LILITH, FIRST WIFE OF ADAM
The Three Astrological Liliths - The Three Faces of The Goddess
A lot of uncertainty and misinterpretation surrounds the name "Lilith" - both in astrology and mythology. She originated in Jewish tradition and disappeared from the Old Testament without a trace only to resurface in Cabbalistic texts. The Roman Catholic Church has rejected the idea that there ever was a Lilith, and yet in medieval times she was feared as a demon by ordinary subjects throughout the Church’s domain. Traditional astrologers haven’t even accepted the fact that the existence of the outer planets affects us on a personal level, so why would they want to use tiny asteroids or hypothetical bodies? Even those who bump into one of the Liliths and are willing to do a little extra work may get confused once they realize that there are, in effect, not one but three astrological Liliths. When they want to research her identity they will find very little of use. And yet whenever the Lilith theme surfaces in a chart it indicates a series of feminine incarnations that are deeply wounded. By delineating the three astrological Liliths the consulting karmic astrologer may find a valid tool for healing age old wounds that are otherwise very hard to detect.
A Personal Story
I must have been 13 years old when my mother sent me to bible lessons. This was in the early seventies in Budapest, the capital of Communist Hungary. Religious seminars were barely tolerated; priests who taught them were dogmatic and not very knowledgeable. Our priest was a tired, impatient old man. The lessons started with the story of the Genesis. We were explained how the Universe came into being; how God created light first, and then the rest of the world unfolded. I remember finding the idea beautiful: God, the manifestation of Light, created himself first and then went on to build the framework of our existence. The priest explained that on the 5th day God created all the fish, birds, and reptiles, each of them in a pair: a male and a female. So far everything made perfect sense. Things, however, turned nasty when I learned what had happened on the 6th day. God created all the mammals, each of them in a pair: a male and a female, and he also created the first human male, Adam. That was it. There was no sign of an emerging human female at this point in creation; God did not seem to want one, or perhaps he forgot about it... And what about Adam? Later on we are told in the Bible that despite all the beauties and wonders of Eden he felt sad and lonely. But wasn’t creation supposed to be perfect? How can anything be perfect without its feminine counterpart? How can divine perfection mean loneliness and misery?
"No way," I jumped up in protest, with the full vehemence of a 13 year old, "this simply cannot be true! My God is not stupid! My God would have created a man and a woman right at the beginning!" Needless to say, I was thrown out of the class that very same day. The priest would not have me there again. In fact, he told my embarrassed mother that she should consider having me exorcised because he was positive I got possessed by the Devil. How did I feel? Humiliated, hurt, frustrated - and furious. Blind rage was boiling inside me but I also felt ashamed that such a thing had happened to me. Had I known karmic astrology then I would have understood my mixed feelings - they are so typical when the Liliths are prominent in a natal chart. Three or four years later, at high school, came my moment of glory. We were studying the Bible in literature class and I told my story to the teacher. "You were perfectly right," she assured me, "God was not that stupid. The story of Adam and Eve is not the original creation story. The original one is an ancient apocryphal book of the Bible, which tells about Adam and Lilith, the First Wife."
A Universal Story
This apocryphal book was originally part of the Old Testament but was discarded after the Jews had been captured and held hostage in Babylon in 719 BC. Similar editing happened quite often, and as a result the Bible in its present day form is a selection of the books considered to be appropriate. According to the original story, on the 6th day of Creation, Lilith and Adam were formed of clay by Elochim, who then inhaled spirit into them. The earliest forms of the text use this name for God, which indicates that God at that historical moment was still androgynous: both male and female. Elochim is the link between the ancient matriarchal Goddess and the masculine God of the Age of Aries. Later versions, however, use the name Yahve, indicating that this God is already fully masculine, as a result of the new patriarchal worldview.
