Who is Samael
Samael is good and evil. It is the real name of Lucifer morningstar the lord of hell. He is a major demon in Jewish lore and Christian (in the bible) demonology. He is an archangel in talmudic lore and the partner of Lilith
Also, he plays important roles within occultism. He is in the heavenly hierarchies as well as he is among the fallen angels.
In the Chronicles of Jerahmeel he is the «chief of the Satans«. This work depicted him as one of the most wickest angels. He is an angel in the service of the Lord.
- In Arabic سمسمائيل, Samsama’il or سمائل, Samail
- In hebrew סַמָּאֵל, Sammāʾēl, «Venom/Poison of God»
- Other names: Smal, Smil, Samil, or Samiel)
Samael, a prominent figure in mystical traditions, holds the title of the demons’ sovereign and is recognized as the angel of mortality. He is often linked with the notorious Lilith, forming a formidable pair. This enigmatic entity stands in direct opposition to Michael the archangel and the nation of Israel. Astrologically, Samael is connected with Mars and symbolically with the left side, the direction north, and the day Tuesday. A unique aspect of his lore is the caution against uttering his name; to avoid inadvertently summoning his presence, only the initial two letters of his name are customarily vocalized.
Historical texts and interpretations credit Samael with various malevolent deeds in ancient Jewish lore. These include introducing the tree of knowledge in Eden, orchestrating the serpent’s temptation of Eve, and being implicated in the birth of Cain. Samael is also believed to have tried to sway Abraham from his sacrificial act, indirectly causing Sarah’s demise, challenging Jacob even before birth, and standing as an adversary to Israel during their exodus.
Additionally, he’s associated with the Golden Calf incident, antagonizing Moses, causing the demise of the prophet Isaiah, leading rebellious forces against the divine, and being linked to the Yom Kippur scapegoat ritual. In eschatological beliefs, it’s foretold that Samael will ultimately be subdued by Michael, restrained, and subjected to retribution by Israel.
Descriptions of Samael paint a vivid and supernatural image: he is depicted as possessing a dozen wings enabling flight, with a unique physical appearance marked by cross-eyes and fiery gaze, horned, and of immense stature, metaphorically described as spanning a 500-year journey. Intriguingly, one text mentions a singular long hair on his navel, destined to react to the sound of the shofar, signaling the onset of messianic times.
Samael is a figure in various religions and mythologies, including Christianity, Judaism, and Gnosticism. In these traditions, its role can vary.
In Judaism, it is a fallen angel and the accuser or adversary of humans. He is the angel of death and one who tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden.
In Christianity, it is Satan or other demons. Some texts describes him as a powerful and malevolent force who seeks to lead humans away from God.
In Gnosticism, it is the Demiurge, a false god who created the material world and keeps humans trapped in ignorance and suffering.
The symbolism of Samael
Samael is a symbol that represents different things:
- Death, darkness, and evil which are often represented by the color black.
- It is also linked to the element fire, which can mean passion, transformation, or destruction.
- In some traditions, it is seen as the angel of death, who judges and ends life.
- It can also be associated with temptation and sin, and sometimes represents power and authority, especially in occult traditions.
Samael is a complex figure with many symbolic associations and meanings. The specific references can vary depending on the tradition or context.
The angel of death Samael
The evil side of Samael is depicted in Jewish lore with a crown in his head. He is the angel of death, and collector of Moses’ soul. In the Haggadah he is the guardian of Jacob’s brother Esau.
This presents him as a wicked angel. It is because Esau is wicked only thinking of worldly things and drawn to worship in places of idolatry.
In the Zohar he is associated with Amalek, the god of the physical world. The text describes Samael as Amalek’s occult name. The Zohar describes his name meaning «poison of God.»
- E. Waite in his work The Holy Kabbalah defines Samael name as the «severity of God». And also equates him with Satan and the Serpent, Lilith being his bride.
In Moncure Daniel Conway’s Demonology and Devil-Lore, he is the left hand of God. He is the consort of both the voluptuous maiden Naamah and the arch-she-devil Lilith.
In the Gnostic text Apocryphon of John discovered amidst the Hag Hammadi manuscripts, Samael is another name for the demiurge. He created the material world associating him with the Zohar text. It links him to the physical world.
Later in the grimoiric tradition the name is spelled Sam-ael, for magickal purposes. In the Heptameron he is described as an angel. He reign over Monday and Tuesday.
He appears in the 1505 version of «Faustbuch» entitled Magiae Naturalis et Innatural. There he is identified with the element of fire.
Henry Cornelius Agrippa associated him with Urieus, a form of Oriens, guardian of the East. Mathers makes the same association in his edition of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage.
The Fallen Angel
The archangel Samael
Samael and lilith
In the Zohar
The Zohar associates Lilith and Samael when speaking of the quaternion marriage. The quaternion marriage involved two couples:
Following the destruction of the temple Shekina descended to be with her flock or people. While her handmaiden Lilith ascended to become the consort of God. Thus showing her importance.
In the Kabbalah
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is Samael in the bible?
In Jewish texts, Samael is seen as a powerful angel with a dark and destructive role. He is often described as the head of satans and the main angel of death. Despite being associated with sin, Samael is still considered to be a servant of God.
What does the name mean?
It is a boy’s name of Hebrew origin. It comes from the Bible and means «God has heard.» The name is made up of two parts: «shama,» which means «heard,» and «el,» which means «God.»
- Biedermnn, Hans. Dictionary of Symbolism: Cultural Icons & the Meanings Behind Them.Transl. by James Greer,
- John Michael. The New Encyclopedia of the Occult. St. Paul, MN, Llewellyn Worldwide. p. 416 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qliphoth#Samael>.
- Adramelek. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adrammelech>.