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#1 CuriousQuercus

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 02:25 AM

Alrighty then, I am not sure if this is appropriately placed or not- I would like to ask anyone who works with or studies the subject about the nature of this creature (real or not, I am not really considering that so much as "the nature of the beast").

 

I just finished reading The Lesser Key of Solomon and have questions about some of the demons he describes. I go back and forth on these 5 part writings, I've only read "Goetia" so far, and I go back and forth because yes it was written in the 1560s, but also, it was written in the 1560s, a time when people were killed based on whether or not they would sink or float. 

 

So while I'm not sure how to handle the piece, I want to go beyond the literature into the stories- I see that there is a lot of Hebrew letters, but most of these demons I can't find any reference to in Judeo or Christian texts, only referenced in the grimoire. This is not a case to favor or disfavor anyone's belief, but I do have questions, and this is entirely YOUR opinion I'm seeking, on how you define the nature of a "demon". I say "demon", because, well, google defines a demon as this:

 

 de·mon1

ˈdēmən/
noun
 
  1. 1.
    an evil spirit or devil, especially one thought to possess a person or act as a tormentor in hell.

 

And according to the description of some demons in this text, that definition doesn't really seem to apply universally.

 

My main curiosity is Buer. A demon described as being a master of logic, wisdom, healing arts, knowledge of plants and herbs and one who provides excellent familiars to those who he guides.

Healing arts are not traditionally associated with "evil" which is why I have elected to adopt the word "dark" instead. 

What is your take not only this text, but the idea of demons on the whole if you follow the idea of their existence? 


Edited by CuriousQuercus, 16 July 2014 - 02:47 AM.

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#2 Wexler

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 04:57 AM

Hello Curious -

 

I have not read any medieval grimoires. I remember borrowing the Lesser Key from a friend in high school, but I didn't read it because I didn't want to go to hell, so I don't think that counts.

 

"Demon" is a loaded word. To Christians, iirc, basically everything that wasn't an angel, saint, or part of the Trinity was demonic. A tree spirit, if it spoke to a Christian, would probably be considered demonic in nature. If you recall, demons are fallen angels. Before they rebelled against God they were perfectly skilled in all manners of good and beautiful things, which they undoubtedly took with them. It's not like hell is a bizarro world where everybody turns in to their own evil twin. My question for you is, why do you think that beings who reside in hell are evil? And why can the evil not be healers? A brief look at history will tell us that doctors and healers of all sorts are perfectly capable of terrible evil.

 

I don't work with demons so I don't have strong opinions of them. I am open to working with them, and I probably will at some point in the future. I do not think they are all evil, just like I don't think angels are all good.


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#3 Michele

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 12:09 PM

AS far as evil being put into the mix, I'd look to the religion of the person who wrote the book because he will be judging these things by his own religious perspective. If Judeo-Xtian religions consider any and all demons as evil, then would they not define them as so regardless of their specific natures?

 

M


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#4 Moondark

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 05:25 PM

Oh yay, another demon thread!

 

I work primarily with demons, though not the sort you'd find in ceremonial texts. Those I work with are more like Faerie or Yokai than whatever infernal hierarchy Judeo-Christianity cooked up. 

 

The word 'demon' itself is derived from ancient Greek 'daemones', which is usually translated to mean 'wise' or 'divine' spirit. The Greeks knew two main types of demons, the 'eudemons', who were good spirits, and 'cadodemons', who were evil. Both were widely considered transformed spirits of the dead, the former often serving mortals as guardians, while the latter caused all sorts of mischief. 

 

From my own experience, a demon is a darker spirit who may be benign, malignant or entirely neutral. Most were human spirits at one point, and transformed after death for reasons yet unclear to me. I've come to think of them as spirits of emotion, as they are so often inextricably linked with such, and indeed appear to feed from it. 

 

 For example, an incubus is a demon of lust, and sustains himself by inspiring lust in others and feeding on the resulting energy. Another sort(which I've taken to calling 'fiends') feeds on pain and suffering, and thus will dwell in places where these emotions are rampant, if not inspiring them himself. 

 

I've also noted that the emotions demons are identified with are regarded as unpleasant, such as the aforementioned lust and pain, and also fear, thirst, hunger and rage. I'd also link them to certain forms of insanity. 

