A low-level spirit, nature spirit, or non-human intelligence that interacts with the material world and is concerned with the direction of lower plane activities.
Generally, demons are the lower agents of evil, entities that have many guises and operate under many names and with many purposes.
In the pagan view, demons are a part of the natural order, entities of moral ambivalence who mostly deceive and interfere with human affairs.
The term 'demon' is derived ultimately from the Sanskrit root div ('to shine'), through the Greek daimon ('divine power'). To the Greeks daimons were intermediary spirits between humans and the Gods. In Western religion and occult lore, demons are classified into various elaborate systems, and hierarchies of hell, and have ascribed to them various characters, forms, attributes and duties. The most complex hierarchy was devised by Johann Weyer, who estimated that there were 7,405,926 demons serving under seventy-two princes.
In Christianity, demons are associated only with evil. They include those demons who were cast out of heaven together with Lucifer, as well as pagan deities branded as demons by the church.
Demons devote themselves to tormenting human beings, assaulting them, sexually abusing them, and possessing them. The possibility of sex with demons was denied before the twelfth century, but by the later Middle Ages belief in sexually voracious demons in alluring male or female form who preyed on sleeping men and women (see Incubus, Succubus) become widely accepted.
In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in Europe witches were regularly accused of having sex with demons (see Sabbat). It was held that demons could be expelled or kept at bay by the ritual of exorcism, or by the use of certain prayers, or a special charm, or by wearing an amulet or talisman.
See Christianity, Genius, Genii, Jinn, Djin, Heptameron, Demonology, Demonomancy, Grand Grimoire, Grimoires, Heptameron, Hell, Witchcraft, Agrippa, Diviner, Divination, Wizard, Pythagoras, Witch, Warlock, Alchemy, Paracelsus, Devil, Kabbalism, Numerology, Alchemy, Magic, Satan, Beelzebub, Tartarus, Solomon, Incubus, Succubus, Sabbat, Mystic Gifts and Charms - New Age Gift Shop & Wicca and Pagan Supplies, Love Spells -- Use these powerful love spells to help you find and keep your true love, The Chakra Store, The Tarot Store, Divination & Scrying Tools and Supplies, Unique Amulets, Talismans, Good Luck Charms, and Love Tokens, Powerful Witch Doctor Spell Kits, Powerful Spells - Cast by Andreika the Witch, Webmasters Make $$$, AzureGreen - Celebrating All Paths to the Divine, ISIS - Tools for Your Soul's Journey, and The Pyramid Collection - Myth, Magick, Fantasy and Romance.
Sources: (1) Masello, Robert, Fallen Angels. . . and Spirits of the Dark, The Berkley Publishing Group; (2) Belanger, Michelle, The Dictionary of Demons: Names of the Damned, Llewellyn Publications; (3) Guiley, Rosemary Ellen and Zaffis, John, The Encyclopedia of Demons and Demonology, Checkmark Books; (4) Lewis, James R., Angels A to Z, Visible Ink Press; (5) Dictionary of the Occult, Caxton Publishing.
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