Associated in many cultures with monstrous and ghostly figures, demons have been present in religion, culture and art for hundreds of years.
If you want to know a little more about this ancient figure, you can continue reading this article.
What are the demons?
A demon is the embodiment of a generalized concept of indefinite otherworldly force, evil or blessed.
There is a curiosity regarding this term in Greek, Δαίμων, since the etymology of the word is not clear.
Its root δσίω means “divide”, “isolate”, “distribute”. The metaphysical justification for this etymology is the concept often denoted as giver, distributor of lots, one who gives a man his lot on earth. The word also rose to Sanskrit “dasmant” – “wise”,
The etymology going back to Plato was especially popular in the medieval tradition: δαήμων – “knower” because the demons know the future.
The devil is also defined in the 16th century, on the basis of this etymology as being “understood, skilful and dexterous in many things” (sciens, callidus et finarum rerum peritus).
Types of Daemons
According to demonology, which is the part of theology and mythology that study these spirits, they are classified into two types:
1-Tradition or ideology:
- shedu demon
- demons of people
- Demons known to Christians
2-The deadly sins:
- Demon Lucifer, related to the deadly sin, pride .
- Demon Mammon, associated with the sin of avarice , excessive greed and the accumulation of wealth being unable to share.
- Demon Satan is the one who represents anger .
- Demon Asmodeus related to lust , which consists of almost sick and exaggerated sexual desire.
- Beelzebub demon, represents gluttony . insatiability or excessive appetite for food and drink.
- Demon Leviathan, governs the sin of envy , when what others have is excessively desired.
- Demon Belfegor, is an entity that is related to the deadly sin of laziness , that is, laziness and laziness in doing things.
demons in history
This figure has been present throughout history in the different cultures of the world, each one obviously attributing different powers and positions according to their beliefs.
in ancient times
In Greek religion and mythology, the devil is the embodiment of a generalized idea of an indefinite divine power without power. form, wicked or noble, that determines a person’s fate
This is a terrible deadly force that instantly arises and escapes, which cannot be called by name, to avoid coming into communication with it.
He suddenly appears, performs some action and immediately disappears without a trace, at this stage of history his image is nothing more than “the god of this moment”
Sometimes the Olympian gods are also called demons, but only in a generalized and undefined sense or in the case where this God has not shown himself individually and is hiding his name.
The demon directly affects a person, prepares trouble and sends it, seduces, causes ominous dreams.
The demon guides a person on the path that leads to some, often catastrophic, events, invokes an unexpected thought.
Demons are also considered inferior deities, intermediaries between gods and people.
For Homer, the word demon denotes the mysterious influence of divine power on a person, which can be good or bad.
In the Odyssey, researchers note a tendency to attribute a predominantly evil and hostile influence to the devil; in this sense, the word is used in the poem for about twenty years.
In the post-Homeric era, the word takes on a more specific meaning, denoting creatures that occupy a mediating position between gods and people.
In Hesiod (Works and Days, 121-126) the demons are the souls of the people of the Golden Age, a period so named because it was the most developed.
These souls were assigned by Zeus to the people, to protect and supervise them: “look at the right and wrong deeds”
The souls of the people of the Golden Age “were rational and knew everything”, every “worthy person” after death “becomes a demon, who deserves this name for his rationality”
Theognidus and later authors speak of demons as companions and guardians of one person or another.
Attic authors often mention the “good demon” or agathos daimon, associated with chthonic forces and powers.
There are very vague ideas about this entity, however, if it is specified that it appears materialized as a snake, which was common in Alexandria and to which tributes were presented.
This spirit was thought to watch over the house and its inhabitants, it was sometimes “consecrated” and during meals the first sip of wine was offered as a libation for the or agathos daimon .
Pbrass and his school interpret demons as intermediaries between gods and people.
He affirmed “that it is worth mentioning in our prayers, because they can be benevolent mediators”, they are transparent and invisible, they also have great wisdom, “they know all our thoughts”.
They are prone to good and evil, because the actions of evil people hurt them and they can hate, they are capable, in contrast to the gods, of experiencing pain and passion.
Plato’s student Xenocrates for the first time divided the demons into good and bad: he raised the gods to complete personal non-interference in the affairs of the world and transferred the function of intermediaries to the demons, also ruling out all the scandalous and obscene that was said in mythology about the gods.
According to Xenocrates, demons possess a body consisting of earthly and etheric matter. He also divided these entities into three different types of demons :
– Those who have always been demons.
– Souls of people who, after death, separated from the body and became demons.
– Those who live within us and are identical to our own souls.
Apuleius also builds a hierarchy of demons in the essay “On the Deity of Socrates”. According to his classification, the demons are:
– God, who is his soul for everyone”; in other words, the soul itself is understood as a demon.
– Human souls, when, after paying the debts of life, they gave up their body. They were called Lemurs in the ancient Latin language.
– Those who have never been in the human body. They are considered a higher and more sacred type of demons, who are always free from the shackles of the body and rule over certain forces, among them are sleep and love.
Porphyry already establishes the distinction between good and bad demons of his own intermediate nature between matter and spirit:
The evil demons are more rooted in matter than in spirit, spatially they live in lower spheres, where it is more convenient for them to cause crop failure, disease and bad weather. They are subject to affections and provoke passions.
The good demons the material principle is subordinated to the spirit; they can help a person in his spiritual ascent to a higher deity.
No matter how Christian theology sought to eradicate the teachings of good demons and the hierarchy of demons dating back to ancient demonology.
These were not completely eliminated and flourished with renewed vigor in the Neoplatonic demonology of the Renaissance. In Roman mythology, a genie corresponds to a demon.
Middle Ages or Middle Ages
The fear of the devil and sin is what most obsessed the men of the Middle Ages, judging by the insistence with which this theme occurs in literature and art.
