Lilith

Hey you all.

Today I’m going to talk about Lilith… She appears as a night demon in Jewish folkore and as a screech owl in Isaiah 34:14 in the King James version of the Bible. For some people, she was the first vampire.

In later folklore, “Lilith” is the name for Adam’s first wife. Her story was greatly developed, during the middle-ages, in the tradition of Aggadic midrashim, the Zohar and Jewish mysticism. She is believed to have originated as a female Mesopotamian storm demon associated with wind and was thought to be a bearer of disease, illness, and death. The figure of Lilith first appeared in a class of wind and storm demons or spirits as Lilitu, in Sumer, circa 4000 BC. The phonetic name “Lilith” is traditionally thought to have originated in Ancient Israel somewhere around 700 BC, despite post-dating even to the time of Moses.

The name “Lilith” is basicaly a female nisba from the word “LYL” that means, night. Literally translating to nocturnal “female night being/demon”.

The earliest reference to a demon similar to Lilith and companion of Lillake/Lilith is on the Sumerian king list, where Gilgamesh’s father is named as Lillu. Little is known of Lillu (“Wind[wer]man”; or Lilu, Lila) and he was said to interfere with women in their sleep and had functions of an incubus, while Lilitu appeared to men in their erotic dreams.

In Horace (De Arte Poetica liber, 340), Hieronymus of Cardia translated Lilith as Lamia, a witch who steals children, similar to the Breton Korrigan, in Greek mythology described as a Libyan queen who mated with Zeus. After Zeus abandoned Lamia, Hera stole Lamia’s children, and Lamia took revenge by stealing other women’s children.

There’s a curious jewish tradition against Lilith, in which an amulet is inscribed with the names of three angels (Senoy, Sansenoy, and Semangelof) and placed around the neck of newborn boys in order to protect them from the lilin until their circumcision.

The appearance of Lilith is more common on the Dead Sea Scrols (a collection of about 900 documents, including texts from the Hebrew Bible) . The first and irrefutable Lilith reference in the Song occurs in 4Q510, fragment 1:

And I, the Instructor, proclaim His glorious splendour so as to frighten and to terrify all the spirits of the destroying angels, spirits of the bastards, demons, Lilith, howlers, and desert dwellers… and those which fall upon men without warning to lead them astray from a spirit of understanding and to make their heart and their […] desolate during the present dominion of wickedness and predetermined time of humiliations for the sons of light, by the guilt of the ages of those smitten by iniquity – not for eternal destruction, but for an era of humiliation for transgression.

And there are also another fregments and proverbs that can reveal her existence:

Her house sinks down to death,
And her course leads to the shades.
All who go to her cannot return
And find again the paths of life.
— Proverbs 2:18-19

Her gates are gates of death, and from the entrance of the house
She sets out towards Sheol.
None of those who enter there will ever return,
And all who possess her will descend to the Pit.
— 4Q184

A cult in Mesopotamia is said to be related to Lilith by early Jewish leaders. According to the hypotheses proposed by William F. Albright, Theodor H. Gaster, and others, the name Lilith already existed in 7th century BC. and Lilith retained her Shedim characteristics throughout the entire Jewish tradition. Shedim is plural for “spirit” or “demon”. Figures that represent shedim are the shedu of Babylonian mythology. These figures were depicted as anthropomorphic, winged bulls, associated with wind. They were thought to guard palaces, cities, houses, and temples. In magical texts of that era, they could be either malevolent or benevolent. The cult originated from Babylon, then spread to Canaan and eventually to Israel. Human sacrifice was part of the practice and a sacrificial altar existed to the Shedim next to the Yahweh cult, although this practice was widely denounced by prophets who retained belief in Yahweh.

The Alphabet of Ben Sira is considered to be the oldest form of the story of Lilith as Adam’s first wife. Whether this particular tradition is older is not known. Scholars tend to date the Alphabet between the 8th and 10th centuries AD. (The attribution to the sage Ben Sira is considered false, with the true author unknown.) The amulets used against Lilith that were thought to derive from this tradition are in fact, dated as being much older. The concept of Eve having a predecessor is not exclusive to the Alphabet, and is not a new concept, as it can be found in Genesis Rabbah. However, the idea that Lilith was the predecessor is exclusive to the Alphabet. According to Gershom Scholem, the author of the Zohar, R. Moses de Leon, was aware of the folk tradition of Lilith. He was also aware of another story, possibly older, that may be conflicting.

