Demonspotting 3: Bael

Demon’s wings are as angel’s wings.
Their halos are as shining bright.
They sing as well as angels, too.
But only when it’s night.
– Calvin Miller

Bael

Toad spirit looks surprised

Does this look like a spirit you want to mess with? No.


Bael (or Baal) is one of the top guys in Hell–or maybe THE top guy. He’s either the principal king of the Easterly portions of the infernal kingdom, or just a duke, with sixty-six legions.

Either way, this is not a demon you want to mess with.

Here’s what the Goetia says about Bael (which I include because, frankly, there isn’t that much else about him out there):

The First Principal Spirit is a King ruling in the East, called Bael. He maketh thee to go Invisible. He ruleth over 66 Legions of Infernal Spirits. He appeareth in divers shapes, sometimes like a Cat, sometimes like a Toad, and sometimes like a Man, and sometimes all these forms at once. He speaketh hoarsely. This is his character which is used to be worn as a Lamen before him who calleth him forth, or else he will not do thee homage.

The Morgans say that Bael is the patron saint of idleness. While Davidson says he’s the demonic equivalent of Raphael.

If you remember your Old Testament lessons from Sunday School, you might be thinking, at this point, “Hey, doesn’t Bael sound like Ba’al, one of the ancient gods that the early prophets fought against in Israel?” Well, heck, aren’t I impressed with you!

You got it in one. “Ba’al” is an old, pre-Hebrew word for ‘lord’ or ‘master,’ and could refer to any number of old gods in the area. But it was also associated heavily with Hadad. It’s not a huge leap for an ancient deity to turn into a more modern demon. It happened a lot, in many traditions.

The lamen used in the ceremony to summon (and why would you want to?) Bael

The lamen used in the ceremony to summon (and why would you want to?) Bael

Bael can look like a man, a cat, or a toad, or some combination of the three. If you’re nice to him, he might give you the power of invisibility and make you very wise.

You know what’s even wiser? Staying away from demons.

Other demons you might like

Sources

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bael

Encyclopedia of Witches and Witchcraft
The Encyclopedia of Witches and Witchcraft. 2nd Ed

Rosemary Ellen Guiley

DictionaryAngelsDictionary of Angels
Gustav Davidson

devilbookThe Devil: A Visual Guide to the Demonic, Evil, Scurrilous, and Bad (Hardcover)
by Tom Morgan, Genevieve Morgan

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Demonspotting 1: Asmodeus/Asmodai

Demonspotting: This DotW feature is your field guide to all things hellish and demonic.

Asmodeus/Asmodai

A charming fellow, Mr Asmodeus. He has a long and varied history–and it’s all very dark.

Hmmmm, come here you sexy thang.

Hmmmm, come here you sexy thang.


For the Hebrews, Asmodeus was one of the seraphim, who, led by Satan, rebelled against God and so were thrown from heaven to become demons. Asmodeus is a player in the Book of Tobit, where he’s attracted to the hot young thing Sarah, Raguel’s daughter. Well, Asmodeus convinces Sarah not to let any man touch her, which is a bit of a problem since Raguel keeps trying to marry her off. Seven times. Sarah kills each one of these guys before they can get busy. And yet men keep lining up to marry her for some reason. Tobit, the hero of the story, marries Sarah and burns a fish heart and liver in their tent on their wedding night. The stench is so bad it makes Asmodeus flee to Egypt, where an angel binds him.

Asmodeus is the demon of lust. But for a lusty demon, he puts the ‘ug’ in ‘ugly’. In de Plancy’s Dictionnaire Infernal (1863), he is shown with three heads, ogre, ram, and bull, the feet of a rooster, and with wings. He also rides a dragon.

But he’s a very busy demon, so he’s also got his hands in the revenge and gambling businesses.

It’s said that King Solomon tricked Asmodeus into building a temple for him. And he may have been married to Lilith, the demon queen of lust.

If you happen to be conjuring Asmodeus, here’s his sigil, that you want to wear on a pendant so that it hangs over your heart:

Asmodeus' lamen (The management takes no responsibility for those who actually try to conjure this, or any other demon)

Asmodeus' lamen (The management takes no responsibility for those who actually try to conjure this, or any other demon)

When preparing to conjure Asmodeus (And really, don’t. Just don’t.), take off your hat, and do not sit down at any time during the ceremony. Apparently if you’ve got something on your head, Asmodeus gains the power to deceive you, but if you don’t he’ll tell the truth. As soon as you see him, ask “Art thou Asmoday?” If you’ve got the right guy, he’ll say so, and he’ll bow to you. (You might be able to say “Are you Asmodeus?” and it’ll still work, but I’m going by the Lesser Key of Solomon here, translated 1904 from medieval documents. That’s what it says, and why would you want to mess with this stuff? Go with the tried-and-true, I say.)

Some people say you should beware of Asmodeus in November, when his power is stronger. Or, between January 30 and February 8.

Frankly, I think you should beware of anyone with three heads at all times.

Come back next Saturday for a little ghoul on ghoul action. And watch for a mid-week update on Wednesday.

Other demons you might like

Sources