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This statue in Parque del Buen Retiro, Madrid, Spain, is probably the only public statue in the world dedicated to the devil. It depicts Lucifer, the fallen angel who was cast out of heaven

This statue in Parque del Buen Retiro, Madrid, Spain, is probably the only public statue in the world dedicated to the devil. It depicts Lucifer, the fallen angel who was cast out of heaven.

In early Christian theology, Satan or the Devil was seen as chief of all other demons. But soon this changed and Hell was divided in several hierarchies of demons. This was presumably due to the division of angels in hierarchies or choirs taken from Judaism (see angelology), and as demons were angels before, their organisation had to be similar.

During the Middle Ages, many other schema were proposed, some drawing on and expanding on Pseudo-Dionysius, others suggesting completely different classifications. One of these divisions is offered by Sebastien Michaelis, who divided demons in three hierarchies (first, second and third), not making allusion to their rulers (see Michaelis' classification of demons).

Soon this division took another sense, and nobility titles were granted to demons as if they were part of an earthly monarchy. Demons were Great Marshals, Knights, Presidents, Great Presidents, Earls, Great Earls, Dukes, Great Dukes, Marquises, Great Marquises, Princes, Great Princes, Kings, Great Kings, and the ruler of all them the Emperor. As in the earth, some of them had more than one title. Curiously the titles of Baronet, Baron, Viscount and Viceroy were not used. It is unclear if Earl was used as a synonym of Count, or with the ancient meaning of Eorl (Old English for 'nobleman, Prince, Warlord, chief of soldiers'), because the Latin term 'comes' has both meanings. Other hierarchies mention physicians, superintendents, demons in charge of keeping the fire of Hell lit, etc. The rest of the demons were divided in legions.

Several grimoires rank demons according to titles of nobility, among them The Great Book of Saint Cyprian, Le Dragon Rouge, and The Lesser Key of Solomon.


Christians believe that a demon is an evil spirit, and can be either a fallen angel or the spirit of a condemned human, and its intention is to mislead mankind into sin using every guile imaginable.


Lucifer - by Gustave Dore

The most damaging ways in which demons (or malicious spirits) can work are when they are given "ground" for their workings, i.e. when they are accepted, willingly or unwillingly, consciously or unconsciously, by the human. Acceptance often means committing sin; eg. demons gradually gain control of the eyes when the eyes sin by looking at things vile, gain control of the tongue when it is used for slander or blaspheme, and can make it slip, etc, and this can spread to other parts of the body, regardless of whether the sinner calls himself Christian or no. This is called possession. In more extreme cases of possession, the demon gains an actual entrance into the bodily frame, leading to disastrous results, often hideous and agonestic, powerful examples of which are given in the Gospels.

Some Christians believe that symptoms of demon possession include voices in one's mind or a horror of mind, especially when there are no signs of insanity or mental damage/unhealthiness, a sturbborness of mind- holding fast to a particular belief and refusing to listen to reason, a split personality as if two separate personalities share the same body. A fierce and unreasoning hatred of God is a sure sign of possession, and an unnatural sexual fascination is also caused by accepting the influence of evil spirits, often unknowingly- homosexuality, bestiality, paedophilia etc.

Bronze amulet head of Pazuzu. Neo-Assyrian period, circa 800-550 BCE. Probably from Nimrud (ancient Kalhu), northern Iraq. British Museum ANE 93089

Bronze amulet head of Pazuzu. Neo-Assyrian period, circa 800-550 BCE. Probably from Nimrud (ancient Kalhu), northern Iraq. British Museum ANE 93089

To read more on The Demon Pazuzu visit here now.

Baphomet of Satan


There have been many attempts throughout the history of Christianity to classify demons into categories. These systems of classification of demons are a part of Christian demonology. Classification systems are based on the nature of the demon, the sin with which they tempt people, the month in which their power was strongest, the saints that were their adversaries, or other characteristics.

Forbidden rituals, the study of magic (black magic worse than white magic, though both ultimately come from demons and lead to ruin) bowing down to false gods (the more evil the god, the more damage done) accepting visions received from evil spirits, (mediums and diviners) and having faith that these visions will come to pass i.e. faith in evil spirits are among the worst things one can do to allow them possession, which can lead to unimaginable pain.

William Blake Lucifer

Perhaps the worst thing of all, however, that gives ground for demonic possession, is the disbelief in spirits of evil, or the disbelief that one can (whether Christian or not) be possessed by them.

Christians also believe that for protection against demon possession, faith in God is needed, an alert watchfulness, a guarding of one's own mind (i.e. analysing one's thoughts and actions often) and an aggressive, often spoken refusal of all evil spirits and all things of evil spirits over every aspect of one's being, or over specific aspects of one's being (where possession is suspected or known to be manifest) in the Name of Jesus, and done in co-operation with God. Prayer against the evil spirit or spirits, prayer to shed light on what action(s) was done or word(s) said that allowed them ground for possession so that this too can be refused are also often necessary.

Another way they can be "accepted" is by believing their lies whispered into the human mind, or accepting their suggestions, subtly disguised as one's own thoughts or otherwise (typically this can be recognized when the voices heard in the head seem to come from *outside* the bodily frame, especially if there are no signs of insanity in the person).


