By Larry Fyffe
Depending on which translation is referenced, women are biblically described metaphorically as ‘screech owls’, ‘lamias’, and ‘liliths’ who are cast out of Eden by God for refusing to be subservient to men:
The screech owl also shall rest there And find for herself a place to rest (Isaiah 34:14)
This is not exactly how things were initially supposed to be; so saith the Hermaphroditic God:
And God said, "Let us make Man in our image After our likeness, and let them have dominion Over the fish of the sea ...and over all the earth .... So God created Man in His own image In the image of God created He him Male and female created He them (Genesis 1:26,27)
Apparently, Adam is not happy because Lilith wants dominion too; so God does things all over again; creates Eve:
And the rib, which the Lord God taken from the man Made He a woman, and brought her unto the man (Genesis 2:22)
Now it’s Lilith turn to be unhappy. She curls up on a tree branch; seduces Eve to do that which God has forbidden her to do:
Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field .... And the serpent said unto the woman, "Ye shall not surely die For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof Then your eyes shall be open as gods, knowing good and evil" (Genesis 3:1,4,5)
A Gothic romantic poet describes the snake-shaped lamia:
She was a gordian shape of dazzling hue Vermillion-spotted, golden, green, and blue Striped like a zebra, freckled like a pard Eye like a peacock, and all crimson barred (John Keats: Lamia)
A preacher and poet elaborates on this archetype by way of analogy – Geraldine, a sexually charged vampiric lamia, has little trouble gaining dominance over innocent Christabel:
And in her arms the maid she took And wel-a-day! And with low voice, and doleful look These words did say "In the touch of this bosom there worketh a spell Which is the lord of thy utterance, Christabel" (Samuel Coleridge: Christabel)
From the Holy Bible, from the poetry of Keats, and that of Coleridge, singer/songwriter/musician Bob Dylan grasps the hermaphroditic serpent:
Just a minute before you leave, girl Just a minute before you touch the door What is it that you are trying to achieve, girl Do you think we could talk about it some more? You know the streets are filled with vipers Who've lost all ray of hope You know it ain't even safe no more In the palace of the Pope (Bob Dylan: Don't Fall Apart On Me Tonight)
The theme of a desire to dominate others appears again in the song lyrics below:
A worried man with a worried mind No one in front of me, nothing behind There's a woman on my lap, and she's drinking champaign Got white skin, got assassin's eyes I'm looking up into sapphire-tinted skies I'm well dressed, waiting for the last train (Bob Dylan: Things Have Changed)
And then there’s the struggle to dominate conflicting facets of one’s own nature:
I ain't looking to block you up Shock or knock or lock you up Analyze you, categorize you Finalize you or advertise you All I really want to do Is, baby, be friends with you (Bob Dylan: All I Really Want To Do)
There is something that doth not like a vampire:
Never could learn to drink that blood And call it wine Never could learn to hold you, love And call you mine (Bob Dylan: Tight Connection To My Heart)
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