Tales from the Underworld-Chapt 2-Lilith/Asherah/Eve

January 28, 2010 at 5:00 am (Goddess, love, magic, marriage, metaphysics, Mythology, paganism, philosophy, religion, sex, spirituality)

Once again, this is not edited, but the spirit soul is there.  Enjoy:)

Chapter two-Lilith/Asherah/Eve

Lilith is arguably as old as the ladies of Sumeria, as mentioned before, she was known as the hand of Inanna, the beautiful seductive heirodule that led men astray from their wives. In Hebrew lore however she became a demoness. The story goes as follows;

Lilith and Adam were created from the dust of the earth. But as soon as they were together they began to quarrel. Neither one wanted to be subservient to the other. Adam demanded that she was to serve him and lie under him in love making, and Lilith refused saying they were both created of the same dust and so she was not inferior to him. Finally Lilith uttered the ineffable name of the creator and flew off. Adam prayed to God, telling him that the woman He had made for him ran off. God responded by sending three angels to fetch Lilith, who at this point had taken up residence by the Red Sea.

The angels found Lilith and told her that if she did not go back to her husband that God would kill a hundred of her children a day. Still Lilith refused, then the angels threatened her with drowning. The response they got was Lilith in essence laughing in their faces, and she said she had been created to punish and weaken little children. The angels were going to drown her but she pleaded to them to let her live, saying whenever she saw an amulet with any of the three angels names on it, on a newborn, she would spare them, and thus she was allowed to live, suffering a 100 of her children being slain by God everyday, in punishment for her refusal to submit. As such she was known as a demon and a child killer.

But with all these ancient tales the patriarchy has mangled with their infantile and clumsy hands, there is much more to the story, which has been omitted over time to further consolidate the males stranglehold on power. The truth starts where the Hebrew Goddess Asherah was struck from the old testament around 500-400 BC.

Asherah or Astarte was directly equivalent to Inanna/Ishtar and she was the wife/consort of God. She was a Goddess of Healing and Lady of the Sea. Her poles, sacred staffs that were carried by Moses and Aaron (remember the magic duel between Moses and the Pharaohs’ priests, the staffs with snakes on them), were placed and worshipped right next to the altar of Yahweh. These were the original caduceus wands again a direct reference to sexual alchemy, with snakes curling around them and it was believed that even looking upon them could heal the sick. Unfortunately with the rise of patriarchal rabid Yahwists, her worship was relegated to Pagan idolatry and was punishable by death. But judging by the angry tone in which her worship was repeatedly made mention of, it is quite obvious that her cult persisted despite persecution. There is also the matter of the ark of the Covenant that in one rendering shows a male and female cherubim, locked in an explicitly sexual embrace. There is the coded reference to the God and Goddess in the star of David, two triangles one facing up (universal symbol of God) and one facing down (universal symbol of Goddess), interlocked. Indeed there is quite sexual alchemical tradition in Abrahamic religions if one is familiar with the Mass of the Holy Ghost, a Kabalistic rite, where the blood of the lion and the tears of the eagle meet to produce the elixir of life. I’m not going to go into gory details, but the lion is female (remember Inanna’s companion animal was a lion), and the eagle is male( the eagle is the solar and as such male equivalent of the lunar associated owl, one of Lilith‘s representative animals), even the uninitiated can figure out what’s going on.

So even to the most skeptical the foundation and evidence exists that there most definitely was a sacred feminine in ancient Semitic religious beliefs. If the model of the bipolar goddess is followed, then Asherah was the light half to a darker patriarchal-despised underworld sister. I propose that this sister was Lilith. Remember Lilith was known as the hand of Inanna, and Inanna and Asherah were the same Goddess in essence, and Lilith was the seductress that “tore” men from their wives (the quotation marks around tore are my way of expressing my cynicism that the men were dragged off against their will, as is true with many of the stories in this book, the patriarchy loves to blame uncontrollable women for all their shortcomings). Just as Inanna and Ereshkigal were rent from each other in a patriarchy induced schism in the Great Goddess, so were Asherah and Lilith rent from each other, and just as Ereshkigal, was cast into exile in the underworld, to be forever reviled as a demoness or evil, so was Lilith exiled.

