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Begg, E. (1988). Koltuv, Barbara Black. The Book of Lilith.: York Beach, Maine, Nicolas-Hays, 1986. Pp. xii+ 127. $8.95. J. Anal. Psychol., 33:198-199.

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(1988). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 33(2):198-199

Koltuv, Barbara Black. The Book of Lilith.: York Beach, Maine, Nicolas-Hays, 1986. Pp. xii+ 127. $8.95

Review by:
Ean Begg

Lilith offers an excellent example of the reality, durability and changing fortunes of an archetypal image during more than four millennia. As Adam's rebellious first wife she symbolises, among other things, the spirit of masculine protest that asserts the absolute equality and and freedom of women vis-à-vis men in the sight of God. Her prerogatives were denied when Gilgamesh cut down the tree in which she made her nest, forcing her into exile as a howling desert djinn. Here, already, we have mingled two traditions—the Sumerian, which gave her birth, and the Jewish, which ensured her survival—but her promiscuous couplings with all cultures west of the Tigris, wherever her brand of the feminine principle was repressed, are legion and respect no boundaries. Her only official appearance in the Bible is as a screech owl, but her scriptural avatars are numerous, the most notable and generally acknowledged being the Queen of Sheba. The two main strands in her history, the succubus/seductress and the infanticidal witch, fused in about the eighth century B.C. Since then she has continued to compensate for the conventional religious view of woman's status as wife, mother and inferior to man, hinting, perhaps, at a non-procreational, Tantric element in sexuality. The Cabbala sees her as the ladder of the prophets and the Ripley Scrowle depicts her as the personification of wisdom meeting the adept on the arbor philosophicus.

Barbara Black Koltuv has broken new ground

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