Baphomet is a name of a deity of unknown origin. The name Baphomet traces back to the end of the Crusades, when the medieval order of the Knights Templar was suppressed by King Philip IV of France. On Friday, October 13, 1307, King Philip had many French Templars simultaneously arrested, and then tortured into confessions. The name Baphomet comes up in several of these confessions, in reference to an idol of some type that the Templars were said to have been worshipping. The description of the object changed from confession to confession. Some Templars denied any knowledge of it. Others, under torture, described it as being either a severed head, a cat, or a head with three faces. 'Gargoyles' from Templar churches are shown below (the first from Lanleff, the second and third from St Merri). Did these 'gargoyles inspire Eliphas Levi? Or were these gargoyles actually depictions of Baphomet? Was Levi merely depicting Baphomet as he had been traditionally known? Or is it a 'coincidence'?
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.
Let's take a look at some of our American connections, formed by our government:
The infamous Sigil of Baphomet