Lilith The Homeless One


Agnès Varda‘s Vagabond

After writing about Lilith yesterday, I watched a film with a strong Lilith theme: Agnes Varda’s ‘Vagabond’ is a poignant portrayal of Mona, a young Lilith-like character who is exiled from civilized society. ‘Vagabond’, or ‘Sans Toit ni loi’ (with neither shelter nor law) is the story of a young woman as she wanders through the Languedoc- Roussillon wine region one winter living as a vagabond and social outcast.
Mona is semi-feral, unconcerned with the ways of the world, and has no interest in being part of a society where, as she sees it, personal freedom is traded for security. Having previously been a ‘wage slave’ as a secretary, Mona is devoid of all ambition except the most basic survival. As she meets a host of characters we get a sense of the effect the Lilith-type woman has on those around her… sometimes pity, and sometimes a barely realised envy, often desire.
Mona drifts form place to place and man to man without attachment or personal desire beyond survival and a need to be free. Sometimes she sells sex and she is raped but Mona takes it all in her stride knowing that as long as she keeps on moving she will survive.
There is no back story of why Mona has chosen a life on the road but she has no intention of settling down. Even when she is offered land, shelter and kindness from back-to-the- land type people, Mona shows no interest in investing herself, or creating goals- she simply wants to be free. If there is a sense that Mona walks with a tormented past or traumatic wound that prevents her from fitting in it is invisible- well hidden beneath her layers of dirty clothes and tough exterior. But in my mind at least the film raises questions about the reason for her split from society and why some women are unable, or unwilling, to mould themselves into a society where the price of security is simply too high.
IThe film also raises questions about available options for women who are without financial means to make their way in a system that they, for whatever reason cannot belong to.
I watched this film 34 years after its making (1985), and a few years after France legally recognises prostitution as violence against women. In 2016 the French national assembly passed a law that decriminalizes those who are prostituted and criminalizes prostitute users. This has been a controversial move that has incited much opinion but still there is no real engagement with the deeper meaning of prostitution or how in our cultural history we have moved from sex a sacred rite to the abuses and degradation of the sex industry.
Yesterday I wrote about the ‘dark continent’ of the sexual life of adult women, though I suspect it is even darker than Freud knew when he wrote that comment in 1926. The paradox of female sexuality is that if it has been violated or damaged too early it sets up a pattern where the sexual energy is disrupted and highly charged but without grounding. And it may be a controversial statement but how many women working in the sex industry were sexually violated as children or young women?
Women who have been on a journey to heal their wounded sexuality often report a split between their behaviour and feelings. Energetically the second or sacral charka is too open and active. The base chakra (grounding) and the solar plexus (personal will) is also often imbalanced. A sacral chakra that has been blown open too early can lead to imbalnce and further retraumatisation until it is healed. In this case the auric field emits a vibration that attracts equally disrupted or abusive energy. Psychotherapy that deals only with the mind is limited in how far it can offer healing- these are wounds of the soul and it is the subtle energy body that needs to be worked on.
If we nurture young girls and their energy from the start instead of passing on inherited sexual repression or unhealed sexual trauma much of the devastation of the Lilith- type issues can be avoided. Girls need to learn that they are in control of their essential energy and that it does not belong to anyone else including and especially the cultural ‘image makers’.
From girls being sexualised too young either through the cultural image makers or sexual violation, disturbance of the subtle and physical body of girls can create a feeling of being ‘homeless’ inside. The vacancy created renders girls vulnerable to further invasion and abuse. When due to a disrupted energy the behaviour of the girl is unruly, promiscuous, or rebellious, the girls are further rejected. And this is the Lilith wound- without a home-base  the danger is of being lost to oneself on a continual loop of attracting events, people, and experiences that match the distortions in the subtle body.
Both boys and girls are wounded but there is something particular to the wounding of the young feminine in our current culture and it’s a conversation we need to have.

Back from the ‘dark continent’: Notre Dame, Lilith and the Winds of Change.

Adam, the Serpent, and Eve, circa 12th-14th centuries C.E. Entrance to Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris 2

Main tympanum in Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris.

Beneath the main tympanum in Notre Dame Cathedral is a statue of Madonna and child standing on a carving of ‘The Fall of Adam and Eve’, both of whom are shown clasping their hands around ‘the tree of knowledge of good and evil’. Eve eats an apple while rising-up the trunk of the tree is a serpent that morphs into a woman- a serpent woman- Lilith.

In the Sumerian myth of Inanna, Lilith lived in the temple precincts in the holy Huluppa tree where the kundalini serpent lay coiled at the base. Gilgamesh, the Babylonian solar hero intent on destroying the Goddess and her sacred sexual rites chopped down the Huluppa tree thus exiling Lilith into the wilderness.

In this myth, Lilith is handmaid to the Goddess and is an active agent in recruiting men to the inner sanctum of the temple to receive holy blessings and sacred sexual rites. When the solar gods began to usurp the goddesses the sexual rites were rejected, punished, degraded and considered evil.

Once exiled to the wilderness, according to the new patriarchal story, Lilith becomes a demoness and succubus who steals the vital energy of men through erotic temptation – a femme fatale intent on social destruction and upheaval. On a psychological level Lilith represents aspects of the feminine that have been exiled and repressed into the unconscious including and especially those aspects connected with sexuality, birthing, menstruation, bio-logical and bio-spiritual power.

