- Religion and Philosophy»
- Paganism & Witchcraft
How Satan Took on The Form of "The Beast": Pagan Roots of Satan's Appearance
How did Lucifer come to be depicted as half man and half goat? Firstly, we need to look into the story of Lucifer.
Lucifer started off as an angel and many state that he acted as Gods right hand man. After spending his whole life in the service of God, Lucifer eventually turned away from his original role and became the first fallen angel.
A few different versions about how Lucifer became the Fallen Angel.
● The first says that Lucifer asked God if he could have his own kingdom to rule. Angry at this request, God threw Lucifer from heaven and into Hell.
● The second states Lucifer was asked to be the protector of mankind but he refused as he saw humans as unworthy and evil creatures. Lucifer's refusal lead to God throwing him out of heaven.
● The third says that Lucifer grew hungry for power and planned to overthrow God. Again, leading to him being thrown out of heaven.
So with what we know about the story of Satan so far, we can already tell what his appearance would have been like. He wouldn't have looked the same as he is often depicted but rather would have looked like any other angel. And the only time the Bible mentions the appearance of Lucifer is as a snake in the Garden of Eden (which many people have argued is Christianity demonising paganism by using a common pagan symbol to represent something evil).
So where does the idea of a pitchfork wielding goat-man come from? To find out, we need to look at different beings from around the world that have that appearance. The image of a deity that is part man and part goat or a horned man is seen across multiple religions and all that do, show said deity with a minimum of one role that it has in common with the others. Let's take a look at two of them.
Pan is the Greek God of of the wild, shepherds and flocks, nature and rustic music. He is the son of Hermes.
Cernunnos is the Celtic god of fertility, life, animals, wealth, and the underworld.
Why use the image of a being who is half man and half animal?
So why use the image of a God that is half man and half goat or a man with horns that in multiple religions represents nature? Again, this could have been Christianity trying the demonise paganism but might have been just because it is easy to tell Lucifer apart from the angels when he takes that form. Another theory I have come across is that it was an attempt to get people to leave the comforts of nature and embrace a more artificial life style.