Things we have learned this week: The Dispatchist hosts are just as good at producing a “Jeopardy” parody as they are 1) playing them, 2) feigning normality, and 3) sound editing. Apologies for the audio this episode. Someday we’ll nail it.
Show notes are a work in process, this episode was all over the place, we’ll be updating this over the next few days.
Meanwhile, in hell-related news, The Satanic Temple is hosting their second annual scholarship competition, which, with topics like “How did compulsory schooling inhibit you from achieving your potential,” kind of comes across as being down on public education. The hosts have some discussion over whether or not you can be down on public education and in support of education as a whole. The goals and results of “education”, “public education as practiced in the United States,” and “the pursuit of knowledge” are all very different things. We encourage a serious podcast to take this topic up and send us the answer, please.
This week’s show is a wrap up on the Ladies of Hell, some review, some miscellaneous material that didn’t make it into one of the other episodes. We figured that if we actually worked with each other on our questions we’d know the answer, but we had fun with this one. So sit back, let the royalty-free game show music lure you into a tonal trance of jarring colors and impish whammies, phrase your responses in the form of an exclamation, and join us as we play Irritation!
Adam & Eve & Lilith & Steve for $100
Her name means “The Living One,” but may also mean “Snake…”
Predictably sourced from Wiki, while “eve” most commonly is believed to mean “source of life,” it has a written similarity to the Aramaic word for snake. It sounds like this is another example of Rabbis being clever with the language, so it may be more an interesting moral message to ponder than a helpful and revelatory fact.
Around the World for $100
Name at least three types of sexy fox ladies…
We believe everything on the internets is true. So, Huli jing,, the Chinese fox spirit, has nine tails, can transform into a human, and can appear as a young woman. They need to find a nicely-fitting skull to transform, though.
Kumiho are from Korea, are unique for having a “yeowoo guseul” or “fox bead” which gifts them with intelligence and magical power. They’re pretty solidly evil as a group, and seduce men to eat their livers and hearts…but may become truly human if they just stop killing people.
The Japanese version of this spirit is the Kitsune, which are known for entering dreams, breathing fire, calling down lightning, and can be killed buy cutting off their tails. There are two flavors of kitsune: the zenko kitsune is benevolent and serves the popular god Inari. The yako kitsune is the dark side version of this spirit, prone to posessing people.
And Fox #4, which we haven’t mentioned before, the Ho Tinh from Vietnam, a very large nine-tailed fox, a mountain-dwelling monster that occasionally lures victims into its lair in Long Bien. (source)
IIf you’re of a reasonably strong stomach, the Kumiho makes an appearance in Lovecraft Country. NOTE! Her name is not Brenda. It’s Ji-Ah. Which doesn’t even sound like Brenda at all.
Solomon’s Temple for $200
“The Worst” might also be this triple-threat goddess…
Things we have learned: there are a LOT of triple-goddess-of-fates.
A few of today’s bits come from The Testament of Solomon, and particularly his encounter with the seven demons of the Pleiades (which Victoria really loved.) They’re related to their treatment in Greek mythology, where they’re seven muse-like sisters.
And I glorified God afresh who gave me this authority, and ordered another demon to come before me. And there came seven spirits, females, bound and woven together, fair in appearance and comely. And I Solomon, seeing them, questioned them and said: “Who are ye?” But they, with one accord, said with one voice: “We are of the thirty-three elements of the cosmic ruler of the darkness.” And the first said: “I am Deception.” The second said: “I am Strife.” The third: “I am Klothod, which is battle.” The fourth: “I am Jealousy.” The fifth: “I am Power.” The sixth: “I am Error.” The seventh: “I am the worst of all, and our stars are in heaven. Seven stars humble in sheen, and all together. And we are called as it were goddesses. We change our place all and together, and together we live, sometimes in Lydia, sometimes in Olympus, sometimes in a great mountain.”
Northern Europe for $500
This German triple-goddess watched over births, and was known for weaving fates…
Is a question about the Norns on topic for a hell podcast? They are creatures of the Norse underworld, may or may not be spirits of the dead (as there’s not a lot of clear distinction between spirits, gods, fairies, and so on.) They’re sometimes considered cthonic goddesses, so that counts. Also, anything that appears in The Wicked and the Divine is totally fair game.
Movies and TV for $100
Racquel Welch played her in “Bedazzled” 1967…and the Order(s) of St. Beryl
IBoth versions of Bedazzled are really great watches, but Peter Cook’s chirpy Satan really makes the film. Raquel Welch has a few moments on screen as “Lust” of the Seven Deadlies, and was enough star power to appear on every poster I’ve seen advertising the movie.
While we’re here, let’s go on a bit on the Order of St. Beryl, since [ibid]. The Bedazzled Berylites are a leaping Trappist order. Beryl is (of course) the daughter of St. Vitus of dancing fame. She and the order she founded were forbidden to take any life, so rather than step on the awful snakes around their swampy convent in Norwich, they would leap, and became famous as the leaping nuns.
Now the Chattering Order of St. Beryl are a different beast, an order of Satanic nuns who follow the model of St. Beryl, who protected her virtue from her pagan husband by chattering endlessly until she was eventually executed, but, importantly, died a virgin and that’s what matters. Recently, alongside the release of “Good Omens” on Amazon, they released their first album, “Unholy Nights: Music Inspired by Good Omens” which is a lot of fun. If a bit too short!
