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Σάββατο, 20 Οκτωβρίου 2012

Lilith


 
by Margi B.
2004-2005
from LilithGate Website
 
The figure of Lilith is the subject of many current social interests in today’s world, but originally Lilith is a Jewish folk tale with mysterious origins that appear to reach back to Mesopotamia.

Lilith’s myth is widely recognized as Adam’s first wife, when they were created equally as described in Genesis 1:26
" And God said: ’Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth’."
Although, I find it interesting to note that both Adam and Eve didn’t make their official appearance until Genesis chapter two; so the passage may actually refer to Lilith and Samael as they are described as an androgynous pair. This is also outlined in Treatise on the Left Emanation. (see above Contents)

Lilith’s first official appearance as Adam’s vengeful ex-wife was in the Alphabet of Ben Sira (see Contents above), a likely parody of Jewish folk tales and beliefs. Lilith was created as an equal with Adam, and when Adam demanded to be on top during sex; Lilith uttered the Ineffable Name of God and flew away to the Red Sea. Adam complained to God, who sent three angels to bring her back to Eden.
 
Lilith refused, citing that God had created her to cause sickness to infants; and made a pact with the angels that she would not harm any infant who had the names of the angels written over the crib. However, this pact still cost Lilith a hundred of her own demonic children a day. This story is the reason why Lilith earned the figurative title "World’s First Feminist" as she is the woman who sacrifices paradise, and many of her own children; than be forced to exist in a state of servitude.

While some assert that the Lilith myth was created in the Alphabet of Ben Sira (see Contents above); but I think it’s more possible that the Alphabet may have parodied the story of Istahar, a flood story about a woman who uttered the Ineffable Name of God to escape sexual domination from angels. Regardless of questionable origin, Lilith was real enough to appear in amulets and in the Zohar - a compendium of Jewish mysticism and knowledge of the spirit realms.

The Zohar contributes the most to Lilith’s mythology. The Zohar describes her as being the Serpent, being the wife of Sammael, being the wife of God himself also, and even originating from influences of angels. Lilith even appears in astrology, and associated with certain phases of the Moon, and the fixed star Algol.

Back to Contents


 
by Margi B.
2004-2005
from LilithGate Website

Lilith’s origins most likely come from ancient Sumerian beliefs of night spirits that preyed upon humans while they were sleeping. Of the four classes, Lilith probably most resembles the Ardat Lili [1], whom seduce men at night and steal their sperm to procreate demonic children. Some scholars relate Lilith with the Lilitu, winged night spirits that preyed specifically on women, women in childbirth, and their newborns.

Lilith’s name is also revealing of her characteristics. "Lil" means both "air", "breath", and "spirit" in Sumerian, most likely connoting that the substance of air was synonymous with the substance of spirits [2]. This relates the the original spelling of Liloth (LILOTh), translated to "the spirits" in Hebrew [3].

Lilith’s name has also be attributed to Kramer’s translation of the Epic of Gilgamesh [5] (ki-sikil-lil-la-ke) [4]. Although, Kramer’s translation means "Lila’s maiden, beloved, companion, or maid," which implies that a demon or spiritual companion of "Lila" was in the tree. "Lila" means "night," and "mist," and is associated with night monsters. [6] Lila’s maiden tore down the tree and fled into the wilderness. Lilitu, one of Lilith’s predecessors, is associated with desolate places. [7] In later Biblical works, Lilith is predicted to "find a place of rest" in the ruins of desolation.[8]

Lilith is also related to Lamashtu, whom Pazuzu made flee back to the Underworld [9]. Lamashtu is a demi-Goddess of the Babylonians, known for strangling and drinking the blood of infants [10]. Lamashtu is described as "the Daughter of Heaven," which corresponds to Lilith’s creation directly from God. [11] She is described as having the head of a lion and her breasts being suckled by a puppy and a piglet. She rides upon the back of a donkey to the Underworld, where the bow of the boat ends in a serpent’s head. The space between her legs is a scorpion, which corresponds to the astrological sign Scorpio – that to this day is called "the genitals" of the body of the Zodiac [12].

Another entity Lilith is related to is Lamia, whom attacked pregnant women, seducing men, and devouring internal organs. Lamia also shares the phenomena of "child killer" similar with Lilith – she killed human children because her own supernatural brood was murdered off. Lamia had a love affair with Zeus, and in jealousy Hera proceeded to murder her children. In retaliation, Lamia began to kidnap and murder human children [13]. Like Lilith, she was represented as a serpent from the waist down [14]. Another source likens Lamia to an adrogynous spirit that has a woman’s breasts and a man’s organ [15]; similar to Lilith and Samael [16].

When the Hebrews adopted these myths, the actual name "Lilith" or "Liloth," most likely dates back about 600 BCE during or after Hebrew captivity in Babylon [17].
 
