Why is St Lucia suddenly so popular?

Saint Lucia, Saint Lucia,; Venite all’agile barchetta mia…Santa Lucia, Santa Lucia
You know, my dad used to go around the house singing that chorus.  Naturally, I picked it up.  I guess I have belted it out off and on throughout my life, not even knowing what it really meant or embodied or symbolized, or conjured.  We pick things up and keep them in our hearts and minds without so much as a thought.  Especially Music.  Catchy little tunes stay in our head, involuntarily.  Sadly, that is a problem for most of us in this “modern” society.  We are so open and receptive to everything.  We do not understand the implications of most of what passes before us everyday.

We allow ourselves to participate in activities about which we know very little to nothing at all.  We find ourselves singing along with was seem to be innocuous jingles and catchy tunes not realizing their origin or their purpose.  We visit foreign nations or befriend folks whose customs and observances we accept and embrace without investigation. We bring home souvenirs or accept gifts and place them in places of honor in our homes, not even realizing that with them came spirits and curses.

We allow images/idols/thoughts/ideas/imaginations to become part of our lives, even thought God’s word warns us not to.  Putting an image up in your home, or giving them a spot in your memory; aligns you with the spiritual beings and forces from which those images were formed.  Every single thing, every thought, every idea, every creation begins first in the spirit realm.  There is nothing in our lives that does not have a spiritual source. That is why God warns us to “test the spirits”.  You can not just accept that everything you see and hear is good.  There are deceivers both human and spiritual working everyday to fill your heart and mind with things intended to lead you down the wrong path.

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 1 John 4

That is why God’s word says to “GUARD YOUR HEARTS AND MINDS!”.  There is a very simple children’s song that we should all keep in our minds to help us to remain watchful over what we allow in our lives.

O Be Careful Little eyes what you see
O Be Careful little ears what you hear
O Be Careful little tongue what you say
O Be Careful little hands what you do

Everything that we allow into our lives affects us on multiple levels.  We are influenced by everything we see and hear.  Our senses are the Gateways to our spirit.  We need to guard our gates.  The enemy is right outside at all times waiting for an opening and an opportunity.

I learned recently that many homes and individuals have begun to celebrate St. Lucia.  Children and young adults, and especially Feminists.  I was struck immediately just by the name.  Lucia of course the root is the same as the root of the name Lucifer. Just like Lucifer, St Lucia is known as a Light Bearer just like Lucifer.

I was compelled to do more research.  What I found is posted below:


St. Lucia Icons - Free SVG & PNG St. Lucia Images - Noun Project

Saint Lucia Day/ December 13

December 13 is just another day to most Americans, however, in Sweden, it’s a holiday.  Saint Lucia’s Day is one of the most unique elements of the Swedish holiday season. StLucia’s Dayfestival of lights is celebrated in Sweden, Norway, and the Swedish-speaking areas of Finland. It has long been observed by Roman Catholics, Lutherans, and Anglicans among others.  Lucia Day has made its way to the church basements and fellowship halls of Lutheran and Covenant churches all over the United States. Source


A traditional Lucia procession. Photo: Cecilia Larsson Lantz/imagebank.sweden.se

The annual candlelit Lucia procession on 13 December is perhaps one of the more exotic-looking Swedish customs, with girls and boys clad in white full-length gowns singing songs together.

The real candles are now sometimes replaced with battery-powered ones, but there is still a special atmosphere when the lights are dimmed and the sound of the children singing grows as they enter from an adjacent room.

Tradition has it that Lucia is to wear ‘light in her hair’, which in practice means a crown of electric candles in a wreath on her head. Each of her handmaidens carries a candle, too. Parents gather in the dark with their mobile cameras at the ready.

The star boys, who like the handmaidens are dressed in white gowns, carry stars on sticks and have tall paper cones on their heads. The Christmas elves bring up the rear, carrying small lanterns.

The Witches Hat

“I always had a crush on the image of the witch, with the black conical hat. I was really drawn by this image. And I was also drawn by the other symbols that are weaved into our witchcraft archetype, in a similar way. First I began to use brooms, cauldrons and stags in my rites, spells and workings. These worked as tools very fine for me. And then I also reclaimed the witch-hat for my rites. I began to wear it in my workings. First I noticed that the pointy hat is a helper in energy work. When I draw down the power of the stars or of the moon, the energy flow more centered into me. Then I noticed that the brim is a helper in trance work, threw the shadow that the brim casts on my face. After some weeks of using the hat, I noticed that it got something like a trigger. Every time I put on my hat, I got into the right state of mind, for spells and rites.

I also noticed, the spirits do react to the hat, like it is a symbol to them, that the person that wears the conical hat is a spirit worker- or spirit walker, someone who interacts with them. I noticed that “negative” spirits were more distant to me, during I wore it and that other spirits were more interested in the interaction with me, then it was normal in my rites (without the hat).

I think that the conical hat is a symbol of the otherness. A symbol of the otherworldly (or under-worldly) powers. Like masks can be helpers in connecting oneself with these powers, the pointy hat can help the witch/shaman/sorcerer to delve into the otherness of the underworld, to be more a part of these other world and to interact with it.

In folklore not only the witches and magicians are depicted with pointy hats, but also dwarfs, elves and fairies. So I think that the pointy hat brings a human more into the world of these otherworldly beings. Like the witches of the Germanic times put on trollskin*- to be more like these creatures, to work in the world of them.”

Swedish Lucia Celebration – online concert

Who gets to be Lucia?

There used to be a competition for the role of Lucia – on national TV as well as on a local level in towns and schools all over the country. Local newspapers invited subscribers to vote for one or other of the candidates. Today, no national ‘Lucia of Sweden’ is elected and schools often let chance decide who’s to be Lucia, for example by organising a draw.

Saffron buns are a must-have on Lucia Day. Photo: Cecilia Larsson Lantz/imagebank.sweden.se

Lucia − the bearer of light

Alongside Midsummer, the Lucia celebrations represent one of the foremost cultural traditions in Sweden, with their clear reference to life in the peasant communities of old: darkness and light, cold and warmth.

Lucia is an ancient figure with an abiding role as a bearer of light in the dark Swedish winters.

