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Demonologia august 2003

Demonologia august 2003


(portrait of Asmodeus in Francis Barrett's The Magus)

You've heard of a murder of crows? Or a clutch of bats? Here I've gathered a plague of demons containing the most important personages of the infernal realms. Forewarned is forearmed. If you see any of these creatures coming your way, you would be well advised to walk in the other direction.

Abracax Amdusias Andrealphus Astarot Bael

Agaliarept Ammit Antichrist Astaroth Balam

Agares Amon Apollyon Azazel Baphomet

Alocer Andras Asmodai Aziel Barbatos

Demonologia august 2003

Beelzebub Belzebut Cassiel Flauros Gaap Incubus Malphas Moloch Paimon Purson Satan Theutus Uvall

Behemoth Berith Cerberus Fleurety Gremory Ipos Mammon Nebiros Pan Ronwe Satanachia Three-headed Serapis Volac

Belial Buer Dagon Forcas Hakeldama Lucifer Marchocias Ophis Pazuzu Sallos Shax Typhon

Belphegor Camio Eurynome Furfur Harpy Lucifuge Rofocale Mephistopheles Orobas Phoenix Sargatanas Stolas Urobach


(Abracax from Collin de Plancy's Dictionnaire Infernal)

The name of this demon is probably a corruption of Abrasax, also known as Abraxas, a god of the Gnostics who had the head of either a cock or a lion, the body of a man, and serpents for legs. Note that the legs of Abracax are depicted as serpents.

Demonologia august 2003 The numerical values of the Greek letters in the Gnostic name Abrasax sum 365, the number of days in the year. This is also the number value of the Greek letters in the name Mithras, inviting the speculation that these two gods are one. E. A. Wallis Budge wrote about this Gnostic deity: "Abrasax represented the 365 Aeons or emanations from the First Cause, and as a Pantheus, i.e. All-God, he appears on the amulets with the head of a cock (Phoebus) or of a lion (Ra or Mithras), the body of a man, and his legs are serpents which terminate in scorpions, types of the Agathodaimon. In his right hand he grasps a club, or a flail, and in his left is a round or oval shield." (Amulets and Talismans, p. 209) It was common for the gods and goddesses of pagan religions and heretic sects to be reduced to the status of demons by Christian writers. Indeed, deities of heretic religions formed the primary source for Christian demons.

(two examples of the Gnostic deity Abraxas)


Demonologia august 2003

(demon Amdusias from Collin de Plancy's Dictionnaire Infernal, 1863)

Amdusias (also spelled Amduscias and Amdukias) is one of the demons of hell described in the Goetia, one of the books of the manuscript grimoire known as the Lemegeton or Lesser Key of Solomon. He is mentioned by Johann Wierus in his Pseudomonarchia daemonum, and by Reginald Scot in The Discoverie of Witchcraft. The Goetia asserts about this demon: "He is a Duke Great and Strong, appearing at first like a Unicorn, but at the request of the Exorcist he standeth before him in Human Shape, causing Trumpets, and all manner of Musical Instruments to be heard, but not soon or immediately. Also he can cause Trees to bend and incline according to the Exorcist's Will. He giveth Excellent Familiars. He governeth 29 Legions of Spirits." In Collin de Plancy's illustration, shown above, Amdusias is crowned to show that he is a duke of hell. He has been given a horse's head to go with his single horn, because unicorns are usually represented in the shape of a horse. Two trumpets lie on the ground, and a third trumpet is slung over his shoulders.


Demonologia august 2003

(Andrealphus, from Collin de Plancy's Dictionnaire Infernal: Paris, 1863)

"Andrealphus is a great marquesse, appearing as a peacocke, he raiseth great noises, and in humane shape perfectlie teacheth geometrie, and all things belonging to admeasurements, he maketh a man to be a subtill disputer, and cunning in astronomie, and transformeth a man into the likenes of a bird, and there are under him thirtie legions." (Scot, Discoverie of Witchcraft, page 224). We know that this demon is very vain and proud, since he comes in the form of a peacock. The animal forms assumed by the demons express their true natures and personalities in a symbolic way. "Admeasurement" is an old word for practical mathematics. It was also known as mensuration. By astronomy the demon means practical astrology, the actual casting and interpretation of astrological charts. It is unlikely that this demon could physically change a human being into the shape of a bird, but more probable that he merely cast a glamour over the victim so that he thought himself to be a bird, and saw himself as a bird.


