| Finger/Talk: Cthulhu@lilith.necronomi.com | * TAINTED BUT HUNGRY * |
+-------------------------------------------+------------------------+

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In article ,
elsegal@acs.ucalgary.ca says...

For the last time (I wish!):The Lilith legend, the one that portrays her
as Adam's first wife, is NOT a "Rabbinic" one. It first appears in a
medieval work of dubious (possibly: anti-Rabbinic) origin called "the
Alphabet of Ben Sira" and then found its way into various
mystical/Kabbalistic writings. It is a marginal tradition that has been
overused by writers who usually do not have the competence to check the
sources.
See: http://www.ucalgary.ca/~elsegal/Shokel/950206_Lilith.html
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yuri Kuchinsky (yuku@io.org) wrote:
: Eliezer Segal (elsegal@acs.ucalgary.ca) wrote:
: : For the last time (I wish!):The Lilith legend, the one that portrays her
: : as Adam's first wife, is NOT a "Rabbinic" one.

: So it is! The passage in Isaiah is the proof of this.

The passage from Isaiah proves nothing. From what I understand, the word
in question could refer either Lilith or a screetch owl. Unfortunately,
I know no Hebrew, so I'm relying on others' scholarship and
interpretation here. Perhaps someone who knows Hebrew could correct me
if I am wrong?

: I think you are being very disrespectful of the rabbis when you assume
: they would embrace a late legend and make it their own.

How is this disrespectful? All traditions, whether Jewish, Pagan,
Christian, incorporate aspects of older mythologies and claim them as
their own. The appropriation of Sumerian mythology into Hebrew
mythology, for instance, is a well-known example of this.

: : It first appears in a
: : medieval work of dubious (possibly: anti-Rabbinic) origin called "the
: : Alphabet of Ben Sira" and then found its way into various
: : mystical/Kabbalistic writings. It is a marginal tradition that has been
: : overused by writers who usually do not have the competence to check the
: : sources.
: : See: http://www.ucalgary.ca/~elsegal/Shokel/950206_Lilith.html

Interesting article. I have a link to it on my online Lilith Shrine
(http://lark.cc.ukans.edu/~rrosen/lilith.lilith.html). Even though I
strongly disagree with its conclusions concerning the usefulness of
Lilith for modern feminists, I do think it's important to consider the
actual history of an idea instead of just making up a convenient "PC"
pseudo-history.

OTOH, regardless of the origin of the Lilith myth, her story has proved
popular among the public and, as such, is of some sort of interest and/or
value. My interpretation of Lilith I do not see as some sort of
"rediscovered" or "recreated" "matriarchal" view of her, but a 20th
century woman's *individual* interpretation. As such, it has value for
me *personally* regardless of whether or not the story of Lilith has any
historical basis or I just made it up off of the top of my head.

The figure of Lilith (or at least a figure *called* Lilith) existed well
before _The Alphabet of Ben-Sira_, although the stories of her were much
less detailed and did not include the story of her being the first
woman. In various Semitic mythologies (Sumerian and Babylonian primarly,
if I remember correctly), female demons with names of "Lilitu" or
"Lilith" appear. There is even a reference to either Lilith or Lilitu (I
don't remember which offhand) in the _Epic of Gilgamesh_. Unfortunately,
I'm at work, so I can't look any of this up to check my facts, so if I
made a grevious error of fact or left out something important, please
post and add commentaries/corrections. For a fairly good (albeit biased)
history of Lilith, check out the book _Lilith: the First Eve_ by Hurwitz.

: Lilith is one remaining vestige of the ancient Goddess traditions.

There is absolutely *no* evidence that Lilith was *worshipped* as a
goddess until modern times. Lilith was considered a demoness who was
feared, not worshipped. There *were* goddesses worshipped at various
times by the Hebrews (for instance Asherah or Astarte), but Lilith was a
demon, not a goddess. Read _The Hebrew Goddess_ by Patai for an overview
of goddess-worship by the Jews.
--'--,--{@ --'--,--{@

Renee Rosen
r-rosen@ukans.edu
http://lark.cc.ukans.edu/~rrosen

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Gwen Saylor (gwen.saylor@wyof.com) wrote:
: Renee Rosen --
: There may not be evidence of modern worship, but the Babylonian text
: certainly does not make it clear that Lilith was any kind of "demon."
: Are you aware that the very name Lilith means *Goddess*?
: Gwen

