Lilith: Wild, Outcast, Wicked – Essential

Saturday April 21st 2012
Joan Crawford.
picture by George Hurrell

Lilith – baby-strangler, seducer, mistress of secret knowledge, outsider, feminist icon — Black Moon.

In Jewish folklore, she is Adam’s first wife. But her roots are much older – an Assyrian she-demon, a serpent goddess, queen of the underworld.
In astrology, confusion reigns. There are three Liliths – an asteroid, a mean Lilith and the Dark Moon Lilith. It is the latter to which most authors are actually referring. In your chart this will appear as a black crescent moon with a cross below.
But what does Lilith mean in the chart? Does she show independence, darkness, or repressed anger? Does she show a lack, an emptiness, as some writers have suggested? Or maybe obsession, voraciousness?
On a wet and blowy evening this week, my local astrology group met to investigate. None of us felt we had come to grips with the real meaning of Lilith yet. Nothing any of us had read really resonated. So we thought we’d look at a lot of charts and see what came up.
The results were… a) horrid…
We started with a hunch – in the charts of men, could she represent a problem with women. We looked at some serial killers, and immediately the correlation was clear – Ted Bundy (Moon conjunct Lilith), Peter Sutcliffe (Lilith Rising), Fred West (Lilith in the 7th (his victims) inconjunct Neptune (fantasy)). Then there’s the child killer, an embodiment of one face of Lilith surely, Myra Hindly (Lilith in the first conjunct Venus). But I don’t want to dwell on them. Suffice to say, a prominent Lilith isn’t going to make you a serial killer, but serial killers may well have prominent Lilith.
and b) intriguing…
We took some false turns and found some charts which seemed to have very little Lilith action. Wallis Simpson, for example. You’d think the so-called femme fatale who stole the prince away would have some Lilith action, but not really.

Just as we were winding up, someone had one last thought. If criminals have strong Lilith, what about crime writers? Agatha Christie has her Part of Fortune conjunct Lilith: she made a fortune out of her. And then it was time to go home, but it set me thinking.

When I got back, I  started looking at the darkest crime writers I could think of – bingo. All of the following aspects are very close, unless I point out otherwise.

Ruth Rendell and Patricia Highsmith, mistresses of the psychological thriller, both have Mercury (mind) conjunct Lilith. Stieg Larsson, whose heroine is surely an embodiment of the archetype, and whose gory descriptions of rape and mutilation turn the reader into a voyeur, has Lilith in Libra sandwiched between Neptune (imagination) and Venus (women). Lilith’s on that midpoint. Elmore Leonard: Lilith conjunct the North Node. Arthur Conan Doyle? Lilith conjunct the Moon, trine the Sun and applying to the MC.

Jude Law as Dickie Greenleaf
and Matt Damon as Ripley

Edgar Allan Poe has Lilith in the 7th (the other)  (no surprises there then). She’s trine his Sun and Mercury in the third – a little wide at five degrees but close enough.

So how about a criminal who became an author and wrote about his life of thievery. Jean Genet has Lilith on the MC conjunct Mars. And the other French outsider, Albert Camus, who practically invented anomie? On the descendant trine Neptune.

You’re beginning to get the picture. Lilith is right in there.

So how about writers whose subject is the wilder shores of emotion or the darker corners of the mind?. Emily Brontë, say. Isn’t Heathcliff a kind of male Lilith – outcast, vengeful, dark? Lilith is in her 7th house of the other, in Gemini, one of the writers’ signs, ruled by Mercury. She sextiles Mercury and opposes Neptune (imagination again).

Robert Louis Stephenson (creator of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde): Lilith dead on the Ascendant, square Mercury, trine Jupiter

Thomas Hardy (creator of Tess – outcast, over-sexed, wonderful) Sun opposite Lilith

Scott Fitzgerald (married and inspired by crazy, wonderful Zelda) Lilith opposite Venus-Mercury

Jack Kerouac (“I like the crazy ones”) Lilith conjunct Uranus in Pisces (the drink killed him, but Lilith and oblivion is another post.)

So to understand Lilith, we can read fiction. Lilith is Heathcliff, she is the Talented Mr Ripley, she is Tess of the D’Urbervilles. She is a wild, dark part of the human soul, but without her our imaginations would be so much duller. She is the outsider that all writers need to be in order to see the world with fresh eyes.

Nastassja Kinski as Tess

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  1. Dunyazade says:

    I have Lilith conjunct my moon. Both trine my MC.

