The Wounded Feminine in Astrology - Black Moon Lilith
Updated: Dec 8, 2022
It's an important topic to talk about regarding our collective healing as we prepare for the ongoing astrological shifts into the age of Aquarius with Pluto (the underworld) entering Aquarius this coming March in 2023. The wounded feminine energy is ancient and is most famously seen in Lilith who was the first wife of Adam, who later became the partner of Samael (Satan.) This energy plays out as the seductress (seducer in men) or the 'terrible mother' archetype. During this season where we may be invited to social events or occasions, being aware of these red flags can be helpful - now is a potent time for us to heal these energies so that collectively we can ascend beyond these patterns which cause so much harm on our planet and may keep us stuck in abuse cycles (the downward force.)
The Ancient Archetype of Lilith
In Jewish mythology, Lilith was described as being Adam’s first wife and seen largely as a demon who seduced men (destroyed marriages) and killed children. Although she appeared throughout Jewish mythology, her name only appears once in the Hebrew bible in Isaiah although some translations do not use the name, referring to her as the ‘screech owl’ (she was often associated with owls) or ‘night monster.’
Lilith was associated with the serpent who tempted Eve to eat from one of the two trees in the Garden of Eden, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. By breaking divine lore not to eat from this tree, Adam and Eve fell from grace into ‘sin’ and disharmony; and so began the journey of mankind to evolve through their choices and awareness of good and evil (duality) towards enlightened paths, this time with hard-earned wisdom.
The Woman, the Man, and the Serpent by Byam Shaw
The Serpent The serpent of the Garden of Eden was associated with both Lilith and Samael in varying myths and Samael was also described as Lilith’s spouse. In the Jewish text, the Zohar, it is mentioned that Lilith's partner was the demon prince Samael, yet the earlier Kabbalistic work Treatise on the Left Emanation, written in Spain in the 13th century, is thought to be the first text describing Samael and Lilith as a couple and originators of evil with Samael described as the “great prince and great king over all the demons” and with Lilith, the couple were seen as counterparts to Adam and Eve. Yet this archetype goes further back than Jewish mythology. Mesopotamian
She is connected with Mesopotamian mythology as the demon ki-sikil-lil-la-ke who lived in the tree of the goddess, with ‘lil’ meaning spirit. In his book Lilith: the First Eve, Siegmund Hurwitz believed that the first appearance of the actual Hebrew word Lilith, “Lilita in Aramaic” first appeared in a Sumerian version of this Gilgamesh story which was translated by Samuel Kramer and again we can see the reptilian and tree themes which seem so pervasive in these old myths. The text is based on copies but the original is ancient and thought to date from the 40th century BC. In this story, the goddess Inanna tended to a beautiful huluppu tree and hoped to make a throne and bed out of it but after ten years:
“a dragon had built its nest at the foot of the tree, the Zu-bird was raising its young in the crown, and the demon Lilith had built her house in the middle. But Gilgmaesh, who had heard of Inanna’s plight, came to her rescue.”
Gilgamesh killed the serpent or dragon and the Zu-bird and the demon ki-sikil-lil-la-ke flew away in fright. Here we see a connection between the reptilian serpent, birds (which are also ancient) and demonic energy as lil, connected to the Akkadian words lilu (masculine), lilitu (female) and lili (female,) meaning demon or spirit.
The Garden of Eden with the Fall of Man by Jan Brueghel the Elder & Peter Paul Rubens Child-Sacrifice
In Jewish mythology, Lilith was widely understood to be a child-killer and belonged to the Shedim, a group of demons who had sacrificial altars and in ancient Israel both animal and human (child) sacrifices were made. These hidden patterns continue to lurk in society today with our prolific levels of child abuse and now is a potent time for us to heal these ancient cycles:
“They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not.” Deuteronomy, 32:17
Human sacrifices were made throughout Asia as well and the firstborn was also offered as a sacrifice and on this topic Hurwitz, following his extensive research spanning many cultures, wrote:
“Even today, the rite of “the ransom of the firstborn son” (pidjon ha’ben) by the wife – never by the husband – by means of a sum of money paid to a priest, is reminiscent of the sacrifice to the deities. To what extent the actual sacrifice of the firstborn was carried out in ancient Israel is a matter of dispute.”
Lullabies are songs to soothe infants and lull babies to sleep but there are some who believe that the etymology for the word derives from the Hebrew words 'Lilith-Abi' meaning 'Lilith, be gone.' These words were written on walls to protect children in the nursery from demons.
Children, it was believed, could also be killed in childbirth by the jealous child-killer Lilith who was described as a blood drinker and embodied vampiric qualities. In northwest Syria at the site of Arslan Tash, limestone plaques were discovered with inscriptions and drawings which were thought to protect people against night-demons.
