Friday, September 25, 2015

Demonology Files: Lilith

Ever hear of Adam's ex?
They broke up over vanilla sex.

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Lilith: "I don't know why everyone has a problem with snakes. I mean, look at this cute little guy!"

In the garden of Eden, God created man, named Adam, from the earth. Also from the earth, He created a woman, named Lilith.

(But Christina, I'm looking at Genesis right now. It was Eve! Who was created from Adam's rib, not the earth. This lady Lilith isn't mentioned anywhere.

I know, I know. Shut up and listen to the story.)

For a while, Adam and Lilith were a happy couple. They were living in a garden of plenty and immortality. It's hard to be upset about that.

But there was a problem. Adam was a bit traditional in the bedroom. The guy liked missionary style. That's fine every now and then, but Lilith wanted to try something new. She wasn't getting crazy with costumes and dildos; she just wanted to be on top.

Adam said no. He was "the superior one" and Lilith, as a woman, was "only fit to lie in the inferior position."

Lilith argued that they were both created from the earth. Ergo, they're both equal. But Adam wouldn't listen to her, and she wouldn't listen to Adam.

When she realized this was getting nowhere, Lilith said, "F*** this," and left the Garden of Eden.

(I am not making this up. They seriously broke it off because of sex and Lilith was so angry she willingly left the garden. That's got to be the worst divorce in history.)

Outside of the garden, Lilith met hundreds of demons, and had sex with a lot of them. Even Satan was there, and he didn't mind taking the bottom bunk one bit.

God was just grossed out, and you can't really blame Him. If you're all-knowing, then you're constantly subjected to way too much information that you'd rather not know. He was also stunned with the number of babies Lilith was having. I don't know why He was surprised. If you have a lot of sex before the age of effective birth control, you're going to have a lot of kids.

He tried to talk her into coming back to Eden and being Adam's wife. When she refused, He cursed her, condemning her kids to an early grave. Every day, one hundred of her descendants will die.

Lilith wasn't too happy about that. Unless an amulet with an angel's name is hung over a newborn infant, she'll kill it.

The end!

--

I don't know what Adam was thinking. Lucifer clearly got the better end of the deal.

You're not going to find this story in the Bible. Its earliest recording is the Alphabet of ben Sirach, a medieval text (dated around 700-1000 CE) that's a collection of Hebrew and Aramaic proverbs. Whether or not this story was known before the book was written, nobody knows.

I like this story. I think someone took a look at Genesis and asked, "If Adam was created from the earth, why was Eve created from his rib?"

And someone probably said, "Well, that would've made women equal to men."

"Well, what's wrong with that?"

Cue Lilith, who dared to ask for equal treatment and better sex.

Obviously, Lilith didn't get a lot of sympathy in ancient times. There's the child-murder, for one thing. These days, that part's usually dropped in modern retelling. But aside from that, ancient people had a bigger problem with Lilith. This is a woman who doesn't take shit from any man--human, god, or otherwise--and who decided sexual freedom was better than married life. *gasp* Scandalous!

These days, Lilith's getting a lot more sympathy. During the feminist movement of the 1960s, there was a surge of Liliths. Essays, stories, articles...there was even a whole magazine called Lilith in 1976 written by Jewish feminists. The movement upgraded Lilith from demon/monster to strong female symbol.

Modern Satanists (yeah, these guys are a thing, and some of the nicest people I've ever met) elevated Lilith to a goddess, since she's often seen as Satan's consort, and therefore, Princess of Hell. She's seen as a strong female presence in Satanism, often as a deity of contraception and sexual freedom.

Personally, I see the evolution of Lilith as a positive sign in the world of women's rights. For thousands of years, a woman's worth was determined only by the man she married and the amount of children she had. If she did neither, then the only other option was being a nun. Above all, the men were in charge. You did not question that. That's why Lilith was so feared and hated: she ran counter to everything a "respectable" woman was.

Now, we see through Lilith's transformation the transformation of women as a whole. Or rather, the transformation of people's perspective of women. Man, woman, straight, gay, married, single, kids or no kids, the moral of Lilith's story is, "Who cares?"

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2 comments:

  1. Very modern way to put the story.
    Hope to here more stories from you.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! If you have any suggestions, I'd love to hear them! It's such a vast field I'm almost afraid of missing something.

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