With the ladies of Sumeria the separation involved their fundamental independent eternal maiden aspect. With their Hebrew counterparts it involved their fundamental nature as wife and mother. Hence the focus in the story of Lilith of her being maligned as a terrible mother. The patriarchy has relegated women into very narrow roles over the years, dutiful daughter, kind and nurturing mother, faithful wife and these roles developed as being acceptable because first off they can be controlled, but secondly out of an infantile, peter pan complex on the part of male society that wants free, total and unlimited access to the “positive” natures of woman. There is no thought that nurturing and childbearing and rearing come at a price, that price being in some cases death. There is only the childish thought of, “I want, I want!”, and the hatred of the child directed at the mother when those demands are not met, regardless of the fact the mother denies out of wisdom and knowledge of what is best for a child. This is especially pertinent in this day and age as we are raising a crop of ill-prepared spoiled brats, because the power of woman to discipline and say no, has been completely stripped.

Lilith represents the other extreme, the hate envy of mother, the terrible rage and raw sadism that can be directed at a child when the emotional dam breaks, as it often does in raising children. Or even the woman who chooses abortion instead of bearing a child, a woman who for good reason or not refuses the mantle of motherhood. These are the things that Lilith has come to stand for, but they are negative only in the divided suppressed role she has been forced into. If taken as a whole, it is the right of every woman to govern herself, not be the chattel of Man/Adam, to be ordered around, underappreciated and subjugated only to be replaced by a more docile and submissive younger woman, who in this case was Eve.

Orthodox Christianity teaches us, that Adam and Eve were the first humans, blithely ignoring Lilith, another archetypal pattern with the much maligned dark ladies. The denial of their existence, thereby stealing their power, and their exile from consciousness. Lilith is the archetypal invisible woman, alone, unacknowledged, cast out and demonized, only to be replaced and forgotten about. But Lilith does have her revenge, and it is not in being a child-killer as the patriarchy would want you to believe, thereby covering up the real Truth. No her vengeance comes in the form of a tree, a serpent and an infamous apple.

Anyone familiar with Christianity or Judaism for that matter knows the story of the fall of man, as told in the book of Genesis. God gave Adam and Eve the Garden of Eden to live in, with fruits and vegetables and nuts and seeds and legumes abounding, all of which they could eat and never had to work for. Adam and Eve were innocents, in some cases like animals in that innocence, and like animals were naked, and blithely unaware of this fact. Everything was perfect and blissful. However there was one tree they were forbidden to eat from and that was the tree of knowledge. Why an all knowing creator would stick this tree right under their nose and then tell them not to eat from it is beyond me but whatever. Either way one day Eve is alone and I guess standing in front of this tree, and there is a serpent in it. The serpent speaks to her to eat of the fruit of the tree. Eve being the good docile little girl that she was refused, but the snake is persistent, saying you shall not die and the only reason God does not want you to eat from this is because he knows you will become like him. Eve gives in, and takes a bite out of that apple and immediately sees that she is naked. She then offers the fruit to Adam who eats of it too. He too realizes he is naked, and they both cover themselves up with fig leaves.

Well not to long after this God comes walking through the Garden, and is calling to Adam and Eve, but they hide ashamed. Eventually the truth comes out, and true to form, like a child Adam points the finger at Eve saying she made me do it, and they are both punished by God, cast out from the garden of Eden, with woman being cursed with the pain of childbirth and man being cursed with having to earn his livelihood by the sweat of his brow. It is also stated that the other tree the two were forbidden from partaking of, the tree of life, is hidden and guarded by an angel with a flaming sword, “lest they become like us“, immortal.

So let’s back up here. The serpent, the symbol of Asherah and by association Lilith, tempts Eve to eat the fruit of knowledge. Knowledge of what is unclear. The general consensus is that it is the knowledge of good and evil, but why this would make them realize they were naked I do not know. If we move beyond the concepts of Good and Evil, abstract concepts created by the patriarchal system to control people, what is the true knowledge Asherah/Lilith offered Eve? Looking at what the patriarchal has a tendency to label as evil, it is a safe bet to assume that the knowledge the older wiser woman offered the younger was the knowledge of the Great Goddess, and all of her rites and mysteries.  Remember the story of Innana and the Huppulu tree. Innana and Astarte/Asherah are the same Goddess.  iInnana brought the tree and planted it in Her holy garden, but to Her consternation a serpent took residence in the roots, an Anzu bird and it’s young in the branches and the dark maid Lilith dwelt in the trunk.  The rites of Innana involved the Heirosgamos, or sacred marriage, and the institution of sacred prostitutes, something which the patriarchy most certainly did not want floating around.  Indeed the modern controversial theory of Jesus being married to MAry Magdalene offers the evidence that the traditional association of her with prostitution, may have resulted from her being a priestess of Isis, the Egyptian equivalent of Innana, who’s worship involved similar rites.

