October 23, 2019
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Portrait of Nebiros from Le veritable dragon rouge, 1822

Portrait of Nebiros from Le veritable dragon rouge, 1822

The demon Nebiros was first mentioned by Johann Wier in 1583. He is supposedly the most valiant Marquis of Hell, has nineteen legions of demons under his command. He makes men cunning in all arts (and sciences, according to most authors), but especially in rhetoric, speaking with a hoarse voice. He also restores lost dignities and honors, although according to Johann Wier he procures the loss of them.

The 24th spirit of the Goetia, Naberius appears as a three headed dog or a raven. He has a raucous voice but presents himself as eloquent and amiable. He teaches the art of gracious living. He is depicted as a crow or black crane.  Concerning his name, it is unclear if there is an association with the Greek Cerberus. It is said that in 1583, Johann Weyer considers both of them to be the same demon. He claimed:

“Naberius [Naberus], alias Cerberus, is a valiant marquesse, shewing himselfe in the forme of a crowe, when he speaketh with a hoarse voice: he maketh a man amiable and cunning in all arts, and speciallie in rhetorike, he procureth the losse of prelacies and dignities: nineteene legions heare (and obeie) him.”

The Grand Grimoire regards Nebiros as the Field Marshal and Inspector General of the armies of Hell. He can be conjured to inflict woes upon anyone, discover the Hand of Glory, teach the mystic and occult qualities of all animals, plants, and minerals, and supply necromantic advice. Curiously, one of the three Goetic nobles under his direct authority is Naberius, suggesting that the Grand Grimoire’s author understood the two spellings to signify distinct demons. The other two subordinates are Glasya-Labolas and Ayperos.

Nebiros is one of the lower-ranking demons of hell. His portrait in the Red Dragon combines the body of a caterpillar with the head of a child. It is accompanied by the image of a leaf, which I have not shown above. This suggests that Nebiros may have some power over insect infestations. A. E. Waite linked the image of Nebiros with Phul, the Olympic spirit of Monday and the Moon — see The Book of Ceremonial Magic, plate 2, page 37.

Nebiros in Fiction

NebirosSMT

Nebiros as he appears in the role playing Video Game Shin Megami Tensei

Nebiros is a also fictional demon, a comic book character published by DC Comics. He first appeared in Swamp Thing #15, (January 1975), and was created by David Michelinie and Nestor Redondo.  Nebiros is a ten thousand-year old demon god who escaped from Hell through sacrificial offerings. The Nebiros empire grew and threatened other great powers of the day like Lemuria, Mu, and Atlantis. The great sorcerers of Earth banded together to destroy Nebiros, and banished him to a dark dimension.  Six thousand years later, Nebiros possesses the body of Swamp Thing with the aid of deluded priest Jonathan Bliss. When Abigail Arcane and Matthew Cable destroy its globe vessel, the spirit is exorcised from the Swamp Thing’s body and takes over the priest’s body, which withers under the power of the spirit, sending it back to the netherworld.[1] Nebiros is freed again years later, by Dan Cassidy and is defeated in Mexico by Cassidy’s own demonic alter-ego Blue Devil and the magician Zatanna. Nebiros is again forced to return to his own Dark Realm.  Nebiros later appears in Books of Magic (the monthly series) and in the limited series Day Of Judgement. There he is the last demon to remain in Hell. The combined efforts of Etrigan the Demon and Asmodel had caused the Spectre to merge with the fallen angel Asmodel. As one of the side effects, the fires of Hell had gone out, Hell had frozen over and all the demons had invaded Earth. All except Nebiros. He stays behind in the City of Dis, armed with what he claims to be the trident of the King of Lies himself. A small team of heroes ventures into Dis in order to restart the fires. Sebastian Faust is part of the team. Faust has gained powers from Nebiros himself in a deal gone wrong, powers intended for his father.  Faust, using bones bought in Paris, recreates the demonic Blue Devil. In short order, Blue Devil steals Nebiros’ trident and kicks the demon high into the air. A blast from Firestorm turns the water in the demon’s body into cement, seemingly killing him.[2]

Nebiros obtained Blue Devil’s trident warping from one dimension to the next. He is very powerful as well and virtually indestructible, Nebiros can manifest the supernatural and unleash chaos. He has a sense of honor, which is his only known weakness.

billwallace

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