I find this topic interesting, and I have a few things I’d like to offer – these are my PERSONAL perspectives, and may not agree with yours. Again – this is a long read… But I think you’ll find it worth it. 🙂
I feel that there are huge issues with the label “Demon” in general metaphysical society. Some of it is because of religious obfuscation, cultural belief. Some of it is due to a complete lack of experience. What you do not know, you fear. What you are taught to fear, you do not learn about, which increases the fear.
Let’s rip that blindfold off, shall we?
I think it is necessary to explain, to start off, how I personally define “demon,” as well as WHY I use this definition, as that will save a lot of misunderstandings throughout this post. Again, these are my thoughts, my experiences, and you may disagree.
There are many realms, and many dimensions within these realms. If you picture a spiral that goes up and down, ever broadening in both directions like two cones set together at their narrowest in the middle, and consider that on those spirals are many planes of existence, each with doorways into yet other planes along the same line sideways as well as upwards and downwards, then you begin to approach an understanding of how complex our reality truly is. There is a reason that most civilizations eventually describe the multiverse as a gigantic tree, roots and all.
Our world, our dimension, is inside a hell realm. We’re actually the highest of the hell-realms. By high, I mean that our vibration is the mildest. The lower you go, the deeper the vibration, the heavier the energy.
Our world used to be a kind of… cross-over point. The lowest “heavenly” realm, which we call by many names, but to simplify I’m going to call Faerie, and our realm, used to coincide as one single realm. We were neither heavenly nor hellish, we were the fulcrum, the meeting point. However, over time, the energies here became polarized, and the two planes drifted apart.
Because we live in a hell-realm, albeit the highest possible one, that would mean that WE are demons, because by most definitions, a demon is simply that which resides in a hell realm.
When you consider things from that perspective, it’s clear that location and vibration are what determines an entity’s classification for most people who are well-versed in the metaphysical arts.
With regards to the difference between black arts and dark arts – YES, there are hell realms of such a dark vibration that everything there is innately inimical to us – there’s no “choice” to this… they are what they are. Like a lion eats gazelles, like bunnies burrow, they will do what they do, wherever they find themselves. There are also heavenly realms where the vibrations are so high, the same is true – they are equally as dangerous to us, simply because they are what they are, and what they are is just that alien to our realm, and to our energies. The issue with labeling something Black Arts is one of perception. If it does harm to humans, if it ONLY does harm, and you cannot see any benefits coming from that, then it is black arts.
You can see how narrow this definition is. It is absolutely a human-centric perspective. There is nothing in the multiverse that exists only to do harm. There is nothing in the multiverse that exists only to do “good.” Everything that exists in the multiversal ecosystem has its place and purpose.
Lions are dangerous. We have learned from experience that taking them out of their natural environment does damage to their habitat, to them, and also to us. They have a place. They have a purpose. Take that away, and destruction follows.
In New Zealand, the importation of rabbits caused such a problem for the South Island that the EARTH WAS LITERALLY MOVING. New Zealand has no natural predators. NONE. Because of this, the release of rabbits by colonials who wanted to hunt them but didn’t want to raise them eventually led to disaster. Our solution was to release a tailored virus that killed every rabbit on the South Island within two weeks. The clean up was… indescribable.
When you introduce something not native to an environment, whether it is predator or prey, plant or entity, trouble ALWAYS FOLLOWS. Are rabbits black arts? Is Kudzu? Of course not. They are simply out of place.
The easiest way to deal with something that behaves in a Black Arts way is to contain it, find where it came from, and send it back home to its natural environment, where it actually belongs, and where it does no harm by existing, but benefits its place. Rather like Kudzu, if you remove it from its own ecosystem, damage will occur. That does not make it innately evil. It simply means it does not belong where you have found it.
This is my perspective, and ymmv – but my beliefs about these things are based on personal experience and the use of analytical thought, serious research, and the scientific method, to determine those beliefs. This does not mean I’m an expert, by any means, but I feel that I can offer a unique perspective in this discussion about what evil truly is, what good truly is, what qualifies as a demon, and what qualifies as black arts.