    Maybe I should turn to Mistery Writing… huummm *considering it*

    I did, just to add something to your research, create a fictional character who is Wilde and can not be tamed: an old man flying around in an umbrella spitting at little children and saying the truth about what he sees (my Lilith is in Sag).


    So – this is quite interesting.

    I wish I had an astrology study group as well. Maybe I should just start one.


  2. Christina says:

    That sounds pretty Lilithy to me! Wow.

    I think we can get carried away by the fact that she’s a she in the myth, whereas in the charts she seems to be wildness.

    You’d have been in good company in our group – two Lilith Moon conjunctions – and it did seem to have a connection with lack of children, or simply feeling a lack of children.

    My astro-study group is fab. I joined when I moved here & find it’s really helped me develop my ideas. Especially since it’s run on very Aquarian lines.

  3. Jackie T says:

    Remember the Kray twins – Lilith rising. It seemed that evening that one of the keys was an aspect from Neptune, which lent fantasy to Lilith’s repressed urges. Are you going to post again about the feminists?

  4. Prospera says:

    I hesitate to confess to having Lilith conjunct Saturn in Scorpio opposing Moon square Pluto opposing Mercury… a grand cross. I’ve endured enough dark nights of the soul to empathize with those trapped there. And, as a fan of the Very Talented Pat Highsmith with her Sun conjunct Lilith, I venture she was rather dark herself. Absolutely an outsider – I can relate.

    Having come to writing later in life, I find the icky bits unnervingly easy and the uplifting (which I prefer) laborious. Am I resisting the easy path? You betcha! It goes nowhere you’d want to dwell.

    BTW, my longterm partner’s Sun nestles cozily between my Saturn and Lilith… we have no children.

    Thank you, Christina, for getting me thinking about the mysterious Lilith and gaining a better appreciation of the energy – intense, unashamedly uncommon, wilful (won’tful?)and attention-grabbing… whether we like it or not.Juicy… very juicy.

  5. Christina says:

    @prospera – like all those planetary energies, Lilith can be used for good or ill.

    But personally, I’ve only just started to get a handle on it. Ah the uses of fiction….

  6. Vanessa says:

    Thanks for this thought provoking entry. Wish I had a cool group to study with as well. I have Lilith in Sagg in the 7th opposing Saturn in the first. Have to think about it now. Guess my partners “owns” my Lilith.

  7. Kaz says:

    I have Lillith in 7th Cancer decendant a few degrees from my venus. Am I a ladykiller? Mind boggles, no wonder I’m single!

  8. Opal says:

    This is terrific – Lilith seems to be appearing everywhere at the moment, it’s very curious. Keeps turning up in readings and mundane charts….

    I started getting really interested in her when I was studying secondary progressions – I noticed her very active on the angles during certain major events in my life, and began to glimpse an understanding of how she operates (in my own life) that way. Still very mysterious though.

  9. Christina says:

    @Opal – that opens up a whole realm of possibilities….

    Kaz – mine is in a similar place to yours & so is my partner’s – go figure

  10. I am a writer and I have Lilith in the 7th in Virgo. So I guess that works 🙂 Thank you for this excellent article!

  11. Link says:

    Thanks very much for these insights. My Claytons boyfriend has only one exact conjunction in his chart, Lilith conj N.N. I really haven’t been able to get my head around this.

  12. Christina says:

    Link – Are you Lilith?

  13. P says:

    Ooh let’s see:
    Lilith @ 0 Capricorn.

    Square Eros @ 0 Libra.
    Sexile Jupiter @ 0 Scorpio.
    Quincunx Venus @ 1 Gemini.
    Conjunct Juno @ 1 Capricorn.

    Maybe I should just go and do erotic fiction-writing 😀

  14. Diane L says:

    Lilith conj S Node in 1st House, exactly sextile Moon in Libra. Whilst I have always loved reading mysteries/macabre stories, I’ve no interest in writing it. Found the tv series “Wire in the Blood” on DVD and loved it!

    Thanks for some clarification on this whole Lilith business . . . simple is always better IMO. LOL


  15. Isy Aweigh says:

    P – or run a highly profitable bawdy house.. where’s Vesta? 😉

    My Lilith is at 2deg Pisces in my 11th. Chart ruler Venus is slighty below Lilith in that house & sign.

    Lilith trines Jupiter in Gemini (magnify my outré outbursts, much?) and sextiles my 12th-house Sun in Aries (oomph, when I’m not looking).

    Squares my cozy NN in Taurus @2nd — oh well, that was probably inevitable.

