Sumer/Babylon: Pazuzu

Pazuzu statue

Not much is known about Pazuzu -- or Zu, as he is sometimes called. According to one web site, "This little-known demon from Babylonian myth was represented as a very thin, emaciated man with the feet and wings of an eagle, and the forepaws and head of a lion. He is nearly always shown with the right paw raised and the left held at his side.

"The demon first appeared in early Babylonian myth in the guise of the 'storm-bird' Zu, who stole the Tablets of Destiny from the dragoness Tiamat. In the later Babylonian civilization, he once again appeared, this time under the name of Pazuzu, and was said to be the child of the chief wind-demon, Hanpa. When Pazuzu is summoned by worshippers, he appears in a statuesque form, frozen into the position described above. However, he metamorphoses out of the statue form to his living form. In this form, he is fully capable of movement."

The Yezidi tribes of Kurdistan, who worship a Watcherlike god called Malek Taus, or the Peacock Angel, tell a very similar story to the one about Zu and Tiamat. In their mythology, a creature -- who is half-lion, half-eagle -- called Imdugud, or Anzu. "This monster was said to have stolen the Tablets of Destiny from the god Enlil (Ellil) in Akkadian which, in its possession, gave 'him power over the Universe as controller of the fates of all,' enough to endanger 'the stability of civilization,'" Andrew Collins writes in his book "From the Ashes of Angels."

According to wikipedia, "Although Pazuzu was a malevolent force, his image was used on amulets to ward off his enemy Lamashtu, a female demon that preyed on newborn babies and their mothers. The amulet was either placed on the mother or child or larger ones were placed above them on a wall."

In his essay, "The Demon of the South-West Wind," Stephen Sennitt writes, "In his erudite book, 'The Domain of Devils,' Eric Marple describes the wind demon as the most terrible of all demonic entities, having the power to spread loathsome diseases with his dry, fiery breath. The demo has 'for a head the almost fleshless skull of a dog,' representing death, disease, and as the fleshless death's-head of the desert scavenger, starvation. Significantly, william Woods states in his 'History of the Devil,' 'in Mesopotamia, the horned demon, Pazuzu, rode on the wind and carried malaria,' thus emphasizing the demon's destructive role as 'lord of fevers and plagues.'"

It is interesting to put Pazuzu alongside Watcher myths, and compare his protectiveness of women, as well as his ability to bring massive plagues, to the Watchers story in the Book of Enoch.