Azazel (Azael) is the Archdemon of the Judean desert and king of the seirim, goatlike spirits.
On the Day of Atonement, Jewish custom called for the offering of two goats. One was sacrificed to Yahweh, and the other, blamed with the sins of the people, was taken alive to the wilderness to be released for Azazel (Leviticus 16:8).
In 3 Enoch, Azazel is one of the Watchers who lust after mortal women and descends from heaven to cohabit with them. He taught witchcraft and revealed eternal secrets. As punishment, he was bound by angels and imprisoned in the desert in a place called Dudael until Judgment Day.
Under the name of Azael, he is one of the principal evil angels who cohabited with mortal women. The name Azael means “who God strengthens.” According to lore, Azael slept with Naamah and spawned Assyrian guardian spirits known as sedim, invoked in the Exorcism of evil spirits.
As punishment, Azael is chained in a desert until Judgment Day. In magical lore, he guards hidden treasure and teaches Witchcraft that enable men to make the Sun, Moon, and stars move down from the sky. In 3 Enoch, Azazel (Azael) is one of three primary ministering angels with Azza and Uzza, who live in the seventh (highest) heaven. In later lore, he is fallen and is punished by having his nose pierced. In Akkadian lore, Azazel is one of the Maskim, princes of Hell.
In Islamic lore, Azazel or Azazeel was the name of Iblis before he disobeyed God by not bowing to humans and was sent from the Earth.
FURTHER READING :
- Al-Ashqar, Umar Sulaiman. The World of the Jinn and Devils. Translated by Jamaal al-Din M. Zarabozo. New York: Al-Basheer Company for Publications and Translations, 1998.
- Mack, Carol K., and Dinah Mack. A Field Guide to Demons: Fairies, Fallen Angels, and Other Subversive Spirits. New York: Owl Books/Henry Holt, 1998.
The Book of Azazel :
Azazel is a desert spirit worshipped by ancient Semites. He rules over a band of goat-spirits, the Se’irim. Azazel played a part in Jewish Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) rituals. As per instructions in Leviticus 16:21–28, two goats were brought into the Jerusalem Temple. One was sacrificed to the Creator; the other, dedicated to Azazel, is the original scapegoat. The sins of the people were ritually transferred to this goat, which was brought to the desert and set free. Although this was a Jewish custom, its roots are believed to be pre-Judaic. Azazel may belong to an ancient, now-forgotten pantheon.
He is among the leaders of the rebel angels. Azazel taught women the arts of metalworking and cosmetics. The Creator punished his disobedience by hanging him upside down in a canyon of jagged, pointy stones beyond the Mountains of Darkness until the Apocalypse when the Creator may again require his services.
In Jewish tradition, Azazel may be classified among the avenging angels. In Christian Demonology, Azazel is a fallen angel, counted among Satan’s host. His name is sometimes used as a synonym for Satan. Apocalyptic literature from the early centuries of the Common Era describes sinners punished in the flames of Azazel. Lech le-Azazel (literally “Go to Azazel”) is the equivalent of “Go to Hell” in modern Hebrew.
Azazel is a master of herbalism and all the occult arts. He rewards those who visit him with knowledge and information.
Manifestations: He is a shape-shifter and may appear in any form, including a winged angel. In The Apocalypse of Abra ham, an apocalyptic text, Azazel appears as a twelve-winged dragon with human hands and feet.
Realm: Azazel, Chief of the Se’irim, lives in the Negev and Sinai deserts. The Jordan River valley, once wilderness, was a favored haunt. Azazel the Rebel Angel was banished to the desert of Dudael past the Mountains of Darkness, home of Demons and “fiery serpents.” Despite being chained, Azazel remains so powerful that many spirits placed themselves under his command. (He is the spiritual equivalent of an imprisoned mafia don or mob boss still calling the shots from behind bars.)
Opponent: Should you find yourself in trouble with Azazel or afraid of him, the archangel Raphael is his traditional opponent and may be invoked for protection.
In Mikhail Bulgakov’s novel, The Master and Margarita, Azazelo, as he’s called, raises havoc in Communist Moscow.
See also: Demon; Mahalat; Peacock Angel; Prometheus; Raphael; Se’irim; Shedim
From the Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses – Written by : Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.
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