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Lilith Tale

They call me First Wife. Such a lie! I was simply first.

They name me Hag, Screecher, Vampire, Succubus. Don't listen to them. The tale has been perverted.

I am Lilith, the ancient and sacred name for the fatal owl with feathers soft as snow.

I am the darkness that balances the light to make Wisdom. The Tree at the center is my home, and my garden is lush and luxuriant and free, fantastic with the growth and death of the living things of this profound and sacred Earth. Who could have brought all this into being? Not a male God, surely. Have you ever heard of a man giving birth?

In this garden that is the heart of the world the Tree of Wisdom grows. Into the branches of the Wisdom-tree was set the slender serpent, as a reminder that renewal can only be had by shedding the old, and as an augury of the irresistible immortality of the Life-force. The fruit of this tree is given to nourish Humanity; for Wisdom and Knowledge are essential in this world. Knowledge, it is true, can bear bitter fruit as well as sweet, but truth must be tasted to awaken growth. So was the Garden made.

That is what I know to be true, for I was there, in the beginning.

But the Story was stolen.

In the new version, Life became Death, Knowledge a Curse, and Woman, who is Mother, became Sin. Pleasure and rightness were beaten back on themselves, to eat away at the soul as a cancer. Sweet innocent sex was forbidden yet coyly acknowledged as irresistible, and when Man inevitably succumbed he was berated and shamed, and Woman was damned for being seductive and beautiful. Curiosity and the thirst for knowledge were savagely punished, and Humanity was severed from the Divine, to live lives of pain and longing.

The infinite color of the world was reduced to Black and White, which were then set at war.

And in their new tales I have become a demon, the faithless first wife of a man made of clay, a night creature that deceives men with joyous cruelty and devours her own children. I would weep, were I not so angry!

And this Earth, this good and beautiful and divine living home, this infinite and ingenious matrix of Life, this holy and precious Paradise we all inhabit, was given to Man to rule over in tyranny, to devour and consume like locusts, until all is exhausted and extinguished, while Woman, who carries the seed of life and renewal, is made a slave.

She who created this has a long memory; do not think She will forget.


Ch'ang O