Where previously Lilith was a sovereign woman, a virgin, whole unto herself, serving in the temple of Inanna (precursor to Venus), she becomes a creature of terror and repulsion to be reviled and rejected.

Later in the Hebrew story Lilith is presented as the first wife of Adam who refuses sexual subordination and chooses instead voluntary exile in the wilds, on the shores of the Red Sea. Here she is said to have produced thousands of off springs conceived from cavorting with wild beasts. She returns to the Garden of Eden in the form of a serpent, tempting Eve to eat the apple- a sinful act of defiance that led to the expulsion of Adam and Eve.

Fear of the feminine and more precisely fear of feminine sexuality, weaves a toxic thread through the Judeo-Christian tradition, creating at its zenith the hysteria that led to the witch trials. Carl Jung says, “What man has found to say about feminine eroticism, and especially the feeling life of women, is derived, for the most part, from his own anima and is accordingly distorted.”

Demetra George talks of the feeling of impotence experienced by men in the presence of a sexually powerful, autonomous and passionate woman. In fear of losing himself and his sexual prowess, it may be easier to blame, judge and ultimately exile.

But the fear of the feminine runs much deeper than that. While some men may feel threatened by a sexually powerful woman, many women are also are challenged by feminine sexuality. The sexually free, alive, passionate woman can trigger people in all sorts of ways. But why? Why is female sexuality such a taboo and contentious subject?

In ‘The Question of Lay Analysis’ (1926), Freud wrote that “The sexual life of an adult woman is a dark continent”. For Lilith it is a wilderness beyond the bounds of civility and social acceptability, and as modern women we may recognize that we have become disconnected from our vital essence. Whatever way we say it, female sexuality does appear to be shrouded in mystery and dare I say… darkness.

But before I get lost in this dark continent I would like to share some musings about female sexuality and why it threatens structures of control. It’s not about sex. It is about power! When women connect with and own their energy-physically, spiritually, emotionally, and mentally, they access higher vibrational frequencies of divine light and creative intelligence. They become masters of their lives, manifesting and attracting what they need for themselves, families and communities. They are intuitive and have access to a wisdom much deeper than intellect. It is a body wisdom, an instinctual “knowing”. Their energy is no longer harvested by agendas that seek to control, exploit and manipulate the precious life-giving essence for negative, selfish, destructive or ego-driven ends. When women attune to the bio-spiritual power of their bodies and learn to be queen of their realm they are at the very centre of creative life force and have little need- or tolerance- for anti-life systems that diminish, dominate, rape, and oppress.

There is a Chinese proverb that says, “when sleeping women awake, mountains move”. We might say that when women waken to the truth of who and what they are the cultural paradigm will swivel on its axis, dissolving the illusions of a system that peddles, lies of human powerlessness and dependency on toxic and life degrading cultures.

Nothing is birthed or comes into existence except through the matrix of the feminine- the mother- mater- matter. If this primordial channel of spirit and matter is disrupted and co-opted, the creative well-spring of life is thwarted and is vulnerable to control and manipulation. It is no coincidence that rape is a weapon of war that targets the heart, the core, the womb of a country or community- it literally dismantles a people.

In the chart of the Notre Dame fire, the Sun was at 25 degrees Aries, conjunct Black Moon Lilith (i) of France’s natal chart at 28 degrees Aries. The Sun illuminating the Black Moon Lilith point which according to astrologers Demetra George and Kelley Hunter represents the possible redemption and healing of the exiled feminine. Uranus, the planet of revolution and electrifying change was at 2 degrees Taurus conjunct France’s Black Moon Lilith (o) at 6 degrees Taurus. Venus and Black Moon Lilith of the fire chart at 23 degrees in Pisces squared France’s natal Saturn at 20-degree Sagittarius.

Echoing this strong feminine alliance was asteroid Magdalene exactly conjunct Dark Moon Lilith which is said to represent the wounded feminine in her alienation and exile.

Only recently have we seen Magdalene herself shirk her reputation as sinner in the Christain church and elevated to a “true and authentic evangelizer” by Pope Francis.

With Saturn and Pluto about to form a long-lasting conjunction in Capricorn from 2020-2022, we may witness many seismic shifts that shake our cutural and spiritual foundations to the core… and I will be keeping an eye on Lilith.

Sacred Water Pilgrimage- London

Mary Mag Water

Puvis de Chavannes : Maria Magdalena in the Desert. 1869

What a beautiful and powerful day in London on pilgrimage for the Water. Flowing through the busy streets, stopping at the sacred sites and singing heart opening songs. What a gentle power… like the power of water, softening with love instead of violence.

The strongest part of the pilgrimage for me was standing on the steps of St. Paul’s Cathedral (an ancient site to Diana the moon goddess) singing to the goddess- many voices in harmony.

In the astrological chart for today- asteroid Magdalene and Dark Moon Lilith are conjunct at 23 degree Taurus. For me this is a symbol of the divine feminine (Mary Magdalene) taking the hand of the oppressed and vengeful feminine (Dark Moon Lilith), and saying- there is another way- drop the rage and violence, transcend the wounding and claim your full feminine authority through the heart.

Mary Magdalene and Dark Moon Lilith in Taurus- an earth sign ruled by Venus- the goddess in the earth…in the water.