The dark feminine is one very punished~banished archetypal figure in our human psyche, often relegated to the shadow because we have forgotten how to handle our strong female energy. Even in these liberated contemporary times, she continues to be shunned, condemned, reviled, blamed, rejected, neglected, vilified, renounced, demonised and hated: the Witch Hunt continues.
We owe much to the feminist movement, but it seems perhaps the quest to be deemed mens’ equals was misguided? Now it seems women have fought successfully for the right to do everything men can, so now we have little choice. We have accepted that we must meet the needs of the patriarchy ~ the perfect projection of the Goddess upon our mere mortality ~ now we must work, home-make, child-rear, and in the words of Usher: be a lady in the street and a freak in the bed, and still be underpaid!
Our primeval roles ~ mother nurturer healer wild woman magus mystic witch whore ~ suffered at the hands of the patriarchy so that womens’ natural abilities became worthless, in a world that prizes achievement aggression action ambition advancement above all else. Many thousands of women who refused to renounce their gifts and artistry paid a hefty price ~ burning at the stake a welcome relief after suffering through much cruelty.
With this uprising of the Church and the denial of Pagan nature worship women became viewed as either evil demonesses or weak/meek victims: mere burdens men must bear in order to prolong lineage. We were (are) none of these, but rather the courageous and strong receptacles of ancient Goddess knowledge. A wisdom so deep dark mysterious and inconstant that the masculine cannot contain it by force, or define it with reason, or control it, thus we fear it.
For a long time, I’ve pondered the dark feminine. I have contemplated and meditated, working towards conscious integration of this most powerful energy that resides within me, and each of us, men and women alike. Astrologically, we can look to Black Moon Lilith (a mathematical point, not a celestial body) to help us understand ways in which this energy is expressed (or repressed) in our own psyches.
Black Moon Lilith has completed her nine month journey through Libra, and can be found now (until February 2017) in the sign of Scorpio ~ well matched energies we can surmise, with Scorpio symbolic of the dark Yin Plutonian underworld. My natal Lilith lives in Scorpio too, so as my BML Return looms large on my horizon, I wonder what she has in store for me, and others born between January and October 1981?
Mythologically, Lilith was demonised by the patriarchy for her wilful independence as she, despite heinous blackmail attempts involving perpetual losses of sacrificial progeny, preferred her freedom to cavort with demons and devils on the shores of the Red Sea than to play second fiddle to Adam in Eden. Thus, Adam had a new and satisfactorily subservient bride fashioned from one of his ribs ~ enter the agreeable Eve.
In her refusal to bow before the masculine, and thereby compromise on her principles, Lilith had no choice but to leave, exiled but integrity intact. She is simultaneously sorrowful and fierce: mourning the daily loss of her own children, and her place in Eden as a rightful equal to Adam, she blazed her own lonely trail, belonging to no one. She returned later with a vengeance, disguised as a serpent, convincing Eve to tempt Adam into sinful relations. Rebellious? Perhaps. Defiant? Indeed. Righteous..?
Can we not all do with some Lilith fire in our bellies?
As an archetypal figure she remains largely dissociated from our personal and collective consciousness’. Apart from the angry feminists that have gone to the other end of the spectrum and identified with the disenfranchised feminine so extremely they hurt their cause (not to mention themselves!) in attempts to correct the imbalance between male~female. The rest of us prefer denial, and projection of our inner Lilith upon all those other crazy bitches out there.
Herein lies our mistake: Lilith exists within us all. It is convenient to scapegoat the most difficult women we know and label them mad imbalanced deranged demanding irrational hormonal hysterical et al because it frightens and disgusts us to think that we are capable of the very same behaviours. Men especially struggle to accept the gorgon when she is unleashed, and often react with stoney disengagement that further riles the woman’s shadow.
“Lilith appears in our daily life when we find ourselves in those situations where we are not free to express ourselves, nor valued for our wisdom. Prevented from acting, moving, choosing and determining our life circumstances. We may feel forced to obey others against our own better judgement, and pressured to suppress qualities that others find unacceptable and threatening” (George, 1992, p.188).
Lilith in Scorpio can be a time of reconciling with Lilith, as we recognise our capacity for rage that is vile and extreme. The release of accumulated repressed anger (often expressed in explosive ways) allows us to examine our feelings. An opportunity for integration of this new found self-knowledge presents at such a time, as Lilith tries to free us from pretences. But too often we relent to feelings of humiliation and shame, and retreat to status quo. The violence we have exhibited leaves us remorseful as we have exposed this vulnerability and frightened ourselves with the power we possess. If we are brave, we might be able to face the shadow of Lilith, and hear her message. From here we begin to heal, and invite conscious and creative expression of Lilith power into our lives.
“There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own Soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.” C.G.Jung
George, D. (1992) Mysteries of the Dark Moon, Harper Collins, New York City.