Satan - The Horned One and The Devil

The Element Encyclopedia of Witchcraft: The Complete A-Z for the Entire Magical World - Judika Illes 2005

The Horned One and The Devil

Satan is a Hebrew word, however there is no Hebrew spirit named Satan. Rather it is a title: Satan means “Adversary” and in Jewish tradition; he is always described as Ha-Satan or “the Satan.” Similar to the ancient Egyptian conception of the judging of dead souls, Jewish tradition suggests that when one dies, a court of angels considers how one’s time was spent on Earth, ultimately determining one’s future destiny.

As in a modern court of law, there is a defense attorney (your guardian angel) and a prosecuting attorney, whose job it is to point out every single thing you ever did wrong. This adversary is Ha-Satan and obviously he was a feared, unpopular character. However, he is not innately evil—any more than a tax accountant is evil for determining what you owe. He is doing the job assigned to him by the Creator. It is unclear whether there is one Satan or whether different angels fill this role.

Satan appears very infrequently in Hebrew scriptures; he is not an especially significant figure in Jewish tradition. He is occasionally depicted as a tempter of humanity but more usually as an obedient servant of the Creator. In Jewish tradition, not all angels are envisioned as pleasant: Ha-Satan is an accusatorial, adversarial angel in the same manner as there are Angels of Death.

There is no concept of Satan as a force opposing the Creator in the Old Testament. The Creator is Creator of All, good and evil. According to Isaiah 45:7

I form the light and create the darkness.

I make peace and create evil.

I the Lord do all these things.

The Hebrew Ha-Satan (“the Adversary”) was eventually translated into Greek as Diabolos (“Accuser”) This evolved into Diabolus (Latin), Diablo (Spanish), Diable (French), Djab (Kreyol), Diabolical (English), and Diavolo (Italian).