The term Bird goddess was coined by Marija Gimbutas with relation to Neolithic Europe. The Vinca culture, in particular, had a bird goddess. Griffen (2005) even claims to have discovered a sign for the bird goddess in the Vinca script.

The Burney Relief, ca. 1950 BC.

The Burney Relief is an early 2nd millennium BC (ca. 1950 BC) Mesopotamian terracotta relief (alternately said to be "Sumerian" or "Assyrian") of a winged goddess-figure with eagle's talons, flanked by owls and perched upon supine lions. It is housed in the British Museum in London. The goddess has been identified with the Sumerian Kisikil-lilla-ke of the Gilgamesh epos, and, somewhat optimistically, with 7th century BC Babylonian Lilitu. A very similar relief dating to roughly the same period is preserved in the Louvre (AO 6501).



Lilith is a female Mesopotamian night demon believed to harm male children. In Isaiah 34:14, Lilith (Hebrew Lilit) is a kind of night-demon or animal, translated as onokentauros; in the Septuagint, as lamia; "witch" by Hieronymus of Cardia; and as screech owl in the King James Version of the Bible. In the Talmud and Midrash, Lilith appears as a night demon. She is often identified as the first wife of Adam and sometimes thought to be the mother of all incubi and succubi, a legend that arose in the Middle Ages. Lilith is also sometimes considered to be the paramour of Satan. Also see: Lillith

Practitioners of Ceremonial magic sometimes attempt to constrain and command demons to do their bidding, using methods such as the Goetia and The Book of Abramelin. The demons are often those mentioned in Christian demonology. These practitioners do not necessarily worship demons, but seek to deploy them to obtain their goals.

Aliester Crowley

Aleister Crowley defined Magick as the science and art of causing changes to occur in conformity with Will. Also see: Aliester Crowley

Aleister Crowley's drawing of Coronzon

Other followers of the occult do worship demons, and some refer to their religion as "demonolatry." Demonolators consider methods such as the Goetia very disrespectful towards the demons, and possibly dangerous for the operator. They instead use forms of prayer, magick and ritual which petition the demons, asking for their aid rather than commanding them.

Demonolators are not identical to practitioners of Theistic Satanism. They worship other demons (such as Belial and Leviathan) either alongside, or instead of Satan. Some demonolators say that their form of demonolatry is a tradition, often familial, that is not related to the modern religious and philosophical movements collectively referred to as Satanism.

Not all of the occultists who claim to worship demons are demonolators, just as not all Christians are of one exclusive denomination.

Ken is a Demonologist, Spiritual Warfare Counselor, and Catholic faith adviser, as he has over 28 years of research / experience on the topics, with his first experience occurring when he was about seven years old. He is near completion of his book: ”The realm of the Demonic”: A comprehensive guide to the Demonic haunt”, which should be in print by 2009. And will begin a producing an educational documentary as a companion to his book, after the book is completed.


Also See: 20 Questions with Ken Deel here now.

(17 more questions for Demonologist Kenneth Deel)


Ken is a Demonologist, Spiritual Warfare Counselor, and Catholic faith adviser, as he has over 28 years of research / experience on the topics, with his first experience occurring when he was about seven years old. He is near completion of his book: ”The realm of the Demonic”: A comprehensive guide to the Demonic haunt”, which should be in print by 2009. And will begin a producing an educational documentary as a companion to his book, after the book is completed.


Eliphas Levi's Pentagram, figure of the microcosm, the magical formula of Man.

the Occult tradition, there is controversy regarding which demons should be classed as archdemons. During different ages, some demons were historically 'promoted' to archdemons, others were completely forgotten, and new ones were created. In ancient Jewish lore, pagan gods of neighbouring cultures were classed as extremely pernicious in order to protect Jews from worshiping them; therefore, Baal and Astarte were among the worst enemies of God. During the middle ages these characterizations were no longer important, but still persisted. New ones emerged, mostly revolving around Satan and the Antichrist.

In the Occult tradition, the stub, also referred to as Penta/Pentagram, is the "doorway" for the Demon of the given tradition through which it will enter this world if given a right Sacrifice. It is also said to fuel the wearer/user with the power of the Satanic host/superior.

The origin is not well known, but the most common theory is that the stub is a flawed David's star, which is a sacred symbol in Judaism, the oldest of 3 monotheistic religions ( Judaism, Christianity, Islam ). Probably most counter-religions/cults to them were using that symbol ever since. David's star has 6 points, while the stub has only 5, which makes it a "powerful" symbol, yet opposite to the "good" symbol, making it "evil".

Stub is also known to have writings around it and/or next to the points of the star.

In Christian occult tradition stub is usually placed up-side down, but that is not necessary.

A pentagram (sometimes known as a pentalpha or pentangle or, more formally, as a star pentagon) is the shape of a five-pointed star drawn with five straight strokes. The word pentagram comes from the Greek word (pentagrammon), (pentagrammos) or (pentegrammos), a word meaning roughly "five-lined" or "five lines".

Pentagrams were used symbolically in ancient Greece and Babylonia. The pentagram has magical associations, and many people who practice Neopagan faiths wear jewelry incorporating the symbol. Christians once more commonly used the pentagram to represent the five wounds of Jesus,] and it also has associations within Freemasonry.