On the contrary: there is plenty of evidence of *modern* worship, at
least among some Wiccans, Neopagans, Satanists, Judeopagans, Goddess
worshippers, etc. What I was disagreeing with was whether or not there
was *ancient* worship of her. In which language does Lilith mean
"Goddess?" Could you please site the source? I'd be most interested in
this, considering all the sources I've seen either derive her name (most
probably falsely) from the Hebrew word for "night" ("Laylah") or from a
word meaning "screetch owl." Hurwitz in his book _Lilith: the First Eve_
goes into a fairly detailed etymology of her name. Unfortunately, I
don't have a copy of this book with me at the moment or else I'd look it
up and post it here. From my recollection of it, though, the word
"Goddess" was never mentioned. If anyone has a copy of this book, I'd be
most oblidged if they'd either post the etymology here or email it to
me. Thanks in advance!
--'--,--{@ --'--,--{@

Renee Rosen
r-rosen@ukans.edu
http://lark.cc.ukans.edu/~rrosen

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yuri Kuchinsky (yuku@io.org) wrote:
: The passage in Isaiah 34:14 mentioning _lilith_ is a remnant of an
: ancient Hebrew female-centered religious tradition. This is a view
: accepted by a large number of scholars.

Could you please name some of these sources? Thanks. Always looking for
more sources of research into Lilith and other Judeopagan topics.

[portions sacrificed to the bandwith gods]
: The fact of the matter is that archeological evidence is abundant proving
: that the Hebrews worshipped goddesses up to the 7 century BCE. This is
: confirmed by the biblical account of the Reformation of worship during
: the reign of King Josiah in the year of 625. Thereupon, patriarchy
: ruled.

Yes, they worshipped goddesses, but was Lilith one of the *goddesses*
they worshipped? That is what I question.

: I think the idea that Lilith is a medieval myth is, frankly... absurd.

I don't think anyone would claim that there was no such figure called
Lilith before medieval times. I think what is under dispute is what was
the nature of the earlier legends and myths of her.

: For anybody looking for more information, I can recommend the excellent
: HEBREW GODDESS by a highly respected Prof. Raphael Patai. In this book he
: brings together many of the vestiges of female-centered ancient hebrew
: traditions.

I second this recommendation, although I don't recall the book making any
sort of claim of worship of Lilith. It does, however, go into great
detail of the worship of Asherah, Astarte, etc., and has a rather
informative chapter on Lilith.
--'--,--{@ --'--,--{@

Renee Rosen
r-rosen@ukans.edu
http://lark.cc.ukans.edu/~rrosen

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

rrosen@lark.cc.ukans.edu (Renee Rosen) wrote:

>Could you please name some of these sources? Thanks. Always looking for
>more sources of research into Lilith and other Judeopagan topics.

Not "lilith and Isaiah" and not scholars.

Lilith being called unfaithfull, a "whore" etc. comes from the
traditional jewish legend writing Haggadah (2nd cent bc)
that says that the first wife of Adam was made of the same earth
he was taken from, because of this she demanded equal rights
, Adam did not agree, she fled, having her own children (in what
manner we are not told) , upon this Adam approached God saying
that the woman he had made him had fled, God sent 7 angels
to bring her back, she refused, upon which a curse came over her
where she would loose some of her children to death every day,
upon this, we are told, she returns to civilsation to have her
revenge, where she kills the one-day old girl babies and
three-day old boy babies bore from a human woman.
because of this, the reader are instructed to use 7 medallions
with the hebrew names of these 7 angels (they are not mentioned
in the Haggadah excerpts i have read, perhaps for obvious reasons
so to not condone primitive magic),
after this God made Eve out of a part of Adam (my english gave out,
a bony part in the breast someplace..) after having comtemplated
the whole of Adams body, refusing each and one because they would
have some fault in them (strange to read this in a jewish bible
commentary, but i suspect Haggadah does not rate high among the
rabbi`s - i dont know).
Eve, being a product of Adam, has no right for equal rights -
Lilith fled and became cursed by God, because she had...

The creation and fall story of Haggadah can be found
in Willis Barnstone`s: The Other Bible.

Perhaps there are links between Hekate and Lilith, since
Hekate (goddess of the witches) are said , by the persecutors
of witchcraft that is, to have demanded small children killed for it..

