Lilith: Ancient Demon, Dark Deity or Sex Goddess?
Due to the misunderstandings and disappointments related to Lilith, God decided to create a second wife for Adam– Eve.
Lilith, the first wife of Adam. ( Public Domain )
An icon for modern pagans and feminists
Nowadays, Lilith has become a symbol of freedom for many feminist groups. Due to the rising level of education, women started to understand that they could be independent, so they began looking for symbols of feminine power. She also started to be worshiped by some followers of the pagan Wicca religion, which was created in the 1950s.
This appeal was enhanced by artists, who took her on as a muse. She started to be a popular motif in art and literature around the Renaissance period, when Michelangelo portrayed her as a half woman, half serpent being. He presented her around the Tree of Knowledge, and increased the importance of her legend. With time, Lilith became more attractive for the imaginations of male artists like Dante Gabriel Rosetti, who created her image as the most beautiful female being of the world. The author of ''The Chronicles of Narnia'', C.S. Lewis, was inspired by the legend about Lilith in the creation of the White Witch. She was beautiful, but dangerous and cruel. He mentioned that she was Lilith’s daughter and the she was determined to kill Adam and Eve’s children.
Lilith (1892) by John Collier in Southport Atkinson Art Gallery. ( Public Domain )
Less romantic pictures of Lilith appeared in the mind of James Joyce, who called her the patron of abortions. Joyce pushed Lilith into the feminist philosophy, and started the process of adopting her as a goddess of independent women in the 20th century. When women started to receive more rights, they started to disagree with the man-concentrated vision of the world, including the Biblical story about the beginning of the life on Earth. The name of Lilith appears as a national literacy program in Israel and the title of a Jewish women's magazine. The ancient Sumerian legendary female demon is one of the most popular topics in feminist literature related to ancient mythology. Researchers still discuss if she was created as a real demon, or as an untrue warning of what may happen if women receive more power.
Featured image: Lilith, satanic looking angel. Source: ( CC BY-NC 2.0 )
Ernest Abel, Death Gods, An Encyclopedia of the Rulers,Evil Spirits and Geographies of the Dead, 2009.