Thursday, 4 October 2012

Demonology

In writing my novel, The Shadow Fabric, research has taken me down a dark route – something which I cannot deny. A place of shadows, yes, and of demons, and other places beyond our mundane senses... and then there's everything dead that belongs with it. But it's the demon that has intrigued me, yet not one actually features in my book. So instead, I write about them here.

Demonology, a long-lost science involving the study of demons and witchcraft, evil spirits and the occult; a not so exact science that would be preferred these days. In a world of space travel and near-miracle cures to diseases so easily murderous five hundred years into our past, a lot of this mystical science is underlined with ambiguity. So, to any researcher, the knowledge and many words of Demonology remains shrouded with skepticism and leaving one somewhat reserved regarding any of its mysteries and claims, historical evidence and the like.



The term demon was not always understood to have the negative and somewhat evil annotation that it does today. Our current use of this term simply describes an evil spirit, and comes to us primarily from New Testament writers. However, there is still uncertainty as to whether demons are considered to be totally separate from Satan and his fallen angels, or exist as Satan's alter-ego, or his outer-personalities if you like. 



Here, I have buried myself in research and have discovered many interesting claims and significances dealing with Satan and his demons. Unfortunately, due to the inability to lay my hands upon primary evidence (which I believe to be impossible, apart from demon possession of course) we shall have to suffice with secondary: the words of others... 

In 1467 a Spanish Franciscan Cleric named Alphonsus de Spina (d.1491), an author of the earliest book to be published on the subject of witchcraft and demonology, categorised demons into ten separate species: 

Fates 
    Those who alter and twist destiny. 

Poltergeists 
    Also called the duende de casa, who cause mischief like the removing of objects, pulling of bedclothes, etc. 

Incubi and Succubi 
    Both stimulate lust and perversion. An incubus is the male, whilst a succubus is the female. 

Marching Hordes 
    Those whom see to it that war defies Man’s reasoning. 

Familiars 
    Those which assist witches, and eat, live and lie with Man himself. 

Nightmares 
    Those whom interrupt the mind of a sleeping man. 

Human Semen 
    Demons coming to birth amid the odour whilst man and woman are tangled in any sexual act. 

Deceptive 
    Those demons whom disguise themselves as either man or woman. 

Clean Demons 
    The demons which victimise only holy men. 

Deceiving Demons 
    Those that pollute the minds of elderly women (called xorguinae or bruxae), and have them believing that they are bewitched and capable of flight. 



A demonologist named Peter Binsfield (c.1540 - 1603) in 1589 published a highly influential book of demonology entitled Tractatus de Confessionibus Maleficorum et Sagarum (translated as Treatise on Confessions by Evildoers and Witches. Within the pages of this book he drew up a hierarchy of devils in correspondence of the seven deadliest of sins: 

  1. Lucifer - Pride 
  2. Mammon - Avarice 
  3. Asmodeus - Lust/Lechery 
  4. Satan - Anger 
  5. Beelzebub - Gluttony 
  6. Leviathan - Envy 
  7. Belphegor - Vanity and Sloth 

No doubt you have heard of a few of these – at least two, I suspect – but you'll find a number of other demons listed below, the majority of whom I've not once come across before. Some I recognise from reading horror and fantasy, and certainly some from films.