Demonologia august 2003

(portrait of Astarot from Le veritable dragon rouge, 1822)

This demon derives his name from Astaroth. In the Red Dragon he is said to be a grand duke of hell, and is depicted sticking his tongue out as though to mock all rank and pretension. He may probably be identified with Astaroth. A. E. Waite identified the image of this demon with the Olympic spirit of Tuesday, Phaleg -- see The Book of Ceremonial Magic, Plate 2, page 37. This popular image also appears on a seal in the Grimoire of Honorious that is attributed to Wednesday and the demon Astaroth -- see Waite's Book of Ceremonial Magic, page 289.

Demonologia august 2003

(seal of Astaroth from The Grimoire of Honorius, showing the same portrait that appears in The Red Dragon)



Demonologia august 2003

(demon Bael in Collin de Plancy's Dictionnaire Infernal, 1863)

Bael or Baell has the distinction of being placed first of the seventy-two demons described in the Goetia. Collin de Plancy has identified this demon with the biblical god Baal by changing the spelling of the demon's name to match that of the god, but as I have indicated elsewhere, a similarity in names does not always indicate identity. The word ba'al means Lord. Baal was worshipped by the Israelites on high places in the form of a phallic stone called a massebah, probably with rituals involving sexual union. He was a god of fertility. He also appears to have inspired the name of the demon Belphegor -- one of the forms of Baal was Baal-Peor (Numbers 25:3). Concerning the demon Bael, the Goetia states: "The First Principal Spirit is a King ruling in the East, called Bael. He maketh thee to go Invisible. He ruleth over 66 Legions of Infernal Spirits. He appeareth in divers shapes, sometimes like a Cat, sometimes like a Toad, and sometimes like a Man, and sometimes all these forms at once. He speaketh hoarsely."


(demon Beelzebub from Collin de Plancy's Dictionnaire Infernal, 1863)


Demonologia august 2003 Beelzebub is a prince of hell whose name is usually translated Lord of the Flies (beelzeboub) but which should probably be translated Lord of the Earth (beelzeboul). He is one of the oldest and most famous demonic figures, having been derived from the local god of the Philistine city of Ekron, mentioned in the Old Testament. Evidently Beelzebub had command over disease, which may explain the popular version of his name. Flies congregate around the corpses of the dead, and spread disease from the dead to the living. In the Bible, messengers are sent to the priests of Baal-zebub in Ekron to inquire by divination whether or not a man will recover from sickness (Second Kings 1:2). According to the inspired vision of the possessed Catholic nun Sister Madeleine of Aix-en-Provence, Beelzebub is one of the rulers of the infernal regions. "Beelzebub was Prince of the Seraphim, the next unto Lucifer. For all the princes, that is to say all the chief of the nine choirs of angels, are fallen; and of the choir of Seraphim there fell the three first, to wit, Lucifer, Beelzebub, and Leviathan, who did all revolt." Sister Madeleine further reported that Beelzebub's office is to tempt men with the sin of pride, and that his heavenly adversary is the humble Saint Francis of Assisi. The Renaissance magician Cornelius Agrippa classed Beelzebub among the demonic order of False Gods, who in his opinion have their place in the lower reflection of Kether. "There are some of the school of the theologians who distribute the evil spirits into nine degrees, as contrary to the nine orders of the angels. Therefore the first of these are those which are called False Gods, who usurping the name of God, would be worshipped for gods, and require sacrifices and adorations, as that Devil, who saith to Christ, if thou wilt fall down and worshop me, I will give thee all these things, showing him all the kingdoms of the world; and the prince of these is he who said, I will ascend above the height of the clouds, and will be like to the Most High; who is therefore called Beelzebub, that is, an old god." This would seem to place Beelzebub above even Lucifer. The leader of the Golden Dawn, S. L. MacGregor Mathers, put Beelzebub in the second demonic order in the sphere of Chokmah, below Satan and Moloch but above Lucifer (see the Kabbalah Unveiled, plate IV). All of these systems of associations are speculative, and none of them should blindly be accepted as the supreme authority. The only thing we can state with certainty is that Beelzebub is very high up the rank of demons in hell.



Demonologia august 2003

(portrait of the demon Belzebut from Le veritable dragon rouge, 1822)

One of the many lesser known demons is Belzebut. There is an almost endless number of these obscure demonic beings. This demon undoubted derived his name from the demon Beelzebub, but this does not necessarily mean that they share the same qualities. In the grimoire known as the Red Dragon Belzebut is described as a prince of hell. His profile appears hawklike, perhaps to show that he is a prince of the air. A. E. Waite associated the portrait of Belzebut shown above with Bethor, the Olympic spirit of Thursday and the planet Jupiter -- see The Book of Ceremonial Magic, plate 2, page 37.



