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TRACY R. TWYMAN | The Matron and the Maiden: Baphomet Series #6


The Mesopotamian depicition of Lilith, or "Lilitu"

The legend of Lilith becomes even more complex when we learn that, according to the kabbalists, there are in fact two Liliths: Lilith the Matron and Lilith the Maiden. The latter is described as the “slave” or “handmaiden” or the former. Lilith the Matron is said to be both the mate of Samael, and of God himself, analogous to the concept of Sophia as the bride of God. Lilith the Maiden comes across as her dark doppelganger, just as the Gnostics believed that Sophia had a darker half named “Achemoth”, an emanation of hers that somehow got trapped outside of the “Pleroma”, or “fullness of being.” Occult authors Nigel Jackson and Michael Howard also compared Sophia and the elder Lilith in their book The Pillars of Tubal-Cain, saying that Sophia has even been described as “Adam’s companion of youth”, i.e. Lilith. They also write that Lilith the Matron “represents the qualities of the feminine self that the Shekinah does not carry.” They describe the Lilith-Samael androgyne as “an aspect of ‘the power of God’ and represented on the Tree of Life as the sephirah Geburah.”

Another Jewish legend that seems to be connected with these concepts asserts that God’s wife, the Shekinah or Matronit (or Sophia) was who for a time “exiled”, while a slave woman, her “handmaiden”, took her place. The “handmaiden” appears to be equated with the Egyptian kingly line. The Zohar tells us:

“One day the companions were walking with Rabbi Shim’on bar Yohai. Rabbi Shim’on said: “We see that all these nations have risen, and Israel is lower than all of them. Why is this? Because the King sent away the Matronit from Him, and took the slave woman in her place. Who is this slave woman? The Alien Crown, whose firstborn the Holy One, blessed be He, killed in Egypt. At first she sat behind the handmill, and now this slave woman inherited the place of her mistress.’ And Rabbi Shim’on wept and said: ‘The King without the Matronit is not called king. The King who adhered to the slave woman, to the handmaid of the Matronit, where is his honor? He lost the Matronit and attached Himself to the place which is called slave woman. This slave woman was destined to rule over the Holy Land of below, as the Matronit formerly ruled over it. But the Holy One, blessed be He, will ultimately bring back the Matronit to her place as before. And then, what will be the rejoicing? Say, the rejoicing of the King and the rejoicing of the Matronit. The rejoicing of the King because He will return to her and separate from the slave woman, and the rejoicing of the Matronit, because she will return to couple with the King.’”

Occult writers Nigel Jackson and Michael Howard equate the slave woman mentioned here with Lilith. The metaphor is commonly thought to refer to the time of destruction of the Temple of Solomon and the exile of the Israelites to Babylon in the 6th century BC. But why then the reference to the “Egyptian slave woman”? Although it was the Hebrews who were at one point the slave of the Egyptians, several Egyptian women are depicted as slaves to important Old Testament figures, including Hagar, Abraham’s slave and the mother of his disowned son Ishmael. Interestingly, Hagar was said by kabbalists R. Ya’aqov and R. Yitzhaq to “resemble” Lilith. Hagar and Ishmael were exiled to the desert to die of thirst after Abraham’s wife Sarah became jealous of them. God miraculously saved them. This concept of the slave woman as the mistress of the matron’s husband is a recurring theme in all of the legends pertaining to our inquiry, and brings to mind the relationship of the younger Lilith as the slave or handmaiden of the elder.

Lilith the Maiden is said to be the consort of the demon Asmodeus. Her mother is said to be a demoness named “Mehetabel”, meaning “something immersed”, which brings to mind the meaning of Baphomet’s name: “Baptism of Wisdom.” As I will explain in greater detail later on, ancient baptism rites involved full-body submersion into water. According to The Zohar, Lilith the Maiden incarnated in human form as Naamah, the daughter of the Cainite Lamech. Thus, the race of Lilith’s human descendants are sometimes referred to by kabbalists as the “sons of Naamah.” The Zohar said that it was originally Naamah who first seduced the angels or “sons of God” referred to in Genesis Chapter 6, causing them to lust after human females and incur God’s wrath (a subject that we will delve into more deeply later on.) Lilith the Maiden/Naamah also allegedly incarnated as Moses’ Egyptian wife, Zipporah. Both Liliths were said to have incarnated as the two prostitutes who approached King Solomon to judge in their dispute over the parentage of a young child (for which he famously ruled that the child should be cut in half and shared between them).

Others see Lilith and Naamah as just two of a quartet of concubines for Samael. According to kabbalist Nathan Nota Poira:

“Samael was given four kingdoms, and in each of them he has a concubine. The names of his concubines are: Lilith, whom he took as his consort, and she is the first one; the second is Naamah; the third, Even Maskit; and the fourth, Igrat daughter of Mahalath. and the four kingdoms are: first the kingdom of Damascus, in which is found the house of Rimmon; the second, the kingdom of Tyre, which is opposite the land of Israel; the third, the kingdom of Malta, which formerly was called Rhodos; and the fourth, the kingdom called Granata, and some say that it is the kingdom of Ishmael. And in each of these four kingdoms dwells one of the four aforementioned concubines.”

These four “concubines” are taken by other authors to be separate incarnations or emanations of the same goddess, Lilith. Besides Naamah and Lilith, the names of the other concubines vary according to the source. The above-quoted source names them as Even Maskit and Igrat. Other names that have been listed include Mahalath and Nega’. They appear to be demons like Lilith, but some of them also specifically correspond to women mentioned in the Bible.