The curses God dealt Adam and Eve for their transgression were no coincidence either. Under the patriarchal rule, men were the overburdened providers (yes men lose out in this system too), and woman were relegated to the roles of baby makers and only baby makers, vessels to be filled. The blame woman has had to endure over the years for the fall of man from paradise is also part of an infantile peter pan complex on the part of the patriarchy. They could no long live as spiritual infants, and again hated woman because she weaned them against their will. Finally the angel with the flaming sword guarding the Tree of Life is a direct reference to not only sexual alchemy and it’s promise of eternal life, but the internal journey of initiation, where one goes into ones own underworld of emotion, a process which scares off all but the bravest of souls, a trial by fire if you will that is wielded by an angel, a creature bearing also the “wings“ of a bird, another symbol of the goddess and of the soul. A trial and journey that for those who survive it holds the promise of rebirth and salvation by the knowledge that the cycle of life is eternal, there is no end, only change.

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10 Comments

  1. Ashley M said,

    What a beautiful story.

    I love the research you’ve done into this. I think it’s important for us all to understand the WHOLE story, every facet of the gem, and not just the side we’ve been shown.

    Brilliantly done.

  2. Bevin said,

    That was well put together. That must have taken a lot of time and effort. Though what you have is all very imformative, I dont agree with it. Not with you, just with Lylith’s whole story and her being evil and all. Lylith is goddess of the underworld. What many people do not know or do not believe is that the underworld really isnt hell or something evil. Its a beautiful world filled with all the magical creatures of the earth. Faeries, elementals, dragons, unicorns, basically everything is there. Now she does represent death, but she also represents power. Her being of otherworldly powers is how she is known as evil. Men fear power and things they do not understand, and therefore name it evil. My mom is associated with Lylith, in what way I’m not sure. But she sure does act like the goddess. She has an uncontrolable temper with me and my siblings, she just explodes like a volcano. This is associated with what you said about Lylith and her attitude toward her children. But my mother is also very closely associated with the earth and animals, from what I heard Lylith is too. I dont know about the whole Adam and Eve story in general, I dont think the story’s really true, but the whole meaning of it could represent some kind of truth.

  3. Curious said,

    There is one part to the story of Lilith that I don’t understand at all…so if someone could please give me their interpretation of it, I would be forever grateful. Evidently the three ‘angels’ that threaten to drown Lilith say that as for PUNISHMENT that 100 of her children will die each day…yet she turns around and says that she prefers to weaken and kill children herself…so how would 100 of her children dieing each day be punishment exactly if she does this herself??? Are we absolutely certain that this story has been translated properly…because for me it is a huge contradiction in that the 100 children a day could potentially be just mortal people…as if it were demon or angels that she spawned…they are immortal. And why would you threaten to drown someone because they simply won’t be submissive?…that seems a bit extreme and just brutal force by a mob…or is it just me?

    Also someone made a very good point on another site…in that Adam and Eve were kicked out of Eden…which would technically mean that Lilith was not…whether or not this has anything to do with her being associated with the tree of knowledge…I don’t know for sure. However, I do think that the tree of knowledge deals directly with a lie from Adam and Eve falling for it…because according to what I know…God does not punish the innocent (meaning those who do not know the difference and Eve evidently was deceived…where as Adam knew better). Ideally in Eden they were suppose to be equal if woman had transgressed from that point on…because you can’t transgress if you are already inferior. Unfortunately there is not much on Lilith out there…because from what I see of Adam up to this point…he doesn’t seem to be the perfect gentleman…or even someone willing to negotiate to make his partner happy…it seems to be all about Adam and what Adam wants…sort of a selfish individual in my opinion and sounds very familiar to me…

    • etheria888 said,

      Hey curious I finally read your comment in it’s entirety so forgive the belated response. Actually the same thing puzzled me. The translation is correct, and it comes directly from the alphabet of Ben Sira. I guess the way I see it is that it is an outright lie designed to scare women who might follow in the footsteps of Lilith as the original independent woman. Women who could not be controlled were to some extent a threat to Jewish survival, as with the amount of persecution that group has had to endure over the centuries, successful reproduction would have been difficult already but then to put a question mark of who fathered the child, because a woman was off doing her own thing, it put a very severe threat on the purity of the lineage. It is a tactic to insure complete obedience of women. Scare them into submission with the thought of all their children being murdered by God. The time this was written was a very superstitious time. The first mention of this story comes from somewhere between the 8th and 11th century AD. Already that throws serious suspicion on the authenticity of the story as it is written at least a millenia after these events would have taken place. I do not believe the story, I do however believe in the power stories have to influence people especially when they come from someone of “authority”, hence me taking it on in my book. As I wrote Lilith goes back much farther, and she was no demon orginally, quite the contrary. Her independence, and women taking up her mantle of independence, was a severe threat to an already threatened race. Pardon me for saying it but perhaps if they hadn’t banished their Goddess 1200 years before maybe they wouldn’t have had to scare their women into submission.

