Lucifer and Samael

I’ve recently had to deal with an issue that I had swept under the rug and ignored for a long time. It’s something that I had initially rejected because of the fear it inspired in me, a fear I couldn’t quite understand. I would have thought that after dealing with Lucifer, I’d have nothing left to scare me.

But clearly that’s not the case.

I’ve stated before that I see Lucifer and Prometheus as one and the same. This wasn’t an easy correlation to accept; I feel as though the more deities I link to Lucifer, the more I’m making him seem like an archetype rather than an individual god. This treads dangerous ground—archetypes, from what I’ve seen, have a tendency to become oversimplified and generalized, much like the idea that all tricksters are out to wreck havoc on peoples’ lives, or that all death deities are dark and evil.

But getting to the point of all this, I was reminded of another deity that is awfully similar to my patron, namely Samael. Now, I’m not all that knowledgeable in Jewish lore, but certain attributes do seem to stand out concerning Samael. He is said to be an angel of death, the ‘venom of god’, the serpent in the Garden of Eden, and neither good nor evil. He is also sometimes said to be intricately linked with Lilith.

But despite the similarities between the two, there are also some things that don’t fit.

In my experiences with Lucifer, I have never once thought of him as a death god. Yes, he has caused death, but he’s not in charge of mortality. When he found it necessary to rid me of the living crutch I had clung to in my desperation, he turned to Azrael for assistance. It was Azrael who comforted me and helped me grieve, and it was Azrael who left my ‘crutch’ dead for a few minutes, before gently whispering life back into him. Although I’ve only ever interacted with one death deity, and only for a brief time, I can assure you that his presence felt significantly different from Lucifer’s.

Nearly all of Samael’s devotees seem to in some way or another come into contact with his consort, Lilith. I have never heard any mention of her from my patron, not even a peep. However, I also don’t have the best track record for juggling multiple deities, so that may explain her absence.

The rest of his attributes from the literature are more or less compatible with what I know of Lucifer, but then we come to the UPG portion of the comparison. Although those that interact with Samael are just as difficult to find as theistic Luciferians, there are a couple whose experiences I’ve read about. From what I’ve seen, their UPG conflicts even more with the Samael/Lucifer theory than the lore. There are several things I can’t seem to wrap my head around, which bear no connection to the Lucifer I know, such as him being literally bound, due to the destructive chaos he would cause if free.

Samael seems like the calm before the storm, with clouds rolling in and a chill in the air, warning of the destruction that is to come; Lucifer is more like the aftermath—clear skies, haunting and desolate, but waiting for things to be rebuilt.

But I can come to terms with these differences—I can accept these unfamiliar attributes if it comes down to it, they aren’t what caused me to ignore this correlation for so long. No, my fear stems from another theory entirely.

There are whisperings in some communities that Samael and YHWH are one and the same, that they are two facets of the same god—the holy and the unholy, the sacred and the taboo.

I left Catholicism because I could not accept what I saw in their god. I had no respect for his actions, for his demands, for his jealous nature. I swore to myself and to Lucifer that if he ever expressed such characteristics as those I abhorred in the Christian god, I would sever my connection with him entirely.

So where does this YHWH=Samael=Lucifer theory leave me? As unlikely as the parallels may be, it still terrifies me. It reminds me too much of the paradigm shift I experienced when I first met Lucifer, it’s too reminiscent of when my previous world view was shattered. Knowing Lucifer, this may be another one of his attempts at keeping me on my toes regarding my faith. He keeps me questioning and doubting. If there’s one thing I can trust Lucifer with, it’s that he won’t allow me to grow stagnant in my beliefs or develop any sort of blind faith in him.

As of now, I don’t consider Samael and Lucifer to be the same deity. However, I’ve only just begun in-depth research on the true nature of this Samael figure—who knows where that will end up leading. One thing I know for sure is that Lucifer won’t allow me to hide away from this theory any longer, living in constant fear yet never striking up the courage to go and find out for myself.