The devil has an important role in the New Testament, where he represents the principle of evil, he is related to the material world, his malevolent kingdom is in constant struggle with the kingdom of God, until the end of the world, when he will be definitively defeated.
Angels and demons belong to the Renaissance period in many ways.
From philosophy to theology, from medicine to cosmology, art and literature, these figures appeared with enough regularity to make them an essential and frequent element of this age.
While Protestant theology abolished the cult of angels and reformed the entire angelological view of Pseudo-Dionysius, on the Catholic side, prayers, festivals, and meditations dedicated to angels gradually increased.
Regarding the vision and philosophical reflection on angels and demons, there were two very different lines of thought.
On the one hand, there was a strong continuity with the angelology and demonology of the medieval theological and philosophical current.
This was made up of all those thinkers who exposed and commented on the thinking of the great masters of the past, adding in some specific cases their own positions.
On the other hand, decidedly new perspectives arose with the development of hermetic, magical and cabalistic thought,
On the basis of magical-kabbalistic knowledge, the philosopher-magician claimed that interaction with these beings was possible.
Such ideas and affirmations have always been observed and appreciated with great distrust by the Church, both Catholic and Protestant.
Renaissance art and literature in turn incorporated and reinterpreted these beings, sometimes in an original way.
The contribution of Judaic demonology to the image of the Christian devil was not as great as the contribution of antiquity, for the reason that in Old Testament demonology it is presented sparingly.
The Jews recognized Yahweh as the source of punishing evil and therefore did not need such a highly developed demonology as, for example, in the religion of Babylon.
The main demonological text of the Old Testament is 90 psalms (5-6 stanzas), where, according to researchers, four demons are mentioned at once:
“You will not be afraid of the horrors in the night (Pahad), the arrow that flies in the evening, the ulcer walking in the dark, a devastating plague at noon (Ketev, Midday Demon).”
This property has long been credited with the property of an anti-demonic amulet: the Talmudists believed that Moses sang this psalm when he ascended Mount Sinai.
If ancient demonology influenced medieval notions about the nature of demons, then European demonologists borrowed names and images from Judaic mythology.
In which the new Christian “nature” was embedded without knowing: Azazel, Asmodeus, Velial, Beelzebub, Lilith, as well as the monsters Leviathan and Behemoth, who also assumed as demons.
In Christian representations, demons are exclusively associated with the power of evil.
This entity in the representations of the Christian peoples of Europe is often referred to as a fallen angel who rebelled against God.
In the Gospels, the devil is not usually described, except for the effects he causes. This figure, in addition to being mentioned when he decides to tempt Jesus, is mentioned and defined as evil, the enemy, Beelzebub, the liar, among other ways.
“And whenever the unclean spirits saw Jesus, they fell before Him and cried out: “You are the Son of God.” But He insistently warned them not to reveal his identity” , Mark 3:11-12
In Islam there are figures that personify evil, a figure that opposes or confronts God and is known as Shaitan and the one called Iblis, which translates as the one who causes despair.
Both represent rebellion against God and disobedience, as related in the Qur’an in Sura 38 (71-76):
“When your Lord said to the angels: I am going to create a mortal of clay and when I have formed him harmoniously and infused him with My Spirit, fall prostrate before him!
The angels prostrated ( kneel or bow out of respect) , all together, except Iblis, who was proud and was one of the infidels.
He said: Iblis! What is it that has prevented you from prostrating yourself before what I have created with My hands? Has it been haughtiness, arrogance?
He said: I am better than him. You created me out of fire, while you created him out of clay.”
In Baha’ism, there is no belief in spirits or ghosts, the Bahá’u’lláh teaches that heaven and hell are not material places.
They are simply states of being that we experience in this physical plane and in the next life, depending on us and divine grace the situation or condition that we enjoy.
The Bahá’í concept of heaven is simply when we are close to God and therefore hell is the opposite, that is, when we are far from God.
In the mythologies of other nations, demons are called inferior to the gods, supernatural characters, evil spirits.
In Japan there are several terms when referring to monsters and demons, some well known are mononoke, bakemono, obake and perhaps the best known of all: the yokai.
The term yokai describes not only a series of creatures typical of Japanese folk tradition, but everything that does not belong to the earthly dimension, this also includes unexplained supernatural phenomena and objects possessed by mysterious entities.
One aspect that must be clarified and it is a mistake that we must not make is to assume that these demons and monsters of Japanese culture are only evil entities, there are some that are carriers of peace, love and favorable luck or benevolent demons.
This has an explanation given by the same Japanese mythology, the benign deities can go to inhabit any form of the body, be it a person, an animal or a yokai.
This makes possible the existence of good demons, a well-known example being the most famous Japanese yokai: the Kappa.
These unique spirits with funny characteristics can be evil to the point of drowning their victims or so generous and protective as to defend entire towns from any kind of catastrophe.
To date, there are ancient illustrations and depictions of some four hundred different Japanese spirits, however, if you also count those mentioned in historical books and manuscripts, you get almost a thousand different types of yokai.
There are many types of classification of these spirits: they can be grouped according to their appearance, their nature whether good or bad, their origins, etc.
However, the simplest and best known classification is as follows:
- Yurei Yokai – Human spirits returned from the afterlife to achieve particular purposes, usually revenge,
- Kaiju Yokai: animals and insects possessing unique magical powers.
- Henge Yokai: spirits that have the gift of modifying their appearance and taking on any form.
- Choshizen Yokai: Phenomena that are mysterious and impossible to explain, that are attributable to certain supernatural activities.
The most popular demons present in Japanese myths and stories are: the Yurei, the Oni, the Tengu, the Yama-Uba, etc.
Hindu mythology knows of a large number of jinn and demons who are inferior to gods but superior to men.
Starting from the fact that everything has its opposite, that each people has its enemies, the same happens with the Hindu myths in the beings known as the Asuras.
