Lilith’s Tribe in New York City aims to be inclusive of the many different kinds of people who are drawn to Lilith. That’s tricky to accomplish, on many levels.
If such a group were to perform a public or semi-public ritual, what kind of ritual format would be appropriate?
One type of ritual that some people I know have done, and which might be fine for some people in some contexts but would clearly not be appropriate for a group like Lilith’s Tribe, is a standard Wiccan-style ritual with Lilith and Samael plugged into the standard Wiccan-style Goddess-and-God format.
Problem: Too many Lilith devotees are wary of Samael for one reason or another. Quite apart from the folks who are just freaked out by anything having anything to do with Satan or Satanism, there are other issues at stake here.
Even Anya Kless, who does work with Samael, gives a bunch of warnings about Samael in her blog post Samael: God of the Left Hand. Her warnings conclude with the advice that seekers work with Lilith first and then “Allow Lilith to introduce you” to Samael. “Go slow with Him,” Anya says. So I would guess that, even in Anya’s paradigm, a group ritual involving Samael would be appropriate only at a private gathering of people who know each other reasonably well, and who have all been introduced to Samael by Lilith already. (Anya, is that correct?)
Even some theistic Satanists are wary of Samael, due to the ambiguity over whether Samael is a servant or an opponent of Yahweh. I discussed my own thoughts about Samael in my blog post on Lilith and Samael, according to Anya Kless.
And, of course, a ritual featuring any male deity wouldn’t go over well with those people who are specifically Goddess-oriented.
So then, what kind of ritual format would be suitable for a group like Lilith’s Tribe?
Something like a “darker” version of the typical Dianic Wiccan Goddess-only ritual format might be suitable for many, if not all, Lilith devotees. If done by a group like Lilith’s Tribe, such a ritual would include participants of all genders but not any male deities. The Dianic Wiccan ritual format is in the family of ceremonial magick-based ritual formats that are used by the majority of people in the Pagan/occult scene, and by most theistic Satanists too, as far as I can tell.
But not all Pagans use a ceremonial magick-based ritual format. Reconstructionist and Reconstructionist-based Pagans generally don’t. Then again, I would not have expected a Reconstructionist-based Pagans to revere Lilith — given that, as far as I can tell, even Lilith’s Babylonian form Lilitu was NOT revered as a Goddess.
But it turns out that Anya Kless, author of Lilith, Queen of the Desert, is a Reconstructionist-derived Pagan — of a relatively eclectic kind, obviously. (Pagan Reconstructionissts aim to revive some particular extinct religion of some ancient pre-Christian culture, typically confining themselves to just one ancient culture and just one pantheon. Anya is an adherent of the Reconstructionist-derived (but not strictly Reconstructionist) Northern Tradition, in which, according to Raven Kaldera, “it is fine to work with non-Northern deities in one’s own private practice, or belong to non-Northern-Tradition religious groups, unlike some reconstructionist groups who encourage theological separatism.”)
Since Reconstructionists and Reconstructionist-derived Pagans typically have ritual formats very different from the ceremonial magick-based formats common among most of today’s Pagans and occultists, it will be very interesting to see what kind of ritual format is recommended in Lilith: Queen of the Desert.
It’s possible that there just isn’t any ritual format suitable for a group like Lilith’s Tribe, because Lilith devotees are just too diverse. Currently, Lilith’s Tribe does not do any rituals but just holds discussion meetings. It remains to be seen whether that’s how it will always be.