The pentagram has long been associated with the planet Venus, and the worship of the goddess Venus, or her equivalent. It is also associated with the Roman word lucifer, which was a term used for Venus as the Morning Star, associated with the bringer of light and knowledge. It is most likely to have originated from the observations of prehistoric astronomers. When viewed from Earth, successive inferior conjunctions of Venus plot a nearly perfect pentagram shape around the zodiac every eight years.

The word "pentacle" is sometimes used synonymously with "pentagram", although their technical usages are different, and their etymologies may be unrelated.

The first known uses of the pentagram are found in Mesopotamian writings dating to about 3000 BC. The Sumerian pentagrams served as pictograms for the word "UB," meaning "corner, angle, nook; a small room, cavity, hole; pitfall," suggesting something very similar to the pentemychos (see below on the Pythagorean use for what pentemychos means). In René Labat's index system of Sumerian hieroglyphs/pictograms it is shown with two points up. In the Babylonian context, the edges of the pentagram were probably orientations: forward, backward, left, right, and "above".[citation needed] These directions also had an astrological meaning, representing the five planets Jupiter, Mercury, Mars and Saturn, and Venus as the "Queen of Heaven" (Ishtar) above.




The word Abraxas (or Abrasax or Abracax) was engraved on certain antique stones, called on that account Abraxas stones, which were used as amulets or charms. The name is found in the Greek Magical Papyrii, and the word may be related to the word abracadabra, although other explanations exist. The name is also found in Gnostic texts such as the Gospel of the Egyptians.

The letters of Abraxas, in the Greek system of alphabetic numerology, sum to the number 365, and the Basilideans gave the name to the 365 orders of spirits which, as they conceived, emanated in succession from the Supreme Being. These orders were supposed to occupy 365 heavens, each fashioned like, but inferior to that above it; and the lowest of the heavens was thought to be the abode of the spirits who formed Earth and its inhabitants, and to whom was committed the administration of its affairs.

In addition to the word Abraxas and other mystical characters, they have often symbolic mystical figures engraved on them. The most common of these have the head of a fowl, and the arms and bust of a man, and terminate in the body and tail of a serpent.

On the Abraxas gems, the figure had a Chimera-like appearance (somewhat resembling a basilisk): he had the head of a rooster (or sometimes a king), the body of a man, and legs fashioned like snakes and sometimes depicted with a whip in his hand - a form referred to as the Anguipede.

Source: Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraxas)

DEMONOLOGY TODAY is a radio show designed to provide an educational resource for those who want to learn and understand "Hauntings", and Demonic Infestation, Oppression and possession, as well as Spiritual Warfare. Our topics of discussion, as well as our special guests in this area of study will help to provide a valued resource of information in understanding and dealing with Ghost, Demons and Hauntings in general.  Thursdays, 7-8PM CST / 8-9PM EST

The Testament of Solomon is an Old Testament pseudepigraphical work, purportedly written by King Solomon, in which Solomon mostly describes particular demons whom he enslaved to help build the temple, the questions he put to them about their deeds and how they could be thwarted, and their answers, which provide a kind of self-help manual against demonic activity.The date is very dubious, perhaps 1st century to 3rd century, certainly the oldest work surviving particularly concerned with individual demons.

Psellus' classification of demons
This is a classification of demons prepared by Michael Psellus in the 11th century and that undoubtedly was an inspiration for the one Francesco Maria Guazzo prepared later.

Avoid daylight and are invisible to people
Demons of fire, which dwell far from us...

pina's classification of demons
Alfonso de Spina, in 1467, prepared a classification of demons based on several criteria:

Demons of fate
Incubi and succubi
Wandering groups or armies of demons
Demons that are born from the union of a demon with a human being.
Liar and mischievous demons
Demons that attack the saints
Demons that try to induce old women to attend Sabbaths
This classification is somewhat capricious and it is difficult to find a criterion for it. It seems that Spina was inspired by several legends and stories. The drudes belong to German folklore. Familiars, goblins, and other mischievous demons belong to the folklore of most European countries.

The belief in incubi and succubae (and their ability to procreate) seem to have inspired the sixth category, but it could also have been inspired in the Talmudic legend of demons having sexual intercourse with mortal women (see also Mastema).

The visions of tempting demons that some early (and not too early) saints had, perhaps inspired the ninth category (i.e. the visions of Anthony the Great).

The idea of old women attending Sabbaths was common during the European Middle Age and Renaissance, and Spina mentioned it before the Malleus Maleficarum as it is possible to see.

Binsfeld's classification of demons
Binsfeld's classification of demons was prepared in 1589 by Peter Binsfeld. His demon classification based on the seven deadly sins, establishing that each one of the mentioned demons tempted people by means of one of those sins.

Lucifer: arrogance (pride)
Leviathan: envy
Amon: wrath
Belphegor: sloth (laziness)
Mammon: avarice (greed)
Beelzebub: gluttony
Asmodeus: lust

Guazzo's classification of demons
Francesco Maria Guazzo prepared this classification of demons based on a previous work by Michael Psellus. It was published in his book Compendium Maleficarum in 1608.

Demons of the superior layers of the air, which never establish a relationship with people.
Demons of the inferior layers of the air, which are responsible for storms.
Demons of earth, which dwell in fields, caves and forests.
Demons of water, which are female demons, and destroy aquatic animals.
Demons of the underground part of the earth, responsible of keeping hidden treasures, causing earthquakes, and causing the crumbling of houses.
Demons of the night, which are black and evil. These demons avoid daylight.

