Baphomet

baphomet
Baphomet by Eliphas Levi

Baphometis the symbol of the “sabbatic goat,” portrayed as a half-human, half-goat figure, or a goat head. It is not a symbol of modern witchcraft.

The origin of the name Baphomet is unclear. It may be a corruption of Mahomet (Muhammad). The English witchcraft historian Montague Summers suggested it was a combination of two Greek words, baphe and metis, meaning “absorption of knowledge.” Baphomet has also been called the Goat of Mendes, the Black Goat and the Judas Goat.

In the Middle Ages the Baphomet was believed to be an idol, represented by a human skull, a stuffed human head or a metal or wooden human head with curly black hair. The idol was said to be worshiped by the Order of the Knights Templar as the source of fertility and wealth. In 1307 King Philip IV of France accused the Order of the Knights Templar of heresy, homosexuality and, among other things, worshiping this idol and anointing it with the fat of murdered children. However, only 12 of the 231 knights interrogated by the church admitted worshiping or having knowledge of the Baphomet. Novices said they had been instructed to worship the idol as their god and savior, and their descriptions of it varied: it had up to three heads and up to four feet; it was made of either wood or metal, or was a painting; sometimes it was gilt.

In 1818 a number of idols called heads of Baphomet were discovered among forgotten antiquities of the Imperial Museum of Vienna. They were said to be replicas of the Gnostic divinity Mete, or “Wisdom.”

Perhaps the best-known representation of Baphomet is the drawing by the 19th-century French magician EliphasLevi, called “the Baphomet of Mendes.” Levi combined elements of the Tarot Devil card and the he-goat worshiped in antiquity in Mendes, Egypt, which was said to fornicate with its women followers (as the church claimed the Devil did with witches). Levi’s Baphomet has a human trunk with rounded, female breasts, a caduceus in the midriff, human arms and hands, cloven feet, wings and a goat’s head with a pentagram (see pentacle and pentagram) in the forehead and a torch on top of the skull between the horns. The attributes, Levi said, represented the sum total of the universe — intelligence, the four elements, divine revelation, sex and motherhood and sin and redemption. White and black crescent moons at the figure’s sides represent good and evil.

Aleister Crowley named himself Baphomet when he joined the Ordo Templis Orientalis, a secret sexual magic order formed around 1896 in Germany.

Further Reading:

  • Thomas, Keith. Religion and the Decline of Magic. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1971.
  • Waite, A. E. The Book of Black Magic and of Pacts. 1899. Reprint, York Beach, Me.: Samuel Weiser, 1972.

The Encyclopedia of Witches, Witchcraft and Wicca written by Rosemary Ellen Guiley – Copyright © 1989, 1999, 2008 by Visionary Living, Inc.

Baphomet
Symbol of the satanic goat. Baphomet is portrayed as a half-human, half-goat figure, or a goat head. The origin of the name Baphomet is unclear. It may be a corruption of Mahomet or Muhammad. The English occult historian Montague Summers suggested it was a combination of two Greek words, baphe and metis, or “absorption of knowledge.” Baphomet has also been called the Goat of Mendes, the Black Goat, and the Judas Goat.

In the Middle Ages, Baphomet was believed to be an idol, represented by a human skull, a stuffed human head, or a metal or wooden human head with curly black hair. The idol was said to be worshipped by the Order of the Knights Templar as their source of fertility and wealth. The best-known representation of Baphomet is a drawing by the 19th-century French magician Eliphas Levi, called The Baphomet of Mendes. Levi combined elements of the Tarot Devil card and the he-goat worshipped in antiquity in Mendes, Egypt, which was said to fornicate with its women followers—as the church claimed the Devil did with witches.

The Church of Satan, founded in 1966 in San Francisco, adopted a rendition of Baphomet to symbolize SatanISM. The symbol is a goat’s head drawn within an inverted pentacle, enclosed in a double circle. In the outer circle, Hebraic figures at each point in the pentagram spell out Leviathan, a huge water serpent Demon associated with the Devil.

The Encyclopedia of Demons and Demonology – Written by Rosemary Ellen Guiley – Copyright © 2009 by Visionary Living, Inc.

Baphomet The Symbol of the satanic goat. Baphomet is portrayed as a half-human, half-goat figure, or a goat head. It is often misinterpreted as a symbol of Witchcraft. Baphomet has also been called the Goat of Mendes, the Black Goat, and the Judas Goat.

The origin of the term Baphomet is unclear. It may be a corruption of Mahomet or Muhammed. The English occult historian Montague Summers suggested that it was a combination of two Greek words, baphe and metis, or “absorption of knowledge.”

In the Middle Ages, Baphomet was believed to be an idol, represented by a human skull, a stuffed human head, or a metal or wooden human head with curly black hair. The idol was said to be worshiped by the order of t he knight s t empl ar as the source of fertility and wealth. In 1307 King Philip IV of France accused the Order of the Knights Templar of heresy, homosexuality, and worshiping this idol and anointing it with the fat of murdered children. However, only 12 of the 231 knights interrogated by the church, some under torture, admitted worshiping or having knowledge of the Baphomet. Novices said they had been instructed to worship the idol as their god and savior, and their descriptions of it varied: It has up to three heads and up to four feet; it was made of either wood or metal or was a painting; it was gilt.

In 1818 idols called heads of Baphomet were discovered among forgotten antiquities of the Imperial Museum of Vienna. They were said to be replicas of the Gnostic divinity, Mete, or “Wisdom.”

The best-known representation of Baphomet is a drawing by the 19th-century French magician, Eliphas Levi, called The Baphomet of Mendes. Levi combined elements of the tarot Devil card and the he-goat worshiped in antiquity in Mendes, Egypt, which was said to fornicate with its women followers—just as the church claimed that the devil did with witches. Levi’s Baphomet has a human trunk with rounded, female breasts, a caduceus in the midriff, human arms and hands, cloven feet, wings, and a goat’s head with a pentagram in the forehead and a torch on top of the skull between the horns. The attributes, Levi said, represented the sum total of the universe—intelligence, the four el ement s, divine revelation, sex and motherhood, sin, and redemption. White and black crescent moons at the figure’s sides represent good and evil.

Aleister Crowley named himself Baphomet when he joined the Ordo Templi Orientis, a sex magic order formed in Germany at the turn of the 20th century. The Church of Satan, founded in 1966 in San Francisco, adopted a rendition of Baphomet to symbolize satanism. The symbol is a goat’s head drawn within an inverted pentacle, enclosed in a double circle. In the outer circle, Hebraic figures at each point in the pentagram spell out Leviathan, a huge water serpent associated with the devil. See also Franz Bardon

Source:

The Encyclopedia of Magic and Alchemy Written by Rosemary Ellen Guiley Copyright © 2006 by Visionary Living, Inc.