We have many myths about immortals, and very few about demons. We have many myths about beings we now call demonic who are immortals whose societies fell to religious fanatics. Monotheism has labeled more immortals “demon” than any other religious path. But LABELING something “demon” does not make it so. For example – prior to about the 16th century, the words “demon” and “angel” actually referred to the same thing. People believed that angels and demons were not separate, but actually that a being who helped you, and harmed your enemy, was your angel, but your enemy’s demon. A being that harmed you, but helped your enemy, was your demon, and their angel.
We, as a society, have this group perception that demons are evil, that they are capricious, that they lie with the truth, that they set traps. The issue I have with this is that these aren’t the qualities of demons, so much as they are the qualities we ourselves hold… People lie all the time. They cheat, they steal, they cause harm, both emotionally and physically, and sometimes they do all these things deliberately. These are also, not to put to fine a point on it, the qualities of most fae. If you want to point out a vessel of true evil, I invite you to meet a faerie of the court of light and illusion. They look damned pretty, and they are vicious hunters, and you are their food. They also reside in the lowest realm of heaven… which is why I bring them up – just because you express a higher vibration does not make you “good.” Good and evil are subjective terms.
I have had many experiences with those beings that we collectively assume are demons over the years. The one thing I can say with absolute surety is that demons TEACH. They have the ability to choose. They are absolutely NOT black arts beings. The things we label as being black arts are things that are inimical to us as a species. Very few beings that people come across, even in hell realms, are black arts.
With demons, you get what you give. If you are dealing with them for power, for the aggrandizement of your own ego, it is not going to be a fun ride. Just as, with tigers, if you do not respect their power, if you are egotistical enough to think that by working with them, that makes you powerful and special, then when the tiger eats your face, you probably deserve it.
I have had experiences with angels, and also with immortals. Immortals sometimes teach, but more often they have an agenda, and though they may trade something of value, the trade off is seldom equal. Immortals USE.
Angels, in my experience, neither teach nor use. They also do not protect. They give information or assistance, but ONLY what you ask for, and EXACTLY what you ask for… and they do not warn you of consequences. Angels DO NOT CARE for anything beyond their own purpose. With the angels that are typically conjured for workings, from the Key of Solomon, and from Enochian, they tend to be… forces of nature. Rather LARGE forces. They are the physical representation of the underpinning metaphysical laws of the multiverse… and as such, they are… rather narrow in their focus, can sometimes appear to lack autonomy and self-determination, and they are mostly disinclined to actively teach. They are far more… GIGO than I could have ever suspected. My first experience with working with them was… a bit of a shock, because at the time, I was still thoroughly embedded in the social constructs of what an angel is. It was… educational.
I can quite honestly say that working with angels is actually even more dangerous than working with demons is supposed to be. Because of the social stigma that humans hold about demons, we tend to treat them, at least to start, the same way we would treat a sharp knife, or a loaded weapon. Angels, again because of the social constructs surrounding them, do not get that level of respect, and because they are not even as human as demons are, this can cause huge difficulties for the practitioner by way of consequences.
We’ve all heard of those people who get involved with demons and the dark arts, for reasons of ego, self-aggrandizement, the shoring up of imagined flaws, the search for revenge against slights. We’ve seen what happens to such weak people. They flail around, they spread hysteria and drama, and eventually, they run back to their gods, screaming for someone else to be in charge. They then proceed to tell everyone how horrible demons are, how dangerous – even though everyone knows the old adage that the craftsman never blames the tools.
What we seldom hear is those who step afoul of angels. Because people have such set ideas about what angels are, when there are unintended consequences to working with them, people don’t say that angels are the issue. They blame life, they blame themselves, they blame other people… they may even blame “negative” spiritual forces… but they NEVER think that it might possibly be because they screwed up while working with an ANGEL.
This bias is quite odd. Especially when you look at biblical records and see how truly frightening and destructive angels can be. In biblical records, demons were mostly pests. Angels were the things to be feared.
