The Golden Star
Demons and Devas
“Are, then, all these demons evil, and is the Astral Fluid of which they are made destructive to mankind?” asked Ma-u.
“No, my son, they are not evil to mankind, for they simply do not realize that there are such things as men; and evil lies more in the intention than the deed. As to the ambient and all-penetrating Fluid; this—detached from the Spiritual Sun’s Splendour, an electro-magnetic ethereal substance, a vital and luminous caloric—is a living intelligent force which must be conquered by the mind, so that it may detach itself from earthly chains. If the mind fails to do this it will be absorbed into it again, and the same power which first released it, will draw it back into the Central Fire. Good and Evil are delusions of the earthly mind, symbolically they are represented by such pictures as the snake-emblem of Eternity of the Egyptians, when he encircles a water urn, his head hovering over the water which he incubates with his breath. This is a symbol of Kneph, the Eternal, Unrevealed God. Here, the Serpent is a good spirit—Agatho Daimôn, in opposition to the evil spirit, or Kakodaimôn. In the Pythagorean Triad, however, we have The God of the three aspects, and this is transformed, through the perfect quadrature of the Infinite Circle into the four-faced Brahmâ. ‘Of Him Who Is and yet is not, from Non-Being, the Eternal Cause, is born the Being, Purusha,’ as Manu, the legislator, says. And when the Being is re-absorbed in Non-Being, the cycle is completed, the work is done, and the Veil—the Mûlaprakriti of Parabrahman, will be raised, the Absolute Point revealed.
“And so there is a dual aspect to everything the senses realize. The Goddess Nut, Isis, Diana, Hathor, demiurgal, at once visible and invisible, different names for the same Divine Lady, had a dual aspect too, one Divine, the other Infernal. Semele, the wife of Jupiter and mother of Bacchus, is after her death carried to Heaven and reigns as Queen of the World, between Mars and Venus, or as Queen of the Universe, at whose name all the demons tremble, just as they do when the name of Hathor, Hecate, and other Infernal Goddesses is pronounced. In the Hierarchies of Demons we find Pulastya, a Son of God, who is made the progenitor of Demons, or Râkshasas, the tempters and devourers of men. We find Pishâchâ, a female Demon, who is the daughter of Daksha, also a Son of God, and she the mother of all the Pishâchâs. But these Demons, so-called in the Purânas, are very strange beings, since all of them are shown as extremely pious, following the precepts of the Vedas and some of them being even great Yogins!
“In the Talmud you find Samael, the Chief of the Demons, ‘that Great Serpent with Twelve Wings that draws down after himself in his Fall the Solar System, or the Titans.’ His alter ego is Schemal, which really means the Year in its astrological evil aspect, with its twelve months, or Wings, of unavoidable evils in Nature. But in Esoteric Theogony both Samael and Schemal represented a particular Divinity. And the Kabalist regards them as the Spirits of the Earth, the Personal God that governs it, and therefore identical with Jehovah. Even the Talmudists themselves admit that Samael is a god-name of one of the seven Elohim. There is a secret meaning hidden behind all these allegories, known to the Initiated, who have the key.
“To the ignorant masses all these forces were gods, independent and supreme; they were demons to the fanatics, and to the Hermetic Philosopher they are either blind potencies or intelligent, according to which of the principles are under consideration.
“It is recounted that when the Demons were defeated in the Sacred Island—Atlantis—they fled to the northern shore of the Milky Ocean—the Atlantic Ocean—whence they addressed prayers and supplications to the ‘first of Beings, the Divine Vishnu’; and the curious part is that they address him as the ‘One with the Serpent-Race, double-tongued, impetuous, cruel, insatiate of enjoyment.’
“There are still peoples and tribes in America, Africa and Asia, whose religion is Demonocracy, or the worship of devils. It all depends on the point of view, and during the ages we find philosophers, such as Plato, who classifies the Demons in nine groups, namely:
- The Seraphim.
- The Cherubim.
- The Order of Thrones.
- The Order of Dominions.
- The Order of Virtues.
- The Order of Powers.
- The Order of Principalities.
- The Archangels.
