Iconography: Lilith


Lilith is a well-known biblical icon, up there with Adam and Eve. In fact, in Jewish mythology, Lilith was actually Adam's first wife before Eve. She was said to be created from the same clay as Adam at the same time, but refused to be subservient to him and was kicked out of the Garden of Eve for having relations with an archangel.


Because of Lilith's stance at refusing to be anything but equal to man, Lilith has taken on a figure of feminist air. She is a strong woman who refuses to take shit from no one and is seen as the religious take on equality between the sexes. Because of her refusal of servitude to men - against God's "plan" - Lilith was historically classed as a female demon by the church and serves as source material for modern Western culture, literature, occultism, fantasy and horror.


The two belief systems - one that she is a demon women and one that she is simply a powerful woman - are cause for many debate on where Lilith stands. She is often described as a dangerous woman of the night, sexually wanton and promiscuous and sometimes steals babies, coz you know, evil right? But as modern times grew she was later seen as the first feminist, a divine entity that heralds our freedoms and desires, the need for equality, and the courage that is needed to stand up in times of hardship (not unlike what the biblical Queen Esther did to save her Jewish people). She commanded to be considered in her own right, embraced her sexuality and darkness, and remains a powerful inspiration for feminists of all backgrounds and religions.


Lilith has been a source of iconography through Western pop culture to this day. She was depicted as helpful yet villainous mentor to the young witch Sabrina in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, and even depicted as the blood-soaked first vampire in the TV series True Blood. She commands evil armies as a terrifying little girl in Supernatural, took on the air of the Witch Witch character is C.S Lewis' novel series The Chronicles of Narnia, and is a main villian for the TV show Shadowhunters. In all of these depictions, her connection with the occult and demonology are very well displayed, but she continues to be a main person of worship within the Wiccan guidelines - not evil, but strong.


So what do you think about Lilith? Feminist or Demon? Can women not be both strong and resistant to temptations of man without being called evil? Lilith is the hope that one day we can.

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