Back to Home Page or Contents Page or Judaism or Index
Lilim are said to be children of Lilith according to Jewish folklore and Kabbalistic teachings. Lilith was believed to be the sexual, pleasurable manifestation of the Goddess, the prime deity of the prevailing religion which ancient Judaism sought to destroy. Such folklore said Lilith had control of life or death over any child produced by any sexual union not prescribed by Jewish law including husband and wife in candle light, the woman completely naked, or at a time forbidden by the law. Children engendered under such conditions were referred to as oppressed souls. According to Jewish law the sexual union must be kept sacred, any act or omission rendering it less placed the child engendered under the power of Lilith.
Such Jewish law was strictly anti-natural as can be seen. For example, if the husband lusted for his wife's naked body, or committed any forbidden sexual act he was said to have permitted Lilith to enter the impregnated womb and therefore have power over the child. It goes without saying that any child conceived out of wedlock was thought to be a child of Lilith, or a lilim, because bastards could not be lawfully conceived.
Today many would call such laws ridiculous and inhumane, but remember these were Jewish religious laws placed upon people chosen by God who were to obey him in their every act of life. It was universally believed even until the last century that any strong thought or emotion in the minds of a man or woman during lovemaking would impress itself on the engendered fetus. For example, it was superstitiously thought if a dog barking frightened the woman at the moment of climax the produced child would have hair growing all over its face. If either parent grimaced in pleasure during lovemaking, a child born of the union would have ugly or twisted facial features.
Such regulations were to completely destroy all lustful and sexual pleasure between husband and wife and make their sexual union strictly for propagation. At times the regulations were not solely for prohibitive purposes. It should be noted that love and romance were not introduced to general society until the eleventh and thirteenth centuries by the troubadours in southern France and spreading to Italy and to the Mediterranean. Many marriages of nobility were prearranged and sanctified by the Church and involved retaining and expending territory. This is why the male often had a mistress. Of course Christianity had its regulations too, for example, the Catholic Church frequently counseled good Catholics to make love under the portrait of Jesus or the Virgin Mary, and to keep religious thoughts in their minds during their mutual climax (believed necessary for the mingling of the male and female "sperms"). Failure to do this could result in their engendered child receiving some physical imperfection because of their sin as well as falling under the influence of the Devil. There a saying that Catholics are influenced by the Church from the cradle to the grave, but the previous counseling makes it pre-cradle.
In order to avoid such tragic fate, or the displeasure of God, good Jews sought the counsel of the Zohar. This entailed concentrating on the holiness of God during the hour of sexual intercourse, and reciting a special prayer that ends "I hold on to the Holy One, Wrap myself in the King's holiness." The husband was instructed to cover his and his wife's head for a hour, and continue doing for three days while trying to engender a child. Another account said for thirty days while clean water was to be sprinkled around the bed.
As one can see most of these regulations, no matter under what circumstance, were obviously to detach the engendering of children from the natural life process. Regulations had to be followed so that the influence of evil could be avoided. It was no wonder Lilith and her lilim survived so long; they served a double purpose, frighten the people into religious servitude and strengthen the power of the religious leaders. The leaders warned their people that any violation of religious laws would cause the dreaded Lilith and her children to come forth to kill or attack their engendered children. The lilim were said to "multiply like humans, eat and drink and die." The were believed to be begotten when Lilith laid between the sheets in the bed of the married couple when they made love; when a violation occurs by either the man or woman or both Lilith is able to capture any "spark" or energy caused from the violation to produce her own child , the lilim. This occurs when drops of semen might escape from being deposited into the wife's womb. Using the excess energies inherent in the husband's seed Lilith is said to be able to spiritually project some shadow of herself into the womb displacing or altering the "seeds" of the wife. In a more modern context, Lilith using the tremendous energies of the husband's sperm influentially alters the eggs of the wife; identically as in the previously described spiritual operation the demon, lilim, is born of a mortal woman. (This is a similar process as described in The Rape of Eve, which engendered Cain of gnosis.) Lilim is loosely derived from the term illegitimate as applied to all children born out of wedlock and belong to Lilith, but lilim can also come from legitimate parents who sinned during their conception. Currently lilim are commonly called the incubus and succubus.
Jewish folklore described lilim easily recognizable for their excessive hairiness, symbolic of their bestial nature. They were to have bald crowns, most likely because in practice good Jews wear skull caps and some European Christian monks and priests shaved their heads. Perhaps not coincidental, but often the monks and priests were indistinguishable from demons to the Medieval rabbi. A.G.H.
Tyson, Donald. Sexual Alchemy: Magical Intercourse with
Spirits. St. Paul, MN. Llewellyn Publications. 2000. pp. 80-83