Lilith

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In astrology, Lilith refers to either an asteroid or a cloud of small dust particles that orbit Earth like a second moon. Lilith, asteroid 1,181 (the 1,181st asteroid to be discovered, on February 11, 1927), was named after the legendary first wife of Adam, who was expelled from Eden for not acknowledging Adam's superiority. It has an orbital period of 41/3 years and is 18 kilometers in diameter.

Lilith is one of the more recent asteroids to be investigated by astrologers. Preliminary material on Lilith can be found in Demetra George and Douglas Bloch's Astrology for Yourself and an ephemeris (table of celestial locations) for Lilith can be found in George and Bloch's Asteroid Goddesses. Unlike the planets, which are associated with a wide range of phenomena, the smaller asteroids are said to represent a single principle. George and Bloch give Lilith's principle as personal power and conflict resolution; their tentative key phrase for Lilith is "My capacity to constructively release my anger and resolve conflict." Zipporah Dobyns views Lilith as related to many Pluto concerns, namely, a strong will, interest in the occult and the unconscious, and power and control issues. J. Lee Lehman relates Lilith to the "wild women" in each of us (in men, the anima of female shadow self). This aspect of ourselves is often repressed, leading to misogyny in men and self-hatred in women.

Lilith the dust cloud, Earth's "dark moon," received much attention from a handful of important earty twentieth century astrologers, such as Ivy Goldstein-Jacob-son and W. Gorn Old (Sepharial). While the very existence of Lilith has been questioned, some astrologers have taken the claimed observations of a dust cloud obscur-ing—or being illumined by—the Sun and constructed ephemerides for this body. Early investigators regarded the influence of Lilith as malefic, believing the dust cloud to be involved in such unpleasant matters as betrayal and stillbirth. However, the feminist movement—which has strongly influenced the astrological community, if for no other reason than that the majority of practitioners are women—has caused reevaluation of mythological figures like Lilith: Perhaps the rejection of Adam's authority should be seen as commendable, as the first time in history (even though it is a mythological history) that a woman refused to be ordered around by a man. Thus, more recent interpreters have tended to give Lilith a richer range of meanings, including many positive ones.

The majority of contemporary astrologers reject the notion of astrological influence from an obscure dust cloud, and fewer actually use "the dark moon Lilith" in their work. (One measure of its rejection is its absence from such standard twentieth-century reference works as the Larousse Encyclopedia of Astrology.) Attributing influence to Lilith persists, nevertheless, particularly among astrologers in the lineage of Goldstein-Jacobson and Sepharial. An important modern treatment of Lilith by Delphine Jay (Interpreting Lilith) and her very usable Lilith Ephemeris were published in the early 1980s. In 1988 and 1991, respectively, these two books went through their third printing. Thus, like her namesake, Earth's dark moon continues to refuse to submit to the astrological mainstream, which would prefer to deal with more manageable celestial bodies.

Sources:

Dobyns, Zipporah. Expanding Astrology's Universe. San Diego: Astro Computing Services, 1983. George, Demetra, with Douglas Bloch. Asteroid Goddesses: The Mythology, Psychology and Astrology of the Reemerging Feminine. 2d ed. rev. San Diego: ACS, 1990.

-. Astrology for Yourself: A Workbook for Personal Transformation. Berkeley, CA: Wingbow

Press, 1987.

Jay, Delphine. Interpreting Lilith. Tempe, AZ: American Federation of Astrologers, 1981.

-. The Lilith Ephemeris, 1900-2000 A.D. Tempe, AZ: American Federation of Astrologers,

1983.

Lehman, J. Lee. The Ultimate Asteroid Book. West Chester, PA: Whitford Press, 1988. Schwartz, Jacob. Asteroid Name Encyclopedia. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 1995.

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