For further clarification of language, over the last 700 years, the word “devil” has become a colloquialism that can encompass anything. The word is derived from the Sanskrit word “Devi,” meaning Goddess. When westerners got ahold of it, because anything other than the Christian god was seen as evil, they changed the definition of the word to suit their religious and cultural perspectives. When bad luck falls repeatedly, one is said to be “bedeviled.” The word can mean anything that we perceive, however temporarily, as a negative experience. The quote investigators use, “The Devil’s in the Details,” literally refers to the idea that if you dig deep enough into a situation, you will find the culprit, because no one can truly cover all contingencies. The details will catch the troublemaker. So Devil can refer to a person, an event or series of events, a being, a multitude of beings, nature and natural spirits and/or happenings… devil is a catchall word with only slightly different connotations to the word demon.
As to my experiences with demons, allow me to share. I’m sure you’ve read this elsewhere, but I think it’s worth putting down in this post as well.
My first experience with a demon was an imp. I have no idea how it got into the house, but in the middle of the night, it launched itself at my back, and tried to rip off my psychic wings. It said, in a truly theatrical, dark and gravely voice, “He didn’t die for you.” It’s a strange thing to say to me, because I am in NO way a Christian, but… what was remarkable was what happened next. My SOUL rose up through my body in a HUGE wave of light, tossed him off and through a window, with the words, “OF COURSE HE DID.”
I learned something beautiful in that moment. Not just that “HE” died for everyone, no matter your faith (no, this is not a conversion story), but also that my own soul is made of light. I felt that light. I felt that SURETY. I discovered that at the core of me is something powerfully beautiful, glorious.
This is what I mean when I say demons teach. I’m not saying they aren’t unpleasant in their lessons, but what they teach is absolutely NECESSARY.
My second experience with a demon was a demon named Molov. He had golden skin, and orange eyes. When he showed up, I was still of the opinion that if it was a demon, it was evil and I should attack it and drive it out. I would like to say, he offered no violence until I did. Then he wiped the floor with me. The thing is, I did learn from that experience (and not just that attacking a demon is not a fun experience). I learned that demons are not evil. I learned that they show up when there’s reason – because they are teachers, they go where the lesson is needed. And they will do WHATEVER IS NECESSARY to teach that lesson. They are unafraid of our labels. If we call them evil, that’s fine – as long as we learn the lesson.
I also learned that it doesn’t have to be ugly. You get what you expect. If you hold a belief, even if a subconscious one, that all demons are evil, that the Immortals labeled as demonic are evil, if you believe they mean to cause you harm… they’re perfectly willing to give you the experience you are expecting. They have no time for games. They’re here to teach. Sometimes, the lesson is that you need to change your expectations.
The next experience I had with a demon, Asmodeus came to me in a dream. He came like a heavy weight on me, an aura of menace. He came as a nightmare, a thing of terror. I woke myself up and said to him, “There’s no need for us to be rude. That’s not who you really are, and it’s not what you’re here for. Show me your true face, your true energy, and let’s talk.”
And so He did. I learned a lot from him, simply because I put aside my cultural beliefs, and simply allowed Him to BE.
Yes, I understand that Asmodeus is an immortal. But he is an immortal which has, by culture and myth, for the past at least 600 years, been considered a demon… and like anyone who bears that label, he likes to play up to the part.
When I work with demons in circle – when I evoke them – I am cautious. I am respectful. I am OPEN. I treat them the way I would treat any deity or higher power than myself that I might evoke. The courtesy and the dialogue with demons is quite different to that of angels. My experience with angels is that you call them, you say what you need, they do what you ask, and they leave. They usually do not offer any advice.
If you call a demon, and you’re open with them, they’re likely to say what they’re thinking about doing for you, and why… and how that might turn out. Demons enjoy teaching, and so discussing consequences is part of the experience. There have been times when a demon has NOT discussed consequences – but that was because it was part of the lesson. Sometimes we learn best when faced with the consequences – and demons, above all else, require you to be responsible for your actions, your choices, and your emotional approach to all things.