According to the story, the moment Adam and Lilith are created they start to fight, and the debate clearly depicts the nature of the paradigm shift that occurred when matriarchy was losing power and patriarchy took over. Matriarchy saw the world as polarities, opposite forces that are interacting with one another and creating harmony. Patriarchy experienced it as a hierarchic structure where everything had its proper place according to worth; ever since, strength has been a decisive factor and weak equals worthless. Lilith tells Adam that she does "not want to be below" him, but since he is unable to see the world as polarities he accuses her of wanting to rule him. That is not the case. Lilith wants equality, a both-and situation; Adam knows only either-or. He personifies the thought process that turned polarity into duality through acknowledging hierarchic order. The feminine world view, represented by polarity, claims that there is no light without darkness, no good without evil; things can exist only in the mirror image of themselves. Duality, however, is essentially a masculine principle, which depicts a discriminative way of thinking: what we are not can only be our enemy, whom we must conquer and destroy in combat. This type of thinking became so widespread in the last four millennia that the earlier, subtler feminine world view almost completely disappeared. Only very few traces can be detected in the patriarchal religions that have controlled common thought and even those have been distorted beyond recognition. One of the names of the devil highlights this notion: Lucifer means “bringer of light”. A strange name for a devil, by all means, and there are learned interpretations why. According to a naïve esoteric theory, light does not need to be brought at all, so the name indicates clearly that the devil is non-existent. Lucifer, on the other hand, is a true light bringer. We can detect light only in the face of darkness. “Pure” light does not exist in itself, it has to be shown against a background of darkness. The world gets manifested in polarities because the most important law of the Universe is movement. When movement stops the world dies; life collapses in entropy and ceases to exist.
Lilith's wish "not to be below" Adam can, naturally, be interpreted sexually as well, but the important thing is that Adam is not willing to understand and acknowledge her wish on any level. To him it means that Lilith wants to be above him, no matter how she is trying to convince him that all she wants is equality and partnership. They turn to God for guidance, who takes Adam's part. He tells Lilith that she has no other choice than to acknowledge Adam's supremacy. Lilith cannot accept that. After all, they were both created equally and simultaneously. How can they not be equal? She utters God's unutterable name and walks away from Paradise. God sends three of his angels after her, who deliver a message with a terrible curse:
"You can still come back - provided you become humble, obedient, and fully accept the authority of Adam and God. But if you do not you shall be eternally cursed. You shall not find any happiness on Earth. What you touch shall turn into evil. You shall not be able to bear children, but instead shall deliver fifty demon offspring every day. People shall be abhorred by and terrified of you. You shall live in eternal darkness."
And Lilith does not go back. End of story? Not exactly.....it may just be the beginning...
The Cataclysm in 9500 BC and the Distortion of the Triple Moon Goddess
There are three astrological manifestations of the first woman, Lilith. One is the tiny asteroid 1181. The second is a hypothetical planet called "Dark Moon". The third is the empty focal point of the Earth - Moon orbital ellipsis called "Black Moon." Why are there three astrological manifestations? Because the Goddess always manifests herself in a triple form. In the Golden Age, before the cataclysm that happened 11,500 years ago, the Moon Goddess had been worshipped and she also had three faces, three distinct phases: The Virgin, The Mother, and The Crone. The cycles of the Moon had been the only indication of the changes of time, describing a continuous process of Birth, Death, and Rebirth, the mysteries of which were linked to the sacred feminine. The axis of the Earth had still been straight and thus the course of the Sun had always been the same, providing eternal spring, which meant abundant food and an easy way of existence: a true paradise. This paradise was shattered by the arrival of the supernova called Phaeton1. It is known that the speed of a loose physical object traveling in space is five hundredth of light speed, so our ancestors had approximately 500 years to watch Phaeton wreaking havoc in our Solar system. They tried to escape the catastrophe using various methods: they built underground cities, like Catal Huyuk in Turkey; they furnished caves and amassed food; they also built arks. When Phaeton hit the planet between Mars and Jupiter and shattered it there was not too much time left for mankind. Only very few managed to hide and camp out the cataclysm while their old world was completely destroyed.
In my opinion, the astrology we know today is the result of this cataclysm: it is the tool that the Babylonian priests devised in order to be able to peek behind the veil of the future. But it had an even more vital function: it became the tool for keeping track of time. When the raging fires were quenched by the enormous deluge, when the smoke and the black clouds hiding the sky cleared up, those very few who survived scurried to the surface. What they saw completely shocked them. The night sky looked different, somehow tilted. And the Sun - my God, the Sun was not where it used to be! It, too, was at an angle. It even changed positions every day: it rose farther and farther, culminated lower and lower, and set at an ever decreasing time while the weather turned bitterly cold with every miserable day. The Sun seemed to be leaving the Earth! Imagine the shock, the total disbelief, and then the visceral fright of the survivors...
This is how solar based linear time - and with it patriarchy - was born. All of a sudden it was vital to know exactly when the Sun would turn on its course. All of a sudden man had to learn to work the fields and breed animals for his food, to build strong shelters and cover himself in warm clothes lest he would freeze to death in winter; his old paradise was lost forever. Lilith's story, her revolt and subsequent banishment, is also the consequence of the cataclysm. The three manifestations of the Moon Goddess were drastically changed by the new solar consciousness: the Virgin could be either raped or married; the Mother had to deliver babies for the survival of the tribe; the Crone could be burned at the stake. The ancient wisdom of femininity was distorted, humiliated, penalized, and ultimately destroyed. After all, matriarchy was not strong enough to avert the cataclysm. Our old world got completely demolished. It must have been the woman's fault then, right? It was really no use worshipping her... look where it landed us: we got banished from our paradise...
