Personal daimons of ancient egypt, new-age spirits of today?

Researching topics of Ancient Egypt I came across reference to daimons. As a once computer geek, I’ve definitely understood what daemons are in computer lingo. Turns out all words share a similar etymology. The word demon is derived from the Greek daimôn. What is interesting to discover though the current meaning of demon is quite different than the original meaning.

In Hermetic texts and in Christian writers like Origen, as well as in Jewish Christian texts like the Testament of Solomon, gods and daimons are both featured. For example, in Contra Celsum the decans (whose origin, Celsus says, are Egyptian) are explicitly called daimons.

The Ancient Egyptians say that the body of man has been put under the charge of thirty-six daimons, or ethereal gods of some sort, who divide it between them, that being the number of parts into which it is divided. Each daimon is in charge of a different part. By invoking these names, they heal the appropriate part of the body (source).

Daimons are described as partially ‘from aether’. These daimons are not exactly material, nor are they ‘moved by soul’ but are called ‘energies of these thirty-six gods’

The idea of a personal daimon appears in various contexts, and is expected to guide the soul through its incarnated life. For Valens his personal daimon helps him fulfill his destiny through providence. (source)

Plotinus viewed daimons as ‘bodies of air or fire’; he also believed they spoke, had magical powers and that ‘daimons and gods are beautiful’. He equated daimons with human beings who were actively ‘daimonic’ in their lives; in other words, with those people who could communicate or converse with the gods; such as a shaman, mystic, poet, writer, philosopher.

Quote from an Egyptian priest to Plotinus in Porphyryr’s biography

Blessed are you, because a god is by you as your daimon and not some low class daimon. (source)

According to Er, the soul chooses the life it wishes to lead. With the help of the Fates, the soul is allotted a daimon to guide it through life. This personal daimon is our inner voice, our guardian angel, our sense of vocation, the ‘divine sense’ within, which drives us on, the blueprint of ourselves which we are born into.

What are now referred to as Gods and Goddesses might have been considered greater daimons including; Hecate, Athene, Hephaestus. Where the talents of man are said to reside among the daimons, who are said to have given them to men. (source)

I find it peculiar the close relationship between what Ancient Egyptians referred to as daimons and how they now are considered to be angels and divine spirits.

Other sources

  • http://www.lightplanet.com/response/BofAbraham/GeeEnsign1992/abraham_egyptian.htm
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daemon_(classical_mythology)
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daimonic
  • http://english.stackexchange.com/questions/39266/what-is-the-difference-between-daemon-and-demon-in-a-religious-context
  • http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/24507
  • http://daemonpage.com/socrates-daimon.php
  • http://ancestorsandarchetypes.weebly.com/daimon.html
  • http://www.alchemylab.com/daimon.htm
  • https://books.google.ca/books?id=3dLVyyDE-vQC
  • http://jungiancenter.org/in-the-grip-of-the-daimon/

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Roger A. says:

    For the past few days, I was researching the history of ‘hearing of voices,’ and came across your article today. I was surprised to see that daimons began in ancient Egypt as the decans of astrology, which for me, provides a new perspective regarding the human temperament. You just gotta love synchronistic experiences, and guardian spirits!

    Thak you for your post!

    RA

    1. Audrey Foo says:

      Thanks Roger, glad to hear that my blog was useful. The topic of how personal perception about daimons has evolved over time is fascinating. The study of ancient concepts can bring us closer to untainted truths.

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