Demons. Some people may hear the term and shudder. Others may be curious. As with any Left Hand Path such as Satanism, Luciferianism or Demonolatry - there is a notable absence of real knowledge about the term in question and an abundance of misinformation, fear and ignorance.
Demonolatry, as a religion, is fairly young in regards to its many presently operating sects. Though ancient forms of Demonolatry date back millenia and even speculatively to the time of the Knights Templar, the largest operating sects and the term and practices were unofficially accepted as a path some time around the 1950s. The most functional of these sects fully developed into a Hermetically-based working religion in 1998 with the founding of the Guild of Demonolatry. Today, the largest openly operating sect of Demonolatry is the Ordo Flammeus Serpens, based in Colorado in the United States.
Aside from officially recognized sects and orders, Demonolatry has a veiled yet commonly accepted history as well as a generational practice handed down through lineaged family traditions. This is much like many traditional Witchcraft practices and the practice of 'hereditary' Demonolatry is commonly regarded as "Traditional Family Demonolatry" amongst other terms.
What Demonolatry is Not
Demonolatry is not a religion which practices Black Masses. Demonolators do not sacrifice animals, torture children or believe in committing crimes for the sake of pleasing the Self. While Demonolatry is a path which focuses on the Self and betterment of the Self (Personal Power, etc.), it does not disregard the Laws of Man nor does it give the practitioner a free pass to do whatever he or she likes. We are all responsible for our actions and believe in right and wrong.
To a Demonolator, Demons are not malevolent wicked beings. In fact, many of the Demons honoured within the path can trace Their origins to a number of ancient pantheons ranging from Sumeria, Egypt and Greece amongst others. Demonolators do not generally believe in a concept of Hell - there is no burning infernal pit and there is no desire to have sex with Satan (in fact, most all Demonolators agree that sex with Demons is not a common occurrence). Demonolators reject Christian ideas and condemnation of Demons and Satan.
What Demonolatry is
Demonolatry is a religion that surprisingly has much in common with other Neo-Pagan religions such as Wicca. Although Demonolatry is of the so-called "Left Hand Path" (paths which, put rather simply, honour and focus on the Self), it is a polytheistic Neo-Pagan religion which encompasses ritual magick, observance of Holy Festivals and community and family improvement. Most Demonolators are generally over the age of 30 - it is not a religion full of teenagers looking to be "cool". Demonolatry is a religion in which the Demons are Gods - honoured and respected and worked with as any other god from any other pantheon, in much the same way as Wiccans honour and work with their own deities.
Demonolators find the practice of Ceremonial Evocation to be innately disrespectful. To the Demonolator, Demons should never be commanded, but wholly respected and asked to lend Their aid when needed. Just as a Wiccan would not dare to summon, insult, bind and banish his or her God or Goddess, so do Demonolators view this act as atrocious and of the utmost disrespect to the Demons.
The Practices of Demonolatry
Demonolatry practices usually center around the observance of Holy Days and Festivals, prayer and meditative techniques, although ritual magick is a most common practice as well. Through magick, the Demonolator seeks to better himself, his loved ones, his community and the world around him. The Demons lend to the Demonolator Their wisdom, Their energy and, in some cases, Their strength.
The rituals of Demonolatry are individually tailored, so no two Demonolators' practices are exactly alike. It is a highly adaptable path which the individual must fine-tune for himself to achieve the greatest personal results. Where rituals are concerned, most are not very different from the rituals of Wicca or Ceremonial Magick. The primary difference is that the Demonolator casts his circle and calls upon the Demons (there are also Elemental Demons for each of the four elements) to lend Their aid to his magick.
The four most common Elemental rulers found in Demonolatry are:
- Earth - Belial
- Air - Lucifer (It is important to note that most Demonolators view Lucifer and Satan as two separate entities)
- Fire - Flereous or Satan
- Water - Leviathan
One of the most obvious practical differences between Demonolatry and Wicca where the casting of the magickal circle is concerned, is that Demonolators do not cast a circle for protection but instead do so to create a concentrated area of energetic balance within.
