Ashmodai & the Shedim: Existence of the Jinn
There is what can be a perplexing mystery that can be found in teachings of the Zohar and the ‘Practical Kabbalah’ or Magical Kabbalah. The common translation of the Hebrew word shedim as ‘demon’ and the proclaiming of Ashmodai as the ‘king of demons’ creates a great confusion concerning these spiritual beings-forces, one that leads to a deep misunderstanding among many who study the Kabbalah. You see, in reality they are not demons, fallen or rebellious angels - angels of Satan. The difficulty is that there is not another word that might sufficiently identify the shedim, for among the shedim many are not necessarily godly or divine, any more than many among unenlightened humankind are godly or divine in their ways. The Holy Quran revealed through the Prophet Mohammed, however, offers a significant clarification of the shedim giving them a name distinct from that of demons and revealing secret mysteries about their nature and existence, and their role in creation.
According to the Quran along with various creatures and nature spirits there are angels, humans and jinn, the latter corresponding with the ‘shedim.’ Angels were created from the light of God, the various gradations of light, and human beings were created from that light and the ‘breath of God’ - something of the essence and being of God, and the jinn were created from primordial fire, and are very magical beings having great power, something like that of the angels, but being distinct from them, much like human beings are distinct from the angels.
As we know, angels can be divine, archonic or demonic, and likewise human beings can be godly, admixed or evil, and something similar is true of the jinn, they also can serve God, or be in an unenlightened, impure condition, or may be wicked, evil, fierce spirits, something like demons. Something very interesting that is said about the jinn in the Quran, though, is that the revelations of God through the prophets and apostles - the messengers of God - are given for the sake of human beings and the jinn; hence, for the enlightenment and liberation of human beings and jinn.
Perhaps you may recall the legend of King Solomon pacifying, enriching and subjugating Ashmodai and the shedim - the jinn - in the building of the first temple and employing their help in its construction. This of course was not actual demons - angels of Satan - but rather the jinn, indicating jinn that received the Torah through the Prophet Moses, along with humans and who sought to turn to God and serve God; hence their lending their knowledge and power to the building of Solomon’s temple. Understanding that the revelation of the Holy Torah was for the sake of humankind and the jinn, so also the Holy Gospel and the coming of the Messiah. In this regard we might recall the recounting of revelations of the Risen Messiah in esoteric, ‘gnostic’ gospels, which speak of the coming of the Messiah and revelations of the Messiah in various realms and worlds of the inner dimensions, as upon the earth, and of the Messiah assuming the form of those to whom the Messiah is revealed, whether human, angel, archon, and so on, and naturally we may understand an appearance of the Messiah to jinn as jinn (shedim).
As is known, in the Gnostic Path it is understood that the preaching of the Gospel is not just to human beings, but to all creatures, all sentient beings - all living spirits and souls of all kinds. Understanding this, in the play of divine theurgy, or the wonderworking art in the Holy Kabbalah, in our invocations and prayers and sacred ceremonies we do not only invoke the Names of God and angels, but often we invoke various spirits and intelligences, including the jinn, engaging in an ‘energetic’ preaching of the Gospel - Light Transmission - with them, drawing them into the service of the kingdom of heaven and God, the True Light, laboring for their redemption, their enlightenment and liberation.
This, of course, is strongly reflected in the ‘Lesser Key of Solomon,’ which speaks about the invocation of the jinn; among Christian Mekubalim they are not invoked merely to acquire their knowledge and power, but for the sake of the extension of the Light of the True Cross - the Anointing, and so that they might be pacified and enriched, blessed and uplifted, and reintegrated with God - that they might ‘return to God.’
The jinn are created from primordial fire, and as we know in the Supernal One there is a great swirl of light and fire, and as such the jinn hold great knowledge and power - knowledge of deep secrets of creation, and manipulation of great forces of creation and destruction. As such to engage with the jinn is a play of great beauty and great danger, and would not be something for a novice aspirant to take up. If one were to understand what the jinn are, from the righteous jinn to evil jinn, they would understand the need for self-purification before active invocation and engagement with them, and more so the need for a strong faith and love - cleaving, and a deeper realization of oneness with the Messiah in God Most High; hence, a conscious union with the Shekinah of Messiah, such that one is able to see, hear and feel, smell, taste and touch, with the Messiah, with God - it is in this that the spiritual conversion of jinn, or various other spiritual beings-forces, is possible. It is through the Messiah and Holy Spirit in us that we are empowered to invoke the Great Name and Blessed Name and that all spiritual forces are made subject to us - subject to the Shekinah of Messiah with us.
Needless to say, in much the same way that a ‘rider of the merkavah speaks only to a person who has knowledge already, and that in private,’ so it is with those who are adept at the wonderworking art and the deeper knowledge of the jinn and how to invoke them, as well as various other spiritual beings-forces and how to invoke them. It is good, however, for mystical and gnostic initiates to have knowledge of the existence of the jinn, as knowledge of their existence can expand contemplations of various secret mysteries in the Kabbalah; likewise it clears up the common confusion of Ashmodai and the shedim with Satan and his angels, or Samael and his minions.
In closing it needs to be said that save for one who is Baal Shem - a Master of the Name - it would be complete folly for anyone to willfully invoke Satan, Samael, or any of the fallen ones, the demons; as it is with the Baal Shem, or those among the Sacred Tau, it would be very rare that there would be reason to do so - Ashmodai and the shedim, jinn, and Satan and his ‘angels,’ demons, are two very different things. Until this universe, this great cosmic cycle, passes into destruction there will be no spiritual conversion or redemption of Satan, Samael, and those of his kind - the dark forces, demons.
May the Holy Light of the True Cross shine upon all creatures this day and many living spirits and souls receive their anointing from God; and may the Lord drive out evil from our midst, and from before us, and empower us to overcome the Adversary, the Satan! Amen.
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