Lilith and the Black Moon’s story is not without charm, both for the interesting mythological terrain that goes back to some Sumerian and biblical passages and for the tirades and discussions that originated among astrologers.
And Night bore hateful Doom and black Fate
And Death, and Sleep and the brood of Dreams …HESIOD – THEOGONY
Lilith (whose symbol, two crossed crescents with a slit in the centre recalls the image of the female sex) would have been observed for the first time in 1618 by the Jesuit father Giovan Battista Riccioli, an astronomer from Ferrara, and considered by him to be the second terrestrial satellite. There is no lack of more ancient considerations, which would trace its knowledge back to the ancient Egyptians, where it was known under the name of Nephtys. The astrologer Henry Gouchon, in his “Dictionary of Astrology” , states that in 1971 the Americans “rediscovered” Lilith, publishing, in addition, its ephemeris, but the author considers the news to be groundless.
The failure to detect the second satellite with today’s technological possibilities make it difficult to accept this phenomenon. In addition, the daily step assigned to it is 3 degrees (according to ancient texts), even if the orbit of a planet is never actually regular. But after all, it is known that traditional interpretations undergo distortions of all kinds over the centuries. Some notions of astronomy are needed to explain the intricate genesis of the Black Moon fully:
ELLIPSE. An ellipse (from the Gr. Ἔλλειψις, lack) is a conic section obtained by sectioning a cylinder with a plane inclined to its axis (figure 1):
V1 V2 = major semiaxis of the ellipse – V3 V4 = minor semiaxis of the ellipse – F1 F2 = focal ellipse axis.
The orbits described by the planets around the Sun are of the nature of the elliptical conic illustrated in the figure, following Kepler’s assumption in his first law: “The orbits of the planets are ellipses, of which the Sun occupies one of the foci”. The lunar orbit is also an ellipse, of which the Earth occupies one of the focal points (figure 2):
Figure 2 illustrates the perspective set of the terrestrial and lunar orbit. The lunar orbit plane intersects the ecliptic in the two points called lunar nodes; the lunar orbit is inclined to the plane of the Earth’s orbit of 5° 8′ 30″; the Earth occupies a focus of the lunar orbit. The perigee is the point of closest approach between the Earth and the Moon; the apogee is the point of maximum distance. The lunar orbit major axis’s two extremes are called apsides (from the Gr. Apsis, curvature, vault).
The Black Moon is still considered today as the second fire of the lunar orbit, therefore an immaterial point, contrary to the supposed physical reality of Lilith; its astronomical definition, however, took a lot of effort. Extrapolated in 1937 by Dom Néroman, aka Maurizio Rougié, a Parisian occultist, the Black Moon aroused heated hostility in the astrological environment, both for the accusations of plagiarism made against Rougié, who according to his detractors, had allowed himself to attribute the name of Lilith to the Black Moon to use, without indicating the sources, studies already published in England; and because the lunar apogee, then expressing the symbolism of the Black Moon instead of the second focus of the lunar orbit, is a concept that we cannot represent mathematically: to determine with precision, in the order of one minute of arc, the lunar path, about three hundred factors are involved. Astrologers thus advanced the concept of mean lunar apogee (given by the average movement of the major axis of the lunar orbit, of the nodes, of the apogee and perigee with the theoretical ellipse described by the lunar orbit) as depicting the Black Moon (the opposed, the average perigee, was called Priapus). Other authors defined more precisely what is now meant by the Black Moon: not the apogee, but the second focus of the deformable ellipse described by the complex lunar orbit, with a longitude close to that of the mean lunar apogee.
The mythological structure of Black Moon – Lilith goes back to Sumerian – Akkadian sources (the poem of Gilgamesh and others), where the Sumerian root LIL is found in the formation of names such as Enlil, Ninlil, Mullil, Anlil, evil deities and evil spirits. Lulu, meaning “libertinage”, was a night demon arousing voluptuousness.
