written by Natasha Head~
For centuries here in the Western world, we have feared demons. They are fallen angels, cast out of heaven. They wreak havoc on believers, they possess, annihilate and destroy. Why then, do demons and their lessor forms decorate our architecture, welcoming us to churches, cathedrals, shrines and the like? Why would we allow these beings such a prominent space in our daily lives?
Did you know that demons have not always carried such a dark and sinister reputation? Derived from the Greek daimonor daemon, the word, in its infancy, actually referred to a person’s guiding spirit. This spirit was considered divine, and was the one we would look to for guidance and protection.
Like many of our ancient beliefs, these original definitions were lost to the rise of Christianity. As with many of the pagan beliefs, the idea of demon as protector or guide, was manipulated to the feared beasts and spirits we have come to know today. Unlike most of these ancient paths of wisdom however, that were buried under the guise of folklore and myth, it was the demons who would become the scapegoat, as they were blamed for just about every disaster, natural or otherwise, that would come to plague the leaders of such reformations.
Today, perhaps most common, is the term inner demon. It seems we all have them, all battle them, and they are always forcing us to question our faith, our path, our own divinity. Today, they tend to rear their ugly heads when we are working against our Western ideals, going against what is accepted or considered the norm. Today, we find books and workshops available to help us meet our inner demons, to embrace and feed them. Societal conditioning has made the thought of such a thing not sit well with most, but if we look to our genuine histories, perhaps the time has come to stop fighting them. Perhaps, in the current world, and our current state of affairs, we need their protection and guidance more than ever.