Michaelis' classification of demons
In 1613 Sebastien Michaelis wrote a book, Admirable History, in which included a classification of demons as it was told to him by the demon Berith when he was exorcising a nun, according to the author. This classification is based in hierarchies, the sins by means of which the temptation is made, and includes the demons' adversaries (who suffered that temptation without falling).

Note that many demons' names are exclusively French or unknown in other catalogues. St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist are the two St. John's to whom Michaelis refers. The other saints are cited only by their name without making clear, i.e., which Francis is (of Assisi?).

First Hierarchy
Beelzebub: arrogance; adversary, St. Francis
Leviathan: attacks Christian religious beliefs; adversary, St. Peter
Asmodai: lust; adversary: St. John
Berith: murdering and blasphemy; adversary, St. Barnabas
Astaroth: laziness and vanity; adversary, St. Bartholomew
Verrin: impatience; adversary, St. Dominic. See Verrine
Gressil: impurity, uncleanness and nastiness; adversary, St. Bernard
Sonneillon: hate; adversary, St. Stephen.

Second Hierarchy
Lilith: first wife of Adam, succubus

Third Hierarchy
Belial: arrogance; adversary, St. Francis of Paula
Olivier: fierceness, greediness and envy; adversary, St. Lawrence
Jouvart: sexuality; adversary, not cited.

Barrett's classification of demons
Francis Barrett, in his book The magus (1801), offered this classification of demons, making them princes of some evil attitude, person or thing:

Mammon: seducers
Asmodai: vile revenges
Satan: witches and warlocks
Pithius: liars and liar spirits
Belial: fraud and injustice
Merihem: pestilences and spirits that cause pestilences
Abaddon: war, evil against good
Astaroth: inquisitors and accusers

Classification by month
During the 16th century it was believed that each demon had more strength to accomplish his mission during a special month of the year. In this way, he and his assistants' powers would work better during that month.

Belial in January
Leviathan in February
Satan in March
Belphegor in April
Lucifer in May
Berith in June
Beelzebub in July
Astaroth in August
Thammuz in September
Baal in October
Asmodai in November
Moloch in December
The classification of demons by month seems to have astrological implications more than religious ones.

Classification by office
There were also classifications by office, like those written in several grimoires.

Le Dragon Rouge (or Grand Grimoire)
Like many works of mystical nature, Le Dragon Rouge (or the Red Dragon) claims to come from Solomon and his priests and is said to be published in 1517 by Alibeck the Egyptian. However, it was most likely written in France in the 18th century.

The grimoire details the different hosts of hell and their powers, describing how to enter a pact with them to attain the magicians' goals. The demons of hell are classified by three different tiers from Generals to Officers.

Elite, veteran members of Le Dragon Rouge bear a ring of an onyx stone with the form of Le Dragon Rouge in red enamel for official stamping of letters between members.

Pseudomonarchia Daemonum
Pseudomonarchia Daemonum, by Johann Weyer, is a grimoire that contains a list of demons and the appropriate hours and rituals to conjure them in the name of God, Jesus and the Holy Ghost (simpler than those cited by The Lesser Key of Solomon below).

This book was written around 1583, and lists sixty-eight demons. The demons Vassago, Seir, Dantalion and Andromalius are not listed in this book. Pseudomonarchia Daemonum does not attribute seals to the demons. Weyer said to have been inspired by another grimoire also attributed to King Solomon.

The Lesser Key of Solomon
Main article: The Lesser Key of Solomon
The Lesser Key of Solomon or Lemegeton Clavicula Salomonis is an anonymous 17th century grimoire, and one of the most popular books of demonology. The Lesser Key of Solomon contains detailed descriptions of spirits and the conjurations needed to invoke and oblige them to do the will of the conjurer (referred to as the "exorcist"). It details the protective signs and rituals to be performed, the actions necessary to prevent the spirits from gaining control, the preparations prior to the invocations, and instructions on how to make the necessary instruments for the execution of these rituals.

The author of The Lesser Key of Solomon copied Pseudomonarchia Daemonum almost literally, but added demons' descriptions, their seals and details.

Also see: The Lesser Key of Solomon

Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classification_of_demons"

Satan (from the Hebrew word for "adversary") is a term that originates from the Abrahamic faiths, being traditionally applied to an angel in Judeo-Christian belief, and to a jinn in Islamic belief.


While Hebrew Ha-Satan is "the accuser" — the one who challenged the religious faith of humans in the books of Job and Zechariah — Abrahamic religious belief systems other than Judaism relate this term to a demon, a rebellious fallen angel, devil, minor god and idolatry, or as an allegory for evil.


Satan has as many appearances as there are religions. For example, some people believe that Satan is invisible, some believe he is like the Minotaur, (half-man, half-bull). Others believe he is a small devilish spirit and others think that he is like a man. In many descriptions he looks like an angel. He is typically depicted with horns, a pointed tail, batlike wings, and a staff or trident. In the Bible book of Revelation, he is described as the dragon.

Prayer to Saint Anthony of Padua, Disperser of Devils

Dear Saint Anthony, it is still as Saint Peter said: The devil prowls about, lion-like, looking for someone to devour. I confess that I don't always resist him; I sometimes toy with temptation.

Saint Anthony, Disperser of Devils, remind me of my duty to avoid all occasions of sin. May I always pray when in temptation that I may remain loyal to my Lord Jesus. Pray for my other intentions, please. [name them.]