I wouldnt know,
about the medieval - jewish myths, kabbalah etc. all flowed together
with the unconscious and the culture of Europe at that time, and
at the same time, the "horror" of witchcraft appeared,
i do not make any conclusions here..
just going with the flow

Blessed Be
Your eyes be open
your ears hearing



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----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Interesting bibliography. I'll have to check out some of the books.
Most of them I've either seen or read, although in some cases, I haven't
read the whole books. The only *really* essential book that I know of
that you left out was Patai's _The Hebrew Goddess_. I've deleted most of
the bibliography to save space, but I've added some comments to certain
of the books. All commentary is IMHO, of course. Anyway, as soon as
I've had a chance to check out some of these books for myself, I'll add
them to the Lilith bibliography on my page.

Wecksler (margo@nbn.com) wrote:
: Lilith Bibliography
: Hurwitz, Siegmund Lilith: The First Eve Historical and Pyschological
: Aspects of the Dark Feminine trans. by Gela Jacobson, Einsiedeln,
: Switzerland, Daimon Verlag 1992.

Great book for historical sources of the Lilith myth, although his
antifeminist stance gets rather annoying after a while, plus his Jungian
essentialist approach to gender irritates me. Of course, that's one of
my pet peeves. YMMV.

: Koltuv, Barbara Black, Ph.D. The Book of Lilith York Beach, Maine,
: Nicolas-Hays, Inc. 1986.

Fun to read and an OK introduction to Lilith. It's kind of historically
shaky and badly researched/argued in places, but if you agree with her
approach, it could be useful. Although, thankfully, she's not
antifeminist, she still takes an essentialist approach to gender,
something most Jungians seem to do. It could be useful for modern
worshippers/admirers of Lilith but isn't so useful for those interested
in more scholarly research.

: Schwartz, Howard Lilith's Cave Jewish Tales of the Supernatural New
: York, Oxford University Press, 1988.

Great selection of Jewish folkore pertaining to Lilith and related
figures, such as the Queen of Sheba or Ashmodai. I still haven't read
all of them, but the ones I have were fascinating.

: Starck, Marcia and Stern, Gynne The Dark Goddess: Dancing with the
: Shadow Freedom, California The Crossing Press, 1992.

If this is the book I'm thinking of, it's a collection of Dianic rituals
and myth. Although it's a nice change from the more cutesy "white light"
Neopagan approach, it kind of put me off because they tried to make some
sort of claim that Lilith was once part of the Triple Goddess, something
for which I've seen no evidence. I've actually half thought about buying
this book because it looked like it had some useful information/ideas,
but its shaky historical approach kind of put me off. I'm sure that if
you agree with their approach (modern interpretations, just wish they
wouldn't try to pass them off as ancient), it could be useful for
practical use.

Remember, all of the above is just IMHO. Thanks for the bibliography,
though. It's always good to find more sources.

--'--,--{@ --'--,--{@
Renee Rosen
r-rosen@ukans.edu
http://lark.cc.ukans.edu/~rrosen

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

An additional book is

Alix Pirani (ed.) The Absent Mother: restoring the Goddess to Judaism and
Christianity (Mandala?Harper 1991)

Various material including several poems on Lilith, psychological aspects,
and my friend Asphodel Long's essay on The Goddess in Judaism - an
historical perspective, which has some pages on Lilith.

Daniel Cohen
e-mail: D.E.Cohen@qmw.ac.uk or dcohen@cix.compulink.co.uk

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lillith is found in the Inanna (Sumerian goddess) story "The Hallupu
Tree" found in the book "Inanna, Queen of heaven and Earth: Her Stories
and Hymns from Sumer" By Diane Wolkstein, and Samuel Noah Kraemer,
published by Harper and Row Publishers 1983. Here Lillith is seen as
"the dark maid" who "built her home in the trunk" of Inanna's Hallupu
tree. When Inanna's brother, Gilgamesh (according to this story) drove
Lillith out of the tree she "fled to the wild, uninhabited places."
The word "lillith" means demon-wind, which could either be a dust devil,
or an all-out hurricane at the time the clay tablet was written, around
2000 BC if not earlier.
--
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Stories and myth are sacred to us,
they tell us who we are and where we came from
listen, and hear what we are trying to tell ourselves.
-Moire Oh Ionmhaineain, Scealai alias MaryLynn@penultimate.com

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