Hard physical evidence, such as a Hebrew incantation bowl (click below images) for protection dates back to only 600 CE [18], which dates Lilith back to at least three hundred years before the creation of the Ben Sira.
The Babylonian demon bowls (click above left image) unearthed in Iraq date only back to 600 to 800 CE at the earliest, and were used for "trapping" malevolent spirits or demons – which may have been used to conjure them on a desired victim.
 
However, these bowls are also used in protective magick, to ward curses and manner of ill will from sorceries [19]. Lilith is mentioned on at least two of them meant to exorcise her [18].

Also before the Alphabet of Ben Sira, there is another Jewish folk tale about a woman who used the Ineffable name of God to fly away from sexual domination:
"When the angels came to earth, and beheld the daughters of men in all their grace and beauty, they could not restrain their passion. Shemhazai saw a maiden named Istehar, and he lost his heart to her. She promised to surrender herself to him, if first he taught her the Ineffable Name, by means of which he raised himself to heaven. He assented to her condition.
 
But once she knew it, she pronounced the Name, and herself ascended to heaven, without fulfilling her promise to the angel. God said, "Because she kept herself aloof from sin, we will place her among the seven stars, that men may never forget her," and she was put in the constellation of the Pleiades."
(The Legends of the Jews)
This legend of Istehar/Istahar is propertied to come from the story of the Greek Goddess Astraea, whom was probably adopted by the Hellenic Jews to recreate this story about the Nephilim and the great flood of the Earth.


Footnotes:
[1] "Thus with R. Campbell Thompson, who in this lil-la sees Sumerian lil-la, Akkadian lilu, ’the demon equivalent to a male vampire. There are four demons of this class - the idlu lili, the ardat lili, the lilu, and the lilitu. The ardat lili is well known as the female vampire or succubae who visits men by night and bears [them] ghostly children: the idlu lili must be her male counterpart who can visit women and beget offspring by them, just as demiGods are created’" (Thorkild Jacobsen "The Sumerian Kinglist", The Epic of Gilgamesh)

[2] In Sumerian, the word "Lil" means "Air." Enlil, for instance, was the Sumerian Lord (En) of Air (Lil). The oldest known term which we might suggest relates to Lilith would be the plural word "Lili" (feminine "Lilitu"), which was simply the same in Sumeria as our modern generic word "spirits." In fact, it was quite common in ancient languages for the same word for "air" or "breath" to be used for "spirit," as the breath was thought to be the evidence of life; the spirit of the person. Disembodied spirits, therefore, were themselves composed of the same substance. The very word "spiritus" is one such example- Latin for "to breath." The Hebrew "ruach" is another identical example. This suggests, therefore, that the Sumerian Lilitu were either a specific type of demon, or were simply "spirits" in general. (Lilith: From Demoness to Dark Goddess, Khephera)

[3] The Hebrew lettering is Lamed (L), Yod (I), Lamed (L), Vav (O), Tau (Th). The "-ith" should be spelled "-oth," which is the Hebrew feminine plural suffix. It may be that the earliest Hebrew references were not to "Lilith," but to "the liloth" (the spirits)- a curious cross of a Sumer-Babylonian word with a Hebrew suffix. More specifically, it referred to female spirits, and thus was probably little more than the Hebrew version of the Sumerian term Lilitu. (Lilith: From Demoness to Dark Goddess, Khephera)

[4] Apparently, the misunderstanding arises from a mistake in translation made by the historian and scholar Samuel Kramer. In the Epic, the demoness in the Tree is described as "ki-sikil-lil-la-ke," which Kramer suggested meant "Lila’s maiden, beloved, companion, or maid." (I assume this is also the origin of Merlin Stone’s mistaken suggestion that Lilith was the "maiden" of Inanna.) While the word for air/spirit is obviously present, there is no indication of a Lilith- anymore than the presence of the word "ki" (Earth) indicates the Earth Goddess Ki. Perhaps Kramer was concentrating on the two syllables "lil-la." (Lilith: From Demoness to Dark Goddess, Khephera)

[5] But in the meantime, she found to her dismay that her hopes could not be fulfilled. Because during that time 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 Gilgamesh, who had heard of Inanna’s plight, came to her rescue. He took his heavy shield killed the dragon with his heavy bronze axe, which weighed seven talents and seven minas. Then the Zu-bird flew into the mountains with its young, while Lilith, petrified with fear, tore down her house and fled into the wilderness (Alan Humm’s Lilith Page)

[6] The lilu, in Sumerian lila, is generally regarded as "the night- monster," the word being referred to the Semitic root lil or layl, whence the Hebrew layil, Arabic layl, "night." Its origin, however, is Sumerian, from lila, regarded as meaning "mist." To the word lilu the ancient Babylonians formed a feminine, lilithu, which entered the Hebrew language under the form of lilith, which was, according to the rabbins, a beautiful woman, who lay in wait for children by night. The lilu had a companion who is called his handmaid or servant. (The Religion of Babylonia and Assyria, Theophilus G. Pinches)

