In the beginning there was The Creator and the Creator was the Word and the Word was….what?
Later on, man and woman were made…then something went from, they scrubbed that line out and started again, this time making woman out of a piece of man for reasons known only to them but we can guess, we think…
Into the pristine Garden, LIlith stepped, her feet wanting to dance from the sheer joy of it even then, she felt the power of Life filling her and was sure nothing could steal this happiness from her.
As is so often the case, Lilith was wrong.
Adam seemed like a nice enough lad, incredibly attractive, even compared to the angels who were beautiful beyond words, but there was something a little…off…that she couldn’t put her finger on.
Nobody needed to explain the whole procreation thing when night fell, that is what he and she were for after all, to fill this garden with more of their kind and give The Creator joy at the same time. He had given her a part of His ability to Create and she both treasured and was terrified by the gravity of such a gift.
So, as the moment came and Lilith surrendered to her natural passions, he stopped her, at completely the wrong moment too.
“I have been speaking to Gabriel,” he said, apropos of nothing. “Who told me of The Creator’s thoughts on our relationship.”
Lilith was puzzled. The Creator would greet them daily, share a few words with them here and there, remind them not to eat the peaches from that big tree over there, and so forth. Some of the angels liked to chat but they were very busy with the the rest of Creation these days. Why would The Creator show an interest now?
“What did he say?” she managed, burying her frustration with an effort.
“Well – ” Adam began, quite nervous and with the words that followed came an event which, according to many, changed the flow of human history.
Later, as she sat in her new cave, watching the dance of shadows on the rough walls from the fire she’d eventually figured out to make. She was dirty, she was tired, she was hungry, and she was….she was…she did not know what she was….
Angry? Well yes, obviously…the sheer cheek of those people!
Upset? Who wouldn’t be? Was it that little snake between his legs that made him think he was better?
Betrayed? Well obviously also, The Creator had given a long speech about her ability to create new Life as He can and how proud He was to gift this unto her. It had included a lot of thees, thous, heretofores, and the sort of Language he used when he was happy.
This feeling though…it was all of those and thing yet it was….something more and, somehow….something less. She felt both empty and full at the same time as if there were a summer storm raging within her. She did not like it, she decided, and it was their fault.
What was this thing which stirred and disturbed Lilith so? It was simple actually and, it would appear, also complicated. it would be many years before Lilith herself understood it completely.
Adam had demanded – demanded, look you! – that she, Lilith, be submissive to his will in their lovemaking, that she lie beneath him and be receptive only to his wishes. It did not stop there, though. It would apear that this new attitude she was expected to adopt was to be a more permanent thing. The Creator had spoken, as it were.
It would appear that Adam was not only somewhat insecure, he was also a sneaky little rat (he’d seemed to like those scurttling little creatures when he was naming them last week)! He had, she was certain, gone whining to either The Creator directly, to His stooge Gabriel, or both.
Probably didn’t like the whole “…thus doest thou create Life as so do I making thou equal almost to your Creator…” speech.
The Creator hadn’t told him anything like that, she mused, checking the rat roasting on a skewer in the fire with an impish grin. Somehow she felt better though, once again, all these feelings were new to her. She would learn though and then, when she had learned, they would all learn too.
After Lilith’s rather dramatic exit from the Garden, various attempts were made to negociate a peace. It took a while for the angels to find her to begin with because she had sought refuge in what can only be called one of the ‘left over bits’ from Creation itself.
You see, as Lilith was fast learning, the Void that was mentioned in any good account of The Creation was not simply an empty nothingness; it was an empty – ah – everythingness…it had the potential to be anything at all while, at the same time, being absolutely nothing. It was unadulterated potential.
Or, at least, it appeared to be, for Lilith had followed a shadowy figure to this place. It was gone now and she had seen no sign of it since but something told her that it wasn’t too far away. That was curious, she thought, learning that she was capable of all kinds of things no-one had thought to tell her about.
