What is The Goetia?
There are many different ways through which we can contact the spirit world and reach out for otherworldly assistance. While many people practice rituals and appease Gods and deities, others of us have been known to practice the summoning of demons. For many people over the centuries, one of the most effective way of appealing to demons has been through The Book of Solomon, otherwise known as Goetia (pronounced Go-EY-sha). The Goetia, or Ars Goetia as it is referred to in The Lesser Key of Solomon, comprises of 72 different demons, all of whom can be summoned through practice.
The Goetia is an ancient grimoire advising of a practice which is thought to date back to around the 17th century, though has apparent connections with King Solomon, meaning that there is a particular Biblical connection. Goetia practice in the 20th century was popularised by several translators and interpreters, the most famous of whom include Aleister Crowley.
Goetia has, over the decades and centuries, had many ‘dark’ or ‘black magic’ associations tied to it. It was once even considered a form of dark sorcery, where practitioners would summon demons to their own ends for access to their various powers. The word ‘Goetia’, in fact, is said to be derived from ancient Greek to mean witchcraft, or again, sorcery. Crowley interpreted the world ‘howling’, or ‘to howl’, and in some cases, it is believed that the name refers to a ‘howling art’.
The demons in question were, as legend tells it, sealed away by King Solomon in a bronze casket. From then on, they may only be released by way of ritual or summoning. The demons sealed away by King Solomon were identified in detail in his work, the Illustrated Goetia, which was published in 1903. Crowley translated much of the original Latin details on King Solomon’s spirits for a 20th-century audience.
In the Ars Goetia, the demons are offered different ranks and significances. The various demons involved each have their own roles to play in Hell, and when each are summoned, they can enlighten people in many different ways. However, a word of caution has always been advised before doing so. While many demons of the Goetia can help people understand their pasts, their presents and their future, summoning a particularly powerful demon without due cause or intention may result in a curse. Caution, it is advised, should be followed particularly when it comes to the summoning of Kings.
The Demons of Goetia
According to Ars Goetia, 72 demons were sealed away by King Solomon. They each have separate ranks and are generally referred to in a numbered list, though this may vary. There have also been various other interpretations, spellings and translations of Solomon’s demons, though the list we will observe in this guide is the most widely accepted.
The demons listed in Ars Goetia can be classified as Kings, Dukes, Princes, Marquises, Presidents and Counts. Kings are at the very top of the hierarchy, with King Baal, a three-headed demon with faces of human, feline and toad, stated to be the chief overseer of legions in Hell.
List of Demons
As there are 72 demons in the Ars Goetia, we will cover them in brief detail in this article. However, it is always worth reading up on them for more information! They are listed here in order of hierarchy, with a brief introduction to what they can bring to a summoner.
However, do always bear in mind that summoning a demon may cause harm as opposed to fortune. Many of the deities listed below can curse as well as bestow luck or assistance. Please only use our brief guide as an introduction to said demons.
- Baal (King) – the main King in Hell, and personified with the heads of a man, a toad and a cat. Baal is said to help grant invisibility.
- Agares (Duke) – Agares is an elderly demon who can be seen riding a crocodile. He can influence movement, to call back people and to move them on.
- Vassago (Prince) – Prince Vassago is said to be a trustworthy demon who can hunt out hidden treasures.
- Samigina (Marquis) – Otherwise known as Marquis Gamigin, this demon often appears as a donkey and can speak for the souls of dead sinners.
- Marbas (President) – Otherwise known as Barbas, this demon is the most prominent President in Hell. He can both inflict and cure diseases and ailments.
- Valefor (Duke) – A Duke of Hell with a few tricks up his sleeve, Valefor enjoys encouraging theft and is argued by some to be untrustworthy.
- Amon (Marquis) – Marquis Amon is a demon who appears as a fire-breathing wolf with a lizard tail. Despite his appearance, he can be summoned to settle feuds and arguments.
- Barbatos (Duke) – Barbatos rules over many Hell legions and can be summoned should there be a need to find hidden treasure.
- Paimon (King) – often summoned by sacrifice, Paimon is a knowledgeable demon, thought to hold the key to many mysteries.
- Buer (President) – Buer is a demon in the form of a centaur, who teaches many things and who can help the ill and infirm.
- Gusion (Duke) – Gusion is one of the premier Hell Dukes, and who appears ape-like. He can grant knowledge and prestige.
- Sitri (Prince) – Prince Sitri can help people fall in love with one another, and can change form on request.
- Beleth (King) – a fearsome demon who must be summoned carefully. He is often welcomed by the sound of music and rides in on a war horse.
- Leraje (Marquis) – This demon is chaotic, in the sense that he can create battles, arguments and even wars.
- Eligos (Duke) – Eligos oversees 60 different Hell legions, and is often depicted as a spectral figure riding a demonic horse. He specialises in wars and how they will transpire.
- Zepar (Duke) – Zepar is a demon who can create love between women and men, but who can also cause female infertility.
- Botis (President and Count) – Often depicted as a snake or viper, Botis can help heal rifts and has knowledge of all things past as well as future.
- Bathin (Duke) – Bathin is a Duke who specialises in the secrets of the natural world, for example in herbs and geography.
- Sallos (Duke) – Sallos is a handsome Duke, who is considered one of the more pacifistic demons of the Goetia. He bestows mutual love.
- Purson (King) – Purson is another King of Hell who is very knowledgeable. This demon is an all-seeing creature with a lion’s head on a man’s body.
- Marax (President and Count) – Marax is a demon who can provide familiars, and who is very knowledgeable about the natural world.
- Ipos (Prince and Count) – Ipos can induce an appearance of wit in a summoner. He has a lion’s head and a goose’s feet.
- Aim (Duke) – Aim is a Duke who looks similar to Baal in some ways. However, he has the specific ability to bestow fire and to start blazes.
- Naberius (Marquis) – Marquis Naberius can help bestow intelligence. He can appear as a black bird and is very well-spoken.
- Glasya-Labolas (President and Count) – This demon can grant love and invisibility, but can also commit horrific acts if requested to.
- Bune (Duke) – Bune is a Duke who has the power to convert the dead into his own army. He has three heads – a man, a dog and a gryphon.
- Ronove (Marquis and Count) – Ronove is a demon who harvests souls and who is a master of languages.
- Berith (Duke) – Berith is an honest Duke, who has the power to convert ordinary metal into gold. He also can see all.
- Astaroth (Duke) – Astaroth, a winged Duke, deals in temptations. He can also cast invisibility, and show the way to various treasures.
- Forneus (Marquis) – Marquis Forneus can help summoners be loved by all, and is said to be a master of rhetoric.
- Foras (President) – Foras can bestow longevity as well as wit and charm. He can also help to find treasure.