Catalog of Spirits and Entities
By Marcus Cordey
The world in which we live is not the world as it truly is. Our perception of the Universe is one that is ever-changing and in constant flux. Whether that is because our perception of the Universe changes, or that the Universe itself is changing, we can never truly know. What we can say is that the "fact" of yesteryears now seems absurd today, and the facts of today will no doubt be disproved in years to come. Things once imagined as fantastic have through science become revealed -- ancient creatures of the deep have been discovered, civilizations once believed to be myth have been uncovered, and evermore evidence gathers to support phenomenon both
paranormal and supernatural (though arguably nothing in nature is can be super-natural).
Since the beginning of human history, stories of strange spirits, demons, and creatures of the night have haunted mankind. Indeed, some tales were exaggerated reports of exotic beast from far away lands, while others might have been wholly fabricated by their teller. But some, such as those of a higher and more spiritual nature, are not so easy to discount, nor are those which have for centuries remained indelibly etched in the human psyche. Should such accounts be dismissed merely because modern science may fail to unearth their mysteries, or should they be more closely
examined, as though with the critical eye of a police investigator concerned only with collecting credible observations and first hand accounts?
The purpose of this document is to neither prove nor disprove the existence of supernatural spirits and entities (again, the term "supernatural" is used with hesitance). Rather, it is to serve as a catalog of those particular spirits and entities having the most significant potential impact upon those practicing the magical arts, be that ritual magic, witchcraft (as in Wicca), or spiritual-based forms of divination. Some practitioner may seek to contact them, while other may seek to be ride of them, and still others may attract unwanted visitors by the very powers they invoke. To be ignorant of these forces, both benevolent and malign, is to sail blindly between Scylla and Charybdis. What recourse might you have should your undertaking draw the hauntings of a Night
Hag? What should you do upon seeing your Doppelganger, or that of friend? What dire portents might the shriek of a banshee signify? Magicians and witches are the most likely individuals to encounter such entities, for suc h entities are drawn to the powers that they harness. To that end, the devoted magical practitioner should be prepared to deal such entities, and be ready to help those who are themselves haunted.
Additionally, this document includes coverage not only of those spirits that may prove threatening or harmful, but also those whose nature is, being either good or indifferent, and may be called to aid in the workings of magic, or to empower the magical practitioner with aspects of their nature -- such spirits as angels, elementals, fairies, and muses. Benign demons (that is, daimons in the Classical) are also frequently summoned in magical rituals, especially High or Hermetic Magic, and
it is not uncommon to find grimoires advertising the conjurations of malevolent demons (demons in the Judeo-Christian sense). Though it is arguably hazardous to call even a benign daimon (for fear that it may turn out malevolent), it is unquestionably unwise to purposefully summon any sort of malevolent entity. Likewise, one should always be aware that, when summoning any spirit (even angels, fairies, and elementals), what actually comes may not be the entity desired.
Banshee, from the Irish Bean Sidhe (wailing woman of the hills), is a terrible fay spirit who foreordains the coming of Death. A Banshee may sometimes visit a house and wail, warning that a member of the family is about to die. If the banshee is caught, she is obliged to tell the name of the doomed. A banshee can be recognized by her long streaming hair (black or gray), her gray cloak and green dress. Her eyes are fiery red and may burn like coals in the dark. When many banshees wail together, it heralds the death of someone great, or the death of many people. Banshees are not evil spirits, they are neutral if anything, and come from the dark lands of the Faery Realm. In fact, some believe they are the ghosts of dead fairies. Whatever the case, a wailing banshee is a frightful thing indeed. They are nearly impossible to catch since they can
vanish in an instant. Though it may be possible to summon a banshee, there are no specific techniques for doing so.
Black Dogs, also known as Hell-Hounds (or Hounds of Hell) have
been associated with demonic spirits and the Underworld, and seem
to bridge this world with the world of the dead. The belief in Black
Dogs as harbingers of death can be found in Arthur Conan Doyle’s
"Hounds of the Baskervilles", though the legend precedes Sherlock
Holmes by millennia. The legend of the black dog may even trace to
Hecate who always traveled with three black hounds at her side It is
said that if you hear more than one hound baying in your
neighborhood late at night, you can be sure that a Black Dog is
prowling the streets, having come to deliver a soul to the Otherworld.
In this way, Black Dogs are also similar to Cerberus.
In Greek, daimon means "filled with knowledge." The ancient Greeks believed there were both good and bad daimons. Good daimons were called eudaimons and evil daimons were known as cacodaimons. Eudaimons were considered to be guardian spirits, giving guidance and protection to the ones they watched over. Cacodaimons, on the other hand, led people astray. However, when the Old Testament was first translated into Greek, the world daimon was used to identify with any sort of wicked spirits. The distinction between eudaimons and cacodaimons was eventually
lost, and term "Demon" was thereafter used to refer exclusively to the spirits of darkness. And yet, there are today millions of people who believe they have some guardian angel or spirit
watching over them. Many have experienced their power, heard their warning, felt their presence, or even caught a glimpse of them. These are most certainly eudaimons as they were known to Greeks. Since every human being appears to have a eudaimon, it is possible that these spirits many in fact be projections of our own soul (psyche) or spirit (pneuma). Cacodaimons, on the other hand, may be dark reflections of our own psyche -- the temptations and dark desires of our most hidden selves. Through magical ritual and spells, it is possible to summon one's eudaimon. It is unlikely to prove
fruitful, however, since the eudaimon cannot provide any information you do not already know (being that it may simply be your own psyche). However, a daimon may still be able to grant protection from malicious spirits since it exists on the level of the Astral plane.
Under the supposition that neutral "angelic beings" can exist, such as Grigori and Nephilim, it is conceivable that "Bright Demons" may also exist. Just as Free Will applies to mortal and angelic beings, so to does free will apply to demonic beings. A Bright Demon is one that chooses to turn from darkness and either become neutral or may even work to do good. The neutral spiritual beings in the Theurgia Goetia (Book Two of the Lemegeton) are possible examples of "Bright Demons". The exact nature, power, and motives of "Bright Demons" is unknown, and some hold that they are not "bright" at all (except in the sense of being "crafty"), and are instead evil demons
who deceive would-be magicians into summoning them under the pretense that the are good. As a result, magicians should be wary of calling up any sort of demon, even if they are said to be "bright". The consequences of calling up a malevolent demon is overwhelmingly terrible. Bright Demons may also be termed Genies (or Genii), being most similar to genies of Classical antiquity.
A Doppelganger (from the German for "double-goer") is a frightful image of oneself, the sight of which could foretell your own imminent demise (on other occasions the double of someone else may be seen). To this day, the fear of the double is observed, if unknowingly, in the custom of covering all the mirrors in a house where a death has just occurred. Sometimes described as the soul embodied, sometimes an astral projection, the double most often presents itself as a warning. It was long accepted in the Middle Ages that witches could also project their doubles at will (today this can be accomplished through Astral Projection). As a result, many innocent women were sent
to the stake even though it could be proven that she elsewhere at the time of the committed crime. The very fact that she may have been in two places at once was itself used as proof of witchcraft. An old Halloween custom (which can still be played today) has a young girl light two candles before a mirror. While eating an apple, she will see in the mirror the spectral image of her future husband peering back at her as if from over her shoulder. If she is brave enough to venture out to a graveyard, and walk all the way around it twelve times, she will meet up with the double himself! According to another old belief, anyone who wants to know who will die in the coming year should stand at his church door on April 24 (the eve of St. Mark). At midnight, the spectral doubles of all
who will die within a year's time (who, assumable, belong to that church) enter into the church in a ghostly procession. If the watcher sees his own image, he knows his own time is soon.
In addition to Elemental Dragons (see Elemental Dragons), which are somewhat different, there are two distinct types of dragons. First there are Celestial Dragons (also know as Dragons of Heaven) and Terrestrial Dragons (or Dragons of Earth). Celestial Dragons are good, and reside in the astral plane or higher heavenly planes, and may actually be another form of angelic being. Even in the Bible, the higher angelic ranks were describe as bizarre and monsters entities (see Ezekiel and Revelations for specific examples). The Chinese dragons (such as the classic golden dragon) are another classic example of Celestial Dragons. Terrestrial Dragons, on the other hand, were traditionally viewed as malevolent and terrible. The term "Terrestrial Dragons" is simple used to signify their difference from Celestial Dragons, and it should not be assumed they are either confined to the earth or even physical, material creatures. Such dragons were commonly viewed as having wings and the ability to fly. European legends tell
of knights slaying such dragons, but many times these stories were analogy for their having achieving great moral victories. If Terrestrial Dragons ever existed in material form, then the last of their kind were most likely exterminated in the Dark Ages.
An egregore is essentially an artificially constructed spirit or entity in the astral plane, created by powerful individuals or the activities of collective groups. According to the Golden Dawn Glossary, egregores are: "A thought-form created by will and visualization. A group egregore is the distinctive energy of a specific group of magicians who are working together, creating and building the same thought-form or energy-form." A more complete definition comes from the occult society Aurum Solis, who define an egregore as: "An energized astral form produced consciously or unconsciously by human agency. In particular, (a) a strongly characterized form, usually an archetypal image, produced by the imaginative and emotional energies of a religious or magical
group collectively, or (b) an astral shape of any kind, deliberately formulated by a magician to carry a specific force."
The statement "some ideas take on a life of their own" is the quintessential concept underlying the existence of egregores. Egregores are not restricted to magical societies (though these can be the most powerful sort), but political parties, environmental activist groups, churches, families, and even clubs and clique. An egregore grows by drawing energy from the members of the organization. Thus, the power of an egregore is entirely dependent on the will of the organization's members, and most are so week as to be negligible. Some, however, become exceedingly powerful (even dangerously so) and begin to psychically affect the members of the group, and sometimes even human events and history. The Ancient Greeks considered this to be the "art of Spirits and Entities, Cordey, pg. 7 creating gods", and indeed this may have been how many gods and demi-gods were created – not by divine power, but by the mind of man. At such a point, an egregore is an egregore no more, and becomes a free entity in its own right. Even so, such beings still require the focus and attention of human followers, and will diminish (even die) otherwise. Needless to say, a great many egregores vanished with the rise of Christianity, though many of the egregoric deities were "converted" to saints and angels. Individual egregores can also be created through magical ritual, or unconsciously by those of great will. Such personal egregores are weak compared to the egregoric deities, but can have considerable magical influence. The very act of casting a spell may create an egregore to carry out the action within the astral plane. Summoning spirits in magical ritual may also either create a new egregore, or link the magician to an older, preexisting egregore. For instance, the strange spirits cataloged in the Lemegeton (Goetia, etc.) may in fact be egregores -- they exist not because
they have existed for all time, but because magicians in the Middle Ages began to use them in magical ritual. They still exist today because magicians continue to conjure them in the same way and for the same purposes as listed in the Lemegeton.
