Samael (Sammael) is in Hebrew lore, the prince of Demons known as “the venom of God” and the executioner of death sentences decreed by God. Samael is linked to Adramelech, another Demon of death. In rabbinical lore, Samael is a Demon of a desert wind called Samiel or Simoon. He flies through the air like a bird, and the dark spots on the Moon are his excrement. Samael was the Serpent who tempted Eve in the Garden of Paradise. He was an uncircumcised sexual partner and husband of Lilith and created with her a host of Demon children, including a son, Sariel. Fearful that Samael and Lilith would flood the world with their offspring, God castrated Samael.
When God ordered the patriarch Abraham to kill his son, Isaac, Samael tried to persuade Abraham not to do it, in order to disobey God. When Abraham refused, Samael went to Abraham’s wife, Sarah, and told her Isaac was sacrificed to God, the news of which killed her instantly.
In kabbalistic lore, a Spanish kabbalist of the 15th century tried unsuccessfully to capture and control Samael. The kabbalist summoned him in the name of God and bound him by placing a crown upon his head that said “Thy Master’s Name Is Upon Thee.” But Samael tricked the kabbalist by convincing him to burn incense—an act of idolatry—in order to seal his victory. When the incense was burned, Samael was instantly freed. Samael is the chief of the 10 evil Demons of the sephirot of the Tree of Life.
See also :
- Hyatt, Victoria, and Joseph W. Charles. The Book of Demons. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1974.