 

Conversely, this does not necessitate that demons are inherently evil. Strange as it may sound, I've known many whom struggled with their natures to the point of denial, self-hatred and profound depression. I've additionally found that they can be some of the kindest, most sympathetic spirits you'd ever hope to come across. 


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#5 CuriousQuercus

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 09:00 PM

Wexter- that's food for thought, absolutely there have been evil doctors, I wasn't thinking about it at the time, but Mengele might be at the top of the list. Demons of the western religion are fallen angels, but what about other religions that have demons? I've never thought about it. So I was reading a -very- brief introductory article about common Hindu themes, including gods and demons and the article describes their relationship as necessary, complementary forces. Not that this justifies Mengele, may he rot for an eternity, but the idea of demons being well, necessary to maintain balance, an idea that would be rejected pretty quickly in most churches. I do like where you're going with the idea of many things being misidentified as demons throughout history, that's seems pretty likely. And as far as evil goes, I've encountered some spirits that are absolutely sinister, others that are the sludge of the worlds existing in the nastiest litter corners, still others that survive in dark places but are perfectly innocent by nature. But I can say I've never met anything truly evil, not to say it isn't there, but for me and my small experience, I haven't seen it yet. Of course, I haven't ever met Mengele either.

 

Michele- that's a good idea, I would imagine that there is plenty of religious text warning about the nefarious demons of hell. This text however was written by someone to be used more like a set of instructions to "bind" or force any of the 72 demons listed into a circle to at least listen to you for a period of time if they refuse to help. Something tells me if anyone tried to someone a demon and if anyone answered, they were not too thrilled about being temporarily trapped and were probably not too cooperative. The author is supposed to be anonymous for good reason, the author would have been (and may still have been) killed for it.

 

 

Moondark- I was thrilled when you posted the root words and meaning for this. Root languages really do solve all of my mysteries- I'm a wildlife biology major and taxonomy is more or less my life. True to form, the Latin, or Greek, as it happens to be today, never lies. The idea of eudemons and cadodemons seems to be a concept that survives more in Eastern religions, but there it is again, ye ole Star Wars ethics at play in your classic battle of good and "evil" juxtaposed. It would also make sense that demons, who as spirits alone maybe originally had no specific connotation, were literally demonized (haha punny, right? No? Okay) as the Greek pagan religions were given the boot and early Christianity took over.

 

This is great discussion :) my mind is officially being blown haha


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#6 Wexler

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 01:38 AM

I'm king of reaching the limit of my knowledge here. But I'll try to give it a go. I am quoting CuriousQuercus' last post:

 

Demons of the western religion are fallen angels, but what about other religions that have demons?

 

I believe there is fallacy in considering that the demons in one culture are demons in another. As you say, what about other religions?

 

I will note here that demons are not just part of religions. If they exist, then they exist. They may be part of a certain culture and only deal with people with that heritage or who live in that area. I doubt I will find a djinn hanging out around in suburban California, but if I moved to Iran I might be able to meet one. It doesn't matter if I convert to Islam or not, they will still be there (whether they pay attention to me or not is another matter). If all religions suddenly ceased to exist, all these spirits would still be where they are and most of them would still be performing the same function.

 

Christianity seems to be an extremist religion when it comes to good/evil. When you only have God and Satan, the sides are going to be pretty damned polarized, you know?

 

So I was reading a -very- brief introductory article about common Hindu themes, including gods and demons and the article describes their relationship as necessary, complementary forces. Not that this justifies Mengele, may he rot for an eternity, but the idea of demons being well, necessary to maintain balance, an idea that would be rejected pretty quickly in most churches.

 

I feel like you are thinking from a very Judeo-Christian-centric point of view. Why does it matter what most churches think? Most churches are wrong. The business of most Christians is to reject everything that goes against God, not to understand it. There are many religions and spiritualities which deal with the Dark from a perspective of respect and necessity. Those are probably the ones to ask about the nature of demons and dark entities. Christians don't want balance, they want evil to be destroyed and have their god of ultimate goodness rule the earth. Iirc, even hell itself will be destroyed at the end. So to them, this is not an issue of balance. This is an issue of destroying everything against the nature of their god. That is probably not a good perspective to take while trying to learn about demons in an intellectual way.

