Malnar (thegrimoire) wrote in pagan_skeptics,
Malnar
thegrimoire
pagan_skeptics

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stupid question

I'm a little confused about something. Please refrain from chucking rotten fruit my way, because I honestly need people's opinions and explanations. It doesn't help that I'm running on zero sleep right now, but I'm having a hard time with this.

For those of you who worship Lilith in particular, did you always acknowledge Christianity? Do you now? If you do not believe in the Christian god, the devil, that the world was created in seven days, that Adam and Eve were the first humans, etc. - how do you believe that Lilith exists? Do you believe that she existed pre-Christianity, and that Christianity adopted her? Or perhaps you in fact believe that Adam and Eve existed and the whole shebang - how do you view the Christian god who would have created them all? Is it simply that the Christian god is another guise of "the God," or do you believe he is one of many individual gods and goddesses, but isn't in fact the ultimate creator of the entire universe?

Although I'm sure most of the posters here don't fall in the "I'm pagan now because I had a horribly strict religious family and I needed to rebel" camp, I haven't heard much about views on the Christian god, their creation story, and Jesus. How does (or doesn't) it fit into your beliefs?

(x-posted)
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I don't include Lilith in my pantheon. To be honest, I don't even see her as a deity. But others do, and that's their privilege. I won't quibble with the name that they see as fitting the deity they talk to.

But I do give some recognition to the existence of the Christian pantheon. Their creation story is as valid as the Norse one, which is as valid as the Shinto version, and so forth across the line. Meaning it's mythically useful but factually impossible to prove. I think Yahweh's statement of "I am the only god you should worship" became "I am the only god in existence" over the course of several centuries of increasing hubris on the part of his followers. Jesus as presented in the books is hard to pick out in some ways. There's obvious layering of belief on top of what would have really happened if that was a walking human being. But there is a godform who answers to that name who I deal with on an occasional basis. And in my personal opinion, Jesus led me to work with the Celtic gods while I was still trying to pay exclusive attention to him. Hardly a reason for me to reject that faith's beliefs as nonsense while embracing the notion of a goddess straddling a river to wash her privates.
Well actually.. Lilith did exist in ancient Sumerian mythology, before she was incorporated into Judaic and Christian lore. If you can get a hold of the book Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Earth: Her Stories and Hymns from Sumer edited by Diane Wolkstein and Samuel Kramer, it's got a few bits about her.

A small example from the Sumerian text "The Huluppu-Tree":
The years passed; five years, then ten years.
The tree grew thick,
But its bark did not split.
Then a serpent who could not be charmed
Made its nest in the roots of the huluppu-tree.
The Anzu-bird set his young in the branches of the tree.
And the dark maid Lilith built her home in the trunk.
The young woman who loved to laugh wept.
How Inanna wept!
(Yet they would not leave her tree.)

There are also a couple of clay plaques and cylinder seals depicting Lilith dating from c.2000-1600 B.C.E.
I'll have to see if one of the public libraries around here has a copy.
Yeah, actually it seems that the Sumerians thought of Lilith as a malevolent, demonic figure - so it's not like she was once a much more respected and loved deity before those monotheists came along. But in Sumerian myth, she may be even less woman-like, having bird wings and talons. The Jews almost made her more of a sympathetic figure, as the first woman before Eve.
Off-topic: great icon!

I looked at your others, and FYI, the "pythia" icon is incorrectly attributed. It's actually John Collier's "Priestess of Delphi" instead of John William Waterhouse's "Consulting the Oracle."
Well, check that out! Thanks for the info (and the compliment) - I will correct that. As it turns out, I had never seen that painting by Waterhouse before!
Argh.

That interpretation is highly figurative. There was no "LIlith" in Sumerian lore. The word "Lilith" is substituted for a long phrase that describes a type of evil spirit.

There are also a couple of clay plaques and cylinder seals depicting Lilith dating from c.2000-1600 B.C.E.

Also a neopagan myth. Lilith was a Hebrew invention and did not exist in Sumeriam mythology, period.
Sources please? Not trying to be rude, but I want to know who has refuted the archeologists presenting ancient artifacts as depictions of Lilith, specifically. I am not looking at a "neopagan" source, so this comes as a surprise to me.
Modern Sumerologists, actually. Diane Wolkstein is not an archaeologist. Samuel Noah Kramer, while beloved for his popularization of these myths, was known to have made several errors and this was one of them: he projected his own Jewish upbringing onto the myths, in his own search for connection.

I am sure nisabba can back me up on this if she sees this post.

This web page has some great information on the subject: http://www.lilitu.com/lilith/khephprint.html
Thanks - I do appreciate being corrected, actually. I just want to know where this is coming from! I'm sure you understand. The more information, the merrier, if anyone else has anything to add.
I do understand :) It takes awhile for the latest in anthropology to get down to the layperson.
I know some who you might think worship Lilith by the way they talk about her are similar to Satanists, in that they base their way of life on the concept of Lilith. Satanists base their way of life on the concept of Satan but don't actually believe in Satan, the Christian god, etc... and I know that some of the books that have been recomended to me painted Lilith in a similar light.
Also, much of Jewish lore was borrowed from the various other religions that were practiced in the lands they were near or lived in. It wouldn't surprise me if Lilith was a "borrowed" figure as well.

For those of you who worship Lilith in particular, did you always acknowledge Christianity? Do you now? If you do not believe in the Christian god, the devil, that the world was created in seven days, that Adam and Eve were the first humans, etc. - how do you believe that Lilith exists?


I was unaware that Lillith and Christianity were so closely connected.

From what I understand Lillith has a closer connection to Judaism.

And let's not even get into the Judaism-Christianity connection, since many Jews see Christians as idolaters plain and simple :D
Although I'm sure most of the posters here don't fall in the "I'm pagan now because I had a horribly strict religious family and I needed to rebel" camp, I haven't heard much about views on the Christian god, their creation story, and Jesus. How does (or doesn't) it fit into your beliefs?

The Christian god(s) fit into my beliefs in the same way that every other deity-type entity does: they're pools/loci/whatever of organized power on the Astral plane, made over the centuries or millenia by all the energy their worshippers have put into them. Anyone who knows the proper steps to access that power can conceivably make some use of it. I speculate that the power from different sources is suited to different uses, since each is going to have a different 'flavor' depending on the tenents of the religion, but again that's pure speculation.
I believe Lilith is mentioned in the Talmud & Midrashim, not in the Bible, she has nothing to do with Christianity. She was a spirit/demon not a deity, historically speaking. Feminist-goddess worshipping types turned her into a goddess.

There is an LJ Jewitchery community, and yahoo group, I'd recommend asking the folks over there.
where else did you X-post this? I'm interested in seeing other responses.

I think Yahweh exists, though I don't worship him. I'm just not sure where he fits in the vast scheme of things. I view the Bible as both mythology & history.
I'm quite interested in ethnic/folk forms of Christianity (Celtic, Latin-American etc) and Judaism, and folklore related to those religions/cultures.