Morgan Knight

Morgan Knight

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Smashing folklore together and creating WALKING INTO DARKNESS

In order to explain the method to my madness, first you need to understand that I'm a history geek and love mythology and folklore.  
Note: Nothing I write is intended to be inflammatory or condemning.Characters exist in my mind and occasionally talk to me. I am just the transcriber. 
I have a crazy imagination and views different than most. Let's start at the basics.
Who was Lilith?
According to Jewish folklore and contained within the Alphabet of Ben Sira, Lilith was Adam’s first wife. She was created at the same he had been. Problems soon arose. Lilith refused to be subservient and lie under Adam during sex. She demanded to be on top. One can assume that Lilith didn’t get her way, because she fled the garden, leaving Adam. Three angels were dispatched to bring Lilith back…she did not return.

This is where Eve came in. In order for Adam to have the perfect mate, apparently one that would be submissive to him, Eve was created from one of Adam’s ribs. But this isn’t about Eve.....

Lilith’s name is not directly written in the Bible, although many references are made of her existence. Lilith is however mentioned many times in the Zohar by name. The Zohar is a book written around 1200 CE by Rabbi Moses de Leon in Spain. The stories contained were long before oral histories. According to the writings, Lilith was created at the same time as Adam, from dust, and animated by spirits. The Zohar also points to Lilith as being an unsuitable mate for Adam, but the stories give more information and speculation. She fled the garden and Adam, returning as the Serpent who tempted Eve. It also suggests that Lilith mated with the archangel Samael, aka, Satan.

Lilith Tempting Adam and Eve
"The Fall of Man and the Expulsion From Paradise"
Michelangelo - Sistine Chapel Vatican

Let’s not stop there! The stories get so much better. The Talmud, penned around 400 CE, a book that strove to preserve oral stories, or folklore was written. In this work, Lilith sired demon seed by stealing Adam’s sperm while he slept. She is depicted as having long hair, wings, and a human face. This is when and where I believe Lilith became known as a night demon.

One passage reads, "One may not sleep in a house alone, and whoever sleeps in a house alone is seized by Lilith."

Interestingly enough, the Talmud claims Lilith is the blame for the pain of childbirth women experience. Huh, thanks Lilith!

What I find most interesting is the fact Lilith is mentioned way before any of the previous writings by a Sumerian king that dates back to 2400 BCE. The writings are a list that claims Gilgamesh is fathered by a Lillu demon. Later, in the story of Gilgamesh, around 2000 BCE, Lilith and the serpent are depicted as haunting a great tree in a holy garden of the gods. Hmmm, see some correlations?

I read some interesting information that claims Lilith is mentioned in the Bible, supposedly in Isaiah 34. Well, not in the King James version. I checked. Anyway, according to the writing, Lilith is described as being a winged creature, much like a bird and once dwelled on the ocean floor. It also states that she fused with a snake and was a killer of younglings. I read further on and discovered a word I had never heard, Alukah. I looked it up and one definition is that an Alukah is a horseleech with many teeth that feeds off the necks of animals. Another source states it is a blood thirsty monster. The Encyclopedia Mythica, love this site, gave this description:

by Rabbi Geoffrey W. Dennis

A blood-lusting monster. The earliest reference to a vampire appears in the Bible, where it is called an alukah (Prov. 30:15). Jewish traditions about vampires vary over history. Sometimes they are regarded to be demonic spirits, other times they are described as a type of witch.
The best description appears in Sefer Chasidim, where the creature is understood to be a living human being, but can shape-change into a wolf. It can fly (by releasing its long hair) and will eventually die if prevented from feeding on blood for a long enough time. Once dead, a vampire can be prevented from becoming a demon by being buried with its mouth stuffed with earth.
Article copyright 2004 Geoffrey Dennis.

Now we can begin to see where vampire legends were hatched and see they were most commonly associated with Lilith.

As time progressed and oral stories were passed around, hysteria in one form or another broke out. My favorites are from the Middle Ages. According to lore, winged monsters mothered by Alukah, fly through the night, devoured children, and drank their blood. It was also a common worry by men that Lilith invaded during the night, seeking their semen, seducing them like a succubus.

I think this image by artist Lilian Broca captures it well.

So many more myths, folklore, and stories are written in different times periods and by different cultures. This is only a sampling of the wealth of information ever produced. In general though, Lilith morphed into many shapes and forms throughout the years, from serpent, to a winged, birdlike creature, to a winged creature with a human face. In one tale, she is depicted as being a beautiful blue, butterfly-like demon. 

But how do Lilith and the Lamia have anything in common? Like Lilith, the Lamia too is associated with drinking blood, seducing men, and with the ability to stay young. Further research suggests that when Cain was banished, he came across Lilith. She taught Cain to drink blood and how to use his own blood for mystic purposes, including how to create more of his kind. WHOP!

At first, Cain was supposedly torn with the decision. It would be sinful to do such a thing. Then, Cain got lonely, succumbed, created more in his image, and begot 13 more. And there is that magical number, 13.

After that, Cain created a city, and so distraught with what he had done, he forbid any more being created. In his city, it is believed that human and vampire co-existed in peace. At some point in time, the city fell, and only three second generation beings survived, only to disappear, and become true vampires.

With all the speculation, stories, and folklore with their own definitions, I thought, hey, if others can write their own beliefs and stories, why can’t I? With that, Walking into Darkness was born. The Lamia, from my standpoint, are descendants of Lilith. Why make them evil? Why not make them peace seeking beings that have been trying to exist on the human plane? Why not?

Fast forward to the present. I’m telling the story based on all the history, folklore, and characters that take shape in my mind. I'm telling, as Paul Harvey would say, “The rest of the story......” 

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