bizarre love triangles : black moon rising

Booted out of Paradise? Lilith as the first mistress and well-spring of promiscuity, both real and imagined? There has always been some perplexing inconsistencies in the Old Testament; a kind of lost narrative between the Greek Septuagint, the Dead Sea Scrolls , the burning of the library in Alexandria and the common era version we know today. This had provided loopholes which permit some complex interpretational gymnastics which attempt to synthesize apparent contradictions and take the battle of the Word deep within the scriptural text, providing meaning and nuance; questions taken up later in Jewish mystical literature known as the Kabbalah.

john collier. lilith.---Through the literature of the Kabbalah, Lilith became fixed in Jewish demonology where her primary role is that of strangler of children and a seducer of men. The Kabbalah further enhanced her demonic character by making her the partner of Samael (i.e. Satan) and queen of the realm of the forces of evil. In this guise, she appears as the antagonistic negative counterpart of the Shekhinah ("Divine Presence"), the mother of the House of Israel. The Zohar repeatedly contrasts Lilith the unholy whorish woman with the Shekhinah as the holy, noble, and capable woman. In much the same way, Eve the disobedient, lustful sinner is contrasted with the obedient and holy Virgin Mary in Christian literature. --- Read More: image:

It is not for naught that entertainers such as Madonna are known to have studied Kaballah, even if rather superficially. Lilith has come to represent a symbol of female defiance and strength based on an anti-intellectual feminism. Lilith is a virtual archetypal ruler or demi-monde deity who has broken free of Dante’s Divine comedy and like a renegade leads the charge of a younger, more sexually explicit generation, the kind that dreams of booting men out of the male patriarchy of the pornographic industry and taking it over, a “total remake” in image and fortune out of her sexual fantasies. A kind of “rebel sell” that Joseph Heath has written of, where societal dissent is channeled into a rampant consumerism based on status.

---Lilith is, much more than Eve, the personification of destructive female sexuality. Music to the ears of Collier and his contemporaries who loved a bad woman. Dante Garbriel Rossetti had also done a painting of Lilith but she has nothing of the indulgent sensuality of Colliers version. Rossetti's symbolism is more subtle than Collier's. His painting, which depicts a modern Lilith not the mythological version, shows her surrounded by white roses, symbols of sterile passion and poppies, symbols of death. More tellingly, she is combing her long hair. To Victorians luxuriant, unbound hair on a woman was a symbol of vigourous sexuality; even wantonness. Rossetti's Lilith is spreading it and displaying it. Finally, she is presented as uncorsetted; the corset representing discipline and control over a woman's own sexuality--- Read More:

Andrew Samuels:If we consider, for example, the Midrashic story of Lilith we can understand the possible relations between politics and sexual behaviour a bit more fl uidly. Lilith was Adam’s first consort who was created from the earth at the same time as Adam. She was unwilling to give up her equality and argued with Adam over the position in which they should have intercourse – Lilith insisting on being on top. ‘Why should I lie beneath you’ she argued, ‘when I am your equal since both of us were created from dust?’ Adam was determined and began to rape Lilith who called out the magic name of God, rose into the air, and fl ew away. Eve was then created. Lilith’s later career as an evil she-demon who comes secretly to men in the night, hence being responsible for nocturnal emissions, and as a murderer of newborns, culminated, after the destruction of the Temple, in a relationship with God as a sort of mistress. Read More:

In literature, John Keats La Belle Dame Sans Merci can be read as one of many poems which calls upon the ideology of “sustained anticipation” to show how the love of a woman as quintessentially “perfect” and beautiful as Lilith,  or the mysterious femme fatale known only as “La Belle” will always lead to one’s destruction and death.Kaballah is often said to offer  knowledge of the divine through an nuanced  approach to experiencing God who conceals and reveals himself,a cat and mouse, hide and seek game with the almighty who is both transcendent and immanent in the world. Who’s zoomin who?  In the Bible, God relates to the world only through His words.  Salutin: He never inheres in or is part of it. That is a key division between Bible-based religions and all others. When Kabbalists speculated on immanence, they flirted with pantheistic heresy. But you get none of that from the anodyne phrase, “conceals and reveals himself,” without context.

---Salka Viertel, for example, came to Hollywood from Poland in 1928, had been an actress on the German stage, reinvented herself as a screenwriter specializing in screenplays for her close friend Greta Garbo, and held weekly salons in Hollywood for “actors, directors, musicians, and intellectuals— European émigrés and refugees, and Americans as well— mixing European sophistication and Hollywood glamour. After the Nazis were defeated, Viertel and many of her guests were suspected of communist sympathies, and her salon fell victim to the inquisition of the Hollywood community by the House Un-American Activities Committee.” Who knew?--- Read More: image:



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I was told that it could drive you mad if studied without these restrictions. I laughed, but in a way it did drive me mad. How Madonna and others can be told that it is all right for them to study Kabbalah is beyond me. It is literally playing with hell fire….Then, a couple of years later I wrote a novel, “The Other World” where I again glorified Lilith and her cohort Samael (Satan). I read from this at a loft in Greenwich Village in New York Cit

hank God it was never published but I had been completely enamored with Kabbalah….