The myth of Lilith in Jewish tradition is even denser than dramas always echoed in the depths of the collective unconscious. Genesis, the Torah, the Midrash, with the Fall’s symbolism that plummets Adam from the first undifferentiated state to the knowledge of the generation’s pain, offer us one of the most illuminating passages. Next to Eve, the female principle that realises with Adam the alchemical marriage of the Two who are One (“… He created them male and female, and He blessed them and named them Man in the day when they were created”, Genesis 5:2) the demonic Lilith emerges. She is Adam’s first wife, all sensual and animal instinct, a cunning and prevaricating woman who is a prelude to the abandonment of the unconscious shadow by the man. Henceforth he, afraid and alone, loses control of his soul and sets out towards the Promethean but false glory of being for himself.
In the Egyptian and Greco-Roman tradition, the reference to the double aspect, dark and numinous, of the Moon, the opposites of light and darkness that constitute the poles of existential experience is well-defined: to the full Moon, complacent and benevolent, inevitably follows the new Moon, dark, cruel, destructive. And it is precisely from this foreshadowing the invisible effect of the Moon, even more frightening because it dominates while not appearing to the eye, that the need for the symbolism of the Night emerges: the Black Isis of the Egyptians, the Greek Hecate, the Proserpina of the Romans, who she which brings destruction.
With the advent of Christianity, dualism becomes total: Lucifer, the fallen angel, opposes the God of Good and Reason; the Malleus Maleficarum, a questionable instrument of moralisation, raged throughout the Middle Ages in the hunt for authentic and presumed witches, with the only denominator the rejection and – physical – elimination of the demonic from human conscience.
And so here we are on the threshold of the seventeenth century, an era of enlightenment forerunner of modern dreams of greatness. Thanks to the wonders of reason, we can relegate the past’s nightmares under the label of primitive soul beliefs. But is this so, or is it not perhaps an attempt to remove what instinctual, and therefore irrational, is in our nature?
Lilith-Eve, Hecate-Demeter – the two aspects of the feminine – mark the painful passing of abandonment into modern man’s consciousness. Today the Soul Shadow has been misunderstood, relegated to a psychotic component of the personality. A ruthless dualism forces us to consider what is concealed to us evil and undesirable. As a receptive aspect complementing the positive nature of man, in her refusal of patriarchal domination, the woman takes on the appearance of the fugitive Lilith. This prevaricating first companion does not accept the subordinate role dictated to her by Adam. Unable to get the coincidentia oppositorum (unity of opposites) we have moulded with our own hands a dark goddess, the more real, though imaginative and hidden: Lilith, a demon we will depict with a terrifying and perverse appearance until we can recover, through a work of integration, the dark pole of our soul.
From the viewpoint of astrological exegesis, Lilith and Black Moon’s meanings come to coincide. The discovery – actual or presumed – of an invisible satellite is perhaps an attempt to give substance, in an age of growing materialism, to immaterial fears, contributing in some way to a real work of exorcism.
Much more relevant is the astronomical symbolism of the Black Moon as the second focus of the lunar orbit. The binomial Lilith-Eve results from an illusion of our distinctive mind, unable to accept as one’s own what appears as opposing; even more if the astronomical representation is a non-existent fictitious point but still the centre of a complex balance of cosmic forces. From this point of view, the Black Moon is a sort of anti-Earth, which gathers in itself the fears for what is not visible, concrete, stable, which does not provide any support: it is the forgotten soul, it is an attempt to restore space for the void, the formless, as opposed to human experience delimited by the objects of perception. And what is empty creates a kind of ambivalent attraction; it longs to be filled but preludes to the destruction of the beliefs on which we assert our individuality. In the astrological interpretation, the Black Moon will represent the instinctive power of the sexual libido, not in the inferior sense as some understand it, but as a shadow element of the psyche that we must integrate into the conscious dynamics. Its interpretation by sign, House, and aspects will indicate the area of experience where it will be necessary to face one’s fears, under penalty of social rejection.
