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.
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
Pazuzu (?????) is the ancient Mesopotamian king of wind demons. He’s responsible for storms, drought, famine, and locusts. Though evil himself, Pazuzu is invoked on amulets to drive away other evil spirits, like the malicious goddess Lamashtu. He’s also the spirit that supposedly possessed Regan in the film, The Exorcist. Image: World Imaging/PHGCOM on Wikimedia Commons
In an Indian folktale, a Bodhisatta, known as the Prince of the Five Weapons, meets a demon, known as The Demon with Matted Hair, in a forest. Before it could devour him, the prince defeats the demon with discourse and reason, and turns him benevolent. Image: John Batten, 1892
This alchemical dragon diagram, from “Hermaphrodite Child of the Sun and Moon” by Johann Augustin Brunnhofer (1752), gives clues on how to transmute solids to liquids to gasses, using the elements of fire and air. The 7 indentations on the wings represent the 7 steps of the process. Source: The Embassy of the Free Mind
Barong is the benevolent king of the spirits in Balinese mythology, and the enemy of Rangda, the demon queen. In Bali, each region of the island has its own version of Barong modeled after different animals, including a lion, pig, and tiger. Image: an edit of work by Beeyan on Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA
The arrow of Brahma is a magical weapon given to the demi-god Rama by Agastya, a sage and heavenly historian. In Rama’s battle against the many headed demon-king Ravana, he was only able to defeat him after using this arrow. Image source: British Library
Rangda is the Demon Queen of the Leyaks, flying heads with dangling entrails, such as a heart and lungs, from Balinese folklore. They have long tongues and fangs, drink the blood of new born children, and feast on corpses in graveyards. At day, they appear human.
Image is an edit of a photo by Yves Picq, CC3 Attribution
Akton is a demon that causes aches and pains in humans, afflicting the ribs and lower back. According to the Testament of Solomon, he can be rid by saying the names Marmaraoth and Sabaoth. The latter being one of the Hebrew names for God.
Depictions of demons and the devil with extra faces, often on the groin, are common in medieval manuscripts. Some theorize that it represents their spiritual corruption, by emphasizing the senses that focus on the material world, others think it’s merely to make them monstrous.
The preeminent source of jinn-lore is One Thousand and One Nights (aka Arabian Nights), a collection of tales from Arabic, Persian, Egyptian and Mesopotamian traditions. The evolving collection has stories of characters we know today, like Aladdin and Sinbad.
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