DEMONOLOGY TODAY is a radio show designed to provide an educational resource for those who want to learn and understand "Hauntings", and Demonic Infestation, Oppression and possession, as well as Spiritual Warfare. Our topics of discussion, as well as our special guests in this area of study will help to provide a valued resource of information in understanding and dealing with Ghost, Demons and Hauntings in general.

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According to some societies, all the affairs of life are supposed to be under the control of spirits, each ruling a certain "element" or even object, and themselves in subjection to a greater spirit. For example, the Inuit are said to believe in spirits of the sea, earth and sky, the winds, the clouds and everything in nature. Every cove of the seashore, every point, every island and prominent rock has its guardian spirit. All are potentially of the malignant type, to be propitiated by an appeal to knowledge of the supernatural. By the thousands they accompany travelers, seeking them out from their places in the elements.

ALSO SEE: Demonology ... AND The Lesser Key of Solomon

In ancient Babylon, demonology had an influence on even the most mundane elements of life, from petty annoyances to the emotions of love and hatred. The numerous demonic spirits were given charge over various parts of the human body, one for the head, one for the neck, and so on. In present-day Egypt, the ubiquitous jinn are believed to be so densely distributed that acts such as pouring water unto the ground are accompanied by seeking the permission of a potentially dampened spirit.

Greek philosophers such as Porphyry, who claimed influence from Platonism, and the fathers of the Christian Church, held that the world was pervaded with spirits, the latter of whom advanced the belief that demons received the worship directed at pagan gods.

While historical Judaism never "officially" recognized a rigid set of doctrines about demons, many scholars believe that its post-exilic concepts of eschatology, angelology, and demonology were influenced by Zoroastrianism. Some, however, believe that these concepts were received as part of the Kabbalistic tradition passed down from Adam, Noah, and the Hebrew patriarchs.

The Talmud declares that there are 7,405,926 demons, divided in 72 companies. Indeed, some commentators hold that Satan was a prosecutor for God in early Judaism, and a somewhat minor angel at that.While most people believe that Lucifer and Satan are different names for the same being, not all scholars subscribe to this view.

There is more than one instance where demons are said to have come to be, as seen by the sins of the Watchers and the Grigori, of Lilith leaving Adam, of demons such as vampires, the demon-locusts from the Book of Revelation, impure spirits in Jewish folklore such as the dybbuk and of wicked humans that have become demons as well.

In Islam, the devil Iblis (Satan and/or Lucifer in Christianity) was not an angel, but of a different kind, the jinn. (Humans are created from earth, Angels from light, and jinn from fire). The jinn though, are not necessarily evil; they could be good doers or sinners just like humans. Since the jinn and humans are the only kinds of creation who have the will to choose, the followers of Iblis could be jinn or human. The angels, on the other hand, are sinless and only obey the will of God.

In the Qur'an, when God ordered those witnessing the creation of Adam to kneel before him (before Adam), Iblis refused to do so and was therefore damned for refusal to obey God's will.

Some branches of Buddhism affirm the existence of Hells peopled by demons who torment sinners and tempt mortals to sin, or who seek to thwart their enlightenment, with a demon named Mara as chief tempter. Most of these "demons" are considered to be representations of mental obstructions. Hinduism contains traditions of combats between its gods and various adversaries, such as the combat of Indra and the asura Vritra.

In Chaldean mythology the seven evil deities were known as shedu, meaning storm-demons. They were represented in winged bull form, derived from the colossal bulls used as protective genii of royal palaces, the name "shed" assumed also the meaning of a propitious genius in Babylonian magic literature.

It was from Chaldea that the name "shedu" came to the Israelites, and so the writers of the Tanach applied the word as a dylogism to the Canaanite deities in the two passages quoted. But they also spoke of "the destroyer" (Exodus xii. 23) as a demon whose malignant effect upon the houses of the Israelites was to be warded off by the blood of the paschal sacrifice sprinkled upon the lintel and the door-post (a corresponding pagan talisman is mentioned in Isaiah lvii. 8). In II Samuel xxiv; 16 and II Chronicles xxi. 15 the pestilence-dealing demon is called "the destroying angel" (compare "the angel of the Lord" in II Kings xix. 35; Isaiah xxxvii. 36), because, although they are demons, these "evil messengers" (Psalms lxxviii. 49; A. V. "evil angels") do only the bidding of God; they are the agents of His divine wrath.

There are indications that popular Hebrew mythology ascribed to the demons a certain independence, a malevolent character of their own, because they are believed to come forth, not from the heavenly abode of God, but from the nether world (compare Isaiah xxxviii. 11 with Job xiv. 13; Psalms xvi. 10, xlix. 16, cxxxix. 8).

Hebrew demons were workers of harm. To them were ascribed the various diseases, particularly such as affect the brain and the inner parts. Hence there was a fear of "Shabriri" (lit. "dazzling glare"), the demon of blindness, who rests on uncovered water at night and strikes those with blindness who drink of it; also mentioned were the spirit of catalepsy and the spirit of headache, the demon of epilepsy, and the spirit of nightmare.

