Demons On Earth

Demons have inhabited the Earth since its creation

Category: Serpents & Reptiles

The Feathered Serpent – Quetzalcoatl

The legend of Quetzalcoatl begins in Mesoamerica around 100 BC. This date has an interesting correlation to events accounted in another book of scripture, but more on that later.

The name means “feathered serpent” in the Nahuatl language, integrating the idea of the serpent as a deity – or at least a being with supernatural powers – and a bird.

The stories of Quetzalcoatl link him to deity stories in other cultures:

  • The archeologist Karly Taube links the feathered serpent to fertility and internal structure and organization, although it’s interesting to note the the inhabitants of Teotihuacan also recognized a feathered serpent as the god of war. Coincidence? Were these two different incarnations of the same being?
  • It was also recognized as one of three agricultural deities, being the god of vegetational renewal, which ties in nicely with the widely recognized symbol of the serpent representing rebirth and the cycle of life.
  • Quetzalcoatl was also linked with the planet Venus, which was important as a sign of the beginning of the rainy season and was also connected to warfare.
  • To the Aztecs, he was a creator deity, contributing substantially to the creation of mankind.
  • He is said to be one of the four sons of Ometecuhtli and Omecihuatl and was considered the god of the morning star (Venus, when it appears in the East), while his twin brother was the god of the evening star (Venus when it appears in the West). The relationship between twin gods and the same planet in two different positions could easily represent different manifestations of the same deity.

Tradition has it that the Aztecs mistook Hernan Cortes for Quetzalcoatl, who, when he left his people, promised to return one day. And this is where the story takes a unique turn.

Cortes, a bearded, white European, was mistaken for Quetzalcoatl. It’s possible that the sails on his ship were thought to be feathers, but it’s much more likely that Quetzalcoatl, in one of his incarnations, appeared to his followers as a white man with a beard.

This unlikely possibility is actually confirmed by a book of scripture of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – The Book of Mormon – which contains an account of the visit of Jesus Christ – after his death and resurrection – to the Americas where he preached to the indigenous people.

As a resurrected being, Jesus, even being of Jewish/Mediterranean descent, would have appeared radiant and white to ancient Americans, while maintaining his personal appearance – including his beard – which was ubiquitous among the Jews at that time.

The timeline fits closely as well. Jesus is said to have died in 33 AD, which is not completely consistent with the 100 BC period suggested for the first appearance of Quetzalcoatl, but is very close – especially for archeology.

Did Jesus Christ appear to the ancient Americans after his resurrection? The Book of Mormon relates that he did and the legend of Quetzalcoatl supports that idea.

But is there more? The legends of serpents with supernatural powers appear around the world, in many cases predating the time of Quetzalcoatl by thousands of years. The manifestation of demons in serpent form is prevalent – even the feathered serpent of Mesoamerica was worshipped as the god of war.

Another perspective on demons appearing as serpents with both good and evil attributes, is that by doing so they are effectively creating confusion, discord, and even violence, generating the negative human emotions and energy that sustain them.

Demons and Angels

The Bible states that Satan and his demons can impersonate angels and ministers of righteousness. And there’s ample evidence that they can appear in other forms as well.

2 Corinthians 11:14-15

14And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

15Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

But is the same true for angels? Is it possible that some of the stories about demons in the form of serpents are, in reality, about angels?

An example of the serpent as a positive symbol is Mucalinda who shielded the Buddha as he meditated. Serpents also often represent fertility and the life force, which may be positive or negative, depending on your perspective. And the cosmic serpent, represented in a circle, with its tail in its mouth, is a widespread symbol of infinity and the cycle of life.

How do we explain a creature with such strong positive and negative symbolism?

Some argue that the serpent is actually a universally positive symbol from prehistory and that it has been corrupted by more modern religions trying to separate themselves from these earlier, more “primitive” belief systems. But what does this say about these new  religions, their deities, and the values they espouse? If the earlier beliefs were good and true, are the later ones bad and false? I find that a difficult idea to accept.

On the other hand, are the older beliefs uniformly false and the new ones true? That doesn’t work either, or we would not have the diversity we do, at least I don’t think we would. It seems to me that if one set of beliefs is the only true one, then it would be universal – at least in its general principles. Yet we have diversity.

If the old beliefs were true, wouldn’t they have remained intact instead of being replaced by newer ideologies?

I think there are several conclusions we can safely draw:

    • Organized religions and belief systems are created by humans to explain the unexplainable.
    • They differ because cultures – both past and present – differ, each group creating a belief system that conforms to their history, culture, and environment.
    • All of these belief systems are an attempt to maintain social order and to help us behave nicely toward each other.
    • Symbols of evil in one culture – the serpent tempting Adam and Eve – may be good in other cultures – the cobra protecting the Buddha in meditation.

But where does that leave us when it comes to interpreting these symbols?

