Samael [סםאל] is a very potent name, very powerful name, and a very contentious one: but do not forget it ends with אל EL, meaning “of God.” In other words, we are talking about a messenger from God, whose name carries death and temptation as powers of God. This is very, very important.
This angel Samael is said to be related with the planet Mars, and he states that explicitly in the Zohar. Samael says:
“...my entire domination is based on killing. And if I accept the Torah, there will no longer be wars. My rule is over the planet Maadim (Mars) that indicates spilling of blood.” - ספר הזהר Zohar
Mars is related with the sephirah Geburah (which means “Severity”), and is the fifth sphere from the top down on the Tree of Life. Geburah is related with Mars and the Sun, and it is the domain of justice, security, punishment, but from God. In other words, when God needs to send his force to render judgement or punishment, it is the force of Samael, that angel, who does it. Scripture states:
There was another angel in the seventh heaven, different in appearance from all the others, and of frightful mien. His height was so great, it would have taken five hundred years to cover a distance equal to it, and from the crown of his head to the soles of his feet he was studded with glaring eyes, at the sight of which the beholder fell prostrate in awe. "This one," said Metatron, addressing Moses, "is Samael, who takes the soul away from man." "Whither goes he now?" asked Moses, and Metatron replied, "To fetch the soul of Job the pious." Thereupon Moses prayed to God in these words, "O may it be Thy will, my God and the God of my fathers, not to let me fall into the hands of this angel."
When we look into the Garden of Eden, we see that Samael rides on the serpent; that serpent is the first letter of his name, ס Samech, and that serpent is the Divine Mother Kundalini, the very energy of creation. In the Bible, the serpent comes to tempt the woman in relation with the Tree of Knowledge. This indicates a very deep relationship between divine knowledge, the knowledge of God, the Divine Mother, death, ם water, and the serpent. All of these things are deeply profound and the meaning is not easy to grasp. But what we can see is when we investigate the many traditions throughout the world, we find this tree and we always find it is related with the Goddess. In the Egyptian tradition, Nut is the goddess of the Tree of Life, and we see pictures of her pouring out a liquid [ם] to sustain the life of her followers; that liquid is the beverage of God, the medicine of Samael. It is the ambrosia, amrita, or soma in Sanskrit terms. Soma gives the power of creation, the power of immortality. Immortality is the thirteen Arcanum (ם Mem) and emerges from the waters of the Divine Mother.
When we acquire real knowledge, for example, just hearing about this teaching, it can taste bitter, it can taste intense, it can shock us. That knowledge is the essence of this angel, Samael. It is “a bitter beverage” to the ego, it is “poison” to the ego, but it is the “potion” or “perfume of God” that illuminates the soul. Thus when we encounter gnosis or Daath (Hebrew for knowledge) we enter into a great conflict, psychologically. I am talking about real knowledge, the esoteric knowledge, not just beliefs. When you experience this knowledge, and receive your own knowledge from that experience, you feel a great shock to the depth of our soul; most people run away because it is intense and a poison to the ego: it terrifies the ego, because that angel Samael is the angel of death to the ego. The angel Samael is Mars, Ares, the God of war against the ego.
Ares, Mars, Samael is the same force. He wages his war on behalf of God, not for selfish purposes, and not to punish indiscriminately, but to punish on behalf of God, with the permission of God, and for the good of all. Samael performs the will of God. The Zohar says:
Rabbi Shimon opened the discussion saying, "See now that I, even I am he, and there is no Elohim with me" (Devarim 32:39). He said: Friends, listen to ancient words that I wish to reveal after permission from above has been granted for them to be said. Who is he who said, "See now that I, even I, am he?" The cause high above all causes, the one that is called the 'Cause of causes,' is a Cause among all the rest of the causes. So every single one of these causes shall not do anything unless it receives permission from the cause above it...
The phrase: "And there is no Elohim with me," Samael and the Serpent; "I kill, and I make alive," I kill with my Shechinah whoever is guilty and "I make alive" with her whoever is innocent. - ספר הזהר Zohar
This the power of Samael: to kill and to make alive. That power acts in accordance with the Most High, those causes which exist above the sephirah Geburah. Geburah (severity) is the sephirah of Mars from which the angel Samael departs in order to punish those who deserve it and to reward those who deserve it. This is simple cause and effect. This is in the the root of Judaism and Christianity, but everyone ignores it.
This article was excerpted from the lecture "The Sons of Samael."