These demons were supposed to enter the body and cause the disease while overwhelming or "seizing" the victim (hence "seizure"). To cure such diseases it was necessary to draw out the evil demons by certain incantations and talismanic performances, in which the Essenes excelled. Josephus, who speaks of demons as "spirits of the wicked which enter into men that are alive and kill them", but which can be driven out by a certain root,[6] witnessed such a performance in the presence of the Emperor Vespasian, and ascribed its origin to King Solomon.

In some rabbinic sources, the demons were believed to be under the dominion of a king or chief, either Asmodai (Targ. to Eccl. i. 13; Pes. 110a; Yer. Shek. 49b) or, in the older Haggadah, Samael ("the angel of death"), who kills by his deadly poison, and is called "chief of the devils". Occasionally a demon is called "satan": "Stand not in the way of an ox when coming from the pasture, for Satan dances between his horns".

According to some texts, the queen of demons is Lilith, pictured with wings and long flowing hair, and called the "mother of Ahriman" (B. B. 73b; 'Er. 100b; Nid. 24b). "When Adam, doing penance for his sin, separated from Eve for 130 years, he, by impure desire, caused the earth to be filled with demons, or shedim, lilin, and evil spirits" (Gen. R. xx.; 'Er. 18b.)

Demonology never became an essential feature of Jewish theology. The reality of demons was never questioned by the Talmudists and late rabbis; most accepted their existence as a fact. Nor did most of the medieval thinkers question their reality. Only rationalists like Maimonides and Abraham ibn Ezra, clearly denied their existence. Their point of view eventually became the mainstream Jewish understanding.

Rabbinical demonology has three classes of, demons, though they are scarcely separable one from another. There were the shedim, the mazziaim ("harmers"), and the ruiin ("evil spirits"). Besides these there were lilin ("night spirits"),("shade", or "evening spirits"), ("midday spirits"), and ("morning spirits"), as well as the "demons that bring famine" and "such as cause storm and earthquake" (Targ. Yer. to Deuteronomy xxxii. 24 and Numbers vi. 24; Targ. to Cant. iii. 8, iv. 6; Eccl. ii. 5; Ps. xci. 5, 6.)

The cross is one of the most ancient human symbols, and is used by many religions, most notably Christianity.

In the New Testament and Christianity
"Demon" has a number of meanings, all related to the idea of a spirit that inhabited a place, or that accompanied a person. Whether such a daemon was benevolent or malevolent, the Greek word meant something different from the later medieval notions of 'demon', and scholars debate the time in which first century usage by Jews and Christians in its original Greek sense became transformed to the later medieval sense. It should be noted that some denominations asserting Christian faith also include, exclusively or otherwise, fallen angels as de facto demons; this definition also covers the "sons of God" described in Genesis who abandoned their posts in heaven to mate with human women on Earth before the Deluge (Genesis 6:2, 4, also see Nephilim).

In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus casts out many demons, or evil spirits, from those who are afflicted with various ailments (such as epileptic seizures). The imagery is very clear: Jesus is far superior to the power of demons over the beings that they inhabit, and he is able to free these victims by commanding and casting out the demons, by binding them, and forbidding them to return. Jesus also apparently lends this power to some of his disciples, who rejoice at their new found ability to cast out all demons.

By way of contrast, in the book of Acts a group of Judaistic exorcists known as the sons of Sceva try to cast out a very powerful spirit without believing in or knowing Jesus, but fail with disastrous consequences. However Jesus himself never fails to vanquish a demon, no matter how powerful (see the account of the demon-possessed man at Gerasim), and even defeats Satan in the wilderness (see Gospel of Matthew).

There is a description in the Book of Revelation 12:7-17 of a battle between God's army and Satan's followers, and their subsequent expulsion from Heaven to earth to persecute humans — although this event is related as being foretold and taking place in the future. In Luke 10:18 it is mentioned that a power granted by Jesus to control demons made Satan "fall like lightning from heaven."

Augustine of Hippo's reading of Plotinus, in The City of God (ch.11) is ambiguous as to whether daemons had become 'demonized' by the early 5th century:

"He [Plotinus] also states that the blessed are called in Greek eudaimones, because they are good souls, that is to say, good demons, confirming his opinion that the souls of men are demons.

The contemporary Roman Catholic Church unequivocally teaches that angels and demons are real personal beings, not just symbolic devices. The Catholic Church has a cadre of officially sanctioned exorcists which perform many exorcisms each year. The exorcists of the Catholic Church teach that demons attack humans continually but that afflicted persons can be effectively healed and protected either by the formal rite of exorcism, authorized to be performed only by bishops and those they designate, or by prayers of deliverance which any Christian can offer for themselves or others.

In Christianity
Building upon the few references to daemons in the New Testament, especially the visionary poetry of the Apocalypse of John, Christian writers of apocrypha from the 2nd century onwards created a more complicated tapestry of beliefs about "demons" that was largely independent of Christian scripture.