 

This text however was written by someone to be used more like a set of instructions to "bind" or force any of the 72 demons listed into a circle to at least listen to you for a period of time if they refuse to help. Something tells me if anyone tried to someone a demon and if anyone answered, they were not too thrilled about being temporarily trapped and were probably not too cooperative. The author is supposed to be anonymous for good reason, the author would have been (and may still have been) killed for it.

 

Just passing the buck here, but it is fairly well known that grimoires of these type were originally published with errors in the text that would make the instructions either useless or highly dangerous.

 

That being said, I imagine there are other ways to summon a demon. There are rules to the universe, right. Ceremonial magic is all about those rules - the physical actions you can take that will reverberate through other worlds (or at least, that is how I understand it). I believe even people with no power of their own can find a proper set of instructions and summon a demon. But if you do have power of your own, you can go about it in other ways.

 

Have you read The Marriage of Heaven and Hell by William Blake? He was an interesting guy; he often spoke with Christian spirits. This read is short, you could probably get through it in half an hour or so.

 

http://www.levity.co...y/blake_ma.html

 

Here is a quote I quite enjoy from that work:

"If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite.
For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro' narow chinks of his cavern."

 


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#7 Solanaceae

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 02:20 AM

Wexler, as always, you show a wisdom you don't even seem entirely aware that you possess, and a profound insight into subjects that you claim to know little about! To me, this means they are already working with you, perhaps whispering wisdom in your ear while you are dreaming, either that or you may be what those who believe in such things would call an 'old soul.'

Excellent post!

 

CQ, I would agree with Wexlers comments about the Lesser Key of Solomon and its rituals. If you are interested in the text and it's subject matter then it can be interesting to read. If you really want to interact with a demon or a few there are other and far less complicated and dangerous ways. Personally, I don't like the idea of summoning, binding or forcing any entities to attend me or do my will. Of course they would not be happy about it. You could perhaps force thier compliance for a time, but is this a good idea? Wouldn't it be better to invite them to interact with you? To get to know them like you would a living entity you wanted to work with? Others may have had success with the bind and force method, and odviously that method works on the living too. However there are potential hazards inherent in this method that should be fairly odvious. And I am certainly not talking about karma or laws or any such thing. Simple as this, if you wrong someone, will they want revenge? Will they seek to be free of tyranny at any cost, even if it takes generations to achieve that freedom. Another thing to consider is that it would seem that time is not the same for them as it is for us. They will last far longer we do, at least in this form. What prevents the entity from exacting its revenge on our future generations?


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#8 RoseRed

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 01:30 PM

Summoning is the easy part.  Getting rid of it or sending it back where it came from gets tricky if you 1) don't know how and 2) don't have the power to do so.

 

The instructions for that type of Ceremonial Magick is to command and demand.  It doesn't matter if the demon that was summoned forth is happy about it or not.  They do as they're commanded.  What I find interesting about these old grimoires is that in a lot of them, in order to do the commanding and demanding - you gotta be 'right with God' cuz the power comes thru him.

 

They will last far longer we do, at least in this form. What prevents the entity from exacting its revenge on our future generations?

 

 

Teaching our children and future generations.


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#9 Wexler

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 03:00 PM

I may have one or two things after me, but I don't think any of them are demons, thank goodness. Like I said, I am a hobbit in my hole in the ground :D


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#10 DusterGalaxy

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 02:33 AM

My experience with demons is very limited...although a few months back, through the use of a Ouija board (we're fairly experienced with it) we managed to bring something that pestered us all for a month or so.  It would say disgustingly violent, sexual things through the board, thump around the house, etc.  Parts of the board even kept coming back in the house no matter how many times we threw it away.  We put the whole thing in a bag of salt and it vanished without a trace.  We haven't seen it since and there's been some light spirit activity in the house.  Even when we try the board again, it comes through right away but much, much weaker.

 

Given this experience I've had, and the experiences of others, I would have to say that demons are a concentrated evil energy.  I don't know how wise it is to call on them, but again, my experience in this aspect is limited.  They seem to only want to annoy, pester, scare, and hurt.  I personally like to use Catholic imagery when trying to get rid of an evil entity, not because I believe in it necessarily but because I grew up Catholic and the images feel sacred and powerful to me.  I think that evil distorts itself to appear in how we will be scared the most.  I also think that the Abrahamic religions have shoved a lot of neutral or positive entities into a "demon" category.  Again, this is just my opinion.  