|Symbol of the Black Moon: the crescent (the soul) dominating matter.|
|Daily step||6′ 30″|
Lilith in zodiac signs
As for the traditional planets, the presence of Lilith in the zodiac signs must be interpreted in the sense of colour or quality the sign brings to the planet; in the case of Lilith, the libidinal impulse manifests itself following the meanings of the host sign. Being Lilith a shadow side of the psyche, we emphasise the degenerative aspects of its expression, that is, those that most readily come to attention. That does not exclude the presence of an integration potential combining sexual energy with the particular sensitivity of the zodiac sign (e.g. Lilith in Gemini can restore a communicative capacity that captivates and fascinates with words). These warnings also apply to descriptions of Lilith in the Houses and its aspects.
Aries. Excess or violence due to sexuality, especially if there are critical aspects with Mars and Pluto; otherwise, wild instincts.
Taurus. Apparent instinctive tranquillity can hide impulses such as nymphomania or satyriasis, especially in conjunction with the native’s Moon and Venus.
Gemini. Cerebralism makes sexual appetites live detachedly, favouring curiosity more than passion, autoeroticism and voyeurism.
Cancer. A closed, prudish, or corrupt atmosphere creates inhibitions and deviations; Oedipus or Electra complex .
Leo. The creative power tends to overwhelm and obscure the partner or children, instincts of dominance.
Virgo. Inhibition and control of the senses frustrate sex; complex, tormented and intricate relationships predispose to neuroses.
Libra. Narcissistic and exhibitionist tendencies; intense, passionate relationships characterised by morbid jealousy.
Scorpio. The exacerbation of sensuality can result in the sublimation of instincts or, on the contrary, in destructive and self-destructive relationships.
Sagittarius. Attraction to unusual or artificially induced sensual stimuli (e.g., drugs); reorientation of sexual tendencies in mature age.
Capricorn. Sexual conflicts that cause frigidity, repression of the instincts, especially in the presence of negative aspects Venus-Saturn; possible erectile dysfunction or infertility.
Aquarius. Anarchic sexual instinct, little respect for taboos, daring or bisexual sexual experiences.
Pisces. Hidden sexuality and veiled in mystical fantasies, propensity towards masochistic relationships.
Lilith in the Houses
Lilith’s presence in the Houses reveals the domain of human experience in which one manifests the need to integrate hidden drives.
1st House. For a man: narcissism, diversity, anti-conventionality, possessiveness, misogyny, sexual disorders of various kinds or chastity complexes, sadism. For a woman: independent and authoritarian personality, rebellious, tormented, attracted by solicitation and seduction, unconscious refusal to breastfeed and take care of children. N.B. According to tradition, the conjunction Black Moon-Ascendant with an orbit up to 2 ° – 3 ° marks people with an extraordinary destiny.
2nd House. Limited possibilities in acquiring material goods, lack of intuition, sacrifices and renunciations, contempt for venal matters.
3rd House. An unhappy childhood, difficulties in the study and social relationships, morbid attachment to relatives, especially brothers or sisters.
4th House. Introversion, restless nature, torment and distress, family instability, identification problems with parents.
5th House. Unstable romantic relationships, abnormal attitudes towards love, possible generative impotence for men, vaginitis, sterility, abortions for women.
6th House. Predisposition to psychosomatic disorders, tyrannical superego complex, refusal of routine work.
7th House. Difficulty in choosing a life partner, relationships that easily break up, partner infidelity, possible legal problems.
8th House. Morbid imagination, erotic restlessness, abandonment crisis, financial problems related to inheritance or acquired assets, a tendency to self-destructive states, and psychosomatic diseases associated with the zodiacal sign in which the Black Moon is located, if negative aspects are present.
9t House. Lack of ethical, artistic or philosophical ideals and aspirations, introversion, rejection of separateness.
10th House. Unusual and strange professional activities, difficulties in establishing oneself in social and professional life.