Elementals are spirits that dwell within, and hold power over, the four
elements, being those of Earth, Fire, Air, and Water. The classical medieval
treatise on these spirits comes from the mystical alchemist Paracelsus in his
Nymphs, Sylphs, Pygmies and Salamanders, and Agrippa wrote extensively
on the subject as well. Elemental spirits may be related to fairies, and though
not exactly fairies themselves, they are essentially the same of a kind.
Gnomes (frequently called Pygmies) are the elemental spirits of Earth. They are responsible for erosion, earthquakes, the discovery of mines, and other earth-matters. They also protect hidden treasures under the Earth, including gold and diamond mines. Though far from malevolent, gnomes are typically harsh, callous, and unfriendly. However, if their trust can be won they can make powerful allies. Gnomes can bring gloom and despair upon a person, but may also be invoked bestow confidence, courage, and strength. Gnomes are best won-over by offerings of trinkets or
pretty stones, and they also respect those who keep a well-maintained property and garden. When they appear, gnomes may look like tiny, stout dwarves with brown or green clothes, a heavy beard, and often a pointed hat. Gnomes always appear as male.
Undines, also known as Nymphs, are the elemental spirits of water. They exist in all natural forms of water -- seas, river, lakes, streams, and even in the rain. Every river, lake, spring, and stream is said to be protected by an undine, but an undine will vacate her home if it becomes tainted or poisoned by human folly. The best offering one can make to an undine is to help clean up her home, but the simple act of sitting and appreciating the beauty of their lake or stream is often enough to sway them. Undines can heal broken emotions and wash-away sadness and pain. When they
appear it is most often in a beautiful female form -- a classic water nymph or mermaid. They are exclusively female.
Sylphs are the elemental spirits of air. Sylphs rule over the air and sky, and govern the gathering of clouds, storms, and weather. They can also spark inspiration and creative thought in the human mind (Sylphs may therefore be related to Muses in some way). Sylphs are friendly toward humans and can be summoned with relative ease. They need very little from mortals, but good offering for a sylph is milk and honey, or silk which they use to make clothes. Sylphs can be called to aid in spells related to rain, wind, and weather. There appear to be both male and female sylphs. Female sylphs
most closely resemble traditional fairies, being tiny lithe females with busy dragonfly wings, whereas males appear as cloud-like, or smoke-like, beings.
Salamanders are the elemental spirits of fire (the amphibians known as salamanders were later named after these elemental spirits). Salamanders can manifest anywhere there is fire and exist in great numbers where there is tremendous heat -- volcanoes, forest fires, and even the molten core of the Earth. Salamanders are probably the easiest elementals to summon -- all one needs to do is light a good fire. Once the fire is raging, an incantation can be sung to call them forth, and one may soon appear in or above the flames. Salamanders can lend their power to love and sexuality spells,
and other spells related to passionate emotions. Traditionally, salamanders appear as fiery reptilian creatures, but they may also appear as burning fairies.
Elemental dragons should not be mistaken for "true" dragons. They are elemental beings and dwell in astral realms where other such elementals are believed to reside. Elemental Dragons are essentially very powerful elemental spirits, and govern one of the elements of nature. They are often invoked for the same purposes as elemental spirits, but are used to aid in more potent spells. The following information on Elemental Dragons has been pieced together from Druidic and Germanic lore, European folktales, and modern traditions regarding draconic magic.
The Dragons of Water. Their ruler is Naelyan, King of the Water Dragons, who is governor of the seas, tides, rivers, and storms at sea. Draig-Uisge are blue or green, and have webbed wings which serve in water like flippers.
The Dragons of Earth. Their ruler is Grael, King of the Earth Dragons, governor of the mountains, forests, valleys, and plains. Draig-Talamh are large land dragons, the wyrms of mountain caves, deep tunnels, and ancient lairs. Their range of color is broad, but most are brown to green (though some are black, and others are known to be gray, yellow, and even white). They should not be confused with Terrestrial Dragons.
The Dragons of Air. Their ruler is Sairys, King of the Air Dragons, who is governor of the winds, sky, clouds, lightning, and storms. Draig-Athar are generally yellow, white, or light blue in color, and various shades in-between. Their wings are great and broad, and most majestic to behold when opened to take flight.
The Dragons of Fire. Their ruler is Fafnir, King of the Fire Dragons, who is the governor of volcanoes, fire, and the forge. Draig-Teine are generally red or orange in color. Salamanders are believed by some to be their hatchlings.\
The Dragons of Light, akin to the fifth element -- Spirit/Akasha. Their ruler is Raxor, King of the Light Dragons who governor of the ether and is the bringer of truth and enlightenment. Draig-Sorcha are extremely rare (even by dragon standards), but they are as glorious as an angel. Raxor is likely as powerful as a Watchtower or Archangel, and should be honored as such. Draig-Sorcha are almost never called in magical rituals. Accounts would indicate that the Draig-Sorcha are brilliant white, and
may have rubies, emeralds, or sapphires for scales.
The Dragons of Darkness. Their ruler is Leviathan (or Tiamat), governor of the night, lord of fear, chaos, and destruction. Very little is known about the Draig-Dorcha, but thankfully they appear to be as rare as the Draig-Sorcha. There are no accounts of Draig-Dorcha ever being summon. One can only assume they are black and terrible, but their true nature remains a mystery. They should never be summoned and the name Leviathan must never be invoked.
The Elemental Kings (and Queens) are the four beings who, according to occult traditions, reign over the elemental spirits. The Elemental Kings may be angelic beings, or even Higher Powers such as gods. Some also hold that they are the Archangels or Watchtowers simply in another form, which may well be the case. The Elemental King of Earth is named Gob, and he is associated with the North. Paralda is the Elemental Queen of Air, and she is associated with the East. Djin is the Elemental King of Fire, and he is associated with the South. Finally, the Elemental Queen of Water is Necksa, and she is associated with the West.
The Fay are spirits who dwell in part of the Astral World which has been termed Faery, or more commonly, the Fairylands. Because of their connection to the life-force of Earth, however, Fay often crossover and can found in forests or wilderness, often appearing as orbs of light, or curiouslooking, diminutive humanoid beings. The word "Faery" is the actual name of "the Realm of the Fay" and is not the name of the type of creature itself. However, it is just as correct to call Fay a "faery" or "fairy", just as it is correct to call someone from Bulgaria a Bulgarian. Though the word "fairy" is today used as a generic term for any sort of being that is like a Fay, this word conjures up an inaccurate mental image of these beings. Thus, the term "Fay" is preferable. Belief in the Fay goes far back in human history to the early Neolithic times, and still exists today (though in a considerably different form). The Celts believed in a race of Fay called the Tuatha de
Danaan (Children of the Goddess Danu) who came to the British Isles on "flying ships" long before man ever reach those shores. The Tuatha, also known as Sidhe or Seelie, had many wars against other faery beings, including the monstrous Fir Bolg and Fomorii, both races of "dark fay" (or Unseelie). When the Celtic people migrated to the British Isles in the Neolithic period, the Tuatha began to decline. Very similar to this are the Viking and Norse belief in Alfs (elves), and the Dusii of Germanic traditions.
It should now be pointed out that the Fay of European antiquity in no way resembled the flighty, dragonfly winged "fairies" that are seen in children's books today. The Fay are native astral beings, and appear to have the ability to manifest in the physical world. The three most common forms are the "flying orbs", tall Nordic elves, or the traditional diminutive "little people". In olden days, the Fay were said to be able to greatly benefit farmers, midwives, and witches (if appeased), performing various tasks such as keeping away pests, ensuring good health, and generally providing an air of luck and good fortune. However, faery beings were, by and large, something to be feared. Men and woman who encountered the Fay in the woods often disappeared, never to return to the mortal world. Other times, the Fay would abduct newborn babies, replacing the infant
with a strange likeness called a "changeling" which would die some time after. The reason for the abduction of babies (and even adults) is unknown, but from their behavior it would appear to have something to do with reproduction, either of their own race or a study of ours.
Flying orbs... Strange, diminutive beings... Mysterious abductions... These
occurrences bear a striking and disturbing resemblance to the UFO
phenomenon experienced by thousands of people today. For some, it may
seem at first ridiculous to believe the Fay may be "the Grays", but the lore is
consistent, if not exactly parallel, between the two phenomenons. After all, the
Fay are viewed by humans in whatever context is prevalent at the time.
Today, we see flying sauces instead of flying orbs, and short gray aliens
instead of astral beings. What's more, encounters with "Nordic" aliens is
consistent with the elves of Nordic legends. And just as "fairy abductions"
occurred hundreds of years ago, similar abductions still occur to this day.
The beings of Faery can be summoned in magical rituals (though doing such may ultimately prove frightfully unwise), and they may be asked to carry messages to and from the Astral World. However, summoning the Fay is tricky, they can work great harm if offended. Offering a bowl of milk or sweats, or shinny trinkets, can help to win them over (in fact, "Grays" are said to enjoy ice cream). The Fay also appear dislike (or even be repelled by) iron, for iron represents the coarse and artificial nature of the industrial human world, and it is reasonable to assume they are sensitive to bright light.
Furies are Roman spirits of vengeance (called the Erinyes by the Greeks). The Furies, who are known as the three sisters Alecto, Tisiphone, and Magaera, are the children of Gaia and Uranus. The Furies have snakes for hair and blood is said to drip from their eyes. They were the punishers of men and women who committed murder and other frightful crimes, and generally worked at the bequest of the gods. The Furies are cruel, but are also renowned for being fair in their punishments. Furies may be a sort of angelic being since they are said to serve the gods in dealing out justice. They should never be invoked by mortals -- doing such would be an affront to
their very nature.
