On the “Other”: Lilith, Harvey Weinstein and the Fate of Nations

Friday January 17th 2020

Warren Beatty and Jean Seberg in Lilith (1964). Indeed, they are both playing types of Lilith in this film. I’ve just watched this movie, and it’s good, within the sub-genre of Freudian nymphomaniac flicks. I think it’s better than The Hustler, which is the director Rossen’s more famous work. The cinematography is absolutely brilliant — worth watching for that alone.

Why are there so many Liliths to choose from astrologically? I asked myself this question recently, and wondered if the answer might not lie in the archetype herself.

Just to be clear. There are: True Lilith, Mean Lilith… and the asteroid Lilith… and furthermore, in some software, a glyph that looks just like Lilith’s but reversed. This is the White Moon Selena. Astro.com uses Mean Lilith, but Cafe Astrology uses True.

Selena and the first two Liliths are all mathematical points in the sky. But Mean Lilith and Selena both move around like the Sun and Moon, in other words, they are always direct and move evenly through the signs. Selena is interesting because she spends only one week in each sign, so she’ll be quite personal. Mean Lilith spends nine months in each sign, so she has quite serious impact especially by transit, and could bear a similar weight of personal influence as, say, Jupiter. True Lilith goes retrograde frequently and moves erratically.

The asteroid Lilith I discount at the moment,
because she is after all small among many.

I work with the Mean Lilith, and have yet to test Selena. But I think the pathway between Mean and True Lilith is significant, especially by transit. And Selena has piqued my interest because far from being a shining light of grace in my first encounter, she was precisely indicated in an accident! Further investigations to follow…

The result of all these Liliths is confusion, like throwing a handful of sparkling dust in your face.

I’ve followed the Mean Lilith for many years now, and indeed, today she is on my own Mercury in Pisces, so I feel compelled to say more, although if you look on this site you will find several articles elucidating some of her charm. I know this Lilith works by transit and in the natal chart, because I’ve tested it out.

This year she has walked through the final sign of the Zodiac at her usual steady pace, and you may have seen her appear in the collective imagination simply as herself. I’ve never seen so much Lilith on the hive mind called the internet.

Soon she’ll be in Aries, in her guise, perhaps as she-warrior. Remember that Lilith breaks taboos, ignores rules and violates contracts. She is also free, strong and independent; a witch, a goddess, a victim who fights back, she is #MeToo, and Anonymous. Devourer of children, assistant to anyone in despair, a hidden vice — or virtue. She is a disruptor, a seducer.

Lilith is the “other” — whether that’s an adulterer, a secret lover, an outcast — or the mirror who shows us our bad face. Much has been written about the idea of the “other”. Jung pointed out that we contain our “other” within ourselves. When we respond to a person with fear or hatred most irrationally, we may simply be seeing our own other.

Edward Said’s seminal book Orientalism, put the concept of the other in a broader cultural context. Of course, all cultures have “others”, seen or unseen, openly discussed or buried in mounds of words and images.

The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945). Also an excellent film with a great script & superb camera work.

One of the most brilliant stories of Lilith as a bad mirror is The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. Dorian Gray makes a pact with the devil so that he will always stay young and beautiful, while his portrait, hidden in the attic, takes on all his vice and debauchery. This sets him free to live a wicked life.

Wilde was born with Lilith at 24° Cancer. While he was working on the novella in 1890, he was in the midst of a Lilith Return. Wilde himself, of course, ended up embodying a form of Lilith when he was cast out of English high society. He was born with Lilith in the 11th, the house associated with community or society. His Leo Moon is in that same house too, often a sign of fame or renown. But the timing of his downfall was a classic example of a bad Neptune transit across the midheaven — a reputation wiped out by scandal.

Imagine if we could hide all of our bad behaviour in a picture in the attic. We could pretend it was never ours. It belongs to someone else. Whatever that bad behaviour might be — from being unkind or uncharitable to a hit-and-run to selling arms to children to buying slave-made goods to taking advantage of power over others – we could leave it in the bad mirror.