Demonologia august 2003

(Cassiel, the ruling spirit of Saturday, bears a distinctly demonic aspect in Barrett's Magus)

Cassiel is not strictly speaking a demon of hell, but a ruling spirit of Saturday. When works of magic are conducted that fall within his authority, they are done on his day of the week, and his power is invoked to insure their fulfillment. There is often a fine line in Western magic between a spirit and a demon, as the illustration of Cassiel from Francis Barrett's The Magus indicates. Physically, nothing distinguishes Cassiel from dozens of infernal demons described in the Goetia. He is shown as a bearded king with wings and scaly skin, who rides on the back of a winged dragon, and carries in his right hand an arrow. Cassiel is described in the Fourth Book of Occult Philosophy (which is a grimoire of magic falsely attributed to Cornelius Agrippa) as "A King having a beard, riding on a Dragon." Francis Barrett stated concerning the spirits of Saturday "the nature of them is to sow discords, hatred, evil thoughts and cogitations, to give leave to kill and murder, and to lame or maim every member." This is demonic enough that Cassiel can safely be classed as a demon for all practical purposes. Barrett adds an interesting footnote about the kingly appearance of Cassiel: "Those spirits who appear in a kingly form,


Demonologia august 2003 have a much higher dignity than them who take an inferior shape; and those who appear in a human shape, exceed in authority and power them that come as animals; and again, these latter surpass in dignity them who appear as trees or instruments, and the like: so that you are to judge of the power, government, and authority of spirits by their assuming a more noble and dignified apparition."


(Flauros, from Collin de Plancy's Dictionnaire Infernal, 1863)

The infernal demon Flauros (also known by the variant names Haures, Hauras, Havres) is the sixty-fourth demon described in the Goetia: "He is a Great Duke, and appeareth at first like a Leopard, Mighty, Terrible, and Strong, but after a while, at the Command of the Exorcist, he putteth on Human Shape with Eyes Flaming and Fiery, and a most Terrible Countenance. He giveth True Answers of all things, Present, Past, and to Come. But if he be not commanded into a Triangle, he will Lie in all these Things, and deceive and beguile the Exorcist in these things or in such and such business. He will, lastly, talk of the Creation of the World, and of Divinity, and of how he and other Spirits fell. He destroyeth and burneth up those who be the Enemies of the Exorcist should he desire it; also he will not suffer him to be tempted by any other Spirit or otherwise. He governeth 36 Legions of Spirits..." The text given by Reginald Scot in his Discoverie of Witchcraft is somewhat different from that in S. L. MacGregor Mathers' edition of the Goetia, quoted above. It reads:


Demonologia august 2003 "Flauros a strong duke, is seene in the forme of a terrible strong leopard, in humane shape, he sheweth a terrible countenance, and fierie eies, he answereth trulie and fullie of things present, past, and to come; if he be [not] in a triangle, he lieth in all things and deceiveth on other things, and beguileth in other busines, he gladlie talketh of the divinitie, and of the creation of the world, and of the fall; he is constrained by divine vertue, and so are all divels or spirits, to burne and destroie all the conjurors adversaries. And if he be commanded, he suffereth the conjuror not to be tempted, and he hath twentie legions under him." The square brackets above are mine. It is obvious that an error was made in Scot's text -- probably the error was in his manuscript source. Demons are usually invoked into a triangle, which in the Goetia is described as three feet long on each side, and located two feet away from the edge of the magic circle. The triangle is equilateral, and points away from the circle in the direction associated with the demon, if there is a particular direction linked to the demon (in the illustration in the Goetia it is shown pointing toward the east). A smaller circle fills the center of the triangle. The name of the angel Michael is written in the points of the triangle outside the boundary of the circle it contains -- the letters "Mi" are inscribed in the lower-left point of the triangle (from the perspective of the magus inside the great circle), the letters "ch" are inscribed in the upper point of the triangle, and the letters "al" are put in the lower-right point. Along the base of the triangle of evocation is written the word "Primeumaton," along the left side the word "Arrephezaton," and along the right side the word "Tetragrammaton." The primary purpose of the triangle is to bring forth the demon into visible appearance, but its secondary purpose is to contain the demon and allow it to be commanded and compelled by the magus. When the demon is within the triangle, it is not wandering around the ritual chamber causing trouble, and cannot depart from the triangle without the permission of the magus. It is the smaller circle within the triangle that constrains, the triangle itself that evokes. The larger circle in which the magus stands serves as a protective barrier that the demon cannot penetrate, even should it escape from the smaller circle within the triangle. Inside the triangle, incense is burned to produce smoke, or water is boiled to make steam, providing the demon with a physical matrix upon which to manifest itself. The fumes of freshly spilled blood are sometimes used as an energy source to aid the manifestation of the demon. Alternatively, a mirror is placed within the triangle, and the demon becomes visible within the depths of the mirror and speaks from the mirror. Or a material image of the demon, such as a statue or picture, is placed in the triangle to act as a host for the demon during its evocation. The demon will then animate this image from within, changing its facial expressions, moving its hands, and even speaking aloud from its mouth. The line from Scot that reads "he is constrained by divine vertue, and so are all divels or spirits" means that all spiritual beings, good or evil, can be commanded by the power and authority of the names of God, such as the Tetragrammaton. Divine virtue or power in inherent in these names, provided they are vibrated upon the air by one who has assumed the role of a servant or agent of God. Only a magus who has placed himself under the authority of God can legitimately employ the names of God as words of occult virtue. Those who attempt to use these power names without acknowledging the authority of their Source have no right to use them, and achieve no


