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No, they aren't evil per say, just... wrong. Let just say that instead of being sin incarnated like the demons, these guys are more of "error" incarnated. Walking manifestation of "bugs" in the system.
Michael.

Archons are a species of inorganic beings created by the Demiurge Yaldabaoth to be his main enforcers and builders of the physical universe.

Overview

They emerged in the Milky Way Galaxy prior to the formation of the physical Earth. Not only that but they are also revealed to be the servants of Yaldabaoth, of whom they were created by to be completely loyal to him and to fight God's True Archangels. They appear as an alien force that intrudes subliminally upon the human mind and deviates our intelligence away from its proper and sane applications. The Ophites accepted the existence of these seven archons. The last book of the Pistis Sophia contains the myth of the capture of the rebellious archons, whose leaders here appear as five in number.

In the Hellenized form of Gnosticism, either all or some of these names are replaced by personified vices. Authadia (Authades), or Audacity, is the obvious description of Yaldabaoth, the presumptuous Demiurge, who is lion-faced as the Archon Authadia. Of the archons Kakia, Zelos, Phthonos, Errinnys, Epithymia, the last represents Venus. The number seven is obtained by placing a proarchon or chief archon at the head. That these names are only a disguise for the Sancta Hebdomas is clear, for Sophia, the mother of them, retains the name of Ogdoad, Octonatio. Occasionally, as among the Naassenes, one meets with the archon Esaldaios, which is evidently the El Shaddai of the Bible, and he is described as the archon "number four" (harithmo tetartos).

Among the Archontics, Ophites, Sethians and in the writings of Nag Hammadi library, the archons are rulers, each related to one of seven planets; they prevent souls from leaving the material realm. The political connotation of their name reflects rejection of the governmental system, as flawed without chance of true salvation. In Manichaeism, the archons are the rulers of a realm within the 'Kingdom of Darkness', who together make up the Prince of Darkness.

Description

The Archons are a genuine species with their own proper habitat, and may even be considered to be god-like, but they lack intentionality, a self-directive capacity, and they have a nasty tendency to stray from their boundaries and intrude on the human realm. Archons are said to feel intense envy toward humanity because they possess the intentionality they lack.

They are not what makes humans act inhumanely, for humans all have the potential to go against their innate humanity, violating the truth in their hearts, but they make them play out inhumane behavior to weird and violent extremes. The Archons are forces that act through authoritarian systems, mainly through the request of the Demiurge, including belief-systems, in ways that cause human beings to turn against their innate potential and violate the symbiosis of nature.

Despite their seemingly malevolent nature, the Archons are not evil in the sense that they possess autonomous powers of destruction, able to be applied directly upon humanity. Instead they are agents of error rather than evil, but human error, when it goes uncorrected and runs beyond the scale of correction, turns into evil and works against the universal plan of life. Gnostics taught that the Archons exploit our tendency to let our mistakes go uncorrected.

History

Myths and Legends

Archon is a Greek word that means "ruler", frequently used as the title of a specific public office. It is the masculine present participle of the verb stem αρχ-, meaning "to be first, to rule", derived from the same root as words such as monarch and hierarchy. In the early literary period of ancient Greece the chief magistrates of various Greek city states were called Archontes. The term was also used throughout Greek history in a more general sense, ranging from "club leader" to "master of the tables" at syssitia to "Roman governor".

A characteristic feature of the Gnostic concept of the universe is the role played in almost all Gnostic systems by the seven world-creating archons, known as the Hebdomad (ἑβδομάς). These Seven are in most systems semi-hostile powers, and are reckoned as the last and lowest emanations of the Godhead; below them—and frequently considered as proceeding from them—comes the world of the actually devilish powers. There are indeed certain exceptions; Basilides taught the existence of a "great archon" called Abraxas who presided over 365 archons.

Evidently from works such as the Apocryphon of John, the Ophite Diagrams, On the Origin of the World and Pistis Sophia, archons play an important role in Gnostic cosmology. Probably originally referring to the Greek daimons of the planets, in Gnosticism they became the demonic rulers of the material world, each associated with a different celestial sphere. As rulers over the material world, they are called ἄρχοντες (archontes, "principalities", or "rulers"). As with ancient astronomy, which thought of a sphere of fixed stars, above the spheres of the seven planets, beyond the spheres of the evil archons (Hebdomad), there were the supercelestial regions which a soul must reach by gnosis to escape the dominion of the archons. This place is thought of as the abode of Sophia (Wisdom) and Barbelo, also called Ogdoad.

Known Archon

Main Seven Archons

Other Archons

  • Athoth
  • Harmas
  • Kalila-Oumbri
  • Yabel
  • Adonin

  • Abbede
  • Abrisene
  • Yobel
  • Armoupieel
  • Melcheir-Adonein

  • Belias
  • Seth
  • David
  • Eloiein
  • Paraplex

  • Hekate
  • Ariouth
  • Typhon
  • Iachtanabas
  • Hundun

  • Qiongqi
  • Taowu
  • Taotie
  • Gonggong
  • Zhurong

Quotes

Beautiful, aren't they? Of course, they aren't perfect. I am the only perfect being after all. But I have to admit, these creations of my aren't so bad at second place.
Yaldabaoth
And he united the seven powers in his thought with the authorities which were with him. And when he spoke it happened. And he named each power beginning with the highest: the first is goodness with the first (authority), Athoth; the second is foreknowledge with the second one, Eloaio; and the third is divinity with the third one, Astraphaio); the fourth is lordship with the fourth one, Yao; the fifth is kingdom with the fifth one, Sabaoth; the sixth is envy with the sixth one, Adonein; the seventh is understanding with the seventh one, Sabbateon. And these have a firmament corresponding to each aeon-heaven. They were given names according to the glory which belongs to heaven for the destruction of the powers.
Apocryphon of John.
I don’t have the words to describe it. If the confrontation had taken place in the material realm, planets would have been shattered. I was destroyed utterly several thousand times. But the more of them I consumed and flung back at their beings, the less they could fight. And it was necessary, if painful and exhausting.
Grand Karcist Ion on how he destroyed some Archons.
This is the reason why incorruptibility looked down into the region, so that, by the father’s will, she might bring all into union with the light.
The rulers laid plans and said, “Come, let us create a human that will be soil from the earth.” They modeled their creature as one wholly of the earth.
The rulers have bodies that are both female and male, and faces that are the faces of beasts.
They took some soil from the earth and modeled their man, after their body and after the image of god that had appeared to them in the waters
They said, “Come, let us lay hold of it by means of the form that we have modeled, so that it may see its male partner and we may seize it with the form that we have modeled,” not understanding the partner of god, because of their powerlessness.
And he breathed into his face, and the man came to have a soul and remained on the ground many days.
But they could not make him rise because of their powerlessness.
Like storm winds they persisted in blowing, that they might try to capture that image which had appeared to them in the waters.
And they did not know the identity of its power.
The Hypostasis of the Archons.

Gallery

Trivia

  • Some Gnostic sects used this term for demons associated with the planetspheres.
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