Film producer Harvey Weinstein, currently on trial for multiple charges of rape and sexual assault, has Pluto, the planet of power, on his MC in Leo (a perfect placement for a powerbroker in a creative industry), but Lilith is the other point right near the top of his chart, in the 9th house of publicity, at 29° Cancer. Weinstein’s Lilith was always hiding in plain sight. Like Dorian Gray, he felt the rules of morality and society did not apply to him. The truth about his vicious behaviour finally became public knowledge as Lilith transited through Sagittarius, the sign of publishing, and Weinstein’s first house.

That process, which we all do to a greater or lesser extent, of projecting our failings, especially our moral failings, onto the other, ends up with a splintered personality. In the case of Dorian Grey, it liberates is dark side — and then it kills him.

Whole nations do this same thing. Without acknowledging a culture’s darker histories — colonialism, slavery, genocide — or a nation’s outcasts — the homeless, the poor, the marginal — we end up in countries psychically divided against themselves.

Germany under the Nazis (born Jan 30, 1933) had Lilith at 0° Gemini in the first house of identity squaring the Nodes and Neptune. Lilith in the sign of storytelling making this powerful aspect to the Lord of illusion, sacrifice and fiction conjunct the node of letting go surely played a part in the self-image of the country as a victim fighting back after WWI, and says something about the power of the Nazi propaganda machine. By the time Germany was actually split in two,  in 1949, the Lilith had come around to make a conjunction in Gemini’s opposite sign Sagittarius with the North Node in the house of reputation. Of course, this was when the truth of the Holocaust was being shown in cinemas around the world. Germany’s reputation was monstrous — and this is one of the themes of Lilith, for good or bad, she is the opposite of civilised. In 1990, under reunification, Lilith is back in Sagittarius but now retreated to the 12th house of history.

Lilith is somewhere in all of us. One of our tasks in life is to find her, acknowledge her, honour her wildness — and understand that she too needs to be allowed out to play, because if she’s repressed, she will rampage.

For a more positive side of Lilith, click here.

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  1. Fascinating! If I can find these films, which I’ve never seen, on Netflix or Amazon I plan to watch them. Hope you all are doing well!

  2. Iris says:

    This inspired me to go and look at my placement of Selena.
    Christina, what would you make of Lilith in the 12h natally? In Aqua, if that’s relevant, and conjunct Pallas, less than a degree apart. I found your series on Pallas gave me some insight into that placement, but I’ve never quite known how to understand Lilith there. I can’t quite see her (but I suppose that in itself is very 12h).
    Wondered too if you had any thoughts about distinctions between the monstrousness that Pluto can be, and Lilith.

  3. Christina says:

    @Jeanne — on Amazon.

  4. Christina says:

    @Iris — oh yes. Pluto and Lilith can both intense energies to deal with — and they can both be quite invisible, unless you make a conscious effort to see them. They are both also about breaking taboos and sometimes vengeful, but where Pluto is calculated, focused, ruthless, power-hungry; Lilith is much more of a trickster, irrational and capricious, unleashed. Lilith really is wild, and sometimes crazy, and Pluto is not. I would think that Lilith would be quite well placed in the 12th. I wonder also if any of your ancestors were witches!

    That’s my take on them, briefly, but I think it’s really worth another post, and some chart comparisons. Lilith on the MC for example seems to create a reputation as a seducer or temptress sometimes, whereas Pluto is a person with earthly power — like Weinstein.

  5. Imogen says:

    Well, I have looked up my Selena on astrodienst and she is part of my vast Leo stellium – Sun 23, South Node 21, Pluto 21, Mercury 16, Lilith 15, Vertex 13, Selena 11. All in the 8th bar Vertex and Selena in the 7th. So I shall be interested to hear more about Selena especially as she is conjunct Lilith in particular. And that Vertex is between them as I’m never quite sure what Vertex is? Also, your quote for today jumped out at me – Mercury conjunct Lilith – revolutionary that I am speaking out loudly!?! And I have Moon conjunct Uranus (in Cancer in 7th) so there is no hope for me to be anything other than revolutionary!

  6. Denise says:

    Thanks for this and the linked article – finally a description that rings true for me! Lilith makes no aspects in my natal chart, but from time to time she does indeed demand to be let out to play.