Black Moon Lilith

by C. Marguerite Hafeman, 2004-08

Who was Lilith? Five thousand years ago in Sumerian myth she was the handmaiden to the Goddess Inanna, Queen of Heaven and a forerunner of Venus. According to astrologer Kelly Hunter, Lilith's job was to gather the men in from the fields for sacred rites. She lived in the sacred huluppu tree that Inanna planted in her garden, in the company of a snake who cannot be charmed and the wild Anzu-bird and her nestlings.1 The snake is symbolic of the kundalini energy that rises up the spine, activating enlightened creativity/ The bird is an ancient Goddess symbol representing the ability to commune with and travel between the underworld, physical world and the heavens.

To me, Lilith actually represents a crucial phase of the complete primal Goddess, she who originally governed the entire cycle of birth, life and death, good and evil, as one continuum of the same Divine force. The Sumarian myth, in parallel with the coming of patriarchy, has the goddess Inanna behaving like an early form of Juno, a woman of the establishment, asks her brother Gilgamesh to cut down the tree because she is not ready to receive the wisdom Lilith has to offer. The serpent is killed, the bird and its family fly away to the mountains (of higher wisdom) and Lilith leaves for the wilderness (of the subconscious).

In later Hebrew myth Lilith was the first woman, fashioned by God as an equal to Adam. She subsequently refused to lay down beneath and submit to him, because she wanted to be treated as an equal. Adam subsequently rejected her and took her children, so she flew away in a fury into the wilderness. In both Judiac and Christian exoteric dogma, Lilith was made into a full- fledged demon, harbinger of miscarriage and abortion, snatcher of children from the cradle, sower of unfulfilled sexual dreams, a frustrater of ambition. In Christian tradition, an actively creative, intelligent, naturally sexual, independent woman rooted in the harmony of nature was something to be feared and repressed, even unto death by Inquisition. Perhaps because this sort of resonance left to its own devices is not interested in the maintenance of bloodlines, blind, obedient monogomy or excessive material gain at the expense of making others suffer.

In the horoscope chart there are three possible Lilith positions to consider, Asteroid Lilith, Dark Moon Lilith and Black Moon Lilith. All three should symbolize special points of creative and individuating power for both men and women. However, due to millenia of conditioned repression of the active, creative Feminine or Lower Shekinah, Lilith energy is often difficult for us to access, trust and express in a conscious, well-directed manner. Especially in the case of heterosexual women, if one expresses Lilith energy directly without protection, they run the very real risk of encountering severe sanction from society or family. The classic psychological symptom for this repression in men or women is sublimation or compensation, wherein elements buried in thesubconscious rise up and take over control of the conscious ego. Ergo, the right hand knoweth not what the left is doing, neurosis, psychosis, hypochondria, diseases of psychosomatic origin etc.

Indeed, where a Lilith point is located on a horoscope chart and the close aspects she makes to other planets by progression or transit can indicate quite precisely where one is to encounter the most frustration and difficulty in life, stemming from poor choices, succumbing to temptation or confused thinking. Also the reaping of karmic consequence for avoiding authentic expression of self and persisting in egocentric, inappropriately idealistic or exploitive behaviors that will bring about a downfall. Sexual perversion and mysogyny are other undesirable manifestations of a poorly aspected Lilith.

Another quite literal and dark symbolism that is sometimes found in womens' charts reflects a tragic distortion associated with the feminine functions of reproduction, nurturing and sexuality, namely miscarriage, abortion, death of children, eating disorders and disease in female reproductive organs. Ancestral (or genetic, if you prefer)implications can be involved, handed down for generations from mother to daughter. To me, this pattern is the horrific product of voluntary self-poisoning of the female principle, the bile of self-hatred arising from misguided efforts to conform with patriarchal contempt and devaluation of woman. At one time, scions of the Church even argued that women were excluded from direct association with God because they were a secondary product of Adam's rib. Therefore, the Divine could only be indirectly petitioned, through the agency of a husband or another man, such as a priest.2

The last 25 or so years have brought a renaissance for Lilith energy, as her common role in natural life has come to be understood as the inevitable outcome of distortion and repression of her gifts at both collective and personal levels. In truth, all Lilith troubles spring from undeveloped portions of the self, those aspects of the shadow we like to make the responsibility of other people or society itself. Unfortunately modern society in its present form does not want us to get to know Lilith too well either; this would result in a loss of control. She would undermine the current driven, neurotic personality that responds so well to cues by the media. There is a deep fear associated with Judeo-Christian tradition that implies that if we were not lashed daily by our guilt, shame and desire to compete, we would stop working; we would be layabouts who care for nothing but the rut. Observe animals and plants in a balanced ecosystem; do they take more than they need? Do they kill for the mere pleasure of it? Does one species come to dominate at the expense of all others? Perhaps all this time philosophers, medical doctors and psychologists have misidentified the source of the "lower impulses" within us.

Condeming Lilith energy in its brilliant, sparkling grace in nature reaps tragic biological, psychological and material consequences. Besides giving away the quality of living on this planet, many are being chosen to bear the sins of generations that came before us in the form of lethal bodily disorders, a psychotic midset or a sheer inability to relate intimately with anyone. Lilith energy can be accessed as a wellspring for manifestation of Cosmic Mind on earth, but only if one approaches with eyes fully open, willingly making the required sacrifice of limiting certain personal and mundane desires; surrendering to serve as an earthly vessel for transpersonal forces of Spirit in Nature that are infinitely sweeter and more nurturing than one's own egotistical, earthbound visions.

1 "The Dark Goddess Lilith", by M. Kelly Hunter, The Mountain Astrologer Magazine, April/May 1999.

2 The Myth of the Goddess, Evolution of an Image, by Anne Baring and Jules Cashford. Viking Press, Penguin Group, Penguin Books, Ltd. New York, NY. 1991.

Return to Articles Lilith Report
HOME