[7] The male is called Lilu, and the two females are called Lilitu and Ardat Lili, the ’maid of desolation.’ Lilitu was a frigid, barren, husbandless demon who roamed the night searching for men as a succubus for she would drink their blood. (Heart 7’s Spirit Pages)

[8] The name of Lilith is mentioned only once in the Bible, in Isaiah 34:14, where she is listed along with hyenas and jackals as those who dwell in the ruins of God-forsaken Edom. (Lilith – Legendary Early Woman)

[And also:]

When the Holy One, blessed be He, will bring about the destruction of the wicked Rome, and turn it into a ruin for all eternity, He will send Lilith there, and let her dwell in that ruin, for she is the ruination of the world. And to this refers the verse, And there shall repose Lilith and find her a place of rest (Isa. 34:14). (Alan Humm’s Lilith Pages)

[9] The two sides of Lilith had already been personified in Babylonian literature, in the two Goddesses Lamashtû and Ishtar, out of which the figure of Lilith crystallized. For this reason, I have designated them as the Lamashtû aspect and the Ishtar aspect. (Lilith – The First Eve)

[10] The bronze plaque on the lower right shows Lamastu being forced back into the underworld by the demon-God Pazuzu. […]Babylonians and Assyrians also believed in the demi-Goddess Lamastu who especially preyed upon infants and women in labor. Slithering quietly like as snake into a home, she could snatch a baby out of the womb or out of its cradle. She also could also inflict disease upon both men and women. Her father is the primordial sky-God Anu, the prime-mover at the beginning of creation, who took over Heaven and separated it from Earth. (Neo-Vampires Gods, demons, and fairies)

[11] MESOPOTAMIAN INCANTATION PRAYER AGAINST LAMASHTU
(Professor David Bernat, Religion Department, Wellesley College)
Great is the daughter of Heaven who tortures babies
Her hand is a net, her embrace is death
She is cruel, raging, angry, predatory
A runner, a thief is the daughter of Heaven
She touches the bellies of women in labor
She pulls out the pregnant women’s baby
The daughter of Heaven is one of the Gods, her brothers
With no child of her own.
Her head is a lion’s head
Her body is a donkey’s body
She roars like a lion
She constantly howls like a demon-dog.
[12] (Medieval woodcut of the body of the Zodiac)

[13] Lamia was a beautiful woman whose children were taken away in jealousy by Hera because Zeus had loved her. In revenge, Lamia began to steal and kill the children of others. She became a hideous creature. Because Hera had condemned her to sleeplessness, Zeus gave Lamia the ability to remove her own eyes at will in order to sleep. In later legend the lamia was a vampire that seduced young men; this version of the story inspired the poem Lamia (1820) by John Keats. (Grolier Encyclopedia)

[14] She was represented with a woman’s face and a serpents tail. (1911 Encyclopedia)

[15] "scaly, four-legged creature, with hoofs behind and paws in front, with a woman’s face, a hermaphrodite with a man’s organ and woman’s breasts" (Briggs, Katharine; The Encyclopedia of Fairies. New York: Pantheon Books. 1976)

[16] Lilith is called the Northerner, because Out of the north the evil breaks forth (Jer. 1:14). Both Samael, king of the demons, and Lilith were born in a spiritual birth androgynously. (Alan Humm’s Lilith Page)

[17] Yet, Lilith may have finally become a proper noun during or right after the Captivity. This is possibly indicated in the numerous Hebrew inscriptions, painted upon bowls, dated to around that time. These inscriptions picture a particularly nasty looking demoness by the name of Lilith, and the words are for protection against Her. […]Lilith appears to have lived on in oral tradition until the Talmudic times, where the popular mythos of Lilith is first presented in response to a contradiction in the Torah. The work in question is a tenth-century folktale called "The Alphabet of Ben Sira," where Lilith is presented as the first wife of Adam. (Lilith: From Demoness to Dark Goddess, Khephera)

[18] (Lilith Incantation Bowls)

[19] (Babylonian Demon Bowls)

Lilith in Jewish Mysticism
Treatise on the Left Emanation
by R. Isaac b. Jacob Ha-Kohen
excerpted from The Early Kabbalah
from AlanHumm Website

The Treatise on the Left Emanation was written in the first half of the 13th century, and it, along with writings of R. Isaac’s brother, R. Jacob, seems to have exerted significant influence on R. Moses de Leon, the author of the Zohar. It is enough later than the Alphabet of b. Sira for the author to be familiar with that tradition, but it betrays no apparent knowledge of it.
 
