Demonology: The Study of Evil Spirits

Demonology is the study of demons, evil spirits, and more generally, supernatural entities considered to be malevolent. Many religions - specifically Judaism and Christianity - are known to adopt the gods and goddesses of pagan cultures as demonic spirits, so what is considered "evil" or a "demon" is often subjective. Read articles about demonology below.

Ancient Semitic Demon Possession and Exorcism

Nebuchadnezzar-William-Blake

While most people tried to prevent demon possession if they could, once a person came under the influence of demons, an exorcism was the only remedy. In ancient times, the local exorcist was both a priest and a doctor. They were the intermediaries between the victims and the divine and had an arsenal of weapons to combat evil spirits. Here are some of the components of a … [Read more...]

Ancient Semitic Defenses against Demons

blake5

With so many types of demons wrecking havoc on human lives, the Babylonians, Assyrians and early Jews concocted numerous ways to deal with their menacing foes. Common ways people protected themselves included carrying around an amulet such as a ring or inscribing various symbols or numbers on tablets or discs. Later Jewish rituals were similar. They would hang aloes or … [Read more...]

Babylonian and Assyrian Demonology

Demon looking to the valley - Mikhail Vrubel

Virtually all cultures have believed in good and evil spirits at some point. The belief dates back to Babylonian and Assyrian religions, predating Judaism. There are generally 2 types of evil spirits: Departed human spirits - Spirits of humans that died were thought to haunt the living. These spirits could be friendly or hostile, depending on the nature of their death or … [Read more...]

Reader Q&A: Is Lucifer related to the planet Venus?

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A reader asks I don't have the book or articles in front of me, but I've read that Lucifer may be related to Venus (the planet). In the bible passage you quote, it says it plainly: "O day star, son of morning!" Venus was often referred to as the day star, as it was visible during the day and especially at dawn (which is still true). You are correct. Lucifer is a Latin … [Read more...]

Reader Q&A: The Demon Tatarigami

Tatarigami from Princess Mononoke

A reader asks: Hi, I am advised there is a demon so bad that they keep it locked away in the abyss. I am told it is called something like "Tatari Gami" and that it burns the earth when it walks on it. Do you know of this demon and if so can you tell me about it? Thanks You could try watching Hayao Miyazaki's Princess Mononoke. In it, Ashitaka must save his village from a … [Read more...]