The many Lucia songs all have the same theme:

The night treads heavily, around yards and dwellings; In places unreached by sun, the shadows brood;  Into our dark house she comes, bearing lighted candles;  Saint Lucia, Saint Lucia.

Most Swedes know the standard Lucia song by heart and can sing it, in or out of tune. On the morning of Lucia Day, the radio plays some rather more expert renderings, by school choirs or the like.

The Lucia celebrations also include ginger snaps and sweet, saffron-flavoured buns (lussekatter) shaped like curled-up cats and with raisin eyes. You eat them with Swedish mulled wine (glögg) or coffee.

Swedish Lucia – the origins

The Lucia tradition can be traced back both to the martyr St Lucia of Syracuse (died in 304) and to the Swedish legend of Lucia as Adam’s first wife. It is said that she consorted with the Devil and that her children were invisible infernals. The name may be associated with both lux (light) and Lucifer (Satan), and its origins are difficult to determine.

Swedish Lucia for Dummies

Last updated on 7 December 2022
As I write this, a fresh batch of Lussekatter is baking in my oven, smells of saffron and cardamom waft through my house, and fresh snow piles up outside my windows (Try not to be too jealous)

Now you may be wondering, what in the name of Thor is an Italian saint doing as the patron saint of Sweden? I’ll get to that, but first let me tell you the story of St.Lucia as we know it today.img_5164 Saint Lucia was born in Sicily in the third century AD to a Christian family. During this time the Romans were still persecuting Christians as troublemakers and cannibals. When Lucia’s father died, she vowed to remain unmarried and to serve god. However, she had already been betrothed to a non-Christian. Lucia refused the marriage and proceeded to give her dowry to Christians who were in hiding.

Legend says she brought food down into the catacombs where Christians were hiding, led only by candles which she had placed in a crown around her head. In response, her would- be suitor reported her to the authorities and had her tried and convicted as a Christian. The judge decided to have her sold into slavery as punishment. When the guards came to take her away, however, they were unable to move her. They decided to kill her on the spot, so they poured oil on her and tried to light her on fire. But she would not burn. They finally decided to stab her with a sword, which seemed to have done the trick. This all supposedly happened on December 13, AD 304. She was a made a saint because of her faithfulness to god and the seeming miracles that saved her from being sold into slavery and from the fire (use a sword, always use a sword).

No one knows for sure who brought the story of Lucia to Sweden but once it was there it took off. One story about the origin of Lucia in Sweden, dates back to the Middle Ages. The Swedish province of Varmland was having a terrible famine and the people were starving. On the longest night of the year (which happened to be December 13), a light suddenly appeared on Lake Vanern. It came from a large white boat, at the helm was a beautiful woman in a white gown wearing a crown of lights. The ship was filled with food and once it was unloaded it disappeared. Saint Lucia had come to rescue Varmland!

In the modern tradition, the eldest daughter wakes up early in the wee hours of the morning and makes kaffe (coffee) and Lussekatter (saffron rolls). She then dons a white robe with a red sash, puts a crown of candles in her hair, and wakes up the family with fresh coffee and rolls all the while singing. Miracles are known to happen on this day and it’s not uncommon for animals to talk!

Related image

Lucia’s association with light and the solstice is what most scholars believe made her such a hit in Scandinavia. In the deep winter, Northern countries may only see hours of sunlight during the day. The winter solstice would have been a time of celebration as it would have marked the halfway point of winter and signaled the return of lighter days. In an agrarian society, the importance of this can’t possibly be over stressed.

In Pre-Christian Scandinavia, the sun was represented as a solar goddess-Sol or Sunna. She is the sister of the moon and drives the chariot of the sun across the sky every day. Pulled by Allsvinn (very fast) and Arvak (early rising), the chariot is pursued by the wolf Skoll. Who sometimes comes so close that he is able to take a bit out the sun, causing an eclipse. Sunna would have been hugely important during this time of the year and Yule celebrations most surely would have honored her. It is pretty generally accepted that the feast day of  St Lucia and the winter solstice are closely related. It is not too much further of a stretch to see the correlation between Lucia and Sunna, as this is a common theme among catholic saints.

As a modern pagan with a strong Swedish background, I have fully accepted the connection between Lucia and Sunna. This was one of my favorite holidays as a child and one that my family always placed a big emphasis on it. It was no surprise to me, years later, when as a pagan I found out the connection between St Lucia and pagan traditions. It fills my heart with joy to think about the fact that my family is still carrying on this tradition and that my siblings and I will be passing it onto the next.

Yours truly as Lucia, probably around age seven. Note the stuffed cheeks and half eaten bun hidden under the tray 😉


Lesser known about Lucia celebrations

In western Sweden it was also customary that the autumn work should be finished the night before Lucia.

  • In many places in northern Sweden Lucia was according to tradition Adam’s first wife. (More often in jewish legend known as Lilith)
  • Lesser known about Lucia celebrations
    In western Sweden it was also customary that the autumn work should be finished the night before Lucia.
    Lucia, December 13 Swedish Lucia, the Queen of Light coincides with many other seasonal customs and habits in Sweden of older times. Among other things one symbolically finished the threshing and then butchered the pigs. “Seven in the early morning of the day” one should also get up and get oneself a bit of food and something to drink. Not only the animals but also humankind should have a real “Lucia bite.” This could many times take extensive forms. One spoke of “Lucia drinking” for that morning one should consume a really especially large amount of liquids.

    Often it could be a question of getting up in the middle of the night and get a square meal and then tumble into bed. Then one slept a little while in order to get up peppy and happy and fill up on another breakfast. In Värmland and Dalsland that was called having a breakfast in every corner of the room – in every room in the house! It is possible that this gluttony can have its basis in the fact that during the Catholic Middle Ages the Christmas fast started after Lucia Day.

