It seems he's the up and coming thing. First, there were Vampires, then tons of zombies. Now, ghostly shows seem to confront more demons than dead folk, there's a new book out about his supposed visit to 1600's Salem, Ma., and he even has his own show called - appropriately - “Lucifer”. Yup, the devil is in the details, the media, the bookstore...but what do we really know about the “Prince of Darkness”? Like a lot of Wiccans, I frequently get cast into the same roiling furnace as his Infernal Majesty, even though he's not even a part of the Wiccan Path. So, for all our sakes, maybe it's time we check out his true curriculum vitae as presented in “Holy Scripture”.
The Name: “Satan” translates as “Adversary”, from the root word meaning “astray”. This is not a specific name, but a title. Muslim scholars think the devil's given name is “Azarel”. Who knew?
“Lucifer” has a more interesting back story. It means “shining one”, a “light bearer”, “a bringer of dawn”, or “morning star”. Morning Star is also the name of the planet Venus. Venus is never seen to reach its zenith in the morning skies as the dawn's light overcomes it..
Many believe it is the Satanic figure “Lucifer” being discussed in this biblical quote: “How you have fallen from Heaven, morning star, son of the dawn. You have been cast down to the Earth...You said in your heart...I will make myself like the Most High. But you are brought down to the realm of the dead, to the depths of the pit.” Sounds like the fallen angel story, no? Wrong! It is a taunt directed at one of the kings of Babylon – possibly Balthazar, son of Nebuchadnezzar.
In Canaanite myth, the morning star was a god named Attar,who tried to overthrow Baal. Failing to do so, he descended into the Underworld, to rule there.
So, what do we call the devil? Pick a name. Adolf? Nick? Luke? Aleister? I kinda like the Azarel moniker.
Appearance: No, Satan is not described in the Bible as having horns, goat legs, etc. That is a depiction of the Pagan god Pan.
By equating Satan with a Pan-like figure, the Church could accuse Pagans of “devil worship”. So, what did Satan look like, as one of God's highest angels? Time to consider the heavenly rank and file.
There are three spheres of angelic beings, composing the celestial choir. The first sphere are Seraphim, Cherubim, and Thrones. They are the divine servants of the living God.
Seraphim are fiery, six winged angels. Two wings cover their faces, two wings cover their feet, and two are used to fly. If you were to look directly at a Serephim it would fry you alive, so it needs to shield itself. They reflect the glory of God and, apparently, a lot of radiation.
Cherubim are NOT the cute, little, naked, babies with wings. Those are “putti”. The “real” Cherubim have four faces: a man, an ox, a lion, and an eagle. They have four conjoined wings covered with eyes, a lion's body, and ox feet.
Thrones are really freaky. They are beryl-colored wheels within wheels, covered with hundreds of eyes.
The second and third spheres of angels - Dominions, Virtues, Powers, Principalities, Archangels, and Angels – look progressively closer to humans. Plain angels look like us, but with wings. The devil was one of the top sphere of angels. So, he was either a fully irradiated, six-winged freak, a multi-faced animalistic morph, or a nightmarish, rolling, ring of eyes.
You just can't make this stuff up.
Divine Counterpart: Satan, Lucifer, Sam-I-am – or whatever you want to call the devil, (How about “Old Nick” or “His Nibs?) is not banished from Heaven, or the sight of God. In fact, he even visits and bets with the Almighty. Take the case of poor Job. Loyal, god-fearing,, innocent, Job gets to be the object of a wager. “Nick” says he's only loyal because his life is good. Take it all away, and he will curse God. The Lord says,”You're on!” He proceeds to strip everything good from Job's existence. When he stays true to his Faith, the devil looses the bet, and God restores everything back to Job.
Really? They say that things happen for a reason. The reason Job was miserable? God likes to gamble. Who's the “bad guy” in THIS story?
Goats are not Lucifer's totem: Again, the goats legs, horns, etc. are not biblical. Neither are goat heads and inverted pentagrams. It wasn't until the Church of Satan used the head of the Baphomet inside the inverted five-pointed star that folks started equating “satanic” goat symbols with the scriptural devil.
And the Goat of Mendes, or the Baphomet? Freemasons were accused of worshiping this figure. Even then, it was more a form of the Egyptian goat-headed god Banedbjedet. The image of Baphomet was drawn by Eliphas Levi. It has multiple layers of symbology – none “devilish”. (If you're interested in the meaning of the Baphomet, see my blog entry of 7/21/14, titled “The Cover”.)
Witches don't worship Satan. Not our circus; not our monkeys. (Our monkeys fly.) Even the Church of Satan doesn't worship Satan. He is a metaphor – a symbol of earthly pleasures and power, but not an actual embodiment of all things evil. Surprise!
Hell is not where Satan lives. The only thing the Bible says about Hell is that there is fire. No throne, no ruler...in fact, when the world ends, Old Nick will burn there, just like every other condemned soul. Nope, Satan lives on Earth. The Book of Revelations says his throne is the Turkish city of Pergamon.
God vs. Satan: a score card. I found this information on several web sites. It's something to think about when contemplating the “true” nature of Lucifer:
Now, I'm not advocating anyone switching ball teams. I don't believe in an incarnate Evil. I think Evil exists, just as I believe in Goodness, but both reside in our own hearts. We have the free will to choose which Path we walk. However, since so many think members of my Wiccan religion:
- dance with the devil in the full moon light,
- kiss his tailed ass in the “osculum infame”,
- sign our souls over to him by entering our names in his black book, in blood (our own),
- set forth to cause the corruption of our neighbors and loved ones