11th House. Lack of aspirations and projects, introversion, love for closed places, poor social adaptation, and disappointment on friends.
12th House. Negative attitude towards life, tendency to escape and use drugs or psychotropic drugs, chronic diseases, secret relationships.
Aspects of Lilith
With Sun and Moon: reading of the correct relationship between parents and children.
With Venus and Mars: modalities of loving behaviour.
With Mercury, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto: neurotic, paranoid, schizophrenic tendencies.
In positive aspect with the Sun. Good harmony between reason and instinct, a balance between male and female pole, ability to integrate.
In negative aspect with the Sun. For a man: failure to identify with his father’s image, devaluation of his personality, betrayals towards friends, overwhelming passions that lead to ruin. For a woman: lack of a model to be adopted as an ideal male image, hatred of men, attitudes of superiority. In general: lack of spontaneity, volubility, hyperhidrosis (abnormally excessive sweating) or ptyalism (overproduction of saliva).
In positive aspect with the Moon. Acceptance of one’s sexuality, attraction towards the occult or questions concerning the sexual sphere, predisposition to psychological studies, deep bond with the mother.
In negative aspect with the Moon. For a man: lack of an unconscious model one can assume as feminine image, psychic castration by the mother, hatred or fear towards the woman, sometimes impotence. For a woman: lack of identification with the maternal model, endocrine disorders, sometimes nymphomania, sterility or predisposition to abortions. In general: feelings of guilt and self-punishing tendencies.
In positive aspects with Mercury. Good mental relationship with sex, attraction towards sexual problems and the creative elements aroused by sexuality.
In negative aspects with Mercury. Weird or perverse mentality, excessive cerebralism, refusal to communicate, nervous imbalances.
In positive aspects with Venus. There is a balance between love and eroticism, satisfying and formative relationships from an inner point of view, and the ability to master negative sexual impulses.
In negative aspects with Venus. Unconscious refusal to love, voyeurism; for a man: a rejection of woman, sometimes impotence; for a woman: a rejection of her femininity, frigidity and inhibitions.
In positive aspects with Mars. Accentuation of sexual activity; sometimes risks of nymphomania or satyriasis.
In negative aspect with Mars. Poor willpower, abulia, a tendency to thyroid dysfunction leading to obesity, aphonia, predisposition to accidents; for a man: refusal of masculinity; for a woman: castrating tendencies towards men.
In positive aspects with Jupiter. Morality or religiosity conditioning sexual expression; for a man: paternalistic and protective attitudes towards women.
In negative aspects with Jupiter. Psychic instability and inconstancy, anarchic tendencies, dyspepsia or aerophagia.
In positive aspects with Saturn. Poor sexual exuberance, frigidity or disinterest in sex, choice of celibacy.
In negative aspect with Saturn. Tendency to loneliness and self-destruction, psychic crises, frustrations, scruples, abdominal or joint disorders.
In positive aspects with Uranus. Sexual freedom, lack of taboos, originality in erotic experiences.
In negative aspects with Uranus. Lack of sense of opportunity, capriciousness, abnormal emotional reactions, outbursts of aggression.
In positive aspects with Neptune. A romantic vision of eroticism; idealised desires, voluntary renunciation of sexuality.
In negative aspects with Neptune. Exaltation of the imagination, erotic and imaginative delusions, loss of consciousness, immoral life, sometimes schizophrenia and drug use.
In positive aspects with Pluto. Intense and passionate loves, deep sensuality, voluptuousness.
In negative aspects with Pluto. Tendency to lie and betrayal, lack of guilt, sadism, destructive and self-destructive potentials in relationships.
- Federico Capone – Luna Nera Lilith (Black Moon Lilith) – Turin 1978
- Clara Negri – Lilith la Luna Nera in Astrologia (Black Moon Lilith in Astrology) – Napoli 1985
- Roberto Sicuteri – Lilith la Luna Nera (Black Moon Lilith) – Roma 1980