This could mean that b. Sira was unknown to R. Isaac, but it could just as well mean that he found it less than useful (or even offensive -- see Eliezer Segal’s Critique of the Alphabet). Scholem argues that b. Sira is a major source for Lilith material in the Zohar, but my inclination is to see this text as much more influential in that regard. [AH]

6. I will now set down the names of the princes of jealousy and enmity. Yet since their essence and their service is true and pure, their mouths are free from mendacity and neither lies nor falsehoods pass between them.
The first prince and accuser, the commander of jealousy, is evil Samael, accompanied by his retinue. He is called "evil" not because of his nature but because he desires to unite and intimately mingle with an emanation not of his nature, as we shall explain.
The second prince is called his deputy, and his name is Za’afi’el, accompanied by his entourage.
The third prince is called third-in-command, and his name is Za’ami’el, accompanied by his staff.
The fourth prince is Qasfi’el, accompanied by his retinue.
The fifth prince is Ragzi’el, accompanied by his staff.
The sixth prince is ’Abri’el, accompanied by his staff.
The seventh is Meshulhi’el, accompanied by his staff. These latter comprise the delegation of evil angels.
19. In answer to your question concerning Lilith, I shall explain to you the essence of the matter. Concerning this point there is a received tradition from the ancient Sages who made use of the Secret Knowledge of the Lesser Palaces, which is the manipulation of demons and a ladder by which one ascends to the prophetic levels. In this tradition it is made clear that Samael and Lilith were born as one, similar to the form of Adam and Eve who were also born as one, reflecting what is above. This is the account of Lilith which was received by the Sages in the Secret Knowledge of the Palaces.
 
The Matron Lilith is the mate of Samael. Both of them were born at the same hour in the image of Adam and Eve, intertwined in each other. Asmodeus the great king of the demons has as a mate the Lesser (younger) Lilith, daughter of the king whose name is Qafsefoni. The name of his mate is Mehetabel daughter of Matred, and their daughter is Lilith.

This is the exact text of what is written in The Chapters of the Lesser Palaces as we have received it, word for word and letter for letter. And the scholars of this wisdom possess a very profound tradition from the ancients. They found it stated in those Chapters that Samael, the great prince of them all, grew exceedingly jealous of Asmodeus the king of the demons because of this Lilith who is called Lilith the Maiden (the young).
 
She is in the form of a beautiful woman from her head to her waist. But from the waist down she is burning fire--like mother like daughter. She is called Mehetabel daughter of Matred, and the meaning is something immersed (mabu tabal). The meaning here is that her intentions are never for the good. She only seeks to incite wars and various demons of war and the war between Daughter Lilith and Matron Lilith.

They say that from Asmodeus and his mate Lilith a great prince was born in heaven. He is the ruler of eighty thousand destructive demons and is called "the sword of king Asmodeus." His name is Alefpene’ash and His face burns like a raging fire (’esh). He is also called Gurigur, for he antagonizes and struggles with the prince of Judah, who is called Gur Aryeh Yehudah (Lion-cub of Judah). From the same form that gave birth to this war-demon another prince, a prince whose root is in Kingdom, was born in heaven.
 
He is called "the sword of the Messiah." He too has two names: Meshihi’el and Kokhvi’el. When the time comes and when God wishes, this sword will leave its sheath and verses of prophecy will come True:
"For My sword shall be drunk in the heavens; Lo, it shall come down upon Edom"
(Isaiah 34:5).

"A star rises from Jacob"
(Numbers; 24:17).
Amen. Soon in our days may we merit to see the face of the Messiah our righteous one; we and all our people....

22. I shall now teach you a wonderful innovation. You already know that evil Samael and wicked Lilith are like a sexual pair who, by means of an intermediary, receive an evil and wicked emanation from one and emanate to the other. I shall explain this relying on the esoteric meaning in the verse,
"In that day the Lord will punish with His great, cruel, mighty sword Leviathan the twisted serpent and Leviathan the tortuous serpent"--this is Lilith--"and He will slay the dragon of the sea"
(Isaiah 27:1).
As there is a pure Leviathan in the sea and it is called a serpent, so there is a great defiled serpent in the sea in the literal sense. The same holds true above in a hidden way. The heavenly serpent is a blind prince, the image of an intermediary between Samael and Lilith. Its name is Tanin’iver[24]
 
The masters of tradition said that just as this serpent slithers without eyes, so the supernal serpent has the image of a spiritual form without color--these are "the eyes." The tradiationists call it an eyeless creature, therefore its name is Tanin’iver. He is the bond, the accompaniment, and the union between Samael and Lilith. If he were created whole in the fullness of his emanation he would have destroyed the world in an instant. .

When the divine Will arrives and the emanation of Samael and Lilith weakens the emanation achieved by the blind prince, they will be completely annihilated by Gabriel prince of Strength, who instigates war against them with the aid of the prince of Lovingkindness. Then the verse which we have expounded according to its secret meaning will come true....

