I originally named the familiar/demon in Sex Magick “Belz”, which I intended to be short for “Beelzebub”, or the Devil. Upon further consideration, I’ve decided to rename him “Asmo”, which is short for “Asmodeus”, a king of demons and a demon of lust. The account of Asmodeus and Raphael in the deuterocanonical Book of Tobit has provided some needed inspiration for the dramatic middle and conclusion of Sex Magick. Under the entry Asmodeus Wikipedia tells the tale:
The Asmodeus of the Book of Tobit is hostile to Sarah, Raguel’s daughter, (Tobit 6:13); and slays seven successive husbands on their wedding nights, impeding the sexual consummation of the marriages. He is described as ‘the worst of demons’. When the young Tobias is about to marry her, Asmodeus proposes the same fate for him, but Tobias is enabled, through the counsels of his attendant angel Raphael, to render him innocuous. By placing a fish’s heart and liver on red-hot cinders, Tobias produces a smoky vapor that causes the demon to flee to Egypt, where Raphael binds him (Tobit 8:2-3). According to some translations Asmodeus is strangled.
Perhaps Asmodeus punishes the suitors for their carnal desire, since Tobit prays to be free from such desire and is kept safe.
This gives me some ideas. What if the demon, Asmo, decides he is going to begin killing Raphael’s clients to get their energy? What if the only way to break the curse is for Raphael to give himself in true love, which Asmo taunts him with? How do I not make this an anti-lust fable? I don’t know. But I have a lot more to sleep on after reading the Book of Tobit than I had before!
How do I work in a fish? Asmodeus is defeated, in part, by the burning of the liver and heart of a fish. Raphael, I have established, is good with essential oils and incense. Bringing in a fish seems strange to the story. Maybe there is a fish tattoo. Maybe Geoffrey Fisher has a fish tattoo. Where do I work in Christ symbolism? Is it that Geoff finds out all about Raphael and doesn’t reject him? I like that line of reasoning. Geoff somehow redeems Raphael, but the solution must stay in Raphael’s hands. Perhaps Geoff inspires Raphael to drop his mask and let someone truly see him. Maybe Geoff is capable of Christ-like seeing. Maybe this is a Christocentric allegory.
Hmm… lots to ponder. What are your thoughts? Am I on the right track? Let me know in the comments or drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. I appreciate your interest and your ideas.