A ghost is the essence of a person believed to have survived death, the
impression of which remain connected in some way with the physical
world. Many paranormal investigators believe ghosts are the reflections
or residual echoes of those who die tragically or have unfinished
business. In some casing, a ghost may lead an investigator to clues that
may resolve some mystery about their death. For this reason, benign
hauntings should be handled with the utmost care, and even treated like
a criminal investigation (even if no crime is suspected, there could well
have been). Though it is possible to use magic and exorcisms to
forcefully expel a ghost, this should only be used against violent or
disruptive ghosts (generally termed as "wraiths"). If a ghost is doing
nothing to harm anyone, other than spooking them, an investigator
should attempt to communicate through séance, use psychic intuition, or
follow whatever path the ghost seems to be taking, in order to look for
clues. On various occasions human remains, murder weapons, notes,
and diaries have been found, the discovery of which may lead to
resolving the haunting.
Gods and Goddesses
Today, most Neo-Pagans believe the gods and goddess of all cultures and traditions are aspects of the Absolute, that is to say, emanations of the Ultimate Divine consciousness of the Universe. Just as matter and energy must take countless forms for the Universe to exist, so too must the Divine. At its highest uniform division (that is, the first division of One, which is Two), the Divine takes on the dual
form. To the Kabalist and High Magician, this is represented by Binah and Chokmah. To Wiccans it is the Lord and Lady. To the Jews, Yahweh and Shekhina. And to Christians, God and Holy Spirit. But the division goes much further than this, for every aspect of nature and human condition is personified, or embodied, in one or more deities. For the sake of consistency, this document considers gods and goddess to be Divine Principles, also comparable to the orders of Angels and Archangels in the Christian "pantheon". See the entries on Angels, Archangels, and Principles for additional information on specific topics.
The Graces (also known as the Charities) are the Divine Principles of charm,
beauty, and joy. Together with the Muses, they serve as sources of inspiration
in poetry and the arts. Originally, they were goddesses of fertility and nature,
closely associated with the underworld. Aglaea ("Splendor") is the youngest of
the Graces and is sometimes represented as the wife of Hephaestus. The other
Graces are Euphrosyne ("Mirth") and Thalia ("Good Cheer"). They are usually
considered the daughters of Zeus and Eurynome, or Dionysus and Aphrodite.
According to Homer the Graces belonged to the retinue of Aphrodite.
The Graces are, essentially, lower Divine Principles, equivalent to Judeo-Christian angels. They may be called upon in magical ritual to grant fortune, restore broken emotions, and mend relationships.
The Grigori, commonly known as Watchers, were a rank of angels charged with watching over mankind. The Book of Enoch (I Enoch) tell how the Watchers, being so close to mankind, gave into temptation and took mortal wives. The children of the union of these "fallen angels" and mortal woman were called Nephilim (see Nephilim), but the Watchers went even further. According to the Book of Enoch, the Watchers also bred with animals -- birds, beasts, reptiles, and fish, spawning hoards of monstrous abominations which possibly account for many of the mythical beasts of
legend. The Watchers are also attributed to teaching women "...charms and enchantments, and the cutting of roots, and made them acquainted with plants." (I Enoch 7:1-2), and teaching men how to make weapons and ornaments. When the Archangels saw this, they went before the Most High who commanded Uriel to warn Noah of the coming Flood. Raphael was ordered to bind Azazel and cast him into a chasm in a desert called "Dudael". Gabriel was instructed to destroy Nephilim by forcing them to make war with each other (being immortal they could not die with age). The Archangel Michael was commanded to bind Semyaza and his associates in the valleys of the earth where they would remain until the Day of Judgment when the would be cast into the Abyss. Interesting, the implication is that Azazel, Semjaza, and other Grigori are imprisoned not in Heaven, Hell, or even the Abyss, but are confined in various
hidden places here on Earth. Assumably, they cannot escape, but the prospect that they could be discovered is deeply unnerving. The Watchers are not the same beings as the Watchtowers, though such associations have been erroneously put forward due to their association with having taught humans various magical techniques. Neither are the Watchers demons in the strictest sense of the word. They are something else, "Apostate Angels" for lack of a better term, "Half-Fallen" in the sense that those
which followed Azazel fell to Earth, while those that followed Lucifer descended further into Hell. Classical mythology also tells of gods who taught humans magic, enchantments, metal smiting, and so forth (Hecate, Hermes, Prometheus), and there are countless instances of the gods taking mortal wives or husbands. The parallel is not complete, however, for the gods were only rarely punished for such activity. Nevertheless, the similarity should be noted.
