Blog on Canaanite religion, spirituality, history, and culture.
Sunday, 10 February 2013
Lilith is not a 'benevolent mother goddess of childbirth'
This is going to be incredibly controversial, but here goes:
Lilith is *not* a benevolent mother goddess of any sort. This needs
clarifying. She never was, still isn't, and most likely never will be.
I often run into descriptions like this one on several polytheist or
pagan websites: "Archetypally, Lilith is the first feminist. A Sumerian,
Hebrew, and Muslin Goddess, she is referred to anciently as the hand of
Inanna who gathered males into the temple for sacred sexual rites. She
was the original wife of Adam, with whom she claimed equality because
they were created together in the image of Elohim. A Goddess of
childbirth, she holds the rod and ring of Sumerian royal authority,
wears a stepped crown and is guarded by the bird of wisdom and the king
of beasts." It needs to be pointed out:
- Lilith is not "the first feminist". She is a malevolent demon who
slays children. She is known for being hostile toward men, as a
seductress and wicked demon who is responsible for sexual attacks (in
the manner of a succubus).
- She is not a Sumerian or a Hebrew
goddess, and never has been. She is also not "a Muslin goddess" (I take
'Muslin' to mean 'Muslim'). Lilith has never been worshiped by
- According to Jewish legend, her crime wasn't
claiming equality. Both Adam and Lilith were made separately (rather
than being made from the same components in the manner that Eve was
created from Adam's rib), and so they often argued. Lilith was the one
out of the two who fled Eden and went to the Red Sea, where she
consorted with the Persian demon Aeshma Daeva and gave birth to many
demons, vampires, and evil spirits.
- Lilith is not a goddess
of childbirth. She is well known for killing children, and will be
scared away by amulets or by images of her rival, the demon king Pazuzu.
- She doesn't wear the rod and ring of Sumerian royal authority. That
is a mistake made by the fact that people identify images like the one
below with Lilith. The image below does *not* represent Lilith, but
rather Inanna or Ereshkigal.
So remember, this image is not Lilith- but instead is Ishtar or Ereshkigal: