Things have been nutty around here, but I hope you all had a lovely July 4th holiday...or just a lovely July 4th, for those who aren't American.
I've been having some interesting conversations about demons with ceremonial magicians lately, and thought it proper to share some insights. But let's start with a mood lightener (not for tiny tots): Silly demons
What set the conversation off was that a friend found and connected with a Pazuzu statue. Since Pazuzu is named a demon, he was worried about working with him (the spirit, not the statue). My personal way of looking at this: Pazuzu is such an old spirit that the very limited information we have on him is probably at least slightly off. So enter with extreme caution. This is the Cliff's Notes version, of course, and he's an experienced magician. It's been an ongoing dialogue. If you want to know more about this alleged demon who eats demons...Pazuzu
American culture tends to demonize what it doesn't understand. I have been reading the Goetia (Lesser Key of Solomon) out of curiosity more than anything else, thinking it was all about invoking demons, and can't help but notice how very many pagan gods are named demons. Just for the record: I believe in one Creator with many aspects. Creator is not divided so much as just different to different people, kind of like your uncle Glen makes goo-goo faces at your kid but makes off-color jokes to you.
Demons are neutral, etymologically speaking. If you want to make any arguments about it, talk to the Greeks.
From L. dæmon "spirit," from Greek: daimon (gen. daimonos) "lesser god, guiding spirit, tutelary deity," (sometimes including souls of the dead).
"Demon" probably took on a negative connotation when the pagan gods were ousted (or sainted) by the Judeo-Christian majority. My personal feeling is this: if you think you're working with something evil, you are; if you think you're working with something good, you are. Would I invoke/evoke The Devil, Satan, Lucifer, etc.? No, because I believe what's created in the astral must eventually manifest in the physical. First, I don't believe in this Christian construct/egregore, which, in my opinion, is likely a misunderstood version of Cernunnos to begin with. What I mean is it would be hard to divorce the concept of Baphomet and The Devil. For me anyway. I doubt I could look at the Devil and think, What a nice guy. I'd borrow a cup of sugar from him if he were my neighbor. And people working with those entities right now probably don't have goodness and light in their hearts. So there's the egregore/construct and then there's the real thing...and I want to make sure I know which one I'm dealing with. The truth of the names (that is, what these spirits really are) Lucifer--doesn't that name mean "light bringer"?-- and Satan are probably lost. I feel a little safer with Cernunnos. Maybe for someone else, Lucifer's flames could burn away some of their darkness.
As I've been researching demons for a future fiction book, I would love to know what anyone else's thoughts are on the subject.