Drawing of Dr. Peebles’ Demonism of the Ages burning, from the book Demonism of the Ages by Dr. Peebles (1904). Source: Wellcome Library
In Chinese mythology, Ox-Head and Horse-Face are guardians of the Underworld, and act as the equivalent to the Angel of Death. They capture and escort human souls to be judged in the courts of Hell, and are messengers of the king of Hell, Yanluo Wang. Images by Jnzl on Flickr
Lamashtu is a demon/malevolent goddess from Mesopotamian mythology who afflicts women during childbirth, and kidnaps breastfeeding children to gnaw on their bones and suck their blood. She’s the daughter of the Sky God Anu. The demon Pazuzu is invoked against her for protection.
“Symbolism is the language of the Mysteries. By symbols men have ever sought to communicate to each other those thoughts which transcend the limitations of language.”
– Manly P. Hall
Depiction of The Devil (almost certainly) surrounded by demon names and corresponding sigils from “Le serpent de la Genèse” (The Serpent of Genesis) Volume 2, by Stanislas de Guaita, 1920. Source: Embassy of the Free Mind
The Alukah, also known as the “horse-leech”, is a giant and many toothed leech that, according to the Sefer Hasidim, takes human and wolf form. It’s possible that the word “leech” actually describes its blood feeding nature, not its appearance, and that the creature is more of a shape-shifting vampire. It can fly using its long hair and may be a descendant of Lilith.
Chort is a demon from Slavic folklore, son of Chernobog, who is trickster figure in folktales. It often tries to trick people into selling their souls, but is easily outsmarted. Sometimes Chort acts as a force for good, and gives heroes magical items, or takes villains to hell. Image: Wikimedia Commons
Image with alchemical symbolism from the chapter on Alchemy in “Le serpent de la Genèse” (The Serpent of Genesis) Volume 2, by Stanislas de Guaita, 1920. Source: Embassy of the Free Mind
Man being persecuted by goblins and other spirits. From “Le serpent de la Genèse” (The Serpent of Genesis) Volume 1, by Stanislas de Guaita, 1920. Source: Embassy of the Free Mind
Astaphanos is one of the seven Archons, a group of demons from Gnostic cosmology, who prevent souls from leaving the material realm. Astaphanos is associated with the planet Venus, and carries the feminine name Sophia. Art by Alese Osborn.
I’ve created a gallery of book covers that inspired the hell dimension in the second Demonic Diaries book Hellcrafter. Click the button below to see all of the awesome book covers from vintage Scifi Fantasy paperbacks!
The Elixir of Life is a mythical substance, found across cultures, that gives those who consume it immortality. In the Taoist Waidan branch of alchemy, the main ingredients were highly toxic: lead and mercury. Some emperors took the risk & paid with their life.
A better choice for an emperor trying to extend their life, would have been the “internal elixir of life” from Neidan branch of Taoist alchemy. The ingredients of this elixir included meditation, breathing, diet, and exercise. Image: Wellcome Library