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Unruly Woman: The Legend of Lilith

A few years back, a customer requested that I create a blend that represents Lilith and all of the folklore, mythology, and mystique that surrounds her. It was a challenge I welcomed - an opportunity to learn. Here's what I discovered...

There are many origin stories for Lilith but the most popular one views her as the first wife of Adam. According to this story, Lilith was created by God from dust (as opposed to one of Adam's ribs) and placed in the Garden of Eden with Adam.

Problems arose between them when Adam tried to exercise dominance over Lilith. One story tells that Lilith refused to lay beneath Adam during sex. She believed they were created equal, both from the dust of the earth, thus she should not have to lay beneath him.

When Adam disagreed, Lilith fled the garden to gain her independence, despite the consequences. In order to retain her freedom she must give up her children. In an act of retaliation she steals the seed of Adam! In one account of this story, Lilith is said to "mount Adam." This version of the story implies that Lilith sexually violated Adam.

Other stories portray Lilith as a demoness who kills children and takes advantage of men while they are sleeping. Jewish halakhic law forbids the spilling of a man's seed and Lilith takes advantage of this when men masturbate or have erotic dreams, using the sperm to replenish her own offspring. (Sneaky!)

The open-ended nature of the Lilith symbol, and the wildly different views about her has allowed different groups to use her as a destructive female symbol -- or conversely, as a symbol of female power. Many feminists see Lilith as not only the first woman but the first independent woman created.

However, those who think of her as a demoness see Lilith as a wicked sorceress out to take revenge on men and children. With any symbol or icon used by feminists, especially within a religious context, there will be controversy and opposition.

Whether or not the story of Lilith is accurate is not really the point. The "first Eve" version of the story gives Lilith a role that many women can identify with. She is an independent woman who challenges the oppressive system in which she is placed. Stealing the lives of children represents a certain madness that accompanies her solitude and exclusion. Lilith spends most of her life hidden in the forest, safe from the oppression and persecution of men.

Despite Lilith's downfalls, she still remains a symbol of power simply by her survival and mysteriousness. She is open for interpretation and therefore allows women to reinterpret her symbolism and power.

I see Lilith is the dark side of the goddess within us all. Mythologically and historically she represents female independence... and as such, is often feared and loathed by the patriarchy. Lilith embraces her inner demons, bringing them into the light.

Lilith has made sexuality and independence powerful assets rather than aspects to be hidden in shame. Lilith proudly marches to the beat of her own drum. She is a banner for female power, authenticity, and the act of reclaiming parts of our Selves that are vital for survival. Our Lilith oil is blended to bring out these often hidden aspects of the Woman. It contains 100% pure essential oils. Sultry, spicy and mysterious, Lilith contains ambrette seed, sandalwood, cedarwood, camphor, patchouli and jasmine. You can find Lilith in our shop here, here, and here!


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