The Devas are known as the race of the gods and their enemies are the Asuras, engaged in a fight that has lasted for centuries.
However, the term asura does not refer to the enemies of the gods at the beginning of the Vedic period, that is, the time when the Vedas, the ancient sacred texts, were composed.
At first he was known as Varuna, the guardian god of the organization of the world, who is also called the wise Asura and was thus invoked, it is the same for gods like Indra, Mitra and Agni who are designated as such.
It is in the Rig-Veda that the term asura becomes the designation of demons or evil giants, enemies of the gods.
They are beings of great power, capable of equaling the gods through meditation and asceticism, a spiritual discipline to seek perfection through renunciation.
The Rahashasas, of whom Ravana is the king, are among the races belonging to the Asuras.
The cause of this conflict between Devas and Asuras stems from the fact that the demons by their nature were condemned to live in the lower world.
Furious at such conditions and envying the celestials, they constantly try to take possession of the heavens.
Agni, the god of fire is his greatest enemy, many were killed by him, to the point of being designated as the assassin of Asuras.
Some agree with men and gods, others simply want to supplant the gods. Some live in Himavanta, the mythical forest that surrounds the base of Mont Meru.
Among the most popular we find:
Apsaras are extremely beautiful young women who roam space in search of sexual partners (and who like to scare men).
The Gandharvas are sons of Prajapati, of Brahma, aerial geniuses characterized by their science, their sexual activity (sometimes with mortals) and their musical tastes.
Fabulous bird, son of Garuda and brother of Sampati, who tries to prevent the kidnapping of Sita.
The Kinnara and their female counterparts, the Kinnari, are half human half animal (horses, birds) who are perfect lovers and good heavenly musicians.
The Naga are quite beneficial geniuses of land and water, similar to snakes and guardians of treasures.
The Rakshasa are huge ugly demons, created at the feet of Brahma, who inhabit the kingdom of Danda, they consume decaying human meat and food.
They obey their king Ravana and love to change their appearance and come to disturb the rituals of the priests and Men.
The Rakshasi are demons and the Manushya-Rakshasi are demons in human form.
- veto it
The Vetala live near cemeteries and mass graves where they animate the corpses of people who have not received a funeral. Usually malicious, sometimes they help someone.
In Native and Mesoamerican beliefs, “demons” tended to be supernatural deities capable of destruction, but there were also some benevolent ones.
Often these “evil” entities were the enemies of the main gods or were personifications of acts of nature, such as hurricanes, storms, winds, etc., which could wreak havoc in everyday life.
Among the demons and evil spirits within the various Native American, Aztec, Mayan, and other Mesoamerican cultures, we find:
Native Americans: In Iroquois mythology , also known as the Haudenosauneeen, these Native Americans referred to Dagwanoenyent, the daughter of the wind who often took the form of a whirlwind.
The Seneca tribe considered her a dangerous witch who could not be killed.
There is also a legend that Dagwanoenyent gave two brothers three hairs on his head, so that when they wanted rain, they should wet them and shake off the drops, then heavy rains would follow soon.
In Navajo mythology, an indigenous nation in the Southwestern United States, there are the Skinwalkers, also known as the Yenaldooshi.
These characters are witches who wear coyote fur and travel at night. They appear naked, wear only masks and jewelry, and tend to live in caves, stocking recognizable human heads on shelves.
Mayan Demons: According to the Popol Vuh, Xibalbá is an underground world or underworld and is inhabited by some lords of disease, death and other spirits. of sickness and death
This world and its demons , such as Hun Came and Vucub Came, One Death and Seven Death respectively, represent the main gods of death and the Mayan underworld or underworld.
Another character of the Mayan imaginary is the Bokol h’otoch, a spirit or imp that stirs up the dwellings in the tribe. It is said that he makes a noise under the ground at night, to scare those who come to hear him.
Very similar to the previous one we find the Yancopek, a demon that enters and takes refuge in the jars, vessels and pitchers.
Aztec mythology : They mentioned Mictlantecuhtli, a skeletal deity of death who ruled over Mictlan, the underworld, with his wife, Mictlancihuatl.
There is also the Tezcatlipoca or smoking mirror, it represents conflict in Aztec mythology. As his name implies, he is often portrayed with a smoking obsidian mirror on the back of his head, and with another replacing one of his feet.
The Tlaltecuhtli or Lord of the Earth, is a great monster of the earth that the Aztecs described as a woman, with red hair, dressed in a short skirt, bare torso and a band on her forehead.
It has sharp claws and teeth, as it feeds on human flesh and blood.
The tzitzimime, or monsters that descend from above, are known as celestial demons in Aztec mythology that continually threaten to destroy the world.
The stories and stories say that they are the stars that fight against the sun every night, until dawn.
Mesopotamia: in this ancient culture figures of this type were also known, for example some Mesopotamian demons, they are: Lilith, Lamashtu, Utukku, Gallu, Asakku, Asag, among others.
Lamashtu, the most terrible of all female demons, daughter of the sky god Anu.
She killed children and drank the blood of men and ate their flesh. She was the bearer of seven names, she was often described in incantations as the “seven witches”.
It is obviously a figure widely used in various works of fiction.
In the universes invented by American science fiction and fantasy author Robert Asprin, the demon, also known as “dimension demonstrator”, is a term applied to travelers between dimensions.
In general, the aborigines usually use this term to describe visitors from another dimension or the creatures that inhabit it.
In Howl’s Moving Castle, by director Hayao Miyazaki, one of the main characters is the fire demon named Calcifer.
The character is powerful and magical, inevitably linked to Howl by a contract that does not allow him to leave the castle, which he keeps running.
This figure is also part of the plot of the well-known Ghost Rider, The Ghost Rider or The Phantom Avenger, a character published by Marvel Comics.