24. I found written in the name of an ancient traditionist and in the name of the perfect Hasid of blessed memory[25] that Lilith is also Taninsam.[26] They said that this name is based on the serpent who is in the image of an intermediary between Lilith and her mate. He will eat deadly poison at the hands of the prince of Strength; it is an elixir of life for all whose inclination overcomes them. Then he participates with Michael, the prince of Lovingkindness, in defeating the rule of evil in heaven and on earth.
 
Then the verse will come true:
"For His Lovingkindness has overcome us; the truth of God endures forever. Hallelujah"
(Psalms 117:2).
The secret of the covenant of salt (melab)[27] is the kingdom of the accompaniment of beauty[28] Therefore they hinted with secrets regarding the salted fish [Leviathan] to feed the righteous in future time. Happy is he who understands these things as they are.


Notes
[24]. Literally "blind serpent."
[25]. Rabbi Judah the Hasid?
[26]. Literally; "poisonous serpent," but also "blind" (suma’).
[27]. See Numbers 18:19.
[28]. Malkhut Leviat Hen.
by Margi B.
2004-2005
from LilithGate Website

The Lilith myth in it’s birth from the Ben Sira seems mostly derived from the legends of Istahar and ’Asterah; but was mixed in with old beliefs from Sumeria concerning the Ardat Lili [1] - a class of vampiric spirits whom seduced men to bear them demonic children. Although, the Lilith’s character does point to Sumerian origins – she is more likely recreated from Sumerian beliefs and another Jewish folk legend.

Some, such as Eliezer Segal, believe that the Lilith myth was created in the Alphabet of Ben Sira, which was a book to insult the Jewish people; therefore it’s questionable that Lilith should be admired or looked up to by Feminists.
 
However, he makes a very important point in his essay "Looking for Lilith:
I personally would not rule out the possibility that it was actually an anti-Jewish satire--though, to be sure, it did come to be accepted by the Jewish mystics of medieval Germany; and amulets to fend off the vengeful Lilith became an essential protection for newborn infants in many Jewish communities.
(Looking for Lilith)
Rabbi Lipman of the Jewish Gates makes a much differing statement regarding Lilith’s origins:
Some fascinating Aramaic incantation bowls, dated to the sixth century CE, include formulae to cast Lillit out. The existence of such early anti-Lillit materials, two hundred years older than the first texts that we have about her, suggests that there was an ongoing oral tradition about Lillit long before her story was written down.
Jewish Gates
I propose that Lilith is not only a part of that oral tradition, but also created as a darker half of another Jewish folk legend, one whom also used the Ineffable name of God to escape sexual oppression:
"Thus, when Shamhazai noticed a certain maiden whose name was Istahar, he gazed lustfully upon her and pleaded, "Do my bidding." She replied, "I will not do your bidding until you give me your wings and teach me the Explicit Name, which you go up to heaven upon uttering."
 
So he gave her his wings and taught her the Name, whereupon she uttered it, went up to heaven, and was spared from corruption. The Holy One said: Since she shunned transgression, go and set her among the seven stars yonder. Thus, it came about that Istahar was set in the constellation of Draco."
from Jewish Gates
Also, another version of the story from Legends of the Jews:
When the angels came to earth, and beheld the daughters of men in all their grace and beauty, they could not restrain their passion. Shemhazai saw a maiden named Istehar, and he lost his heart to her. She promised to surrender herself to him, if first he taught her the Ineffable Name, by means of which he raised himself to heaven. He assented to her condition.
 
But once she knew it, she pronounced the Name, and herself ascended to heaven, without fulfilling her promise to the angel. God said, "Because she kept herself aloof from sin, we will place her among the seven stars, that men may never forget her," and she was put in the constellation of the Pleiades.
"Istahar" is of course, Ishtar - Queen of Heaven, as explained here:
"Istahar’s story is borrowed partly from the Greek writer Aratus (early third century B.C.). He tells how Justice, a daughter of Dawn, ruled mankind virtuously in the Golden Age; but when the Silver and Bronze ages brought greed and slaughter among them, she exclaimed: "Alas, for this evil race!" and mounted into Heaven, where she became the constellation Virgo.
 
The rest of this story is borrowed from Apollodorus’s account of Orion’s attempt on the seven virgin Pleadies, daughters of Atlas and Pleione, who escaped his embraces transformed into stars. "Istahar," however, is the Babylonian Goddess Ishtar, sometimes identified with Virgo. Popular Egyptian belief identified Orion, the constellation which became Shemhazai, with the soul of Osiris."

