Breaking through the stagnancy of established social dysfunction requires a kind of cosmic agitation and birthing consciousness. Lilith is such a wayshower.
Around 4000 years ago in Babylon, she was labelled a night terror, a demon. Her presence continued to weave its way through various cultures, and eventually she shows up in Jewish writings, named as the first wife of Adam. A satirical Jewish text describes Adam’s attempt to assert superiority based on his maleness and his demand that Lilith do what she was told. Her response to this was to affirm that they were equals, born of the same Earth. Here we encounter the basis for a modern viewpoint of Lilith as the first feminist.
The consequences of Lilith’s declaration of innate equality and personal sovereignty vary depending on source. Some say that she was banished from the Garden of Eden, others that she spoke the secret name of God (something the Goddess Isis also did as a pathway to personal and spiritual empowerment) and then left of her own volition, and my personal favourite, some say she upped and flew off to build her own life elsewhere. Other sources report that Lilith went mad – which reminds me of Krishnamurti’s nugget of wisdom that “it is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” If Lilith did enter madness, it would have been of the sacred kind. Such madness is symbolic of the crazy-making we have to make conscious as we unplug from mainstream conditioning in all of its horror and ridiculousness. If you have gone through that journey already, you will know that when confronting cognitive dissonance, there is a period where you will likely question your own sanity before the breakthrough into clarity of vision occurs.
Lilith – Our Dark Goddess, Mother of Embodied Truth
Lilith the Wayshower
Now that spirituality is filtering into the mainstream, the need for body-resonance as a truth-barometer is more important than ever. The assumption of pseudo-spiritual identities and speech in order to gain counter-culture status and its associated perks such as political power, or even to attract romantic opportunities, is on the rise. Lilith’s instinctual intuition cuts through what may sound right, but is little more than a manipulative tool. Lilith is the plain-speaking, sensible rabble rouser within that confronts cultural (and personal) gaslighting, even if the price of such integrity is building a more authentic life for oneself, breaking down falsehoods and starting again, from the ground up.
A Symbol of the Dark Feminine
Lilith has become something of a political figure – as I noted, her feminist inclinations are strong – however for me she is also a spiritual symbol of the dark feminine. The dark feminine is powerful. Hers is the shadowy realm of attributes that belong to the human soul but are socially decried. Denounced and disavowed, these valuable aspects of ourselves become hidden in the deep recesses of our psyches as a result. We may have learned to judge and fear the very qualities that would set us free. Denied the right to mature naturally, these energies become distorted and captive in the body until the soul is ready and able to process them.
What is the hidden Lilith-power within many bodies and souls trying to break free from oppression, abuse, inauthenticity and fear? Rage, fierceness, defiance and sovereignty all belong in this category, along with inconvenient truth-telling that promotes awakening and healing, along with the sacred refusal to be exploited, subordinated or diminished to pacify another’s delusions.
Lilith in that sense is the agitator, yet she is not chaos for the sake of it. She is the truth that leads to freedom, and the maturity to meet the consequences of our decisions so that we can evolve, claim our love and empowerment, and become birth mothers and founding fathers of a more healed, awakened and healthy culture.
Accessing the Lilith Potency Towards Freedom and Healing
Accessing the Lilith potency within is not an intellectual exercise – hence society, with its general tendency towards left-brain ‘I’ll believe it when I see it’ mentality – cannot understand her. The inner spontaneous movement towards our inner Lilith occurs when we need to deal with suffering that society (in its current evolution) cannot recognise, respond to meaningfully, or heal. The call of Lilith is the call beyond polite so-called well-adjusted society into the realm of deep self in order to find the energy and consciousness needed to break free.
Lilith’s preserving and empowering energy is often first accessed through implicit memory. This is a true experience which the body holds and expresses, and which we cannot necessarily connect to an explicit event. It is non-verbal memory, encoded in feeling and sensation. It is factual in the sense that it is true, even if it cannot be related to a particular recollection or event. The way society determines truth – can I see it, measure it, provide statistics and reliable replication – has its usefulness in certain contexts but also its failings, and denial of truths that run deeper than physically measurable phenomena is a tremendous failing indeed. In our culture there is great fear of implicit memory because from an intellectual standpoint, it can seem murky. Yet from the body’s perspective, the truth of the experience, the instinctual unflinching honesty of the biological system expressing itself, is undeniable.
