Saturday, January 05, 2013

Lilith

Lilith is a female demon of the night who supposedly flies around searching for newborn children either to kidnap or strangle them. She is said to be Adam's first wife. One story is that God created Adam and Lilith and she demanded to be Adam's equal. Adam tried to make Lilith lie beneath him during sexual intercourse. Lilith would not meet this demand of male dominance. She cursed Adam and hurried to her home by the Red Sea. Adam complained to God who then sent three angels to bring Lilith back to Eden. Lilith cursed at them and refused to return back to Eden with Adam. While by the Red Sea Lilith became a lover to demons and begot 100 babies a day. The angels said that God would take these demon children away from her unless she returned to Adam. When she did not return, she was punished and her children were taken away.Lilith's daughters were known as the lilim aka Lilith's Daughters.. they haunted men in their sleep for over a thousand years. Supposedly they were lusty she-demons who copulated with men in all their dreams, causing nocturnal emissions. It was thought each time a devout Christian had a wet dream, Lilith laughed. It was also believed that Lilith was assisted in her bloodthirsty nocturnal quests by succubi, who gathered with her near the "mountains of darkness" to frolic with her demon lover Samael.According to legend Lilith's attraction for children comes from the belief that God took her children from her when she refused to return to Adam. It was believed that she launched a reign of terror against women in childbirth and newborn infants, especially boys. However, it also was believed that the three angels who were sent to her forced her to swear that whenever she saw their names or images on amulets that she would leave the infants and mothers alone. These beliefs continued for centuries. As late as the 18th century, it was a common practice in many cultures to protect new mothers and their infants with amulets against Lilith. Males were most vulnerable during the first week of life, girls during the first three weeks.As a goddess Lilith dates back to the bird-serpent goddess of antiquity. In Sumeria, she was portrayed as having both the wings and claws of a bird. Some images show her lower half as being the body of a serpent or she is shown as a serpent with the head and breasts of a woman. Recent translations of her name are varied and range from "screech owl", lilah which is darkness or night in Hebrew, to Lilitu which is said to be the Babylonian word for "evil night-spirit." Her symbols are the crossroad, owl, serpent, tree, and dark moon.

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