After the cataclysm, the new solar based consciousness had to develop completely new philosophies and value systems; the old was no longer useful. Lilith's story clearly depicts this shift in consciousness. Patriarchy needed only one main God (Zeus, Jupiter, Jahve, or Allah). Lilith's three astrological manifestations, however, have kept the ancient doctrine of the Sacred Three, which resurfaces so conveniently in Roman Christianity, indicating that the original teachings of Christ indeed go back to the very roots. The death of the Son of God and his subsequent resurrection on the third day is a symbol of the dying and renewing Moon, which, preceding the New Moon, disappears for three nights from the night sky in the Balsamic Moon phase. The doctrine that Yahweh, the god of the Old Testament, offers his own son to save the world from some sort of obscure “original sin” is the essential teaching of Christianity. Yahweh allows and even covets Jesus’ crucifixion and death, we are told; it is the ultimate sacrifice, a present for himself in order to appease his wrath against mankind. This notion is so absurd that it, indeed, takes a lot of blind faith to believe, despite the other favorite assumption, according to which God loved us so much that he gave his only son’s life in order to save us. However, if we delve deeper into Lilith’s story we may be rewarded with a different understanding. What is the truth about the original sin?
The Asteroid Lilith - Pride and Revolt
The Dark Moon Lilith - Curse and Banishment
The Dark Moon is a mystical hypothetical planet, the existence of which has been veiled by secrets for the last 400 years, although there is considerable physical evidence for it. Its history commenced in the 17th century when it was first spotted by Giovanni Riccioli, the Jesuit astronomer who charted the Moon. It appeared to be a second satellite of the Earth, a second Moon, which was clearly visible yet cloudlike. After years of observation he named it Dark Moon Lilith, created a glyph, delineated it, and even calculated an ephemeris. Three centuries later, the Cabbalist and English Grand Master of the Knights Templar, Sir Robert Amberlain, found the ephemeris in the attic of a house in Paris. He recalculated the ephemeris for his own time, and quite surprisingly he managed to find the Dark Moon where it was supposed to be, so he continued to observe it. According to his findings, it is some sort of dust cloud, without a real body, which can be detected as a shadow crossing over the Sun every 6 months. The Dark Moon could have remained on the level of hypothesis in our age - except for the fact that whoever has been willing to make the effort to observe it has invariably been rewarded with the proof that it, in fact, does exist. The Russians (former Soviets) have been observing it in the 20th century, and as a result there are numerous publications which claim that the Dark Moon is a second satellite of the Earth, orbiting three times farther than the Moon. According to some occultists, it is a dust cloud without mass, existing on the astral plane, which makes it the only known astrological body of the fourth dimension (see: Dimensions)2.
The Dark Moon Lilith depicts the time spent in exile after Lilith has dismissed God's messengers. Her boiling impotent rage is kept inside, her humiliation could not be greater; she is brooding over dark plans in her gloomy solitude. It depicts the energy of frustrated, hidden, disowned rage and guilty conscience. Lilith has chosen complete isolation and solitude in order to save her integrity. She has chosen to become the anti-mother and does not yet know what to do with her creative feminine energies. She does not back off, she does not ask God and Adam for forgiveness. In the meantime, however, she suffers horribly. The position of the Dark Moon in the natal chart indicates where we experience frustration, rage, and are tormented by guilty conscience for decisions associated with the desire to keep our integrity. The deadly brew keeps festering in the psyche until all of a sudden (usually triggered by somebody else in synastry or an outer planet transit) it erupts with enormous force, which may take two courses. It can have a total cleansing effect and destroy everything we no longer need (very similar to a Pluto transit, although the Dark Moon is an entirely feminine energy); conversely, it may become self-destructive and take a form of serious self-hatred. Since the Liliths are strongly connected to sexuality it should be remembered that at this phase (the second phase of the Dark Goddess) sexual energy is not allowed to flow freely; as a result, it can cause frigidity, infertility (in both sexes), impotence, emotional coldness, or perversion. Self-destructive manifestations are quite common. When disowned and projected, it can take the form of love triangles, cheating, manipulation, and betrayal.