    It is interesting to note that Lucia morning seems to have been a celebration for men. In a diary from the 1790’s it was recounted that the men in the house “were up and celebrated Lucia in the usual manner, but Eva and I lay in bed until 8 o’clock”. It also said that they “ate the fat and drank the sweetness the whole day”.
    Enjoy some of our recent films from Lucia celebrations in Swedish America: http://www.youtube.com/nordstjernan or at www.vimeo.com/nordstjernan and Swedish Christmas – the Season of Light

  • Modern day “lussegubbar” at a church celebration in Sweden.
  • “Lussegubbar” – Lucia Guys
    There were also men who made themselves look frightening in costumes, blackened their faces and went out as “Lucia guys” to amuse themselves and also or perhaps just take the opportunity to make a little mischief.
    This is a custom that has entirely disappeared today but which remains in men’s memory and occurred a couple of generations ago.
    Even if there is no connection, it can be of interest to know that in several places, among others in the German and Austrian alpine regions it happened that young people on Lucia morning dressed up in fright costumes and masks and went from house to house.
    The concept of Lucia combined with fright and evil is not entirely strange for us Swedes either. First there are the corruptions of the name of the day’s saint, which has led to that. It has been connected to the evil Lucifer and to lice and other vermin.
    “The day before Lucia it was best to be nice, for on Lucia eve the Lucia witch could come. She was both wicked and dangerous. She could take the children away with her”. Thus it was told in Värmlandsnäs as late as in the 1950’s.

  • A man’s celebration
    It is primarily in the western part of Sweden that the celebration of Lucia morning has its strongest roots. There it has always been a man’s celebration. It was also the western Swedish students (male also naturally at that time), which in the beginning of the 1800’s took with them the traditions and established them in Uppsala, Stockholm and Lund. Primarily Värmlanders and Dalslanders but also those from Västergötland and Gothenburg saw to it that students up to our present day in ritual form observed Lucia breakfast in their “nations” just as the venerable Wermländska Sällskapet (Värmland Society) in Stockholm has held its major celebration on Lucia Day since 1816.
    In many places in northern Sweden Lucia was according to tradition Adam’s first wife. She was of underground origin and someone to watch out for. If the children were not kept inside during the evenings before Christmas, they could risk being kidnapped by Lucia.


Lucia celebrations – a unique tradition with ancient roots

One of the most exotic Swedish traditions is Lucia, celebrated on 13 December. Lucia arrives in the morning, with her handmaidens and star boys; in white robes, carry candles and sing Lucia songs. The tradition has its roots far back in history.
Most people in Sweden have probably experienced a Lucia procession, which is always held on 13 December. Lucia arrives with a crown of candles, accompanied by handmaidens carrying candles and “star boys” with cone-shaped hats, all dressed in long white robes. A Lucia procession sometimes includes children dressed as gingerbread biscuits and elves. Everyone sings traditional Lucia songs that most Swedes know (more or less) by heart.
Burning candles are nowadays sometimes replaced by battery-powered ones. Even so, a special atmosphere is created when the well-known songs are heard in the distance and the Lucia procession enters a room in darkness.
Coffee and saffron buns (“lussekatter”) are often served after the procession. The buns are baked from wheat and the saffron in them gives a special yellow colour. The most common shape for a bun is “S”, with the ends rolled into a spiral and decorated with raisins. Lucia is celebrated at Linköping University in several ways. It differs from year to year, and it’s not unknown for departments and divisions to arrange their own, smaller Lucia processions, or invite schoolchildren in to hold a procession for them. The many choirs at the university hold concerts, performing the traditional Lucia songs. In recent years, modern variants have been seen, with robots holding their own Lucia procession.

So how old is this tradition, and where does it come from?

Lucia has its roots both in Swedish prehistorical and medieval history and in what is now Italy during the Roman empire.
In prehistoric Sweden, the cycle through the year was marked. At the darkest time of the year, before the winter solstice, folk believed that evil powers such as demons and trolls were rife, causing trouble. On this night, a being known as “Lussi” or “Lussegubben” was around. He was also known as “Lusse-Per” or “Lucifer”, and was identified as the Devil himself. To prevent bad things happening to the farm or its animals, people held watch through the night.

Each day in the calendar was given a saint

When Christianity took over Sweden and introduced the Julian calendar, the longest night of the year was the one between 12 and 13 December. This was the case until 1753, when the Gregorian calendar that we use today was introduced. On this calendar, the winter solstice occurs on 22 December.

When Christianity took over Sweden, each day in the calendar was given a saint. The one for 13 December was Saint Lucia. She gets her name from the Latin “lux”, which means “light”.
Saint Lucia was born around 280 AD in Syracuse on Sicily and was chosen as a Christian martyr and saint after her death. In Christian art, she is depicted with a sword or dagger and a wounded neck. Sometimes, she carries two eyes on a plate, and this refers to the legend that before her death she gouged out her eyes and sent them to her true love. However, God gave her new and even more beautiful eyes.

The celebration of Lucia continued in Sweden as it had been for centuries, right up until the 18th century, and food and alcohol were often involved. Young people travelled from farm to farm, hammered on the door, sang a brief ditty, and were given liquor and food as thanks.
However, this old heathen tradition with its drinking was not popular among the priests. Rather than forbidding the custom, they gave Saint Lucia a more important role in the celebrations. This technique, of absorbing heathen local traditions into religion, became a compromise, and was used for other things than just the Lucia celebrations.

Modern Lucia celebrations

The foundation of modern Lucia celebrations was set in western Sweden among the higher layers of society. Towards the end of the 19th century, the Skansen open-air museum in Stockholm established Lucia celebrations, but it wasn’t until 1927 that the tradition became popular among the broader public. This was when the Lucia competition was held, with several candidates competing to be crowned Lucia. Most Swedish towns were quick to copy the idea. Schools and workplaces also took up the custom, and Lucia, who initially had been rather lonely, acquired a following of handmaidens, star boys, the three wise men, gingerbread biscuits and elves.
Lucia today is an important tradition for many people. For those with small children, celebrations start early at home, continue at preschools and schools, and may also be held at the workplace.  (And as we have seen, Lucia Celebrations are very big on University and College campuses.)

Lucia has become something of a symbol for Sweden. Only the Nordic countries have a tradition of Lucia celebrations centred around light, two weeks before Christmas. Lucia is an important tie to their home country for Swedish people throughout the world, who have taken the concept with them as an export product.


