History of the Baphomet
Baphomet, the symbol of the satanic goat, usually portrayed as a half human, half goat figure, or a goat head. It is often misinterpreted as a symbol of witch-craft in general. It is used by Satanists, but is not used by neo-pagan witches who do not worship the devil.
The origin of the Baphomet is unclear. It may be a corruption of Muhomet (Mohammed). The english witchcraft historian Montague Summers suggested that 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 humans head or a metal or wooden human head with curly black hair. The idol was said to be worshipped by the Order of Knights Templar as the source of fertility and wealth. In 1307 King Phillip IV of France accused the Order of the Knights Templar of heresy, homosexuality and among other things, worshipping this idol and anointing it with the fat of murdered children. However, only 12 of the 231 knights interrogated by the church admitted worshipping 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 heards and up to four feet; it was made of either wood or metal, or was a painting, sometimes it was a gift.
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, 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). 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 elements, divine revelation, sex and motherhood and sin and redemption. Hite and black crescent moons at the figure's side 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
The Church of Satan, founded in 1966 in San Francisco, adopted another rendition of baphomet to symbolize Satanism. The symbol is a goats head drawn within an inverted pentacle, enclosed in a outer circle, hebraic figures at each point in the pentagram spell ot leviathan, a huge water serpent associated with the devil. In Church of Satan rituals, the sigil of Baphomet is hung on the wall behind the alter. The Baphomet may also be worn as a medallion.
Some different renditions of the Baphomet
|The Scapegoat Baphomet
A model sculpted by Artomic Creations
prize sculpter, Thomas Kuntz. Some have taken this piece and actually
|The Goat of Mendes
The original rendition of Eliphas Levi, born Alphonse Louis Constant in 1810 and died in 1875. This is most known picture of the Baphomet.
|The Ouroboros Baphomet
Rendered by Lord Egan, High Priest of The First Church os Satan in Salem MA. This version features a serpent that is wrapped around the outer part of the circle, showing great power within, and keeping it there.
|The SKO sigil of Baphomet
This rendition was created by Rev. R. Fairhall, owner and founder of The Satanic Kindred Organization. It was created for Satanists, as certain people were trying to bring down other Satanic sites that were not affiliated with them, and held the rendition of Anton Szandor LaVey's sigil of Baphomet on the front of The Satanic Bible. So it was made freely for those who chose to use it!
It features the picture of a real, cashmiere goat, behind Rev. Fairhall's own version of the sigil of Baphomet. All hebraic characters have been removed and the actual goat imposed of the real picture of the goat was hand drawn
The Encyclopedia of Witches and
Witchcraft, by Rosemary Ellen Guiley
The Ouroboros Baphomet - The First Church of Satan
The Scapegoat Baphomet - Artomic Creations
The Goat of Mendes - Eliphas Levi - (1810-1875)