(The Sons of God and the Daughters of Men, From Hebrew Myths: The Book of Genesis, written by Robert Graves and Raphael Patai)
About the myth of Astraea:
"For the Semites, for example, she [Virgo] was Ishtar, Queen of the Stars, a concept that migrated through Greece to become attached to the brightest of the planets known as Aphrodite to the Greeks and Venus to the Romans. But the Greeks knew Virgo as Astraea, daughter of Zeus and Themis. She was Goddess of Justice, living on earth with the other Gods during the Golden Age. As time went on and men grew wicked, Astraea fled to the starry zodiac where she still resides right next to the Scales of Justice, the constellation Libra."
(Astro Utah)

"Driven from the earth by the lawlessness of the Bronze Age, Zeus placed her amongst the stars as the Constellation Virgo. She is often confused with Dike, the daughter of Zeus and Themis, who replaced her as Goddess of justice. During the War of the Titans Astraia was an ally of Zeus. Like Nike (Victory) she became one of his attendants – the bearer of his thunderbolts.
 
The reward for her loyalty may have been to retain her virginity (she is the only remaining virgin amongst the Titanides) and a place amongst the stars as the constellation Virgo (although she was born a star-Goddess she was presumably, at first, only a single star like her brothers)."
(Astraia - the Starry One)
One of the interesting aspects of this folk tale’s origins, is that it relates quite well with Lilith’s story.
 
Here is a basic comparison of the legends, as demonstrated below:
 
Lilith

Lilith flees Eden from Adam’s bad behavior and threat of force.

Lilith is elevated as the consort of God. [4]

Lilith lived in the Garden of Eden when God was in the Eden, before man had sinned.

Lilith was created directly from God, not Adam’s rib.
Astraea

Astraea flees earth because of mankind’s wickedness.

Astraea elevated herself into the constellations.

Astraea lived with man during a "Golden Age" where the Gods lived with humans.

Astraea was the daughter of Zeus and Themis

 
Also poignant is the second name referenced in the same folk story, this time of ’Asterah - whom is obviously derived from Asherah (the name of the Jewish Queen of Heaven in the old Testament):
Immediately they descended (to earth), and the evil impulse gained control of them. When they beheld the beauty of mortal women, they went astray after them, and were unable to suppress their lust, as Scripture attests: ’and the sons of God saw, etc.’ (Gen 6:2).
 
Shemhazai beheld a maiden whose name was ’Asterah. He fixed his gaze upon her (and) said to her: ’Obey me!’ She answered him: ’I will not obey you until you teach me the Inexpressible Name, the one which when you pronounce it you ascend to Heaven.’ He immediately taught her, she pronounced it, and she ascended to Heaven.
 
The Holy One, blessed be He, said: ’Since she has kept herself pure from sin, I will make her an example so that she might be remembered in the world.’ Immediately he fixed her (in the heavens) among the seven stars of the Pleiades. When Shemhazai and ’Azael saw this, they arose, married women, and engendered children.

(Midrash Bereshit Rabbati -ed. H. Albeck; Jerusalem: Mekitze Nirdamim, 1940- 29-31)
Here is a basic comparison of the legends, as demonstrated below:
 
Lilith

Lilith seduces God, acquires his Divine name, and uses it to escape Adam’s sexual dominance[2]

Lilith is elevated as the consort of God. [4]
Istahar/’Asterah

Istahar/’Asterah tricks Shamhazai into giving her the ineffable Name of God, which she uses to escape his sexual dominance. [5]

Istahar was elevated into the stars. [3]
 
The only difference between the legends is that Lilith and Istahar/’Asterah is their different elevations into the Heavens - and their means of getting there.
 
Lilith, the darker aspect of the legend, uses seduction for the Ineffable name, and subsequently falls from grace for her sexual promiscuity and demonic breeding. Istahar/’Asterah, on the other hand, gets elevated for her avoidance of sin and corruption - and is subsequently rewarded by God for remaining sexually pure.
 
Lilith and Istahar resembles the dualism concept of Ishtar and Ereshkigal, a "Goddess of heaven" and a "Goddess of hell."
 
Istahar was elevated as a constellation in the heavens for her virtue, while Lilith was granted the power to drink blood, kill infants, and luring souls to Hell through sex.
Because the Lilith myth most likely derived from ’Asterah/Istahar’s escape from the Nephilim, this would constitute a solid link between Lilith, Istahar, and lastly, Innana/Ishtar.
 
The first name - Istahar - we’ve already seen as linked to Ishtar. The second name - ’Asterah – obviously relates to Asherah - the Hebrew "Queen of Heaven" that was adapted by the ancient Hebrews from the Sumerian beliefs of Inanna/Ishtar.
 
That is evidence that old Sumerian beliefs and folk legends were eventually adapted to create Istahar/’Asterah - and subsequently, Lilith.
 
There are also some similarities between Lilith and the myths of Innana/Ishtar and Ereshkigal, which reinforces the current theory that Lilith was created after Inanna/Ishtar’s darker side.
 