The idea that Adam had a wife prior to Eve may have developed from an interpretation of the Book of Genesis and its dual creation accounts; while Genesis 2:22 describes God’s creation of Eve from Adam’s rib, an earlier passage, 1:27, already indicates that a woman had been made: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” The Alphabet text places Lilith’s creation after God’s words in Genesis 2:18 that “it is not good for man to be alone”; in this text God forms Lilith out of the clay from which he made Adam but she and Adam bicker. Lilith claims that since she and Adam were created in the same way they were equal and she refuses to submit to him:

After God created Adam, who was alone, He said, ‘It is not good for man to be alone.’ He then created a woman for Adam, from the earth, as He had created Adam himself, and called her Lilith. Adam and Lilith immediately began to fight. She said, ‘I will not lie below,’ and he said, ‘I will not lie beneath you, but only on top. For you are fit only to be in the bottom position, while I am to be the superior one.’ Lilith responded, ‘We are equal to each other inasmuch as we were both created from the earth.’ But they would not listen to one another. When Lilith saw this, she pronounced the Ineffable Name and flew away into the air.

Adam stood in prayer before his Creator: ‘Sovereign of the universe!’ he said, ‘the woman you gave me has run away.’ At once, the Holy One, blessed be He, sent these three angels Senoy, Sansenoy, and Semangelof, to bring her back.

Said the Holy One to Adam, ‘If she agrees to come back, what is made is good. If not, she must permit one hundred of her children to die every day.’ The angels left God and pursued Lilith, whom they overtook in the midst of the sea, in the mighty waters wherein the Egyptians were destined to drown. They told her God’s word, but she did not wish to return. The angels said, ‘We shall drown you in the sea.’

‘Leave me!’ she said. ‘I was created only to cause sickness to infants. If the infant is male, I have dominion over him for eight days after his birth, and if female, for twenty days.’

When the angels heard Lilith’s words, they insisted she go back. But she swore to them by the name of the living and eternal God: ‘Whenever I see you or your names or your forms in an amulet, I will have no power over that infant.’ She also agreed to have one hundred of her children die every day. Accordingly, every day one hundred demons perish, and for the same reason, we write the angels’ names on the amulets of young children. When Lilith sees their names, she remembers her oath, and the child recovers.

And a lot of oder appearences, like in the Greco-Roman mythology, the Treatise on the Left Emanation, the Kabbalah, in the Victorian Period, the Faust from Goethe and many many others. But my point is the modern occultism.

Few magical orders dedicated to the undercurrent of Lilith, featuring initiations specifically related to the arcana of the “first mother” exist. Two organizations that use initiations and magic associated with Lilith are the Ordo Antichristianus Illuminati and the Order of Phosphorus, both Masonic. Lilith appears as a succuba in Aleister Crowley’s De Arte Magica. Lilith was also one of the middle names of Crowley’s first child, Ma Ahathoor Hecate Sappho Jezebel Lilith Crowley (b. 1904, d.1906), and Lilith is sometimes identified with Babalon in Thelemic writings. A Chaos Magical rite, based on an earlier German rite, offers a ceremonial Invocation of Lilith:

Dark is she, but brilliant! Black are her wings, black on black! Her lips are red as rose, kissing all of the Universe! She is Lilith, who leadeth forth the hordes of the Abyss, and leadeth man to liberation! She is the irresistible fulfiller of all lust, seer of desire. First of all women was she – Lilith, not Eve was the first! Her hand brings forth the revolution of the Will and true freedom of the mind! She is KI-SI-KIL-LIL-LA-KE, Queen of the Magic! Look on her in lust and despair!”
—Lilith Ritus, from the German by Joseph Max

In the modern ways, the RPGame Vampire: The Masquerade, created by the organization WhiteWolf, shows Lilith as the first vampire. The first wife of Adam, which was punnished for her revolt.

This apocryphal story is detailed in the Book of Nod (created by WhiteWolf) as the Cycle of Lilith and in the Revelations of the Dark Mother, a Bahari text which tells the Book of Nod from Lilith’s perspective. Some say the story lends evidence to support the theory that Lilith was one of the first mages, perhaps one of the predecessors of the Verbena (tradition of mages in the Old World of Darkness). And how does he repay her? By abandoning her as well, to wander forever apart, mother of monsters and thief of infant breaths. Caine goes on to found Enoch and Lilith leaves the scene.

She appears like a succubus to bring Cain to darkness and to teach him how to sourvive without God. The fragments bellow explain a bit of it:

Then there came to me
A sweet voice,
A honey voice
Words of succor.
Words of surcease.

A woman, dark and
Lovely,
With eyes the
Pierced the
Darkness
Came to
Me.

[…]

‘I am your Father’s first wife,
Who disagreed with the One Above
And gained Freedom in the Darkness.
I am Lilith.

– Book of Nod – The Coming Of Lilith

(The Book Of Nod – Part 2 – Lilith’s Magick [Click to Enlarge])

And on the Part 2 of the Book of Nod, she shows herself as a vampire:

And so, Lilith, bright-eyed Lilith,
Awakened me.
She cut herself with a knife
Bled for me into a bowl.
I drank deep, It was sweet.

-The Book Of Nod – Lilith’s Magick

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