September 02, 2013
The Seven Deadly Sins, “ The Appetites”, as Thomas Aquinas called them, inspire a myriad of desires venial and mortal. In 1589 Peter Binsfield, Jesuit and notorious witch hunter took it upon himself to assign specific Demons to the 7 Deadly sins, I thought it intriguing that a person devoted to defining evil forces and identifying heretics rendered this task. His selections were as follows:
Pride – Lucifer
Greed – Mammon
Lust – Asmodeus
Wrath – Satan
Gluttony – Beelzebub
Envy – Leviathan
Sloth – Belphegor
Using these Demonic associations as a departure point I than integrated the animal associations for each sin as well as looking to the opposing virtues to better translate my interpretations. My work is always informed and executed through Ritual practice.
The sin of Pride was translated into Lucifer. Lucifer the Morningstar sits in all his vainglory on the throne of God and is thusly expelled from Heaven. Fallen Lucifer is associated with the Lion. The opposing virtue is humility. Poised Lucifer contemplates, his gaze is fixed on you as he focuses his craft and begins his decent and command of the will. It is disputed but some believe after he is cast out he transforms into Satan on earth, where he goes on to control and weaken ones resolve. Lucifer observes you directly with arrogance asking the ultimate question of the will.
The sin of wrath was envisioned as the demon Satan. Satan, the Tempter, has been described as a horned demon, man, woman, leopard, wild boar, dragon and snake. He is defined as’ the adversary ‘ in Hebrew. The opposing virtue is Patience. Raging, Satan fixes his gaze while man and woman follow suit, poised, ready to strike. Emerging twisted creatures follow suit spewing their distain.
The sin of Envy was translated into the Demon Leviathan. Leviathan is described as a great sea beast. He was a Prince of the Seraphim. The opposing virtue is Charity.
Writhing, Leviathan stares wildly in a watery abyss. Envious of nature, man and man made creation he playfully destroys them all with his thrashing. Envy torments a giant sea turtle from the depths crashing them into the sea fearer, which hasn’t a chance. His headed tail taunts a man he is squeezing the spirit out of in his clouded drive of madness.
The sin of Gluttony is envisioned as the Demon Beelzebub, Lord of the Flies. Beelzebub was a Prince of the Seraphim. Commanding over disease. The opposing virtue is sobriety.
Excessive Gluttony pours her poison direct. It seeps out of her as she sinks into her own weakness. She has morphed into her vice but her wings wont lift her. Her thirsty minions congregate taunting her as she carries on.
The sin of greed was characterized as the Demon Mammon. Mammon is the Aramaic word for money; subsequently the demon was defined as money. Mammon was described as a creature, which would step on a person’s head for money. A Demon, associated with the wolf that preys on the weak or well endowed for their own gain. The opposing virtue is sufficiency. Ensnared by Mammon a poor woman begs for herself for sustenance and for survival while surrounded by relentless predatory energy. The wolves represent that indiscriminate drive to overtake, In this case the weak, and helpless for personal gain. They focus on her snarling and barking ready to attack.
The Demon Asmodeus is characterized as the sin of Lust. He is described as a creature with the head of a man, bull and ram, geese feet and a snake’s tail. He was a prince of the seraphim. He tempts through wantonness and burning desire. The opposing virtue is Chastity. Anxious eyes of Asmodeus regard you through tangled flesh from the extruding creatures tempting with tension and emerging twisted entanglement.
The sin of sloth is depicted as Belphegor. He is described as a bearded horned long nailed man or a beautiful woman. The opposing Virtue is diligence.
Shamefully, Belphegor covers her face as she reluctantly motions a reach. She is trapped with the answer to her escape within her grasp but she won’t reach for it herself. Her wings don’t assist and she remains sprawled out, immovable.
Why there is sin…
“The sensual appetites have their own proper sensible objects to which they naturally incline, and since original sin has broken the bond which held them in complete subjection to the will, they may antecede the will in their actions and tend to their own proper objects inordinately. Hence they may be proximate principles of sin when they move inordinately contrary to the dictates of right reason.” Excerpt from the Catholic encyclopedia.
“The understanding of sin, as far as it can be understood by our finite intelligence, serves to unite man more closely to God…We are fallen creatures, and our spiritual life on earth is a warfare.” Excerpt from the Catholic encyclopedia.