Some Demonolators choose to use spellwork within their practice - others do not. Again, it is a highly adaptable and individualized path that is unique to the practitioner. Something which sets the path of Demonolatry apart from many other Pagan religions and paths is the use of, condoning of and encouragement of curses. While many may leap to judgment upon learning of this practice, it is important to note that Demonolatry uses curses with great caution and forethought. No one goes around throwing curses at people for every reason under the Sun. Just as with the practices of some Witches and Wiccans, cursing is sometimes a necessary part of one's practice. So it is the same within Demonolatry.
Another practice which is commonly found in Demonolatry is the use of and incorporation of blood in magickal rites. The blood is drawn in the least invasive and destructive manner possible (such as using diabetic testing lancets to prick the finger) as self-mutilation is not condoned or encouraged within Demonolatry.
Demonolators also use many of the same traditional practices as other Pagan paths such as Divination with Tarot, etc.
Each Demon has a unique sigil (symbol) or seal which is associated with His or Her name and essence. These sigils may be those found in the works of the 20th-Century Demonolator Richard Dukanté, magickal Grimoires such as The Lesser Key of Solomon or even those devised by the Demonolator himself. The sigils are commonly inscribed upon parchment and burned as offerings and acknowledgements to the Demons. The act of burning the sigil is viewed by Demonolators as transforming the acknowledgment into energy and making it available to be absorbed by the Demon.
There is no such thing as a coven within Demonolatry and Demonolators are most commonly solitary practitioners. However, some opt to establish their own paths and traditions or join other sects and working groups. Though the clergy of Demonolatry are only ordained after rigorous study and proven dedication to the path - there is no "initiation" necessity. A Demonolator does not make a Demonolator. Self-Initiation and Self-Dedication rites are as "officially" accepted as group initiations.
There are no real "sacred texts" to be found within Demonolatry. Instead, knowledge of Demons is gleaned from experience working with Them and from the texts of many ancient and modern grimoires (although Demonolators reject the often monstrous appearances of the Demons depicted within such Ceremonial texts as the Lesser Key of Solomon). An influential source drawn upon by many modern Demonolators is Richard Dukante's Hierarchy. Dukante's sigils and enns (sacred prayers in barbarous tongues unique for each Demon) are considered accurate and are often a common part of the Demonolator's core practice materials.
Patron Demons and Mentor Demons
Each Demonolator works with a primary Demon - this Demon is called the "Patron" or "counterpart" Demon. Just as Wiccans work with Patron Deities, so do Demonolators - however, unlike within Wicca, it is uncommon for Demonolators to have a duality of a Patron and Matron Demon. The Patron Demon can be a Demon with whom the Demonolator connects with on a personal level, one that is the complete opposite of his personality, his Elemental Demon, one whose lessons benefit him the most or a myriad of other deciding factors. Just as Wiccans choose their Patron or their Patron chooses them, so do Demonolators.
Many Demonolators elect to have the sigil of their Patron or Matron Demon branded, cut or tattooed into their skin in order to mark themselves as a devotee of that Demon.
Along with a Patron Demon, most Demonolators work with what is known as a Mentor. A Mentor Demon most always chooses the Demonolator - not the other way around. In this relationship, the Mentor Demon seeks to guide the Demonolator along his path and to teach him life skills and to aid him in his earthly pursuits. This is a different relationship from the Patron Demon in which the Patron aids the Demonolator in issues pertaining to the Demonolator as a person (i.e., helping him to better himself, identify strengths and weaknesses and to overcome obstacles related to personality and fear).
Demonolators do not solely work with only their Patron/Matron and Mentor Demons. Demonolators also work with many Demons for many different reasons. Just as Wiccans call upon and work with various deities for various purposes, so do Demonolators call upon and work with various Demons for various purposes. The Demonolator's pantheon is the Demons.
The Demonolator's View of Demons
Demons are, to those who worship Ghem, gods in Their own right. They are not cowering lowly creatures from some fiery chasm slithering through our nightmares to create peril and mischief, but They are Divine Beings just as the Gods are Divine Beings to Wiccans and many other Pagans. Demons are, in short, the rejected gods of antiquity - villainized and unfairly feared by Christianity and the perpetuation of false myths and stigma. Though the Nature of Demons is subjective and the opinions as to what They "are" vary from Demonolator to Demonolator, most agree that they are all a race of beings belonging to a single energy source - "The All" or "God", if you will. Much like the Principle of Mentalism - Demons are often regarded as manifestations of a single source of life force.
