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Amon

Name Variations: Amon, Amon-Ra, Aamon, Amen, Amoun, Amun, Imen, Ammon, Hammon, Ba'al Hammon
Regions of Influence: Egyptian (Carthaginian), Biblican (Western)

In demonology of the Biblical west, Amon is a Marquis of Hell. He controls forty legions of spirits. He appears as a wolf with a serpent's tail, and breathes fire, or appears as a man with dog's teeth in the head of a raven, or simply as a man with a raven's head. He tells of things past and future, and reconciles feuds and controversies between friends.

Amon was of stronger significance in Egypt; a deity in Egyptian mythology who gradually rose to become one of the most important deities in Ancient Egypt, before fading into obscurity.

Gradually, as god of air, and particularly in Thebes he came to be associated with the breath of life, which created the ba. By the First Intermediate Period in these areas this had led to his being thought of, as the creator god, titled father of the gods, preceding the Ogdoad, although also part of it. As he became more significant, he was assigned a wife (his counterpart Amunet being his own female aspect in his early conceptual existence, rather than a wife), and since he was becoming identified as a creator, it was considered more appropriate to designate as his wife the divine mother from which the cosmos emerged. By this time, Amun was was rising to this status in these areas that divine mother was, Mut.

Amun became depicted in human form, seated on a throne, wearing on his head a plain deep circlet from which rise two straight parallel plumes, possibly symbolic of the tail feathers of a bird, a reference to his earlier status as a wind god.

Having become more important than Montu, the local war god of Thebes, Montu's authority then became said to exist because he was the son of Amun. However, as Mut then was said to be infertile, it was believed that she, and thus Amun, had adopted Montu instead. In later years, due to the shape of a pool outside the sacred temple of Mut at Thebes, Montu was replaced, as her adopted son, by Khonsu, the moon god.

When the armies of the Eighteenth dynasty evicted the Hyksos rulers from Egypt, the victors' city of origin, Thebes, now held the mantle of the most important city in Egypt. Therefore, Amun, their local deity, became nationally important. The Pharaohs attributed all their successful enterprises to Amun, and they lavished much of their wealth and captured spoil on the construction of his temples.

Because of the adoration now given to Amun, visiting Greek travelers to Egypt would report back that Amun, king of the Egyptian gods, was one and the same (and therefore became identified) with the Classical Greek king of the gods, Zeus. Likewise, Amun's consort Mut became associated with Zeus's consort Hera.

As the Egyptians considered themselves oppressed during the period of the Hyksos rule, the victory under the supreme god Amun was seen as his championing of the less fortunate. Consequently, Amun was viewed as upholding the rights of justice for the poor. By aiding those who traveled in his name, he became the Protector of the road. Since he upheld Ma'at, those who prayed to Amun were required first to demonstrate that they were worthy by confessing their sins.

When, subsequently, Egypt conquered Kush, they identified the chief deity of the Kushites as Amun. This deity was depicted as ram-headed, more specifically a woolly ram with curved horns, and so Amun started becoming associated with the ram. Indeed, due to the aged appearance of it, they came to believe that this had been the original form of Amun, and that Kush was where he had been born. However, since rams, due to their rutting, were considered a symbol of virility, Amun also became thought of as a fertility deity, and so started to absorb the identity of Min, becoming Amun-Min. This association with virility led to Amun-Min gaining the epithet Kamutef, meaning Bull of his mother, in which form he was often found depicted on the walls of Karnak, ithyphallic, and with a scourge, as Min was.

As Amun's cult grew in importance, Amun rapidly became identified with the chief deity that was worshipped in other areas during that period, Ra-Herakhty, the merged identities of Ra, and Horus. This identification led to a merger of identities, with Amun becoming Amun-Ra. As Ra now had been described as the father of Shu, Tefnut, and the remainder of the Ennead, so Amun-Ra likewise, became identified as their father.

Ra-Herakhty had been a solar deity, and so this became true of Amun-Ra as well, Amun becoming considered the hidden aspect of the sun (e.g. during the night), in contrast to Ra-Herakhty as the visible aspect, since Amun clearly meant the one who is hidden. This complexity over the sun led to a gradual movement toward the support of a more pure form of deity.

During the eighteenth dynasty, the pharaoh Akhenaten (also known as Amenhotep IV) introduced the worship of the Aten, a deity whose power was manifested both literally and symbolically, in the sun's disc. He defaced the symbols of many of the old deities and based his new religion upon one new main deity: the Aten. He moved his capitol away from Thebes, however, this abrupt change was very unpopular with the previous temple priests, who now found themselves without any of their former power. Consequently, when Akhenaten died, his name was striken from the Egyptian records, and all of his changes were swiftly undone and the capitol was returned to Thebes. It was almost as if this almost monotheistic sect had never occurred. Worship of the Aten ceased and worship of Amun-Ra was restored. The priests even persuaded the new underage pharaoh Tutankhaten, whose name meant "the living image of Aten", to change his name to Tutankhamun, "the living image of Amun".

