Name Variates: Mephistophiles, Mephistophilis, Mesphito, Memostophiles, Methosophiles, Megastophiles, Mephisto, Mephist, Hemostophile, Mephistophielis
Color: Black, Grey; Light Blue, Red
Qlipha: Thagirion (Black Sun/Belphagore); Samael (Mercury/Adrammelech)
We will not bother delving into the legend of Faust for this article. According to a book called Personal Names in Appellative Use in English, Mephisto predates that legend anyways (I am unsure of whether or not this is correct). Despite the commonplace allegation that Mephistophiles (most often called Mesphito in Demonolatry) is a purely fictitious entity, various medieval grimoires present him as an authentic demon, and Doctor Faust himself has been traced back to a wandering German Occultist who was commonly adduced as the quintessential Rennaissance blasphemer in the countless religious debates of the time.
The Faust mythos is comparable in nature to the mythos of Christ. Christ’s story serves to allegorically delineate the philosophy known as Christianity. In the same way that the life story of the (pseudo)messiah himself (Yehoshua ben Yosef) took on aspects of a pre-existent mythological character named Mythras, the fictional Faust had various pre-existent folk tales assimilated into later editions of the novel he debuted in.
Modern LHP magickians such as E.A. Koetting and J. Thorp present Mephistophiles or “Mesphito” as a legitimately extant demon. Mephistophiles also appears in a text affiliated with the Dakhma of Angra Mainyu and an enn or summoning chant for the demon is easily found.
Mephistophiles’s name is said to originate in the Hebrew word “Mephir” [Destroyer]. As the Keeper of the Book of Death, Mephistophiles is among the seven chiefs of Pandemonium. Mephestophiles is related to knowledge, divination, secrets, sorcery, ambition, hatred, deception, anger, vengeance, and war. He is described variously as the counterpart, companion, or servant of Lucifer. (Sources: The Complete Book of Demonolatry Magic, the Demon List composed by Terry Thayer, The Way of Ahriman, Tenatio Diabolus)
According to At the Crossroads, Mephistophiles manifests both as a toad and a black dog, and he is one of the most powerful magickal forces which the author had ever witnessed. The author described the archdemon as alluring/seductive. Liber Satangelica describes Mesphito as deeply charismatic, and The Sixth and Seventh Books of Moses describe the fiend as eager to assist and teach the celebrant.
According to Ketab e-Siyah, Mephistophiles rules the seventh letter of the infernal alphabet, which is apparently K. While Mesphito has strategically placed this letter within my surroundings to get my attention, I don’t actually know what this means. I know that the K in magick refers to the Hebrew “Kaf”, which letter represents the Magnum Opus and has been related to Mercury, but I do not know whether such an interpretation is applicable here.
There is an entity in The Grimoire of Armadel named Hemostophile who is almost unanimously identified with Mephistophiles. While some commentators have been tentative in their identification of Hemostophile with Mephistophiles due to the significant difference between the names, the little-known appearance of the name variate “Memostophiles” in a medieval grimoire bridges the gap nicely.
Hemostophile is written to help the witch summon, see, and psychically analyze the character of demons. He’s the lord of deception and a master of illusion; he can teach the art of shapeshifting and impart infernal famuli to the witch.
According to The Sixth and Seventh Books of Moses, Mephistophiles can impart guidance regarding any art or skill and grants excellent familiars. In addition to this, he brings forth treasure from the earth.
According to The Black Raven, Mephistophilis is the master of various arts and rules over luck or fortune. He can be called upon to cause instantaneous learning, but the grimoire specifies that Mephistophilis must be summoned four times (?). Mesphito takes on something of a tutelary role in this grimoire, comparable in nature to the role which Lucifuge plays. The legions which follow Mephistophilis bring about infamously quick results.
In Praxis Magia Faustiana, Mephistophiles’s name is rendered as Mephistophiel in order to fit the orthodox name structure of a fallen angel. Herein Mesphito is attributed to Jupiter and is said to appear either as an igneous bear or a bald man in a black cape.
The Book of Mephisto describes Mesphito as a grand initiator and the father of the sabbat. Herein he is attributed to the infernal realm named Samael. That realm is attributed to the planet Mercury, and Asenath Mason describes the realm as being related to vampyrism and blood magick.
The lore on Mesphito presents him as being one of Hell’s seven rulers. The title given to this seven rulers, however, differs from text to text– Grand Dukes, Princes, or Grand Chiefs.
Contemporary authorities identify Mephistophiles with Satan, but they cite no credible reason for that postulation. Since modern authorities identify everything (even Mammon some reason) with Satan, we will be disregarding their opinion.
The name Mephistophiles is often translated as meaning “He Who Loves Not the Light” or “He Who Detests the Light,” and on the basis of this alone, Mesphito is often identified with Lucifuge Rofocale. Since the similarity of their names’ meanings is the only evidence which the champions of this theory present for this identification, the idea should be disregarded. While I am aware that my prior statement about Mesphito taking a similar role to Lucifuge may lend credibility to this theory, none of the people who promulgate it have drawn that connection, so the theory should be viewed as one which was erected very sloppily. Besides, there is an alternate etymology which translates Mephistophiles as meaning “Dispenser of Lies,” and a book called Faustus: the Life and Times of a Renaissance Legend presents its very own translation: “Friend/Lover of Stench.” Even rarer interpretations such as “Noxious Bile” and “Friend of Faust” exist (Source: http://drakinan.weebly.com/stories/mephistopheles-demon)
Keep in mind that Lucifuge has already been identified variously as Lucifer, Belial, and Focalor. Factor in Mesphito and you have four options. If you identify Rofocal with one of these fiends, you have a 25% chance of being right. You are best off approaching Lucifage as an independent entity.
Mesphito really is the last entity you should be using etymology to identify. Go back and count how many alternative translations I’ve provided, all but two of which originated in sources I would deem credible (the other two were from Google). Then, look at the name variates which have appeared throughout the grimoiric tradition. Memostophiles includes the Hebrew “Mem” [water], Hemostophile apparently refers to blood, and Megastophiles appears to incorporate a Greek word (mega) meaning “Great.”
I’ve compiled a use of magickal chants which are serviceable in rites to Mephistophiles. If this is of use to you, follow the hyperlink:
Encyclopedia of Demons and Demonology
The Dictionary of Demons
The Magical Revival