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According to Biblical apocrypha, a group of fallen angels, known as the Grigori, mated with mortal women creating a race of hybrids known as the Nephilim. In the Bible book of Genesis they are described as giants known as “watchers”. They also appear in the books of Enoch and Jubilees. According the book of Enoch there were 200 hundred in all who descended in the days of Jared on the summit of Mount Hermon.

A different version of the Grigori appears in some traditions of Italian witchcraft where the Grigori are said to come from ancient stellar lore.

In the Book of Enoch, the “watchers” are angels who were dispatched to Earth simply to watch over the people. At the prodding of their leader, Samyaza, they began to lust after human woman and chose to defect and live among men. They produced children with these women who were known as the Nephilim. The Nephilim were savage giants who pillaged the earth and endangered humanity. Along with their leader, they became corrupt, teaching humans to make metal weapons, cosmetics, and other necessities of civilization that had been kept secret. God sends Archangel Uriel to warn Noah of a great flood to rid the earth of the Nephilim.

In Astrology, there are four royal stars known as Lords. Each of these stars ruled over one of the four cardinal points common to Astrology. The star Aldebaran, the watcher of the East, marked the Vernal Equinox. Regulus, watcher of the South, marked the Summer Solstice. Antares, watcher of the West, marked the Autumn Equinox and Fomalhaut, watcher of the North, marked the Winter solstice. The “Watchers were depicted as gods who guarded the Heavens and the Earth according to star myths.

Earlier mystical Hebrew sects organized the “watchers” into an archangel hierarchy. According to this system the “watchers” were ruled over by four great “watchers” known as Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, and Auriel. In the Apocryphal Books of Enoch and Jubilees, the “watchers” were sent to Earth to teach law and justice to humankind. The most common associations found in various texts on medieval magic regarding the “watchers” are as follows:

  1. Araqiel: taught the signs of the earth.
  2. Armaros: taught the resolving of enchantments.
  3. Azazel: taught the making of weapons of war.
  4. Barqel: taught astrology.
  5. Ezequeel: taught the knowledge of the clouds.
  6. Gadreel: taught the art of cosmetics.
  7. Kokabiel: taught the mystery of the Stars.
  8. Penemue: taught writing.
  9. Sariel: taught the knowledge of the Moon.
  10. Semjaza: taught Herbal enchantments.
  11. Shamshiel: taught the signs of the Sun.

According to Christian belief their sins filled the Earth with violence and the world was destroyed as a result of their intervention. Richard Cavendish, in his book The Powers of Evil, makes references to the possibilities of the Giants mentioned in Genesis 6:4, being the Giants or Titans of Greek Mythology. He also lists the “watchers” as the fallen angels which magicians call forth in ceremonial magic. Cavendish mentions that the “watchers” were so named because they were stars, the “eyes of night.”

Eventually the Greeks reduced the “watchers” to the gods of the four winds.

Christian theologians joined the “watchers” to an evil class of fallen angels known as the principalities of the air. St. Paul, in the New Testament, calls the Fallen Angels “principalities”: “for we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers…against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in High Places”. It was also St. Paul who called Satan “The prince of power of the air”, and thus made the connection of Satan (himself connected to “a star”, Isaiah 14: 12 14) and etheric beings, for they were later known as demons and as principalities of the Air.

This theme was later developed by a French theologian of the 16th Century, named Sinistrari, who referred to the Watchers as beings existing between Humans and Angels. He called them demons and associated them with the Elemental natures of Earth, Air, Fire and Water. This, however, was not a new concept but was taught by certain Gnostic sects in the early days of Christianity. Clement of Alexandria, influenced by Hellenistic cosmology, attributed the movement of the Stars and the control of the four elements to angelic beings. Sinistrari attributed bodies of fire, air, earth, and water to these Beings, and concluded that the “watchers” were made of fire and air. Cardinal Newman, writing in the mid 1800s, proposed that certain angels existed who were neither totally good nor evil, and had only “partially fallen” from the Heavens.

Some Italian witches believe that Charles Leland’s book Aradia, or the Gospel of the Witches preserves a tradition around the Grigori, who they believe appear as “the great spirits of the stars” in the legend “The Children of Diana, or how the fairies were born” and as “the fathers of the Beginning, […] the mothers, the spirits who were before the first spirit” in the legend “How Diana made the Stars and the Rain”.

According to the New American Bible, the Nephilim appear as part of the “increasing wickedness of mankind”. Their mention does account for the “giants” of Canaan, whom the Israelites also called the Nephilim, since according to Genesis 6:4 from the NIV translation “The Nephilim were on the earth in those days–and also afterward–when the sons of God went to the daughters of men and had children by them.” This verse, which comes before the passage of the Great Flood, suggests that the Nephilim actually came to the earth at least twice; the first of which were destroyed in the flood, and the second succeeding the flood. Therefore, it is possible that the “giants of Canaan” were the direct result of the Nephilim. The reference introduces the story of the flood with a moral orientation.

The New American Bible draws a parallel to the Letter of Jude and the statements set forth in Genesis, suggesting that the Epistle refers the absolute paternity of Nephilim as heavenly beings who came to earth and had sexual intercourse with women.

“The angels too, who did not keep to their own domain but deserted their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains, in gloom, for the judgment of the great day. Likewise, Sodom, Gomorrah, and the surrounding towns, which, in the same manner as they, indulged in sexual promiscuity and practiced unnatural vice, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.”



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