War in Heaven
According to the Bible, the fall of the Adversary is portrayed in Isaiah 14:12-14 and Ezekiel 28:12-19. However, the connection between Isaiah 14:12-14 and the fall is mostly based on mistranslation and tradition. The King James Version (KJV), popular among most Christian sects, reads:

"How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! [how] art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High" (Isaiah 14:12:-14).
The word "Lucifer" was inspired by the Latin Vulgate, a translation that the authors of the KJV adhered to in several occasions to elucidate Christian traditions (see KJV, "The Project"). Lucifer is a Latin word meaning "light-bearer" (from lux, lucis, "light", and ferre, "to bear, bring"), a Roman astrological term for the "Morning Star", the planet Venus. The word Lucifer was the direct translation of the Septuagint Greek heosphoros, ("dawn-bearer"); (cf. Greek phosphoros, "light-bearer") and the Hebrew Helel, ("Bright one"). The word does not specifically refer to Satan. To the contrary, in context, Isaiah 14:12-14 actually refers to one of the popular honorific titles of a Babylonian king (see Isaiah 14:4 for context); however, later interpretations of the text, and the influence of embellishments in works such as Dante's The Divine Comedy and Milton's Paradise Lost, led to the common idea in Christian mythology and folklore that Lucifer was a poetic appellation of Satan (see: The Devil for more information).

Ezekiel 28:12-19, in context, refers to the King of Tyrus (see Ezekiel 28:2 for context). The passage, however, is popularly attributed as a reference to, or allegory of, Satan, and even by some commentators, an allegory of the fall of Adam.

The Christian teachings of [source missing] built upon later Jewish traditions that the Adversary and the Adversary's host declared war with God, but that God's army, commanded by the archangel Michael, defeated the rebels. Their defeat was never in question, since God is by nature omnipotent, but Michael was given the honour of victory in the natural order; thus the rise of Christian veneration of the archangel Michael, beginning at Monte Gargano in 493, reflects the full incorporation of demons into Christianity.

According to tradition, God then cast God's enemies from Heaven to the abyss, into a newly created prison called Hell, where all God's enemies should be sentenced to an eternal existence of pain and misery. This pain is not all physical; for their crimes, these angels, now called demons, would be deprived of the sight of God, this being the worst possible punishment.

An indefinite time later (some biblical scholars believe that the angels fell sometime after the creation of living things), when God created the earth and life, the Adversary and the other demons were allowed to tempt humans or induce them to sin by other means. The first time the Adversary did this was as a serpent in the earthly paradise called the "Garden of Eden" to tempt Eve, who became deceived by Satan's evil trickery. Eve then gave Adam some of the forbidden fruit and both of their eyes were opened to the knowledge of good and evil.

At various times in Christian history, attempts have been made to classify these beings according to various proposed demonic hierarchies.

According to most Christian demonology demons will be eternally punished and never reconciled with God. Other theories postulate a Universal reconciliation, in which Satan, the fallen angels, and the souls of the dead that were condemned to Hell are reconciled with God. This doctrine is today often associated with the Unification Church. Origen, Jerome and Gregory of Nyssa also mentioned this possibility.

In contemporary Christianity, demons are generally considered to be angels who fell from grace by rebelling against God. Some contest that this view, championed by Origen, Augustine and John Chrysostom, arose during the 6th century. Another theory that may have preceded or co-existed with the hypothesis of fallen angels was that demons were ostracized from Heaven for the primary sin of mating with mortal women, giving rise to a race of half-human giants known as the Nephilim. That theory is accepted by some contemporary Christian sects.

There are still others who say that the sin of the angels was pride and disobedience. It seems quite certain that these were the sins that caused Satan's downfall (Ezek. 28). If this be the true view then we are to understand the words, "estate" or "principality" in Deuteronomy 32:8 and Jude 6 ("And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.") as indicating that instead of being satisfied with the dignity once for all assigned to them under the Son of God, they aspired higher.

In Hinduism
Hindu mythology include numerous varieties of anthropomorphic beings that might be classified as demons, including Rakshasas (belligerent, shapechanging terrestrial demons), Asuras (demigods), Vetalas (bat-like spirits), and Pishachas (cannibalistic demons).


Originally, the word Asura in the earliest hymns of the Rig Veda (the holy book of the Indo-Aryans) meant any supernatural spirit—good or bad. Hence even some of the devas (demigods), especially Varuna, have the epithet of Asura. In fact, since the /s/ of the Indic linguistic branch is cognate with the /h/ of the Early Iranian languages, the word Asura, representing a category of celestial beings, became the word Ahura (Mazda), the Supreme God of the monotheistic Zoroastrians. But very soon, among the Indo-Aryans, Asura came to exclusively mean any of a race of anthropomorphic but hideous demons. All words such as Asura, Daitya (lit., sons of the demon-mother "Diti"), Rakshasa (lit. from "harm to be guarded against") are translated into English as demon. These demons are inherently evil and are in a constant battle against the demigods. Hence in Hindu iconography, the gods / demigods are shown to carry weapons to kill the asuras. Unlike Christianity, the demons are not the cause of the evil and unhappiness in present mankind (which occurs on the account of ignorance from recognizing one's true self). In later Puranic mythology, exceptions do occur in the demonic race to produce god-fearing Asuras like Prahalada. Also, many Asuras are said to have been granted boons from one of the members of the Hindu trinity, viz., Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva when the latter had been appeased from penances. All Asuras, unlike the devas, are said to be mortals (though they vehemently wish to become immortal). Many people metaphorically interpret these demons as manifestations of the ignoble passions in human mind.

Evil spirits
On the account of the Hindu theory of reincarnation and transmigration of souls according to one's Karma, other kinds of demons can also be enlisted. If a human does extremely horrible and sinful karmas in his life, his soul (Atman) will, upon his death, directly turn into an evil ghostly spirit, many kinds of which are recognized in the later Hindu texts. These demons could be Grimnex Vetalas, Pishachas, Bhutas etc.