  4. Curious said,

    Since we are on the subject of mythology…I would like to bring up another character that seems to have some of the same issues as Adam…this being the likes of Odin…the early pre-christian Odin. He was kicked out of Asgard I believe for some rather unethical behavior…and if you were immortal in Asgard just as Adam and Eve were in Eden…he could hang himself…just as he did…from the world tree to gain KNOWLEDGE of the nine worlds…meaning he would have knowledge of good and evil…all knowing in a sense. I could see Odin or Bor sending three lynch men after Lilith for not being submissive and threatening to drown her…which I would not be surprised if they held her head underwater to get the agreement to allow the death of 100 of her children…which maybe they were the Irish and that entitled the Vikings to slaughter them…and if Lilith were Irish herself…it explains her feisty side and not going down without a fight… knowing that these sons of Odin were going to kill her children…that she threatened “if you kill mine I will weaken and kill yours”…who knows…both parties sound malicious to me. The thought of Gods three angels threatening to drown me is kind of scary in nature…

  5. Katherine Barr said,

    Dearest Lunatic that spouts off ~
    I am blown away with the pieces of the great puzzle that fell together,as i read sparks connected long lost memory.

    Months ago someone who gives me keys to my awakening had mentioned to me that as he had read something i had written, that he thought of Asherah. Knew nothing about Asherah so would casually on occasion do research.

    Just the other day i was reading Co-creation the 4th in The Ringing Cedars Series and came upon a reference to Lilith in a chapter that was about Anastasia’s line.I identify very strongly with Anastasia and some things in this chapter had some very strong resonance within.

    So today i put in Asherah and Lilith and came upon your site !!!! The Sparks are still flying…….Thank You !

  6. Eloah Rosenberg said,

    Reblogged this on Wisdom's Lesbian.

  7. markymark1232 said,

    Hi,
    let me make one thing clear I’ve done a lot of research on this. You have a lot of questions and with the help of God ide like to share my understanding. I learned a new perspective from you and for that im thankful. First off and a big point, the story of adam and lilith i know is they were one person combined back to back, she wasnt complaining about being on the bottom during sex she wanted to be apart from adam because of how most women feel superior at times and make it thier duty to punish a man for some crazy often un true reason to hide the real reason behind what they were doing. The angels took on them the daughters of man or human girls, ashteroth or ashera wasn’t God the creators wife but the wife of satan or baalim. Jewish leaders never tended to stick to the proper path and throughout the bible the people who believed their leaders were “good” people followed the misdirection and were punished for their misdeeds. So you can see if Lilith were left in the religious teaching those books would be teaching about Satan and Lilith not God so of-course she had to be taken out. Secret societies are most likely responsible for the texts survival. so, the whole putting women down thing is wrong to me. Look at the bible and there are many powerful women in leadership roles. Just look at Mary representing the catholic church as a figure head even though i don’t agree with it its there. I mean women want to deny the fact by chemical make up they may never be as strong as a man unless they work toward it but the man can put in the same work. Although man may be stronger i have read that women can endure more pain so honestly if you want to take one side thats fine im with the idea we were created equal and it is our blessings and our blessing to others that set us apart. If you wonder why satan wanted a wife, because as an angel he both envied and despised man. How the stories would be similar is the fact satan wanted to mimic God and his kingdom yet be different. To know the story you are after further just look at Zues and Herra and thier fued. The information is out there it takes an unbiased opinion and an open mind to find it.

    Marc

    • etheria888 said,

      You got anything to back this up with?

      • etheria888 said,

        Because everything here, even though I didn’t cite sources (I should have) is based off of research. Perhaps in the ceremonial texts she is listed as that, but a: I am very familiar with such things and have never once seen her associated with Satan, b: it was common practice to demonize goddesses who did not fit in with the patriarchal shift that occurred in ancient times, and c: when God and Satan make bets with each other are we sure they aren’t opposite sides of the same coin?
        I do believe in equality of the sexes, which is why I will continue to assert my knowledge, based off of years of research on the subject

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