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In Possession Of The Night: Lilith As Goddess, Demon, Vampire

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Chapter Summary

In the struggle for sacred power and authority, a figure like Lilith as representative of feminine divinity was transformed from the more positive numinous object as goddess into the more negatively numinous realm of demon and vampire in order for her divine power to be compromised or negated completely. Her name is linked to the Terra Mater, or Great Mother, figures of several cultures, including the Canaanite Balaat, the Sumero-Babylonian Belit-ili, the Assyrian/Babylonian Lilitu, Al Lat and Al Uzza, and the Babylonian Ishtar or Inanna. As a negatively numinous figure Lilith is identified in Hebrew, Christian, and Islamic literatures with demons, vampires, and djinns. The political aspect of the conquest of Goddess/Woman by God/Man involves a transfer and transformation of the power structure. When Lilith was figured as a demon or vampire, her divinity was overshadowed by a sense of horror, by sexual fascination and frenzied loss of control.

Keywords: feminine divinity; Hebrew tradition; Lilith; male superiority; negative numinous figure; Sumero-Babylonian goddess; Terra Mater

10.1163/ej.9789004177529.i-536.42
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