by Sydney Bridges
I first began practicing the craft at the age of 15. Very few books existed on the craft at that time and the internet had not yet been invented, so many of my practices were created through intuition.
Fast forward 40 years. Much has been learned and there are now several books of shadows, my associations with the Gods I work with are cemented and long standing.
Then things changed. While attending training in advanced Shamanic Healing practices I had an experience within a journey where I was devoured by a huge snake.
Not too long after that I had a dream where a rather large cobra appeared to me and said simply “I choose you” and very soon after that another dream in which I was sleeping while guarded by the same cobra.
Finally, all this was put together by me and I realized that Lilith had identified herself as my personal Goddess.
My dedications are to Hecate and Hermes, who were chosen because of my work in healing, death and dying.
My personal journey is more about independence and fortitude; in choosing me, especially at the age of 57, Lilith is evidently saying that there is more to me than service to others and it is high time that my lessons started.
Lilith was Adam’s first wife.
She refused to be subservient to him and essentially opted for divorce rather than have to stick around and be told what to do. I understand this.
While Christian theologians would have us believe that Lilith became a demon who would sacrifice 100 of her children every day rather than return to Eden, I prefer to think of her as someone who simply refused to deny who she was as a woman.
Lilith was an equal and her thoughts mattered. Later on, Lilith shows up in mythology as the serpent who offers the apple to Eve as a way of saying, “don’t drink the Kool-Aid, there is a whole world outside this garden, come on take a bite”. She offers independence to Eve.
As a Crone, and a bad-ass one at that, it is flattering to me that such a powerful Goddess has chosen me to mentor. Perhaps this choosing came along at my older age because I needed some time to become comfortable with my bad-ass self and to come to a place where the questions I have were more refined and deeper.
Lilith is a quintessential Dark Mother Goddess. She expects a lot.
My life experiences have brought me through some exceedingly dark times, and for a long time my grief has been all consuming.
Lilith showed up at a time when the dark had become comfortable and looking at my shadow did not scare me anymore… at least not that much.
Even though Lilith is often shown as an ageless figure, she is most decidedly a Crone aspect and this aspect is usually the most feared and misunderstood of all the Goddess forms.
Lilith makes you look her in the eye and what she offers you is worth being uncomfortable for. The wisdom that comes from her is a most powerful gift. It is being given the answer to “Why am I here?”.
For my part, a bad-ass crone is one who has survived. The fact that, through all the shaming of women from religions of old Lilith has endured, is bad-ass.
Any woman that can come through the trials of her life and remain strong and independent is bad-ass.
Women who survive rape and incest, violence and abuse, divorce and struggle and death of a child are all bad-ass and deserve to be revered. If they have come through these things and can still function, learn, teach and grow then they are indeed daughters of Lilith.
The bad-ass crone does not sit around saying “poor me” when things get tough, instead she is likely to be heard saying “son of a bitch, here we go again”.
This does not mean that she is too proud to ask for help or accept it when it is offered. Lilith found a way to have her happiness by embracing her independence and accepting the consequences of it. I have also done this.
In fairy tales there usually two types of crones, wicked and wise. In mythology of Lilith there are two versions as well, demon and hero.
Tom Jacobs, in his book “Lilith: Healing the Wild”, tells us that there are nine phases that women go through in their association with this Archetype.
First she demands her equality. Secondly, she faces the attempts of society to dominate or change who she is. Often times she will flee a situation, for example, getting a divorce or moving to another town to distance herself from situations that present no options to her.
In her separation she will face her rage, grief and mourning. Accepting responsibility for herself and her actions, she will then focus on what is truly important to her and re-enter the world stronger and more bad-ass than before, embracing her inner Lilith.
This story has now come full circle for me. I am at the place of re-entry.
I am, as I write, recreating myself, partly because the universe has moved my cheese and partly because I can no longer be the mild mannered crone, puttering around the house.
I have a mark to make on the world and it needs to happen now. I have not learned everything; I do know the good questions to ask.
I have a great deal to offer and it is through the energy of Lilith that I will be heard. The Lilith Archetype, can open the door to autonomy and communion with the divine and sacred feminine, there needs to be some life experience first however so that this understanding can be appreciated.
This is why she is a Crone Goddess. This is why Crones are bad-ass.
About the Author:
Sydney is a native of Texas who relocated to Washington State in 1986. She has worked as a healer for 15 years doing Massage, Hypnotherapy, Grief Counseling and Death Midwifery. She is a Third Degree Pagan Priestess who runs a small coven on the Kitsap Peninsula where she lives with her golden retriever Cinnamon. Sydney has both a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Psychology and a lifelong interest in all things subconscious. One of her current projects is creating local Death Salons in order to help bring about a Death Positive culture. To read more about Sydney you can visit her website , or check her out on Facebook.
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