As we seek to claim our place in the world as warrior goddesses, we need to look for guidance from those who came before us. So many of our agreements—those that serve us and those that don’t—were transmitted to us through a larger consciousness, one that dates back to the dawn of time.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of that past is recorded as his story (history) rather than her story (herstory). We are missing many of the strong female archetypes who embody the warrior goddess spirit. They may not be well documented, but bits and pieces of them survived because women and men told the stories to each other, weaving threads of goddess warriorship through the tapestry that is humanity.
Whether or not you personally come from a Judaic Christian background, if you live in the Western world, you have absorbed its tenets because they pervade our culture. You may not logically believe that Eve was our female progenitor, but we have been conditioned to accept Eve as our archetypal understanding of the world’s original woman.
Think about what kind of agreements we can inherit from that understanding. Eve being created as a helper for Adam could translate into, “My needs are secondary to my husband or boyfriend’s needs.” Eve’s portrayal as weak and more easily deceived could become an agreement that says, “I can’t trust my instincts because they will lead me and others astray.”
These agreements don’t serve us. We need a new understanding of what it means to be a women. We need to reclaim our ancient archetypes, stating with the lost legend of Lilith.
It turns out that there are two different versions of humanity’s origins in the Bible. In the first, God created men and women together from the same earth. The were co-heirs. In the second, woman was carved out of man’s rib. She was his helper.
Rabbis pondered this and proposed in their midrashic writings that there were two different women. The first one—Lilith—was not interested in submitting to Adam and left the garden, replaced by the more malleable Eve.
While this story does provide an example of a woman who was true to herself despite great pressure to conform to another’s expectations, it did not remain untainted. Instead, it was twisted. Lilith became a monster who was unsuitable to serve of the world’s matriarch. She was demonized, quite literally. Woman took to chanting “Lilith Abi”—Lilith, go away—to keep her from stealing the souls of their babies. All this because she refused to give up her essence to another. Imagine the implications of integrating this idea—that women are not women, but are monsters, for daring to follow their hearts.
So, I put myself in Lilith’s place. I breathed in her spirit and listened, and I wrote what I heard. I wrote a story of a woman who yearned for a loving partnership with a man; who wanted to contribute in meaningful ways to her world; and who struggled mightily with the sacrifice that would be required of her whether she stayed or left. I felt her pain when she made the difficult decision to leave behind the garden and the only man on earth. My heart broke for the way people treated her after she left.
It is not a story that presents the warrior goddess way as simple and painless, but it does present it as one in which a woman is true to her deepest self.
As I reflected on HeatherAsh Amara’s Warrior Goddess Creed (reprinted below), I realized that in Lilith, we have an example to follow. We have an archetypal woman who is aligned with the creed and can illuminate our own path. By reclaiming Lilith, we can reclaim a lost part of ourselves.
Warrior Goddess Creed
I hereby commit fully to embody my Warrior Goddess self.
From this moment forward, I will do my best to:
Love all of my being
Appreciate the beginnings and the endings
Honor my body and my mind as a temple
Stay grounded and present
Cultivate my passions and creativity
Own my strength and vulnerability
Open my heart to all of life
Speak my deepest truths
Listen to the wisdom within
Claim my unique path
And walk the Warrior Goddess Way.
Monette is an award-winning writer whose work celebrates the feminine in God and God in the feminine.
My Name is Lilith (The Girl God, 2017)—part of a series on strong women in mythology and theology—is her first children’s book. Her first book, Sophia Rising: Awakening Your Sacred Wisdom Through Yoga (Bright Sky Press, 2013), explores how yoga deepens the contemplative spiritual experience. She has contributed to numerous anthologies and has written for Yoga Journal, Integral Yoga Magazine, Elephant Journal, Om Times and Progressive Christianity.
www.SophiaRisingYoga.com / @MonetteChilson on Twitter & Instagram