I continue to learn about myself, and develop spiritually and magically, thanks to the assistance of all my spiritual helpers, those of lower vibration and those of higher vibration. Of course, I’m not working with them because of ego, or a desire for power. I’m not interested in silly things like secret names or their favorite color. This isn’t a gossip session – I conjure with purpose. I conjure to learn and to grow. I’m not interested in any personal knowledge of the beings I summon unless they are sharing such information as it relates to the lesson I’m learning. As you’ve seen from my other posts, sometimes, the information isn’t helpful until you put it into perspective within a larger framework of actual experience. So if a demon or angel or immortal wants to tell me something about themselves that’s personal, they’re telling me as a way of explaining a life lesson.
Also, sometimes being deceived is the lesson. Sometimes, the only way you learn something is by being lied to, because you cannot accept the truth before you experience the lie. This is just human nature.
A note about immortals who are considered to be “demonic.”
Historically speaking, Lucifer is the Roman god most often referred to as “Son of the Dawn” or “Morning Star,” and is associated with the star that rises right before the sun comes up. It was considered presumptuous of him. His Greek counterpart is Phospheros. Lucifer/Phospheros has a twin brother, called Vesper/Hesperos, the Evening Star. They are all personifications of the planet Venus.
There is a tendency to equate the mythos of the Fall of Heaven with the stories of Enki and Enlil – to equate Lucifer with Enki, and Yahweh with Enlil, but there was never a Lucifer in the Hebrew pantheon – this is a new addition to the monotheistic mythos. There ARE some similarities between Yahweh and Enlil, and if there were any mythological records left behind by the very thorough Hebrews as they swarmed through Canaan, during the period where they were still polytheists, I believe that they would have had an Enki, as well. When we look at Roman/Greek mythology, we see an almost one-for-one religious context occurring, simply because of the amount of sharing of goods, services, and culture happening in that part of the world at that time. As Romans conquered the world, they found other gods which they either added to their pantheon, or accepted as being like one of their own gods already – which is why Zeus, Jupiter, Odin, and Yahweh, are all considered from a Roman perspective to be the same deity. The Hebrews, while they were still polytheistic, often co-opted the gods of other cultures in the same way.
Yahweh had a wife until his people went to Babylon. Her name was Shekinah and she was honored in his temples. Shekinah was likened to both Astarte/Ashtoreth and the Roman goddess Sophia. Her name means “Presence/Peace of God.” She is both the Bride of God, and His dwelling place. When the Hebrews were taken by the Babylonian king, and their temples destroyed, they went through a religious revival. Many things were changed. Books were removed from their bible. They became monotheists, and they became extremely patriarchal. They went to war with each other to stamp out the worship of any god other than the god of Abraham, a warrior sky god that most likely began as a tutelary deity within one specific tribe. It is worth noting the damage that this rabid slide into patriarchy for the sake of the preservation of the people did to that people – damage that continues to be spread throughout time and humanity. While you can still only be Jewish if your mother is Jewish, Jewish men now pray every morning, thanking their God they were not born a woman, and in Orthodox practices, women are not allowed to be Rabbis, nor are they permitted to study the Kabbalah. The feminine has been removed utterly from their religious experience, except through oblique references in mystical texts not included in the Jewish bible.
Lilith is a Sumerian/Babylonian being associated with owls and night terrors. There is debate as to whether she was considered a demon, but she was associated with the Tree of Life in the Sumerian epic Gilgamesh, which describes her origin story. She and an Anzu (a protective being having the qualities of both snakes and lions) were the spiritual manifestation of Inanna’s fears, and until Gilgamesh came to battle them both and drive them out of the tree, Inanna could not rest. Most historians believe that she is a dark goddess, associated with Sumerian witchcraft, and the darker aspects of sexuality. As further proof of the mixing of gods and cultures, some Hebrew mystical texts include stories about Lilith, listing her as Adam’s first wife. These stories suggest that she was disobedient to Adam’s sexual wishes, believing that she was his equal and demanding she have a say in their lovemaking. Lilith was apparently so dissatisfied with Adam as a lover that she eventually abandoned him to become a spirit of wind. This eventually evolved into a description of her encouraging “night emissions” in young men, and sucking souls out of newborn babies. She is now considered by most of society to be a succubus and demon.
