The Ars Goetia, also known as the 72 Pillars or the Lemegeton is a group comprised of seventy two demons with exemplary strength and their own legions. They are listed in the grimoire Lesser Key of Solomon.
Their great amount of power and leadership status among the lesser demons also grants each Goetia the authority to exert command over Lucifer's other forces within Hell. Lucifer himself is confident enough of the Ars Goetia's abilities to send them out on potentially hazardous missions, such as gathering information in the Human World, fighting strong angels such as Seraphim by themselves and searching for items that would benefit the Emperor of Hell or even destroying certain things that may be an obstacle.
Ironically, most of the Ars Goetia are not actually pure demons, but were in actuality fallen angels that rebelled alongside Lucifer during the War in Heaven. Lucifer's respect and even care for the Ars Goetia is reflected in his manner of addressing them, often referring to them as "my dear brothers" or "my beloved fallen". While all of them are completely loyal to Lucifer, some of the loyalists are also discreetly so fearful of him that they almost desire to refuse following him. Lucifer himself is known to be harsh and cruel to them should they fail in a certain task, but he is not completely without mercy as he chooses to spare them from a cruel punishment unlike Satan.
There seems to be a sort of hierarchy among the Goetia; a higher-ranked member apparently can give orders to lower-ranked members. This is evidenced with the demon Satanachia holding Aamon, Pruflas, and Barbatos as his own subordinates. When a demon of the Goetia is either summoned or tasked by Lucifer, it usually involves one or more Goetia demons operating together, with the strongest members exercising command over the others, being less powerful then they. And even then, it is also due to the status that they hold such as a Count or an Earl being under the command of a Marquis.
While the Ars Goetia appear to constantly gather in Hell's council to discuss certain events alongside their lord Lucifer, they can have their own quarters within Hell, which ranges from castles, underground fortresses, or even a separate dimension that is tethered to Hell. These palaces are modified to suit the specific Goetia demon's taste.
The Ars Goetia most famous version arguably is the 1904 published by Aleister Crowley and reusing Louis Le Breton's illustrations for Collin de Plancy's Dictionnaire Infernal although using demon Pruflas' illustration for Purson.
The Goetia is inspired by Johann Weyer's Pseudomonarchia Daemonum list. The oldest known version being Livre des Esperitz. Other medieval lists include The Munich Manual of Demonic Magic and Fasciculus Rerum Geomanticarum.
|Ars Goetia||Pseudomonarchia Daemonum||Livre des Esperitz||Munich Manual of Demonic Magic||Fasciculus Rerum Geomanticarum|
Connection to other mythologies
Many members of the Ars Goetia often resemble deities and monsters from other mythologies. Whether they were the actual deities of old, later impostors or just demonization of later Christian demonologists, is unknown.
- Agares - Argus Panoptes, servant of Hera from Greek mythology
- Aamon - Amun, Egyptian god of the sun
- Andras - Andraste, Celtic war goddess
- Astaroth - Astarte, Mediterranean goddess of love and war
- Baal - Hadad, Mesopotamian god of war and thunder
- Balam - Balaam, non-Israelite prophet
- Bathin - Nephthys, Egyptian goddess of women
- Bifrons - Janus, Roman God of doors and new beginnings
- Haagenti - Bastet, Egyptian goddess of cats, women, art and war
- Ipos - Anubis, Egyptian god who serves as the judge of the dead
- Kimaris - Chimera, Greek monster
- Morax - Maat, Egyptian goddess of truth and harmony
- Naberius - Cerberus, Hellhound Guardian of the Greek Underworld
- Orias - Osiris, Egyptian god of the Underworld
- Phenex - Phoenix, Greek wife bird
- Purson - Horus, Egyptian god of Kings
- Raum - Khnum, Egyptian god of the Nile
- Sabnock - Sobek, Egyptian god the Nile
- Sitri - Set, Egyptian god of chaos
- Zagan - Dagon, Mesopotamian god of agriculture
- Zepar - Zephyrus, Greek god of the West Wind