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Understanding Lilith, Mythical Demon And Astrology's 'Feminist Asteroid

Lilith John Collier painting 73396
“Wildcats shall meet with hyenas, goat-demons shall fall to each other; there too Lilith shall repose, and find a place to rest. There shall the owl nest and lay and hatch and brood in its shadow.” — Isaiah 34 14-15

For 4,000 years, Lilith has been known in religious folklore as a winged demon who haunts pregnant women and babies. Religiously, Lilith takes on the role of the fallen woman, the ultimate “bad girl." In astrology, she is the part of our charts, our selves, where we stand up and assert our own power: the feminist asteroid. Revered by artists, writers, and musicians (Lilith Fair is named after her), Lilith also plays an important role in astrology and could serve as an icon in our ever-growing feminist mythology.

Known as the original woman who came before Eve, Lilith is called the original “sinful” female. The story goes that Adam asked his father for a partner because he noticed that all the animals existed in pairs, and God told him that though he was perfect and didn’t need a counterpart, he did not want him to feel lonely, so he would grant him his wish. God made Lilith of the same earth as Adam, and brought them together. Lilith was beautiful and spirited, and was happy to keep Adam company in the paradise that was the Garden of Eden. However, when Adam insisted she play a subservient role, because he came first and would always have been first, she fled to the mountains beyond the Garden of Eden. Upon her leaving, Eve was created to be Adam’s dutiful counterpart. (We know how well that went…)

According to folklore, Lilith was created in beauty, but was led into temptation by the sinister angel Samael who brought her down a path of depravity through the hedonistic decadences of earthly desires. These decadences rebelled against obedience, supposedly a “good” woman’s first and foremost attribute, so Lilith was doomed from the start. Folklore links Lilith to the Book of Isaiah, in which the word "lilit" appears in a list of unclean animals. Stories describe her as a “barren” she-demon sentenced by God to live alone in the desert in exile due to her unruly inclinations after leaving Adam. Because she is “barren,” she becomes a tormentor of fertile women. It’s rumored that she kidnaps babies in the middle of the night to fill the void of not being able to have children. Sometimes she consumes them (like Saturn did his children before he was stopped by Juno, implying a vicious and perverse power), and sometimes she drowns the infants in all her rage and sorrow.

On top of her supposed infanticide, folklore portrays Lilith as a sexual predator. She is a woman of the night who takes advantage of men sexually and tantalizes their virtues while they are asleep. With her story, the elders were warning men not to sleep alone, or beware of Lilith. In astrology, the asteroid Lilith is known as a darker planet—the part of our astrological chart where we stand up for our most nature selves—where we fight for our inner wild. Though this is taken negatively in religious texts that are centered on obedience to order, wild woman Lilith is the part of our chart where we may use our sexuality or power to assert our innermost selves, not gracefully but with unmistakable power, to free ourselves of social strictures. As a result, her position in our chart may also be where we feel we may be most misunderstood, shamed, and victimized as well. Lilith’s story can be reclaimed through astrology to be of use to us in this era where women are standing up against oppression worldwide, as well as for the men who are fighting by their side.

Through the understanding of Lilith as an asteroid, we can see her at work in our bodies and our lives—defying the roles of patriarchal society. She activates us to live as we want, not by any other rules but our own, nourishing our deepest needs and desires. She ignites the fire for us to recognize that we do not have to live a status-quo, basic bitch life (unless we want to- choice is paramount). Accepting the shadowy aspects of life in our chart, our lady Lilith brings taboo matters to the table and opens them up for discussion through sheer selfness. She is the root chakra, the core, speaking for our inner wild. Look within your chart to see where Lilith falls, and she will bring insight into your soul’s deepest source of nourishment, to heal the shame society so often puts upon us as natural beings from birth.

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 top photo: detail from Lilith (1892) by John Collier via Wikimedia Commons 

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Lisa Stardust is a NYC based astrologer. Known for her pop culture horoscopes, Stardust adds humor and cultural events to aide others in understanding the stars. Stardust acts a guide for clients to help navigate them through finances, relationships, and other facets of life. Follow her on Instagram @lisastardustastro, on Twitter @lisastardust_, and at listastardust.com

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