Learning how to access and express our suffering is a prerequisite for healing. Many of our human family are in denial, chasing ever greener grass, as it were, to avoid grappling with inner truths. Yet there are also many who are exhausted by the trauma-driven repetition-compulsion and yearn for something more true, real and beautiful to awaken in their lives. They realise the world cannot provide it for them. Material possessions and accomplishments are not the enemy, but neither are they surrogates for self love and peace of mind. Without access to inner peace through self healing, we will be expending precious energies fighting an ongoing battle against underlying fear, anxiety, depression, self doubt and mental anguish.
Lilith a Guardian to Dealing with Unresolved Trauma
This is where we need, and find, Lilith. She is our guardian for learning how to trust our innate experience and find the courage and capacity for expression. Patience and process is needed to support the nervous system in release and reorganisation following traumatic events. This is even more the case when dealing with complicated trauma, which could also be called ongoing trauma.
Unresolved trauma is at the basis of modern culture, driving it further along an unsustainable path. Culture is created from individuals and a society that is consistently re-enacting unprocessed trauma comprising a majority of individuals that are doing the same thing in their personal lives. In short, trauma is more widespread than many people acknowledge. Often healers or other sensitives will be able to sense deep trauma in others long before that person is ready and able to recognise it in themselves.
Timing – An Instrumental facet of Healing
Timing is an instrumental facet of healing. It cannot be forced, for there must be sufficient inner energy oriented in readiness to latch on to the opportunities for deeper truths to break through dissonance and conditioning at the opportune moment. The soul knows how to prepare for this. To deny this and try to force something would be akin to pulling at blades of grass to get them to grow faster. To attempt to compel healing – rather than providing energy for it and holding space for it – can become a form of subtle violence. It can also become overt violence. Plenty of bloodshed has occurred over so-called spiritual truths. So, we hold compassion and the tension of realising that we are in a profoundly disturbed culture, yet we are doing the work for healing ourselves, and through that, our collective, according to a greater timing and wisdom. Lilith is fierce, but she is also wise. She awakens in us when we need her, and we realise her presence when we are ready.
Cultural Trauma and PSTD
We can only confront cognitive dissonance induced by factors such as cultural denial and narcissistic gaslighting, when we are willing to trust ourselves more than the consciously-accepted narratives of consensus reality. Such heroic spiritual sovereignty is essential for recovery from post-traumatic stress disorder. I am not speaking to, or about, a minority of humans here. Without minimising the unspeakable horrors of war, or the devastating PTSD that can afflict those who have experienced it first hand, there are many ways in which humans are at war – within ourselves and with each other – and are continuing to suffer for it. Examples of the cultural re-enactment of trauma include ongoing violence towards women, racism and hate-crimes, human trafficking and child abuse, and environmental degradation. PTSD is not a condition afflicting an unfortunate few. It is a mass-level dysfunction, fuelled by modern mainstream conditioning, and it requires global spiritual repair. Lilith is fierce enough to cut through the propaganda and the fear, to reveal the truths that we need to acknowledge in order to heal.
Conscious narratives are often adaptive, incorporating defence mechanisms to survive. This is not bad. It is the brain doing what it had to do to ensure survival. There is a time when the soul has prepared sufficiently, becoming ready to shift from surviving to thriving. This will only occur when the soul is ready for it. This is why soul honouring, development and practices are absolutely essential for the health of humanity on all levels, and for development of our capacity to steward our planet with loving wisdom.
Mother Love for Our Wellbeing and Development
Why is trauma so far-flung and pervasive? Unresolved trauma disturbs the body, particularly the brain and nervous system, in undeniable ways. From addictions to personality disorders, the hallmarks of unresolved trauma abound in our human family. One of the key indicators for trauma being resolved, leading to increased resilience and maturation, rather than disturbance and ongoing suffering, is appropriate maternal soothing. Mother love is fundamental to human wellbeing and development. When it is healthy, mother love doesn’t infantilise, it strengthens. Patriarchy is oppositional to valuing of feminine traits inherent in mother’s guidance, protection, nurturance, emotional attunement and care. Why? Because patriarchy honours power and where there is worship of power, love is devalued and cast aside.
In the absence of love, seduction of power escalates into obsession linked to survival. Gaining power at any cost becomes a defence against helplessness and vulnerability for the loving mother comfort is missing, along with its ability to nourish and generate repair, and resilience, transforming adversity into fuel for growth.
When power becomes a survival mechanism, displacing trust in love due to unresolved betrayals, we encounter the cultural pressure of complicity. Pathological accommodation demands that we do not see or acknowledge truth, for in doing so, we would destabilise power complexes. People stuck in complicity will say, “it’s not that bad, just toughen up, or become more resilient! I am doing fine, and my parents worked all the time, women can have everything these days, some people are just never happy …’ and so on. This is complicity consciousness in action. It is a secret demand that you deny what your body knows through attempted shaming, suffocating genuineness under a blanket of self-doubt and fear.
