At a recent gathering, a woman was sharing her story of her 'dark night of the soul' -- a series of several transformation cycles over several years, in which her previous conceptions about herself disintegrated, moved into chaos, and were slowly being reborn or recreated anew.
Some of the things she shared found a common root in reclaiming her true essence, the center-point of her innate creativity and sensuality.
Lilith came immediately to my mind, and out of my mouth. "Lilith!" Having come from a Jewish background, she said, "Isn't Lilith the demon-prostitute?" Her response was just another reminder about how a conquering culture or 'replacement paradigm' shift the pre-existing culture and 'old ways' by controlling the stories.
One culture's gods and goddesses become the conquering culture's 'lesser gods' or demons.
At first, the new stories are told and maintained or enforced through fear. Ultimately, both the new story and the underlying association with fear are like seeds that find their place not just in the collective consciousness, but also in the very cells of the body.
The Power of Our Stories
This experience highlights the power of stories on and within us, including the stories that we're not even aware of, that run themselves as part of our 'below the radar' programming.
These are the programs and stories that we live by, and thus live into. Matter follows mind; reality follows the dominant story line. Change the story, or stories, and you change the reality, whether it be culture, experience, individual or group mind.
And yet there are also, still living within us and within the deeper collective remembrance, the other stories -- the ones from before the 'edits' occurred or the new stories were planted, and the ones that, if you believe in the holographic Universe, have yet to be told but are 'remembered' by future generations!
In the case of Lilith, it's true that the 'replacement story' reshaped her as a villain, a she-demon who preyed upon the poor fellas who found themselves at the mercy of the desire-nature.
Of course, this was determined to be not their responsibility, but rather projected upon the 'she-demon' whose fault it was.
That Lilith became a demon to be feared was a story that carried a more subtle plot-line which was also intended to create a new balance of power from the previous one. It's shared in another post here, but let's revisit the Lilith story:
The name 'Lilith' is related to the word for 'night'. Lilith was allegedly the first wife of Adam, as the story was told in Genesis 1. God created them in his image, male and female he created them. Equals. Yin and Yang. Complements, neither of which was of lesser or greater important. Both sacred halves of the Great Whole.
Then, Adam's ego got the best of him, he copped an attitude, and wanted to be superior and thus to make Lilith inferior. He fell out of Sacred Union.
According to the story, Adam always wanted Lilith to be beneath him during sexual intercourse -- yet another story of how sacred sexual union can be maligned by ego into a power game and an expression of ego-based dominance rather than a sacred, other-respecting prayer.
Lilith refused -- that wasn't the original deal, by which they were created equal, one male, one female -- and she chose to exile herself from paradise for the wilder hillsides and mountains. Because Lilith didn't 'fall' into duality by forgetting her true nature, she remained immortal.
In Genesis 2, God then created another mate for Adam -- Eve, a supposedly more passive female, who eventually gained knowledge of her own immortal nature. You know: the tree, the apple, the snake. And the story goes on. Eve turned into a 'bad girl', too, according to the Patriarchs.
But this suggests that Lilith's story had older and far more different roots.
Who was Lilith before she was demonized by fearful and fearsome Patriarchs who wanted to downplay Feminine power, sacredness, and independent expression, and ingrain a fear of women, sexuality, sensuality, the unknown, the mysteries of life and death that they perhaps wanted to control?
What is it to regain the original story of Lilith -- to remember it and retell it anew for new times when Lilith's 'whole Feminine' is desperately needed and no doubt desperately sought by the Sacred Masculine searching for his true, whole "other half"?
This is just one example of the importance of remembering -- RE-MEMBERING -- and embodying and sharing these reclaimed, more whole stories. It's time to plant new seeds and cultivate those that are healthy and whole, so that the common garden is revealed once again as Paradise.
Until next time...
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Image Credits: Lilith in a Sumerian stone relief; a detail from The Temptation of Adam and Eve, by Tommaso Masolino da Panicale (1427)