The Grigori (from Greek egrgoroi, "The
Watchers") are, in one popular version, a group of
fallen angels described in Biblical apocrypha who mated
with mortal women, giving rise to a race of hybrids known
as the Nephilim, who are described as giants in Genesis
6:4. A different idea of the Grigori appears in some traditions
of Italian witchcraft where the Grigori are said to come
from ancient stellar lore. References to angelic Grigori
appear in the books of Enoch and Jubilees. In Hebrew they
are known as the Irin, "Watchers," found mentioned
in the Old Testament Book of Daniel (chapter 4).
According to the Book of Enoch, the Grigori numbered a total
of 200 but only their leaders are named:
"These are the names of their chiefs:
Samyaza, who was their leader, Urakabarameel, Akibeel,
Tamiel, Ramuel, Danel, Azkeel, Saraknyal, Asael, Armers,
Batraal, Anane, Zavebe, Samsaveel, Ertael, Turel, Yomyael,
Azazyel (also known as Azazel). These were the prefects
of the two hundred angels, and the remainder were all
with them." (1Enoch 7:9)
In Enoch, the Watchers are angels apparently dispatched
to Earth simply to watch over the people. They soon begin
to lust for the human women they see, and at the prodding
of their leader Samyaza, they defect en masse to marry and
live among men. The children produced by these relationships
are the Nephilim, savage giants who pillage the earth and
endanger humanity. Samyaza, Azazel, and the others become
corrupt, and teach their human hosts to make metal weapons,
cosmetics, and other necessities of civilization that had
been kept secret. But the people are dying and cry to the
heavens for help. God sends the Great Flood to rid the earth
of the Nephilim, but sends Uriel to warn Noah so as not
to eradicate the human race. The Grigori are bound "in
the valleys of the Earth" until Judgment Day. (See
The Watchers story in Enoch is derived from Genesis chapter
6. Verses 1-4 describe the "Origin of the Nephilim"
and mention the "Sons of God" who beget them:
"When men began to multiply on earth and daughters
were born to them, the sons of GOd saw how beautiful the
daughters of man were, and so they took for their wives
as many of them as they chose. Then the Lord said: "My
spirit shall not remain in man forever, since he is but
flesh. His days shall comprise one hundred and twenty
years." At that time the Nephilim appeared on earth
(as well as later), after the sons of God had intercourse
with the daughters of man, who bore them sons. They were
the heroes of old, the men of renown." (Genesis 6:1-4)
Here, the "sons of God" are given no specific
name or function; they could represent fallen angels, or
simply heavenly beings that mate with women.
The Book of Jubilees adds further details about the Watchers.
While "Watchers" or "Sentinels" are
mentioned alongside the "holy ones" in the Book
of Daniel, it is doubtful they have any connection to the
Grigori. The angels were fairly popular in Jewish folklore,
which often describes them as looking like large human beings
that never sleep and remain forever silent. While there
are good and bad Watchers, most stories revolve around the
evil ones that fell from grace when they took "the
daughters of man" as their mates.
to other Grigori
In the early stellar cults of Mesopotamia there were four
"royal" Stars (known as Lords) which were called
the Watchers. Each one of these stars "ruled"
over one of the four cardinal points common to Astrology.
This particular system would date from approximately 3000
BC. The star Aldebaran, when it marked the Vernal Equinox,
held the position of Watcher of the East. Regulus, marking
the Summer Solstice, was Watcher of the South. Antares,
marking the Autumn Equinox, was Watcher of the West. Fomalhaut,
marking the Winter Solstice, was Watcher of the North. In
the star myths the Watchers themselves were depicted as
gods who guarded the Heavens and the Earth. Their nature,
as well as their "rank", was altered by the successive
lunar and solar cults that replaced the older stellar cults.
Eventually the Greeks reduced the Watchers to the gods of
the four winds.
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 Old Testament (Daniel
4: 13 17) there is reference made to the Irin, or Watchers,
which appear to be an order of angels. In early Hebrew lore
the Irin were a high order of angels that sat on the supreme
Judgment Council of the Heavenly Court. 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. Kokabeel: 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.
It is these same angels who are referred to as the Sons
of God in the Book of Genesis. 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."
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",
Isiah 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 spoke of 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
In some Witchcraft and Wiccan systems the Watchers are
beings who guard portals that link worlds together. Within
such systems they are viewed as a spiritual race, a set
of deities, or as spirits of the four elements. The Watchers
are associated with the four quarters of north, east, south,
and west. In some Traditions the Watchers are associated
with the four elements of earth, air, fire, and water. They
are also linked to each solstice and equinox, as well as
to a specific star.