  • Abaddon - The demon of the bottomless pit, identified as an ‘angel’ [Revelation 9:11]. Known also as Abaddan. The Greek translation is Apollyon.
  • Abigorr - A demon conjured for his powers of premonition and views into the future, providing military aid and other such warlike advice. 
  • Acham - The demon of Thursday. 
  • Ahriman - Demon of lies and deceit. 
  • Alrinach - A demon of shipwrecks. 
  • Alocer - The demon of astrology. 
  • Any - The presiding demon of Hell. 
  • Anamalech - The demon of bad news. 
  • Ancitif - Origin and details unknown... 
  • Andras - The demon of discord. 
  • Aquiel - The demon of Sunday. 
  • Arachula - A demon of the air. 
  • Ardad - Demon that leads travellers astray. 
  • Arfaxat - Origin and details unknown... 
  • Arioch - A fallen angel whose name derives from the Hebrew meaning of ‘fierce lion.’ 
  • Ascaroth - Demon of spies and informers. 
  • Asmodeus - Said to be the King of demons, although is actually third in rank from Satan himself, also known as Ashmedai, Hebraic for ‘Destroyer’. In Hebrew mythology he is known to ride upon the back of a dragon, and appears in the form of a beast with three heads (those of a bull, a man and a ram), the tail of a snake and feet of a goose. He is a demon of self-indulgence of luxury and sinful desire, and as a result assists Mankind with the Third Deadliest of Sins: Lust. His Queen is named as Lilith although there is speculation concerning this. 
  • Astaroth - Demon of idleness and sloth, accusation and inquisition, also known as Ashtoroth. He is believed to know all secrets and could be only be summoned on Wednesdays, and then only between the hours of ten and eleven at night, he would appear in the form of a half-white and half-black human male. He is reputed to be accursed with foul-smelling breath. Astaroth was once known as the nature goddess Astarte, although due to severe punishment he became a male demon. 
  • Azezel - A fallen angel cast from Heaven for refusing to worship Adam. His name was changed to Eblis, meaning ‘despair.’ In Islamic demonology he was said to be a Djinn, which were a fearsome species kin to Elementals.
  • Baal - Once an Egyptian God during the Eighteenth Dynasty he has become a Ruler of Demons. When this transition came about is not known.
  • Balberith - A demon of murder, arguments and blasphemy. 
  • Baphomet - This demon is named, either from the corruption of Mohammed or derived from two Greek words meaning ‘absorption of knowledge.’ It is said that this demon resides in the form of a cloven-footed goat-headed winged beast. 
  • Bechard - The demon with power over winds and tempests.
  • Bechet - The demon of Friday.
  • Beelzebub - A demon regarded as the leading representation of the fallen gods; in Matthew 12:24, he is mentioned as ‘Prince of the Devils.’ It is translated as ‘Lord of Flies’ represented inevitably as a giant fly, although it is said that his preferred form is that of a huge black-haired beast with two large horns, vast bat-like wings, webbed feet and the tale of a lion. Aside being known to the Cyreneans as Achor, his others names are Beelzeboul and Baalzebub. The latter translating as ‘Lord of the High House.’ He is next in rank to Satan himself, and assists Mankind with the Sixth Deadliest of Sins: Gluttony.
  • Behemoth - The demon of delights of the belly and over indulgence.
  • Belial - The Prince of card and dice, and a demon of the Sidonians.
  • Belias - The demon of arrogance.
  • Belphegor - Originally the Assyrian form of ‘Baal-Poer’, the Moabotish god associated with licentiousness and orgies. Legend proclaims that he was sent from Hell to Earth in order to discover whether there was such an emotional trait as married happiness. He is the demon whom assists Mankind with the Seventh Deadliest of Sins: Vanity.
  • Braathwaate - Demon of ignorance.
  • Bucon - The demon of hatred.
  • Byleth - One of the Kings of Hell.
  • Calconix - Origin and details unknown...
  • Carnivean - Demon of obscenity and shamelessness.
  • Carreau - Demon of heartlessness.
  • Cheitan - Demon born of Smoke.
  • Consague - Origin and details unknown...
  • Dagon - Origin and details unknown...
  • Demogorgon - Once a name to be feared, and never to be uttered, a 4th-century writer named Lactantius first wrote of him. Further details are unknown.
  • Elmek - Demon of sharp objects.
  • Glauneck - A demon with powers over hidden treasures.
  • Gressil - Demon of impurity and uncleanness.
  • Grongade - Origin and details unknown...
  • Haunt - A demon to have risen from the shadow of Man's first sin.
  • Iuvart - Demon of possession.
  • Lagasse - Demon of hypocrisy.
  • Lanithro - Demon of the air.
  • Leviathan - In Hebrew this demon’s name is translated into ‘that which gathers itself into folds.’ He is the demon whom assists Mankind with the Sixth Deadliest of Sins: Envy.
  • Lucifer - A name wrongly referring to Satan, which is most likely the result from a misreading of Isaiah 14:12 and is a totally separate demon altogether, although it is said that Lucifer was the original name of Satan before he fell from heaven. As the Prince of lies he assists Mankind with the First Deadliest of Sins: Pride.
  • Mammon - Although not originally a demon, the word ‘mammon. was known as ‘money’ or ‘riches’ in Syrian terms. From the words of Christ [Matthew 6:24] he entered the realm of demons. Once known as a Prince of tempters, he has become acknowledged as the demon of the love of money. He is the demon whom assists Mankind with the Second Deadliest of Sins: Avarice.
  • Mastiphal - A Prince of Darkness.
  • Mephistopheles - The demon to which Dr Johann Faustus sold his soul to. The Greek meaning of this demon’s name is ‘one whom detests the light.’
  • Merihim - A demon of pestilence.
  • Oeillet - Demon of the vow breaking of poverty.
  • Olivier - Demon of cruelty towards the poor and unfortunate.
  • Pan - Originally known as a Greek god, the spirit of lands and livestock, later became known as a pipe-playing, goat-hooved horned demon, aptly named The Horned God.
  • Phaeton - Origin and details unknown...
  • Putifar - Origin and details unknown...
  • Pytho - The Prince of the Spirits of lies.
  • Rosier - Demon of falling in love.
  • Saalah - Demon that entices into the woods.
  • Satan - The original angel to first fall from heaven, becoming God’s ultimate adversary, which in Hebrew is exactly what it means: Adversary. In Hebrew it means ‘Diablos’ meaning ‘devil.’ As Satan is the dark equivalent of light, the opposition of God, every religion knows of him: Ahriman to the Zoroastrian; Mara to the Buddha; Seth to the Egyptian.
  • Sonneillon - The demon of hatred towards enemies.
  • Tenebrion - Spirit of Darkness.
  • Verdelet - Demon who carries witches to Sabbath.
  • Verrier - Demon of disobedience.
  • Verrine - Demon of impatience.