Demonologia august 2003 results with them. This is the meaning of the Biblical fable of the Jewish exorcists who attempted without success to use the name of Jesus as a word of power to exorcise demons from a man who was possessed (see Acts 19:13-16). Since they had not acknowledged Jesus as the Son of God, his name possessed no power over the demon when uttered by their lips.


(Gaap, from Collin de Plancy's Dictionnaire Infernal, 1863)

This demon is also sometimes known as Tap. The text of the Lemegeton reads: "he is a President; and a mighty Prince; he appeareth when the Sun is in some of the Southern Signs in a humane shape; Going before him 4 Great and Mighty Kings knowing Philosophy; and all the Liberal Sciences; he can cause love or hatred, and make men insensible; he cann teach you how to Consecrate those things that belong to the Dominion of Amaymon his King, and cann deliver familiars out of the Custidy of other Magicians; and men most speddly an Kingdom to Another at the will and pleasure of the Exorcist; he ruleth 66 Legions of Spirits; he was of the Order of Potentates;" (Sloane 2731).


Demonologia august 2003 Reginald Scot has some curious lore to record in connection with this demon. He states that Gaap is equal in might to Bileth, and writes of the latter spirit: "there were certaine necromancers that offered sacrifices and burnt offerings unto him; and to call him up, they exercised an art, saieng that Salomon the wise made it. Which is false: for it was rather Cham, the sonne of Noah, who after the floud began first to invocate wicked spirits. He invocated Bileth, and made an art in his name, and a booke which is knowne to manie mathematicians. There were burnt offerings and sacrifices made, and gifts given, and much wickednes wrought by the exorcists, who mingled therewithall the holie names of God, the which in that art are everie where expressed. Marie there is an epistle of those names written by Saloman, as also write Helias, Hierosolymitanus and Helisaeus. It is to be noted, that if anie exorcist have the art of Bileth, and cannot make him stand before him, nor see him, I may not bewaie you and declare the meanes to containe him, bicause it is abhomination, and for that I have learned nothing from Salomon of his dignitie and office." What the abominations used to command Bileth may be, Scot does not divulge. They may have involved the spilling of human blood. Bileth is evidently the same as the demon Beleth, also known as Bileth or Bilet. Scot's text is confusing, and it is difficult to know with certainty at any given point whether he is writing about Gaap or Bileth, but I believe Bileth to be intended in the section quoted above. Gaap and Bileth are two of the four chief demons that rule over the 72 commanded by Solomon into the vessel of brass. The other two rulers are Belial and Asmoday. Collin de Plancy has caused Gaap to be illustrated as a winged giant with horns and a tail, who carries a man through the air on his shoulders.


(portrait of the demon Incubus from Francis Barrett's The Magus, 1801)