Lilith

Demons clung to the left side of Adam when Lilith came from the abyss to join him.[7]

Lilith began drinking blood after Adam attempted to sexually pressure her.[9]

Lilith is said to look like a normal woman except with wings.[11]

Lilith is associated with dragons in the form of Blind Dragon and Leviathan.[14]

She is called the torturous serpent, implying suffering or vengeance.[15]

Samael, Lilith’s consort is charge over seven heavenly spirits.[18]

Lilith has an insatiable sexual appetite.[19]
.
Innana/Ishtar

Demons clung to Ishtar’s left side as she ascended from the Underworld.[8]

Innana turned water into blood after she was raped, making others drink blood.[10]

Ishtar’s sister, Ereskrigal, has creatures that look human only clothed by wings.[12]

Ishtar’s sister, Ereshkigal, was kidnapped by a dragon named Kur.[13]

Ereshkigal appears to be torturous in the Underworld.[16]

Ereshkigal has seven demons that are her throne bearers.[17]

Ereshkigal also does not have her sexual appetite quenched by Nergal.[18]
 
Compare also that Istahar is proposed to have turned into the constellation of Draco, a constellation of a dragon [20].
 
This coincides with Lilith’s association with dragons and serpents, and Ereshkigal’s association with dragons by being kidnapped by Kur. Istahar is also said in other legends to have turned into Virgo, or the Pleiades [21] - being among the constellations the Hebrews describe the "seven stars" in various names - both Pleiades and Draco being among those names to describe the same set of stars.
 
If Istahar is turned into the Pleiades or Draco, she will then be connected to Lilith and Ereshkigal’s draconic paradigm [22]. However, because other resources point towards Istahar being turned into Virgo, I consider her legend to be dual in nature - both Queen of Heaven and in connection to serpentine energies.

When it comes to Lilith herself, she undoubtedly resembles Innana/Ishtar in her darker moments (demonic clinging in ascent from Underworld, blood drinking after a rape), reinforcing the theory that Lilith may have been patterned after Innana/Ishtar’s dark side.
 
This also reinforces Lilith’s role as "Queen of Hell," and Lilith does share some similarities to Ereshkigal, although, they are mostly symbolic.
 
Istahar/’Asterah shares with Inanna/Ishtar the concept of a "Queen of Heaven," and admiration.
 

Footnotes:
[1] Thus with R. Campbell Thompson, who in this lil-la sees Sumerian lil-la, Akkadian lilu, ’the demon equivalent to a male vampire. There are four demons of this class - the idlu lili, the ardat lili, the lilu, and the lilitu. The ardat lili is well known as the female vampire or succubae who visits men by night and bears [them] ghostly children: the idlu lili must be her male counterpart who can visit women and beget offspring by them, just as demiGods are created’ (The Epic of Gilgamesh p. 9) -- Thorkild Jacobsen, "The Sumerian Kinglist

[2] Lilith, however, was far more than Adam had imagined. She went straight away to Yahweh, and used her prowess of seduction upon Him. Yahweh, known for his soft heart toward women, was finally lulled into revealing His sacred Name unto her. Thereupon Lilith pronounced the Divine Name, and flew away from the Garden and Adam forever. (Lilith, by Khephera )

[3] They assented and she, flying up to Heaven, took sanctuary at the Throne of God, who transformed her into the constellation Virgo - or, some say, the Pleiades. (The Sons of God )

[4] Lilith as God’s Consort

[5] "Thus, when Shamhazai noticed a certain maiden whose name was Istahar, he gazed lustfully upon her and pleaded, "Do my bidding." She replied, "I will not do your bidding until you give me your wings and teach me the Explicit Name, which you go up to heaven upon uttering." So he gave her his wings and taught her the Name, whereupon she uttered it, went up to heaven, and was spared from corruption. The Holy One said: Since she shunned transgression, go and set her among the seven stars yonder. Thus, it came about that Istahar was set in the constellation of Draco." – from Jewish Gates

[6] Now in the depth of the great abyss there is a certain hot fiery female spirit named Lilith, who at first cohabited with man. For when man was created and his body completed, a thousand spirits from the left side assembled round that body […] (Zohar, Section 3, Page 19a)

[and also:]

"Lilith’s soul was originally lodged in the depth of the Great Abyss, whence she was called forth by God and joined to Adam. When Adam was created and his body completed, a thousand souls from the Left (i.e. Evil) side tried to attach themselves to him. But God let out a shout and thus drove them off. All this while Adam lay there, a body without a soul, greenish in color. Then a cloud descended, and God commanded the earth to produce a living soul. This God breathed into Adam, who now was able to stand up, and, behold, his female was attached to his side. But God sawed his creature in two, whereupon Lilith flew off to the Cities of the Sea, where she still lurks ready to harm mankind."
The Hebrew Goddess, written by Robert Graves and Raphael Patai

[7] Innana’s Epic Descent into the Underworld As Inanna ascended from the underworld, The galla, the demons of the underworld, clung to her side.