Saint Lucia: Lilith in Disguise

Image Credit: Christina Zetterberg | CC0 License

Saint Lucia (or Saint Lucy) is a Christian Martyr who is celebrated on St. Lucy’s Day, a feast on December 13th in Scandinavian countries, where young girls make a procession dressed in white and boys wear wizard like conical hats with stars on them. In this procession one girl is representative of Saint Lucia and wears a red sash and a crown of candles (so that her hands are free to carry food for her feast), remaining silent while the other children sing hymns to honor Saint Lucia. Saint Lucia is honored as a light-bringer who brings vision and light to “the blind” and the feast represents light overcoming darkness, which is an almost universal Winter Solstice theme based on astronomy.  The name Lucia / Lucy shares the Latin root Lux, meaning light, with Lucifer the morning-star and fallen star.

Image Source: Wikimedia

In Catholicism, Saint Lucia’s story is that she was a young Christian girl who had a marriage with a wealthy pagan arranged by her mother. St. Lucia decided to give a large portion of her dowry to the poor. Her fiance heard about this and was outraged and reported her to the Governor of Syracuse who ordered that she burn a sacrifice to the image of the Emperor as retribution. When St. Lucia refused. She was to be burned at the stake but the wood refused to burn. She was tortured and had her eyes removed from her head – and most iconography has her either holding her eyes or her eyes on a plate. Before she was finally killed by a sword, she accurately prophecized the death of both the Governor of Syracuse and the Emperor. Not being raised Catholic myself, I first came across Saint Lucia in American folk magick, where she is worked with and prayed to for psychic ability and the gifts of prophecy.

As we know with many regions that become Christianized or dual-faith, the Paganism and Christianity starts to become very blurred. Old Pagan customs blend into newer Christian ones and older deities and spirits begin to merge with the newer Christian saints. There are several theories about Saint Lucia’s origins in Scandinavian countries. Some link her to Sol or Sunna, and others with Holda and Berchta, who were also celebrated during the Winter Solstice time in these regions. However, one of the most interesting connections that I’ve come across is in The Luminous Stone: Lucifer in Western Esotericism anthology edited by Daniel Schulke and Michael Howard. In it, Swedish ethnologist and occult researcher Fredrik Eytzinger has a chapter on Saint Lucia entitled “Saint Lucifer and the Black Arts.”

In parts of Norway, she’s associated with the various hidden folk of the region and its said that between St. Lucy’s Day and Yule that trolls, witches and evil spirits roam wild in a procession called Lussiferda, where St. Lucia under the name Lussi is a witch and demoness leading the event. In The Luminous Stone, Eytzinger discusses how folks in the western parts of Sweden refuse to take part in St. Lucy’s Feast and that she was either seen as a  form of Lilith or as a female embodiment of Lucifer. There are many interesting comparisons with Lilith being the mother of the Hidden Folk and demons in Jewish folklore and with Lucia being associated with the Hidden Folk of Sweden and Norway.

This idea shared with Diana and Aradia (who is an avatar embodiment and daughter of Diana) from the Gospel of Aradia who are often linked Herodias, Lilith, and Holda, who as mentioned before is also linked with Saint Lucia. All of these figures are also seen in various degrees as the Witch Queen archetype goddess of the Witch’s Sabbath. Diana in the Gospel of Aradia is seen as the mother of the Hidden Folk and consort of Lucifer and is linked to the cat, which is historically tied to witchcraft. Interestingly enough, on Saint Lucia’s Day, it is tradition to bake buns called Lussekatter, which translates to “Lucia cats” as the buns resemble cat-tails. I highly suggest checking out The Luminous Stone (which is a fantastic anthology in general) for more of Eytzinger’s connections between Saint Lucia, Lilith, and Lucifer in Scandinavia.


Maybe you know her from the Lilith Fair, founded by Sarah McLachlan in the late 1990s. Maybe you’ve seen her in popular culture, from the recent series The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina to Marvel Comics in the ‘90s where she was the main villain of Ghost Rider, Morbius and the rest of the Midnight Sons.

Maybe you know her from Jewish mythology as Adam’s first wife. Or maybe you know her as the demon succubus with a fetish for infanticide. Whatever your preconceptions about the mother of djinn formerly known as Lilith, you’re probably right. The ancients called her the Mother of Night, the Sobber, the Female Dung Beetle, or my personal favorite—the Queen of Monday.

The archetype of Lilith, it turns out, contains multitudes.

Quick and dirty, what’s her deal?

According to Raphael Patai, anthropologist who specializes in long-standing Semitic tradition, “No she-demon has ever achieved as fantastical a career as Lilith, who started out from the lowliest of origins, was a failure as Adam’s intended wife, became the paramour of lascivious spirits, (and) rose to be the bride of Samael the Demon King” (qtd. in Legends of the Fire Spirits). In other words, Lilith has an extensive resume.

She’s probably best known for her place in the Abrahamic religions, particularly presented by medieval Kabbalistic Jewish legends. You know that unspecified amount of time between the creation of Adam and when Eve was created from his rib? According to the Kabbalists, that’s Lilith’s era.

Lilith was created out of the same clay used to create man, at the same time, with the intent of being Adam’s counterpart, but she was “unsuitable” as a wife.  (This is not in the Word of God.  This was made up by Kabbalists.)

In the Alphabet of Ben Sira, from the eighth to eleventh centuries (which is essentially an addendum to the Old Testament), Ben Sira explains Lilith’s origin to the King of the Babylonians, Nebuchadnezzar. In that story, Lilith refuses to have sex with Adam in the missionary position. She says, “I will not lie below,” utters the name of God (which is a great sign of power), took flight out of the Garden of Eden, and made her new home on the coast of the Red Sea.

The story goes on: in Ben Sira, Lilith mates with various demons she encounters, which creates succubus demons. Even then, the legend says Adam asked God to bring her back, so He dispatched three angels to pull up and convince her to come back to Eden. The angels threatened to kill one hundred of Lilith’s demon kids every day she spent away.

Lilith didn’t care.

Ben Sira states that she said, “I was created only to cause sickness to infantsif the infant is male, I have dominion over him for eight days after his birth, and if female, for twenty days.”