---Adam, distraught and no doubt also angered by her insolent behaviour, wanted her back. On Adam's request, God sent three angels, named Senoy, Sansenoy, and Semangelof, who found her in the Red Sea. Despite the threat from the three angels that if she didn't return to Adam one hundred of her sons would die every day, she refused, claiming that she was created expressly to harm newborn infants. However, she did swear that she would not harm any infant wearing an amulet with the images and/or names of the three angels on it. At this point, the legend of Lilith as the "first Eve" merges with the earlier legend of Sumero-Babylonian origin, dating from around 3,500 BCE, of Lilith as a winged female demon who kills infants and endangers women in childbirth. In this role, she was one of several mazakim or "harmful spirits" known from incantation formulas preserved in Assyrian, Hebrew, and Canaanite inscriptions intended to protect against them.---Read More: image:

…I got people to love it. I even taught Adult Bible Classes for young Jewish married couples on Kabbalah. I was leading the masses astray not to speak of thousands of my students. I even taught a grad class on “Alternate Conceptions of Reality” where I spoke of reincarnation (Kabbalistic gilgul), karma etc.. One of my students committed suicide and everyone he knew wanted me at the funeral because he supposedly loved my class the best. I probably helped lead this poor guy to hell with my Kabbalistic notions of reincarnation. Read More: aa

---Michelangelo. The Temptation of Adam and Eve. ---The practice of Kabbalah is especially problematic for men because it regards the Torah as the embodied “Shekhinah,” the female aspect of the male Yahweh, and Kabbalistic meditations are dedicated to uniting the divine couple. Reenacting the ancient sacred marriage of the goddess and her consort, male Kabbalists visualize the sacred Hebrew letters of the Torah in the form of a mating couple when making love to their wives. Yet, while human female partners are indispensable to this practice of “cleaving to God,” these meditations have never been open to women for fear they might reassert Lilith’s confident demand “to be on top.” Clearly, Kabbalists like Madonna are changing all that. By Perle Besserman--- Read More: image:


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Rick Salutin:Yet really, what's wrong with inserting another version of spirituality into this forlorn world, even if it's a bit stupid and commercialized ("Kabbalah water from very pure springs")? Well, calling a thing spiritual doesn't make it so, any more than using the word Kabbalah means you've actually said something. At times, spirituality feels like another word for privatization: the reduction and introjection of the public or social to tiny personal size. Once, after a class in Jerusalem, I asked Gershom Scholem, the giant of modern Kabbalah studies, why he did it, what was its "relevance." He scowled, then barked, "Because it interests me. That is all! It has no relevance." He pretty much tossed me out. I guess he smelled a rat. Read More: image:

Rabbi Jill Hammer:On the other hand, Jacqueline Lapidus’s brief poem”Eden” imagines a lesbian encounter between Lilith and Eve. Using theLilith legend, Lapidus invents an origin story for love between women. Scholarand author Ohad Ezrachi frequently writes about Lilith as a split-off sexualcomponent of women, an image created by men fearful of a full relationship. Heencourages men and women to see Lilith and Eve as the same person.

Lilith has become such a popular figure that whole enterprises (like the women’s music concert Lilith Fair and the Jewish feminist journal Lilith Magazine) are named after her. Once a source of fear, Lilith has been transformed into an icon of freedom. While some disapprove of this widespread embrace of a former demon,Lilith’s rehabilitation makes sense. The frightening character of Lilith grew,in part, out of repression: repression of sexuality, repression of the freeimpulse in women, repression of the question “what if I left it all behind?” As modern Jews begin to ask questions about sex, freedom, and choice more directly, Lilith becomes a complex representation of our own desires. Read More:

Andrew Samuels:My point is that this kind of material can be taken as much as an expression of the influence of the sexual on the political as the other way around. The experience people have of the sexual is also a motor of their politicality, political style and political values. Sexual
experience and its associated imagery express an individual’s psychological approach to political functioning. Concluding this section on promiscuity and politics, it is interesting to reflect on the micro-politics of non-monogamous relating, using this term to include promiscuity. The politics of relationality in these contexts include whether or not the agreement of members of offi cially recognized partners is to be sought and, if agreement is reached, what the meaning of such agreement might be. All relationships are political in this sense. Read More:

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