Home >Mysteries of Succubus and Incubus - Sex Demons That You Never Knew Existed
Mysteries of Succubus and Incubus- Sex Demons That You Never Knew Existed
An incubus (plural incubi) is a demon in male form supposed to lie upon sleepers, especially women, in order to have sexual intercourse with them, according to a number of mythological and legendary traditions. Its female counterpart is the succubus. An incubus may pursue sexual relations with a woman in order to father a child, as in the legend of Merlin. Some sources indicate that it may be identified by its unnaturally cold penis. Religious tradition holds that repeated intercourse with an incubus or succubus may result in the deterioration of health, or even death.
Medieval legend claims that demons, both male and female, sexually prey on human beings. The male demon is known as an incubus and the female is the succubus. They generally prey upon the victim when they are sleeping, though it has been reported that females have been attacked while fully lucid. The incubus is sometimes confused with the legendary "Old Hag" syndrome. The Old Hag episode, however, is usually restricted to an unpleasant feeling of great pressure on the chest and not a ghostly sexual encounter.
A number of secular explanations have been offered for the origin of the incubus legends. They involve the medieval preoccupation with sin, especially sexual sins of women. Victims may have been experiencing waking dreams or sleep paralysis. Also, nocturnal arousal, orgasm or nocturnal emission could be explained by the idea of creatures causing an otherwise guilt-producing and self-conscious behavior. Alternately, the influence of incubi could also have been invoked to explain otherwise "unexplainable" pregnancies out of wedlock.
Purported victims of incubi could have been the victims of sexual assault by a real person. Rapists may have attributed the rapes of sleeping women to demons in order to escape punishment. A friend or relative may have assaulted the victim in her sleep. The victims and, in some cases the clergy, may have found it easier to explain the attack as supernatural rather than confront the idea that the attack came from someone in a position of trust.
Ancient and religious descriptions
One of the earliest mentions of an incubus comes from Mesopotamia on the Sumerian kings' list, ca. 2400, where the hero Gilgamesh's father is listed as Lilu (Lila). It is said that Lilu disturbs and seduces women in their sleep, while Lilitu, a female demon, appears to men in their erotic dreams. Two other corresponding demons appear as well: Ardat lili, who visits men by night and begets ghostly children from them, and Irdu lili, who is known as a male counterpart to Ardat lili and visits women by night and begets from them. These demons were originally storm demons, but they eventually became regarded as night demons due to mistaken etymology. Also considered to be vampires which is another form of a demon that is said to drink blood from its victims.
Incubi and succubi were said by some not to be different sexes, but the same demons able to change their sex. A succubus would be able to sleep with a man and collect his sperm, and then transform into an incubus and use that seed on women. Their offspring were thought to be supernatural in many cases, even if the actual genetic material originally came from humans.
Though many tales claim that the incubus is bisexual, others indicate that it is strictly heterosexual and finds attacking a male victim either unpleasant or detrimental. There are also numerous stories involving the attempted exorcism of incubi or succubi who have taken refuge in, respectively, the bodies of men or women.
Incubi are sometimes said to be able to conceive children. The half-human offspring of such a union is sometimes referred to as a cambion. The most famous legend of such a case includes that of Merlin, the famous wizard from Arthurian legend.
According to the Malleus Maleficarum, exorcism is one of the five ways to overcome the attacks of Incubi, the others being Sacramental Confession, the Sign of the Cross (or recital of the Angelic Salutation), moving the afflicted to another location, and by excommunication of the attacking entity, "which is perhaps the same as exorcism." On the other hand, the Franciscan friar Ludovico Maria Sinistrari stated that incubi "do not obey exorcists, have no dread of exorcisms, show no reverence for holy things, at the approach of which they are not in the least overawed."
There are a number of variations on the incubus theme around the world. The alp of Teutonic or German folklore is one of the better known. In Zanzibar, Popo Bawa primarily attacks men and generally behind closed doors. El Trauco, according to the traditional mythology of the Chiloé Province of Chile, is a hideous deformed dwarf who lulls nubile young women and seduces them. El Trauco is said to be responsible for unwanted pregnancies, especially in unmarried women. Perhaps another variation of this conception is el "Tintín" in Ecuador, a dwarf who is fond of abundant haired women and seduces them at night by playing the guitar outside their windows; a myth that researchers believe was created during the Colonial period of time to explain pregnancies in women who never left their houses without a chaperone, very likely covering incest or sexual abuse by one of the family's friends. In Hungary, a lidérc can be a Satanic lover that flies at night and appears as a fiery light (an ignis fatuus or will o' the wisp) or, in its more benign form as a featherless chicken.
In Brazil and the rain forests of the Amazon Basin, the Boto is a combination of siren and incubus, a very charming and beautiful man who seduces young women and takes them into the river. It is said to be responsible for disappearances and unwanted pregnancies, and it can never be seen by daylight, because it metamorphoses into that kind of river dolphin during those hours. According to legend the boto always wears a hat to disguise the breathing hole at the top of its head.