Here I've named only a few demons, although according to Alphonsus de Spina in 1459 approximately one third of God’s angels became demons and that there were precisely 133,306,668 of them. A separate source claims that a total of 6,660,000 demons commanded by 66 princes, whilst another announces a number of demons totalling 7,409,127 beneath the command of 79 princes. During the sixteenth century an authority claimed that the number of demons active equalled to over half the population of the world.

As is commonly known, all demons were originally angels whom had rebelled and fallen, yet they maintain their rank as ex-angels. The angelic court had been invented sometime in the 4th Century, out of the writings of Paul by the Pseudo-Dionysius, and consisted of nine orders of angels (three hierarchies each of three orders): 

........................................................ 
.HIERARCHY.............ORDER...............DEMON PRINCE
........................................................ 
.First.................Seraphim............Beelzebub.... 
...........................................Leviathan.... 
...........................................Asmodeus..... 
........................................................ 
.......................Cherubim............Balberith.... 
........................................................ 
.......................Thrones.............Astaroth..... 
...........................................Verrine...... 
...........................................Gressil...... 
...........................................Sonneillon... 
........................................................ 
.Second................Powers..............Carreau...... 
...........................................Carnivean.... 
........................................................ 
.......................Dominions...........Oeillet...... 
...........................................Rosier....... 
........................................................ 
.......................Principalities......Verrier...... 
........................................................ 
.Third.................Virtues.............Belias....... 
........................................................ 
.......................Archangels..........Olivier...... 
........................................................ 
.......................Angels..............Iuvart....... 
........................................................ 


Any demon not written beneath any particular hierarchy exists as an Angel of the Third Hierarchy, and holds an equal rank with the next, all being commanded by the Prince Iuvart.



Despite my hard efforts in compiling this information, I am open to debate - or indeed correction - regarding its authenticity.

2 comments:

  1. This information seems accurate and honest and matches what I have learned through texts, websites, ect.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Brill article,shaitan means adversary and there were many shaitans.Diablos means hell in Spanish.

    ReplyDelete