Friday, February 19, 2010

Trust in Fiction-

No unexplained subject gets the blood flowing the way Demonic Possession does. Maybe it is our programmed fear of the devil and his minions, or just our vivid memories of the torture endured by young Regan in William Peter Blatty's classic The Exorcist, which continues to shock viewers around the world.

What many people may not realize about the classic is that the demon Father Merrin battled at the outset (and again in Exorcist: the Beginning) is actually the demonic god, Pazuzu. In both Assyrian and Babylonian mythologies, the god Pazuzu is the king of the demons of wind, one of the vilest demons to ever be mentioned. He is depicted with the body of a man but with the head of a lion or dog, talons instead of feet, with two pairs of wings, a tail of a scorpion and a gigantic serpentine penis. When pictured, he usually has his right hand pointing upward and his left hand pointing downward; positions identifying creation and destruction.

Being the god of the wind, he is known for bringing droughts and famine with his fiery breath during dry seasons, and conjuring swarms of locusts during rainy seasons. In ancient times, people would invoke Pazuzu into amulets aimed at fighting against the powers of the evil goddess Lamashtu. Today these demons may still be doing battle on the unexpected, waiting for the weak-minded to open up and provide them a host for their unjust war. Whether it is Good vs. Evil, or Evil vs. Evil, history and science hold the key to their defeat.

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