Neither the attributes nor personification of Lucifer or Satan play any role in the teachings or rituals of Freemasonry. The topic is only of interest insofar as anti-masonic attacks have accused Freemasonry of worshiping Lucifer. The confusion stems from such 19th century masonic authors as Albert Pike and Albert G. Mackey who have used the term “luciferian” in its classical or literary sense to refer to a search for knowledge. John Robinson notes “The emphasis here should be on intent. When Albert Pike and other Masonic scholars spoke over a century ago about the “Luciferian path,” or the “energies of Lucifer,” they were referring to the morning star, the light bearer, the search for light; the very antithesis of dark, satanic evil.”
“Lucifer” is the Latin term originally used by the Romans to refer to the planet Venus when that planet was west of the sun and hence rose before the sun in the morning, thereby being the morning star.
The same planet was called Hesperus, Cesperugo, Vesper, Noctifer, or Nocturnus, when it appeared in the heavens after sunset. Although 19th and 20th century occultists would equate other goddesses such as Astarte, Ashtoreth, Lilith, Isis, Cemeramis, Mari, and Ishtar with Venus, links between the cultures and attributes represented are not historically clear. Lucifer as a personification is called a son of Astraeus and Aurora or Eos, of Cephalus and Aurora, or of Atlas. He is called the father of Ceyx, Daedalion, and of the Hesperides. Lucifer is also a surname of several goddesses of light, such as Artemis, Aurora, and Hecate. 1.
The word appears to have entered the religious lexicon when the Hebrew expression in Isaiah 14:12, “HeYLeL BeN-ShaCHaR.” (meaning “bright son of the morning/dawn,” “bright [and] morning star,” “glowing morning star,” or “shining one, son of the dawn.”)2. was translated to “Phosphorus” (the Greek word for Venus as the morning star) in the Septuagint, and then translated into “Lucifer” in the Vulgate (from the Greek Septuagint). Isaiah 14, taken as a whole, is a parable, or prophecy of denunciation against the Kings of Babylon, specifically Tiglath-pileser III 3 In verse 12, the prophet characterizes the arrogance of Tiglath-pileser III as if the king had thought himself fit to appear in the sky as the morning star, but has fallen to earth, being brought low by the vengeance of the Lord against those who would exalt themselves and persecute the Lord’s people (i.e., the Israelites).
Origenes Adamantius (185 CE – 254 CE), an important Christian scholar of the early Greek Church, and Augustine of Canterbury (d. May 26 604/605 CE), founder of the Christian Church in southern England, both interpreted the use of the term Lucifer as a reference to the Devil.
The name Lucifer was applied to Satan by St. Jerome and later to the demon of sinful pride by Milton in Paradise Lost. Lucifer is the title and principal character of the epic poem by the Dutch playwright, Vondel (who uses Lucifer in lieu of Satan), and a principal character in the mystery play by Imre Madach, “The Tragedy of Man”. Blake pictured Lucifer in his illustrations to Dante. George Meredith’s sonnetLucifer in Starlight addresses the “fiend” as Prince Lucifer. To Spenser in An Hymne of Heavenly Love, Lucifer is “the brightest angel, even the Child of Light.” In Ovid’s Metamorphosis, Lucifer is the morning star and father of Ceyx. He is described as riding a white horse (clarus equo, book XV.189) and his face is characterized by a bright gladness (see XI.270 ff. Lucifero genitore satus patriumque nitorem ore ferens Ceyx). Also see Books II.115 and 723, IV.629,665.
The word “satan” is from a Hebrew word, “sathane”, meaning adversary or calumniator; in original Jewish usage (see the book of Job), the satan is the adversary, not of God, but of mankind; i.e., the angel charged by God with the task of proving that mankind is an unworthy creation. 5 Note though, that Balaam’s satan (Numbers 22:23-33) protects him from harm. 6
Later, as Judaism absorbed such ideas as Zoroastrian dualism and concepts about angels during the Exile, and then as Christianity echoed various concepts from earlier religions, the concept of an evil power ruling an underground domain of punishment for the wicked became fixed in Christian doctrine. In such a doctrine, elements of the Graeco-Roman god Pluto/ Vulcan/ Hephaestus, the Underworld, and various aspects of Nordic/Teutonic mythology may be traced.
