Friday, April 29, 2016

Adam's First Wife - Lilith, 1906 Article

ADAM'S FIRST WIFE - Lilith, article in Metaphysical Magazine: A Monthly Review of the Occult Sciences 1906

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When Adam was created, the woman Lilith was also brought into existence with him. But when they attempted to set up housekeeping, there quickly came a misunderstanding. Adam asserted that he was to be head and master. Lilith replied that she had a right to be chief, equal to him. But Adam insisted on supremacy. Lilith, enraged, uttered the spell shem hamphorash. Instantly wings appeared on her body and she flew away.

Three angels were sent after her and overtook her at the Red Sea. They begged her to return. She refused, declaring that Eden would be no paradise to her if she was to be subject to the will of man. A doom was pronounced on her that she would be the mother of many children, but they would all die in infancy. She was about to drown herself, when they qualified the sentence, by giving her power over all children for eight days after birth, on condition that she would molest none of them after that period who came under the protection of the angels. Hence, Jews place a charm upon the babes hoping thereby to screen them from her influence. The baptism of children is hoped to be equally beneficial.

But Lilith did not give the controversy up so readily. There being no help now remaining meet for Adam, the woman Eve was formed under conditions which should avert the agitating of the question of woman's rights. For a little time everything went on swimmingly in Eden. Adam literally reveled in a "Fool's Paradise," with the fancy that he had escaped a great annoyance. But there was evil in store.

Late on the sixth day of creation, the devils had been created, but too late in the day to have bodies of flesh and blood. They had only atmospheric forms. At the head of the seraphs in Heaven was Samael. He rebelled and became Prince of Darkness. A seraph is a "fiery serpent" (Number xvi) and he, Samael, became "the great Red Dragon, the Old Serpent" mentioned in the Apocalypse. The name Samael signifies "the left side of God." He met Lilith and she became his consort. He was radical as she on the question of feminine equality. He gave her a retinue as splendid as had been given to Eve. But she was not content. Learning that Adam had been consoled by the possession of a second wife, who was her inferior in beauty, but had won all by submissiveness, she conspired with Samael to put an end to all that. Making her way to the gate of Eden, she persuaded the serpent warden at the gate to lend her his form. Then going in she had but to make her way to the Tree of Knowledge, draw Eve to the place, and persuade her to taste the forbidden fruit.

From that time Lilith has continued her malignant offices. She is always young, always beautiful, always destructive. She is the ogre of the wilderness that lures young men and destroys them. Her favorite agent of destruction is unrequited affection. Her golden hair fastens the victim irresistibly to his doom. The Hebrew prophet names her as dwelling in ancient Idumea (Isaiah xxxiv, 14.) "Lilith shall dwell there and find for herself a place of rest."

The story of Lilith is found in Arab legends obtained from rabbinic sources. The name signifies Night, and she is invoked by nurses to soothe their children to sleep. The chant "Lilith abi" has become the familiar lullaby and there are those who regard the modern women's movement for political equality as a later repetition of the experience of the first man in the Garden of Eden.

Lilith by Lewis Spence 1920

According to Wierus and other demonologists, Lilith was the prince or princess who presided over the demons known as succubi. The demons under Lilith bore the same name as their chief, and sought to destroy newborn infants. For this reason the Jews wrote on the four corners of a birth-chamber a formula to drive Lilith away.

See also Lilith and Jewish Demonology by W.O.E. Oesterley 1921

The Vengeful Brood of Lilith and Samael by R. P. Dow 1917

Lilith, Adam's First Wife 1884

The Lilith Legend by James A. Montgomery

Jewish Demonology by Kaufmann Kohler 1918

Lilith, Demonology and Vampires, article in The Century 1873

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