Without genuineness, there cannot be love, and without love, there is no resolution. And without resolution there is repetition. Without acknowledgement, we have only one option – perpetuation. The possible healing destiny devolves into a fate of traumatised re-enactment.
Patriarchy does not benefit any human being. It may appear to be about men gaining power over women, but at a spiritual level, when part of a whole suffers, the entire system will eventually be destroyed. A man who cannot value the feminine is a man who will suffer greatly, no matter how much political power or material wealth or social privilege he may seem to amass. Although misogyny is its cornerstone, patriarchy is not pro-male, for it is not pro-human.
Patriarchy is an ongoing trauma-repeating consciousness that we are working to identify and outgrow as a collective. Individuals who have the courage and the capacity to face and begin processing their trauma experiences are the wayshowers for the collective. They know what is needed – the courage to tell the truth and bear the consequences in order to free oneself. They are the children of Lilith, inheriting her true knowledge, her voice and her courage. These are the brave founders of new human consciousness and soul-honouring culture. Such humans are growing in number and in empowerment.
Empowerment is an Aspect of Sovereignty
Empowerment has everything to do with love and nothing to do with dominating others in displays of violent aggression or insidious indoctrination. Empowerment is an aspect of sovereignty which respects free will. It is not interested in coercing others to adopt more ‘enlightened’ belief systems. Empowerment is the capacity to move with love, rather than fear.
Then there are the children of Lilith yet to be spiritually born. They may be adult humans but are yet to develop the spiritual capacity to honour her legacy of truth. This is why we work on ourselves. We do the healing, we take the authentic soul journey, to become able to hold the consciousness of love, light and liberation in a way that helps others find their way too, at the right time. We become the light in order to be true to ourselves, and in doing so, we also become the light that others can see by, if and when they so choose.
The Divine Feminine and the Dark Goddess
Lilith reminds me of an artist I’ve loved since I was a teenager, Frida Kahlo. I admired her subversiveness, which manifested through her unconventional nature, her honesty and commitment to live her path authentically. Lilith also reminds me of Goddess Kali atop of Shiva, inverting the power paradigm and the awakened divine masculine relishes her for it. Lilith is the mystical feminist and feminine mysticism.
I want to note here that genuine mystics bust through mental conditioning, including the gender barrier, in realisation of the profound unity of the divine feminine as an expression of the heart in all beings. Patriarchy wants to pit humans against one another – whether through politics, or gender or anything else that will create warring chaos. Lilith’s truthfulness helps us know the real enemy, and side-step such agenda-driven manipulativeness.
We each need to take our respective soul journeys to access our spiritual awakening in our own unique ways, and our experience of culture, ethnicity, race, gender and biology are not definitive of our spirit, yet they are an important aspect of our soul’s journey and expression. Let’s not get caught up in identity politics to the point of undermining our spiritual growth, but also, let’s take care to honour the individual experience as valuable and instrumental to the awakening of the soul.
What does patriarchy do with women – or any humans – who are willing to own their authentic spiritual integrity? It reacts with power to enforce its agenda of obedience. Whether that reaction arises through malice or ignorance, it pushes for conformity, often with violence. Where there is rebellion, reaction to expel the perceived threat is swift. Perhaps this occurs through attacking reputation and credibility, or simply through imposing political propaganda or religious doctrine on top of the individual’s self-expression, distorting truth and undermining resistance.
You can perhaps recognise this tendency alive and well in the world today. It is not about belonging to any particular political or religious group. Patriarchal consciousness can be expressed across the entire political spectrum, throughout every educational institution and even in healing and spiritual circles, though it is often shocking in the latter because typically one is vulnerable and not expecting it to arise. Patriarchy does not belong to a group of people, nor is it an expression of privilege. It is a type of consciousness that is rooted in power over that which is considered lesser. This can only occur through objectification of humans as things to be utilised and exploited. It is a short step to treat the natural world in such a way too. Patriarchy denies the presence, dignity and sovereignty of the heart, body and soul. Rampant toxic narcissism is patriarchy’s social legacy. Our children’s sense of isolation, anxiety, fear, aloneness, superficiality, confusion and obsession with image are evidence of what power-obsession does to human beings.
