Lilith

I am a former Christian, but I never felt at home with it as I grew up. It’s enough that I felt like I was going to catch on fire in my own church!

These days, I’m much happier, even if my family isn’t, though my diverse group of gods makes my beliefs harder for others to quantify and name.

I bear great respect to the gods of the north, as they were the gods my ancestors loved, and I owe that noble history great honor. They form the majority of my pantheon, although Lilith will always have a place in my faith.

Now, some people might know Lilith’s name from the old story of her being the first wife of Adam; it’s the best known story about her. But she far, far predates all that. She’s appeared in many places under many names, but is almost always associated with storms, magic, the moon, night, and pleasurable eroticism.

I’ve discovered all that is more or less true, but she appreciates those who come to her who are willing to give her the benefit of a doubt. I guess that when you spend over 1000 years being demonized, it’s nice to meet someone who is willing to look to the good, and those who will love her without expecting favors in return. She wants respect, above all else, something she has been sorely denied for a very long time

She’s taken very good care of me over the years, and even when my faith in her wavers, she is always patient and is right there, waiting for me, when I come back. She’s given me advice, protected me, and even saved me from myself on a number of occasions, including an occasion where I was genuinely contemplating suicide. I wouldn’t be alive without her intervention, and I owe her a debt I can never fully repay.

That alone is reason for me to love her, and it did a great deal to shatter any remaining negative conceptions of her.

Even when I was a child, Lilith came to me at night and sang me to sleep as she kept watch. I was always told by my parents that I had a guardian angel watching over me, but if you read most of the stories concerning Lilith, this isn’t the sort of behavior you’d expect from a supposed child-killing witch. Instead of harming me, she looked after me, and banished my fears of eldritch creatures hiding in the shadows.It’s important to know that I didn’t even know the name of my protector at the time. I just knew that someone was watching over me, and it felt like mommy to a small child.

As the years passed, I grew up. I went through confirmation as a teenager, and Lilith’s presence in my life dwindled as I took a path that led me further from her. I was secure in my Christianity, or thought I was, but doubts always nagged me.

Eventually I heard a song, “Heart of Lilith”, by a group that’s not exactly mainstream in the United States, Inkubus Sukkubus (frankly a shame in my opinion), and that was my first encounter with her name. It mulled over in my head a few times in search of something to connect with, which is when I remembered my unseen guardian from my childhood. To see what would happen, I spoke her name that night. Not very loudly, but enough that I could hear it.

I don’t know if you’ve ever spoken with a ghost or a god, but in my experience, you don’t hear so much as feel the response. And her response was clear to me.

“I’m here.”

She had never left me alone. She’d always been there, even when I’d forgotten about her.

Over the next few nights, I spent a significant amount of time speaking to her, and with each conversation, I grew more certain of her identity. Of course, I’d looked her up on the internet, and her recorded reputation was more than made clear. A vampire queen, a witch, a killer of children.

But if this was so, why did she never harm me? She had all the time in the world; years, over a decade to do it!

I did more research, and found that modern pagans had taken to calling her a Goddess, which frankly suited me just fine.

That night, I asked her what the truth was, and irritatingly, received no reply. She remained quiet, more and more often, and I began to wonder if she’d grown bored with me.

Just as I was about to lose my faith she returned and told me to decide the truth for myself; a true mark of faith in any religion. I’d read the stories, and I’d experienced nothing from her but behavior that contradicted those stories. Would I trust scholars, or my own heart?

I gave her the benefit of the doubt. I embraced her spiritually, and she began to point the way for new lessons, studies of the world before christianity took hold.

There was a point a year ago when a pastor managed to frighten me into believing that I had damned myself to an eternity in hell. I left Lilith, and turned back to Christianity. My emotional bond with her had grown to the point that I heard her crying every night, asking me why I wasn’t coming back.

I was torn between fear and the goddess I loved.

And then, I had a dream. This was an important dream. In the dream, I was in a crowd, screaming at the top of my lungs, but no one would listen. And then, after what seemed like eternity, a woman touched my shoulder and said “I’m here. I’ve always been here. Why have you run from me? Why did you leave me?”

Then I woke up. I had this dream again and again for several nights, with the images becoming clearer each time, and the dream extending beyond the initial encounter. I was never able to speak back, but I never needed to. She always knew what I was trying to say, and would reassure me that I was in her care, and she’d always been looking out for me.

After a while, the dreams stopped for a few months, and I realized Lilith had been trying to connect with me again. I then allowed myself to see things from her perspective: after years of being demonized by humans, here was someone who wasn’t afraid, who had been willing to see her in a better light.

And I had turned my back on her.

Now here we get to the important bit: Christianity tells that there is only one God, and to beware of impostors, but I wasn’t so sure. For about a year, I wavered between what I’d been taught all my life and my heart pulling me in the other direction. My mind was never going to be able to resolve this. My mind, still rooted in Christian teachings, told me to play it safe and stick with a spirituality that, while my heart couldn’t connect with it, my mind knew the lay of the land. My heart, tired of isolation and thrilled that I had found another choice, told me to take a leap of faith and jump.

So I jumped. I made my choice and left Christianity behind one last time. I embraced Lilith the Goddess, and chose my faith.

And you know what? I’m happier. Happier than I’ve ever been as a Christian. But that’s just me. Others may not find the same fulfillment. That’s fine. One person’s faith need not equal another’s.

Since then, I’ve become acquainted with the gods of my ancestors, those of Asgard and Vanaheim, and I give them all due respect, with Lilith remaining with me and guiding me towards a stronger faith in them.

Some might choose to worship Quezacoatl, Ra, or even Amaterasu. Personally, I wouldn’t judge them. But under someone else’s religion, these would all be names that would lead one straight to some version of Hell. I can’t say for sure what the right path is, only that I’ve found my own.

You can’t be too careful I’ve found, but at some point, you need to quit worrying, take a chance and accept the outcome.

I cannot say what Lilith might be like for anyone else, but when I have invoked her name, I feel an aura of power, will, and love, and it’s always strongest at night. She’s had ample opportunity to do harm to me as Christians have said she will, but she never has.

Instead, she has saved my life, and continued to help me. To me, she’s not evil at all. I trust her, and no matter what anyone says, I will continue to do so. I am tired of hearing her cry when I am dissuaded by honeyed words of well-meaning Christians.

These days when someone tells me she’s a demon, my response is “Thanks for your concern, but I’m a big girl and I can make my own choices, thank you.” and leave things at that.

To anybody else who might consider worshiping Lilith, a word of caution.

She is truly a wonderful Lady, but she’s also darker than other goddesses; she can be as much a force of destruction as she is one of creation, depending on how she is approached. You receive the respect you give. Treat her well, and she will do the same for you.

Obviously my encounters seriously contradict many known facts about her, but with my experiences, I know my own mind and my own heart.

The truth is what you make of it.

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