Larvae are the worms of the Astral World. This is not a pleasant thought, but Larvae are not pleasant things. Larvae nourish their astral forms with the essence of both the living and the dead. For the most part, larvae are scavengers feeding on the residual etheric shells of the dead, just as worms and maggots feed on the physical shells of the dead. They serve an important roll in the "ecosystem" of the astral plane, keeping it clear of etheric detritus and debris. However, Larvae can also feed on the etheric energy of the living, and this is where the danger lies. It must be kept in mind that larvae are utterly mindless, just like worms or maggots, and tend to feed wherever etheric substance they can find. Thus, a larva may inadvertently attach itself to the astral body of person who is frequently in contact with the dead or dying, such as the case with morticians, doctors, and graveyard workers, as well as necromancers and others who might practice the Black Arts. They are also attracted to the etheric energy generated by magical rituals,
placing any practitioner of magic at risk if proper precautions are not taken (a protective circle, for instance). The general symptoms of a larval parasite are dizziness, fatigue, and may even make the host depressed, emotionally drained, or physically sick "for reasons unknown". A person whose illness cannot be treated or diagnosed by modern medicine may, in fact, be affected by a larva, and a banishing ritual may be in order.
Larvae can be seen by those who are sensitive to such things, travelers in astral space, or with the aid of certain magical rituals. Viewed, a larva often appears to be some sort of hideous maggot or leech, ghostly and transparent, feeding on the afflicted individual's astral body (psyche). Being a simple astral spirit, most any banishing ritual will get rid of them, but they can also be banished with herbs traditionally associated with banishing, such as garlic, vinegar, incense, or smudging with sage.
Muses are spirit-goddesses who presided over the arts and sciences. According to Greek mythology they are goddess, but modern occult and New Age traditions place them as high angelic spirits, charged with inspiring poets, writers, philosophers, and musicians. There is mention of nine muses in all: Calliope, Clio, Erato, Euterpe, Melpomene, Polyhymnia, Terpsichore, Thalia, and Urania. Three others sometimes mentioned as well: Melete, Mneme, and Aoede. As with angels, these names might only be the names of Muses that are known by name. In fact, Muses and the lower rank of Angels may be exact parallels. According to Greek tradition, the Muses sat near the
throne of Zeus and sang of his greatness, Creation, and the deeds of great heroes.
Night Hag, The
The Night Hag is one of the most terrifying demonic forces that a person can experience. The Night Hag is a sort of vampiric demon, once referred to as a Succubus or Incubus, which is perceptible only to its victim. A typical encounter with this malicious entity occurs with the victim awakening at night, paralyzed such that they can neither
move nor scream. The entity may be seen approaching the victim, or may already be upon her, but in either case the modus operandi of the attack is always exactly same. The Night Hag positions itself upon the victim's chest and beings to drain their life energy. Women who experience this typically claim to have been assaulted by a male
shadow-being (and Incubus), and the attack can be considered a sort of spiritual rape. Though less common, men who experience this assault describe their attacker as
a hideous woman, often in rags, who sits upon their chest terrorizing them. In rare cases, the attacker appears to be a young and beautiful woman (a Succubus or "Lilith") and some form of sexual intercourse may occur. On occasionally, the Succubus may finally transform into a Hag. It is also thought that some inexplicable nocturnal deaths may be caused by this class of demon. Some people may only suffer this harrowing experience once in their lifetimes, but others may be tormented by the entity on a regular basis. Some extreme cases have been documented as being a nightly affair. Exorcists have been highly successfully banishing Night Hags for centuries, and
any traditional banishment or exorcism ritual should suffice assuming it is performed by a competent individual (such rituals can be found any in good book on occult magic or witchcraft). Protection spells can also be cast in a home as precautionary measure.
Poltergeist (German for "knocking spirit") are disturbances that usually revolve around one individual, often a young boy or girl entering puberty and having emotional or psychological distress. It is believed by many modern paranormal investigators that a poltergeist are not spirits at all, but instead latent psychic abilities manifesting themselves in a subconscious outburst. When this psychic energy manifests itself, objects move, doors slam, noises are heard, and forces, like powerful winds or "punches", may be projected. These events may cause damage, break things,
or even harm to people. However, because they are not caused by an actual spirit, poltergeists cannot be banished. The first step in resolving the problem is to recognize it as a poltergeist, rather than a traditional haunting. Once it is established that the phenomenon is a poltergeist, everyone in the household should be interviewed to determine who is the cause. Traditional psychological therapy and counseling should then be employed to resolve the individual's emotional difficulties. It is important to point out that poltergeists and hauntings can be easily confused (see Ghosts). Injuries from a poltergeist disturbance only take the form of being struck by an object or a "telepathic punch". Attacks such as claw marks, bites, and strangulation are typical of violent ghosts (that is, wraiths) or are symptomatic of demonic possession.
The Divine Principles, or Powers, are the quintessential aspects of the Divine personifying cosmic powers, principles of nature or of the human condition. To
Christians they are the Trinity and Choirs of Angels. To Pagans they represent the Divine force of nature, the unity of the Cosmos, or all the great pantheons both
past and present. As such, the Principles (or Powers) are typically referred to as a plural entity. However, some may need to call upon a particular aspect of the Divine for a particular purpose, for instance, healing, guidance, or safe travel. In such cases, one would pray to or call upon the Principle of Healing ("Great Healer"), the Principle of Wisdom ("Old Wise One"), or the Principle of Protection ("Mighty Protector").
Alternatively, the name of a specific god or goddess associated with these principles may also be invoked .
