Referred to as an enchantress, hag, witch, demon, harlot, succubus, and murderer…, she is the dark goddess of your dreams and her name is Lilith. Many believe that Lilith may be the related to the early goddesses Inanna and Ishtar, but no matter what you call her, or who she stands next to- she is fierce. Probably due to this fierceness the goddess Lilith gets some screwed up publicity everywhere from the popular HBO series True Blood to the historical record of ancient traditions.
Barbara Black Koltuv’s Book of Lilith was one of the first texts to explore this ancient feminine force in all her sacred glory. The first surviving record of Lilith’s name comes from the Sumerian poem “Gilgamesh and the Huluppu-Tree” which dates to 2,000 BCE. In this work she is depicted as a dark demoness. The name Lilith is even in the Dead Sea Scrolls. Famous witch Fiona Horne, whose coven honors Lilith as one of their patrons, tells of how this sacred goddess resides in mirrors. Mirrors are the ultimate space of in-between, appearance, reflection, and magick. Here people can access their own “dark” side and unleash the sacred feminine within. I have spoken to Fiona about this, and we have shared much insight on this topic.
Lilith is my given name which probably gives me a very unique take of the topic. Every once and awhile I run into another Pagan that raises a hairy eyebrow and asks for my real name , and honestly I probably wouldn’t have chosen it myself. It makes for an interesting time when dealing with Orthodox Jews and others. When you are trying to sort out myth from reality when you are dealing with a 4,000 year old goddess truth can get very slippery. James Joyce, literary legend, refers to Lilith as a patroness of abortions in his great work Ulysses. Even Biblical sources cast her as a demon representing chaos and unholiness. Lilith is said to have been the original spouse of Adam who refused to lie beneath him.
She Will Not Lie Beneath
Modern day however, has seen feminism take up the ancient banner of Lilith and facilitated a transformation from demon to dark goddess. Lilith reminds us what is truly and primally feminine in all forms. These are the old places where darkness lets in light, and where coal turns to diamond, through constant and sustained pressure and power. Very often she is associated with the Owl, an animal of night, a predator, an unseen warrior of the darkness. Lilith has been a chosen champion by many Lesbians and feminists, and most know her name now as associated with the world renowned music Lilith Fair started by Sarah McLachlan.
Herbal Offerings for Lilith
Patchouly – for passionate attraction
Musk- for sexual desire
Mandrake- to balance sexual and physical energy
Mugwort – blessing and protection
Amber – love and healing
Sandalwood – healing and protection
Strawberry – joy and love
Caraway – banishing and protection from evil
Wormwood – protection
Wisteria – love and wisdom
Vanilla – healing and love
These can be ground together and added to candles, or oil spells for Lilith. She is a goddess of the moon, so be sure to create any special magicks for her in correspondences with the current moon phase energy.
Lilith is powerful and strong, one of the many female figures that history has portrayed as a demon but the truth may be something altogether different. For many today she is a beacon of light, as opposed to a dubious harbinger of darkness.
For more information on understanding and honoring Lilith and all the other forms of the Goddess please check out my book 55 Ways to Connect to Goddess.