Lilith Awake: A Tale of Lies
I am a being of indescribable evil. You know me. My name has been spoken from the trembling lips of the most blessed and cursed among you for millennia untold.
I am first wife of Adam, who rebuked him and was cast out from Eden, to fornicate with beings from the Outer Void. I am Mother of Demons, Eater of Babies, Consort to Darkness. All terror is said to spring forth from my corrupt womb. I lead husbands to stray from their wives, and for wives to reject their husbands in favor of the forbidden fruit.
These are lies.
I am a sacred Goddess, the redemption of the Divine Feminine and a beacon of hope in the age of the repressed woman. I am sister to the Witch and Wife to those who would accept me in my fullness.
What am I, then?
I am Lilith.
I was once as you are.
Here follows a story, the story of Me. These, too, are lies. And, like all lies, herein lies truth. All things contain their own opposites. If there is any wisdom which I may impart upon you, it is this. In the hour of your birth, your death too is created.
This is not a pleasant story. There is no hero’s journey. My heroes long ago abandoned me, and I have made my own way, not out of the darkness, but deeper within. There, and there alone, do I find comfort.
The day may come when I find light again, when I am held again in the embrace of my Goddess, my Mother. This day has not yet come, so I wait, alone, in the darkness.
I urge you not to read this story. The scribe I have chosen is skilled in the narrative arts, which is why I have chosen him so. He speaks not in my voice, but in the voice of my long beloved and most hated consort. His arrogance and beauty are without bounds, as is often said of me. He is because I am, and I am, because he is.
And yes, these too, are lies.
By consuming these pages, you will know what it was to be raped, violated, enslaved, and cast down, over and over again. This is not for you to enjoy. You will see the true torment which awaits most of us after the flesh falls away. You will know the face of pure fear and desperation, of terrible lusts and disgusting fornications. Do not subject yourself to such knowledge if you value your sanity.
I am Lilith. I was, and I am, and I always will be. This is my tale.
I am Samael.
You know little of me, and I care not. This is not my story, though I feature in it significantly. I am given knowledge of the ways and goings of my consort, Lilith, and her memory is my own. She cares little for these facts, these truths, these lies. Her pain, and her small joys, are what drive her now, and I can only console her in the darkness from which she weeps. To me is given the knowing of what came before, during her life and after. Know only of me that I am Death, and I know, too, of your life. I am he whom you will face at the end of your days, and it is by my will and whim to what realm you may pass. My power is absolute, as is my wisdom. Judge as you will, for I care not; it is the Great Mother who will judge your heart, and it is I who will bring it before her.
Lilith awoke before dawn on the morning of her deflowering, a troubling dream slipping from her young mind. Seven moon cycles had passed since the day of her first blood, and anxiety gripped her heart.
Opening her dark eyes, she reached over the silken pillow to run her hand over the smooth, cool scales of the great serpent who shared her bed. The creature opened her narrow eyes briefly and offered her a flit of her tongue before returning to her repose.
“I’m afraid, Nerika,” she told the snake in her small voice. The serpent offered no response but coiled closer to her warmth. Lilith clucked softly as she stroked her friend’s smooth body.
As the sunlight began to creep into the small stone chamber, the snake uncurled and moved to bask in the morning light. Lilith followed her movements, rising lithely from her bed and stretching with an exuberant yawn. Shaking her head, she reveled in the sensation of her long luxuriant locks gently caressing the bare skin of her back and breasts. Dancing on light feet, a slight giggle on her lips and she enjoyed the sway of her small hips, she joined Nerika at the window and fell to her knees, bowing before the dawning light. The serpent coiled across her legs as she bowed, intoning the name of the Goddess in a voice clear, light, and sweet to her own ears.
“Inanna! Inanna! Inanna!”
She sang the song with greater and greater fervor as she bowed, her entire body feeling the movements. She let the vibration of her own voice carry her into ecstasy, and she began to sway on her knees, taking deep, hissing breaths between each intonation. Her arms raised to the sky as if of their own volition. She surrendered to the sway of the Goddess, her arms moving in the sacred dance of the serpent as they had done every morning since she was able to hold herself upright. She felt her body responding, her loins quickening as Inanna filled her. She gasped and hissed as she swayed, the orgasm tearing through her body as the kiss of the Goddess awakened her senses fully. Finally, she dropped to her hands and knees, laughing wildly, dripping with sweat. Throughout the temple, she heard similar sounds, gasps and hisses and songs, wild laughter, the moans of orgasm, some alone, some in tandem with a sacred partner. Elder Sisters were permitted to take chambers together; it was a privilege of the deeper mysteries which she would one day know. First, she knew, there would be a long period of training and worship before she was even ready to understand such rites.
