Women's Goddess Retreat
September 10 - 12, 2010




The Lessons of Empowerment and Selfhood

Lilith is a character in Jewish mythology, found earliest in the Babylonian Talmud, which is generally thought to be related to a class of female demons Līlītu in Mesopotamian texts. However, Lowell K. Handy (1997) notes that "Very little information has been found relating to the Akkadian and Babylonian view of these demons. Two sources of information previously used to define Lilith are both suspect." The two problematic sources are the Gilgamesh appendix and the Arshlan-Tash amulets.

In Jewish folklore, from the 8th-10th Century Alphabet of Ben Sira onwards Lilith becomes Adam's first wife, who was created at the same time and from the same earth as Adam. This legend was greatly developed during the Middle Ages, in the tradition of Aggadic midrashim, the Zohar and Jewish mysticism. In the 13th Century writings of Rabbi Isaac ben Jacob ha-Kohen, for example, Lilith left Adam after she refused to become subservient to him and then would not return to the Garden of Eden after she mated with archangel Samael. The resulting Lilith legend is still commonly used as source material in modern Western culture, literature, occultism, fantasy and horror.

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