The Dark Moon's position in the chart shows where we plan revenge, how we want to strike back violently for being hurt - and, at the same time, where we utterly despise ourselves for those feelings. It shows us a mirror and tells us where we wish to be isolated, left alone, where we long for revenge, and hate our own sexuality. But it can also function as a channel where we can let go of our rage and pain when being cheated or betrayed. The Dark Moon can also remain a blind spot in the chart, especially when it is not conjunct a natal planet or an angle, but when activated by progressions or transits it can have a spectacular impact. It erupts with elemental destructive force, which feels completely alien to us and we are wondering in awe where it has come from. It was Giovanni Riccioli who started to use the glyph of the number "zero" cut into half by a diagonal line, which conspicuously looks like a tilted version of the Greek letter Φ, the symbol of the Golden Ratio. Pure chance or great synchronicity? The Golden Ratio represents fundamental harmony and beauty, which is prevalent in nature as well as in the man-made world of art and architecture. Lately, a team of plastic surgeons have made the stunning revelation that whenever we consider a human face beautiful it is because its proportions are according to the Golden Ratio, creating divine harmony. The glyph of the Dark Moon is a profound symbol of what has happened to divine harmony on Earth after its axis titled in the last cataclysm. The position of the Dark Moon can be found in the computer program Astrocalc (look for Sepharial’s Lilith).
The Black Moon Lilith - Power and Knowledge
The Black Moon Lilith is not a physical body. It is a point in space, the empty focal point of the Earth - Moon orbital ellipsis. This point is moving in space and behaves like an energy vortex. Its glyph is the cross of matter with the Moon on top, a symbol of the Soul or the subconscious (the Moon) reigning over Matter (the Earth). The waning Balsamic Moon represents the last phase, the wisdom of the Crone. Black Moon Lilith depicts the shadow aspect in the Earth - Moon relationship. It is the third phase of the Dark Goddess and teaches us how we can become self content, how we can completely accept our own true identity. If we are able to do that we will no longer need to show the world a false image, either, just because we long for being accepted, loved, or admired. In this way we become less and less prone to offenses or attacks, and we can avoid those booby-traps where we are forced to deny or reject ourselves. We will be able to keep our own power and integrity in any situation.
The most important role of Black Moon Lilith is to show where we can turn our blind, impotent, frustrating rage into active, fruitful, creative energy. Again, in this aspect Lilith is very similar to Pluto, the great Transformer, which destroys in order to create. According to a nice esoteric tale, Pluto used to occupy the space of the empty focal point before the Great Cataclysm but it got ejected into the periphery of our galaxy because it wished to go into exile when matriarchy and the Goddess lost their power. Thus Black Moon Lilith is the astrological shadow of both the Moon and the Earth, representing the suppressed feminine consciousness.
Its astronomical parameters are quite revealing, too. It returns to the natal position every 9 years (in numerology, 9 is the number of wisdom, the manifestation of the highest vibration, which contains all the numbers and yet disappears when added to another). It is strongly connected to the Nodal axis, the axis of karma in the natal chart. Every 6 years, Black Moon Lilith is conjunct the South Node; in the 20th century the conjunctions always took place in the month of September, and the trend will continue for a while in the 21st. If we look at the sign placements we can see an interesting pattern3.
When unaspected by a personal planet, the Black Moon usually behaves like a blind spot in the natal chart. When conscious, however, it indicates where we need to get rid of our illusions, role play, and pretenses. It shows us the way how we can express our own true identity. According to Dutch astrologer Dick van der Mark4, the house placement of Black Moon Lilith indicates the area of life where we come truly gifted, and yet the family we are born into either discriminates or questions those traits. Where the Black Moon is we have clairvoyance and a very strong energy indicating pure cosmic knowledge. The trouble is, we - as a rule - always incarnate into a family where they cannot see this pure energy. Such things have a tendency to remain hidden; if it is already there it will not be seen. The family has to oppose because we must learn to see it like that. Cruel, but true: the only way to learn about it is to be refused.