She had already began to shape this place to her desires. Where there was once empty greyness, there was now a a waterfall feeding an azure pool surrounded by rocks and flowers where she liked to bathe. She also enjoyed watching the bees and humming birds feed from those flowers. All those things now existed her because she had asked them to but they continued to exist with no further action from her required. The first time she’d fallen asleep in her new bed, she’d been worried that everything would have gone the moment she entered the darkness of sleep.
But, as she anxiously edged her way out of the cave that morning, the bees and birds continued their raucous dance, the flowers bloomed as if trying to impress her, and the water plished prettily on the slick rocks.
Also there was an angel there, sat playing with the butterflies and hummingbirds. He seemed very much absorbed in the activity and to also be enjoying it.
“So delicate yet so vital,” he said as if continuing a conversation that had began without her. “and so beautiful also though they ap[pear completely unaware of it themselves.”
Raphael’s voice was like one lost in a dream but he always sounded like that. His eyes always had that faraway look to them, his lips always curled in a smile. He was, it appeared, eternally content. “Hello Lilith,” he said, as if noticing her for the first time. “Such a lovely place you have made. Devilishly difficult to find though.”
“Hello Raph,” Lilith approached him warily, though it was so very hard to be in any way anxious around the archangel. “That was pretty much the point, you probably realise.”
“Oh, yes I do, I do,” he smiled and drew his hand through the water. “But I was sent. They thought that I’d be the best one to speak to you. Gabriel irritates you, Michael angers you and my brother Raguel is as inflexible as…well…” He trailed off and dabbled his hands in the water. Raphael was impossibly honest too.
Lilith could not help but smile as she tired to unravel his thought processes. “Not that I mind seeing you, Raph, you always know how to bring joy to a place,” She began. “But I am not going to go back to the Garden. Not unless they have changed their minds…”
“Oh, Lilith…” there was something in his tone that made her heart jump in a way she had never felt happen before. “You don’t know? I had thought you’d be pleased…”
“Know what?” she said simply, feeling the dread building up behind her eyes and her heart making a concerted effort to go swimming in the pool by itself. No, no…surely not that…
Raphael was talking but she barely heard the words….The Creator made another…the thundering of her heart sounded like the ocean during a hurricane in her ears, he vision greying as cold sweat speckled her hands, her feet her throat…Adam called her Eve…her stomach went into freefall, a weight, vast and yet insubstancial filled her head and then careened downward taking her stomach with it…The Creator took one of Adam’s ribs in the night and shaped her from it….heart beating so fast she was sure it would explode out of her chest and ruin the angel’s pure white robe, the tips of her fingers tingled, her toes too, as all other senstation faded and…
“Oh good, good…” Raphael’s voice seemed to come from far away, over the swooshing of Lilith’s heart and pounding of her head. “I have never seen you do that before. I had thought you’d died or something terrible.” He sounded both concerned and fascinated.
Raphael was knelt beside her, propping up her head as he gave her cool water to drink. Lilith gratefully took long and energising swallows but either did not or could not open her eyes. She felt something new building, something that made the weakness that had caused her to fall earlier fade away. It was red, it was vital, it filled her veins fire and took away that cold and empty feeling in the pit of her stomach that caused her to donate her lunch of rat to the fishes in the pool.
It felt…well, it felt good, it felt strong…it felt like hers…
Lilith opened her eyes and met the violet orbs of the angel cooly.
She watched his face change. He went from concern, to mild panic, to incomprehension, and finally to acceptance. He went up several rungs in her estimate and he simply nodded and rose, leaving without a backward glance.
There is much rumour spoken about Lilith over the eons; a lot of of it wildly inaccurate, and most of it simple slander.
They said she, in her rage, grew lustful and lay with the Fallen to birth monsters with which she filled her realm. They are half right; the demons, Lilith’s children, are real. They are right that Asmodeus was a regular visitor to her realm that none could enter without her permission. They are terribly wrong about Asmodeus in so many ways because he made sure it was so. His lustful and dissolute nature, for one, is complete fiction. Asmodeus gains more pleasure from a well-made plan and complex scheme than he does from a woman. He deems himself above such pursuits and will defend Lilith’s ‘honour’ against anyone who makes such accusations.
