Sigil of Baphomet
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Sigil of Baphomet is the official insignium of the Church of Satan. It is also a symbol that is used by several other organizations, usually those associated with Satanism and the Left-Hand Path.
The squatting Hebrew letters at each of the points of the pentagram read "לִוְיָתָן" starting from the lowest point and reading counter-clockwise. Translated, this is Leviathan (LVIThN), a sea creature that originated from Judaic mythology. The image of Leviathan has many complex meanings, many of which apply to its use in the Sigil of Baphomet, most notably because Leviathan is commonly associated with Satan in Christian beliefs. This symbol originally had no connection to Satan, Christianity or the devil until the Spanish Inquisition, when any pagan symbol, religion, or practice was considered "The Devil's Work".
Although versions of the Sigil of Baphomet appear as early as the 1897 book La Clef de la Magie Noire by Stanislas de Guaita, the variant in common use by the Church of Satan is known as the Hell's Kitchen Baphomet, a slightly modified version of an original which appeared on the cover Maurice Bessy's 1964 book A Pictorial History of Magic and the Supernatural. This design created by Bessy was inspired by the Oswald Wirth Baphomet design created in 1930. The Church of Satan Baphomet, according to the CoS, is copyrighted and cannot legally be reproduced without their permission in conjunction with the Church of Satan name. However, historic versions are in the public domain, many of which are virtually identical to the one employed by the Church of Satan.
In an interview with Wikinews, High Priest Peter H. Gilmore described the meaning of the symbol:“ The goat face represents carnality. In ancient Egypt goats were considered representations as god symbols of lust, and we think lust is an important factor of biology that keeps humanity going so we value that. The five-pointed star really comes from the Pythagoreans. That is the one figure in which every element is within the golden mean of each other. It’s this wonderful mathematical symbol of perfection, organic perfection specifically. Since we are organic life and enjoy the idea of perfecting ourselves, that star is right for us in there and it perfectly fits the goat head inside. Now around it are two circles, one at the tip of the points of the star and one outside. In that are Hebrew characters starting at the bottom and going counter-clockwise spelling Leviathan. In Hebrew mythology, Leviathan was the great dragon of the abyss, this powerful earthly figure that even Yahweh was afraid of. So all these things taken together creates a symbol that Anton LaVey identified with Satanism specifically. When he started the Church of Satan, usually upside down crosses were considered Satanic, and he saw that these different elements and felt this was a positive symbol you could tie to the Satanism he was creating.