Demonologia august 2003

Incubus is another one of those demons who embodies in himself an entire class of beings. In this case, he is all incubi, who are male spirits of lust. The name comes from the Latin incubare, to lie upon, weigh down, brood. It was the belief that when an incubus came to a sleeping woman and had sex with her, she experienced nightmares and difficulty breathing. The incubus was thought to sit upon her chest, or in some cases her face. This feeling of weight upon the chest is characteristic not only of incubi but of their female counterparts, the succubi demons who visit sleeping men for the purpose of sexual union. As someone who has experienced this weight and difficulty breathing numerous times, I can attest that it is very clear, distinct and real, and has nothing to do with dreaming, although it is usually felt for a brief period upon waking from sleep, when consciousness returns. The weight is not always localized upon the chest, but at times can be felt on the face, belly and legs as well. It is possible by an act of will to drive away the demon, which relieves the pressure. Sometimes the demon will be reluctant to give up its place on your chest, belly, groin and thighs, and the feeling will persist for as much as thirty seconds or so after waking -- long after full consciousness has returned. Its removal is sudden and unmistakable. The feeling is exactly as though a soft weight has been lifted away from the surface of your skin. You can actually feel this removal as a sensation of something lifting itself and departing. Occasionally you will also see the demon as a translucent, indistinct shape, pressing upon your chest -- it resembles a pale shadow upon the air, and has size and an overall mass, but no distinct features. However, the demon can be seen clearly within the nightmare experienced during its visit, and can be interacted with by the dreamer. The visit of an incubus or succubus does not always bring a dream, nor are those dreams always of an explicitly sexual nature during most of their duration. When a dream occurs, you will often become aware of its sexual energy near its end, at the same time that you feel the weight of the demon on your chest, and the natural response is to will oneself to wake up, which terminates both the dream and the sensation of weight, but not immediately. My impression of succubi, based on personal experience, is that they derive some sort of nourishment or pleasure from the sexual energy of human beings. They possess the ability to enter our dreams by impersonating dream characters, and manipulate the plot of the dream in order to direct it into sexual channels. In this way they feed themselves on our sexual energy. They usually impersonate people we are familiar with, or sometimes average human beings we do not know, so that we will interact with them without fear (because strong fear terminates a dream), but every now and then they appear more directly in the dream and exhibit physical characteristics that might be described as unhuman or demonic. This usually causes a visceral response of fear or revulsion, ending the dream. There is nothing inherently dangerous about the visits of incubi or succubi, but repeated visits on a nightly basis can cause fatigue. Some persons not accustomed to dealing with spirits may become frightened by the nonhuman appearances these


Demonologia august 2003 spirits sometimes adopt. It is my belief that some incubi and succubi deliberate take on a horrible form to generate strong fear and revulsion in their human hosts, presumably because they like the flavor of these emotions when mingled with human sexual energy. One effective way to terminate the visits of incubi or succubi is to form a close, loving alliance with a familiar spirit, and then request of that spirit that it prevent the intrusions of other spirits while you lie sleeping. The familiar will serve as your psychic bodyguard, so to speak, and prevent other spirits from harassing you. You may not wish to follow this course, since the visits of incubi or succubi can prove quite entertaining.

(an incubus demon on the chest of a sleeping woman, by Fuseli)



Demonologia august 2003

(Malphas, from Collin de Plancy's Dictionnaire Infernal, 1863)

"Malphas is a great president, he is seene like a crowe, but being cloathed with humane image, speaketh with a hoarse voice, he buildeth houses and high towres wonderfullie, and quicklie bringeth artificers togither, he throweth downe also the enimies edifications, he helpeth to good familiars, he receiveth sacrifices willinglie, but he deceiveth all the sacrificers, there obeie him fourtie legions." (Scot, Discoverie of Witchcraft, pages 221-2) Malphas comes first in the shape of a crow. When requested by the magician, he puts on a human shape, but retains a bit of the hoarse voice of his animal form. It should not be understood that he erects towers or throws down fortifications himself, but rather that he enables the means by which these tasks may be easily accomplished. This is indicated by the statement that he "quicklie bringeth artificers togither." It is these artificers who build or destroy. In Collin de Plancy's fanciful depiction, the demon carried a triangular masonry trowel for doing stonework, and for no obvious reason, wears trousers.



Demonologia august 2003

(Moloch, from Athanasius Kircher's Oedipus Aegyptiacus, 1652)

Moloch was yet another god mentioned in the Old Testament. The Hebrew for Moloch means "King." The Ammonites worshipped this god by causing their children of both sexes to ritually pass through a fire (Second Kings 23:10). This was a common form of cleansing and initiation used during pagan times in honor of many gods. Evidently the god was popular -- the Israelites were explicitly forbidden from committing "whoredom with Moloch," giving their seed to Moloch, or from offering their children to Moloch (Leviticus 20:2-5). Anyone who violated this order was to be killed by his neighbors. Historically the view was that children were burned alive as sacrificial offerings to Moloch. This is absolute nonsense, and it is difficult to understand how such an absurd notion can have survived unchallenged for so many centuries. The usual custom when passing through the fire was to leap over a bonfire -- the heat, smoke and light were believed to cleanse the body of the person undergoing the rite. This was done by the ancient Celts and other ancient peoples. A variation on this practice, fire-walking, is common around the world. Evidently children passed through the fire in honor of Moloch when they reached the age of puberty as an entrance into adulthood. The phrase to "commit fornication" with a pagan god was used loosely in the Old Testament to signify any form of worship of that god. By offering of one's seed to Moloch, the dedication of the children -- the seed of the father -- at puberty to Moloch was likely intended. The bad press given to Moloch by the Israelites, who destroyed his holy places, has given this god the unjust reputation as a horrible flaming devourer of babies. The name Moloch was applied to the demon of unwilling sacrifice, just as Mammon was to the demon of avarice -- Brewer offers the example that the guillotine was said to be the "Moloch" of the French Revolution.


