The Seven Deadly Sins
What child has not been warned of these sins by parent or bible class?
Each of the seven sins is represented by one of the demons of hell.
Each sin is depicted here with its respective demon
and a description of its associated sin
and so . . . onward to the sins
and the Demons that represent them
Lucifer - pride
The angel who rebelled against God and fell from Heaven.
PRIDE is considered the root of all evil. It is for Pride that Lucifer (aka Satan, Iblis) fell from the heavens to the subterranean realm of the underground.. The selfish sin is to be "vainglorious" and think oneself better than all others. Arrogance blocks the Divine as well as other persons from the heart. Pride is invariably seen as a lion with its opposing virtue being Humility.
Mammon - avarice
Demon of riches & covetousness
"By Mammon is meant the devil who is the Lord of Money" wrote Thomas Aquinas. AVARICE is a worldly sin that creates misers, thieves and murderers. The wolf is the animal usually depicted in medieval bestiaries, coming up from hell carrying Mammon to inflame the human heart with Greed.
Like the "hungry ghosts" of the Buddhist hell, the greedy always crave more no matter how much they have. Wretched and envious, Avarice escalates to a state of infinite dissatisfaction and the sin's obsession with material wealth and "things" leads to neglect of spiritual wealth. The opposing virtue to Avarice is Sufficiency.
Asmodeus - lechery and lust
Demon of lust and marital discord.
Considered the "3rd" of the deadly sins, the demon Asmodeus represents LUST. Lust is carried up from hell by the goat, an animal long considered lascivious, or the ass, who played the same role in ancient Rome. This "sin of the flesh" is said to lead to "uncleanliness" and away from its opposing virtue, Chastity.
Leviathan - envy
Also the great serpent demon of Hell and ruler of the oceans.
The 4th of the deadly sins is ENVY and is represented by Leviathan - the twisting serpent from the primordial deep. Dante saw the spirit of evil as a huge serpent who so entangled himself with his victim that they became utterly intertwined and no longer distinguishable one from the other.
Envy is a "sin of the Devil" for "Thou shalt not covet" is one of the ten commandments. This sin is generally represented by a dog, and often depicted as a heart being eaten away, as in "eat your heart out". Over concern with the possessions of others is seen escalating to hinder sympathetic human relationships. When one is consumed by Envy, the opposing virtue of Charity is completely erased.
Beelzebub - gluttony
Satan's second-in-command, also known as "The Lord of the Flies".
The 5th deadly sin is GLUTTONY and is represented by the demon Beelzebub (also known as The Lord of the Flies). Beelzebub began his career as a Canaanite deity who name in Hebrew (Baal Zebub) meant Lord of the Flies, and then later came to be equated with Satan. As a sin he rules over all excessive eating and drinking.
The endless maw of the glutton is never satiated, and he or she is never satisfied. The glutton lives to eat and soon escalates to forgetting gratitude. The pursuit goes on and leads to a specific damnation: the glutton in hell will dine on toads and be forced to drink putrid water. The opposing virtue is Sobriety.
Belphegor - sloth
A demon that seduces men with wealth.
Belphegor (representing sloth) is depicted as SLOTH incarnate. This sin is considered on of the flesh. Usually it is represented by scenes of falling asleep on the job, especially if the job is being performed by a monk. When in a state of Sloth, negligence and apathy soon set in. The donkey, a slow-moving, lazy creature is Sloth's representative animal.
Thomas Aquinas wrote that all sins that are due to ignorance are due to Sloth. One needs to be awake and alert to even begin to set out on, and maintain, a spiritual practice, thus the opposing virtue is Diligence.
Satan - anger
The supreme Lord of Hell and all it's Demons.
ANGER is another sin of the Devil, and one of immense importance and fiery power. It is usually embodied by a sharp-toothed animal such as a leopard with bared fangs, or a wild boar raging, attacking, ready to commit bloodshed. The consequence of this inflaming and indwelling passion is to feel vengeance in one's heart. This sin escalates to rage, obliterating all but negativity within body, mind and soul and results in murder and war. Often seen in icons, Anger is a creature stabbing himself in the heart with a knife. The opposing virtue to Anger is Patience.