When we look at the Immortals whom modern monotheism, and ancient monotheism, have labeled demonic, we see, again and again, the cycle of one group of people taking over another group of people, and destroying their articles of faith, salting their spiritual ground. Over time, people stop questioning the definition of “demon.” The myth of the Garden, when really examined, is quite obviously a Goddess myth. The snake is a symbol of pretty much every Earth Mother goddess in that region of the world. The apple has always been considered to be a goddess fruit – cut it in half, and the star of knowledge, symbol of the Goddess, is right there staring back at you. So, we have a Goddess, sharing magick, wisdom and knowledge with mankind – things that their creator deity had SPECIFICALLY LEFT OUT OF REACH. There’s even more evidence that the story of Cain and Abel is actually an allegory for the rise of farming and herding, and the demise of the hunter-gatherer way of life. As farming and herding became more and more the norm, people settled into their stability, and they wanted gods with more boundaries, more rules. Having religious rules enabled such civilizations to work together – if everyone agreed on the rules of behavior, and the punishments for breaking those rules, society could continue to grow and develop, nurturing everyone within it. Ultimately, this lead to the death of the Goddess in monotheistic faiths, as she was seen as an image of a constantly shifting earth, often fearsome, dangerous, treacherous, and unwelcoming.
There is a biblical Satan, in case you’re wondering – but Satan was the title of an angel, unnamed. The reason we do not know the name of the angel is simple – Satan could be any angel, and when that angel was being Satan, to maintain their impartiality, they had to be anonymous. Satan literally translates as “Accuser.” In other words, Satan is a prosecuting attorney with Yahweh as judge. If you read the Book of Job, it’s clear that Satan is MAN’S adversary, and not Yahweh’s – the job of a Satan is to test mankind to make sure their faith makes them worthy of returning to the presence of God.
There is also another angel, Samael, whose only job in life is to tempt mankind into sin. The descendants of Abraham have the job of resisting his suggestions. This proves their worthiness and faith to Yahweh. Gotta say, that’s some system – one angel to cause people to fall, another to accuse them of falling, just so the God that didn’t want His people to have knowledge of good and evil can show them all why apples are bad.
I find it fascinating, given the mythology and the history of the angels, that people now pretty much worship them – in the case of the title Satan, there’s an actual religion dedicated to a being that is essentially a bastardized blend of Pan, Dionysus, satyrs, and Pluto, with bits from the medieval bestiary thrown in for good measure. The color scheme is meant to be deliberately threatening. God is gold, the devil is black and red.
What fascinates me about this is that in the bible, Satan is an angel of light. The Sanskrit word Devi means goddess. The modern western concept of Satan/the Devil actually only exists because of Jesus. Yeah, not joking. Around the 1300’s, people realized that some of the things Jesus said in the bible were about organized religion – specifically that it wasn’t the way to God. Jesus said that personal gnosis, good works, and love were the only ways forward. The church was faced with a conundrum – people were no longer attending services and funds were drying up. So… they rewrote the bible (again), and created the ideas of hell and the devil to scare people back into the pews. Hell isn’t even in the bible at all. Sheol is – and it’s literally the hole in the ground you are buried in, where your body and spirit wait for God to raise you like some freaky necromancer for the battle at the end of the world. Because hordes of undead aren’t at all scary, as long as it’s God holding their leashes… The whole concept we now know of as hell actually comes from an operatic poem: The Divine Comedy, by Dante. Specifically, the section titled “Inferno.” So… here we have a male “anti-divinity” who symbolizes lust, frenzy, alcoholism, shamanism, death and the underworld, and, hey, bats too, because all those things should scare you into being religious, living in an underground fiery cavern, eating naughty people for eternity. Religion – it be crazy.