Their tribe was small, and the people were afraid.

They confessed their sins to a goat and drove the animal away. For many years this was enough, but one day the goat came back. Their sins were again upon them.

And so they would lead goats to a cliff and push. The animals’ bodies broke upon the ground below; so too broke Azazel’s heart. For years, the beasts entrusted to this god all died.

Azazel lacks form, lacks shape; Azazel is an emptiness, a destination, a desolate place. When we watch the sky and see soaring the goat with wings, we look not directly upon the god, but rather Azazel’s sympathetic breath that lets doomed animals take to air.