If we look in other continents, we find The Conqueror of Demons , a Chinese film, which was released in 2013 and covers genres such as adventure, comedy and mythology.
This product of Chinese cinema uses science fiction and black humor to make an adaptation of a classic of Chinese literature known as “Journey to the West”, referring to the devil and other characters from the mythology of this Asian country.
Hierarchy of Demons
By hierarchy of demons is meant the order in which the demons of esoteric mythology are classified.
There are several types of classification since demons are present in Christian, Jewish, pagan, Muslim, Indian, Turkish, Chinese and Japanese mythology.
Classifications were often founded to counter angel hierarchies, especially by Christian theologians and writers.
Based on the writings of Saint Paul, the angelic court, first divided in the 4th century, was thought to consist of three hierarchies, each of which included a certain number of categories, this was also done for demons.
In the fifth century, the demons were divided into five categories, four added to the same fundamental elements (water, fire, air and earth), the fifth residing in the afterlife.
In the eleventh century, according to Michele Psello, the demons are divided into five classes to which a sixth is added, which refers to the demons of the shadows, with the appearance of ghosts.
Saint Augustine gathered all the demons in the sixth category of M. Psello.
During the Middle Ages and early Renaissance, due to the renewed and growing interest in the magical arts and the development of a European witchcraft, it was necessary to trace more organized systems of hierarchies.
These outlined the exact position and characteristics of every demon that could be imagined.
The most famous list is the one elaborated and published by the English doctor and magician Johann Weyer in his “Pseudomonarchia daemonum” in 1563.
According to this, the demons were 7,409,127, commanded by seventy-nine principles and specifying the appearance and character of each one.
There were many demon enumerations in that period and each demonologist provided their own based on different numerological systems.
The list contained in the anonymous library Lemegeton Clavicula Salomonis , The Lesser Key of Solomon or simply Lemegeton is also of great interest, considered one of the most interesting of its kind and a kind of operating manual,
At the beginning of the 19th century, the Englishman Francis Barrett published a book entitled The Magician, in which he proposed a classification, where he divided all evil spirits into nine degrees.
Among these we find some like: false gods or those demons who want to be worshipped. the lying spirits that often deceive men with divinations and predictions. the
accusers or inquisitors and Templars or seducers, among others.
There is also another classification according to the Kabbalah that divides them into seven categories.
- Demons of fire: they inhabit the most distant regions of the underworld.
- Demons of the air: they dwell and fly around men.
- Demons of the earth: they mix with men with the task of tempting and bewitching them.
- Water demons: They live in the oceans, seas and rivers causing storms and shipwrecks.
- Subterranean demons: they are hidden in the wells and are the cause of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
- Demons of the night or darkness: they owe their name to the fact that they live far from the sun.
- Ice Demons: They owe their name to the fact that they live in glaciers.
The Kabbalah further divides these categories of demons into 10 groups, each led by a particular demon:
- Thamiel: loathsome spirits dominated by Moloch
- Chaigidel: characterized by being liars and are commanded by Beelzebub.
- Satariel; spirits of falsehood, ruled by Lucifer.
- Gamchicolh: those who are disturbers of souls, impure ruled by Astaroth.
- Galb – Incendiary, wrathful and fierce spirits dominated by Asmodeus.
- Tagaririm: quarrelsome and discordant spirits led by Belphegor.
- Harab: Known as the ravens or messengers of death, characterized as rebellious spirits ruled by Baal.
- Samael: conflictive, warlike and fierce led by Adramelech.
- Iamaliel: they are scandalous, rude and obscene, these spirits are directed by Lilith.
- Reshaim: this group is that of the wicked and cruel, commanded by Nahenia.
Below is a list of some demon names and their meaning :
Demons in Iacuta mythology (Turkmen peoples) usually inhabit the underground world and feed on souls.
It is said that they have teeth made of iron, they can be as tall as a large tree and they move in groups of seven elements each, they do not walk alone.
Also known as Abaddon, Abaddon, Addadomna, Apollyn and Apollyon, he is considered the Chief of the seventh hierarchy of demons and his name means loss, ruin and death.
In the Jewish magical tradition and Byzantine demonology, this name corresponds to a female demon of a malevolent nature, who sends various diseases.
Present in Sumerian-Akkadian mythology, it is described as an invisible demonic vampire without eyes, ears and mouth, it usually attacks those who sleep.
It is an ancient and tempting vampire demon, belonging to Jewish folklore, who appears as a beautiful woman whose face expresses purity and innocence.
It is an evil spirit, similar to a Japanese demon. which can induce evil and dark desires in the human being, convincing him to commit bad and wrong deeds. He is considered the spirit of contradiction, evil and perversion.
He is a skeletal figure from Breton folklore, who acts as the messenger of death.
One of the regents of the lunar mansions according to the tradition of the nation of Enoch, great-grandfather of Noah.
It is considered as one of the fallen angels, one of those who followed Satan in his revolt and was punished, it has a vengeful nature, that is why it is associated with resentment and revenge.
It is a Syrian deity, but it is also venerated in Samaria, which is represented as a male goat and is heard laughing when it does evil.
It is known under the names of Asmodai, Sydonai, Chammadai, Asmodeus and Asmodaeus, it belongs to the Mazdian or Zoroastrian beliefs.
They say that he fell in love with a woman and that every time she got married she murdered her husband that same night, preventing the marriage from being consummated.
Also called Aschmog, he is a Persian figure, who tries to promote quarrels, conflicts and lawsuits. They describe it as a snake, but with legs and it is the origin of the poisonous species of the animal kingdom.
This name can be found both in Hebrew mythology and in Islam. Being in the first a demon of the winds and in the last an archangel, who has a human body and a face similar to a lion.
It is a malevolent spirit that protects and supports spies and informers.
Asic-Pacha or Ascik-Pacha, belonging to the Turkish culture, this demon is associated with love and eroticism, in addition to favoring conflicts and secret intrigues.
