On my morning walk, a blackbird follows me all the way to the bottom of the road. She darts close to my face, her wings glitter with dew, and I feel them brush my hair like a dark blessing. She winks, flitting from hedge, to grassy bank, to branch, silent, teasing.
Perhaps she is a witch.
A little black and white cat sits with dainty paws, watching me warily from a clump of rhododendrons, “this is my garden”, says her pointed look.
Madame, I wouldn’t dream of arguing, nor trespassing either.
A raven sits upon a pole next to a giant, jagged macrocarpa pine. He proclaims the morning, his airspace, and my presence in tones that make me wince.
He’s a fine fellow. With his glossy, impeccable plumage, ice-blue eyes, and his beak a grin of vicious potential.
As I walk, I think about scorpions, centipedes, garden worms, and the coming rain. I think about Kate Bush. I think about my Moon-girl a lot too. And about painting Frankenstein’s Potting Shed, (I have already begun, because how do I wait until Spring with such a desperate case clamouring for my attention?). I think about astrology, and Dark Moon Lilith, and her position in my Libra stellium.*
In astrological terms**, Lilith is the wild, raw feminine – her shadow nature. She’s the Dark Goddess, female rage; and also female sexuality that has nothing to do with the procreation of children and motherhood. She is chaos and unpredictability. She is outsider, outcast, and exile. She’s the witch. Lilith unleashes the flying monkeys.
In the sign of Libra, Lilith is pageant and politics, diplomacy and negotiation, (these things are only nice on the surface). She is dress-ups with red lipstick and killer heels; she’s Music, Art, ceremony, and Beauty. She’s a princess…of f***ing darkness. In her wake, she leaves behind a bloody mess for others to clean up. For her Libran hands are beautifully clean, manicured, and well-moisturised. Of course.
Lilith in Libra is strange and creative, often a defender of women, flirting with nuance and subtlety, or just flirting in general. She’s devoted to aesthetics, symmetry, and the Law. But she’s also Salome’s dance, and the Black Swan. She’s the glittering and dangerous court of Versailles, she’s Les Liaisons Dangereuse, and even as she plays the games of high diplomacy, she’s the Mistress of its underbelly, seeing through lies and artifice, scenting conspiracy, scheming, and deception; like a predator smelling the blood of her prey. Don’t try this on her, because as cunning as you think you are, she’ll see right through your manipulations. And yet, Lilith in Libra often draws people to her with just those shady qualities and intentions.
Lilith in Libra is well-versed in elegance, but she defies convention, as well as gauche, petit bourgeois notions of etiquette. She is the f*** you in the pretty Art of Conversation. She burns the rule books, but she likes to (over)rule. She’s easy to underestimate, because she can look so sweet, and compliant. Despite appearances, she’s not a bit of fluff. She’s the proverbial iron fist in the velvet glove. A military strategist. The balancer of irreconcilable opposites, male and female, partnership and independence. She’s the warrior who went to Charm School.
When everything is too dark, she switches on the floodlights, and the crawling things scuttle away in panic. And when it’s all too light, she becomes scornful and bored, and so she plunges everything into darkness, where she gleefully births her demons. She is both destruction, and its power. She’s the sword of poetic justice.
Famous figures with Lilith in Libra are Eleanor of Aquitaine, Sigmund Freud, Dita Von Teese, Coco Chanel, Edna St Vincent Millay, Nelson Mandela, Katherine Hepburn. Possibly also Maleficent.
And that’s just Lilith in Libra. Lilith in all the signs is those icky, shadowy bits of ourselves, (especially anger), that we keep out of sight. Or in some instances, try to repress or deny altogether. She’s those fantasies of vengeance that we have, (oh, c’mon, we all do). But Lilith is also the seat of wild power, that can overturn the applecart right when it’s needed. The uncivilised, libidinous, authentic impulse that can direct our anger, our sense of injustice, our wild desire, and give it focus where it’s most needed, in our lives and in the world.
But when you are gazing sleepy-eyed into the bathroom mirror, toothbrush poised in hand, and you’re repeating your morning affirmations as though they will save you, Lilith is peering right back at you. She’s the mirror. And she’s wearing a wild and wicked grin; and she’s waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Lilith dwells in all of us.
*A stellium is an astrological term denoting a cluster of 3 or more planets in one sign. I have 5 in Libra, not counting a couple of the fixed stars which cushion my Sun. That’s a bit busy.^
**According to biblical mythology, Lilith was Adam’s first wife. The ex-wife who gets a bad rap.
^Disclaimer: I promise I won’t be talking much about astrology here in the future, for although this is a witchy place, I am not an astrologer. There are far more professional and accomplished interpretations out there than mine. But I’m not here to split hairs. Like it says in the title, this is a riff. However, I have a fondness for astrology, and for me it functions like art, poetry, and tarot as a psychological tool for self-reflection. Hey, whatever gets you there. For you it could be chocolate and Leonard Cohen. Actually that works for me as well.