by Rev. Lauren Tatarsky, Senior Minister
Hello Interfaith Family,
This is a follow up on our lively talk about liberation this past Sunday in response to a request for more information about Lilith.
I have an oracle deck that I love called Goddesses: Knowledge Cards. It shares stories of Goddesses from Greek, Roman, Celtic, Native American, Egyptian, Middle Eastern, and Scandinavian mythologies.
Here’s what it has to say about Lilith:
“Lilith is a Middle Eastern goddess of abundance, fertility, and fecundity, the giver of agriculture to humans. The first woman created and the first wife of Adam, she refused to be subordinate to Adam in any way.
“Lilith is associated with the owl, a figure of darkness and deep wisdom, for she is also a goddess of death and transformation. She is sometimes represented as a demonic figure, for her dark wisdom can her sexual energy can be very threatening. She is known to appear as a frightening figure in dreams.
“Lilith is associated with the lotus, and the symbolism of that flower tells us much about her. The lotus, an exquisite flower that grows out of dark, rank, decaying earth, represents spiritual unfolding and the blossoming of the heart of wisdom. Like the lotus, Lilith challenges us to look upon our dark side and incorporate it into our wholeness so that our great beauty can blossom forth.”
As I mentioned, the Wikipedia information about Lilith calls her a “dangerous demon of the night” who was “sexually wanton” and thankfully banished from Eden.
But the information from more spiritual and perhaps less culturally influenced perspectives, like the one above, suggests to me that her power was only threatening in that it was a liberating force, unafraid of the darkness, and challenging to the status quo.
There are many stories like Lilith, of indigenous women, black women, and members of marginalized groups far and wide who have been demonized or forgotten in our cultural mythological and religious paradigm. There is a book, for instance, called Passionate Enlightenment by Miranda Shaw that brings to light stories of female Tantric Buddhist teachers who were powerful spiritual teachers and equally transformational in their approach. Bringing their voices back is, to me, a powerful energetic intervention in this important time.
As a side note, anyone remember the Lilith Fair? This was a great effort of female musicians to increase the recognition and power of women in music. Very aptly named.
And I wanted to leave you with one final quote, which has stuck with me after our time together on Sunday.
“Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it.”
If you weren’t here Sunday, you can click here for my talk, entitled Liberation, Inside and Out.
Much Love and Many Blessings,