There are two infamous trees in the Garden of Eden, the Tree of Knowledge, and the Tree of Eternal Life. The first tree is ruled by Mercury because it represents the notion of good or bad, something we learn in the phase of Gemini. Man is sadly born without the ability to judge moral issues, what is right or wrong needs to be adapted. After eating from its fruit Adam and Eve covered themselves with fig leaves. According to the religious belief, they realized their nakedness and felt ashamed. According to Dick van der Mark5, they did so because they wanted to cover up the difference. We chose not to eat the fruits of the second tree because we didn’t want to be in the same body forever. To my mind, however, after receiving the cosmic knowledge provided by the first tree, we realized that we don’t need it at all. Spiritual life is eternal in itself. The secret of eternal physical life stems in carnal knowledge: procreation - our offspring - is the very tool for achieving continuity here on Earth. Biological life is but a manifestation of energy in a physical shape or form. Lilith teaches us that we are cosmic energy, which is too big to get through the body; that is why being born into a physical body is such a trauma. The human soul is a multi-dimensional entity, and the body provides ample learning processes through pain and pleasure. Without pain there is no progress, and without pleasure human life on Earth would be unbearable. Black Moon Lilith shows what kind of cosmic knowledge we possess (by house and sign). However, being refused in the house of the Black Moon by the family we reject our cosmic knowledge. We tend to overdo that area of life as if we knew nothing about it. For example, a 9th house Black Moon Lilith buys books, attends courses, studies all through life, seeking a higher knowledge that is already hers. After decades spent in searching for higher wisdom she may finally realize that she needs to teach - to disseminate the knowledge amassed over the course of previous incarnations and a lifetime of studies.
A Different Original Sin
Lilith, before leaving Paradise, utters God's unutterable name; she proves that she has knowledge on her own. She does not need to eat from the fruit of the forbidden tree like her meek successor, Eve. In fact, Lilith is often depicted as the Serpent of Temptation on many medieval paintings; it is she who gives the apple of knowledge to Eve. The authors of cabbalistic texts often wonder what she knows, how she knows it, and what happens to this knowledge when she leaves Paradise. Knowledge is power, and Lilith has both, so why is she willing to give up her power on her own accord when it is really hers? The medieval paintings depicting her as the Serpent of Eden indicate a dark secret: Lilith is the bearer of divine feminine - carnal - knowledge, which she does not keep for herself. After her self-imposed exile she returns, only to offer it to Eve, her dim innocent sister. Eve accepts it, and thus pushes mankind into eternal sin and damnation. Or so the church fathers want us to believe. How convenient, really...
There is, however, a different approach to this ancient story. By rejecting, cursing, and dismissing Lilith, Yahweh, the masculine God of the Age of Aries, cursed the feminine part of his own Creation. The impact of this deed is enormous. Yahweh is unable to control or subdue the feminine - how could he? Before patriarchy, religions were based on the Sacred Feminine. Giving life was a feminine requisite, thus creation itself was considered to be of feminine origin. So strong was the reverence surrounding it that after the tilt of the axis the emerging new patriarchal world order could not strengthen without first destroying it. Lilith’s banishment and curse is the symbol of Yahweh’s inability to subdue the feminine. He can relegate her to a degraded position only by banishing her completely from the Eden of masculine creation. To my mind, original sin is precisely this curse, and it is not mankind’s sin - it is Yahweh’s sin. From that historical moment onward, everything linked to the feminine has become rejected, degraded, cursed. Menstruation blood, once a potent medicine, has become disgusting, and so have the act of breast feeding, milk, all the aspects of sexuality not directly serving procreation, even child birth itself since it, too, is just the end product of femininity. The Orthodox Jewish tradition is so paranoid about the power of the Goddess that it strictly forbids the mixing of milky and meaty foods (the two manifestations of the feminine principle: motherhood and carnal pleasures). The fragmentation of women’s roles has been going on ever since6.
The Black Moon in the natal chart represents a struggle of duality which we should experience as polarity instead. The house position shows which sphere of life is affected: where we come fully equipped as masters of the theme, and yet our immediate environment rejects us so profoundly that we feel we have to start from scratch. The first house is about self-worth and the wisdom to know our own path, the fifth refers to creativity and the ability to shine, the seventh concerns relationship skills, the ninth synthesized knowledge, and so on. The sign that Black Moon Lilith is placed in indicates the energy which presents our greatest agonies for the same reasons; we may keep them within ourselves or project them to others. The blind spot, too, manifests according to the essence of the sign: in Aries it is linked to self assertion and exercising our will; in Taurus to money, sexuality, pleasures, and the physical body; in Gemini to communication skills, and so on. The hardest sign to experience the Black Moon is most probably Cancer, where Lilith’s anti-mother traits can resurface quite strongly. In any case, it usually emerges as a dilemma, which again emphasizes the polarity issues involved.
It is worth looking at the three Liliths in a natal chart when one is prominent - then the other two are almost invariably important as well (by prominence I mean close conjunctions to the personal planets, the angles, the chart ruler, or important midpoints). They can be quite powerful in a woman's chart but they more often than not stay latent in a man's. And yet, when triggered, they may cause the biggest eruptions and transformations of the soul for both sexes. The soul, after all, does not have a sex.