On the Eve of January’s Dark Moon, after many months of working at it, Lilith pressed through a thin spot in the scaly skin of my self-delusion. Until the middle of last month, I’d been able to keep her soul-shredding wisdom just outside of my awareness by drowning out her Call to Power with something that I pretended was feminism. Spoiler alert: I was unwittingly living a feminism that wasn’t really feminist, at least not all the way down to its bones. If I wrapped myself in that thin feminism, then my consciousness never required me to accept her Call.
In thin land, Lilith was enshrined as the feminine power unleashed on crappy man and a champion of righteously angry woman. Huddled within my thin feminist shroud, she was dangerous for men and others who drank the patriarchy Kool-Aid, but safe for me. Lilith was the powerful divine first woman who dared stand against the patriarchy. Of course all of the above is a part of her, but I discovered the night before the Dark Moon in January that my understanding was shallow and woefully incomplete. She had more to show me.
Last month, Lilith pierced through the comfortable self-deception I’d been engaged in for years. I’d glimpsed the issue ages ago but decided that I didn’t like what I saw and so I chose to see something else. The night that Lilith cut her way through my complete bullshit, she did so because she’d decided I’d lingered in that shiny spirit trap of my own creation for far too long.
That night, Lilith broke through into my dim bedroom, just barely illuminated by the last precious sliver of moonlight bouncing off of a fresh layer of snow. Her breasts were unexpectedly covered (in red silk artfully tied). The material fell at her left side and did nothing at all to cover the rest of her. She was completely exposed from the waist down. Diabolical glee shined in her dark red eyes. Her black hair and paper white skin sparkled with the last traces of moonlight falling through my blinds as she began to laugh in my face. She laughed at me deep from her belly like I was the dumbest and smallest creature she’d ever deigned to step on. Vampiric-serpentine teeth glistened in her mouth as the grin accompanying her delight widened.
I was not prepared. Just after I took in her appearance, she rushed at me! This was not new behavior in our relationship. Still I wasn’t ready. All of this felt familiar but disturbingly new at the same time. As my senses filled with her, that was when I felt it – psychospiritual garbage that I’d been actively burying. It rushed to the surface of my awareness. Suddenly I could barely stand. I grabbed my chest and my knees buckled.
She only spoke a few sentences but she seemed to speak forever. She told the dark and damning truth as I struggled to breathe. I shot back a reply at one point but it simply wasn’t true, no matter how much I wished it was. All I could think in that moment was that Lilith had emerged from her cave in the desert to kill me, and laugh while doing it. But really, I wasn’t dead per se; I was just miserable on the other side of a painful truth about myself that I really fucking needed to confront. No games, no camouflage, no thin feminist smoke screen.
Lilith’s shining features drowned in soon-to-be dark moon light were black glass, a shadow mirror. She told the whole truth and nothing but the truth because that’s how she rolls and I accepted it, crumpled on my bedroom floor. In that moment, her skin darkened, her eyes cooled and we were sisters. Her power as a patron of feminists (among so many other things) extends way beyond scolding, scorn, and vengeance. She can do more than that. She can peel away the lies, deception, and fluff to reveal our true power and give us a hand up as we take a high step into that power. Our power is not monolithic. It is as diverse, potent, and deep as we are.
After I leaned into this uncomfortable encounter and accepted the truth she wielded, she said in a clear voice: “That which you cannot face, you can’t overcome. Now that you’ve faced the truth, who will you become?”
Then she slipped back into the deepening night.