Astaroth

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Astaroth as pictured in The Infernal Dictionary

Astaroth (also Ashtaroth, Astarot and Asteroth) is a demon who serves as a Great Duke of Hell in the hierarchy of Hell with Beelzebub and Lucifer; he is part of the evil trinity. He is a male figure most likely named after the Near Eastern goddess Astarte.

The name "Astaroth" as a male demon is first known from The Book of Abramelin, written in 1458, and recurred in most occult grimoires of the following centuries. Astaroth also features as an archdemon associated with the qliphoth (adverse forces) according to later Kabbalistic texts, as he rules over the qlipha of Jupiter, known as Gha'agsheblah.

He was the 29th Goetic demon summoned by King Solomon. Astaroth is ruled over by the Kabbalistic angel Reiaiel.

Description

Dutch demonologist Johann Weyer also described Astaroth in his Pseudomonarchia Daemonum (1577) thus: "Astaroth is a great and a strong duke, coming forth in the shape of a foul angel, sitting upon an infernal dragon, and carrying on his right hand a viper", who also claimed to rule 40 legions. Also, he had to be approached by the conjurer with a magical ring on account of his stinking breath. He is similarly referred to in the 17th-century work the Lesser Key of Solomon. He also makes an appearance in the notorious "Grimorium Verum" (True Grimoire), as the infernal principality which rules the Americas.

In the hierarchy of Hell, Astaroth is the prince of accusers and inquisitors. In art, in the Dictionnaire Infernal (1818), Astaroth is depicted as a nude man with feathered wings, wearing a crown, holding a serpent in one hand, and riding a beast with dragon-like wings and a serpent-like tail.

Abilities

August is the month during which this demon's attacks against man are stronger. According to Sebastien Michaelis, he is a demon of the First Hierarchy, who seduces by means of laziness, self-doubt, and rationalized philosophies. His adversary is St. Bartholomew, who can protect against him for he has resisted Astaroth's temptations. To others, he teaches mathematical sciences and handicrafts, can make men invisible and lead them to hidden treasures, and answers every question formulated to him. He was also said to give to mortal beings the power over serpents.

Astaroth was a co-signatory of a diabolical pact with Urbain Grandier, and was the demon thought responsible for possessing the nuns in the convent of Loudun.

In the Black Mass ceremony used by notorious French poisoner La Voisin, Astaroth was called a "Prince of Friendship" along with Asmoday.

He is a servant demon to those born August 7 - 11.


Goetic demons of the Lesser Key of Solomon
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Berith Astaroth Forneus