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winged goddess of death

1000 mm x 400 mm x 350mm

lilith 2


Hebrew Lilith

Lilith is best known to us as a Hebrew goddess. According to the Hebrew Apocrypha, Lilith was Adam's first wife, obviously implying that whoever wrote Genesis in the First (Old) Testament, left something out.   Adam divorced Lilith, however, after she refused to obey him; some say she refused to assume the missionary position during sex and lie beneath Adam   If this myth has any validity, no wonder the Genesis authors thought it wise to leave it out. So much of Genesis has been interpreted as God's irrevocable rules concerning marriage, which imply that there can be no divorce after two persons have become one flesh.

Sumerian Lilith

But like Eve, Lilith has an older incarnation in Sumerian myth.   In some of the earliest myths of Sumer, Inanna and Lilith are rivals.   Lilith, in the form of a serpent or a storm, lives at the foot of Inanna's tree, the tree of life.   Inanna is very angry about Lilith's tainted presence at the root of her tree, but despite her wrath, cannot dislodge her.

Lilith, as the opposite or counterbalance to Inanna, the Goddess of Life, became for the Sumerians and later Akkadians and Babylonians, the winged goddess of death, or a night demon (layil). Accordingly, her symbolic representation became the night or screech owl to the writers of the First (Old) Testament.

European Lilith

Her reputation for a screeching night terror followed her into the middle ages, where she visited men during the night for sexual intercourse against their wills. She became the image of woman as evil, and thousands of women accused of copulating with demons were put to death.

My Lilith

In my interpretation of Lilith, she glides on her soft wings over the river Styx, our companion and guide in our final night journey to the other shore.

lilith 3

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4/08/09 jr