As such, the Principles may be envisioned as gods in their pure and absolute form -- the Principle of the Sun, the Principle of the Moon, the Principle of Love, and the Principle of Sea. In some traditions, these Principles are referred to simply as "the God and Goddess" or "the Lord and Lady". This is in recognition of the two separate, yet intertwined aspects of the Ultimate Divine -- the Male and the Female, the Yin and Yang, Binah and Chokmah, the Sun and the Moon, the Day and the Night. It was through this division that the Universe was created and all things cast to
form. Through the ages we have given names to myriad aspects of the Divine, giving rise to the great pantheons in all their color and complexity.
It is worth noting that the higher orders of Angelic beings (Principalities, Powers, etc.) are similar to gods in the Classical sense (the Greco-Roman god, for example), in that they are limited in power (essentially limited to their Principle nature), and subject to temptation, mortal folly, and indeed, death itself. See my essay on "Theosia: Nature of the Gods" for additional information.
The Valkyries ("Choosers of the Slain") are warrior-women mounted on winged steeds, armed with helmets and spears. In Norse mythology, Odin required an army of brave warriors to fight for him in battle of Ragnarok, and the Valkyries scouted the battlefields to choose the bravest of those who had been slain. They then escort these heroes (called the Einherjar) Odin's Hall, Valhalla (Hall of the Slain). The Valkyries are also Odin's messengers, and when they ride forth on their errands their armor causes the strange flickering lights that are called "Aurora Borealis" (Northern Lights).
Some of the Valkyries are known by the names Brynhildr, Göll, Göndul, Gudr, Gunn, Herfjoturr, Hildr, Hladgunnr, Hlokk, Hrist, Sigrdrifa, Sigrún, and Svafa. In many respects, Valkyries are similar to Furies, and may be aspects of the same class of spiritual beings.
Once feared, now romanticized, the Vampire is at once everything we most dread and everything we most desire. This no doubt accounts for the powerful allure of the Vampire throughout history. They are human, yet inhuman; alive yet unalive; dead yet unable to die. However, the vampire of history is an enigma that shares only superficial similarities to the vampires of modern Goth culture. Medieval legends are muddled, inconsistent, and unverifiable. Many tales mix together vampirism and lycanthropy (see Werewolves), as well as ghostly apparitions, making the historical vampire a spectral, shape-shifting, undead, blood-drinking demon. Other stories purport that any unbaptized or excommunicated person who dies in a tragic or violent way can return from the grave as a vampire.
There is little historical evidence supporting the idea that being bitten by a vampire predisposes one to becoming a vampire himself (though there are a few notable exceptions). Montague Summers (The Vampire: His Kith and Kin) concludes that a vampire is the physical manifestation of a restless spirit who in life had devoted himself entirely to the Black Arts and demon worship. This may, however, only be one of several ways that vampires come to be. Summers also catalogs the classical methods for dispatching vampires. The first method is todrive a wooden stake or consecrated dagger into the vampire's heart. Its head can also be cut off.
Burning is another method of disposing of a vampire, for as Summers notes: "perhaps best of all to burn him to ashes and purge the earth of his pollutions by the incineration of fire." In his book, Summer also writes: "There is a tradition that when he has been dead for many years and his mysterious life in death is thus ended, the corpse has been known to crumble immediately into dust." Here we have the idea that a vampire will fall to dust when killed. Furthermore, Summer gives account that: "Holy Water burns him as some biting acid; he flies from the sign of the Cross, from the Crucifix, from Relics and above all from the Host, the Body of God. All these and other hallowed objects render him powerless. He is conquered by the fragrance of incense. Certain trees and herbs are hateful to him, particularly garlic." And as for silver: "A vampire, if prowling out of his tomb at night, may be shot and killed with a silver bullet that has been blessed by a priest. But care must be taken that his body is not laid in the rays of the moon, especially if the moon be at her full, for in this case he will revive with redoubled vigor and malevolence." The connection between silver and the moon is clear, and it is likely that the moon's rays reverse whatever effect the silver bullet may have had.
The most famous historical vampire is doubtless Vlad Dracula, but Dracula was more of an extreme sadist than an actual vampire. There was no evidence that the Transylvanian Prince drank blood or ate human flesh, but he did enjoy eating near his suffering victims (as depicted in the famous medieval wood cut). On the other hand, Elizabeth Bathory was a vampire true to form. Also known as "The Blood Countess", she was born in Transylvania in 1560 and married a descendent of the legendary Vlad. Obsessed with keeping her youth, she eventually discovered that the blood ofyoung girls could do just the trick. In an ingeniously diabolical scheme, the Blood Countess would hire servant girls, or obtain them through an advisement for schooling -- none of whom were ever seen again. In her castle, the victims were tortured, mutilated, and drained of their blood. In a sinister bid for immortality, Elizabeth would then bath in their blood, and on occasion drink it as well. Between 1600 and 1610, an estimated 600 to 650 girls were killed, making her the deadliest serial killer in history. However, when girls of noble birth began disappearing, the Hungarian Emperor dispatched Elizabeth's own cousin, Count Cuyorgy Thurzo, with a small army to raid her castle. The horrors they uncovered were undeniable. Her accomplices were executed and she herself was sealed up in a small room in her own castle, where denied of her sanguine elixir she succumbed to the laws of nature. However, both Dracula and Elizabeth were living vampires -- that is to say, mortals and not undead spirits. Perhaps this fact alone makes these monsters all more terrible.