A second limestone plaque was also discovered at Arslan Tash with a magical incantation written on it against an unknown demon. Many translations were made but it was generally thought to convey protection against a demon draining or drinking dry their victim – very vampiric qualities.
This archetype was also found in Mesopotamian culture with Lamashtu who was a female demon who targeted women in childbirth, sucked on blood and kidnapped children – interestingly, she was often portrayed holding snakes.
A Mesopotamian demon with the sun god.
In Jewish culture, amulets written in Aramaic were often given to protect women in childbirth by placing them over the bed or on the walls. Many of these amulets contained the story of a meeting between the prophet Elijah and Lilith who was on her way to a woman giving birth in order to steal the child, drink its blood, take the marrow from its bones and eat its flesh. And in the late Middle Ages, Lilith was spoken about in the Jewish school of Kabbalah as both a child-killer and seductress according to Hurwitz’s research. As mentioned, the Shekhinah depicted the divine feminine in the Tree of Life while:
"Lilith represents the negative aspect, which, in the guise of a devouring mother, attempts to destroy the newborn child, the new consciousness or the young self, by drinking its blood, i.e., the carrier of vegetative-animal life. This sharply reveals the whole, dangerous vampire nature of Lilith, who needs the child's life in order to live herself to such an extreme that Lilith, as a later legendary story tells, even murders her own children if she cannot find someone else's children to kill. By so doing, she ends by turning the terrible side of her character against herself."
There were other methods of protecting families and their children from the demon Lilith and through reading countless Syrian texts, Hurwitz unearthed some patterns:
"All these legends involve highly embellished tales in which a child-stealing and child-killing female demon encounters some saint or other who vanquishes her because he extracts from her the secret of her mystic name. By divulging her secret name, the demon becomes harmless and so departs."
In one Syrian invocation text, for example, it was described that a saint managed to bind a female demon by discovering her secret name.
The Archetypal Seductress
Alongside being a child-killer (the ‘terrible mother’,) Lilith was a bi-polar character and was also presented as a beautiful seductress – a lady of the night. In his research, Hurwitz believed that the ancient Sumerian sculpture, the Burney Relief, thought to date from around 1950 B.C., represented Lilith. He disagreed with the view that it represented the goddess Ishtar since two owls were portrayed which were not associated with Ishtar’s cult animals and owls, as beings of the night, were “more suitable for a goddess who carried out her deeds at night.” He believed that Lilith (as seductress) was the most likely candidate rather than the demonic and scary child-killer Lamashtu:
“The goddess on our relief has a human head which is not in the least terrifying but extremely attractive, even seductive. In contrast, it is said of Lamashtu that she has the “head of a lion” and a “terrible appearance.” At all events, the goddess of the Burney Relief must be a goddess of the darkness or the night, as is confirmed by the presence of the two owls. For these reasons, we can almost certainly assume – along with Kraeling – that a pictorial representation of a winged Lilith is involved here.”
The Babylonian Burney Relief
The Nippur Bowls
Yet Hurwitz believed that the most potent source for learning more about Lilith was from the Aramaic magic texts which were inscriptions found across the Middle East; some were from the inside of bowls which were discovered in ruined homes in a Jewish town of Nippur. It’s thought that the bowls may have been made in the 6th or 7th centuries A.D. and that they were buried in the ground as a way of banishing demons to stop them from interfering in people’s lives:
"The demons mentioned in the Aramaic magic texts are generally not referred to by name. In most cases, they are described simply as "the killer," "the demon," "Satan" or "the robbe." Only one demon is regularly referred to by her name: Lilith, although all female demons are described as Liliths (liliatha). These Lilin and Liliths are asked to leave the bewitched person alone and their home and to no longer disturb the person at night in their sleep.”
Incantation Bowl from Nippur
One bowl from Nippur, number 8, contained a "divorce certificate" against Lilith, the demon. Here we may see an archetypal need to divorce from the downward force of the serpent which attempted to distract and tempt people away from their true path and beloved. Lilith, it seemed, was a feared demonic being who interfered particularly with men and tried to lure them from their wives. It was also thought that the demons brought disaster as well as physical and mental illnesses including broken bones and diseases of the heart, gall bladder and liver.
In Jewish tradition, Lilith was widely seen as a disrupter of marriages and in one Aramaic magical text containing Mandaean text it was written that Lilith vindictively said:
"I will estrange the husband from his wife and with my magic I will drive her away and do her evil...I will kill the man with desire and passion...and she will bear orphans." The Succubus Demon
The term succubus in folklore was given to female demons who seduced men into having sex with them and the male counterpart was known as an incubus. In Arabic culture, this archetype was known as the qarînah who had sexual activity with the person during their dreams. In the German witchcraft book, Malleus Maleficarum, or Witches' Hammer, written by Heinrich Kramer in 1486, it was written that succubi would collect this semen from the seduced men which was then used to impregnate human females by male demons.