Northern Europe for $300
This belly-slitter is neither holly nor jolly…
Perchta is the complicated end-product of a series of norse Goddesses, related all to Frau Holle, or Old Mother Frost, or Holla, Holda, Perchta, and so many others. Linked to the Virgin Mary, the Wild Hunt, Krampus, and feeding more than a bit into Santa Claus’s punitive side, she has more aspects than is reasonable for a goddess that feels a little bit forgotten now? Though we’re not German. We’ll have to come back to her when we talk about the Wild Hunt. She really feels like the quintessential death-and-rebirth goddess.
A callout to the Yule Lads, Christmas bogeys and pranksters who are a part of a sprawling family of Northern Europe Christmas harbingers..
Potpourri for $500
That time Persephone turned someone into mint…
Short, weird story…Before the whole “Persephone/Hades” thing, Hades and Minthe, one of the nymphs, were an item, but there was a lot of jealousy and some stomping and things ended up with Demeter destroying Minte, although you really can’t kill minthe, it always grows back again.
Mint was apparently used in the Elueusian mysteriees and in funeral preparations, so there’s another underworld connection…
In a strange twist of fate, it turns out that all the hosts got their facts wrong simultaneously.
Usually they try to do it in pairs.
Movies and TV for $200
This king of hell looks a lot like Gemory…
This connection was pointed out in Pandemonium: A Discordant Concordance of Diverse Spirit Catalogs, which is that very rare thing, an interesting grimoire. Interesting in that it brings in other sources, makes connections, and creates new material by logical extension. The author, Jake Stratton-Kent, talks about “ghosts” in the goetic demons, spirits that seem to echo one another…maybe they’re duplicates? Maybe aspects of the same? Paimon is known to have male and female aspects and be good for finding hidden things. Both wear a crown, both ride some sort of deserty camely thing. Could be?
Solomon’s Temple for $500
This demon warned Solomon of his coming fall…
E is for Enêpsigos, apparently! And another three-in-one. Enêpsigos is a three-formed demon and/or goddess, possibly a moon goddess. Though she appears most often as a two-headed woman and as the Titan Kronos (!) it seems like she’s a likely heir to Hekate. This probably deserves to be a $500 question!
Intermission! Here’s the part of the show where you’re forced to listen to some inane facts about the guests. This being a podcast, you’re probably used to that by now, but this time it’s official content.
Halloween downtown in Austin, Texas is epic. We’re kind of the bar district of the entire state (and surrounding states), and things get pretty crazy during peak party times.
And then there’s the Unknown Comic, an institution of the late 70s game/variety “Gong Show.” A magical era that never should have passed.
Adam and Eve and Lilith and Steve for $500
This mother of all demons was the wife of Samael…
But really, who wasn’t the wife of Samael? According to Bahya Ben Asher Samael had four wives: Lilith (of Lilithfair fame), Naamah, known for seducing Azazel, causing epilepsy, giving birth to all the demons of the world (though Lilith raises them), and being chased by the demon kings Afrira and Qastimon; Eisheth the “Woman of Whoredom” who eats the souls of the damned but is otherwise quite nice and a fan of music; and Agrat bat Mahlat, the dancing roof demon, who dances while her mother (grandmother?) Lilith howls. She’s also the mistress of sorceresses. Interesting Agrat bat Mahlat fact: after sleeping with King David she gave birth to Asmodeus. Small world?
Potpourri for $400
A litter only a mother could love…
In hindsight, I’m wondering how Echidna ended up in Solomon’s Temple. There must have been a reason? She was a half-woman, half-snake monstress who was the mate of Typhon (and, interestingly, Set by extension, we’ll cover that some day.) Sometimes she has a hundred heads.
Cerbrerus (three heads) and Othrus (two heads), The Lernaean Hydra, the Chimera, the Sphinx, the Nernean Lion, the Caucasion Eagle (? Apparently the eagle that gnaws on Prometheus), Ladon (a snake monster), the Crommyonian Sow (a piggie), the Gorgon (Medusa’s mom), the Colchian Dragon, Scyllia, and others.
Northern Europe for $400
When Death was a lady…
We talked about the Testament of Nicodemus in our episode on the Harrowing of Hell (#13, “Kicking Down Death’s Door”). In the version we were referencing there was some banter between Beelzebub/Hell/Death/Hades (I think these are interchangable) and Satan himself…in that version, Hades comes across as sort of a reasonable, down-to-earth sort of dark lord. In the Old English Version, and at least in one line of the year 400-500ish Greek/Latin version, we meet the genderswapped Hades, Seo hell, who has some lively banter (“flyting“) with Satan, and is a pretty cool character. Wiki and other scholars suggest that she inherited some personality from Frau Holle and the Norse goddess Hel.
Adam and Eve and Lilith and Steve for $300
Faust danced and flyted with this beautiful demoness…
Finally, the answer is Lilith!
Faust, Scene XXI: Walppurgis Night, the Hartz Mountains, in the region of Schierke and Elend…
Note that madam! That’s Lilith.
First wife to Adam.
Pay attention to her lovely hair, The only adornment she need wear. When she traps a young man in her snare, She won’t soon let him from her care.
Those two, the old and young one, sitting, They’ve leapt about more than is fitting!
No rest tonight for anyone. Let’s grasp them. There’s a new dance, come!
(Dancing with the lovely young witch.)
A lovely dream once came to me, And there I saw an apple-tree, Two lovely apples, there, did shine, Tempting me so, I had to climb.
The Young Witch
Apples you love a lot, I know, That once in Paradise did grow. I’m deeply moved with joy to feel, That such my garden does reveal.
Mulian Rescues his Mother
There are several versions of this 9th century Chinese play. Or maybe it goes back to 300. Muliann, or possibly Maudgalyayana, rescues his mother from the underworld, though he can’t do it alone. Instead he has to enlist the world of the living to hold festivals for the dead, and sneaks in the back when the doors between worlds opens. Clever!