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April 22, 2020
We’re going to attempt the impossible, and provide you with a short history of “The Devil”. To attempt the impossible is certainly in alignment with this mighty jester, prancing gleefully across the stage as Mephistopholes, Satan, Lucifer, or the more bestial versions of the Adversary found in Pan, Baphomet, and the clever Serpent in the Garden of Eden. And lets not forget our jolly ol’ friend Krampus the Christmas Demon! Who isn’t tempted at some time in their life to bow down at the altar of the Mortal Coil, to beef up the ever so hungry ego body, and to revel vampirically in this carnal circus of Earthly delights?
If it wasn’t so much fun to be tempted or feel desire for that which is taboo and delve into our own Bacchanalian cisterns of desire, we might feel more disdain towards this clever fellow we call "the devil". However, if you look at our broad history you will see that we are actually quite fond of this merry troublemaker. Whether we worship or detest him is irrelevant; the point is we all know him, and keep talking about him in one way or another, so why not get to know and understand him better? The process of knowing the devil, or any demon for that matter is the conscious psycho-spiritual work of knowing your shadow.
Let’s begin with the oldest version which stretches back to pre-history and can be found in the anthropomorphic cave paintings such as the half-human half horned animal (2) found in France’s Dordogne region, among many other animal and human cave paintings scattered throughout 15 other local caves including the famous Lascaux. Specifically the lineage of the Devil originates in the image of the archaic “Horned God”, one of which is found in these caves. These works are estimated to be up to 20,000 years old (3) and their purpose is still debated upon. Georges Bataille said of them,
“The traces of their distant humanity that these men left, which reach us after tens of thousands of years, are almost completely limited to representations of animals. These men made tangible for us the fact that they were becoming men, that the limitations of animality no longer confined them, but they made this tangible by leaving us images of the very animality from which they had escaped. What these admirable frescoes proclaim with youthful vigor is not only that the man who painted them ceased being an animal by painting them but that he stopped being an animal by giving the animal, and not himself, a poetic image that seduces us and seems sovereign."
There are many theories about why these paintings were made, including that they were representations of Shamanistic Rituals (4) linking the animal and spiritual realms (5).
Half animal, half human cave Paleolithic painting from Dordogne, France
The Devil is always shown with a combination of animal and human and sometimes supernatural attributes, as he has integrated human, beast, and spirit. Now days its pretty widely accepted that Shamanism is something quite different from Devil Worship, but that was not true in the 17th Century as documented by the eyewitness account of Dutch Statesman Nicolaes Witzen, who described a Siberian Shaman wearing horns and playing a skin drum as a “Priest of the Devil”. We see here in the comparatively modern era of the 1600’s we’re deep into a phase in which the Horned God has become an adversary of the Western Mind rather than an ally. The Scientific Revolution which began in 1543 with Copernicus reached it’s grand conclusion of rational limitation with Issac Newton’s 1687 Laws of Motion and Universal Gravitation. While this was solid science, it only revealed a small part of the picture, that being the sensory world of particles and form which pushed the collective mind of Western Man into a state of understanding existence through the logical mind, and disregarding the inner, quantum, spiritual existence of man. Of the shaman, Mircea Eliade said,
“Healer and psychopomp, the shaman is these because he commands the techniques of ecstasy—that is, because his soul can safely abandon his body and roam at vast distances, can penetrate the underworld and rise to the sky. Through his own ecstatic experience he knows the roads of the extraterrestrial regions. He can go below and above because he has already been there.”
By this time, the Catholic and Orthodox churches were firmly established, Medieval Cathedrals like Notre Dame contained lavish, carved displays of ravenous demons, tortured sinful souls, and monstrous watchful gargoyles. Science now enforced the belief that anything real existed outside of us and could be seen and touched, or at least intellectualized like the stories of divinities in the Bible. In part we have the popularization of The Last Judgement (in which souls would be sent to Heaven or Hell) during the 1500’s (8) to thank for the extreme dramatization of the Underworld and the development of the Devil as heinous overlord and tyrannical ruler of sinful souls in the afterlife.