Without love, masculinity becomes misogyny and everyone gets confused, frightened and disconnected from what is true. Mystical free-spirited Magdalene was labelled a prostitute, and the first woman, who also happened to have a voice and mind of her own, Lilith, was labelled a demon. The awake woman, the awakened feminine intelligence of love in the heart in every human, is socially taboo in the eyes of patriarchal consciousness. Taboo is a concept acknowledged throughout Polynesian cultures which refers to something not only outside of everyday societal activity, but also to that which is filled with sacred power and not to be messed with. Lilith in this sense is sacrosanct, beyond everyday ordinary consciousness. She is the truth and if dishonoured, great peril unfolds. The push of Lilith is the push to discover that which may be classified as unacceptable but is actually profoundly sacred and necessary to the realisation of your soul journey and the spiritual fruition of you as a spiritual human being.
Lilith and the Collective
For women, and for any human for that matter, who feels pushed into subservience or conformity, to a system that diminishes the innate dignity of self, Lilith is your psychological champion, your innate defiance against that which would seek to imprison you within a role, within an externally generated definition, within a stereotype. She is the facet of the psyche that remains true to the self. She is an expression of courageous independence that will chart a new course when the current system cannot honour the truth of your soul.
How might this relate to the collective? Lilith is very much alive in the individuals who prize truth. They refuse to become what they are not. They shake off and rise above the patriarchal compulsion to toe the line and conform. They don’t do it as an act of vengeance, attempting to get back at the people still spiritually enslaved in such a toxic system. They do it because they must be who they really are.
The Opposite of Patriarchy is Love – the Divine Feminine
Dismantling patriarchy is not about outlawing fierceness or even power, for that matter. It is about developing the capacity to channel our power in service of love. Every expression of racism, sexism and homophobia, hate speech or hate-driven activity is an expression of power in service of fear. This is the way many of us have learned, inherited from wounded legacies. It is our task to heal it. We begin the task with Lilith as our guide – she shows us that our freedom begins with the capacity to acknowledge, and then articulate, truth. The opposite of patriarchy is love, and the temple of love in all humans resides in the heart. Living from the heart is how we chip away at the patriarchal dysfunction which undermines the soulful beauty and spiritual potential of the human race.
Lilith is speaking up and setting boundaries, and being mature enough to handle the consequences of your choices. Every human needs access to such courage and confidence. It can be expressed quietly or dramatically, creatively or politically – that will depend on the individual’s soul journey. What matters is that each being is respected and allowed to take the journey that is true for them. This is how we awaken, together.
Lilith resides as a sacred space in the secret recess of the psyche. She is hidden, yet potent, feminine spirituality. I don’t mean feminine in the sense of gender or biology, although there is a distinct experience of the spiritual path that arises through the experience of living in a female body. In terms of Lilith, however, she is for women, yes, but also for humanity. So in this context, I am referring to feminine spirituality in the sense of the divine feminine which relates to the heart of all beings.
Lilith’s our Guide for Transformation – Individual and Collective Rebirth
This is where we can begin to understand the price of Lilith’s freedom as being described as the ongoing loss of her beloved children. It is said in some folklore that Lilith must endure 100 of her children dying every day. What could this mean? Lilith is the courage to endure the suffering that comes with charting your own course. Opting out of the societal conditioning stories that inhibit one’s authenticity is an exhilarating journey. There is so much joy that accompanies this, yet there are losses too. Remaining part of the herd is a way for people to connect with each other to relieve innate tension of human experience through scapegoating, blame and judgement. This doesn’t mean that you have to be alone on your path if you choose to break free from certain ways of being. It does mean that some relationships, some communities, even sometimes certain family members or beloved partners, may not be able to move with you on your path.
It can be heart-breaking to face such a choice. Eventually we realise that bonding through false self is not bonding or connection at all. The failure to acknowledge this is how we have created the phenomenon of vast loneliness in a world that is more populated, and more connected, than ever before. Without Lilith’s authenticity, we cannot break free from the pseudo-relationships that drain the soul of its lifeforce, beauty, energy and dignity. We need her to find ourselves, for only then can we truly find, and love, each other. Such a realisation gives context and hope to our journey, but doesn’t negate the loss that must be processed as part of the evolution.
Lilith is the part of us that refuses to conform, who will stand up to every attempt to minimise, diminish, shame, or disempower the body and the soul. This is the fiery confidence within to stand true, seek freedom to honour that truth and is willing to move through the consequences which can at times manifest as backlash from society or even loved ones. She knows that betraying ourselves to placate others is a cost that can never be sustained in the long term.
Critical mass will eventuate and consciousness will shift. Patriarchal power-obsession will give way to empowerment and an understanding of the heart’s truth of the soul journey. We have it within us to create this for ourselves and for each other. We are already on our way, chasing after Lilith as she chuckles like a mad genius, dancing ecstatically in the darkness, mourning her heartbreak, joyfully liberating herself from the forces of manipulation, and flying free beyond the power plays that seek to constrain her