He is one of the so-called fallen angels or those expelled from heaven for rebelling against God. However, they say that he was condemned for opposing God and not agreeing with Luzbel.
Azhi Dahaka or Zahhak
Known as the Great Serpent, it is described as a monster similar to a three-headed dragon (three heads) and six eyes, belonging to the mythology of Zoroastrian Persia.
It is a spirit of Belarusian mythology, which tends to incline people to laziness and laziness.
Baal, Beel or Bel
It is a God of some Asian cultures, it comes from the beliefs of ancient peoples such as Phoenicians, Chaldeans, Babylonians, Sidonians and Israelites. He is powerful, offering wisdom and invisibility to those who call on him.
He is known by other names, such as Baalzephon, Balcephon, and Baal-Sephon, and is a figure from Ancient Egypt.
He is the leader of the guards and sentinels of hell, in addition to being in charge of the discipline and fidelity of the slaves.
It belongs to the second category and usually governs the oracles, it belongs to the Phoenician beliefs.
It is usually called Iacco, it is possible to find this name in different cultures and not precisely as a demon. He is the symbol of the fire that consumes the sacrifice for the Greeks or the deity of wine for the Greco-Romans.
In demonology he is the prince of the satyrs and the silenus, he has a cheerful, burlesque character and he enjoys pleasures with impudence.
When he takes on a human appearance one of his feet is defective and his penis is usually sized outside of actual dimensions.
It is a malevolent spirit, resentful and full of jealousy, it tends to sow evil and discord among those who love each other.
This demon is said to calm or contain anger.
It is a lustful incubus and of great power of seduction, it usually possesses women, to have sexual relations.
It receives other names such as Beelzebub, Ba’al Zebûb and Baal Zabut, it is present in Hebrew mythology and is usually used to designate a lesser demon or the gods of other religions even though they are not evil, a very common custom among different beliefs.
He is the ruler of the winds and storms, causes rain and hail, produces and spreads thunder through curses and potions.
Budú, Voodoo, Voodoo or Voodoo
He is a deity and an idol of the island of Ceylon, a giant linked to magic and sorcery, who gave this knowledge to the tribes of this island.
In the Tagalog folklore of the island of the Philippines, the Buivaya is a giant demon with the appearance of a crocodile. He sleeps at the bottom of the ocean and gathers people’s souls in his coffin-shaped chest.
These dangerous and evil aquatic monsters, also known as kianpraty, belong to the folklore of the Australian aborigines.
They have some characteristics of common animals such as a horse’s tail, walrus-like tusks, fins and horns. It really does not correspond to the traditional idea of a demon, however it was terrifying for the aborigines.
They are evil spirits from Tungus-Manchu mythology, specifically from the Nanai and Evenki, ethnic minorities of China.
It is small, of little power and lesser category, it is a spirit that lives in fire.
This demon is a river that is located in hell according to Greek beliefs, its waters are muddy and are the tears of the damned.
It is the one that usually originates from the crossing of several species, according to certain Latin cultures. Its appearance is usually monstrous, for example the head and limbs of an animal, the body of a human being, claws and a large tail.
Kabbalistic figure, rebellious, who opposes the authority of God.
It is known by other names such as Quigen and Kuijen. Figure from evangelical Christian churches that are not related to Catholicism and that represents Satan in certain countries of the world.
They are figures named in the myths of the Indians of Central America, they are described as demons who live in the forest disguised as little old men.
These spirits are known thanks to Armenian folklore, they are considered as humanoid creatures, which have their feet upside down.
Demon that closely follows walkers, appearing through rituals to summon demons in the form of a man on horseback.
He is the infernal duke who has the image of a man with different female and male faces, he is a powerful magician who transforms good into evil and deceives thought. He is also knowledgeable about the arts and sciences.
In Persian culture he is known as the demon of death, deceit and lies. The stories describe him as a tricephalous being (three heads) covered entirely by scorpions and lizards.
His name means unknown demon of men, they describe him as a spirit that lives in the center of the earth and has the appearance of a cadaverous old man, dirty and full of moss. He is able to dominate spirits, entities and ghosts of the air.
He is known as an infernal spirit who is an expert in the power and virtues of plants and minerals, especially precious stones.
Drugia, Druj, Drug or Drauga
It is known as the Plague, it triggers diseases and evils. They describe him as three-headed with hundreds of very acute senses.
In the Greek tradition there were three judges in hell or the underworld: Aeacus or Aiacos, Minos and Radamantis. Aeacus judged those who came from Ancient Greece.
Malevolent demons that reside in the forests, they are often described as having a dark hairy body, goat-like limbs, and large horns on their heads.
Emma-Õ, Yemma Ten, Yemma Dai O and Emma
He is described as the owner and king of hell in Japanese Buddhism, he is the one who judges and punishes souls, according to their actions and sins carried out on earth.
This figure is from Russian folklore and is described as a demon who takes the form of a beautiful young woman, who has a foot shaped like a beast’s helmet in bronze.
It is seen at noon at harvest time and attacked those who worked in the field, leaving their limbs fractured.
Erlik or Erlik-Khan
It belongs to the culture of Siberia, considering itself a malevolent spirit, for other cultures such as the Turkish it is a deity of the deceased.
It is described as a being with the head of a bull or buffalo, it has large horns that are surrounded by flames. Others indicate that it is a two-headed being with four hands, to whom black animals were offered in sacrifice.
Philotanus or Philotanus
He is considered a second-class demon, who encourages and favors sodomy and pederasty. In addition, he is the protector of sorcerers, magicians and sorcerers, since these acts attract him.
He is an infernal and evil being with the appearance of an old man with a long beard and abundant hair, with great knowledge in divination through fire and the lines of the hand, also knowledgeable in astronomy and philosophy. He has a stern and cruel face and rides a horse.
