Asmodeus or Asmodai is a king of demons mostly known from the deuterocanonical Book of Tobit, in which he is the primary antagonist, ‘a raging fiend’. He is referred to as one of the seven princes of Hell, the demon of lust responsible for twisting people’s sexual desires and condemning them to the second level of hell. His name is believed to be derived from the East Iranian language Avestan (the language of Zoroastrian); aēšma-daēva, meaning wrath-demon. As such Asmodeus is a Persian, rather than Jewish devil devil in origin. According to the Kabbalah and some other sources, a succubus mated with King David and bore a cambion son Asmodeus. He has also been recorded as the off-spring of the union between Adam and the angel of prostitution, Naamah, sister of Tubal Cain. A cambion is the half-human offspring of the union between a human and succubus/incubus. Merlin from the Arthurian legend is also a cambion, as is Caliban, the son of the witch Sycorax in The Tempest by William Shakespeare¡
Asmodeus is mentioned in other Christo-Judean and Occult works including the Talmud, the Testament of Solomon (where he was compelled to aid in the construction of the Temple), Malleus Maleficarum (Hammer of the Witches – a book primarily responsible for the systematic persecution of witches), the Dictionnaire Infernal (concerning demonology), the Lesser Key of Solomon and Francis Barrett’s The Magus (not the novel). On the flip side, he was long ago named as an angel of the Order of Thrones by Pope Gregory I in C6th AD.
Asmodeus’ reputation as the personification of lust continued into later writings of the The Renaissance after the invention of the printing press. His reputation and credits widened to include that of being the inventor of carousels, music, dancing, drama, ‘and all the new French fashions’. He’s perfectly at home in modernity I’m sure, since the days of Descartes and the west’s emancipation from Church doctrine.
Lastly, Asmodeus has once or twice also gone by the name of Saturn, which is again staring down at us now, hanging loosely to the east just below Spica, tucked inside the virgin’s underwear, a fitting place for him, or so our self flagellatorical history would tell us 🙂