Hurwitz also discovered that encounters between Lilith and Solomon were also found in the Aramaic magic texts and in Kabbalistic literature.
A fundamental story for understanding this archetype more is Lilith, written by George McDonald. The book re-tells the myth of Lilith as the first wife of Adam and how Adam and Eve repented for their transgressions and were 'restored' to their true divine natures, with wisdom from their experiences. Without spoiling the plot, we will mention a key part of the story – Lilith had not repented and was even unaware of her darkness (her serpent nature) - she lived unconsciously seeking power over others and holding onto something that didn’t belong to her, in one paw-like hand.
Adam and Eve Driven From Paradise by James Tissot
The Serpent and the Reptile This story is ancient and pervasive: life moved from disorder and chaos and evolved intelligently over billions of years towards ever enlightened states of harmony and order. The serpent or reptile energy can represent these primitive aspects of consciousness and can be associated with the most ancient part of the brain – the reptilian brain - the part that chooses separation from God and nature and wishes to become its own God which controls or dominates others and establishes territory, just as the reptilian dinosaurs did on our planet. Our evolution depends on taking ourselves or others off the pedestal, so that we are no longer ‘Gods’ but are seen as one with nature. In this way, we can come back to completeness, feeling one with nature again and no longer separate. Like Adam and Eve who repented, we are no longer chasing something outside of ourselves to try and make ourselves complete, whether that’s a partner, money, porn, addiction or power to fill that melancholic hole (energetic vampirism.) Porn is big business in these times and this behaviour is normalised. It is normal to see the seductress on page three of certain newspapers everyday. Sex is used to sell films, products and music and can distract people from their true path. It has become normal to watch what could be a sacred and incredibly intimate act reduced to nothing but lust enacted out in front of us, at the touch of our finger.
'Lady Lilith' by Dante Gabriel Rossetti
The Downward Force This 'Lilith' (or masculine Samael archetype) can seduce us into thinking that we are a god or goddess or that someone else is a god or goddess. It is a downward egoic force which tempts this archetypal need to feel powerful and admired - to become a god or goddess that is greater than others. Yet this force pulls us away from the true divine and the Self - it pulls us away from our peace and presence and sense of equal interconnectedness with all life. A true beloved helps us to feel strong in our own identity with the divine. Our ancestors knew about these energies more and protected themselves when the tests came but in recent times these topics are rarely discussed and therefore many may get pulled into abusive or ultimately destructive patterns without full understanding of these archetypes in the collective consciousness which are in need of healing. These patterns can unfortunately be rife even in spiritual communities, particularly certain 'goddess' circles which may encourage sexual 'freedom' and focus on healing the shame of sexuality from religion - yet this 'healing' can bring us out of balance in another direction. The same patterns of seduction, energy vamipirism or sex addiction can continue to play out with spiritual layers to hide them. Often this behaviour is entirely unconscious. In the conscious name of freedom, people may wander around naked without being aware of unconscious desires to get attention from others as one example. This energy can also play out competitively as well - instead of wishing to follow their true path, people may wish to become the 'greatest' or most admired. Certain people thrive on getting sexual attention and energy from others without realising why and being conscious that they are not comfortable in their own energy field
'Lilith' by John Collier
Tree of Life In Siegmund Hurwitz’s book, Lilith: the First Eve, he spoke about the origin of evil in Jewish mysticism and the two polar versions of these Sefiroth, one version which was bright and found in the Tree of Life and the ‘other side’ which was dark:
“This is the demonic, destructive side of the divine personality. It is in this dark sphere that the negative, demonic powers develop, which appear - personified - as Samael and Lilith. Hence, the "holy pair" is counter-balanced by an equally "unholy pair" of impure beings. And just as the "divine union," the hieros gamos , the union of the Divine King and the Shekhinah, guaranteed unity and harmony in God, the world and mankind, so within the sphere of impurity and evil the union of Samael and Lilith reflects the union of the female with evil...Through a tragic development that affects both God, the world and mankind, the divine stream of life is either cut off or diverted to the impure Sefiroth. The origin of this catastrophic development lies in the Fall of Adam, which is continued through the transgressions of each human individual. As a result, the original harmony is disrupted and chaos develops in the world of the Sefiroth: Nothing remains in the place in which it belongs, everything is tossed about, jumbled up and torn apart. And so the hieros gamos between God and the Shekinah is dislocated, thus strengthening the power of the "whoreish woman," Lilith, who attempts to take the place of the Shekhinah." The Divine Shekhinah
Hurwitz spoke about the need to heal this separation of the female side of the mind and the emotion with the male and the way to heal this and “hasten the Shekhinah’s return to God” he wrote is through repentance, meditation and reflecting on our behaviour to allow space for her to return. He mentioned that the mythologies differ considerably regarding the disagreements between Adam, Lilith and Eve and many have debated about who was in the right or wrong regarding the failed first marriage. Some myths described how Lilith refused to be subservient to Adam and rebelled and therefore some have felt sympathetic to her cause as we heal from these patriarchal ages, yet Hurwitz felt that an evaluation of this was not meaningful and wished to focus more on how harmony could be restored rather than look at who to blame and I also agree here.
