On Sex with DemonsRoundup
tags: religion, public health, Donald Trump, COVID-19, witchcraft
Eleanor Janega is a medieval historian specializing in late medieval sexuality, apocalyptic thought, propaganda, and the urban experience in central Europe.
This article discusses human sexual function in some detail and contains cuss words.--Ed.
In an extremely normal turn of events, this week I was forced to learn that Donald Trump, having never left his bullshit, was of course on it. The leader of the free world has been retweeting videos made by the good Dr Stella Immanuel, a Houston-based pediatrician who says the things he wants to hear. (Masks = bad. The drug that he has a financial interest in = good.) Turns out Dr Immanuel also has some, uh, spicier opinions as well.
In particular seems that she is concerned about the fact that,”[m]any women suffer from astral sex regularly,” which, I mean word. She goes on to define her terms, noting that “Astral sex is the ability to project one’s spirit man into the victim’s body and have intercourse with it. This practice is very common amongst Satanists. They leave their physical bodies in a dormant state while they project their spirits into the body of whoever they want to have sex with.”
The idea of having sex with demons or the devil, through astral sex or no, has a long and proud history. A concern about sleep sex demons traces at least as far back as Mesopotamian myth where we see the hero Gilgamesh’s father recorded on the Sumerian King List as Lilu, a demon who targets sleeping women, in 2400 BC. As you can see, Lilu is more than capable of leaving potent demon semen around the joint. There is also a female counterpart to this, Lilitu, a Babylonian goddess or demon (depending on who you ask) who is accused of visiting men in the night and getting knocked up with their ghost babies. She is also the basis for the Lilith myth, but later and in a Hebrew way and with a lot less vampirism. Did I mention the vampirism? Yeah that too.
Anyway, the point is that sex demons as a nocturnal pest have been around the shop for quite some time. As such it’s no surprise that they also pop up a lot in the medieval period, with two of the heavy hitters being incubi and succubi.
An incubus would be the sort that Dr Immanuel is trying to warn us about. Their MO is that they prey upon sleeping women, lie on top of them, and impregnate them. You’ve likely heard the term before, and it’s now used as a catch all for night time sexy demons. However, the term itself hails from the medieval period, and is derived from both the Latin incubare, which can mean to “brood, lie upon, or weigh upon”, and just the regular old incubus which can also mean nightmare. (Context matters, people.)
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