- The lowest Angels.
“The deposed Angels are Azares, Belial, Barbatos, who were all of high rank in Virtues.
Bileth, Focalor, Phoenix, of the Thrones.
Goap, of Powers.
Purson, of Virtues and Thrones.
“Michael Psellus divides the Demons into six great groups or bodies:
- Of Fire.
- Of the Air.
- Of the Earth.
- Of the Waters and Rivers, causing tempests and floods.
- The subterranean, causing earthquakes and volcanoes.
- The Shadows; ghostlike in appearance.
“Then we have the Demonography, or history and description of Demons in the writings of such authors as Wierus, Delancre, Leloyer and Bodin.
“And we must not forget the Demonius; a stone containing a demoniacal rainbow, which appears in it when rubbed and is useful in ceremonies in which the demons are invoked.”
“How did these people acquire all this knowledge?” asked Ma-uti.
“By study of the ancient books, by instructions from the old Initiates, by inspiration and sometimes by imagination, my child.”
While the Messenger had been speaking, the tumult of earthquake and storm had gradually subsided; the rain had ceased and the wind died down.
Gigantic mountains towered in the sky and were of rough and most fantastic shapes. Huge rocks and boulders hung precariously on narrow ledges and many of the demons were gleefully engaged in pushing them down the uneven slopes, where with thunderous crashes they bounced from point to point, until they became wedged in wide cracks, or came to rest on the lower parts of tortured soil.
Weird clouds were sailing in the heavens, reflecting the fires from the still erupting volcano, which, rumbling fiercely, threw out a mass of glowing stones and red-hot lava, which crept slowly down the slope.
“Is it safe yet to have a look around, Messenger?” asked Ma-u.
“Not yet, my son, the work is not completed,” was the reply. At the same moment was heard a distant clamour high above, and a majestic Being appeared, in his hand a gleaming sword, riding on a pale horse, with mien of a great King, terrible to behold; Beleth his name.
A thousand trumpeters did go before him, blowing melodious and martial calls, and sackbuts gave a deeper tone, a basis for the higher sounds, a blend of rousing awe-inspiring music, thrilling every nerve.
And legion after legion of fearsome demons trooped in never-ending swarms behind him, until all that quarter of the firmament was filled with shouting dreadful forms. Some had lion’s heads, or goose’s feet, or tails of hares. Some had raven’s heads, or heads of goats, or heads of cats or toads, or they were clad in the garb of fearsome warriors, or with a griffin’s wings. Covered they were with scales, defended with huge teeth and fierce talons, sharp and poisonous; a marvellous spectacle of great legions, eighty-five in number.
And now arrived another troop of thirty legions, headed by Lerail, the great marquis of demons. Astride a giant crocodile, with hawk on wrist, he leads his fiery henchmen; crookéd horns adorned their heads and in their hands are prongs of lightning, which they swing around in blinding circles.
Here comes another troop, led by Furcas, cruel Knight, with twenty legions of his mercenaries of hell. He rides a wolf and in his hand is a writhing viper, darting furious tongue and showing poisonous fangs, full eager to destroy. And all his soldiers are wrapped in flames, breathing sulphur-clouds, astride of serpents from the burning deeps, of frightful aspect.
Wild Morax adds his legions of monsters, thirty-one in number, and the shouting and the yells increase, as, flame in hand astride a black horse, this giant Earl and mighty President of evil gallops in the clouds, and circles wildly with loud shouts of devilish joy. Clad is he in crimson raiment, wearing on bold front a crown, and sallying along. His troop consists of demons with three heads, encircled with a fiery zone, and some have heads of dogs or snakes and bark or spit in anger.
And yet another ferine troop; that of Azares, First Duke under the Power of the East, with thirty-one savage legions. An infernal Dragon is his steed, and he swings serpent's tail aloft. His minions, strange and hideous, swarm around in dizzy circles. Black as pitch they are, with talons like the lion, claws like the wild bear, tusks like mastodons, sharp as rapiers. Bellowing with rage and gall they charge the rest, and ghastly battle threatens, until the chief, with sanguinary screams, rounds up his brood and whips them to submission.