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#11 RoseRed

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 02:43 PM

They seem to only want to annoy, pester, scare, and hurt.

 

 

 

Perhaps a malicious or mischievous spirit instead of a demon.  Annoy and pester aren't really words that are used to describe demonic activity. 

 

I'm not doubting your experience and I've had my own board that wouldn't go away but that really doesn't sound like a demon.


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#12 Wexler

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 04:09 PM

Recently I had an upsetting experience with a spirit. I accidentally let it in to my house by leaving a foothold open. It terrorized me for weeks, especially when I was trying to sleep (in fact, it gave me a fear of the dark, which I thought I had gotten over permanently when I was 7...). It would do things like, come in to my bedroom and start typing on my computer keyboard, or methodically bang or thump on the walls, tap and rustle things, et cetera. When I accidentally projected during sleep, it was waiting for me and tried to rape me. When I protected my room, it sat outside and tapped up and down the windows. [All this may be small fry to some spirit workers, but for me the experience was terribly upsetting]. Whenever it was near me I could feel its sickly green slimy high-pitched screamy energy trail. That thing really sucked. I bet if I had tried to talk to it I would have heard all sorts of vile nonsense from it.

 

But it wasn't a demon. If it was a demon, it wouldn't have had to knock on the walls to scare me, it could have directly attacked me. It was a bottom-feeder that took advantage of my distressed state. The only reason it got so bad was because I lacked the experience to deal with the problem correctly and efficiently. When I finally put basic protections up against it, it disappeared and I haven't seen it back. It wasn't evil at all, it's just something that preys on humans. An annoying little shithead, sure, but it was hungry and I was delicious dinner. I am not sure what I would classify as a demon, but I think it has a level of power and intelligence above that of normal pests.

 

I have also heard stories of people's ouija boards coming back even after they are disposed of. That must be a very unsettling experience.

 

Galaxy, if the board you were using was the spirit's original access point in to your home, just getting rid of it may not also entirely get rid of the spirit. Even after I burned my foothold, my imp already had access to my home so it didn't go away. If it can still contact you through a board then it's still there, it's just lost most of its access.


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#13 Solanaceae

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 05:00 PM

quote DusterGalaxy post : "My experience with demons is very limited...although a few months back, through the use of a Ouija board (we're fairly experienced with it) we managed to bring something that pestered us all for a month or so.  It would say disgustingly violent, sexual things through the board, thump around the house, etc.  Parts of the board even kept coming back in the house no matter how many times we threw it away.  We put the whole thing in a bag of salt and it vanished without a trace.  We haven't seen it since and there's been some light spirit activity in the house.  Even when we try the board again, it comes through right away but much, much weaker.
 
Given this experience I've had, and the experiences of others, I would have to say that demons are a concentrated evil energy.  I don't know how wise it is to call on them, but again, my experience in this aspect is limited.  They seem to only want to annoy, pester, scare, and hurt.  I personally like to use Catholic imagery when trying to get rid of an evil entity, not because I believe in it necessarily but because I grew up Catholic and the images feel sacred and powerful to me.  I think that evil distorts itself to appear in how we will be scared the most.  I also think that the Abrahamic religions have shoved a lot of neutral or positive entities into a "demon" category.  Again, this is just my opinion." unquote.

 


 

I agree with Rose and Wexler, that is not a demon.

I also agree that destroying the 'door' that the entity came from, or the 'foothold' in itself will not get rid of it. Sounds like it is subdued, now make sure you don't give it anything to feed on, like fear. If you do some protection and clearing, that should send it packing.

I would like to mention that, and this is a personal opinion, but I don't think that 'good ' and 'evil' are so easily defined, particularly regarding entities that can't be expected to behave the way that humans do. We have had some
conversations about this on other threads, perhaps I will dig some up.


Edited by Solanaceae, 20 July 2014 - 05:14 PM.

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#14 DusterGalaxy

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 02:49 AM

 

I have also heard stories of people's ouija boards coming back even after they are disposed of. That must be a very unsettling experience.

 

Galaxy, if the board you were using was the spirit's original access point in to your home, just getting rid of it may not also entirely get rid of the spirit. Even after I burned my foothold, my imp already had access to my home so it didn't go away. If it can still contact you through a board then it's still there, it's just lost most of its access.

