“Always be Lilith, Never Eve”

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I was first made aware of the title quote through a reblog of an argument in support of Eve, which makes some good points despite its somewhat derogatory and belittling remarks directed toward Lucifer/Satan/the Serpent in Genesis (the OP changed their blog name and thus the original post isn’t available, but I found a copy here). It wasn’t as though I was entirely unaware of the bias against Eve—it’s quite difficult to not notice the blame that is often put on her, when it is so similar to the accusations aimed at Lucifer.

But that phrase in particular made me angry, angrier than any remark against Lucifer has ever made me. I suppose it has a lot to do with the fact that anti-Lucifer remarks are so frequently heard that I’ve become pretty much desensitized to them. Depending on one’s interpretation of mythos, it could also be said that Lucifer willingly accepted the burden of the world’s blame and hatred. But I don’t believe Eve deserves that sort of shaming, especially not when it is used as a tool to elevate another equally flawed entity. And not when she has so much to offer us in terms of what she represents.

Eve is incredibly important within my belief system and practice as a Luciferian. She is one of the central figures in the Augustine phrase that has shaped my approach to Luciferianism—Felix Culpa, the happy fault, the fortunate fall. Lilith, on the other hand, is entirely absent from my personal faith. She is not a figure I particularly admire, and though there are Luciferians who incorporate her into their own paths, I don’t quite see her or the role she plays as relevant to my faith. The title quotation is thus unsettling for me—why shouldn’t I aspire to be Eve? Why should she be considered lesser than Lilith, as unworthy of respect, as an unfit role model?

It should be mentioned that Lucifer never called me to worship him. He never even asked me to follow him. He asked me to be him, to reflect his values, to take up the title of Lightbearer for myself. But I was not the first—Eve has that honor. And if my god found her worthy of being the first to undertake such a task, how can I not honor her and aspire to be Eve, regardless of whether or not I seek to be Lilith as well?

Eve was the first to be challenged, to be offered the chance to prove her worth as one of God’s finest creations. She was the first to choose the harsh light of knowledge, complete with all its pains and sorrows. She was the first to want for more, the first to be dissatisfied with the limitations of Eden and the limitations placed on herself.

It could be argued that Eve plays a role of equal significance within Luciferianism as Lucifer, and one that is far more relatable to us because unlike Lucifer, she was human. While I believe he sees a part of himself and of his God reflected within humanity, Eve understands mortality and the price that came along with our Fall better than he ever could, simply because she was the one that had to live with those consequences. While there are many parallels within our experiences and those of Lucifer, I don’t believe Lucifer will ever know death, or the sorrows that are intrisically human in nature. But Eve knew all that only too well, all the while taking on the once-divine role of Lightbearer and intertwining divinity and mortality.But she also represents the acceptance of responsibility in shaping her own fate. It was ultimately her choice to give into temptation, to face unknown consequences, for the chance to become as a god herself. 

I’ve always been fascinated by her character in Milton’s work. In Paradise Lost, Eve initially rejects Adam, having first seen her own reflection and been captivated. She finds her own reflection to be far more pleasing to the eye than Adam’s visage, but she is chastised by God for her vanity, and eventually grows to love Adam as well. I believe that through this, she represents the love of the self, which many might consider to be a flaw rather than a virtue. But isn’t it often said that one must learn to love themselves before they can love or be loved by another? It was much the same for me—before I could fully commit myself to this path, which elevates humanity to the level of the divine, I had to acknowledge my own capabilities. Before I could see the good in others, I had to first see the good in myself.

 Eve represents the courage necessary to face the unknown, to take risks for the sake of higher ideals. She represents the pursuit of wisdom, and the desire to rise above limitations. She represents the love of the self, of seeing and accepting our own qualities and flaws. She’s a reminder of our own free will, of our ability to take control of our own lives. She reminds us that its okay to question things, that we should not take everything at face value, but rather search for deeper truths. 

Eve also reminds us that it’s okay to make mistakes along the way—sometimes those mistakes prove to be of greater value than we ever thought possible

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Lent 2014

Some of you may remember that last year I participated in Lent for the first time in about 10 years. I didn’t give anything up, but rather took it upon myself to read and reflect upon certain scriptural passages each day. It was also during this time that I was delving deeper into understanding my god’s relationship with his Father, and so this task was extremely productive in terms of restructuring my perspective. However, I didn’t really embrace the religious observation as significantly within the practical applications of my faith. It was a good exercise in terms of perception and theological understanding, but I didn’t see it having much influence in my day-to-day life.

This year, I’m starting to view Lent as being highly applicable to both Luciferian thought and practice.

The beginning of Lent on Ash Wednesday reminds us of our humble beginnings, and of the mortality imbued to us through our Fall—“Remember that thou art dust, and to dust thou shalt return”. And yet, Luciferianism upholds human potential as akin to the divine, regardless of whether humanity was crafted from dirt or stardust. We are reminded of that fateful choice that was both blessing and curse, to know life only through death, to recognize joy only when we also know strife. We are reminded that our ephemerality makes our existence all the more valuable, and that our fall from Grace need not be seen as entirely unfortunate (x).

But this religious observation is also meant to parallel Christ’s own trials and temptations in the desert, led by none other than the devil himself (x). These trials would act as preparation for the sacrifice expected of him later on.  In a similar fashion, Lent can be seen as an opportunity for our own preparation of forthcoming trials. It is an opportunity for me to become my own adversary and accuser, to set my own challenges so that I may be strengthened when faced with external adversarial forces.  As my own Accuser, I’m acknowledging certain restrictions that that always been in place within my practice, and my failure to fully commit to them lately.These self-imposed restrictions challenge my own self-discipline and contribute to my own growth. I see this as another method of embodying my god, and simultaneously striving for apotheosis.  

While I’ve been very productive spiritually as of late, I don’t think that justifies not being as productive on a practical level as well, which these restrictions supplement. In combining Luciferianism and devotional work, I need to be as equally invested in the development of the more pragmatic aspects of my practice as I am in the theoretical side of it all. It is my hope that the Lenten period will reinvigorate my commitment to keeping these practices, and that they will be sustained even after the forty days are over.