Dark Angels I: Lilith

Dark angels.

Women with the power to fascinate, to hold the world in their spell, desiring and sometimes destroying, because no one should ever hold an angel too close for too long.

Bad girls who changed the world.

This is the beginning of a series that Drake and I will assemble, our Compendium of Dark Angels.  As we were contemplating and compiling our list, we both came to the conclusion that it was only fitting to begin with the original dark angel – Lilith.

Future entries will be about real women who have shared their dark light with the world, but we thought we should start with the one that is the gold standard of wicked women.

And who’s to say she’s not real?

The word Lilith occurs only once in the Bible, but good King James’ scribes rendered the Hebrew word as “screech owl.” The association of wicked female spirits with birds of ill omen is common enough, so perhaps the scribes felt comfortable with the translation.  Other ancient writings give evidence that the word had a much different meaning.

Lilith was probably born in ancient Sumeria as a demon of primal forces, storm and darkness, sometimes winged and taloned, but always dangerously seductive.  She lived in desolate places, but even deserts could not stop her once she set her mind to something. Jewish tradition adopted her and, by the Middle Ages, had woven her into the story of Eden.  By at least the 10th Century AD, some legends had established that Lilith was the first wife of Adam, created by God before Eve. But Lilith was disobedient and would not lie beneath Adam, insisting that she take the upper position (like this is a problem??). Lilith and Adam parted ways (read: divorced), him to the more compliant Eve and she to the wasteland, where she lurks as a menace to the children of Adam.

Lilith is the original succubus, the ancient queen of delightful nightmares.

Throughout the Middle Ages, she weaves in and out of demon lore, sometimes merged with Eden’s serpent (perhaps confused with the mythical lamia), sometimes as the bride of Asmodeus, always as a seductive emblem of destructive desire, and always fascinating.  By the 19th Century, Lilith had become a symbol of defiant pagan sexuality and, in the 20th Century, an important element in occultism and ceremonial magick.

Lilith is the patron goddess of bad girls. Her disobedience and sexuality openly defy repressive paternal churches and stand in sharp contrast to the puritanical strains of western civilization. But, as we all know, nothing fascinates more than the forbidden. If sin were not attractive, then we would all be saints.

Avatar of female desire, spirit of lust, Lilith is the first dark angel, and all those we will be covering here in the future are her glorious, wicked daughters.

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