I was waiting for it yesterday - didn't arrive yesterday, so I was extra-special waiting for it today. Especially because I've had a *crappy* day. And, behold! It did arrive, in perfect time before I had to leave to see the, uh, the monks build the sand mandala.
And....The Scholar is...a Maker, as I've said before. And if you don't know what that means, I'm going to have to go into that later, because I'm not going to have time to talk about the whole gift now and also get into that concept. But I am incredibly honoured that he makes things for me.
I opened the box. The first thing I saw? A Kali tank top. Which made me giggle. *laughs* And it looks like it's going to fit perfectly - I'll try it on later. Thank you, Scholar!
I lifted that up and saw an envelope. Picked up the envelope, beneath the envelope was a black wooden box. Beneath that was another envelope. I followed the instructions to read the top envelope first, and then open the box, and then read the bottom envelope.
So in the *first* envelope, there are two sheets of black paper with these words written on them in silver.
"The first wife of Adam. The original woman. She left the Garden of her own free will, rather than submit to a subservient place beneath her mated husband. Why should she? She and Adam were created side by side, from the same red clay, equal in all things except possibly imagination.
"So she spoke the ineffible name, and flew, cloaked in her hair, to the shore of the Red Sea. She found others there before her - the Fallen. She took for her lover their leader, Samiel. They had many children.
"By this time, Adam had petitioned God for her return. The angels sent to accomplish this had been curtly refused and driven off. In retaliation, they crept back and butchered Lilith's children.
"By this point, her return to her husband was actually only academic. A new, more pliable woman, was created from Adam, so that equality would never be a valid contention again.
"This is the official history.
"Before she was turned into a foul night creature, she was a goddess, the Lady of the Night Sky. Aspects of this original deity were incorporated into other later goddesses: Hecate, Artemis, Athena with her owl, even (with ultimate irony) Hetha, the goddess sometimes considered the origin of Eve.
"Long before this gradual filtering, images of the goddess were common throughout the long ages of Stone and Bronze. Particularly of her eyes. These seem to have based on those of owls, a bird famed for its silent flight and night vision.
"Recent scholarship casts doubt on the connection between Lilith and her animal avatar, the screech owl. This is based on mistaken translation: evidently the word for "night" may have a meaning closer to "storm". And the translation in King James Bible used "screech owl" more to evoke a mood than as an appropriate parallel for any Arameic or Hebrew word.
"Despite this, the bird goddess between Lilith and the owl is amply pointed to by thousands of effigies in the Neolithic well into the Bronze Age.
"I chose to use a barn owl in place of the screech owl because the former is eerie-looking to me. Its cowled head forms a heart-shaped face in which dark eyes peer out. Eyes in a mask: a fitting visual metaphor. If you hold her in front of a strong indirect light, she is illuminated. Her eyes glow, and her body is slightly darker in shadow.
"Created for your birthday, Thursday, March 2nd, 2006."”