In Charles Leland's book Aradia, or the Gospel of the Witches,
he recounts the tale of "The Children of Diana, or
how the fairies were born" in which it is stated that
Diana created "the great spirits of the stars".
In another legend titled "How Diana made the Stars
and the Rain" Leland writes that Diana went "to
the fathers of the Beginning, to the mothers, the spirits
who were before the first spirit". Some Italian witches
believe that the Grigori (Watchers) are such an ancient
race and this reference may well speak of them.
Over half a century following Leland's works, Gerald Gardner
wrote of the Watchers and their connection to Wicca. In
Wiccan religion the Watchers are evoked at quarterly "Watchtowers"
to guard and witness the rites performed before them. In
some Traditions each new initiate is taken to the four quarters
and formally introduced to each of the Watchers. The Watchers
are known by many names including the Old Ones and the Dread
Lords of the Outer Spaces.
In many Witchcraft/Wiccan traditions the Watchers are not
only the guardians of the portals to other realms, but also
protectors of the magic circle, and witnesses to rites.
Each of the ruling Watchers oversees a Watchtower, which
is now a portal marking one of the four quarters of the
ritual circle. In Ancient times a "Tower" was
a military fighting unit, and a "Watchtower" was
a defending home unit, similar to a National Guard.
List of Grigori and Their Sources
• Armaros (also Amaros) in Enoch I taught men
the resolving of enchantments.
• Araqiel (also Arakiel, Araqael, Araciel, Arqael,
Sarquael, Arkiel, Arkas) in Enoch I taught humans the
signs of the earth. However, in the Sibylline Oracles,
Araqiel is referred to not as a fallen angel, or Grigori,
but as one of the 5 angels who lead the souls of men to
judgement, the other 4 being Ramiel, Uriel, Samiel, and
• Azazel in I Enoch taught men to make knives, swords,
shields, and how to devise ornaments and cosmetics.
• Baraqel (Baraqiel) taught men astrology (from
• Chazaqiel taught men the signs of the clouds (meteorology)
in Enoch I.
• Kokabiel (also Kakabel, Kochbiel, Kokbiel, Kabaiel,
and Kochab), in The Book of the Angel Raziel, is a high-ranking,
holy angel but, in general apocryphal lore and also in
Enoch I, he is a fallen Grigori, resident of nether realms,
and commands 365,000 surrogate spirits to do his bidding.
Among other duties, he instructs his fellows in astrology.
• Penemue in I Enoch 69.8 "taught mankind the
art of writing with ink and paper," and taught "the
children of men the bitter and the sweet and the secrets
• Sariel (also Suriel, Zerachiel, and Sarakiel)
is one of the 7 archangels originally listed in the Enoch
books as Saraqel. Apocryphally, he is the governor of
the zodiacal sign of Aries. In the Enoch books, he also
teaches of the courses of the moon (at one time regarded
as forbidden knowledge).
• Samyaza (also Shemyazaz, Shamazya, Semiaza, Shemhazi,
Semyaza and Amezyarak) is one of the leaders of the fall
from heaven and is referred to in the Dead Sea Scrolls
and Vocabulaire de l' Angelologie.
• Shamsiel, once a guardian of Eden, in the Zohar,
served as one of the 2 chief aides to the Archangel Uriel
(the other aide being Hasdiel) when Uriel bore his standard
into battle, and is the head of 365 legions of angels
and also crowns prayers, accompanying them to the 5th
heaven. He is referred to in Jubilees as one of the Grigori.
In I Enoch he is a fallen angel who teaches the signs
of the sun.
Summary: Angels Who Taught Humans from 1 Enoch. Some
translations vary so two tables are presented below:
||Swords Knives Shields Breastplates Metals &
Bracelets-Cosmetics Precious Stones Colouring and
||Enchantments & Root-cutting
||Enchantments & Sorcery
|| Signs of the Earth
||Signs of the Sun
||Course of the Moon
The word "egregore" (also "grigori")
is a transliteration of the Greek word, egregoroi, meaning
"watchers". This word appears in the septuagint
translation of the Book of Lamentations, as well as the
Book of Jubilees and the Book of Enoch.
Therefore an egregore is an angel, sometimes called watcher;
in Hebrew the word is ir, and the concept appears in The
Book of Enoch. Thus, Irim, the city of the Nephilim is
again linked with the Book of Enoch, since the Nephilim,
according to that Book, were the sons of the Irim (the
egregores.). .Although the Irim, the egregores, are angels
on both sides of the camp - fallen angels as well as faithful
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