    Explains a lot, actually. I guess it’s time to embrace my inner wildness and just get out there and use it. But not bring it home, nor take it as a goal in itself; wildness and emotional, creative passion as a means, not the end. I have certainly used my intensity as a way to motivate others. Maybe I was onto something.

    For the record, Blogger still behaves just as badly on the mobile, and has ported some of its whimsicality with comments to the fullscale version. Since it’s the same host I use for mine, I’m taking notes 🙂

  16. Opal says:

    Heh. You got me researching now…. John Fowles (French Lieutenants Woman) Lilith conj Neptune in Leo opposite Venus in Aquarius.

  17. Christina says:

    Perfect – I can see the French Liieutenant – outsider, scarlet woman – on the Cob at Lyme Regis ….

  18. Anonymous says:

    This is great, I can relate to this description. Food for thought. What orb would you give to aspects with a bod like Lilith? For me she’s in the 12th in Aquarius, 1 degree off Pallas. 4 degrees off Juno. Does that count as a conjunction?

  19. Anonymous says:

    My Lilith is EXACTLY conjunct my moon in Sag and the first house. But the line-up is venus rising, north node conjunct venus next and then moon exactly conjunct Lilith – all within 23 degrees of the ascendant. Yet I haven’t been able to figure out the moon/Lilith conjunction. I am very concerned about intimacy, but not without consideration to my reputation (sun/Saturn conjunct in 12th house Scorp). Used to be very self-conscious, but now am very self-accepting. Relationships? Most short-lived, passionate – no, won’t tolerate deception or lying. Have been writing for about 3 years now, but nothing published. Nature of writing — understanding the effects and depths of emotions from a spiritual perspective. Is that the moon conjunct Lilith?

    • Christina says:

      I am not sure if spiritual is exactly a word I would use to describe Lilith.

      Your chart description is really making me think very much about Diana, goddess of the hunt, running throughout the wild woods with her dogs at her heels.

  20. Gilly says:

    Well thank you for sending me here! Lilith in Gemini: I’m delighted to share space with Emily B – and in the 12th house: weird dreamings and imagination…? I write dark, twisted ghost and reincarnation stories with a dash of quantum physics and an ineffectual, lazy, wounded hero. She’s not hugely aspected in my chart, but the ones she makes seem Big – opposite 6th house Jupiter and Venus, sextile 3rd house Uranus, bi-quintile the Sun 8th. Work, communications and the dark side…?

    Oh, and I just noticed, she’s conjunct my partner’s Sun, and his is conjunct mine. Well, gosh… 😀

  21. Gonzo says:

    There is only one key essential phrase for Lillith the Black Moon (be it the Mean Apogee or the Osculating Apogee): Lies and Deception. That’s why we call Lillith “Queen of Lies and Deception”. I have studied Lillith in more than 12,000 charts, natal and mundane during the last 44 years.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Lilith is a Matriachist even more than a feminist. Her reality is only now, very slowly, manifesting in our world. She is not bad. (I would look more closely at Pluto, Mars, and Uranus in the charts of “sick minds” ~ i.e. writers of horror or killers themselves to see what’s up with them. NOT LILITH.) Unless one postulates that these people are trying to kill/harm Matriarchy. Which is an interesting thought, non?

    Over the next few decades we will see her true self. It should be noted that Lil is dominate in feminist/Matricharist charts. Malala Yousafzai has Lil conjunct NN. It’s not a close conjunction but enough to move her on the path to alpha female.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Patti Smith has Lilith conjunct Merc rising square her Moon, which makes sense cos she comes across in performance wild & fierce, but she’s a real sweetheart

  24. Paula says:

    I noticed that ‘black magic woman’ Lilith lies in opposition to Philip Seymor Hoffman’s South Node conj Mars. Not that this has anything to do with authors. But maybe for anyone interested in evolutionary perspectives. Lilith is directly affecting South Node conj. Mars in Karen Carpenter and Kurt Cobain’s charts too. Not in Whitney Houston’s. That’s 3 out of the 4 that I looked at.

  25. […] you haven’t read The Oxford Astrologer pieces on Lilith, here are the the key ones:Wild, Outcast, Wicked – EssentialSo You Thought Lilith Was Always A Woman…Both Anima and AnimusDonna SummerSearch the site for […]

  26. A says:

    BML 29° Scorpio, conjunct Asc and conjunct Uranus. She is exactly square 29° Leo Pallas conjunct Regulus in my 9th house a few degrees away from Virgo MC, trines 4th house 0° Aries moon. Semi-square 11th house Libra stellium Pluto/Vesta/Merc/Jupiter/Saturn. Trines NN, sextiles SN. Opposite Chiron conjunct Eros in Taurus.