This does not mean that the Demons are not individual beings with individual motivations and personalities, but that They, like us and every creature on earth, are interconnected by the infinite flow of Spirit in and about all things. As with most any Left Hand Path, Demonolators believe that the spirit of Man is just as elated and lofty as the spirit of any God, Demon or otherwise - as we are all interconnected and we are all Spirit. No one being is less or more great than another.
Demonolators almost unanimously believe that the Demons are our friends and our teachers. They are our guides and our mentors, our guardians and our protectors. This is not to say that Demonolators naively believe that Demons are wholly benevolent - but that They are no more "wicked" than any other god from any other pantheon. Demonolators commonly believe that the Demons gain benefit from the exchange of energy between Themselves and us and that the honouring of Demons is empowering to Them and (sometimes) crucial for Their prosperity and sustenance. However, most agree that the Demons do not "need" us to survive, but our honouring of them benefits Them just as much as it does us. Demonolators believe that one's perception of Demons and how one approaches and regards Demons attracts the behavior from Them which most accurately reflects what is projected. In short, if you fear Demons and treat Them with disdain, suspicion or disgust, They will not likely treat you with very much dignity, either - just as most any being would not.
Recall that the Demons, to Demonolators, are not wicked cagey beings but are Gods just as the Gods and Goddesses are to Wiccans and other Pagans. There are Demons of love, fertility, friendship, families, children and even pets - just as there are Demons of destruction, revenge, pestilence and cruelty. The balance is not wholly "good" or "evil". Demons are beings of Spirit and are not bound by human ideals. However, to Demonolators, Demons are not beings of evil in any way, shape or form.
Again, the beliefs of one Demonolator or even fifty are not illustrative of the beliefs of all Demonolators - but in a general sense, the source of Spirit is Satan. Satan is not the antithesis of "God" - Satan is Life...a being which is both sentient and unknowable at once - the All-Powerful Creator. Satan is "God" to many Demonolators. "God" and Satan are not separate beings within the perspective of some forms of Demonolatry - They are not in opposition - They are the same being - the same Creator. They are energy - They are life - They are Pure Spirit.
Satan, to most Demonolators, is not the Satan of the Bible - the name may be the same - but Satan is God and God is Satan. Spirit is not and cannot be limited by name alone.
Holy Festivals of Demonolatry
Just as in Wicca, some sects of Modern Demonolatry recognize the ebb and flow of the cycle of life and the passing of the days of the year.
The primary Demons worshiped and acknowledged during these festivals are Lucifer, Leviathan (who dominates two festivals), Flereous, Eurynomous and Belial. They represent enlightenment and Springtime; the cycle of the harvest and the flow of emotions within the Self; the Phoenix rising from the ashes and the idea of rebirth; the cycle of death and dying and self-renewal and new beginnings with the heralding of the rebirth of the Sun, respectively.
The Holy Festival days most commonly observed within Demonolatry are as follows:
- March 21 - Rite to Lucifer
- May 2 - Rite to Leviathan
- June 21 - Rite to Flereous
- September 21 - Second Rite to Leviathan
- October 31 - Rite to Eurynomous (Baalberith/Babael)
- December 21 - Rite to Belial
There are also official marriage rites, Baptismal rites, Divorces and even Funerary rites to be found within Demonolatry. As with almost any other path, these are usually performed by an ordained Priest or Priestess and are commonly performed on specific Holy Festival days which correspond to the nature of the rite.
Demonolators do not typically believe in casual possession by Demons, that anyone is going to Hell or that there is any such person as the Antichrist. People cannot become Demons. Demonolators also do not believe that Satan exists to tempt us and to collect souls for His own personal enterntainment.
While there are always bad apples, as a rule Demonolators are not evil, they do not all dress in black and wear chains and makeup, they do not innately self-mutilate, they do not sacrifice animals and children, they are not simple wanton and hedonistic criminals and they do not preach hate and violence. Demonolators are everyday people who are mothers, fathers, grandparents and friends. Demonolators accept the validity of the beliefs of all for most Demonolators believe that experience is subjective and that the Divine manifests differently for everyone. We are all brothers and sisters.
Hopefully you will have enjoyed this article and come away with a better understanding of this often misunderstood and sometimes even feared path. Demonolators are not all that much different from Wiccans or any other Neo-Pagan faith - Demonolators simply recognize a different concept of the Divine.