“I never touched her and she never asked either.” he smiled as he said it. “Funny how they try and reduce her to a rutting animal, getting her revenge on her back isn’t it? Tells you a lot more about them than it does about her.”
The more observant among you would realise that, for Lilith to create her bathing pool with its waterfall, its rocks, fishes, flowers, and birds, she had simply to think of it and want it to exist. After Raphael left her realm and she closed the door to the curious, her thoughts and desires became darker in nature and so too did what they brought forth from the raw potential of the remnant Void.
After a few centuries it changed from nobody being able to enter her realm without to her permission to nobody wanting to even if they were invited. If torured rage, hatred, and a confused welter of emotions still alien to the bearer were to be given form, imagine what wonders they could create.
In Lilith’s realm, you don’t have to imagine, they will immediately see you and hunt you down. They won’t kill you when they catch you though, oh no, they wouldn’t want to spoil the fun but ending your suffering too quickly. They want to savour it, drink it, refine it into the purest of music.
That Lucifer sent those responsible for the Nazis so-called “Final Solution” there for their crimes should tell you all you need to know about the place. The worst nightmare of Hironymous Bosch is a day in the park compared to what waits where Lilith squats in judgement
So, what was it that started it all, that caused Lilith’s rage and caused her refuse to return? Was it the submission that did it or was it that she was put in a position, forced to make a choice that was not a choice?
I want to ask you to consider this; It follows more or less what Raphael explained to Lilith one day; much later on. He was the only angel she really trusted, she even allowed babies wearing his symbol to be safe from her ‘children’ at night.
“Lilith.” Rafael had said, the permanent smile never far from his face. At least it was genuine in his case. “I know how you feel but it this really worth it? The bitterness and anger?”
“It’s mine.” She answered sharply. “He and all of you didn’t want me to have mine own but to be possessed and submissive. I don’t want to do that.”
Rafael’s face became serious for a moment and he visibly sighed. “You fail to see the complexity.”
She gifted him with one of her famous ‘looks’ which were said to make anything male feel about three years old. Rafael actually blushed and, though he was not obviously male, looked like a scolded child.
“As am I. Nor am I stupid, Raph.” She favoured him with another look and then smiled reassuringly. “Explain it to me then.” She touched his arm gently.
“You have some idea of the power of woman I imagine.” He smiled.
“We can make life,” She said uncertainly. “Just like He does.”
“Exactly like He does but slower.” Rafael confirmed with a wry grin. “But that is not it. Not completely anyway.”
“I am confused.” She would rarely admit such weakness to anyone. This angel was a friend, if she could claim to have such a thing. She considered him such a good friend that she allowed any babe bearing his sigil to be safe from her children.
“You see what one of your looks does to Man do you not?” He gave her a frown in reply.
She admitted that she did. She could calm the even a savage beast such as Abaddon with a smile or look. Only Lucifer seemed to be immune, and him of course but he was less obviously male than even the angels were.
“Woman has what Man most desires. Man is built to want that, to procreate and to dominate it is in his – what did Father call it? – DNA, the code which makes him, well, him. That role of the protector and aggressor against threat. Woman is to nurture, Man is to defend and attack if needed. Father saw this sharing of roles and natures to be wise make Man and Woman partners; He had a word or two with Adam.” He blushed again and appeared to looking for an exit. “Man does these things and thinks that he is in charge…listen I’m not supposed to be telling you this, you were supposed to work it out for yourself…”
“Tell me what?” She purred and Rafael blushed.
“That!” He gestured sharply toward her with a hand. “With your female ways and wiles you can make Man your absolute slave and he will love you for it! He will do anything for that which you have. That which he so deeply wants. All you have to do is let him think he is in charge.”
“But I am instead?” She put her chin in her hand and her eyes went distant.
“Exactly.” He blushed to his ears and looked at the ground. “I tried to tell you before but then they got kicked out of the Garden. Azraphael is guarding the gates with that big flaming sword of his now so they’re not getting back in; they wandered off East somewhere I think.” His voice trailed off and he looked her in the eyes.