In pre-Islamic Arab culture
Pre-Islamic mythology does not discriminate between gods and demons. The jinn are considered as divinities of inferior rank, having many human attributes: they eat, drink, and procreate their kind, sometimes in conjunction with human beings. The jinn smell and lick things, and have a liking for remnants of food. In eating they use the left hand. Usually they haunt waste and deserted places, especially the thickets where wild beasts gather. Cemeteries and dirty places are also favorite abodes. When appearing to man, jinn sometimes assume the forms of beasts and sometimes those of men.

Generally, jinn are peaceable and well disposed toward men. Many a pre-Islamic poet was believed to have been inspired by good jinn, but there are also evil jinn, who contrive to injure men.

In Islam
Islam recognizes the existence of the jinn. Jinns are not the "genies" of modern lore, and they are not all evil, as demons are described in Christianity, but as creatures that co-exist with humans.

In Islam the evil jinns are referred to as the shayatin, or devils, and Iblis (Satan) is their chief. Iblis was the first Jinn who disobeyed Allah. According to Islam, the jinn are made from the light of flame of fire deviation of "light" (and mankind is made of clay).

According to the Qur'an, Iblis was once a pious servant of Allah, but when Allah created Adam from clay, Iblis became very jealous, and arrogant and disobeyed Allah.

Adam was the first man, and man was the greatest creation of Allah. Iblis could not stand this, and refused to acknowledge a creature made of "dirt" (man). Allah condemned Iblis to be punished after death eternally in the hellfire. Allah had created hell.

Iblis asked Allah if he may live to the last day and have the ability to mislead mankind and jinns, Allah said that Iblis may only mislead those whom have forsaken Allah. Allah then turned Iblis's countenance into horridness and condemned him to only have powers of trickery.

Adam and Eve (Hawwa in Arabic) were both together misled by Iblis into eating the forbidden fruit, and consequently fell from the garden of Eden to Earth.

The word "genie" comes from the Arabic jinn. This is not surprising considering the story of `Ala' ad-Din, (anglicized as Aladdin), passed through Arabian merchants en route to Europe.

In New Age / Shamanism
Carlos Castaneda referred to demonic predators called “flyers” which have the appearance of frightening dark shadows and which vampirize human energy. According to this view ancient humans were complete, with much greater energetic resources than effete, decadent, modern humans possess. At the time when agriculture was invented the flyers gave human beings their mind (constant internal dialogue of beliefs, ideas, social mores, expectations, and dreams of success or failure). By playing on this self-reflection, sucking the angry and worried energy it generates, the flyers began to farm human beings for energy, just as humans began farming animals. Modern humans are the hypnotized slaves of these flyers; and the pseudoconcerns of modern society are a flyer mechanism of mind control.

In science Hypothetical Demons
In thought experiments scientists occasionally imagine entities with special abilities in order to pose tough intellectual challenges or to highlight apparent paradoxes. Examples include:

Descartes’ malicious demon - Cartesian skepticism (also called methodological skepticism) advocates the doubting of all things which cannot be justified through logic. Descartes uses three arguments to cast doubt on our ability to objectively know: The dream argument, the deceiving God argument, and the malicious demon argument. Since our senses cannot put us in contact with external objects themselves, but only with our mental images of such objects, we can have no absolute certainty that anything exists in the external world. In the evil demon argument Descartes proposes an entity who is capable of deceiving us to such a degree that we have reason to doubt the totality of what our senses tell us.
Laplace's demon - A hypothetical all-knowing entity (later called "Laplace's Demon") who knows the precise location and momentum of every atom in the universe, and therefore could use Newton's laws to reveal the entire course of cosmic events, past and future. Based upon the philosophical proposition of causal determinism.
Maxwell's demon - An demon able to distinguish between fast and slow moving molecules. If this demon only let fast moving molecules through a trapdoor to a container, the temperature inside the container would increase without any work being applied. Such a scenario would violate the second law of thermodynamics.

Real Demons
M. Scott Peck, an American psychiatrist, wrote two books on the subject.

Peck describes in some detail several cases involving his patients. In People of the Lie: The Hope For Healing Human Evil he gives some identifying characteristics for evil persons whom he classifies as having a character disorder. In Glimpses of the Devil, A Psychiatrist's Personal Accounts of Possession, Exorcism, and Redemption Peck goes into significant detail describing how he became interested in exorcism in order to debunk the “myth” of possession by evil spirits – only to be convinced otherwise after encountering two real-word cases which did not fit into any category known to psychology or psychiatry. Peck came to the conclusion that possession was a rare phenomenon related to evil. Possessed people are not actually evil; they are doing battle with the forces of evil. His observations on these cases are listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (IV) of the American Psychiatric Association.

Although Peck’s earlier work was met with widespread popular acceptance, his work on the topics of evil and possession has generated significant debate and derision. Much was made of his association with (and admiration for) the controversial Malachi Martin, a Roman Catholic priest and a former Jesuit, despite the fact that Peck consistently called Martin a liar and manipulator. Other criticisms leveled against Peck include misdiagnoses based upon a lack of knowledge regarding dissociative identity disorder (formerly known as multiple personality disorder), and a claim that he had transgressed the boundaries of professional ethics by attempting to persuade his patients into accepting Christianity.


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