The roots of the demon, Lucifer, and his descent to rule over the underworld, or Hell, have been told numerous times dating back to ancient cultures. For Biblical horror author Josephine Leonard of Indianapolis, the story of the fallen angel has taken up much of her time. Leonard has been exploring the themes surrounding the figure of Satan and built on the original stories in the Bible and beyond with her work. In her latest book, Indianapolis-based Biblical horror author Josephine Leonard recently discusses the figure of evil within, "Tales From The Demon" which tackles the difficult idea of the Devil, demons and evil.
The Latin translation of Lucifer is "Light-Bringer", with the everyday meaning of the word being "morning star" within Roman society. The Latin translation is similar to those used in the Old Testament where the name gives no indication of a fallen angel as it refers back to early Islamic traditions regarding the arrival of humans on Earth. The idea of the devil beginning life as an angel who refuses to prostrate himself before God or the figure of Adam in the Garden of Eden is not one seen in early Christianity. In fact, two bishops carried the name with Saint Lucifer of Cagliari and a former bishop of Siena.
The Rebellious Angel
One of the most famous stories based around the figure of Satan in the Christian tradition is that of the fallen angel who departed the service of God for any variety of reasons. One of the first mentions of the "Light-Bringer" in the Bible is found in the book of Ezekiel where the figure we now often see as the devil is said to be a perfect creature created by God. Despite the perfection discussed in the Bible, Ezekiel explains the figure was corrupted by its own beauty and wisdom resulting in God casting it to Earth from heaven.
As the Book of Ezekiel continues the story, the demon figure is described as believing so much in its own importance to the universe which resulted in the desire to take the position of God. Eventually, the story explains the first sin committed in the universe was that of self-importance which resulted in the fallen angel being cast out of heaven to Earth.
A Human Figure and Devil
The figure who many now believe to be the Devil is linked to a former King of Babylon known as Tyre. The figure of Tyre offers a similar story to the fallen angel who departed from Heaven to Hell as it is told in Ezekiel with the King being condemned for believing he was a God despite his mortal background.
A number of scholars believe the figure of Tyre is referred to during much of the writing on Satan found in the Old Testament. However, it is generally agreed the demon comes into focus later in the story of the fall of the Babylonian monarch who is seen by some scholars as the human embodiment of the Devil. Over the course of the story of Satan told in the Old Testament in the book of Ezekiel, one of the important points told is of the fact the name of the Devil began as Lucifer before being changed to Satan after the angel was cast out of Heaven to Earth and Hell.
The Heavenly Council
One of the most famous stories about the fall of Satan to Hell is told by many who follow the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. In this story, the figure of the "Light-Bringer", or "Morning Star" is taking part in a Heavenly Council when he refuses to accept the will of the Lord. The Mormon Scripture goes on to explain, after refusing to accept the will of God and beginning a rebellion, the Devil is cast out of Heaven and condemned to travel between Earth and the Underworld. The Mormon belief system sees Satan considered a perverse figure intent on destroying the souls of men.
Occultism and Luciferianism
To those who follow the religion of Luciferianism, the figure they follow is the fallen angel who is seen in a completely different light to that depicted by Christians. To many who practice occultism, the Devil is a liberator who has been cast out of Heaven by an illegitimate God or Jehovah. There are a number of followers of Luciferianism who believe the figure they follow was actually the God of all we see before his position was usurped by Jehovah and he was cast out of his own home.
Interpretations of the Devil
There are many different ways to interpret the figure we now refer to as the Devil; for example, Dante created an iconic interpretation of the Devil in his poem, "The Divine Comedy". In the poem, the figure is described as possessing three faces used for chewing on sinners while the huge wings of Satan are used to blow cold winds to Earth.
Around the World, Hell and Lucifer are seen in different ways as many European traditions see the cloven hoof as a link between the Devil and goats. The English county of Lancashire has many stories detailing the trickery of the Devil as he tried to persuade innocent people to give him their soul in return for three wishes. The Lancashire hillside of Rivington Pike is said to be haunted by a mysterious, spectral horseman thought to be the devil himself capable of appearing in different forms to trick people into following him and giving up their soul.
To learn more about Josephine Leonard's fictional exploration into the world of the bible, devil and demons, feel free to check out her latest book: Tales From The Demon.