Mahalath is the daughter of Abraham’s son Ishmael, whom he sired by the daughter of Kasdiel, the Egyptian sorcerer. Ishmael’s father disapproved of the marriage and successfully pressured him into divorcing her before the baby was born. Mahalath, who is also known as Bashemath, is said to have performed “sorceries” in the desert with her mother, evoking a spirit named Igratiel, who had sex with Mahalath and conceived a daughter named Igrat. Mahalath later married Esau, the son of Isaac and brother of Jacob. Esau was the first of the kings of Edom.

Igrat went on to have sex with King David one night while he was sleeping, and conceived a child named Adad who was a duke of the nation of Edom. According to the kabbalists, Adad is the same as the demon Asmodeus, or Ashmodai, which comes from the Hebrew words “Sh’mi Ad, Ad Sh’mi”, meaning “My name is Ad, Ad is my name.” And of course, you will recall that Asmodeus was said to have been the husband of “Lilith the Maiden.” Asmodeus was also said to have taken over King Solomon’s throne for a while, which would only make sense, as Asmodeus may have been, legitimately, the son and heir of David, and thus Solomon’s brother and rival to the throne. To bring things full circle, although there were many historical kings of Edom named Adad (which was also the name of one of Ishmael’s sons and of an ancient storm god worshipped in that region), one in particular is said to have been married to a woman named Mehetabel, which you will recall is also said to have been the name of the mother of Lilith the Maiden.

If you find the intertwining of this demonic family tree confusing, you are not alone. But this is the nature of Lilith. As the “Eve of Life,” Lilith described herself in the Gnostic text On the Origin of the World:

“I am the portion of my mother,
and I am the mother.
I am the woman,
and I am the virgin.
I am the pregnant one.
I am the physician.
I am the midwife.
My husband is the one who begot me,
and I am his mother,
and he is my father and my lord.
He is my potency.
That which he desires he speaks
with reason.
I am still in a nascent state,
but I have borne a lordly man.”

Another human incarnation of Lilith was, allegedly, the Queen of Sheba, that mysterious woman mentioned in I Kings Chapter 10 who came to visit King Solomon. “Sheba” is thought to correspond to the ancient kingdom of Saba in Southern Arabia, which included Eritrea, Ethiopia and Yemen. The word “sheba” means both “oath” and “seven” in Hebrew. Allegedly this queen visited Solomon because she had heard of his renowned wisdom and wanted to text it, for she too was a woman of wisdom. She arrived bearing an enormous tribute of gold, spices and precious stones. She presented Solomon with a series of riddles to test his wisdom, all of which he answered easily. She was so awestruck by his wisdom that she decided to convert to Solomon’s religion of worshipping one God. Solomon, quite enamored of her, presented her with loads of expensive gifts in return, which she took home with her when her visit was over.

But according to extra-biblical references, there was much more to the relationship between Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. All of these legends agree that they were lovers. Stories originating in Ethiopia say that Solomon sired a son with her named Menelik, or, according to Nigel Jackson and Michael Howard, Mardek (meaning “son of the wise”). Many scholars believe that the Song of Solomon or “Song of Songs” found in the Old Testament was meant to be a poem about Solomon and the Queen. The test of the poem is overtly sexual in nature. Human body fluids like vaginal secretions, female ejaculate, semen, menstrual blood, and other things, such as sexual organs, are disguised as “spikenard”, “wine”, “myrrh”, “living waters”, “the Rose of Sharon”, and “the Lily of the Valley.” The “bride” in this poem describes herself symbolically as “black”, which makes sense if she was an Ethiopian.

The Queen of Sheba is the subject of a number of bizarre folk tales, as related in the book The Pillars of Tubal-Cain by Nigel Jackson and Michael Howard. One says that when she was a girl she was tied up in the branches of a tree as a sacrificial offering to a dragon. Seven “holy men” came to rescue her by slaying the dragon. Some of the dragon’s blood splashed on her left foot and leg, turning it into that of a goat. Solomon first caught sight of the leg when she walked across a mirrored floor in his palace. As the authors relate, “Solomon decided that she must be one of the desert demons known as the seirim, who follow Azazel, or the demonic vampire Lilith.” The goat imagery directly relates to Baphomet, and the goat-demon Azazel will be discussed in greater detail later on.

Other stories about the Queen of Sheba include one stating that Solomon gave her the emerald Grail stone that fell from Lucifer’s crown, and which was later carved into the cup used by Jesus at the Last Supper. The Grail legends tell us that Sheba built the “Ship of Solomon”, which was made from timber taken from the Tree of Knowledge, and could travel through time. There is also a Masonic tradition that King Solomon had three of his masons murder the Master Mason of his temple, Hiram Abiff, because the Queen of Sheba had fallen in love with him and Solomon was jealous.


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2 Responses to The Matron and the Maiden: Baphomet Series #6

  1. Mario says:

    “This slave woman was destined to rule over the Holy Land of below, as the Matronit formerly ruled over it. But the Holy One, blessed be He, will ultimately bring back the Matronit to her place as before. And then, what will be the rejoicing?” Nice topic, i agree with the conclusion. Keep up the good post.

  2. Many ancient cultures were matriarchal societies where women tended to hold the power. This was reflected in their religions, where the main deities were goddesses. The mother goddess had three aspects of the maiden, matron and crone, portraying three major stages of women’s lives.

    Maiden, Matron, and Crone—the three aspects of the Triple Goddess—have representations in various ancient cultures, religions, and mythologies. Now, thirteen masters of fantasy present brand new tales that draw upon these classic archetypes.

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