The antidote to that power, by the way, is invoking the names of the three angels dispatched to retrieve Lilith. Ben Sira included these names so that they could be transcribed on protective amulets, just in case (they are: Senoy, Sansenoy, and Semangelof, if you need them).

Oh. Is that all?


In Palestinian and Syrian legends, there’s a djinn (demon) identical to Lilith named Qarinah. She functions as a “spirit double,” which is a concept dating back to ancient Egyptian religion, and is generally understood to be an evil, non-God-fearing djinn.

Popular Arab tradition relates that the original Qarinah mated with Iblis (AKA Satan) to beget all the djinn—after she left Adam, that is. (FYI, these legends all seem to merge in the early centuries of Islam.) Because she was rejected by Adam, she hates humans.

Her favorite ways to torment humans are destroying children during pregnancy, infecting children with illness, and frightening new mothers into madness. According to the stories, she’s still salty about being dispossessed, and she hates that Adam cost her the role of “mother of humankind,” which was bestowed on his second wife, Eve.

She’s now known instead as “the mother of the djinn,” and she inspires fear instead of affection among the various peoples of the Middle East.

Her earliest mythology, though, before all of this I just said, appears in the third millennium BC, in the Sumerian King List, which recorded the empire’s kings and dynasties. Gilgamesh, the ancient hero himself, is listed as the paternal descendant of a Lillu-demon—Lillu was one of four demons belonging to a class of vampires and incubi/succubi who were originally wind and storm demons that came out of the desert to terrify people. (They were, essentially, djinn before they were called djinn.)

In the epic Gilgamesh, the titular hero even has an interaction with Lilith when he tried to rescue the huluppa tree for a goddess. She’s between him and the tree, and when she sees him coming, she smashes a house in panic, and then retreats into the desert, where she apparently still hangs out.

What does she look like?

The early, Sumerian-period Lilith was “believed to be beautiful” but sexually promiscuous and barren (again from Legends of the Fire Spirits)—which apparently, according to the syntax, are opposites?

And, when she chose a lover, she kept him captive without “truly satisfying him.”

By the second to fifth centuries AD, during the Talmudic period of Judaism, she appears as a fully developed she-demon, though, portrayed in a Babylonian terracotta relief standing on two lions, flanked by owls, wearing only a headdress with several sets of horns. #goals

By the 800s, by the time she developed all the major features of a baby killer, she was portrayed as a winged sphinx in Syria, and all you had to do to conjure her was say her name.

So… Lilith is, in fact evil?

It would seem so. All the ancients agreed on a general storyline that pits her against humankind at large. Or, at least, the ancient legends agreed that her kind of behavior couldn’t be allowed in polite society.

It seems like that narrative is more interested in utilizing that non-subservient behavior to articulate how women shouldn’t act, so that Lilith becomes more of a boogeyman for women who were thinking of independenceI mean, it’s the women whom Lilith is really out to destroy, right?

So, feminist icon or demon baby killer? You be the judge.


Right? Ancient folklore is full of these fascinating and perhaps problematic beings, and I’d be remiss not to insist that if you’re interested in this myth, you should absolutely check out Robert Lebling’s book, Legends of the Fire Spirits, which is largely the source material for this article.


Uploaded: Sep 14, 2023
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r/mildlyinfuriating - My Aunt losing her mind over the name of my soon to be born daughter Lilith.
Jewish folklore



Lilith, female demonic figure of Jewish folklore. Her name and personality are thought to be derived from the class of Mesopotamian demons called  lilû  (feminine: lilītu), and the name is usually translated as “night monster.” cult associated with Lilith survived among some Jews as late as the 7th century CE. The evil she threatened, especially against children and women in childbirth, was said to be counteracted by the wearing of an amulet bearing the names of certain angels.

In rabbinic literature Lilith is variously depicted as the mother of Adam’s demonic offspring following his separation from Eve or as his first wife. Whereas Eve was created from Adam’s rib (Genesis 2:22), some accounts hold that Lilith was the woman implied in Genesis 1:27 and was made from the same soil as Adam. Insolently refusing to be subservient to her husband, Lilith left Adam and the perfection of the Garden of Eden; three angels tried in vain to force her return. According to some mythologies, her demonic offspring were sired by an archangel  named  Samael and were not Adam’s progeny. Those children are sometimes identified as incubi and succubi.


Tracing Her Evolution from Adam’s Spouse to Empowered Feminist Symbol

Published in  ILLUMINATION·

Lady LilithPhoto by Dante Gabriel Rosetti (Delaware Art Museum)

Lilith has been a controversial figure throughout religious history. She has appeared in different ways across various cultures. Her story started with her being Adam’s first wife to becoming a demon. Believers of Lilith say that Eve was the second wife of Adam, and Lilith was the first. Although Lilith was historically considered evil for becoming a demon, she has become an icon of feminism in recent years.

Origins in Babylonian Tales

Lilith traces her roots back to Babylonian stories where she was portrayed as a winged demon preying on babies. These ancient Babylonian chronicles, rich with mystique, served as the fertile grounds from which her story transcended boundaries, embarking on an enchanting journey that traversed the diverse realms of Greek sagas, Egyptian myths, and the annals of Israelite lore.

This remarkable confluence of cultures bestowed upon Lilith a chameleon-like existence, one that shape-shifted and metamorphosed as it passed through the epochs. From the grandiloquent sagas of the Greeks to the mystical hieroglyphs of the Egyptians, and the revered texts of the (Kabbalist) Israelites, Lilith’s essence interwove and entwined with the narrative threads of each civilization.

The narrative diffusion across these cultures led to a proliferation of divergent iterations, each an exquisite facet of Lilith’s multifaceted persona. She emerged as an enigmatic emblem of forbidden desires, an embodiment of untamed feminine energy, and an indomitable spirit that challenged conventional norms. The echoes of her story resonated through time, resonating with the struggles and aspirations of women, and ultimately ushering her into the pantheon of feminist icons.