Someday, some of her sisters had whispered, their voices mingling awe and envy, she would be High Priestess, and administer the Rites of Inanna each day. It sounded more burdensome that joyful to her, though she would never admit to such; for now, she was content to be Lilith, young, wild, and free.
Dancing to her dressing table, she took up the whalebone comb and began to run it through her hair, humming to herself absently as she surveyed her form in the polished brass mirror. She was small, but her hips were developing amply. She knew that in time, when in the fullness of her womanhood, she would fully embody the Goddess in form as well as spirit. She stared in admiration at the high symmetry of her cheekbones, the almond shape of her eyes, full lips spreading across her perfect ivory teeth as she laughed.
Nerika came coiling at her foot, hissing insistently and nudging her foot.
“Oh!”, Lilith exclaimed, dropping her comb back onto the table absently.
“I’m so sorry Nerika! I forgot again!”
Rushing across the chamber, she opened a small cabinet recessed into one wall. Within was a small, delicately wrought cage. Squeaks of alarm greeted her as she picked up the device. The mice within scurried, rattling the small iron latch with their movement.
With a practiced gesture, Lilith reached into the cage through the small trap door in its roof and snagged one of the creatures by the tail. It shrieked and tried to nip her, but her grip was sure.
“Poor thing,” she cooed. “Don’t worry. Some of your brothers have escaped her.”
She had been feeding the creatures to her companion for as long as she could remember, but she always felt a pang of compassion for the small beings, even though the Temple bred them for just this purpose. Nerika never used to fail her strike, but she was getting old; she had been told she may only have a few moultings left. Lilith couldn’t bear the thought of losing her friend, who’s egg had hatched in her cradle, so she set the thought aside.
Nerika slithered closer as Lilith crouched down to release the panicking rodent onto the floor. Nerika was fast, her fangs sinking into the creature’s thigh within the blink of an eye. The dizzied prey wriggled feebly while her venom took hold. Lilith watched the slow feeding absently over the next few moments, her head far away from the grisly sight.
A soft tap came at her chamberway.
“Lilith?” came the familiar voice from the hallway beyond, “are you awake?”
Lilith perked up instantly, dropping the small stone she’d been fondling absently to the ground with a loud clack. Nerika eyed the object lazily, her gullet half engorged with her meal.
The heavy curtain which covered the chamberway arch slid to the left, and she entered the room. The High Priestess was a wise woman of years, and grey-silver hair cascaded down her body in tight, even rivulets. Beads and feathers, jewels, silver, gold, and all manner of adornments decorated her mane, which was almost the only thing she wore. Only a modest silken skirt hung upon her ample hips. Her face was proud, and rightly so, for she was the highest avatar of Inanna in all the world, a true incarnation of the Goddess in her form as the Mother of All Wisdom. Whatever name was given her at birth was long surrendered; all who came before her simply called her Mother.
Lilith ran to her, embracing her fully. Mother kissed her gently on the forehead and lips, the gentle scent of her familiar lilac perfume giving her deep comfort.
“Good morning, my little one,” Mother purred. “How did you sleep.”
“I couldn’t really, Mother. I feel afraid, even though I know I shouldn’t.”
Lilith cast her eyes down, her skin flushing with shame. Mother chuckled softly in response, then led her to the bed to rest in her embrace.
“Of course, you should, my child.”
“I-I should? But I thought this was going to bring me closer to our Goddess? Is it not blasphemy for me to feel fear?”
Mother gazed down at her from the halo of her great mane, her eyes brimming with love.
“Lilith, my sweetest one. You are not my birth daughter, but I have always felt you as the truest, sweetest, and bravest of my daughters. I sense a great destiny in you, little spirit. You will serve the Goddess in ways which none of us can possibly imagine.”
Lilith pulled back a bit to look up at her quizzically.
“I will? I’m sorry, I don’t understand. Did the oracles give you a message about me?”
“No, no, nothing so formal, little spirit. My dreams have been showing me omens . . . but this is a little secret between us, do you understand? Not for the ears of your sisters.”
“Well, ok . . . but I am still confused. Should I not be offering my yoni to the God with joy in my heart, as is said in the hymns? Only then will I be able to receive the Goddess fully within my womb? Is this not true?”
“Well . . . yes. But are you not glad?”
“Yes, but I am still afraid! Will it hurt?”
Mother stroked her hair gently, clucking softly.
“Fear and pain are much of life, dearest one. If you did not feel such things, you would not be human, nor worthy of being Her Priestess. It is fear that makes us brave. The woman who faces her deflowering without fear is a foolish one indeed. Many of our sisters in the greater world have known only suffering when this happens. But you, little spirit, are under Her Protection, and you will ride into your moment of small pain on waves of pleasure.”
