Daughters of Lilith is a group dedicated to the exploration of the divine feminine. This group is open to all (women & men) from all traditions to gather together for fellowship, celebration and learning of women's mysteries.
Below is an interview from Sky’s Embrace Winter 2011 Issue
I recently had the opportunity to sit down over dinner with Sr. Egypt and discuss Daughters of Lilith and the Invocation of Sophia ritual planned for this coming April. The following interview transpired shortly after via email, in order to answer some questions I had heard in the community at large about Daughters of Lilith.
- Sr. Melissa
Daughters of Lilith (DOL) has been meeting for over two years now. What was the original idea that inspired it?
DOL was Sr. Shellay’s brainchild. While she was body master she asked me to manage a women’s mysteries group and I accepted. The objective was to create a group that would attract women to Thelema and the OTO; and to be utilized as an outreach tool. I have recently begun counting heads at Mass and so far my statistics indicate that attendees are 66% male and 34% female, the last Mass included the Mass team was 9 males to 6 females. I am not sure why Thelema or the OTO (at least in the Pacific Northwest) has such a ratio, whereas other mainstream religions tend to have a higher ratio of women to men. As a woman I find the concepts of Thelema to be very empowering; and in a post-Women’s Liberation Movement era I wonder why there isn’t a higher attraction for women in general for Thelema or the OTO.
How large is the group? Describe your particular role in DOL.
DOL is a small group. We don’t have a membership, so there is no roster; and we don’t have any sort of initiation like in a sorority. I just contact my sisters and arrange to do ritual at a given time and day. Those who are interested in the communication simply include themselves into the activities. For instance, one of my objectives was to find a ritual dress for the Sophia ritual, a sister and I spent an evening shopping for the dress, talking about Sophia and other girl talk. It is [about] comradeship. My particular role is to manage DOL.
Originally, DOL was a women-only group, but it has recently opened up to include men. Can you tell us about the reasons for the change?
When DOL was initially instituted there was no particular plan on how it would operate. The object though as I have said is for outreach, to make available another resource to people’s interest. People I have met that are in to Thelema or the OTO have a diverse interest in the esoteric, some people are attracted to Enochian, some to Qabalah, some to Kundalini, some to Goetia, the list goes on; DOL is another tool for the community at large to access OTO and Thelema within their specific interest range.
A local body that offers to people a variety of topics to engage in creates a broad spectrum to attract people. A majority of my time spent on DOL, has been at home writing articles. I’d figure that writing about a feature goddess would be a good avenue of getting out to the general community , those who are interested in the Divine Feminine, that there is a now a group in the Puget Sound area not only talking about women’s mysteries but are doing ritual that has New-Aeon inclinations.
Shellay and I always knew we wanted to do ritual when we first started talking about putting this group into action. So I had two objectives outreach and ritual. I personally like talismanic magic and Qabalah so the set of rituals we decided to do was to explore the Divine Feminine in context with ascending the Tree of Life.
How else has DOL evolved or changed since its inception?
One of the ways DOL has evolved since its inception is the timing. At first we were doing a social one month and the next month a ritual. At that time Sky’s Embrace was being published bi-monthly and I was timing the ritual to fall shortly after the article of the feature goddess was published. That was too much for me to handle, then Sky’s Embrace went from bi-monthly to quarterly publications so then we did two socials and one ritual during the quarter with the ritual again being held shortly after the article was published. During the days when the Temple was on Capitol Hill, the socials were being held at different locations, such as bars and friend’s houses. One of my favorite memories is having a friend host a slumber party social, I had a great time; we watched Bridget Jones Diary and drank champagne. At these socials, the residential men would be there and we had great conversations about the Divine Feminine. It seem[ed] to me there isn’t really a need to for a women’s-only group,[and] I haven’t meet anyone that needs a women’s-only group, but that there is a need to explore the Divine Feminine in a contemporary context.
What is the focus of the group today?
The focus of the group presently is to do more outreach. We have neared the end of our ascension up the Tree of Life. We have completed two rituals for Malkuth (Shekinah & Lilith) and a ritual for the Sephiroth between Yesod and Binah for a total of nine rituals so far. With the majority of the articles done and extending the rituals out to every six months or so will give me more time for outreach. The feature goddess currently is Sophia for the sphere of Chokmah.
From time to time, a new sigil for a feminine deity appears at Horizon. Can you tell us about them?
I like talismanic magic. Each of the sigils is based on the 22-petaled rose; the name of the goddess is laid upon the rose. So for example the talisman that has the sigil Lilith, starts with the letter Lamed on the outer ring of the rose, next is Yod, Lamed, and Yod, all on the outer ring; lastly to Tau on the middle ring.
What happens at a typical meeting (or series of meetings through the quarter)?The meeting are geared towards the feature goddess and towards getting ready for the ritual.
Tell us about the Invocation of Sophia, planned for April 7, 2012.
The Invocation of Sophia will be a Eucharistic rite. There will be a reception that follows the ritual. And I am encouraging everybody that attends to dress-up; this will be a formal/semi-formal event. The ritual is scheduled for Saturday April 7, 2012.
When the cycle of rituals is done, what happens next?
When I first started this cycle of rituals, I only thought about doing the spheres that had planetary associations. Once I got going I became hooked and felt that I needed to include Chokmah. I am not sure about what to do for Kether. I don’t have any ideas what happens when we have completed the Tree of Life. I will cross that bridge sometime in 2013. Maybe I will have gotten some inspiration then. I would be interested in doing a set of rituals revolving around inspirational incarnate women; I am particularly fond of Jeanne d’ Arc and Eleanor of Aquitaine. I am also amenable to what may inspire other people and bring their vision of a feminine archetype into a ritual format; I would like to be supportive and collaborative of bringing their ideas to fruition.
What would you like to see the group accomplish in the future?
I am open to suggestions about what the future holds for DOL. After the current cycle is complete perhaps some else would like to pick a feature goddess and design a ritual around her and be the Master-of-Ceremonies. I would also be interested in traveling to other local bodies on the west coast and the ritual team doing a rite for them.
Is there anything more you’d like to share about DOL?
I am delighted that I have had an opportunity to manage DOL; I would not have spent the time researching and reflecting on the goddesses that I wrote about without this impetus. They (goddesses) have definitely have influenced my life in unexpected ways. I feel I have a better understanding of them and that they don’t want to be stuck in antiquity but they are timeless and their energies are available to people even in this day and age.