Lilith in Hebrew (Lamed – Yod – Lamed – Yod – Tau) means
literally of the night. Lilith is therefore a being who belongs to the night, who lives in the night. This indicates both a nocturnal being and a being who lives in the darkness of our deepest unconscious. We are not given to see through the darkness, so Lilith is a fearful and unknown being for us.
And she is said to be a woman of superhuman beauty, with long curly red hair. She is sometimes described as having shining fiery eyes and blue skin, characteristics she shares with Hindu deities, where blue skin represents the ability to heal, transforming anger into wisdom.
Even red, or fiery, eyes are essentially a symbol of cleansing anger. To testify to her being indomitable about her, she is described as covered in hair, probably because the women of the Middle East used, even then, to shave, or maybe just because of her long hair that surrounds her.
She and she were depicted with rapacious claws, like the Greek erinyes and harpies, perhaps because she, like them, is a winged being, having obtained wings by invoking the name of god, but also because she shares the same vengeful character. Another way Lilith is depicted is with a mermaid tail, but these mythological beings were originally similar to birds, just like harpies.
Lilith in the Judeo-Christian Tradition
The New Testament and the Christian tradition do not expressly speak of Lilith, but it is likely that she can hear the rustle of her black wings while reciting certain prayers or evoking certain facts. Without a doubt, it is a
this demon alluding to Psalm 91.
- You will not fear the terrors of the night,
nor the lightning she flickers in the day;
nor the Plague that spreads in the darkness,
nor the attacks of the noon demon-.
The legend of Gerbert d’Aurillac, future Pope Sylvester II (999-1003) is connected to this demon of the afternoon. As a young man, he met a girl of marvelous beauty, seated among silk fabrics and surrounded by piles of gold coins. Meridiana – this was her name – promised her graces, his magical knowledge, and her riches, in exchange for trust. Gerbert accepted and quickly became archbishop of Reims, then of Ravenna, and finally pope. As his death approached, he publicly confessed his sins, dying in the odor of holiness. The noon girl was Lilith
Lilith in the Talmud and Zohar
The Zohar explains that the demon Lilith, an impure figure as demons are half divine and half-human creatures, cooperates closely with the angel Shaitan. Her primary physical traits are her demon character with a woman’s face, framed by long thick, flowing hair, and endowed with wings. So it is represented in two different passages of the Talmud, which speaks of a winged fetus like Lilith, or still tells of a woman who lets her hair grow like Lilith.
The aspect of Lilith that is emphasized in these two texts is that of the seductress, she clings to the men she instigates into evil and wicked relationships. Lilith is the desecrator of the human seed, when the seed of man is dispersed, it forms evil spirits with the help of Machlath and Lilith, but the latter will die when the time comes.
In practice, the human seed spreads on the ground, fertilizes Lilith and causes her to generate, so that she fills the world with her demon lineage. When darkness falls, woe to that man on whom Lilith’s desire is imprinted! She will take possession of him, says the Talmud, which also mentions the prohibition for man to sleep alone in a house.
Lilith attempts to replace her rightful bride. For this reason it is recommended in the Zohar to use an appropriate magical ritual to remove Lilith from her marriage bed. When the man joins his wife, he must turn his thoughts to the holiness of his Lord and say
In your sweet velvet robes, are you here?
Stop, stop! Do not enter and do not go out!
Nothing of you and nothing in you!
Come back, come back!
The sea roars, the waves call you.
I have appropriated what is sacred, I am surrounded by the King’s Holiness.
Then he has to cover his wife’s heads with clothes for a while and sprinkle the bed with pure water afterward.