There is a universal principle we can apply to the baffling abundance of conflicting beliefs about demons and the many forms they can assume: What are the consequences of their actions? Do they encourage peace, love, and acceptance? Or do they cause hate, anger, violence, and abuse?

Matthew 7:17-20

17Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

18A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

19Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

20Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

The Serpent in Mythology

The serpent is possibly the oldest and most common image in history. Not to be confused with a normal snake – or other reptiles – the serpent is always a creature with great, often supernatural, powers. From pre-history to current fundamentalist Christian snake handlers, the serpent is frequently a critical part of most belief systems.

There are several reasons:

  • The snake, which periodically sheds its skin, symbolizes immortality, renewing itself over and over.
  • Their lidless, unblinking eyes symbolize constant vigilance and wisdom, implying that their mental processes were different from other creatures as well as humans.
  • Snakes will sometimes bite their tails and the circle they create represents eternity.
  • When coiled, they form spirals, another cosmic symbol that is seen across cultures.

But are these the only reasons? Are there others, buried in prehistory, which have given rise to the serpent symbolism we see today?

I believe there is a deeper reason the serpent is so prevalent in myth and theological history. It is because of the influence of Satan and his followers who were cast out of heaven at the beginning of time.

It’s possible that these spirits, who coexisted in heaven with God and were part of His angelic host, were instrumental in the creation of the heavens and the earth. When they rebelled and were cast out, they took with them the knowledge and expertise they had acquired under the direction of God.

By their own choice, they rebelled and were cast out of heaven and down to the earth, where their mission is to make all of mankind miserable. And they’re doing just that.

I suggest that these spirits were able to create, for themselves, physical bodies in a variety of forms, the most common being reptilian, and these beings are the hidden reason for the prominence of serpents in theology. When God cast Adam and Eve out of the garden of Eden, he punished the serpent saying, “…thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life….”

What was the serpent’s form before God punished it? Could it have been humanoid, walking on two legs as we do?

The serpent was also able to speak to Eve and tempt her. How? If it spoke to her as we speak to each other, it must have had the physical capacity to do so, which would mean it was similar in appearance to us. If it spoke to Eve telepathically, that gives it supernatural powers consistent with a superior spiritual being in physical form.

The truth is lost in the mists of time, but by analyzing the beliefs that have come down to us, as well as accounts of events occurring in our time, I believe we can discover the reality about our past and the power and influence of demons on earth.

The circular serpent image is from circleoftheserpent.org, a Wiccan coven established in 1999.

Serpent History – The Bible

After God, Adam, and Eve, the next being to make an appearance in the Bible was a serpent. In Genesis chapter three verse one it says:

1Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

The traditional interpretation of Adam and Eve’s temptation is that God is good and the serpent is evil, tempting Adam and Eve to disobey God. But is that logical or the only interpretation?

What was God’s plan for them? He’d created a garden and filled it with everything they needed to by happy. Then He told them the one thing they should not do, eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If Adam and Eve were truly innocent in the garden, this was like telling a five-year-old not to eat candy, then putting it on the table where he can get at it. The consequences are inevitable.

Did God set up Adam and Eve for failure? It would appear so, but why? Did He really want them to stay in the garden forever and be his companions? Did He know that they would be tempted and give in to the temptation?

That seems like a pretty mean trick to play on a couple of innocent humans. “Here, don’t eat this and if you do, I’ll cast you out of my presence and you’ll die.” It sounds like a rather petty and childish Supreme Being.

And what about the role of the serpent? The Bible says the serpent ”was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made .” In tempting Eve, the serpent obviously knew the consequences of his actions.

 Genesis 3:4-5

4And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:

5For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

This isn’t the place to get into a discussion about the serpent’s reference to “gods” plural. But it does show that the serpent was far more knowledgeable about God’s affairs than Adam and Eve and in other scriptures Satan is referred to as a serpent.

Was it actually Satan, or one of his demons that tempted Adam and Eve? Did God let it happen and if so why?

Whether or not the serpent in Genesis was actually a demon, it is clear that he had an understanding of God’s plans. Did he tempt Adam and Eve in an attempt to thwart God? Did he do it to ensure that the descendants of Adam and Eve would “multiply and replenish the earth” providing an infinite number of souls for Satan and his followers to torment?

I believe that Satan and his demons sustain themselves with the negative energy produced by human suffering. If that’s the case, then the serpent’s effort to get Adam and Eve out of the garden was successful in providing the demonic horde with an abundant source of spiritual nutrition – the suffering of billions of people.

And what about the serpent? God punished it.

14And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:

All snakes today crawl and have no external legs, but many species do have internal, residual bone structures of hind legs.

Did the serpent once walk on four legs or upright on two, like man? What type of being was the serpent before God’s curse and are there demons still on the earth today in that form?

Legends and stories from around the world would lead us to believe there are.

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