Biblical Mentions and Different Views

Lilith being Adam’s first wife is not mentioned explicitly in the Bible. (It is not mentioned at all, because it is not true.)  But in the Hebrew the Jewish Kabbalist Bible, the term “lilit” or “Lilith” has been used in the Book of Isaiah to describe a night creature associated with the wilderness. Although not mentioned anywhere in the Bible that she was Adam’s first wife, people interpreted her story in different ways and some of them ended up believing that she was his first wife.

As her tale journeyed through the ages, it became a canvas upon which cultures painted their own perceptions and aspirations. The fusion of her character with notions of autonomy, defiance, and resilience garnered attention across civilizations. The allure of her enigmatic narrative transcended theological debates, finding resonance in the hearts of those seeking to challenge societal norms and embrace the complexity of feminine identity. Amidst the myriad interpretations, Lilith emerged as a luminous thread weaving through the fabric of human imagination, mirroring societal attitudes towards women and their roles.

Lilith in Today’s World

Lilith has become prominent in this modern age, especially among the feminist community. Feminists view Lilith as a symbol of women’s fight against oppression. This is because Lilith is believed to have refused Adam’s authority, and had chosen to leave the Garden of Eden rather than be subservient to him. Some feminists also use the story of Lilith to highlight the historical injustices against women.

In the ever-evolving tapestry of feminism, Lilith has evolved into a potent emblem of female agency and empowerment. Her mythical rebellion against patriarchal dominance has become a rallying point for contemporary feminists, inspiring discourse and catalyzing conversations about reclaiming autonomy and challenging deeply ingrained societal norms. The resonance between Lilith’s ancient defiance and the modern struggle for gender equality underscores the enduring relevance of her narrative, fostering a sense of unity among those advocating for a more equitable world. As the mantle of Lilith is draped upon the shoulders of those advocating for change, her journey continues to unfold, an enduring testament to the indomitable spirit that defies the constraints of time.


Lilith’s journey from an ancient myth to an icon of feminism shows how cultural narratives can inspire social changes. The story of Lilith tells us about the changing views of women throughout changing times. From being considered an evil demon to a champion of women’s rights, her story shows us how morals differ with changing generations.


Lucia och Lilith, gestaltningar av ond och god kvinnlighet – translated by Google Translate

Lucia and Lilith, representations of evil and good femininity
Katarina Ek-Nilsson

The present work is based on the folk memory records found in the Nordic Museum’s archives about the figure of Lucia, and on the older stories that exist about the female figure Lilith. Taken together, these narrative traditions are expressions of conceptions of femininity—evil and good.

I will distinguish four different bases of the Norse conceptions of Lucia and traditions surrounding that figure, and then make a transition to Sumerian and Jewish stories about Lilith, which are consistent with some stories about Lucia, and I will finally discuss Lilith’s role as representative for a form of femininity in Jewish tradition.


The Lucia most people first associate with is the celebration of Lucia that developed during the 19th and 20th centuries and which is well described in ethnological and cultural history literature from above all Sweden and Finland (Bringéus 1976, Lönnqvist 2005 and others).

The friendly, preferably blonde Lucia who serves coffee with her bridesmaids in the morning, at home or in public. Lucia is considered here as a symbol of light, a harbinger of Christmas, a gentle and serving female figure. The tradition in its present form arose in a manor
environment in the early 1800s and spread, in Sweden above all in the Vännerskap. the perception of what the tradition should look like has been created, among other things, by the mass media, for example through the Lucia competitions that have been organized by newspapers since the 1920s. The tradition is well represented in the archive material and then often linked to schools – agricultural schools, home economics schools, folk high schools and associations, not infrequently temperance associations. Regarding this, today’s most famous Lucia representation, there are models in German tradition, the so-called
Christkindlein tradition, where a girl with candles in her hair represents Jesus. The light symbolizes the halo of Jesus. The Christian Lucian, Sancta Lucia, has its origin in a Catholic saint’s story about the young beautiful Sicilian woman who in the 2nd century became a martyr for the sake of her Christian faith. This Lucia received her saint’s day on December 13. There is not much about Sancta Lucia in the archive material that reproduces older Swedish folk tradition. The Lucia tradition is also a lusse tradition that is tied to the night before Lucia Day. This night, according to the folk memory material, was a dangerous night when evil forces and evil creatures were out and playing their pranks on those who ventured out. some sages announce that they never celebrated Lucia because they don’t want to celebrate “the evil one”. during the lussen night, there were “dangers in the air” including the so-called “lussifarden”, consisting of the deceased, who traveled through the air.  Strange things could happen. The animals talked to each other, the cows celebrated weddings in the barn. You weren’t allowed to grind, bake, brew or carry out other sensitive tasks – then things could go wrong.  Ill-tempered creatures were out, and they had different names, such as “Lussegubben”, “lusse”, “lusserring”, or simply “mean sissies”. Dangerous lunatic figures could thus have both male and female gender. There are many stories about what can happen during this night: mill wheels breaking and the like. It was also Odin who was out riding at night, so it might be wise to add hay to Odin’s horse outside the barn.

This “dark” part of the Lucia celebration also includes the records in the Nordic Museum’s archives from Bohuslän, Småland, Västergötland and Dalarna, which deal with circumambulation
according to the pattern that is also linked to other times of the year in Nordic folk tradition Knutsday, Fettisdagen or Walpurgis fair evening. young people dress up, turn their clothes inside out, paint their faces black, women dress as men and men as women – in other words, you behave against the otherwise prevailing norms. Goat skins, tails, horns, cock skulls and straw bales were part of the props at these pranks, and people sang more or less piquant songs, drank and begged for food and drink.

A frequent motif in the records of Lucian traditions is, as noted above, the evil woman. She is called a mean woman, a lousy woman, a whore or the like and was “not a nice person”, says a sage. She could take the courage from the horses and also take the children with her.  An interesting variation is when this evil female being appears in the form of a bird of prey that wanted to eat the childrenWe meet here in the records an evil female being who directed her evil against the children above all.  It is this fourth understanding of the feminine symbol known as Lucia that I intend to develop.


