Friday, December 27, 2013

What's in a Name ? Rethinking Black Moon Lilith


We still use the given Greco-Roman names of Gods and Goddesses to describe the planets, but this can sometimes be limiting. Mesopotamians, for example, didn't deny Ishtar-Inanna her dualism as morning and evening Star, nor her aspects as both love/sex and war/death Goddess. Venus, the same planet, is pretty much restricted to Goddess of beauty and love. Not that Love isn't the highest power, but she's left being a bit one-dimensional. Her shadow is repressed and, according to the mythology, comes out in underhanded ways due to jealousy or vanity. How are we supposed to consciously evolve if we are still stuck on these incarnations of the archetypes ? 

Digitally 'restored' Burney Relief, depicting Lilith or Ereshkigal

Case in point - Black Moon Lilith. This is not actually a physical object but a 'void space' that acts as a shadow Moon, in modern astrology. Being the Moon's dark twin, it's been named after the screech owl of the Hebrew Bible who is, essentially, menstruating Eve, with a clinical case of hysteria-induced vampirism. Based on this archetype, Black Moon's natal position shows where we sabotage our own happiness, especially in relationships. But modelling our un-lived self on this jilted first lady, who chose to cavort with creatures of the night, rather than submit to her husband's dominance leaves us without the means to consciously break the cycle of hurt. Personally I don't mind that she was a 'demoness', but that word has  some heavy associations I'd rather not have to carry !


In Buddhism and Hinduism, deities that are black are referred to as 'wrathful'. But they are actually more like the embodiment of relentless mercy or fierce compassion, that cuts straight through fear, anger or whatever state of distraction our minds might be in. Kali or Mahakala are extreme examples, but the Black Tara - who is most often depicted as dark green/blue - might be a more subtle yidam*  for our shadowy, lady Lilith. 

Unlike the radiant energy of White Tara, Black/Wrathful Tara is associated with power, but embodies the freedom and potentiality of non-form and infinite wisdom. A Buddhist friend was describing it to me as the feeling of infinite space one gets in a pitch blackness. More un-structive than de-structive. Wrathful yidams are also protectors, which is ideally what BM Lilith must become for women who are past child-bearing years.

 Tibetan  Bluish-Black 'Wrathful' Tara  (Looks like the actual 'black' manifestation 
   is in the top left corner, while the main one is a more of a wrathful,  Green Tara)

Black Moon Lilith's  retrogrades are frequent, her next being Jan 23 to Feb 7, with a Sun opposition on Jan 27. It's two-week  opportunity for contemplating what drives our self-sabotage (for women especially, but also for men who project their shadow feminine onto the ladies) and work on integrating Tara and Lilith. During her retrograde, make time to sit in a pitch black room, where you feel safe, or if you are out in the country, with no lights, sit outside during the New Moon at the end of the month. "Lay down all thoughts, surrender to the void." If you should feel or see a negative emotion or it's embodiment, observe it, note it, let it dissolve naturally into the blackness. Feel the protection and constance of this void space, the true, feminine nature behind the demoness mask of Black Moon Lilith. 



*enlightened being, aka deity.


Note: There are, in fact, three Liliths - Black Moon, Dark Moon and asteroid. Some astrologers combine all three. I find BM to be enough by itself, not least because it's exactly conjunct my Moon.





I will be resuming AstroTarology readings in 2014...stay tuned !