The Fall of Adam and Eve, on the Sistine Chapel ceiling Shadow-work In this healing it is important not to project onto other women or men - if we see a disharmonious pattern in others, we can give that soul space on their journey back to God (boundaries) or it may be an invitation to notice if we are carrying a similar pattern inside, even if it's subtle (shadow-work.) We all are healing ancestral and collective energies and it is vital to be compassionate to ourselves and others on our journey back to self. Every soul has a divine beloved (divine pairs) in the harmonic realm, including Lilith and Samael, and every soul is making its way back Home. Everyone is made of stars and to God, everything will return.
The Age of Pisces (water sign - the fish - Christ consciousness) brought the themes of interconnectedness and mysticism yet its shadow side included codependency and watery emotional messiness (manipulation, control, deceit, deception.) Sexual energy can be powerful in these times and can be misused to control or manipulate others - yet directed energy can be discharged by observing it and non-reacting to dissolve these patterns in which our power may be taken.
Pisces is symbolised by two fish held together by a rope - this cord or rope connecting the two fish who are swimming in opposite directions could also represent the energetic cords between us that have kept us bound in messy energetic dynamics during the Age of Pisces. It could also be a reflection of duality - Christ and anti-Christ - and two pathways to choose. There is the invitation to cut that cord, to allow the two fish to swim freely in their true directions. Many of us may feel constricted by energetic bonds from parents and may still have energetic ‘umbilical cords,’ or other binds from old lovers attached which drain our energy and prevent us from moving forward. These kinds of connections can become like drug addictions – this sort of love can keep us stuck energetically in co-dependent or entangled relationships and deep down we know it won’t go anywhere. A hooked fish can’t evolve and return to completeness and oneness with nature. Part of our personal shift out of the messy waters of Pisces will involve cutting draining energetic cords to allow ourselves to follow our one true path. This will be the time of the great purification – we can purify our own energy fields as well as the earth and its water bodies.
As we shift into the Age of Aquarius (air sign - the water bearer - intention and vibration) we are being asked to let go of frequencies which are not true for us. Aquarian themes include truth, frequency, intention (thought) and vibration and the water bearer can pour waves of blessings and purification as we let go of anything that doesn't serve us. If we do not know for sure that someone is our beloved then it is perhaps likely that they are not - as we move from the Age of Pisces into the Aquarian Age we are being asked to thoroughly look through our life and ascertain what is true. If someone or something is not aligned to us, we may ask the question, are we avoiding certain patterns or pains by remaining with them or in a certain situation? Are we deceiving ourselves and why? To understand more about the wounded feminine energy at a personal level it is vital to have a firm understanding of Black Moon Lilith in your astrological chart. If you can understand more about the patterns of your wounds then you have the ability to transcend them rather than repeat those cycles unconsciously (or consciously.)
Black Moon Lilith Lilith in astrology appears as Black Moon Lilith (a theoretical point in space demonstrating the apogee or furthest point in the moon’s orbit) and is therefore connected to the moon. In modern astrology, Black Moon Lilith can represent the inverted mother aspect of the moon (the wounded feminine,) and the moon (ruler of Cancer, the sign of motherhood) in her purity can represent the divine feminine or divine mother. Lilith was the archetypal child-killer and destroyer of marriages and is apt for this astrological aspect of wounded feminine energy which we have the power to transform. Black Moon Lilith can often reveal to us our hidden sexual desires - the wounded parts of ourselves which we may suppress or feel ashamed of - humiliations, hurts or sexual promiscuity. When we approach these energies in an empowered way, they may reveal to us deeper patterns, (perhaps from childhood) in which we initially experienced wounds which continue to play out (for lifetimes even) until we understand more about them. Her themes are often sexual and can include masochism, sadism, domination, control, promiscuity, emotional manipulation and energy vampirism. Black Moon Lilith can reveal to us the patterns bubbling away under the surface of our interactions which may influence our actions and behaviour - yet Black Moon Lilith can help us become conscious of our shadow and help us move forward. Ascension and Healing We all chose to experience the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and taste duality (the two forces of good and evil.) If Lilith or Black Moon Lilith comes into our life, it can be an empowering time for us since it can allow us to see our shadow and finally transform any dis-ease or patterns that no longer serve us. This is when we can finally be at peace with Lilith and our shadow and ascend duality to a state of presence, with our wisdom and intuition to guide us.