The Latin name of Phosphorus, Venus as the morning star, is the light bringer which heralds the dawn. The name is sometimes applied to the planet as the evening star as well, although Hesperus is properly its name then. By a curious chain of reference, the passage in Luke 10:18 was thought to refer to Isaiah 14:12, in which the star is used metaphorically for the monarch of Babylon. Thus Lucifer became the chief of the fallen angels, the name borned by Satan before his rebellion. 7
“From a supposed reference to this passage in our Lord’s words. ‘I beheld Satan fallen as lightning from heaven’ (Lk 10:18), in connexion with Rev 9:1-11 (the language of 9:1 being in part probably derived from this passage), Lucifer came in the Middle Ages to be a common appellation of Satan. The star of Rev 9:1-11 is a fallen angel who has given to him the key of the abyss, from which he sets loose upon the earth horribly formed locusts with scorpions’ tails, who have, however, power to hurt only such men as have not the seal of God on their foreheads. But this angel is not actually identified with Satan by the writer of the Apocalypse. The imagery in Is was no doubt suggested by a meteor, and possibly it was so in Rev also.” 8.
While some authors referred to Lucifer as Satan’s name before his expulsion from Heaven, others referred to Lucifer and Satan as two distinct entities. 11. Both as a literary convention and as Christian teachings or belief, historically there would appear to be little consensus. Regardless, it should be clear that an author may use the terms Lucifer or luciferian and not be referring to Satan.
1.Sir William Smith, Smaller Classical Dictionary.
2.E. Theodore Mullen, Jr. The Assembly of the Gods: The Divine Council in Canaanite and Early Hebrew Literature. Harvard Semitic Monograph Series No. 24, Scholar’s Press: 1980, ISSN 0073-0637.
3.There is no consensus on which king is referred to in Isaiah. There are four main contenders: Tiglath-pileser III (c.774 – 727 BC) who is referred to as “Pul” in II Kings 15:19). [Cf. An Introduction to the Old Testament Prophetic Books, Chapter 6, C. Hassell Bullock. Moody Press: Chicago, 1986 Edition.]; Nebuchadrezzer, afterwards corrupted into Nebuchadnezzer, who reigned 604-561 BCE; his grandson, Belshazzar.(d. c. 539); and Sennacherib (705-681 BCE) [See Bible Knowledge Commentary, “Isaiah,” John Martin. p. 1061.].
4.F.H. Woods, A Dictionary of the Bible Vol III. ed. James Hastings. New York. Charles Scribner’s Sons: 1908. p. 159. Cf. : Numbers 24:17 “…there shall come a Star out of Jacob….”; 2 Peter 1:19 “…until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:”;Revelation 22:16: “I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.”
5.Owen C. Whitehouse, A Dictionary of the Bible Vol IV. ed. James Hastings. New York. Charles Scribner’s Sons: 1908. pp. 407-12. Cf. The Origin of Satan, Elaine Pagels. Random House, New York: 1995.
6.This interpretation is controversial. See The origin of Satan,ÊElaine Pagels. New York : Random House, 1996 ISBN: 0-679-40140-7. pp. 39-41.
7.Funk & Wagnall Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology & Legend.
8. F.H. Woods, loco citato
9.The New Encyclopædia Britannica, Chicago: 1989. 15th edition. vol. 7, p. 542.
10. Detail from Tiglath-pileser III Receiving Homage 745-27 B.C.; Mesopotamian, Neo-Assyrian period; Limestone; height 1.2 m (48 in.)
11. See Livre de la Deablerie, title page. Paris : printed by Michel Le Noir, 1568. Reproduced in Devils, Demons, and Witchcraft, Ernst and Johanna Lehner. New York : Dover Publications Inc., 1971. p. 52. Also see “The pact with the infernal powers allegedly signed by Father Urbain Grandier and countersigned by Lucifer, Beelzebub, Satan, Elmi, Leviathan, Asteroth and Baalbarith. Loudun, 1634.” Devils, Demons, and Witchcraft, p. 80.