Demonologia august 2003


(Paimon, from Collin de Plancy's Dictionnaire Infernal, 1863)

"Paimon is more obedient in Lucifer than other kings are. Lucifer is heere to be understood he that was drowned in the depth of his knowledge: he would needs be like god, and for his arrogancie was throwne out into destruction, of whome it is said; Everie pretious stone is thy covering. Paimon is constrained by divine vertue to stand before the exorcist; where he putteth on the likenesse of a man: he sitteth on a beast called a dromedarie, which is a swift runner, and weareth a glorious crowne, and hath an effeminate countenance. There goeth before him an host of men with trumpets and well sounding cymbals, and all musicall instruments. At the first he appeareth with a great crie and roring, as in Circulo Salomonis, and in the art is declared. And if this Paimon speake something that the conjuror understandeth him not, let him not therefore be dismaied. But when he hath delivered him the first obligation, to observe his desire, he must bid him answer him distinctlie and plainelie to the questions he shall aske you, of all philosophie, wisedome, and science, and of all other secret things. And if you will knowe the disposition of the world, and what the earth is, or what holdeth it up in the water, or any other thing, or what is Abyssus, or where the wind is, or from whence it commeth, he will teach you aboundantlie. Consecrations also as well as sacrifices as otherwise may be reckoned. He giveth dignities and confirmations; he bindeth them that resist him in his owne chaines, and subjecteth them to the conjuror; he prepareth good familiars, and hath the understanding of all


Demonologia august 2003 arts. Note, that at the calling up of him, the exorcist must looke towards the northwest, because that is his house. When he is called up, let the exorcist receive him constantlie without feare, let him aske what questions or demands he list, and no doubt he shall obtaine the same of him. And the exorcist must beware he forget not the creator, for those things, which have beene rehearsed before of Paimon, some saie he is of the order of dominations; others saie, of the order of cherubim. There follow him two hundred legions, partlie of the order of angels, and partlie of potestates. Note that if Paimon be cited alone by an offering or sacrifice, two kings followe him; to wit, Beball and Abalam, and other potentates: in his host are twentie five legions, bicause the spirits subject to them are not alwaies with them, except they be compelled to appeere by divine vertue." (Scot, Discoverie of Witchcraft, page 220) Mathers gives the name of the two kings who follow Paimon as "Labal and Abalim." Usually Mathers follows the text of British Library manuscript Sloane 2731 quite closely, but not in this detail. In this manuscript version of the Goetia, the same names for these kings are given as provided by Scot. Another version of the text states that the magician must look toward the west when calling up this demon.


(Purson, from Collin de Plancy's Dictionnaire Infernal, 1863)


Demonologia august 2003 "Purson, alias Curson, a great king, he commeth foorth like a man with a lions face, carrieng a most cruell viper, and riding on a beare; and before him go alwaies trumpets, he knoweth things hidden, and can tell all things present, past, and to come: he bewraieth treasure, he can take a bodie either humane or aierie; he answereth truelie of all things earthlie and secret, of the divinitie and creation of the world, and bringeth foorth the best familiars; and there obeie him two and twentie legions of divels, partlie of the order of vertues, and partlie of the order of thrones." (Scott, Discoverie of Witchcraft, page 218).


(Satan enthroned as the pope of hell, from Pierre Boaistuau's Histoires prodigieuses, 1597)

In our modern Western culture no distinction is usually made between the Devil, Satan and Lucifer. They are different aspects of one being. Even so, it can be useful to draw a distinction between them, since it helps define the complete nature of the ruler


