Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Lilith, and new Book Endeavor

I began my new archival book "The Goddess Suite".  While many wonderful scholars, like Patricia Monaghan and Max Dashu, Anne Baring, Jennifer Barker Woolger, Jean Shiboda, and others have written extensively about the historical, and archetypal, importance of the "Woman with A Thousand Faces"..........still, I feel I need to archive the stories that have come from the women and men I've been privileged to know over the years of working with masks of the Goddess.  What I really want is to share are the many performance excerpts from those years, and most importantly the techniques we developed to work with masks  devoted to the divine feminine for healing, re-discovery, empowerment, and, of course,  community ritual  theatre.  A lot of magic happened, and I keep trying to pass that on.  So I may repeat myself many times in the course of this blog..........for any who may read this, forgive me.

For some reason, I began with  Lilith, and I reflect on the little garden magic going on right now, the quite miraculous repeat bloom of the "Night Blooming Cereus".  Well, surely that is Lilith's flower, because her name means (more or less)  "Night", her domain is the liminal night landscape, and her gift is  night vision. 

I found the excerpt  below, which I wrote for a short performance piece some 15 years ago, I had completely forgotten about it.  This was around the same time I did the fascinating  interview (below) with David Jeffers, an artist and musician in San Francisco  I greatly admired: 

"Lilith as Dream Guide"

This is a famous painting by the British artist John Collier.  Like Blake, I believe Collier was intuitively tuned into something not very well articulated in his time.  His sensual Lilith is unapologetic, and she is  embraced by the Serpent, which is the serpentine Kundalini force, rising from the Earth, and through her body. 

I think that painting might have been the  beginning point of my Lilith piece - unapologetic as well, she is "herself", unbroken, elemental, and sympathetic.


There are times  I find myself drawn to him.
Or he draws me, in his dreams, his lonely sleep.
There are times
I'm pulled by a past so lost I can no longer even invent it.
We were innocent then.  Wandering a newly risen world
it's seedlings and sproutings, it's empty waters and warm sun.
He and I, I and him, one being really, in two bodies, rolling together
in the sweet and simple mud, rain and sun and light and dark

Before the words, and shapes and endless dividing of things.
The logic of fragmenting and naming,
and then breaking again, and again, and again,
each piece
smaller and harder and denser and slower.
And colder.  Colder.

You see, I grew enraptured by the ferocity of  World.

Her vast generosity, Her dangerous spiral mysteries.
Stars reflected in dark tide pools,
vines that curled eager tendrils around the curious finger,
fragrance of hyacinth and hyenas calling across the night.
But Adam wanted to make the world into his own measure.  I was his first attempt.

So I grew wings.

The more he tried to seize me,  the farther I flew into azure skies,
elemental passions, deep black waters,
empty deserts, bone yards and jungles,
the more I hungered for the moon.

He demanded his way
Or no way. 

And when his tantrums failed, he made for himself
a womanless and jealous  God
who would have no other.

I rose!  I flew!
Not for any price.....not for  bread or any ease.
Not for any price
would I be anything less than what I am,
Damned if I do and damned if I don't!
So I left  and found another lover.

Ah, Samael.....his hot wings and volcanic heart,
his sweet and terrible kisses.
Samael, who comprehends neither sin nor virtue,
only the splendor
of the ever changing moment. 

What soarings we had!
What flights, what heat, what progeny!
Adam, and his quiet,  frightened wife
placed amulets at his door
painted their bed with magic words and  self-imposed
shame, invocations to his cold-eyed God
who made of me a demon
I still remember him
when the whim  or the wind takes me
I kiss his sleeping lips
when he calls me in his dreams.

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