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Assyrian demon Pazuzu, first millennium BC, Louvre Museum.

In Assyrian and Babylonian mythology, Pazuzu was the king of the demons of the wind, and son of the god Hanbi. He also represented the soutestern wind, the bearer of storms and drought.


Pazuzu is often depicted as a combination of diverse animal and human parts. He has the body of a man, the head of a lion or dog, eagle-like taloned feet, two pairs of wings, a scorpion's tail, and a serpentine penis. He is often depicted with his right hand pointing upward.


Pazuzu is the demon of the southwest wind known for bringing famine during dry seasons, and locusts during rainy seasons. Recent research suggests Pazuzu may have been associated with a cold, northeasterly wind.Pazuzu was said to be invoked in amulets which combat the powers of the malicious goddess, and hated rival, Lamashtu, who was believed to cause harm to mother and child during childbirth. Although Pazuzu is, himself, an evil spirit, he drives away other evil spirits, thus protecting humans against plagues and misfortunes.

In modern culture

thumb|300px|right|Behemoth - Pazuzu

In the 1971 novel "The Exorcist" and the movie based on the novel, Pazuzu is supposedly one of the evil spirits that possesses the young girl Regan MacNeil. He reappears in the 1977 sequel Exorcist II: The Heretic. In this movie, Pazuzu is both named as the demon antagonist of Regan MacNeil and the unwitting helper of Father Philip Lamont (Played by Richard Burton), as he seeks to finally free Regan from his hold. In the end, Father Lamont finally defeats the demon and accompanies Regan as she apparently heads toward a life in holy orders. Pazuzu also appears on the album cover of D-Sides by the band Gorillaz. The Polish black metal band Behemoth uses the name Pazuzu for a song on their Apostasy CD, as well as using the image of Pazuzu on their T-shirts. Pazuzu was also the Professor's guardian angel in the animated show "Futurama". The video game series Ninja Gaiden, features Pazuzu [1] as one of the bosses.


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