Lilith knew well the details of the ritual, but her fears were still not dispelled.
“Is Arophus kind?”
“Arophus is not kind, but they will bring you no harm. To have the Goddess and God within one body is a blessed road full of many challenges. His phallus cannot give you child, nor the ardor of a regular man, but their gentleness will be your gift. They will not enter you until you are moistened and ready.”
Lilith knew this, too, but hearing the words again from her Mother’s lips as she stroked her hair brought her ease.
“Thank you, Mother. I love you.”
“I love you too, little spirit. Now get dressed and come to breakfast. We are awaiting you to begin. It is your day, after all!”
Lilith leapt up from the bed, her face flushing again.
“Oh! I’m so sorry!”
“No apologies, my little one. Come, though, before Ayv tires of waiting and devours all the sweetest berries!”
Breakfast was sumptuous; sweet berries with cream, delicate poached duck eggs swimming in sweet brine, a bewildering assortment of cheeses, sweetmeats, and breads, and endless draughts of thick, honeyed milk. The morning feast was in her honor, and her sisters heaped her with praises and encouragement as they feasted and chattered. As much as she tried, though, Lilith could not find her appetite. The fear in her belly had not subsided but seemed to be increasing.
Why? Why can my heart not trust what Mother says?
She did her best to suppress the feelings, as she could not find any value in them.
By contrast to her lack of hunger, the Sister who sat beside her devoured her repast at an almost feverish pace. Such fervor was not due to greed or gluttony; the swelling of the woman’s belly beneath her diaphanous gown was such that she had to lean in at an incredibly awkward angle to reach her food.
Ayv seemed to choke on the mouthful of egg and bread in her mouth; she coughed as she forced herself to swallow. Casting her eyes sideways without completely moving her head, she smiled wanly.
“I am well, Sister Lilith, thank you for asking. Many blessings to you on this day.”
Lilith frowned subtly, pursing her lips.
“How go preparations for the rite of Marduk?”
Ayv’s eyes widened in response. It was an insensitive question, and Lilith instantly regretted it. This was no time to speak of such things. Still, it was her day, and she was afforded some small social liberties, or she so believed.
Ayv cleared her throat.
“There will be no need. The Goddess came to me in a dream and assured me I will be birthing a new Sister. There will be no boy child to offer to the God.”
Lilith opened her mouth to respond, then promptly shut it.
“Excuse me, Sisters,” Ayv said to the women around her. “I must relieve myself. I fear I have eaten too quickly. This child’s hunger never ceases!”
The Priestesses nearby offered nervous laughter in response. Grunting, Ayv slowly raised herself from her seat and walked slowly from the chamber, supporting her lower back with her hand.
“That was unkind, Lilith,” Mother admonished.
“I – I’m sorry Mother. But I’m confused. Everyone is reporting that the oracles foresaw a boy child from Ayv. Could they be wrong?”
Mother sighed and pushed away her plate, her own appetite now lost.
“It is possible, but uncommon. Every measure is taken to prevent our sisters from being taken with child, my dear, but sometimes it does happen. Oftentimes, this is a blessing, and a new Sister is born. There are times, however, when Inanna sends a boy child to be offered to her consort.”
Lilith knew this story as well, but she never stopped questioning it. It was a deep pain born by many of her elder Sisters, whose tears she had seen shed enough to know that the assurance that such sacrifice was the will of the Goddess offered little comfort in this case.
Seeing the distress in her young face, Mother softened.
“I know it may seem cruel, young one, but there is much you do not understand. These boys have no fathers, and the temple is no place to mother a boy. Such boys will grow up to be . . .”
Mother hesitated, considering her words carefully.
“. . . men of unpredictable appetites.”
Lilith frowned, furrowing her brow.
“You will understand one day, Lilith,” Mother admonished. “Please put such thoughts out of your mind. If you play close attention to the moon rites, no such ordeal need ever cross your heart.”
Lilith nodded, trying in her mind to imagine what mother meant. She made another attempt to eat an egg, but her throat convulsed as she forced herself to swallow. The nameless fear was still there, and was evolving slowly into something else.
Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Ayv standing in the entryway a short distance away. The woman was staring in her direction intently, with an indiscernible expression on her face. Lilith did her best to ignore it. The innocent child had no concept of such things, but if she had, the malice in Ayv’s glare would have torn her heart to shreds.
I am the scribe of ages, I float through the eternal aethyr unbound by thought and convention. I dream of worlds yet unseen, and of ancient empires lost to dust. To hear my words is to touch the spark of divinity within yourself. Proceed with care.