Encyclopedia of Demons in World Religions and Cultures
Author: Theresa Bane
As a writer, editor, and compiler of myths, it is my goal to contribute to the academic studies in the fields of anthropology, folklore, mythology, and religion. Being a professional vampirologist—a mythologist who specializes in cross- cultural vampire studies—I have come across a number of vampiric entities who were also described as being demonic in nature. According to their original mythologies, these infernal, vampiric demons were said to have been created in a hell- like dimension or were described as being agents of evil who worked directly against the best interests of humanity. There are not so great a number of vampiric species that are demonic or demon- like in their nature or behavior, but the few that do exist and which were catalogued in my previous books did pique my interest. As is often the case, a little bit of research turned into a great deal of research, and a book of DEMONOLOGY began to write itself. Demonology, the study of demons, has been in and out of vogue with mankind over the centuries. Its acceptability as a subject has varied depending on how threatening the changing, ruling religious powers deemed it. For example, King Solomon, the much famed last king of the united Kingdom of Israel, was a man of great influence, wealth, and wisdom; he is credited with having ordered and overseen the construction of the first temple in Jerusalem. This is covered in the pseudepigraphical work The Testament of Solomon, which describes quite clearly how the king was empowered by God to summon and bind numerous demons to work on the temple’s construction. Obviously not only was it acceptable for a king to bind and utilize demons as a labor force, he had them working side by side with his human construction crews (Chapter Eighteen). Solomon was not the only king who was concerned about and confronted by demons. Before King James the First acceded to the throne of England in 1603, he had written and published a book entitled Daemonologie. In it he speaks on the subject of witchcraft and the witches’ relationship with the DEVIL. He discloses how these people, most often women, conspire to summon up the Devil and barter their souls for a pittance of power and ability. He mentions how they often become a demonic FAMILIAR, a companion gifted to someone by the Prince of Darkness, and how taking up the profession of witch-finding and hunting is both noble and necessary. As can be imagined, many witches were slain under his rule, even though the religion he embraced as his own clearly stated in the Epistle to the Romans (8:38–9) that neither sorcery nor witchcraft has the power to harm a Christian. This claim is based on the belief that when Christ died and was resurrected he simultaneously defeated all the forces of evil for all time. Nevertheless, in Daemonologie, James went on to very carefully and meticulously describe the fine line between a scientific scholar who studied the course of the stars, namely an astronomer, and an infernally aligned individual, an astrologer, who—empowered by demons (knowingly or not)—pretended through his ignorance to interpret their course across the night sky and explain how those movements relate to man and help predict a person’s future. Throughout his life King James was obsessed with witches and their demonic familiars, believing they were constantly plotting to kill him. As you can see with the study of demonology, timing is everything. It is fascinating that these two kings, separated by two thousand years of history, both list the names, abilities, and, in some cases, the physical attributes of the demons of which they spoke. They made, in essence, a very brief de monolo - Preface 1 gia, a dissertation on demons. And they were not alone: many others before and since have done the same. Of special note are the French judge and DEMONOGRAPHER Pierre de Rosteguy de Lancre, who conducted the witch hunts of 1609 under the order of King Henry the Eighth; Pierre Leloyers, who authored Discourse and Histories about Specters, Visions, and Apparitions, of Spirits, Angels, Demons, and Souls that appeared visibly to Men; and Johann Wierus, a Dutch demonologist and physician, who in his moral publications was among the first to speak out against the persecution of witches. He is also the author of the influential works De Praestigiis Daemonum et Incantationibus ac Venificiis and Pseudomonarchia Daemonum. It is not just in Christianity and Judaism that we find lists of demons and infernal servitors, but also Ashurism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Kemetic, Vodou, and Zoroastrianism. Demons appear in the mythologies and lore of virtually every ancient society, such as the ancient Africans, Assyrians, Chinese, Greek, Japanese, Mayans, Persians, Romans, and Scythians, to name just a few. Throughout my research I have pulled together as many of the named