After the Twentieth dynasty the capitol was moved back to Thebes, the power base of Amun's cult had been revivified, and the authority of Aten began to weaken. Under the Twenty-first dynasty the secondary line of priest pharaohs of Thebes upheld his dignity to the best of their power, and the Twenty-second favoured Thebes.

As the sovereignty weakened, the division between Upper and Lower Egypt asserted itself; thereafter, Thebes would have rapidly decayed had it not been for the piety of the kings of Nubia toward Amun, whose worship had long prevailed in their country. Thebes was at first their Egyptian capital, and they honoured Amun greatly, although neither their wealth nor culture were sufficient to affect much change.

However, in the rest of Egypt, the popularity of his cult was rapidly overtaken by the less divisive cult of the Legend of Osiris and Isis, which had not been associated with the heretical Akhenaten. And so there, his identity became first subsumed into Ra (Ra-Herakhty), who still remained an identifiable figure in the Osiris cult, but ultimately, became merely an aspect of Horus.

In areas outside of Egypt where the Egyptians had previously brought the worship of Amun, his fate was not as dreadful. In Nubia, where his name was pronounced Amane, he remained the national god, with his priests at Meroe and Nobatia, via an oracle, regulating the whole government of the country, choosing the king, and directing his military expeditions. According to Diodorus Siculus, they were even able to compel kings to commit suicide, although this behaviour stopped when Arkamane, in the 3rd century BC, slew them.

Likewise, in Libya there remained a solitary oracle of Amun in the Libyan Desert at the oasis of Siwa. Such was its reputation among the Greeks that Alexander the Great journeyed there after the battle of Issus and during his occupation of Egypt in order to be acknowledged the son of Amun. Even during this occupation, Amun, identified as a form of Zeus by the Greeks, continued to be the great god of Thebes during its decay.

Several words derive from Amun via the Greek form Ammon: ammonia and ammonite. The Romans called the ammonium chloride deposits they collected from near the Temple of Jupiter Amun in ancient Libya 'sal ammoniacus' (salt of Amun) because of proximity to the nearby temple.[1] Ammonia, as well as being the chemical, is a genus name in the foraminifera. Both these foraminiferans (shelled Protozoa) and ammonites (extinct shelled cephalopods) bear spiral shells resembling a ram's, and Ammon's, horns. The regions of the hippocampus in the brain are called the cornu ammonis – literally "Amun's Horns", due to the horned appearance of the dark and light bands of cellular layers.


Abaddon

Name Variations: Avaddon (destruction / abyss), The Destroyer, King of the Locusts, Apollyon (Greek: disputed)
Regions of Influence: Biblican (Western)

Abaddon was chief of the demons of the seventh hierarchy. He was called The Destroyer and, in the Book of Revelation, St John called him the King of the locusts (Rev 9: 7-11).

The Thanksgiving Hymns (a copy was also found in the Dead Sea Scrolls) tells of "the Sheol of Abaddon" and of the "torrents of Belial [that] burst into Abaddon". The Biblical Antiquities of Philo mentions Abaddon as a place (sheol, hell), not as a spirit or demon or angel. In Paradise Regained, Milton also uses Abaddon as a place—the pit. It appears to have been St. John who first personified the term to stand for an angel. In the 3rd century Acts of Thomas, Abaddon is the name of a demon, or the Devil himself. Abaddon has also been identified as the angel of death and destruction, demon of the abyss, and chief of demons of the underworld hierarchy, where he is equated with Samael or Satan. In magic and alchemy, Abaddon is the Destroying Angel of the Apocalypse. In Barrett's The Magus, Abaddon is pictured, in colour, as one of the evil demons. In Medieval legend, Abaddon was considered as a synonym for Hell and/or the ruler thereof, and in Revelations 9:7-11, he was the Christian angel of Hell, Michael. The Hebrew word abadon, from which the name is derived, means "destruction" (Job 26:6 and Psalms 88:11).

Abaddon has also been considered the Hebrew name for the Greek god Apollyon.

Not long after Judeo-Christian teachings taught the name of this demon, Abaddon referred to the pit or cave that was used in mystery religions and schools as a rite of passage into the greater mysteries. Often the experience would entail the use of ritual substances that put the aspirant into an altered state in which he or she could receive divine revelation. Because the experience was sometimes unpleasant, this rite came to be viewed as being "hellish." However, it was considered absolutely necessary so that the seeker may become pure enough to encounter the "mind of God", as an angel is described as the "Angel of the bottomless pit who binds Satan for a thousand years". In occultism and esoterism, Abaddon is related to blood red, brown and green colours, winter, the month of January, Saturday, intuition, sacrifice and challenge, the ruby and the sword. His Tarot symbol is the one of judgement.


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