Lucia “Adam had a wife before Eve, whose name was Lucia. (Not true.  This was a story created by Kabbalists and pagans.)  She had many children. Now when the Lord came to her once, she hid them away. Then the Lord made it so that these became invisible for all time. It was the punishment for Lucia being ashamed of them. But this is not mentioned in the Bible, but maybe it was there before, because there are two books missing that used to be found, the 6th and 7th books of Moses”. So reads one of many examples in our folk memory archive that deals with Adam’s first wife.
Common to these stories about Lucia as Adam’s first wife is that she denies her children. She hides them in the oven, she says they don’t exist, or she says they’re invisible. The consequence is, the records agree, that Lucia thus gives rise to the race of the invisible, the subterranean, the weathered. There is also a connection to Lucifer. Lucia is sometimes stated to be Lucifer’s wife she became in league with him after she left Adam.
It could also be a
woman named Lucifer. This Lucia was impious and evil, frivolous and had illegitimate children. She also gave birth to many children, like animals, some records say, and she had mating season just like animals. Because of her impiety, and because she tricked Adam into eating from the famous apple, she was banished and condemned to dwell in mountain crevices and balls of earth until Judgment Day.
However, we humans are descendants of Eve, says one record confidently. 
Thus, the stories of Lucia are closely associated with children, childbearing, with lies and
shame and with the damned, the underground or invisible. She breaks with the strong female norm of protecting children by denying her own children, by inordinate sexual urges that resemble those of animals more than humans, and by trying, in the guise of a bird of prey, to snatch away other children. The notion of this Lucia creates fear, condemnation and contempt.


“I have to write a few lines in a hurry. The thing is, I recently went to
Stugun, a neighboring parish. There I became acquainted with a farmer called Hornej who was from a suburb, Fisksjölandet. we got in touch about some things in the area of ​​folk beliefs.
I happened to mention Lucia. He, too, had heard of Adam’s first wife, but he had heard that her name was Lillit, red-haired and deplorably mean, and brown-eyed. Everyone who is red-haired and brown-eyed descends from her, and these generally have the characteristics of the progenitor. He had heard this in his childhood from an old woman who walked around the parish carding wool. She would have been born in the 1780s and her name was Kerstin Moberg.
The old man made a very credible impression on me and was vilified by everyone as trustworthy.” So writes recorder Levi Johansson to the Nordic Museum in 1908.


We now leave Jämtland and follow Lilith, the incarnation of evil femininity, to another part of the world and another era. in the Epic of Gilgamesh, written in Sumerian in cuneiform but based on older oral sources, from around 2400 BC, there is the story of the huppulu tree, planted by the goddess Inanna and inhabited
by Lilit and the bird Zu. a snake guards the tree.
The hero king Gilgamesh defeats the snake and cuts down the tree, whereupon Lilith is allowed to go to desolate places far from human habitation. She will become the goddess of desolation and inaccessibility and a demon of the night.  In future stories she is often associated with birds of prey and with snakes. She becomes the witch who steals children and seduces men in their sleep, and she can also steal men’s sperm.

Here we can compare with the Nordic mara, which behaves in a similar way, and
which is also associated with birds. One can protect oneself against marana by nailing up a
dead owl, for example (raudvere 1993).
Lilit or, as she is sometimes called, Lilu, can also be found in other old records, for example in a Babylonian terracotta relief from the 2nd century BC.There she is portrayed as slender and beautiful, with wings and owl’s feet.
From the eighth century there is a depiction of Lilit where she is depicted as a winged
sphinx equipped with incantation texts, the function of which is to help women in childbirth.
Spell texts mentioning Lilith are also found on several pots. She was probably perceived as a kind of winged night demon who resided in distant regions, and who had to do with childbirth. She could be behind infant deaths, by strangling the children, and s
he gave men troubled sexual dreams (Dame & Rivlin & Wenkart 1998).
Lilith is thus in old myths a very central figure in the sphere that has to do with sexuality and gender. From this early era there is no record of Lilith being Adam’s first wife.


Ben Sira’s alphabet is a collection of writings that are based on and interpret the Jewish (Kabbalist) tradition about creation, among other things. in that collection of writings is the story of Adam’s first wife Lilith.
BenSira’s alphabet was written sometime between the 6th and 10th centuries, perhaps by multiple authors and possibly as a parody of the creation
story (Dame & rivlin & Wenkart 1998, Grobgeld 1997).

Here we meet Adam’s first wife, she who
was mostly called Lucia in the Swedish stories, and who was created at the same time as Adam, out of the earth. Adam and Lilith/Lucia were created together as equals. Lilith refused to submit to the man, Adam. Among other things, there is the opinion that she does not
wanted to be under Adam during intercourse. She set herself up not only against Adam but also against God by mentioning his name a strong taboo in (Kabbalist) Judaism (Begg 1985 et al.).

She had to choose between leaving Adam and paradise, and to start obeying him, and chose to fly away. Adam complained to God, who sent three angels to fetch the bouncer home by the red sea, but she refused to go back with them, declaring that the babies belonged to her – boys for eight days, girls for 22 days, but that she would spare them if they wore amulets with the names of the angels.
Now Adam was alone in paradise and God solved it by
creating Eve, who became more submissive. After all, she is also created from a part of Adam, and is thus in some sense not a being of her own. Perhaps Ben Sira combined two or perhaps oral traditions, that of the demon of night, desolation and winds harming children
and that of Adam’s first woman.
It seems that these stories are not connected from the
beginning (Dame & rivlin & Wenkart 1998, www.geocities.com 20090813) Lilith in Ben Sira’s alphabet has three roles: as incarnation of lust, which leads men to sin, as infanticide and as Adam’s first wife.


During the Middle Ages, especially in the Kabbalah, which emphasizes the mysticism of the ancient religious stories, under the influence of ideas in Islam, and which claims to have a mystical understanding of the divine order, the concept of Lilith developed into the evil, dark, underground (www.wikipedia.org/ wiki/Kabbala
20090817, Dame & rivlin & Wenkart 1998).

