Friday, April 13, 2012

Marilyn Monroe: A Lilith For Modern Times (Part 3)

The final article in this three-part series reveals the shadowy myth of Lilith, a dark figure of whom little is known other than that she was said to a killer of babies in the crib or in the womb, and was also believed by ancient Jews to have seductive qualities.

Marilyn in Korea in 1954.


As much as Monroe’s life makes the myth of Venus manifest in our world, it seems pretty incredible that she also conveys so much of the secretive, hidden myth of Lilith. On the surface, these two don’t appear to have much in common. There are no complete myths remaining for Lilith – she merits a mere scrap at the beginning of Genesis. But a closer look at Monroe’s life reveals that Lilith gets almost as much play as Venus did.

Marilyn had BM Lilith in the 1st House at 29 Leo, conjunct Regulus (not shown in this horoscope), and we have already noted that her first house planet and asteroids exerted strong influence over her life. Still, it is something of a mystery that she expressed Lilith as powerfully as she did. For most women born in 1926 with Lilith conjunct Regulus, there was little effect.

Anyone with experience of S. Korea is familiar with the frigid cold that descends from Siberia during the winter. Marilyn Monroe performed in front of warmly dressed American troops in February, 1954 wearing this skimpy, shimmery dress. Like the soldiers she performed for, she covered her own suffering with a smile.

As an ancient demon-goddess, Lilith was also said to be at the head of armies. Marilyn was a favorite pin-up girl among US soldiers, and she also devoted time to performing for US troops stationed overseas. Other actresses of her era did the same, so this fact in itself is unremarkable. Still, a beautiful and seductive woman who entertained troops seems like Lilith to me.

It may be my imagination, but Marilyn's expression is so similar to that of Jackie Kennedy in this photo. I did a double-take the first time I saw it.

I began the research for this series by typing a simple question into Google, “Was Lilith a shape-shifter?” After going through images of Monroe, I noticed the expression on her face in one famous photo which I felt had a striking likeness to Jackie Kennedy. It was almost as if Monroe was unconsciously “channeling” Jackie, or at least it seemed this way to me. So this was my starting point. The question turned out to be a gateway, because other mythic associations of Lilith started matching up with Marilyn’s life or with her natal horoscope.

According to Jewish tradition, Lilith could shape-shift like an angel and become a “beautiful woman” or a fowl of the air. I couldn’t help but note Monroe’s shallow conversion to Judaism upon her marriage to Arthur Miller – it was almost as if she had some fate to fulfill that would link her to the myth of Lilith even more.

The Greeks feared a creature called Lamia, one of the lesser known lovers of Zeus who was victimized by Hera and made to devour her own children. Lamia acted out her agony by doing the same to human children. Significantly, Lamia was thought to have the upper body of a beautiful woman, and the lower body of a snake. Monroe’s Vedic Ascendant is in Ashlesha, the nakshatra of the snake.

One of the most devastating aspects of Marilyn’s adult life was that she had one miscarriage after another, with no live births. It didn’t help that well-known author Norman Mailer tried to trash her reputation by writing that she had undergone 12 abortions. There is no way to know if Monroe had any abortions, since they were illegal and therefore unrecorded, but the effects of 12 abortions would have been evident upon autopsy. Yet the autopsy was unremarkable regarding this physical aspect.

Many shamanic cultures note infertility among those who interact heavily with the unseen world. Jesus had no children. Mohammed had four daughters with his first wife, but no children at all after his interaction with the angel Gabriel, despite the fact that he had taken a total of nine additional wives, several of whom were young and fertile.

Ancient Greek myths demonstrate a belief that the children of a mortal-divine union were blessed with super-human gifts, but the mortal parent of such a child always paid the price and died young. Voodoo priestesses must be celibate during the years of important initiation because of a very strong taboo against conceiving children that could be “tainted” by the gods of the Vodoun pantheon. Among the ancient Norse, certain shamanic roles were restricted to women past childbearing age.

My own feeling is that Marilyn Monroe unknowingly participated in this dynamic, which must have been incredibly painful, since she would not have realized what was happening or why.

The frightening thing about embodying the goddesses so strongly is that one’s life becomes a sacrifice – there seems to be a terrible price paid for the incredible gifts granted. Aside from the shenanigans of J.Edgar Hoover, did Marilyn Monroe end up dead at 36 because Venus and Lilith possessed so much of her life’s energy? This is a very difficult question for me to answer…

"Not very smart," she would say of herself in her most famous film, "Some Like It Hot", touching her temple using the same gesture seen here. But I think she had a lot more "smarts" than she was ever given credit for...

More information on Scheat. The 2010 Jupiter-Uranus Conjunction with Scheat
Facts about her life.>


  1. I have been enjoying your series, but i wanted to tell you that the only abortion "effects" that would show up in an autopsy would be from a botched abortion. Physiologically, an abortion and a miscarriage are the same thing. Cervix opens up, fetus comes out. So although I doubt she had abortions (women who suffer miscarriages are usually the ones who want children the most)
    if she HAD had an abortion, unless it was done by a butcher, there's no way it could be differentiated from any other abbreviated pregnancy.

  2. Thanks for the correction, Mimi. You are right about the lack of evidence on autopsy. Plus I share your assessment of women who suffer miscarriages being less likely to have abortions.

  3. Ivy Goldstein Jacobsen treatise on lilith is a faithful friend in a storm.Lilith says she,attacks the unborn baby,tries to kill the mother suring birth,causes dwarfism,and suicide