In Armenian culture, an evil spirit of winter is called Gouge.
In Jewish folklore, this figure is described as a demon woman, who has a bird’s beak and legs, dedicating herself to killing small children.
It is an unclean spirit that is mentioned in Belarusian mythology, it only laughs at the moment when a misfortune happens to a person.
It is a minor demon, very small and mischievous, they are usually helpers for the gods in Germanic folklore
This Babylonian and Assyrian goddess has other names as well, such as Istar, Isthar, Zarpanith, Belit, Attar, Sarpanit, Astarte, Terpanit, Milita, and Ashtar.
She was goddess of love, fertility, beauty, war and victory. Her cult was very widespread and important, so it is presumed that other religions later made her look like a demon.
In the folklore of the Russian indigenous peoples Chukchis and Koriakos, this name designates spirits similar to werewolves and that are bearers of evil power.
He is a character from Japanese mythology, they describe him as a cannibal demon, which causes terror.
Kerobal or Turban Querobal
Belonging to Turkish folklore, it was a malevolent demon invoked by sorceresses when they performed black magic and curses.
This figure is a bovine demon belonging to the Sumerian-Akkadian mythology in ancient Mesopotamia.
It is a hunchbacked figure, which in Greek folklore is described as a terrible, extremely dangerous demon.
It is a demon very similar to a deer, it lives in the forests of the Łódź Voivodeship, in Poland. It is dedicated to attracting travelers to nature, and then attacking them.
It is a terrible demon, which takes the form of a red mouse, this plague that causes skin diseases in people.
Two-headed gray bird present in the stories of gypsy folklore and that is a disguised demon that sends rage and anger to human beings and therefore pushes them to carry out all kinds of crimes.
Melek Tawus or Melek Ta’ûs
The “peacock angel”, it is not clear if it was considered an angel or a demon of Yazidi beliefs, in Ancient Mesopotamia. However, they describe it as a figure in the shape of a peacock and a rooster, which had a certain power.
He is one of the three judges of hell in the Greek culture, he sentenced those that the other two had not sentenced correctly or had not known how to judge.
Japanese folklore beliefs describe it as a faceless demon, it comes from the pain a mother suffers when a son dies in war.
Munkir or Munchir
He is a Muslim black angel, he was considered malevolent and was in charge of the Adhab Algab or purgatory, he mistreated and tormented those who were bad
It is a character from the folklore of western and northern Bulgaria, which is described as a malicious demon that causes plague and disease in chickens and other poultry.
Nergal or Nirgal
He is considered the King of the dead and ruler of the underworld in the Sumerian-Babylonian culture.
They say that it carries disease, plagues and destruction, it is described as a figure with a sickle and a club or club.
Of European origin, this demon is described as a being with a human figure and a deer’s head, in other cases as a cat or crow.
Of Syrian origin, it is said that this demon could speak using any orifice of the body and changing the tone of voice, since he was a ventriloquist.
An evil spirit in East Flanders with long claws and a stinking, burning breath, it is dedicated to attacking criminals, heretics, troublemakers and drunkards at night.
He is considered a malevolent spirit who is patron of traveling artists, it is said that those who invoke him enjoy the gift of rhyme and improvisation. It is said that he is knowledgeable about the art of the guitar.
Belonging to Egyptian religious beliefs, it is a demoness with feline characteristics, it is considered a minor category.
A small demon of native descent, much like a troll.
Son of the Mesopotamian god Hanbi, he was the king of the wind demons. It is said that he attracted storms and strong blizzards that produced plagues, pestilence, delusions, diseases and fevers.
This malevolent spirit dominates the air, it is capable of causing storms, hurricanes and cyclones. He works in conjunction with other entities to cause terrible weather phenomena or spread diseases.
It is said to belong to German folklore, they are said to appear when people are about to die. They have the appearance of a dwarf.
In Buddhism and Japanese folklore it is considered the deity or the spirit of death, it usually guides or instills in the human being the desire to die.
According to Kazakh folklore, it is considered a steppe, forest or mountain demon, who kills and destroys travelers, leaving them in a swamp or boggy place.
It is the product of the seven deadly sins together, so it was considered the king of demons. His food is the heart of any creature that gets in his way. He can take on the appearance and prowess of whoever is facing him.
It is a demonic figure whose exact origin is not known, it was represented with two heads and has power over good or bad fortune, so it is said that it can somehow control destiny.
Belonging to the Hindu imaginary, this demon who was considered to be of great intelligence, talent and power, was killed by the god Rāma.
He is the rakshasa demon lord and is described as having ten heads wearing crowns and twenty powerful arms.
He is known as the first fallen angel, it is said that he was the one who deceived Eve and was originally known as the angel of death.
Sathiel or Sariel
Demonic spirit ally and companion of Aamón, part of the Divi or as they are known the superior beings, others describe him as a prince of the Moon.
Samyaza or Semiasas
He is called the commander of the two hundred rebel archangels. He has Azazel under his command and as an assistant.
They are considered incarnations of the devil, described on Easter Island as malevolent spirits that look like skeletons and are eternally hungry.
Tefnet or Tefnut
It belongs to the ancient Egyptian culture and is considered a lower-class demon. They describe her with a feline appearance, she has the head of a lioness and has very seductive characteristics that make her dangerous.
Demon belonging to the Chaldean culture and beliefs, a Semitic tribe whose origin is unknown and which settled in southern Mesopotamia. It was said that upon taking possession, he would destroy people’s hands and arms.
Very mentioned in the Kabbalah, this archdevil pretended to have the attributes and powers of God.
She is considered the princess of the devils of Chaos and is the deity of salt water in Babylon. She is described in many different ways, some with sharp claws of a bird of prey and antlers, others attribute two heads to her.