Demonologia august 2003 of hell, as shaped in the folklore of European Christians over the past thousand years and more. Devil is from the Greek diaballein, to slander, or throw across. Hence the Devil is the great deceiver who throws obstacles across the path of humanity. Lucifer is Latin for light-bringing or light-bearing. This is said to have been the name of the leader of the angels who revolted against God in heaven, and were cast down into the pit as punishment for their desire to be independent. It is also the name of Venus when this planet rises in the east as the Morning Star. Lucifer was the name of the Devil while he was still an angel in heaven, but after his expulsion he became known as Satan, a Hebrew word that means enemy or adversary. Satan is the adversary of God, and if humanity is assumed to be obedient to God, he is the foe of mankind as well. The modern stereotype of Satan is a humanoid male figure with two short curved horns on the top of his head (the two horns of the lamb, mentioned in Revelation 13:11 in connection with the second Beast). Either he is bald or has short black hair, usually accompanied by a goatee beard (because the goat is considered a Satanic beast). In more explicit depictions he is overtly masculine, with a muscular body and a large penis that may be sharply pointed and horn-shaped, but his male organ is often covered up or avoided in popular illustrations. His skin is bright red, because hell is conceived by modern Christians as an exclusively fiery place. This was not so with medieval Christians, as an examination of Dante's Inferno clearly demonstrates. He frequently has cloven hooves for feet, and when this is so his lower legs are often Satyr-like and hairy. Sometimes his teeth and fingernails are pointed. Sometimes his eyes are snakelike, having vertical slits in place of circular pupils. His tongue may also be long and serpent-like. He has a snakelike tail with a barb on its tip, and carried a pitchfork with either three or two barbed tines. It is interesting to compare this recent version of Satan with his image in the 16th century, as shown in the French woodcut above. In the illustration, Satan sits upon a throne in hell. He wears a papal crown on his head. His face and ears are cat-like. Notice that his lower legs and feet resemble the talons of a hawk rather than the hind legs of a goat. His breasts are enlarged and feminine. In place of his penis is a hairy face with an open mouth. The tail that projects under his buttocks and trails over the seat of the throne to hang down between his legs is like the tail of a rat, and might easily be mistaken for his flaccid penis. Satan is attended in the illustration by a witch and a wizard, both of whom swing censors smoking with (undoubtedly) brimstone. The wizard makes the sign of the Devil with his right hand as he reaches up to scratch Satan behind his feline ear -- this sign, with two fingers extended upward like horns, was illustrated by Eliphas Levi in his Transcendental Magic, Book I, Ch. 1 (it appeared in the French first edition of Book I of Levi's work, published in 1855 under the title Dogme de la Haute Magie). Levi labeled it "The Sign of Excommunication." I've reproduced it below for comparison with the hand gesture of the wizard in the old French woodcut, above. If Satan is viewed as the Adversary, it made sense for Christians to depict him as the anti-Pope, the spiritual authority of hell. This portrayal of Satan was not a satire on the Catholic institution of the Pope, although after the Reformation Protestant


Demonologia august 2003 publishers sometimes gave the Pope devilish attributes for purposes of political commentary. Satan is best known in the Bible as the devil who tempted Jesus with power and glory over the kingdoms of the Earth, if only Jesus would worship him (see Luke 4:5-8). Here occurs the memorable line, "Get thee behind me, Satan." The Devil also set Jesus on a high pinnacle of the Temple at Jerusalem and dared Jesus to throw himself down to the flagstones below, to prove that he really was the Son of God (Luke 4:912). The connotative difference between Lucifer and Satan is nobility. In spite of his fallen and defeated condition, Lucifer is always a noble figure. We must admire his courage and strength of will. Satan, on the other hand, is without redeeming qualities. He is wickedness for its own sake. In this sense, these two sides of the Devil are almost separate and distinct beings.

(Satanic sign of excommunication, from Eliphas Levi's Dodgme de la Haute Magie, 1855)



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(a portrait of Theutus from Francis Barrett's The Magus, 1801)

Theutus is described by the Renaissance magician Cornelius Agrippa as one of the order of demons known as the Vessels of Iniquity, also called the Vessels of Wrath: "these are the inventors of evil things and of all wicked arts, as in Plato, that devil Theutus" (Occult Philosophy, Book 3, Chapter 18). Agrippa's reference is to Plato's dialogue Phaedrus where the Egyptian god of magic and learning, Thoth, is described: "The story is that in the region of Naucratis in Egypt there dwelt one of the old gods of the country, the god to whom the bird called Ibis is sacred, his own name being Theuth. He it was that invented number and calculation, geometry and astronomy, not to speak of draughts and dice, and above all writing." Theutus is a degenerate version of the great Egyptian god Thoth. Since Thoth was credited with teaching humanity numbers and their manipulation, he is naturally the god of gambling, which requires the use of numbers. Gaming for money with dice or cards was looked upon as an evil practice during the Middle Ages and Renaissance by the majority of the European population. If we accept Agrippa's statement that Theutus is one of those demons who taught mankind "all wicked arts" he would seem to be one of the fallen angels, since in the Book of Enoch it is the fallen Watchers who instruct men in the arts and sciences of warfare, black magic, and adornment. Agrippa placed the Vessels of Iniquity in Binah, the third Sephirah on the Tree of the Kabbalah.