She became the partner of Samael, i.e. the devil. When Lilith came to be perceived as the devil’s partner, the notion of her evil grew. Now the stories develop about how she steals sperm and thus weakens manhood and she kills babies if you fail to protect them. Lilith is the Jewish woman who has violated the female norm in Jewish society, partly by not submitting to the man, partly by being dangerous towards children. Therefore, she must be considered a demon. She personifies the dark side of woman’s
creative and sexual powers. Not spouse but seductress, not faithful but promiscuous. Although she is associated with reproduction, she is a child and woman killer, in the medieval stories she is often a double nature and can also be perceived as Eve’s twin. Lilith came to play a special role in Jewish history and tradition, from the Middle Ages onwards. It can be argued that the portrayal of Lilith is closely related to the position of the Jews in medieval Europe.  The Jewish group is constantly threatened, not least by the Inquisition. The Jewish man became increasingly unsure of his role during the pogroms that occurred, with elements of 
rape and infanticide, perhaps above all in Spain, when he was unable to protect his women and children. Infant death and cot death threatened and then Lilith’s crimes against the children and her negative influence on births are emphasized. Lilith represents the evil forces, from which the man cannot protect his family.
Paradoxically, the role of women in the Jewish community is strengthened during the Inquisition so that the group’s existence will become dependent on the woman’s behavior. Lilith will then represent the strength of femininity as well as the danger and evil. “Nothing less than Jewish survival hinges on the woman’s behavior” (Dame & Rivlin & Wenkart 1998 p. 20).
One can even see in the story of Lilith a metaphor for the story of the fate of the Jews. By having fled to desolate regions she represents the exile of her people, and by being condemned she represents the pariah status of the Jews. She is pushed away when she wants to assert her self-determination and does not want to be forced into submission. The story of Lilith as deviating from the norm in which the patriarchy wants to place her is the story of the position of the Jews vis-à-vis the majority society, whether in Babylonia, Egypt or medieval or modern Europe
(Dame & Rivlin & Wenkart 1998).


Jewish women today often have fragmentary images of a Lilith. She is, as a Jewish feminist puts it, a “shadowy presence in our culture”. in current Jewish feminism, and also other feminisms, her violation of norms, which in older tradition led to her being perceived as evil, has formed the starting point for another understanding, that of freedom, power, independence and indomitability. The kaleidoscope has been twisted in the interpretation of Lilith (Dame & rivlin & Wenkart 1998, Lilith
magazine, http://hem.bredband.net/lilithfanzine/ lilithvem.html etc.).
Today there are newly written operas about the strong woman Lilith, there are conversation groups among Jewish women who gather in Lilith’s name, there is a Jewish feminist magazine that has been published in New York since 1977 under the name Lilith, there are girl rock bands that are connected to Lilith, and a a lot of fiction that tells about the woman Lilith who had to leave Adam, go into the desert, become Samael’s wife and give birth to his many children
(Gustavsson et al.).

The male gaze on Lilith showed her as an enemy, a threat to the male order but also to survival. in Jewish circles she can be said to represent “the fear that resides in all of us” (Dame&rivlin&Wenkart 1998 p. 57), while at the same time she stands for female strength, power and independence. in a new Jewish feminist interpretation, she
thus personifies



The workplace was established in a primarily male dominated social structure.  Women were finding it hard to complete for jobs and once they landed a job found their paychecks did not equal those of males in the same position.  
Feminism was born as a response to the unfair advantage that men had in the new society.  Women fought for the RIGHT to vote and for the right to be considered for any job based on qualifications not gender, and once they had the job to be paid the same wage.  The fight was hard and painful, but it had its merits.
But,  here in the 21st Centur feminism has veered from a fight for gender equality into a cult of anger and outrage that seeks to belittle men.

Currently, in United States,  we live in a different world than the first feminists did. Now women have the same laws to protect them that men do. We should be working together to improve the social standing of both genders rather than fighting to put women above men.

There are those who believe that masculinity still guides our culture and needs to be removed. However, there are very valuable aspects of masculinity. Women are not better than men, there are negative aspects of femininity. Not only that but in their push to gain equal standing with men, many women have lost all the valuable aspects of femininity.  

We need to find a  balance of the two and a removal of neither. There is no way to avoid “privilege” in society.  Humans are prone to each have their own value system when it comes to selecting mates, friends, employees, partners, etc.  You will never overcome that.  It will always be a factor to some degree. 

Right now we are finding that the way the fight has been handled so far has caused greater problems than it has overcome.  It has created a greater wedge between the sexes and brought confusion as to how the sexes should behave and what they can expect.  Women who choose the traditional roles and stay home to raise their children are attacked and belittled by “Feminists”.  Men are made to feel like they have to apologize for being born male and that they must bend over backwards to find their feminine side.  Women are now finding themselves on the battlefield and military bases as part of the fighting force, where they are learning that they really are not EQUAL with men.  They are harasser, abuse and RAPED by our own military men.  You can imagine what happens to them when they are on the battlefield. Now that sex changes are common, women are finding that their is no place or activity where they are not competing with men.  Female track teams, baseball teams, track teams, swim teams, dance classes, even Beauty pageants. 
Our love lives are probably affected the most.  Many men are afraid to ask a woman out.  They don’t know how to behave.  Some women are extremely aggressive and do not respond well to men who act like gentlemen.  Women have become so selfish and demanding.  Since often both parties in a relationship are working, figuring out who is supposed to do what around the home is difficult.

Certainly, women should have equal opportunity to enter any career path and should expect to be paid fairly. In this crazy society sadly men are just as likely as women to find themselves in situations where they are being abused and/or sexually harrassed. They should have the same resources available to them that women have had.

Feminists take joy in fighting men and putting them down. They want nothing more than to belittle men and put women above men. They will not be satisfied to just put an end to the supposed patriarchy, they want to turn the world into a matriarchy.  They don’t want equal rights with men, they want men to be subservient to women or dead!

If you just look at their icons and symbols you should be able to easily discern their true intentions.  

I find it especially sad, I often thought that if women were ever in places of power, the world would become a kinder, gentler place.  BOY WAS I WRONG!  With all their complaints and accusations against men, feminist’s should take a step back and really look at themselves.  They have become extremely heinous, demonic, monsters.  They have lost all that is beautiful about femininity.  The loving, gentle, kind and nurturing energy that once was innately within women that made them great mothers, wives, teachers, and nurses; have been sacrificed for money and power.   Truly those were the characteristics that could have formed a better world.  If only they learned the source of their real power and how to use.