Thursday, February 4, 2010

Day LXVI - Pazuzu

Great evil spirit,
King demon spreads pestilence,
Dread wings of despair.

Well-known in pop culture thanks to his appearance in The Exorcist, Pazuzu is Babylonian mythology's dark wind demon plaguing the people of Ancient Mesopotamia. Bringer of storms, drought, famine and locusts, the sinister spirit spreads havoc and provokes feelings of horror whenever he makes his presence felt. Such is Pazuzu's reputation, he's looked to as a guardian to protect against other wicked spirits (he's so evil, even the most malevolent demons flee in fear) and, thus, has found himself immortalised in statues and amulets. The demonic king is often described as having a pair of wings, eagle's talons as feet, the head of a dog or lion, a scorpion tail and a serpentine penis. It's an icon of pure evil, awe-inspiring in its appearance and downright frightening to think about, especially if it's conflated with disease and the influence of the Devil. The wind demon of Babylon is bad news, but a brilliant mythical creature, nevertheless.

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