Lilith, Ancient Sumeria

8905-lilith_snake_wings_stone_statue-RE2IEvery religion known to mankind has some kind of “evil woman” myth. Quite a few of them bear a startling resemblance to Lilith. Lilith has many different names, such as Marilith or Lilitu, but all of them connect with the common theme: A demon woman, often with wings, who kills men and sometimes children: A succubus. Lilith (or Lilitu) has over 100 names and variations in myths ranging from Ancient Sumeria to Jewish Mysticism to tribal Malayasia to myths about the Third Millenium. She is the first wife of Adam (before Eve) according to the Jewish myth. She is a Sumerian fertility/agricultural goddess, and she is the Greek goddess of the dark moon. Lilith was once known as a Sumerian fertility/agricultural goddess, but over the years has been demonified by other religions into the modern myth of succubi.

There are many different legends and sources from multiple religions that refer to Lilith, and none of them are complete. Only after looking at all of them (preferably in chronological order) does a person gain a better understanding of what Lilith was, and what her myth has become.

Cybele, the Lioness, Ancient Phrygia

the Phrygian Mother Goddess, known to the Greeks and Romans as Cybele or Magna Mater, the Great Mother. Her cult was particularly prominent in central Anatolia (modern Turkey), and spread from there through the Greek and Roman world. Cybele was the goddess of nature and fertility. Because Cybele presided over mountains and fortresses, her crown was in the form of a city wall. The cult of Cybele was directed by eunuch priests called Corybantes, who led the faithful in orgiastic rites accompanied by wild cries and the frenzied music of flutes, drums, and cymbals. Sinn, Ancient Babylonia.

Brigid the Enchantress, Celtic Ireland

Brigit or Brighid has been worshiped by the Celtic people as a Saint for over fifteen hundred years, and as a Goddess long before the Roman invasion of Britain and the birth of Christ. Her cult was so powerful that the Celtic Christian Church had to adopt her as a Saint, and the Roman Catholic Church followed suit, for her people would not abandon her. The name ‘Britain’ is a derivation of Brigit’s name. Britain was named for an ancient Celtic tribe, the Brigantes, who worshiped Brigit and were the largest Celtic tribe to occupy the British Isles in pre-Roman times. She had two sisters, also named Brighid, and is considered a classic Celtic Triple Goddess.

Diana, Ancient Rome

Diana was the Goddess of the hunt and wild animals. She later took over from Luna as the Roman Goddess of the moon, responsible for fertility and childbirth. Her trinity of gods included Egeria and Virvius. Originally she was Queen of the open sky and possible a sun Goddess in addition to being a moon Goddess as her name means light. Men fought to the death to for the honour of becoming one of her priests.

Selene, Ancient Greece

The Goddess Selene is the Full Moon aspect of the Greek Triple Goddess. The others being Artemis – Waxing Moon, and Hecate – the Waning Moon. In the maiden, mother, crone aspects of the Goddess, Selene is the mother Goddess, Artemis the maiden and Hecate the Crone.

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Selene is depicted as a beautiful winged goddess who wears a golden crown that radiates gentle light. She is known for her various love affairs, including with Zeus, but most famously known for her love affair with Endymion. Endymion was the mortal prince, who was given immortality and eternal youth by Zeus on the condition that he be eternally asleep, though some say Selene Herself requested that he be always asleep, so that no other might have him. She would visit him faithfully every night, and it is said that She had 50 daughters by him.

Hecate, the Dark One, Ancient Greece

Queen of the Night, triple-faced Hekate (heh-KAH-tee) is one of the most ancient images from a pre-Greek stratum of mythology and an original embodiment of the Great Triple Goddess. She is most often linked with the dark of the moon and presides over magic, ritual, prophetic vision, childbirth, death, the underworld, and the secrets of regeneration. Mistress of the crossroads, this lunar goddess dwells in caves, walks the highways at night, makes love on the vast seas, and is the force that moves the moon.

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Hecate had few public temples in the ancient world, however, small household shrines, which were erected to ward off evil and the malevolent powers of witchcraft, were quite common. Her most important cults were those of Eleusis and the island of Samothrake, where she was worshipped as an associate-goddess of the Mysteries.

Caridwen, Queen of the Cauldron

Ceridwen is regarded by modern Wiccans as the Celtic goddess of rebirth, transformation, and inspiration. She is a patron Goddess of witches and wizards. She is also associated with the moon, fertility, science, prophecy and poetry.

Ceridwen has the power to transform herself into many different creatures. As well as being regarded as a Crone Goddess she is also said to represent the Mother and Maiden aspects of the Triple Goddess.

Thoth, Ancient Egypt

ThothThoth, depicted as an Ibis, was the wisest of the Egyptian gods. He was the god of wisdom, writing, numbers, the arts, astronomy and magic.

The magical powers of Thoth were so great, that the Egyptians had tales of a ‘Book of Thoth’, which had two spells in it. If you read the first spell aloud, you would be able to understand every beast and bird, and summon the fishes in the sea. If you read the second spell, you could bring the dead to life.

Thoth also ruled the underworld, and was in charge of the scales in the Hall of Judgement. Thoth used the scales to weigh the heart of the deceased against the feather of truth to determine if they were worthy to enter the afterlife. As the scribe of the gods, Thoth recorded the result of each judgement.

Isis, Mistress of Magic, Ancient Egypt

Isis.svgIsis is one of the earliest and most important goddess in ancient Egypt. She was the first daughter of Geb, god of the Earth, and Nut, goddess of the Sky.

She was regarded as the feminine counterpart to Osiris, a role she probably occupied before the dawn of dynastic Egypt.

No other Egyptian deity has stood the test of time as well as Isis. Her cult was not extinguished with the other Egyptian gods, but was embraced by the Greeks and Romans, her worship has even lasted into the present day.

She was revered by the Egyptian people as the great mother-goddess and represents the maternal spirit in its most intimate form. Isis was a great enchantress, the goddess of magic.

Khons the forgotten Egyptian, Ancient Egypt

500px-Khonsu_as_falcon.svgKhonsu (Khons, Chons, Khensu) was a god of the moon and time. His main role was associated with the moon.

His name means “traveller” and this may relate to the nightly travel of the moon across the sky.

Khonsu’s cult center was at Thebes where he was part of a trinity with Amun and Mut.

It was thought that he could influence the fertility of both the people and their livestock and one myth gives him a prominent role in the creation of the universe.

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