According to occultists and demonologists, Halphas (also known as Malthus) is a spirit who has powers quite unique from his supernatural comrades. Halphas appears in the Shemhaphorash of the Lemegeton (or the Lesser Key of Solomon), a peculiar renaissance-age text which purports to list seventy-two demons or spirits which, according to legend, were summoned and controlled by the biblical King Solomon. Halphas is the thirty-eighth spiritual being named in the text’s list, and is described as preferring to take the shape of a dove, but can transform into human form and speak with a hoarse voice. Unlike most of the other spiritual beings listed in the text, poor Halphas was said to have virtually no offensive capabilities in his demonic repertoire. Whereas his brethren could supposedly do such flashy things as smite cities, spread disease, and cause lightning storms and rogue waves, Halphas instead reportedly specializes in more mundane abilities.
As stated earlier, Halphas supposedly can transform into a dove, and this may be judged as one of his most stylish abilities. Using this form, Halphas can get a lay of the land and set the blueprints for his next talent—construction. Using either magic or supernatural knowledge, this demon knows how to build one hell of a tower. But wait, there’s more: Halphas’ job description says he will not only build the tower, but also do the requisition work to stock the new defensive feature with weaponry and ammunition. If that were not enough, this peculiar demon can also serve in the role of a recruiter and strategist, garrisoning the newly built tower with warriors and sending them where they need to go. So, instead of all the pieces being sold separately, Halphas apparently offers a bundled deal. For those who wish to read the original description of Halphas’ peculiar abilities in the original grimoire tone, the Lemegeton stated: “His Office is to build up Towers, and to furnish them with Ammunition and Weapons, and to send Men-of-War to places appointed” (Lemegeton, Shemhaphorash, #38).
Despite Halphas’ fairly undemonic and mundane abilities, his skills in architecture, requisition and logistics have apparently gained him an admirable following in the spiritual world. He supposedly rules over twenty-six legions of lesser spirits and is considered a nobleman with the rank of earl in the demonic hierarchy.
Written by C. Keith Hansley
Picture Attribution: (Sketch of a Gargoyle in Paris, by Charles Meryon c. 1853, [Public Domain] via Creative Commons).
- The Three Magical Books of Solomon by Crowley, Mathers and Conybear. Vega Publishing, 2019 (original publications c. 1888, 1898, 1904.