    I relate with the talented Mr. Ripley. Forgotten child prodigy. I will be 35 soon. I am a single mother. No family other than my children because they have all disowned me. I relate with Chiron as an archetype, I tend to take on a teaching role in any relationship I form. Many people find me attractive. I present as female, but have always identified as male. No, I will never ‘transition’ which I find ridiculous. I feel part of my karma and lifepath is about synthesizing the male and female energy. I am both. And fuk everyone. (see BML/ASC/Uranus doesn’t eat sh*t). ^_^

    • Sheilajean Whitefield says:

      I have some of the same aspects. Vesta opposes BM Lilith from 1st to 8th (20.05 Aq to 27.34 Virgo). I have a lot of “strong woman” and/or androgynous aspects. I am female and 63 y.o.. Maybe we should talk privately. Facebook friend me and send a private message if you would like to do this. Sheilajean Whitefield (USA)

  27. […] The dark side of imagination Lilith in the charts of authors […]

  28. […] Lilith is the outcast, the wronged wife (!), the ball-breaker, the outsider. […]

  29. John Freeman says:

    I have a very strongly placed Lilith four degrees above the descendant 29th degree of Pisces. My description of my experience:
    My Lilith setup brackets the descendant, BML 4 degrees above, Lilit (??) just below.

    I have found Lilith literature available in English fuzzy, labored, unsatisfactory to the max.

    If you are interested this may be an instructive “case report” of Lilith in a mans chart where it is strongly placed.

    The text I have found by far most consistent with my experience has been the single (blessedly simple) paragraph published on the site on the topic … by Joelle de Gravellaine.

    I knew my chart and symbols of astrology very well for decades, but nothing at all about Lilith until about 2003 shortly after a Lilith return in about 2001.

    In summary: Lilith is there to withhold something we think we really really want (characterized in house placement) …. affording an opportunity for us to let go gracefully ….. and allow that empty space in our lives to fill up with something universal, from God so to say …. not personal (i.e , me, me, me, my relationship, my comfort, my status …. etc etc) but something more “cosmic” or ” transpersonal” … what have you. Indeed it has worked out that way.

    Lilith in this chart is just a few degrees above the descendant in the 7th house. There is a tight sun venus mercury mars stellium in the 7th house…. a chart one would expect lots of relationships and or relationship activity. With Lilith there it’s not in the usual sense. As a youth I thought relationship was my highest objective …. but over and over obstacles arose and essentially I was not in relationship though it seemed a huge topic and mystery as to why not with that chart .

    Every 9 years when Lillth returned to that degree I met a woman who expressed the Lilith character who spun my head and who was quite completely unavailable. In 2001 a Lilith return the encounter escalated and was frightening in its intensity … involving full blown real time verified psychic knowledge of the other persons thoughts and feelings as well as the only experience I’ve ever had of seeming possession by a malevolent outside entity. Very very freaking strange and delivered the scary Lilith elements that have imparted her well deserved bone rattling reputation.

    The upshot:
    Shortly thereafter I discovered the symbol, its placement and meaning. It explained a lot and “timed” a reversal of fortune, When I came to grips with and accepted a purpose for the “void” where another person might otherwise have been …. I began to have the most profound and transcendent experiences which were more enriching than anything I had ever hoped for oner decades of “questing” for a deeper and profound experience of life. Making the notion of relationship as an important objective seem quaint yet impossibly unimportant as compared to far more profound levels of insight, Samadhi, vipassana that have now become the bread and butter of life …. apparently associated with conscious integration of this larger process.

    Lilith is uncompromising and if one refuses to let go gracefully the consequences can be draconian. If one does manage to let go gracefully then a a grace previously beyond imagination can be the reward.

    • Christina says:

      Thank you for sharing your story, John. Actually I have a very similar Lilith placement myself, and although on the surface my experience of relationships might seem different to yours, in some important ways it is the same. For example, it was not until I let go entirely that things started to work out.

      • Rocket says:

        As always the overall nativity would shape the way things express.

        A pluto moon saturn triple conjunction (moon at midpoint 7 degrees from each) seems to me to make the Lilith energy overdetermined.

        Just recently see I have Juno square saturn, Gee, I wonder if that says something about no marriage for this life ?