[8] 7. The Lamiae, who seduced sleeping men, sucked their blood and ate their flesh, as Lilith and her fellow-demonesses did, were also known as Empusae, ’forcers-in’; or Mormolyceia, ’frightening wolves’; and described as ’Children of Hecate’. (The Lilith Myth)

[9] "Then the woman was considering what should be destroyed because of her genitals; Inana was considering what should be done because of her genitals. She filled the wells of the Land with blood, so it was blood that the irrigated orchards of the Land yielded, it was blood that the slave who went to collect firewood drank, it was blood that the slavegirl who went out to draw water drew, and it was blood that the black-headed people drank. No one knew when this would end. She said: "I will search everywhere for the man who had intercourse with me". But nowhere in all the lands could she find the man who had had intercourse with her." (Inana and Shu-Kale-Tuda: Translation)

[10] Lilith is a demoness with a human appearance except that she has wings. -- b. Nidda 24b (Direct Talmudic References of Lilith)

[11] Where they are clothed like birds, with wings for garments (The Descent of Ishtar)

[12] "In that day the Lord will punish with His great, cruel, mighty sword Leviathan the twisted serpent and Leviathan the tortuous serpent"--this is Lilith--"and He will slay the dragon of the sea" (Isaiah 27:1). (Treatise on the Left Emanation)

[13] Ereshkigal was originally a sky Goddess who was kidnapped by the dragon, Kur, and taken to the underworld, where she was enthroned as Queen. (A Gallery of Demons)

[14] Therefore it is doubled: the Slant Serpent corresponding to Samael, and the Tortuous Serpent corresponding to Lilith.... (Pardes Rimmonim)

[15] Innana’s Epic Descent into the Underworld

They entered the throne room of the Queen of the Underworld. No linen was spread over her body. Her breasts were uncovered. Her hair swirled around her head like leeks.
Ereshkigal was moaning: "Oh! Oh! My inside!" and they moaned: "Oh! Oh! Your inside!"
She groaned: "Ohhhh! Oh! my Outside!" and they groaned: "Ohhhh! Oh! your Outside!"
She groaned: "Oh! Oh! My belly!" and they groaned: "Oh! Oh! Your belly!"
She groaned: "Oh! Ohhhh! My back!" and they groaned: "Oh! Ohhhh! Your back!"
She sighed: "Ah! Ah! My heart!" and they sighed: "Ah! Ah! Your heart!"
She sighed: "Ah! Ahhhh! My liver!" and they sighed: "Ah! Ahhhh! Your liver!"
[16] Know that there are seventy heavenly patrons, one appointed over each nation, and they all are under the rule of Samael and Rahab. (Tuv hAretz )

[17] Throne-bearers of Ereshkigal. (The Seven Evil Spirits )

[18] 3.3 Ereshkigal’s Response

[19] They found her beside the Red Sea, a region abounding in lascivious demons, to whom she bore lilim at the rate of more than one hundred a day. (Hebrew Myths)

[20] THE constellation Draco, the Great Serpent, was at one time ruler of the night, being formerly at the very centre of the heavens and so large that it was called the Great Dragon. Its body spread over seven signs of the Zodiac, which were called its seven heads. So great a space did it occupy, that, in mystic language, it "drew a third part of the stars from heaven and cast them to the earth." Thuban, in its tail, was formerly the pole-star, or "judge of the earth!’ It approached much nearer the true pole than Cynosura, the present pole-star, which is one and a half degrees distant and will never approach nearer than twelve minutes, while Thuban was only ten minutes distant. (The Woman’s Bible )

[21] (k) In those days only one virgin, Istahar by name, remained chaste. When the sons of God made lecherous demands upon her, she cried: "First lend me your wings!" They assented and she, flying up to Heaven, took sanctuary at the Throne of God, who transformed her into the constellation Virgo - or, some say, the Pleiades. The fallen angels having lost their wings, were stranded on earth until, many generations later, they mounted Jacob’s ladder and thus went home again. (The Sons of God and the Daughters of Men)

[22] Mention is made of the "morning star" (Rev. 2:28; comp. Isa. 14:12), the "seven stars" and "Pleiades," "Orion," "Arcturus," the "Great Bear" (Amos 5:8; Job 9:9; 38:31), "the crooked serpent," Draco (Job 26:13), the Dioscuri, or Gemini, "Castor and Pollux" (Acts 28:11). The stars were called "the host of heaven" (Isa. 40:26; Jer. 33:22). (The Illustrated Bible Dictionary)
 http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/sumer_anunnaki/esp_sumer_annunaki15aa.htm#Lilith

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