The Prophet of the Peacock-Quill
Hath drunk God’s Blood from out the Cup
Of Iblis and the Blessed Few
That with Eve’s brood refuse to sup.
Ye Children of fair Lilith born,
Come tread the Path of Blame and Scorn,
For you, from Hell, have fallen . . . Up!
Andrew Chumbley, QUTUB
Beliefs spanned the globe in the days of our ancestors of Serpents who were the progenitors of humankind. To many who practice the modern Craft of the Wise, Lucifer and Lilith are the forebears of modern witches. In an interview by Michael Howard and Robert Fitzgerald (The Cauldron #103, February 2002), Andrew Chumbley said of this heritage of Knowledge:
Different streams of British Traditional Craft have different patron deities, ancestors and spirits. If one is able to oversee this diversity certain strands of commonality may be perceived. If one may seek amongst these strands–amidst the many other kinds of shared features, one may speak about a body of lore that exists in the Old Craft which incorporates a gnostic faith in the Divine Serpent of Light, in the Host of the Gregori, in the Children of Earth sired by the Watchers, in the lineage of descent via Lilith, Mahazael, Cain, Tubal-cain, Naamah, and the Clans of the Wanderers… onward to the present-day Initiates of Arte.
Lilith is the Serpent of the Garden of Eden, who seduced Eve and awakened her to the power sleeping within her. The 17th century Qabbalist Bacharach wrote of Lilith’s sexual exploits in the Garden of Eden in his Emeq HaMelekh (Valley of the King, Amsterdam, 1648):
And the Serpent, the Woman of Harlotry, incited and seduced Eve through the husks of Light which in itself is holiness. And the Serpent seduced Holy Eve, and enough said for him who understands. And all this ruination came about because Adam the first man coupled with Eve while she was in her menstrual impurity–this is the filth and the impure seed of the Serpent who mounted Eve before Adam mounted her. Behold, here it is before you: because of the sins of Adam the first man all the things mentioned came into being. For Evil Lilith, when she saw the greatness of his corruption, became strong in her husks, and came to Adam against his will, and became hot from him and bore him many demons and spirits and Lilin.
In the Jewish tradition, Lilith is the mother by Adam of all the spirits of the realm parallel to ours. These spirits, to Jewish folk, are evil beings; wards and talismans were created for protection from them. But to many modern witches, She is the Witchmother. In his QUTUB (Xoanon, 1995), Andrew Chumbley writes poetically about Her role as the Queen of Witches.
The ‘Word’ lies between the Poet and the Mystery of which he is the Communicant; the Bearer of the Word is the Muse or Daemon. It is the very nature of the Muse as the agatho- and caco-daemonic intelligence of Man, and its identification with the cognate Initiatic god-forms of Shaitan and Lilith which constitute the specialised mode of attainment concealed within the Poem. Both Shaitan and Lilith are types of the Opposer, that is to say, they are mythic representations of the Power transmitted through the magical formulae of inversion and reversal, and as such they embody the Luciferan path of rebellion against, and the transcendence of, the accepted order of ‘Nature’.
Charles Leland compared Aradia to Herodias and to Lilith Herself. In Italian witchcraft traditions, Aradia was the first witch, sent down to Earth by her Moon-mother Diana and Light-father Lucifer to teach the Arte to the oppressed folk. Lilith has also been compared to and associated with Inanna, Ishtar, Astarte, and Erishkegal, Mesopotamian Goddess who fears the Light, Queen of the Underworld, “the house where those who enter are deprived of light, where dust is their food, clay their bread. They are clothed, like birds, with feathers. They see no light, they dwell in darkness. They moan like doves” (Tell el-Amarna Tablets/Letters, c. 1500 – 1300 BCE).
Lilith has been associated with many things in Her long history, including heather, mirrors, and incantation bowls. Mirrors have served as Her portals from Her Underworld into this realm for countless ages. It was said that a young maiden, gazing vainly into a mirror, could be seduced by the Dark Queen Lilith. Incantation bowls were used to “divorce” or exorcize “Lilith, male lili and female lilith, Hag and Snatcher” from the home. Amulets, too, were used as wards and charms to bind Her and send Her away, especially in the protection of newborns, as Lilith has also been known to steal infants.
My experience with Lilith, the first witch and succubus, is similar to my experience with Hekate, but without the invitation of companionship. Her heart is never won, and She is not for the faint of heart. Lilith has invoked fear in the hearts of many deep into history. We all know there is a line between magic and madness, and in my experience, Lilith blurs it almost to imperceptibility. She is a Queen of Secrets and Nameless Knowledge, and allows access to the cold flame of Truth She guards only to those who have given so deeply of themselves as to have abandoned Boundaries. She is the fiery light of the Sun into which you must drift and die when you glean Her Knowledge. She is the clear-headed heat of insanity, of mindless lust deep in Night’s Darkness. She is the Queen Mother of the Shadows over your shoulder in the Darkness, that evade your Vision when you gaze into the mirror, They whom She guided into the Underworld after Their rejection by Adam. Peel back Her heat and there is cold fear; peel back the fear and there is heat again–She is endless and cold as a black hole and fiery as a dwarf star. She is harlotry, self-liberation, and rebellion. Leave yourself or guard yourself: make your choice.
Note: While my path is heavily influenced by Sabbatic and Luciferian Witchcraft and Thelema, all of which have also influenced my experiences with Lilith and this article, I claim no knowledge of the Mysteries of any initiatory tradition.
- “Black Witchcraft: The Foundation of the Luciferian Path” by Michael W. Ford
- “The Daughters of Lilith” by Michael W. Ford
- “Isis, Lilith, Gello: Three Ladies of Darkness” by Alejandro Arturo González Terriza
- “Lilith” by Sarah Lawless
- “Lilith: The Shade of Night and the Eclipse of the Worlds” by Nicholaj De Mattos Frisvold
- “Luciferian Witchcraft” by Sarah Lawless
- Aradia, or the Gospel of the Witches by Charles Leland (1892)
- The Bible
- Dead Sea Scrolls
- Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trismegistus
- Etruscan Roman Remains in Popular Tradition by Charles Leland (1899)
- The Epic of Gilgamesh (recorded c. 2750 – 2500 BCE)
- Liber 414: De Arte Magica by Aleister Crowley (1987)
- Paradise Lost by John Milton (England, 1667)
- QUTUB: The Point by Andrew Chumbley (1995)