Lilith

Lilith 2009

Lilith - with owl

Lilith 2009

On the borders of Tuscany and Latium in a sparsely inhabited area that was once densely populated until scythed by malaria,  there is a mysterious place hidden in an ilex  wood that I call The Sacred Glade, a large natural grotto  narrowing at the top from where the sunlight filters down through the canopy of trees, the roots of which have been exposed as the cliff face crumbles. In the walls are Etruscan tombs, and high up the cliff a tiny Templar church, an erstwhile Etruscan temple, has been cut into the rock. Almost all the frescoes are now in a museum but on the ceiling can still be seen bizarre and mysterious symbols. This grotto is the location for Lilithwhere her tresses interlace with the roots like a celtic braid.

Lilith - the night demon of Babylon. British Museum

Lilith’s origins are Babylonian (below left, British Museum), she re-appears in the Bible as Adam’s first wife, but is banished childless after claiming equality with him. She is portrayed as a snake and as such returns as the temptress (John Collier). A demon, a stealer of husbands and children (Lippi), an evil beguiling witch.

Adam protecting his children from the clutches of Lilith, the child stealer. 1502

Depending on the age and culture, fear of Lilith waxes and wanes. Generally the more sexually repressed the society, the more she is seen as  demon and servant of Satan. The less mankind is at harmony with his female nature the more demonic Lilith becomes, conversely a man at peace with his ‘feminine’ subconscious sees Lilith as his muse. Residing in shadows she is the unconscious, the female nature within man – inspiring, disquieting, even threatening.

John Collier Lilith

Victorian painter John Collier's Lilith as archetypal 'femme fatale': marriage wrecker and syphilitic whore

The unconscious mind is unaware of time, feels rather than reasons, and perhaps has roots extending so far into the past that it is pre-human, pre-sexual, androgynous, eternal. Down, down into the depths where everything and everything lies beneath the surface,  the unconscious  is not aware of good and evil, God is not necessarily good , Satan not necessarily bad.

Associated with the moon’s dark phase, Lilith drifts in and out of men’s affairs under various guises, Hecate, Diana, Minerva, Persephone, the white goddess; she is the moon that is there but cannot be seen, her moonlight shadow stretches over all the women in my book Belle.

Belle is available from Blurb.com (where you can preview the whole book) either in a small pocket sized edition (shown  here, 18x18cm, 7×7″ 80pages) or a de-luxe coffee table book (33x28cm, 11×13″ more pictures, 98 pages). Price: from $ 20, £13, €17.50 depending on size etc. If you wish to purchase a signed edition please contact me .The Belle book click here

More information about Lilith here:

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