Pazuzu is an evil spirit/demigod of the Assyrians and Babylonians. He is the spirit of the southwest wind and the bringer of drought and locusts.
Pazuzu is an interesting character in terms of his attributes. He seems to be made of a lot of different human and animals parts. His body is a human’s, but he has two pairs of large wings, and his head is that of either a lion or dog. He has eagle’s feet and a scorpion tail. All in all, a very fearsome creature to behold. Considering he is often named a demon, this would make sense.
Pazuzu is married to Lamashtu, who is also very fearsome. She is said to be a nasty creature who brings harm to mothers and children during childbirth. They are not said to have had any children. His father is the god Hanbi, and we don’t know what exactly Hanbi is a god of, just that he existed. Pazuzu is the demon of the southwest wind and king of the demons of the wind. He brought drought and famine in the dry months and locusts in the wet months, all of which is very harmful to the delicate balance of desert-living humanity.
The demon apparently had another role as well. Even though he himself was a demon, Pazuzu was also responsible for chasing away other demons. This made him something like a protector spirit that guarded humans from misfortune and plagues.
Light and Dark Sides
Pazuzu is a very interesting deity. Well, he’s really more of a demi-god than a full deity, if you want to get technical, but for the purposes of this post we’re going to simplify things and call him a deity (implying some kind of divine being, which it could be argued that he is because of his parentage, despite his label of “demon”). On the one hand, he brings all kinds of bad things to humankind, such as the droughts, locusts, and famine. Being a dry, hot wind, he brings all of that with him when he visits, and he doesn’t seem to regret it o regret the harm he causes. Plus, he’s married to a very malicious lady who enjoys causing harm to mothers and children. Seems very Dark to me!
But on the other hand, Pazuzu also protects humans. He protects, or attempts to protect, the women and children going through childbirth from his wife by appearing in the amulets people wear. He protects people from other demons by chasing away those demons, keeping people from misfortune. These actions and facets of his personality appear to be very Light and good.
Despite his status as a “demon,” I think I’m going to say Pazuzu is more of a neutral deity. He causes a great deal of harm, but he seems to make up for it by being a protector as well. To be honest, he rather confuses me–I think it’s rare to see this kind of absolute opposite behavior in a god. It tends to be a little more clear about (roughly) where they would stand on a Light-Neutral-Dark scale, but I think it would be fairly safe to put Pazuzu in the Neutral category. His Light side neutralizes his Dark.