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(Uvall, from Collin de Plancy's Dictionnaire Infernal, 1863)

This demon is know variously as Uvall, Vuall, Vual and Voval. Mathers wrote: "He is a Duke, Great, Mighty and Strong; and appeareth in the Form of a Mighty Dromedary at the first, but after a while at the Command of the Exorcist he putteth on Human Shape, and speaketh the Egyptian Tongue, but not perfectly." Aleister Crowley, in his self-adopted role as editor of the Goetia, added the cynical note: "He can nowadays converse in sound though colloquial Coptic." Mathers continued: "His Office is to procure the Love of Women, and to tell Things Past, Present, and to Come. He also Procureth Friendship between Friends and Foes. He was of the Order of Potestates or Powers. He governeth 37 Legions of Spirits,... The reference to the imperfect voicing of the Egyptian tongue may be founded on a misinterpretation of the original text. Scot wrote concerning this demon, "he soundeth out in a base voice the Aegyptian toong" (Scot, Discoverie of Witchcraft, page 225). By this Scot meant that the spirit spoke Egyptian in a base, or very deep, voice, not that his grammar was uneducated.


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(demon Agaliarept from Le veritable dragon rouge, 1822)

Agaliarept holds the rank of general of hell according to the Red Dragon. To judge by his portrait he possesses a human form, and comes as a mature man with a handlebar moustache.


(Ammit, the Eater of the Dead)


Demonologia august 2003 One of the more terrifying Egyptian demons is Ammit, a monster with the hindquarters of a hippopotamus, forequarters of a lion, and head of a crocodile. All of these beasts were greatly feared by Egyptians, because they were all man-eaters. Ammit is a female demon known as the Eater of the Dead and the Dweller in Amenta, the place where the sun sets. The name Amenta was applied by Egyptians to their cemeteries on the western bank of the Nile. It was the function of Ammit to wait in the Hall of Justice while the heart of the newly dead was weighed on the Great Balance against the feather of Maat. Thoth recorded the result. The desirable outcome was that the heart and the feather should weigh exactly the same, and the beam of the Balance should be horizontal (see Budge, The Book of the Dead, page 238). A soul whose heart passed this test was given "an abiding habitation in the Field of Offerings, as unto the Followers of Horus." If the heart proved to be "light in the scales," the soul of the dead was unfit to enter the presence of Osiris, and became prey for Ammit. Any soul whose heart was devoured by this monster vanished into oblivion. This was the worst fate for Egyptians, who went to extraordinary lengths to insure survival of the soul after death.


(portrait of the Antichrist, from Francis Barrett's The Magus, 1801)

The Antichrist (from the Greek antichristos: adversary of Christ) is mentioned in the Bible in the First and Second Epistles of John, where the term is applied to anyone


Demonologia august 2003 who in the "last time" (see I John 2:18) denies that Jesus is the Christ, that is to say, the Anointed One. The Antichrist came to be viewed as a single spiritual being who would oppose Jesus at the apocalypse due to the following verse (I John 4:3): "And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God; and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already it is in the world." There is no explicit mention of the Antichrist in Revelation, but it is not uncommon to find the second Beast who is mentioned in Revelation 13:11-8 referred to as the Antichrist. The magician Aleister Crowley believed himself to be the first Beast foretold by St. John, and seems to have thought that his magical child would be the second Beast and the Antichrist, who would realize Crowley's vision of the Aeon of Horus in fire and blood -- a prophecy that some believe is presently unfolding as the Age of Aquarius dawns. The second Beast has the two horns of a lamb and speaks with the voice of a dragon. He is able to use the power of the first Beast to draw fire down from the heaven and to perform wonders, so that "the earth and them which dwell therein" worship the first Beast and erect an image to the first Beast. By the agency of the second Beast, the image of the first Beast is given life. The image then puts to death everyone who will not worship it, and causes a mysterious mark to be inscribed on every person's right hand or forehead. This mark is usually understood to be the number 666. However, in Revelation three identifiers of the first Beast are mentioned: his mark, his name, and the number of his name (see Revelation 13:17). In medieval legend the Antichrist is to be born from a sexual union between a virgin girl and a demon. This was the belief of St. Jerome. The magician Merlin was fabled to have been born into the world in this manner, and destined to become the Antichrist, but his destiny was supposedly changed when a priest baptized him as an infant. Other Fathers of the Church, such as St. Ireneus, St. Ambrose and St. Augustine, held that the Antichrist would be a mortal man born in the ordinary way, but more wicked than other men, a kind of demon incarnate. From certain biblical hints it was widely believed in past centuries that the Antichrist would be a Jew of the tribe of Dan -- a superstition that no doubt served to further inflame anti-Semitic feelings in Europe. This belief was based on the remark of Jacob on his deathbed to his sons, "Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that biteth the horse heels so that his rider shall fall backward" (Genesis 49:17). Also used as evidence for this belief was the exclusion in Revelation 7:5-8 of the tribe of Dan from the enumeration of the tribes sealed in the forehead with the seal of God.


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(Antichrist by Lucas Cranach the Elder, from The Nuremberg Chronicle, 1493