Saturday, April 8th, 2006 • 1 Comment on Lilith Lives!
I am about five-ish pages from finishing my paper on Lilith for my Humanities class. You may remember me mentioning Lilith way back when the semester started in January. Here I am, three months later, with the semester nearly over and Lilith books and Lilith articles and many copies of the rough draft of my Lilith paper piling up on the kitchen table. I’m sure it comes as no surprise that I have Lilith on the brain and I’m seeing her everywhere. In fact, she’s turned up in some of the sources for my research paper on Edgar Allen Poe and the femme fatale, which is convenient.
I’ve been spending a ridiculous amount of time at the Barnes and Noble Cafe lately, presumably writing my Lilith and Poe papers, as well as stories for all those other writing deadlines that I’ve been ignoring while doing research on Lilith and Poe. It’s not all work—and don’t let me try to convince you otherwise—I do a lot of coffee drinking and book browsing, too. It’s surprising how often Lilith turns up in a wide range of books. She is referenced 24 times in a book I picked up last week, The Roots of Desire: The Myth, Meaning and Sexual Power of Red Hair. I wasn’t even looking for Lilith, but there she was.
Of course, I was starting to think my preoccupation with Lilith was getting out of hand when I decided the woman on the Starbucks logo looks like Lilith. Curious (and a little afraid I was going a little crazy with my Lilith obsession), I did a Google search and found this interesting article about the Starbucks logo. It turns out the Starbucks woman is actually a siren and the original logo was most likely copied from a 15th century engraving. Sirens have two forms: half-bird/half-woman or half-fish/half-woman. In the case of the Starbucks logo, she is a half-fish/half-woman creature known as a melusine, which differs from a mermaid in that she has two tails. So, she’s not Lilith. But guess what? Lilith was often portrayed as having the wings and claws of a bird, which would make her and the Starbucks melusine siren-sisters.
Think I’m crazy? Take a look at these two pictures:
The image on the left is a Sumerian terra-cotta relief of Lilith, circa 2000 BCE. The image on the right is the familiar Starbucks logo, circa 2006. Four thousand years separate these two pictures, but the family resemblance is unmistakable, isn’t it?