The world of Demons is a very structured and hierarchical place. There is a practical reason for this, which will become evident in a moment.
It is said that knowledge is power, and this applies perfectly to esoteric work: when summoning a Demon, knowing his relationships and status among his kin can come in handy in many ways.
First of all, in case of reluctance to cooperate, the practitioner can threaten to address the Demon directly superior to the one who is in the Goetic Triangle: it is a matter of pride for some Demons to show they’re able to perform the same tasks as their superiors; some others instead fear their superiors, and will be more inclined to cooperate and not attempt sly moves if they perceive the practitioner to be knowledgeable and in control.
Secondly, on a more advanced level, the practitioner can summon more than one entity to perform certain tasks and, in this case, it is good practice to choose among them knowing who can work well with whom.
The triad ruling over Hell is made by Lucifer, the Emperor, Beelzebub the Prince, and Astaroth the Grand Duke. Below them is the first line of command, consisting in:
- Lucifuge Rofocale, the Prime Minister. He is the one who orders the lesser Demons and gives directions to the government of Hell. He has power over all the riches in the world.
- Satanachia, the Grand General. He is in charge of the war forces and oversees the general management of the Legions by the subordinates. He can bend the will of any woman to his pleasure.
- Agaliareth, the second Grand General. He is a strategist and has the power of discovering the most occult secrets and granting knowledge.
- Fleurety, Lieutenant General. He is the “evolutive mind” among Demons, a researcher, overseeing many fields – in particular life creation.
- Sargatanas, the Brigadeer. This entity is said to have many powers, he can make himself invisible, fly nimbly from one place to another, open the locks, show what happens in other people’s homes and teach many wiles. He is a kind of factotum.
- Nebiros, the Field Farrier and Inspector General. He is in charge of inspecting all the Demonic militia, and knows many tricks: he knows how to cause evil to hated persons, teaches the quality of metals, minerals, vegetables and all pure and impure animals, and furthermore he possesses the art of predicting the future, being one of the most expert necromancers among the infernal spirits.
Below them are the 72 Demons listed in the Ars Goetia, who respond directly to the High Court. You might notice that some of them are also mentioned among the 72 demons, and this is a point of contention among experts as to the significance of their dual representation.
Every Demon possesses a certain number of Legions, who represent part of their power and their ability to influence the material world. Think of the Legions as the command over a portion of the grand militia of Hell; or more concretely, as a number of subjects able to perform tasks for their Lord. The power of a Demon is partially represented by the number of Legions he rules upon; some of them instead have a scanter number of subjects, but a higher personal power.
In esoteric terms, this means that it is better to choose a Demon with many Legions when the task requires a lot of labor, or a widespread presence over a large territory; when instead the action is focused and requires a “single fell swoop”, or a more subtle influence, the number of Legions at disposal doesn’t matter much, it’s more the specific power of the single entity that must be taken into account.
It’s worth noting that in the Bible and other ancient sacred texts the word “Legion” refers to a single entity, as if it were a Demon of its own. This is because Legions possess a hive mind, and they can in fact shift and merge at will to form different beings, ever changing.
The concept of hive mind allows us to understand how Hell truly works and how power flows from top to bottom. All Demons receive the radiance of Lucifer, which is reflected between Beelzebub and Astaroth so that it multiplies, then it spirals down animating all the other entities. The main stream of power is filtered by every agent, which channels it through his domains and subjects, much like the human venous and arterial system: in this metaphor, Lucifer is the heart, while Beelzebub and Astaroth are the heart’s ventricles.
One might infer that, in the end, all the Demons are but One single entity – Lucifer – like a body with specialized limbs and organs: this would not be far from truth. But in order to be able to harness this kind of power, the practitioner’s mind needs to compartmentalize and enucleate different nodes, which are more easily managed. It is the same system that animates the Celestial Spheres, with Angels being all but an emanation of the One God: it is easier to ask an Angel for help than to move the source of all Light to one’s aid.
This kind of knowledge, though apparently philosophical, is essential for the esoteric practical work. When summoning a Demon, the practitioner now will be aware that what is manifesting in the Goetic Triangle is but a portion of Lucifer and his might. The ability to focus and direct energy is thus multiplied, for the visualization of power connections reflects the true image of Hell itself.
In my upcoming book, Goetia Rising, we will explore in detail the summoning of the 9 Kings of Hell, the first line of command among the 72 Goetic Demons. Sign up to my Email Newsletter if you’d like to receive a notification upon its release: