Demonology Study: Baal

Hello Gentle Reader, and welcome to the frist in a long line of Demonology studies I’ve planned on doing for some time now.I will only include entities I’ve worked with over the course of my practice, and I am not a “catch em’ all type of Conjurer, so the order will not follow any pattern but the one in my head.That being said, I will start with my old buddy Baal (Bael), the frist of  72 Demons in the Pseudomonarchia daemonum, Ars Goetia, Discoverie of Witchcraft, Ad nauseam…for this is often the first entity called by those young upstart conjurers with an itch to call a “Demon”.

baal

A few words about the books mentioned above,

In 1583, Johann Weyer wrote a treatise on witchcraft called “De praestigiis daemonum”. He included a section which listed the names and descriptions of demons called the “Pseudomonarchia daemonum”.In 1584 Reginald Scot translated the list into English in his “The Discoverie of Witchcraft”. Most of these demons found their way into Mather’s Goetia much later. But enough about all that, you came for some info on Baal, so let’s get down to work.

“Baell – Their first and principall king (which is of the power of the east) is called Baall who when he is conjured up, appeareth with three heads; the first, like a tode; the second, like a man; the third, like a cat. He speaketh with a hoarse voice, he maketh a man go invisible [and wise], he hath under his obedience and rule sixtie and six legions of divels.”-Pseudomonarchia daemonum.

This is the standard description of Baal, also known as Bael, Baël (French), Baell. MacGregor Mathers cleans it up a bit for the readers of his day,

“The First Principal Spirit is a King ruling in the East, called Bael. He maketh thee to go Invisible. He ruleth over 66 Legions of Infernal Spirits. He appeareth in divers shapes, sometimes like a Cat, sometimes like a Toad, and sometimes like a Man, and sometimes all these forms at once. He speaketh hoarsely. This is his character which is used to be worn as a Lamen before him who calleth him forth, or else he will not do thee homage.”

This is how he is known by most of the”Bell,Book and Candle” Evokers when frist starting out.He is also spoken of in Dictionnaire Infernal by Collin de Plancy, but he just makes a reference to the le Grand Grimoire, calls him the head of the infernal powers, then quotes Weyer.So we have established how he is known as a Demon, but Baal didn’t start that way. The antiquity of the worship of the god Baal starts around the 14th century BCE among the ancient Semitic peoples, especially among the Canaanites. The word Baal means “master” or “owner”, although it could be used more generally; for example, abaal of wings was a winged creature, and, in the plural,baalim of arrows indicated archers.Baal was common a name of small Syrian and Persian deities. The Baal we are talking about here was of Canaan. He was the son of El, the high god of Canaan(thought to be the model for YHVH, but that is for another time.). The cult of Baal celebrated annually his death and resurrection as a part of the Canaanite fertility rituals.It is said that these ceremonies often included human sacrifice and temple prostitution,but those who said such things, the Israelites, had a beef with the program of Jezebel, in the 9th century bc, to introduce into Israel her Phoenician cult of Baal in opposition to the official worship of Yahweh (I Kings 18). By the time of the prophet Hosea (mid-8th centurybc) the antagonism to Baalism was so strong that the use of the term Baal was often replaced by the contemptuous boshet (“shame”).

Baal with thunderbolt. Limestone stele, 15th-1...

Baal with thunderbolt. Limestone stele, 15th-13th century BC. Found at the acropolis in Ras Shamra (ancient city of Ugarit). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To paraphrase the Baal Cycle from the Ras Shamra tablets, I turn to Alan G. Hefner-

“After defeating the sea god Yam, and building a house on Mount Saphon, and taking possession of numerous cities, Baal announced that he would no longer acknowledge the authority of Mot, “death.” Baal not only excluded Mot from his hospitality and friendship, but also told him that he could only visit the deserts of the earth. In response to this challenge, Mot invited Baal to his abode to taste his fare, mud. Being terrified and unable to avoid the dreadful summons to the land of the dead, Baal coupled with a calf in order to strengthen himself for the ordeal, and then set out. El and the other gods donned funeral garments, poured ashes on their heads, and mutilated their limbs, while Anat, aided by the sun goddess Shapash, brought the corpse back for burial. El placed Athtar, the irrigation god, on the vacant throne of Baal, but Anat bitterly missed her dead husband. She begged Mot to restore Baal to life, but her pleas went without avail, and Anat’s attempts to interest the other gods in helping her were met with cautious indifference. Thus, Anat assaulted Mot, ripping him to pieces “with a sharp knife,” scattering his members “with a winnowing fan,” burning him “in a fire,” grinding him “in a mill,” and “over the fields strewing his remains.” El, in the meantime, had a dream in which fertility returned, which suggested that Baal was not dead. Afterwards, he instructed Shapash to keep watch for him during her daily travels. In the due course of time Baal was restored, and Athtar fled from his throne. Yet Mot was able to arrange another attack, but on this occasion all of the gods supported Baal, and neither combatant could gain the victory. Finally El intervened and dismissed Mot, leaving Baal in possession of the field.”

This gives an understanding of how Baal is linked to the alteration of the seasons and became a god of rain, thunder, and lightening. He was also popular in Egypt from the later New Kingdom in about 1400 bc to its end (1075 bc). Through the influence of the Aramaeans, who borrowed the Babylonian pronunciation Bel, the god ultimately became known as the Greek Belos, identified with Zeus.So as you can see, from Fertility to Rain god, Egypt and Zeus himself, this entity has gone through quite a few changes over the years to now be known as a simple Demon.This has been done to most of the spirits that are called by modern Art workers today ( I can bring up Beelzebub, Astaroth ,and Moloch just to name a few off the top of my head),and I’ve found that the relationship you have with these Spirits deepens considerably the more time you spend researching the Providence of the entity.They also quite enjoy reliving the taste of power most had in the past, and when you offer a Demonized Old God something from its past, they tend to be quite grateful.

He has appeared to me as a Frog with a crown, eating a fly over and over in a loop , and as a warrior King with a Spear raised and ready to be thrown. Often rude and full of himself (you would be too if you once held the title Canaanite God), yet quite helpful if spoken to with respect. I’ve used him for work concerning Invisibility for a client (to make certain things in his home unable to be seen, worked well for the agreed upon time ) For information on Canaanite History, he is an invaluable resource and will gift you with such wisdom if you compose a Hymn in his name and recite it during the next thunderstorm. When working with him he has asked that his Sigil be placed in interesting places as payment for services (A Newstand, Coffeehouse, and Hospital come to mind) where it can be seen by the most amount of passer-by.I’ve called him by a number of different methods, Goetic (Lesser Key and Poke Runyon’s System), the demonolatry method of S.Connolly using the Enns, as well as with my own self-made system of Conjuration and he is always quick to answer.

Sorces- Pseudomonarchia daemonum-Johann Weyer, http://www.deliriumsrealm.com/wier-demons/,Baal by Alan G. Hefner,http://www.pantheon.org/articles/b/baal.html,The Goetia: The Lesser Key of Solomon the King: Lemegeton – Clavicula Salomonis Regis, Book 1- Aleister Crowley (Editor), Grimorium Carceris (unpublished)-Vincent Piazza.

Copyright 2015-Vincent Piazza