And what was considered sin at this time? For one we must remember that sexuality was largely considered sinful, unless it was performed under the strict pro-creative guidelines of the Church. Return to Eliade’s aforementioned quote for a moment and you will see that the Shaman is a master of both ecstatic states and the Underworld- two things which the Church considered to be reserved for the impure sinners of the world. This begs the question: if a shaman can go above or below (ie the Underworld) this world as a healer, then why is the common man stuck on Earth, and prohibited from entering the Above of Heaven, or the Below of Hell by his own free will?
William Adolphe Bouguereau's depiction of Hell
Here we have the great religious division of the polarized forces of our conscious experience housed in the vice grip of the founding spiritual institution of the modern Western World. The secret of the Shaman is the secret of the archetypal Horned God that we most frequently identify as The Devil. When man accesses his spiritual realms which span from the lowest and slowest vibration of primal black Earth, to the highest known celestial vibration of invisible Gamma Rays, and conducts that span of frequency as a harmonized choir singing within his animal body, alas he reigns over both the Inferno of Hell and the Kingdom of Heaven. In the Bible Jesus said “for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” This is perhaps what people needed to know then, but guess what? It’s time to know that Hell is also within, and it exists because we have divided the light from the dark, and placed judgement, guilt, shame, and fear at the most precarious doorways that exist in our souls. When we encounter what appears to be a temptation, a moral dilemma, or an uncontrollable fit of passion, rage or debauch, we are simply seeking answers. God did not invent the symbols we hang over those doors, like the cross, the pentacle, the pentagram, etc. We did, the collective human imagination.
Philosophical Author Neville Goddard said,
“You cannot die because you are all imagination. Man is all imagination; and God truly is man; and He exists in us, and we in Him. And that immortal body of man is the human imagination...You cannot die. The body, yes, this will fade; but I am not the garment that I am wearing. I am the wearer of the garment, and the wearer of this garment is all imagination. This is the story that the Bible teaches.”
This most certainly doesn’t mean that there is no Devil and no God. This is simply a quantum understanding of our bewildering creative ability to shape our conscious experience. We, as quantum waves of energy, “THE energy” what some may call God, are millions of divided human emanations from the original source. We have all created the characters, myths and symbols which we attach to the polarized forces of Yin/Yang, Dark/Light, Good/Evil, etc. There is no objective evil outside of ourselves. The symbols, religions, political groups, viruses, atrocities and people we consider to be evil, or perhaps even aligned with "the Devil", are all simply symbols on the conscious map of human experience and how we choose to interact with those landmarks. We are the active energy field which creates the destruction and agony of Hell and also the ecstatic enlightened bliss of Heaven. The Horned God, the Devil and all of his various incarnations are symbolic gateways we have created for initiatory experience of our totality. There is nothing to fear from the archetype of the Devil; The cunning human whom usurps the symbol of the Devil for his heinous actions is the true predator in this story of consciousness, this experience, this deliverance from illusion.
So you see, the so called “deal with devil” is simply a temptation to divide the mundane and the sacred. All things are inherently sacred, as they are of the One unified creative source, and so it’s time to write a new story. Next time you come face to face with "the Devil" in you, or in another, treat him as a Saint, a God, a beloved teacher, a welcomed guest, and watch as your adversary becomes your friend!
"Satans Treasures" by Jean Delville
Here is a QUICK (and very incomplete) breakdown of the Horned God according to somewhat official sources (cited at the bottom)! Note that this is a huge topic, and should you be interested, we invite you to do more research into each of these entities below:
The Horned God: “The Horned god is one of the two primary deities found in Wicca and some related forms of Neopaganism. The term Horned god itself predates Wicca, and is an early 20th-century syncretic term for a horned or antlered anthropomorphic god with partly pseudohistorical origins, partly based on historical horned deities.” (10)
Earliest Known depiction of Siberian Shaman, late 17th century
Pan: “In ancient Greek religion and mythology, Pan is the god of the wild, shepherds and flocks, nature of mountain wilds, rustic music and impromptus, and companion of the nymphs. He has the hindquarters, legs, and horns of a goat, in the same manner as a faun or satyr. With his homeland in rustic Arcadia, he is also recognized as the god of fields, groves, wooded glens and often affiliated with sex; because of this, Pan is connected to fertility and the season of spring. The ancient Greeks also considered Pan to be the god of theatrical criticism. The word panic ultimately derives from the god's name.” (11)
The Devil: "Devil" may refer to Satan, the supreme spirit of evil, or one of Satan's emissaries or demons that populate Hell, or to one of the spirits that possess a demonic person; "devil" may refer to one of the "malignant deities" feared and worshiped by "heathen people", a demon, a malignant being of superhuman powers; figuratively "devil" may be applied to a wicked person, or playfully to a rogue or rascal, or in empathy often accompanied by the word "poor" to a person – "poor devil". (12)
Satan: the chief evil spirit; the great adversary of humanity; the devil. (14)
Satan Exulting over Ever by William Blake
Lucifer: “'light-bringer', corresponding to the Greek name Ἑωσφόρος, 'dawn-bringer', for the same planet is a Latin name for the planet Venus in its morning appearances and is often used for mythological and religious figures associated with the planet. Due to the unique movements and discontinuous appearances of Venus in the sky, mythology surrounding these figures often involved a fall from the heavens to earth or the underworld. Interpretations of a similar term in the Hebrew Bible, translated in the King James Version as "Lucifer", led to a Christian tradition of applying the name Lucifer, and its associated stories of a fall from heaven, to Satan. Most modern scholarship regards these interpretations as questionable and translates the term in the relevant Bible passage (Isaiah 14:12) as "morning star" or "shining one" rather than as a proper name "Lucifer". (13)
Lucifer the Fallen angel from Gustave Dore
The Serpent: The Hebrew word נָחָשׁ (Nachash) is used to identify the serpent that appears in Genesis 3:1, in the Garden of Eden. In Genesis, the serpent is portrayed as a deceptive creature or trickster, who promotes as good what God had forbidden and shows particular cunning in its deception. The serpent has the ability to speak and to reason: "Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made" . There is no indication in the Book of Genesis that the serpent was a deity in its own right…” (15)
The Temptation and Fall of Eve, by William Blake
Mephistopheles: Medieval Demonology. one of the seven chief devils and the tempter of Faust. (16)
Baphomet: In his book Dogme et ritual de la haute magie (1861; Transcendental Magic: Its Doctrine and Ritual), the influential French occultist Éliphas Lévi created the Baphomet that has become a recognized occult icon. The book’s frontispiece was a drawing of Baphomet imagined as a “Sabbatic Goat”—a hermaphroditic winged human figure with the head and feet of a goat that is adorned with numerous esoteric symbols. (17)
Baphomet, the Sabbatic Goat from Eliphas Levi
Krampus: In Central European folklore, Krampus is a horned, anthropomorphic figure described as "half-goat, half-demon", who, during the Christmas season, punishes children who have misbehaved. (18)
Krampus and his gifts
Red Dragon: “Satan appears as a Great Red Dragon, who is defeated by Michael the Archangel and cast down from Heaven. He is later bound for one thousand years, but is briefly set free before being ultimately defeated and cast into the Lake of Fire.” (19)
I leave you with a quote from the much adored and much detested Great Beast 666 himself, Aleister Crowely:
“’The Devil’ is, historically, the God of any people that one personally dislikes...This serpent, SATAN, is not the enemy of Man, but He who made Gods of our race, knowing Good and Evil; He bade ‘Know Thyself!’ and taught Initiation. He is ‘the Devil’ of the Book of Thoth, and His emblem is BAPHOMET, the Androgyne who is the hieroglyph of arcane perfection...He is therefore Life, and Love” (9)
Cultivate "the devil" within yourself! Here are some things that may help:
The Genius of Evil, by Guillaume Geefs
Sera Timms of LVXTENEBRAS is Gemini twin sister, occult and esoteric lover and practitioner, musician, and wise woman from California. Read more about her here, and from her on our blog, Esoteric Insights.
Read more on astrology, horoscopes, occultism, magick & ritual on our blog, Esoteric Insights!
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Welcome to your January 2021 Tarot Scopes! To make the most of my astrological horoscopes, please read your ASCENDANT sign, followed by your SUN and MOON sign. This will give you the best advice and be the most appropriate timing-wise. Don’t know your personal astrology? Check out this free astrological calculator, or book a session with me! To read this month's lunar and planetary happenings, along with any specific ritual and symbolic inspiration, look out for our article Celestial Insights later this month!