 

It was very unsettling.  It was thrown away halfway across the city and was back the next morning!  I remember staring at it over the course of several days trying to figure out just what I was going to do with it.  

 

 

 

I agree with Rose and Wexler, that is not a demon.

I also agree that destroying the 'door' that the entity came from, or the 'foothold' in itself will not get rid of it. Sounds like it is subdued, now make sure you don't give it anything to feed on, like fear. If you do some protection and clearing, that should send it packing.

I would like to mention that, and this is a personal opinion, but I don't think that 'good ' and 'evil' are so easily defined, particularly regarding entities that can't be expected to behave the way that humans do. We have had some
conversations about this on other threads, perhaps I will dig some up.

 

I think the entity was attached to one of the people present (not me, one of my roommates).  Something has been following her for years and she has managed to subdue it through her own spiritual actions, but it still lingers.  Every once in a while it'll pop up again and cause some havoc, but I think the board was the door, but my roommate is the foothold.  She's gotten several spiritual healings, but that only seems to put it to "sleep", so to speak.  I do suppose if it were a demon it would have powers beyond what we've seen happen around here, and wouldn't hesitate to demonstrate them.


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#15 Belwenda

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Posted 02 August 2014 - 05:32 PM

Why bother with them at all though?  IMO there is less dangerous energy with which to work.

I haven't used an Ouija bord since I was a child and I don't think I would dare use one now because as RR mentioned, getting rid of what(who) may come through - unwanted ... unknown can be tough.


Edited by Belwenda, 02 August 2014 - 05:32 PM.

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#16 Wexler

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Posted 02 August 2014 - 06:22 PM

Some people are ready to work with demons. Others are not. I think that demonology is not a wise first venture when attempting spirit contact. Trees tend to be much nicer and seem far less likely to ruin your life.


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Posted 02 August 2014 - 06:44 PM

If one is looking strictly at Christian demons then probably not a good place to start.  However, demon is more than just a Christian word and many still use the Daemon / Daimon meanings equating them to various land spirits and such.  So by its original usage any spirit you call upon is pretty much a daemon / daimon unless it be more of a base elemental type spirit.  Then carry it a step further and understand many Christian Demons are elder gods / goddess who were demonized by the early church and your still in a different category.

 

Sorry that's one aspect of Christianity I really wish had not been carried into pagan practices along with so many other Christian dogma's that were brought into things.


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#18 Chloe

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Posted 02 August 2014 - 06:52 PM

Is there anything that can really be categorized as a demon then? Outside of land spirits and deities that were demonized, what exactly is a legit demon?

That's something I've always been unsure about. I don't believe in the devil or Hell or angels (in their typical Christian sense) but with stuff like possessions actually seeming to be legitimate in some cases, demons are something I'm just not sure about....

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Posted 02 August 2014 - 08:56 PM

Is there anything that can really be categorized as a demon then? Outside of land spirits and deities that were demonized, what exactly is a legit demon?

That's something I've always been unsure about. I don't believe in the devil or Hell or angels (in their typical Christian sense) but with stuff like possessions actually seeming to be legitimate in some cases, demons are something I'm just not sure about....

 

 

I'd say yes.   Consider the Lilitu demons of old Babylon, within that mythos they were both named (Lilith the most well known) and unnamed demons and predate Christianity.  Yes they cross into Christian / Judean mythology but they started out as demonic forces.  Nor do they appear to be earth spirits or deities but a semi-divine type being that acted within and without of the purpose of the gods / goddess or as land spirits.  In some ways I suppose they can be compared to the rakshasas of Hindu mythology.  Both are true demonic forces but different than the Christian Demonic host in how they work and interact with the gods / goddesses.

 

The major difference I can think of is they are not fallen angels or such that turned either bad or against mankind as many of the Christian demons owe their origin.  That's where I think a study of Demonology (study of demonic beings) and Demonolatry (working with them) is of value to a practitioner.  It's much more than just the old ceremonial or high magics version of things.


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#20 Chloe

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Posted 03 August 2014 - 07:48 PM

I'm not really familiar with Hindu mythology so I'll have to look into that. From what I do know about Hindu beliefs, I'm pretty surprised to hear that they believe in anything that could be referred to as a demon, that's really interesting. I should really take the time to read more about their beliefs and mythology because, as much as I have read about, I do find a lot of it to be really really interesting to read about.


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