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Lilith - The First Eve & The Queen of Swords

The Queen of Swords, Lilith is from Hebrew and Biblical Mythology. Here is an illustration of: "Burney Relief" from about 1800-1750 BC. Portrayed here is the Babylonian goddess possibly Ishtar or probably her sister Ereshkigal (lions) or Lilitu (owls). It is said that the figurine was originally painted on a black background, in red colour. Lilith is depicted as this figure in mythology.

The Bible has two versions of the story of creation. We are aware of God has created both man and woman, Adam and Eve. Eve was created from Adam’s ribs after he had recounted his loneliness to the Almighty. This is in the Book of Genesis (2:22 And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.)

Genesis the book of creation from the Bible however also mentions that God created both Man and Woman simultaneously so that they too would be a pair like the other animals he created. This is in the Book of Genesis chapter one before the creation of the eve we know. (1:27 So God created man in his [own] image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.)

The conception of Eve, therefore, had two separate stories while Hebrew and Biblical myths both agree that God created Adam from dust. The first woman who was created instantaneously with Adam, therefore, was known as the First Eve or Lilith. The way the world has viewed Lilith has changed, in recent times, very much in the manner in which the world has viewed other women from the Bible. The original model of the Queen of Swords was also from the Bible, a woman named Judith from the Bible who slew Holofernes the commander of the King of Assyria.

Lilith was a strongly independent and intelligent woman. She rebelled against Adam, as she was meant to be subservient and deferential to him. God had intended for Lilith to be of a status lower than Adam and to yield to him. Not only was Lilith a woman who knew her mind, but she was also not afraid to assert it. She refused to lie under Adam during the act of procreation as had been ordained by the Almighty but insisted on lying above him, since she was in her own mind, equal to him.

The Queen of Swords in the Tarot is intelligent like the rest of her counterparts and has a sharp wit. She is usually portrayed as someone who is divorced or widowed. The Queen of Swords is the single woman of the Tarot. She is single since she is assertive, self-assured, and confident. Lilith has been adopted into Hebrew and Biblical myths from Sumerian and Mesopotamian mythologies.

The Alphabet of Ben Sira, a medieval text mentions Lilith as Adam’s first wife, who fled the Garden of Eden on her own accord as she refused to consider herself inferior to Adam. She is attributed with the scandalous qualities that tantalized Medieval sensibilities, such as her inclination and fondness for sex, and her rebellion against the natural order of things where man is superior. Ben Sira in his book mentions that Lilith argued with Adam and that the two never really heard one another, another disreputably shameful revelation during the Medieval ages.

Lilith was expected to perform the subservient role within the framework of what was expected of her (even by Ben Sira in his text) but she instead was adamant about being free. She simply enforced her personal space which led to her being demonized as she was in her pagan past. Lilith had a sound argument since she mentioned that Adam and Lilith were created from the dust simultaneously and hence one could not be superior to the other. They could only be equals. The Queen of Swords in the tarot is extremely logical and like Lilith and her logic is sound.

The marital life of Adam and Lilith had frustrating lows till Lilith finally was bitter enough to yell out the Hebrew Tetragrammaton, or sacred unspeakable word which sounded like “Yahweh”, the sacred name of God, which gave her the power to fly away while earning her the wrath of God. She then becomes the winged devil. Lilith fled to the Red Sea to be free from Adam. While Moses led the Israelites to the Red Sea and helped free them from the pharaoh there since God was his guide, Lilith feels abandoned at the Red Sea instead of being exhilarated.

Lilith after leaving the garden of Eden becomes a winged devil, with talons instead of legs in some versions of the mythology, she is a demon that killed children, and a lot of infant death was attributed to her in the medieval ages. In present-day Jerusalem, there are still shops that sell amulets to guard against Lilith.

Dignified: The Queen of Swords has a brilliant mind, is very logical like Lilith. The Queen of Swords like Lilith may carry a certain bitterness or sadness in her heart, just as Lilith felt abandoned at the Red Sea even though leaving Adam was her choice. She may even if the card is well-dignified, be blocking out emotions to let logic reign so that she can feel whole.

In the modern-day, feminism has cast Lilith in a new light, and Lilith is seen as an independent woman doing well in a career, maybe not so much in her personal life. Poppy Palin’s Everyday Enchantment Tarot, shows the Queen of Swords as a Surgeon.

Reversed or Weakly Aspected: Reversed, the Queen of Swords, embodies Lilith’s extreme bitterness and demonic nature. She can be cruel, unforgiving and very pessimistic. Later versions of the myth of Lilith mention that she would go about seducing men in their sleep so that she could spawn more demons to grow her armies. Reversed, the Queen of Swords like Lilith is deceitful and disloyal. In some versions, of Biblical Mythology, Lilith is the serpent that tempted Eve to eat the apple. In Renaissance art, we see Lilith painted by Titian in The Fall of Man, as the serpent, coiling around the Tree of Knowledge. The Queen of Swords can therefore be as vindictive as Lilith, exacting revenge for what she deems as wrongs committed against her.

Images Used on The Site. Illustrations from the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck, known also as the Rider Tarot and the Waite Tarot, reproduced by permission of U.S. Games Systems, Inc., Stamford, CT 06902. c. 1971 by U.S. Games Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. The Rider-Waite Tarot deck is a registered trademark of U.S. Games Systems, Inc.


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