demons as I could find from all of the various cultures and religions. Research was conducted not only among books written about the history of ancient peoples and their cultures, but among religious texts as well. I compiled all of the information found for each demon, be it an individual entity or a particular species, then carefully condensed it to its bare and relevant facts, and wrote it up as a succinct description or synopsis. The goal was to present to the reader a concise account for each of these prominent demons. Entries were purposely kept short and precise, as there were almost three thousand diabolical personalities to commit to paper. There are a great number of books on the market that tell of individuals who claim to have been possessed by demons, as well as of people who admit to being able to drive infernal beings out of these afflicted souls. Personal beliefs in de monic possession, be it a spiritual or psychological condition, were not relevant to the writing of this reference book. The only concern was in naming those entities who are already considered relevant, especially those who played a part in the belief systems of the major religions. I did, however, consciously choose not to use any of the books that focused on the subject matter of demonic possession, especially those works written after what might be considered the New Age movement of the 1980s and after. This decision was based on the opinion that these cases and individuals have not yet proved to be either historically or mythologically relevant. Most of these may become the stuff of urban legends. Only time will tell. There are a handful of books that proved very useful. Gustav Davidson’s A Dictionary of Angels Including the Fallen Angels is a first- rate resource for anyone’s personal library. As the title indicates, it lists the angels who were driven out of Heaven during the Fall as well as those from Enochian lore, the Watcher Angels (see WATCHERS), who exorcized what can only be described as free will (a blessing man alone is alleged to have) and chose to leave of their own accord when they opted to take a human woman as a wife. This book also contains an impressive bibliography and a useful appendix with samples of angelic scripts, demonic seals and pacts (see DIABOLICAL SIGNATURE), the various names of LILITH, the unholy sephiroth, and a list of fallen angels (see FALLEN ANGELS). Francesso Maria Guazzo’s Compendium Maleficarum and Daemonologie by King James the First of England do not name the most demons but are essential in understanding how demons and witches are aligned and work against mankind. Two other books that list and describe demons are Fred Gettings’s Dictionary of Demons and Mack and Mack’s A Field Guide to Demons. References were chosen very selectively. Books like The Satanic Bible by Anton Szandor LaVey and the King James Bible had to be used sparingly because they are religious texts with content not only heavily flavored by opinion but also unver ifiable by other sources. A favorite book on demons was written by Wade Baskin, but it is often overlooked because of its sensationalized title: Satanism: A Guide to Preface 2 the Awesome Power of Satan. I prefer this book because it contains short, brief descriptions and definitions with no hyperbole, opinion, fictional characters (such as the demons from the John Milton poem Paradise Lost), or erroneous entries. It is brilliant in that it is straightforward, simple, and concise in its nature. As with my previous book, The Encyclopedia of Vampire Mythology, I document the sources from which information was taken, including page numbers (when given) so that it may be referenced by others. Also as before, I tried to use the oldest editions I could find by the most authoritative and reputable sources possible. Small caps are used to indicate to the reader words that may be cross- referenced as entries in the encyclopedia. In the back of this book is a complete bibliography of all the works cited as well as a large and thorough index. Some of the most knowledgeable people in the field of demonology have never been recognized for their contributions. It is fitting to acknowledge these scholars for their work in this field of study here: Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa von Nettesheim, Steven Ashe, Wade Baskin, Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Augustin Calmet, Joseph Campbell, Richard Cavendish, Robert Henry Charles, Jacques- Albin- Simon Collin de Plancy, Rosemary Ellen Guiley, Heinrich Kramer, Manfred Lurker, Anthony Master, Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers, and Jacob Sprenger. Deep appreciation also goes to those who assisted with this undertaking: my beta- reader, Gina Farago; my husband, T. Glenn Bane; and especially my linguistic contributors, Yair A. Goldberg and June K. Williams. Without this dedicated cadre of individuals, this book would not have been possible.