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Is Asteroth A Foul Demon Or Something Else?

By James Donahue

The old magicians did not like Asteroth. They made no bones about that.

Collin de Plancy in his Dictionnaire Infernal penned about 150 years ago, said "Astaroth appears as an ugly angel riding a dragon and holding a viper in his left hand." He also wrote: "He (Asteroth) is said to emit a powerful fetid odor, and to endure that, the magician should hold a silver magical ring that prevents odors under his nose."

In 1583 Johann Wier described Asteroth as "a great and a strong duke, comming foorth in the shape of a fowle angell, sitting upon an infernall dragon, and carrieng on his right hand a viper . . .Let everie exorcist take heed, that he admit him not too neere him, bicause of his stinking breath."(sic)

Seagate Adventurers' Guild Beastiary gives the very worst description of this Goetia Spirit: "Astaroth appears in the form of a dark angel all black and with a bloody mouth. He carries a viper coiled about his right hand and he rides an infernal Black Dragon. He speaks gaily of horrible things and laughs readily at pain and disease. He is exceedingly cruel."

Seagate also states that Astaroth "will usually serve so long as the summoner is involved in much death and cruelty."

From the way they talk about him, this demon sounds like a brother, or at least a first cousin to Lucifer.

A contemporary magician who successfully evoked Asteroth said he was surprised to find that this spirit is unusually bright and strikingly beautiful.

He wrote of the evocation: "A pale human like face appears surrounded by white light. Crystalline structures divide twin serpents and winding below Asteroth. (A) serpent appears somewhat like an alligator without appendages."

So what can be believe about the appearance of this the twenty-eighth demon? Nothing is what it seems. We live in a dark place full of smoke and mirrors.

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