According to Chinese and Japanese demonology, it is the general term for monsters that live in mountains, forests, swamps, stones, and other natural objects.
In Japanese and Chinese mythology, they are malevolent demons that inhabit forests and mountains, feeding by devouring corpses.
Belonging to the folklore of the Philippines, this demon that has a lot of vampire, lives in the jungle and usually has the appearance of a newborn baby, who cries inconsolably to attract travelers.
It is a figure that is associated with the cabal and that it is said can promote and induce armed conflicts.
It is also known as Tuculcha or Tuchulca and belongs to Etruscan mythology.
They describe it as a monstrous being of infernal origin, it has a beak like an eagle and ears like an ass, it is winged, its hair is vipers and it has a body like that of humans but yellow and with bird legs.
Ufir or Uphir
He is very educated and knowledgeable about chemistry, he is considered the doctor from hell and is related to healers.
It is a demon of Sumerian mythology, which causes ailments and diseases in the chest, neck and skin, leaving external injuries.
He was an angel who succumbed to his sexual desire for women and became a demon. That is why he is associated with lust.
In Japanese folklore, this being is a huge human head, often very terrifying, caught in a burning wheel.
This name is commonly used to designate all demonic spirits in the folklore of the Mapuche people in South America.
It is the spirit of disobedience and is described as an expert knowledgeable about plants in general, but especially in herbs and medicinal plants.
Considered a malevolent spirit of a minor order, which is related to health and also to intolerance and restlessness.
He is a demon of Quiche origin, whose mention in the Popol Vuh describes him as a presumptuous, conceited, vain and egotistical being.
He considers himself President of Hell and lord of thirty legions of evil spirits.
In Japanese mythology, a kind of water demon is a chimera with the head of a bull and spider legs.
Also called Jezebeth, Xezbet or Xerbeth, he is the one who governs lies and deception, creating the idea of false miracles, which are imaginary and a great fraud.
It is the King of Hell in Chinese beliefs, this place is known as Di Yu, underground and full of dungeons. It is similar to a labyrinth where souls are classified and treated according to their performance on earth and the type of sins committed. They describe him as very similar to the Hindu demigod Yama.
This name is known to a malevolent angel who dedicated himself to seducing men and beings of light that descended from Heaven.
Succubus belonging to Hindu mythology, which transforms into a beautiful and insatiable woman.
Incubus of gluttony, he is described as lascivious and lacking in modesty.
He is an incubus, who usually takes on the appearance of a well-known handsome man in medieval times.
Lord and President of Hell, he is said to protect swindlers and is described as having the head of a bull and the wings of the mythological animal known as a griffin.
Belonging to the Mazdean religion, he is the lord of crimes such as robbery and murder, in addition to being the one who tempts kings and powerful people to immerse him in tyranny.
Also called Zymyar, he is considered Lord and King of the northern area of the underworld.
female demon names
Some names of female demons or malevolent spirits from various cultures are:
- ardat lili
- Goleo Beenban
- Is Dahut
The death of a demon
According to different traditions and legends, a prayer can be used to cast out demons and drive them away, but a demon can also be put to death in different ways:
- Pierced with a sword with a cross-shaped hilt and bathed in holy water
- Luring him to the consecrated ground, where he would be cremated immediately.
- Exposing it to the light of a cross
- Shooting and wounding the same with bullets blessed by a saint.
- During the clash with a demon of higher rank in the infernal hierarchy
- In a fight with a demon belonging to an opposing element
- Hitting him with objects from a church.
The devil in art history
Byzantine, Gothic, and Renaissance artists from the north represented Christian culture and values.
The devil and his malicious cohorts were often depicted in a variety of guises.
These spiritually significant symbols are complex and intriguing.
Representations of the devil and hell became especially popular immediately after and during the plague.
The symbols of the devil in western art:
The dragon: being the emblem of pagan evil and Satan, the spiritual enemy of humanity. Saint Michael and Saint George are often depicted as fighting and slaying the dragon symbolizing their triumph over evil.
Serpent: symbolizes Satan, the presence of evil, the fall of man.
Snake on a fruit tree – means that the man falls into disgrace, as well as the interference of the devil in the affairs of men.
When a snake brazenly slithers down the middle of a street or highway, it symbolizes the false Prophet leading to hell.
A devious serpent peering out of a basket, urn, or flowerpot, a spiritual reminder of Satan’s presence in unusual places.
The gallows and the trident were also used as symbols of the devil.
The color red: it is a symbolic color of greed and lust, it is usually used to reflect or denote the sins of humanity, demons, original sin, temptation, Judas, hell, the fiery furnace, the slaughter of the dead. innocents, the Apocalypse, etc.
Goat, is a symbol that was often used to represent the devil, although it was not exactly this animal, but a very similar creature with horns and hooves.
Some of the painters who often represented the devil and the tortures of hell are:
William Blake (British), Romantic painter 1757-1827.
Eugène Delacroix (French), 1798-1863 Romantic painter.
Lucas Cranach the Elder (German), 1472-1553 of the Norse Renaissance.
Hieronymus Bosch (Dutch), 1450-1516, Late Gothic and Surrealism.
Pieter Brueghel the Elder (Dutch), 1525-1569, The Norse Renaissance.
Albrecht Dürer (German), 1471-1528, Nordic Renaissance.
It is difficult to trace a development of the iconography of the devil, because many different and contrasting traditions converge in it, such as the ascetic-monastic, the folkloric, the philosophical and the didactic-religious.
The devil assumes multiple aspects, according to his ability to transform, disguise himself and use all the tools of deception to further his ends of perdition.
Basically it shows two facets or faces: that of the tempter and that of the infernal torturer.
In the first case, he takes the form of a serpent or a human form, especially a female figure, but also a pious and cultured man, a traveler, a farmer, etc.
In this form, he makes pacts with sinners, who performed rituals to invoke demons, a version that circulated widely in the Middle Ages and would directly influence the famous witch hunt.