The Southern African incubus demon is the Tikoloshe. Chaste women place their beds upon bricks to deter the rather short fellows from attaining their sleeping forms. They also share the hole in the head detail and water dwelling habits of the Boto.
In folklore traced back to medieval legend, a succubus is a female demon or supernatural entity that appears in dreams, who takes the form of a human woman in order to seduce men, usually through sexual intercourse. The male counterpart is the incubus. Religious traditions hold that repeated intercourse with a succubus may result in the deterioration of health or even death.
In modern fictional representations, a succubus may or may not appear in dreams and is often depicted as a highly attractive seductress or enchantress; whereas, in the past, succubi were generally depicted as frightening and demonic.
According to Zohar and the Alphabet of Ben Sira, Lilith was Adam's first wife who later became a succubus. She left Adam and refused to return to the Garden of Eden after she mated with archangel Samael. In Zoharistic Kabbalah, there were four succubi who mated with the archangel Samael. There were four original queens of the demons: Lilith, Mahalath, Agrat Bat Mahlat, and Naamah. A succubus may take a form of a beautiful young girl but closer inspection may reveal deformities upon their bodies, such as bird-like claws or serpentine tails. It is said that the act of sexually penetrating a succubus is akin to entering a cavern of ice. There are also reports of succubi forcing men to perform cunnilingus on their vulvas that drip with urine and other fluids. In later folklore, a succubus took the form of a siren.
Throughout history, priests and rabbis including Hanina Ben Dosa and Abaye, tried to curb the power of succubi over humans.Not all succubi were malevolent. According to Walter Mapes in De Nugis Curialium (Trifles of Courtiers), Pope Sylvester II (946–1003) - was involved with a succubus named Meridiana, who helped him achieve his high rank in the Catholic Church. Before his death, he confessed of his sins and died repentant.
Ability to reproduce
According to the Kabbalah and the school of Rashba, the original three queens of the demons, Agrat Bat Mahlat, Naamah, Eisheth Zenunim, and all their cohorts give birth to children, except Lilith. According to other legends, the children of Lilith are called Lilin.
According to the Malleus Maleficarum, or "Witches' Hammer", written by Heinrich Kramer (Institoris) in 1486, a succubus collects semen from the men she seduces. The incubi or male demons then use the semen to impregnate human females, thus explaining how demons could apparently sire children despite the traditional belief that they were incapable of reproduction. Children so begotten – cambions – were supposed to be those that were born deformed, or more susceptible to supernatural influences. The book does not address why a human female impregnated with the semen of a human male would not produce a regular human offspring. But in some Viking lore the child is born deformed because the conception was unnatura
In Arabian mythology, the qarînah is a spirit similar to the succubus, with origins possibly in ancient Egyptian religion or in the animistic beliefs of pre-Islamic Arabia. A qarînah "sleeps with the person and has relations during sleep as is known by the dreams." They are said to be invisible, but a person with "second sight" can see them, often in the form of a cat, dog, or other household pet. "In Omdurman it is a spirit which possesses. ... Only certain people are possessed and such people cannot marry or the qarina will harm them." Till date, many African myths claim that men who have similar experience with such principality (succubus) in dreams (usually in form of a beautiful woman) find themselves exhausted as soon as they awaken; often claiming spiritual attack upon them. Local rituals/divination are often invoked in order to appeal the god(s) for divine protection and intervention.
In India the Succubus is referred to as the seductress "Mohini". Not to be confused with the mythological "Mohini" - who is depicted to be the slayer of Bhasma Asura. Succubi is described as a lone lady draped in a White Saree (traditional Indian dress worn by women), with untied long hair. She generally is said to haunt lonely paths or roads. She is said to have died from torment by a male, and thus would seek revenge on any male.
Succubi in fiction
Throughout history, succubi have been popular characters in music, literature, film, television, and especially as video game and anime characters. In the manga/anime Rosario + Vampire the character Kurumu Kurono is a succubus. In the game Darkstalkers, Morrigan Aensland and Lilith Aensland are succubi. A succubus also appears in Catherine (video game) where the protagonist experiences night terrors and is seduced by the woman of his dreams, despite having a real life girlfriend. In a season 5 episode 23 of Barney Miller, an irate man believes that he has been frequented by a succubus and an incubus, thus causing his crime. In the Canadian television series Lost Girl, the main character Bo is a succubus. In the novel Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer, the three original sisters of the Denali coven (Tanya, Kate, and Irina) were revealed to be the originators of the myth of the succubus, as they would seduce men and drain them of blood following intercourse. Richelle Mead (Author of Vampire Academy) wrote a series about a succubus named Georgina Kincaid. She appears as a human working in a bookstore located in Seattle. Georgina seduces men for their life energy in order to stay alive. One of the characters in the webcomic Pibgorn, Dursilla, is a succubus. In the video game World of Warcraft, the Warlock player class can summon a succubus as a demonic companion. In the horror anthology film V/H/S, the segment Amateur Night features three friends who run afoul of a succubus-inspired creature.