It is difficult to say what the Watchtowers are, though they are generally regarded as the guardians of the magical, spiritual, and elemental forces of their respective Quarters. They may also be known as Watchtowers, Watchers (not Grigori, however), Guardians, or Quarters, and are thought to guard the portals that link the mortal world and higher planes. Some occult traditions hold that they are the same as order of beings as the Grigori, the Angels that fell to Earth and spawned the Nephilim. This is unlikely, however, since the Grigori were imprisoned by the Archangels thousands of years ago A much more likely case is that the Watchtowers and Archangels are either of the same class of angelic being, or are in fact the very same beings. Like the Archangels, the Watchtowers are concerned with guarding magicians from evil spirits, banishing demons, and enhancing the power of spells.
Each is ascribed a cardinal point (North, East, South, or West), one of the four elements, and various other consistent attributes. Whatever the case, the Watchtower are extremely powerful entities -- indeed, they are like unto gods. Calling them attracts their attention, and they are typically invoked when working spells (as the Archangels are called when working High Magic). The Watchtowers will protect the magic circle from any malicious spirits or negative energies attracted by working magic, and may help to direct the flow of positive magic as well. Some also believe they are also the Lords of Karma all will stop evil magic from being worked, or bring punishment upon those who work evil magic, but there is no actual evidence for this. They may be more "neutral" than some expect, or, like all pagan deities, possess both attributes both Light and Dark in their character. In magic calling the Watchtowers is analogous to calling the Archangels. In fact, the Archangels and Watchtowers are so similar they may be considered the same beings.
Like the Archangels, the Watchtowers are concerned with guarding magicians from evil spirits, banishing demons, and enhancing the power of spells. Each is ascribed a cardinal point (North, East, South, or West), one of the four elements, and various other consistent attributes. In both cases they are considered to be the highest and most powerful of spirits, second only to the gods (that is to say, higher orders of Divine Principles). Since the Watchtowers do not themselves have names, aside from North, East, South, and West, they may be called by their respective Archangelic names.
The Watchtower of the East is associated with the Element of Air, the Archangel Raphael, the East Wind "Eurus", the season of spring, and the star Aldebaran.
The Watchtower of the South is associated with the Element of Fire, the Archangel Michael, the South Wind "Notus", the season of summer, and the star Regulus.
The Watchtower of the West is associated with the Element of Water, the Archangel Gabriel, the West Wind "Zephyrus", the season of autumn, and the star Antares.
The Watchtower of the North is associated with the Element of Earth, the Archangel Uriel, the North Wind "Boreas", the season of winter, and the star Fomalhaut.
Second only to vampires, werewolves are the most celebrated supernatural creature in our modern culture. Like vampires, their popularity comes from the fear they walk among us by day, but become monsters at night. The werewolf phenomenon is brought on by a condition known as lycanthropy (from Greek lukos meaning "wolf" and anthropos "human"), which can manifest both psychologically as well as physically. A great deal has been written on the subject of werewolves, but the most well regarded historical work is The Book of Were-Wolves, by Sabine Baring-Gould (1865), and this book is still today one of the most cited references on the subject. Montague Summers also wrote extensively on werewolves and lycanthropy in his book, The Werewolf. Both conclude that lycanthropy is a psychological as well as physical metamorphosis influenced by occult phenomenon, though the majority of accounts are purely of a psychological metamorphosis. The werewolves of legend are much different from those of modern fiction. Not a single legend tells of lycanthropy being a transmissible illness or curse that can be passed on simply by being bitten. In all cases, lycanthropy is the result of magic, witchcraft, pacts with demons, or is the result of a psychological affliction. A typical case involves a man or a woman being given an enchanted wolf pelt by a "dark man" (presumably the Devil).
Putting the pelt on,
the person becomes transformed into a wolf or wolf-like creature, and is free to run wild, kill, and destroy. Other accounts purport that a sorcerer may summon the Devil (or a demon) and request the power to turn into a wolf be given to him – a power which is then happily granted. Some myths hold that no magic pelt is needed, and the
werewolf will physically grow hair on his or her body, then to lose the hair in the morning (or after being killed). In the Middle Ages, witches were often accused of having the ability to turn themselves, or others, into werewolves, or that they are the ones creating the aforementioned magic pelts. Historically, the full moon was not a requirement for transforming into a wolf, and those afflicted with lycanthropy did not automatically transform into werewolves on a full moon. In France, however, it was believed that werewolves (there known as loup-garou) ran wild on the full moon, lending some small credence to this myth. Those accused to being a werewolf were, like witches, hanged or burned at the stake. The height of werewolf accusations coincided with the Burning Times since being a werewolf was considered a form of diabolical sorcery. By and large, those who were accused simply suffered from a lesser disorder in which they believed they were a wolf (or some other animal), and this is an affliction still suffered by some today. Even so, there is strong evidence for cases where men, possessed by
some unnatural force, were able to become like wolves and ravage the countryside. Whether these cases can be explained as a purely psychology phenomenon or something far more terrible is still a highly debatable subject.