Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2020 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming


  • Chani NicholasEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-24348-7_9073

Lilith is an ancient Near Eastern Goddess who reaches into ageless archetypal fears of the night, death, and the wild, untamed natural world. She shows herself in Sumerian, Babylonian, Assyrian, Canaanite, Persian, Hebrew, Arabic, and Teutonic mythology. She is known as a longhaired night demon, child-killing witch, succubus, wind-spirit, seductress, bloodsucker, Impure Female, End of Day, screech owl, or hag. In Hebrew mythology she was the first wife of Adam and the manifestation of the rejected and disembodied shadow of the Great Goddess rejected by the monotheistic, patriarchal Hebrews (Koltuv 1986). Lilith lives in the wild and is close to nature – she is depicted as having hairy legs like a beast, sometimes winged with talons for feet, reminding us of the nocturnal wisdom of the bird Goddesses before her (Johnson 1988). She is a balancing force to the all-powerful solar God who is divorced from the earth’s sensual nature. As with all ancient figures in mythology, she has gone...

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  1. 1.San FranciscoUSA