  30. John Freeman says:

    There also is a lovely booklet
    “The Astrology of the Black Moon” by Laura Walker, M.Ed., downloadable for no charge, that I also have found very helpful, especially accurate and useful during recent transits of bone crushing intensity when Lilith thru Libra, teamed up with tr. Pluto (by square) and tr. Uranus (conjunction) to that potent Aries stellium with opposition to Neptune in Libra.

  31. Looking to call on the writer in me and cast aside the editor! Packed 9th house. Grand square Mars/Lilith conj. POF/Moon/Venus in the 10th Scorpio, that’s the opposition to Lilith. Thankfully I do get a trine to 8th-house Jupiter from her, just to add a sinister exaggerator to the sauce, ha.

    I have a 7th-house Gemini cusp with Chiron/Saturn/NN in the third—heal first, write later? Lilith in the 4th. Just now letting go of being “the good mother”…

    Thanks for a great read, including the comments. This find has been tremendously helpful! 🙂

  32. Richard says:

    Hi. Ive got BML conjunct north node in Capricorn by 0°33′ 8th house. How would the synastry play out with someone’s Midheaven which is 0°51 from my NN and 1°24?

    • Christina says:

      I’d really have to look at the whole chart and talk further, because it would be rash to make assumptions. However, BML conjunct NN is a really fascinating aspect plus Cap in 8. It makes me wonder what your job is & whether there is any work stuff going on here. You’d need to look at the relationship between your Lilith and the other person’s too.

  33. Sheilajean Whitefield says:

    How would you interpret BM Lilith (8th/Virgo) opposing Vesta (singleton planet/asteroid in the 1st/Aquarius)? (BTW. DOB: 8/28/53 @ 18:29 in Youngstown, Ohio, USA. Note Algol, Venus-Uranus, Moon-Venus Mutual reception and the nodal axis, Moon-Saturn-Spica-Neptune, Pallas Athene- Juno, Ceres-Mars in stellium under the Suns rays, Chiron singleton in 12th with Pluto currently transiting). THANKS!

    • Christina says:

      I would ask you what you hold sacred and what profane… because this is an opposition between the “Temple” and the “Wilderness”… I hope that helps a little

  34. Pam says:

    I have lilith conjunct ascendant in aries… Do you think that is too bad? I also got venus in libra opposing ascendant and lilith… (I’m a leo girl, scorpio moon, leo mars too)

  35. Gege says:

    Ah explains so much.. I had problem with older men my entire childhood. They used to make such perveted comments. Thankfully nothing bad happened to me. I was so scared at that time. Also, I didn’t understand why I have trouble with many females in my life. Once I was a transfer kid, and then the entire girls in my class confronted me in my very first day attended the school. They warned me that I mustn’t speak to any males in that school. Reallu funny, but at that time I was scared that I wouldn’t get any friends. I came home crying to my mom, screaming I wanted to transfer to another school lol. And unfortunately, I also have problem with cheating ex-boyfriend, and many of times I have a boyfriend that turns out he was still dating another girl before me. So yeah, many dramas.

    In my natal chart I have mean Lilith in 4th house squaring 1st house Venus and 7th house Pluto, so my Venus/Pluto midpoint is Lilith, ugh. Also, my mean Lilith opposite my Ceres, so it’s a grand cross between Venus-Lilith-Pluto-Ceres. My true Lilith is in 5th house trine my Ascendant. Asteroid Lilith conjunct Mars and Vertex in 5th house. In declination I have Mars and Pluto parallel true Lilith and mean Lilith. Idk, people seems to want to have power over me, what a headache.

  36. Clair says:

    Hi Christina,

    I just came across this post after endlessly searching for more information on Black Moon Lileth, I have just had a really strange experience with it, similar to what John Freeman posted on November 9th 2016, I have Lileth in pisces in the second house forming a grand trine with my sun, saturn and moon all in water signs. It is hard to describe but it includes seeing people appear to be something else and I was really scared. It wasn’t possession, but something really strange took place. I think there is a really dark side to Lileth, that is not good. It happened when transit Neptune was conjunct Lileth to the exact degree and second, just after the last lunar eclipse. Anyway thought you´d be interested if you are still studying what it means!

    • Christina says:

      Yes please. Thank you for that.

      There is most definitely a dark side — I think she can be very, very dangerous — and that should never be underestimated.

      • Clair says:

        Indeed, she is very dangerous, also I don´t know if this is relevant but on the day this happened transit Lileth also went over my IC again it was exact. It seems too much of a coíncidence not to consider it.