Succubi – An Origin Story

I discovered I have a page on The Wiki of the Succubi (on succubus.net – run by Tera, Queen of the Succubi) with a story I wrote back in 2000. It’s a malicious little tale and makes me cringe a bit now, especially the last line, but it suits the current theme of my blog…

*

Do you know what a succubus is? People used to believe in succubi. Not any more. In folklore they are creatures of the night, women who sneak into houses to steal the seed of men. These days you laugh at such a notion, but what do you know? I know. There have always been succubi, and will always be succubi, and She who was first will be last, for She is eternal.

She was born of the Light, the fairest daughter of Heaven, and She knew it. She gloried in it, exulted in it. And for the sin of Her pride She was cast out of the Light.

But drawn to the Light, She stood at Eden’s gates and wept.

Israel’s progenitors spied Her there. They who knew nothing of Darkness, nothing of sorrow or of wanting, spied Her there, and he knew lust, and she knew jealousy, and for these sins they too were expelled from the Light, from Paradise.

And for the corruption She had brought She was punished, cursed so that the Light repelled her, even as it attracted her. She swore vengeance then, embraced the Dark that brought no solace, emptied her soul with it, and that vacuum brought a terrible hunger.

That very night She came to Adam, but despite his apparent lust he drove Her away. The following night She came again, but again he drove Her away, and at last She perceived his love for Eve, an unbreakable chord that bound them, and She hated it, hated them. A third night She came, but in the guise of Eve, and She lay with Adam. She laughed to feel his fertile seed in her womb, laughed to see the grief in his eyes when She revealed Her true self.

So if sometimes men have an instinctive fear of women, perhaps this is why.

People used to believe in succubi. Used to be that when a girl reached womanhood, if she craved only to take the place of another woman she would know, or at least suspect, her true nature, would seek out others of her own kind and learn from them the secrets of glamour, for such is the nature of succubi that no matter how ugly or rotten they may become they have the aspect of beauty, and such is the nature of their magics that apparent beauty is achieved at the cost of real beauty.

But these days very few believe in succubi. Most succubi never realize their true nature; they grow into mature women with confused desires, moving from disastrous relationship to disastrous relationship in search of a satisfaction they do not understand. A few, however, do escape the prison of ignorance that modern society has constructed.

This I know, so perhaps you should think twice before adopting a baby girl, no matter how beautiful she may be.

*

I think the thing I find most interesting about this story is the way Lilith has assumed the traditional role of Lucifer. Traditionally the incubus and the succubus were manifestations of the Devil, and God and the Devil tend to be seen as masculine figures; here, however, Lilith is Lucifer, a very feminine Devil.

Coda

Here’s a excellent article about Lilith: Lilith: Seductress, Heroine or Murderer? (2012) by Janet Howe Gaines:

The Talmud’s Lilith recalls older Babylonian images, for she has “long hair” (Erubin 100b) and wings (Niddah 24b). The Talmud’s image of Lilith also reinforces older impressions of her as a succubus, a demon in female form who had sex with men while the men were sleeping.

The article also mentions Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s poem Body’s Beauty (one of Suzie’s favourites) about Lilith:

And still she sits, young while the earth is old,
And, subtly of herself contemplative,
Draws men to watch the bright web she can weave

Finally, it references Pamela Hadas’s wonderful poem written from Lilith’s perspective: The Passion of Lilith. (I really need to track down the complete version.)

About Frank

A Sci-Fi & Fantasy author and lyrical poet with a mild obsession for vampires, succubi, goddesses and Supergirl.
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