In the second case, the devil takes on the terrifying aspect documented in the texts of Bonvesin de la Riva, Giacomino da Verona, Dante, etc.
Before the year 1000, however, the demon, whether seen as a man, a goblin, or an evil spirit, is not an entirely despicable being. Well, many cultures came to identify some benevolent.
Only after the 11th century does he become a monstrous being, a hybrid between man and beast, equipped with horns, tails and wings.
It can be seen that his appearance will take on more and more grotesque characters after the crisis and plague of the 14th century.
Various texts influenced the monstrous image of the devil, who devours souls and expels them on ice, to influence later literary and artistic representations.
Even when in the twelfth, thirteenth and fourteenth centuries secular literature in the vernacular, from epic poems to novels, relegated his figure to a marginal role or a pure metaphor of human vices, this figure continues to be present in the popular imagination .
Religious literature and figurative art contribute to this, where the figure of the devil triumphs in hellish visions of the underworld.
Considering himself a projection of the anxieties related to the feeling of guilt and the fear of sin and death, the devil appears above all as a torturer.
Some artists show it to us, with the traditional attributes of an iconography aimed at arousing terror to distract us from sin.
Demons are depicted as misshapen and terrible beings, black, horned, foul-smelling, spewing flames from their eyes and breathing fire through their mouths, nostrils, and ears.
They usually have animal parts like bear paws, pig ears, claws, snake tail, etc.
It is a monstrous creature, a symbol or sign of the wild and the bestiality, of the subversion of the laws of nature, the demon is a voracious being that grabs, swallows and sometimes expels its victims.
This image is evoked by the man-eating wolf of European folklore and tales.
From the myth of the werewolf, the vampire, to the weretigers of the Asian tradition, this image strongly and tenaciously impresses the medieval imagination.
Dante Alighieri was the writer of one of the masterpieces of Italian and world literature, The Comedy, which would later be known as the Divine Comedy.
This work is the main example of the passage or transition from medieval ideas and thoughts to Renaissance ideas.
Masterfully bringing together religious themes, such as sins, virtues and theology, this work also includes certain scientific aspects of medieval times.
This work is divided into three parts: Hell, Purgatory and Paradise. As expected in the first part, the protagonist, Dante, descends into Hell, in the company of the poet Virgil, where he meets the devil.
Dante’s demon, Lucifer, is a figure trapped in Hell, with his three sharp-toothed mouths chewing up three famous traitors, Judas Izcariot, Gaius Cassius Longinus, and Marcus Junius Brutus.
They describe it with six heavy bat wings, a symbol of darkness and blindness, vainly whipping the icy air, powerless to fly.
This demon can be considered more repulsive than terrifying, it is pure matter, its body, furry and wild, is a monster, the denial of truth and spirit.
dream of demons
The demon that appears in a dream is a very strong figure, definitely.
But its interpretation should be sought more in the psychological sense as an element of rupture, an idea that appears in the etymology of the word demon, as the one who divides or from Satan, as an enemy or opponent.
Some other meanings may be related to:
- Aspects of yourself that you do not accept, that you have repressed and relegated to the unconscious because you consider them dangerous, bad.
- Sexual activity, sexual desire experienced with a feeling of guilt.
- Little self-esteem, feelings of guilt, you feel weak, easily manipulated, therefore, this image appears to you as a temptation.
- Rebellion may seem to express a refusal to obey authority or a temptation to oppose it.
Texts, books and more
Hundreds of books from different disciplines and genres usually mention the devil in their lines, for different reasons and interests.
However, even though many books and texts that have been popular and praised mention him in their titles, this figure does not necessarily turn out to be the center of the plot.
Some examples of this case are:
The demons of Eden
Lydia Cacho, a native of Mexico City, is a journalist, writer, human rights activist and representative of the United Nations for Women’s Affairs in her country.
He is part of those writers who are the promoters of what many know as impact journalism, writing about topics and stories that involve and expose polemical and controversial issues, of a political and/or social nature.
In this book, Cacho investigates and recounts the protection offered by official entities to the criminal network that promotes and directs child pornography.
It is easy to understand that researching and subsequently writing a book on child abuse and trafficking is not particularly pleasant, much less simple.
However, its writer insists that it is much more difficult and dangerous to say nothing about the matter.
The book allows the reader to go through painful landscapes full of misery, allowing them to know how those who should expose this criminal network protect them and pave the way for them.
It is a dizzying journey, where you will understand how these terrible interests are kept outside the law and protected, silencing the few who have the courage or the stupidity to denounce them.
The writer was imprisoned by the Mexican authorities, subjected to abuse and unjust imprisonment, due to the disgust of those who have been exposed.
The book, belonging to the novelistic genre was published in 2005, mentions politicians such as Emilio Gamboa Patron and Miguel Ángel Yunes Linares and exposes businessmen such as Kamel Nacif Borge and mainly Jean Succar Kuri.
the world and its demons
The world and its demons by Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan, was published in 1995 and its content revolves around the areas of scientific skepticism, philosophy and science.
Sagan was a New York astronomer, astrophysicist, cosmologist, astrobiologist, and writer who tirelessly championed skeptical thinking and the scientific method.
While Ann Druyan is an activist, writer and producer of works dealing mainly with cosmology and popular science. Born in New York, she was the wife and co-author of several books with Carl Sagan.
In this book Carl Sagan explains what science is, its reliability compared to other disciplines that are inspired and centered on traditions, superstitions, myths or ignorance.
It is considered a fairly complete and varied work, since its chapters vary in information, ranging from discrediting stories of UFOs and alien abductions to the ethics of the scientist.
In general, the book, among other things, aims to rid the world of what I always consider real demons, but they end up being non-existent beliefs, trying in this way that the human being enjoys and experiences more light and knowledge.