“You’re stubborn, Lilith.” he muttered. “If you had only listened to me before…”
It hit her then, she had been a fool and allowed her pride to take over instead of using her great intelligence to work out what Rafael had just told her. How different could things have been had she realised this and used the knowledge as the angel had suggested? She wanted to cry suddenly but would do no such thing in front of something that at least looked like a man. As the pain gripped her chest and her heart skipped, the rage which had kept her going all these eons came to her rescue as it always did…
Now, that seems like a simple choice for her, doesn’t it? To Raphael’s mind it is, even for such an honest being as he, it has logical sense to it and, of course, it does. If one were to think about it like an angel, it makes perfect sense and to do otherwise would be foolish.
The angels who have never set foot on the Earth though, forget one important factor; however; how that feels.
You see, for angels, feelings and emotions are not the same as they are for humans. They are spiritual entities rather than biological ones and feelings come with the meat, as it were. A supposedly simply, yes/no decision to a cold and logical being like an angel is not so simple for us. Lilith pretending to be what she is not in order to have what she wants is against everything that makes Lilith, as it were, Lilith.
In order to give The Creator what He claimed to want and, ultimately, gain what she herself wants, Lilith would have to surrender everything that matter to her, her very self. She would be compromising daily and be given none in return. Adam would get what he wants and, probably, be incredibly smug about it, who knows what else he would ask The Creator for?
In many ways; this choice of Lilith’s is an allegory for abusive relationships everywhere…surrender your happiness and vitality for the other person and gain little to nothing in return except some vague satisfaction.
It’s no wonder she became a bitter and self-consumed creature of rage is it?
Lilith is an allegory for a great many things and possibly the most complex character in The Chronicles. Her influences and signs of her are everywhere, rumours and stories about her also.
The stories we read about her were intriguing but, as with the rest of them, missing some important elements we felt. Most curious of all we found that, in stories which clearly expressed something approaching admiration for what many may call feminist elements to her character, there were still elements of stereotypes; she was a witchy, bitter, twisted, and lustful creature that copulated with anyone she could find in order to have her revenge. We felt that this conforms too much to what we consider female stereotype.
She had to be more than a monsterous queen breeder in order to be the truly glorious character and person that she is; to be the goddess, the true Queen of Heaven.
She also represents the true choice of many women (and men); when they suffer many forms of abuse and use in life, are taken for granted and cheated upon, there is a choice, whether conscious or not; you become bitter and vengeful or you decide it is not and never was your fault and, instead to soar.
Lilith was never out for simple revenge. She was not the mere woman spurned and replaced looking to get back at the ‘other woman’ or Eve. She was not simply taking revenge on their descendants because she felt cheated of motherhood. No, she had genuine concerns.
You see, to her, Eve represented everything she feared that she would herself have become had she stayed; meek, submissive, constantly compromising and compromised, a slave. A mother for children, a preparer of food and cleaner of home. Not a person in herself, not an individual at all but a weak and emptied shell.
Lilith was certain that she could, over time at least (and she appeared to be immortal), make women as strong as she felt they should be; through travails that would make them or break them, she would forge the weakness inherited from their ‘rib-creature’ of a mother into something worthy of the name woman.
That is why her meeting Lorasta is so significant. Lorasta, the abused, badly used, the confused and lost woman who is conflicted in herself is exactly the student Lilith needs. Lorasta reminds Lilith so much of herself; she is angry, in conflict with herself and everyone around her, she retreated away from everyone and into herself yet she retains a strength that even Asmodeus has admired, a determination not to be just what she was born as but to forge her own future any way she can. Lilith admires and is overjoyed to see that because, to her, that is what woman should be.
We are seriously looking forward to where The Chronicles take Lilith and Lorasta and how people feel about these characters. We dearly hope that we have done her justice and, through her, those to whom this may matter most.
We hope that strong women can be as proud of her as she is of them.
Note: for those who have been asking; Lilith holds in her hands; a lamp shaped like the Moon, a golden knife, a blood chalice with an anhk as ornamentation,a golden apple marked ‘to the fairest’, and a dove. I could explain the symbolism to you but I think it would be more fun if you figured it out for yourself…