Baphomet: Demon character supposedly
worshiped by the Knights Templar
in 14th century France. Some present
day practicioners of the black arts
regard Baphomet as a "god"
of lust and regeneration, or as
symbolic of the Devil.
See also: Sigil of Baphomet
The wind demon Pazuzu is often
depicted as a combination of animal and
human parts. He has the body of a man, the
head of a lion or dog, eagle-like taloned
feet, two pairs of wings, a scorpion's tail,
and a serpentine penis. He is often depicted
with his right hand pointing upward and
his left hand downward. The position of
the hands means respectively life and death
(or creation and destruction). Pazuzu, the
demon in the 1973 film The Exorcist -- At
the beginning of the book and film The Exorcist,
when Father Merrin is at the site of an
archaelogical dig in Northern Iraq, the
menacing sculpted figure is Pazuzu, whom
he had battled in an exorcism several years
Amulet of the demon Pazuzu Start of the
1st millennium BCE Bronze, height: 15 cm,
width 8,60 cm, depth 5,60 cm.
Inscription au dos : "Je suis Pazuzu,
fils de Hanpa. Le roi des mauvais esprits
des vents qui sort violemment des montagnes
en faisant rage, c'est moi. Acquisition
Musée du Louvre Département
des Antiquités orientales MNB 467
Richelieu Rez-de-chaussée Mésopotamie
- Syrie du Nord. Assyrie : Til Barsip, Arslan
Tash, Nimrud, Ninive Salle 6, Vitrine 4
read more on The Demon Pazuzu visit here
the 19th century, the name of Baphomet became
associated with occult. In 1854, Eliphas Levi
published Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie
("Dogmas and Rituals of High Magic"),
in which he included an image he had drawn
himself which he described as Baphomet and
"The Sabbatic Goat", showing a winged
humanoid goat with a pair of breasts and a
torch on its head between its horns (illustration,
top). This image has become the best-known
representation of Baphomet. Levi's depiction
is similar to that of the Devil in the Tarot,
but it may also have been partly inspired
by grotesque carvings on the Templar churches
of Lanleff in Brittany and St. Merri in Paris,
which depict squatting bearded men with bat
wings, female breasts, horns and the shaggy
hindquarters of a beast. Some modern video
documentaries have added to the confusion
by anachronistically including Levi's image
or sometimes even a three-dimensional sculpture
based on the image, in scenes where they are
attempting to portray the history of the Knights
Lévi considered the Baphomet to be
a depiction of the absolute in symbolic form
and explicated in detail his symbolism in
the drawing that served as the frontispiece:
"The goat on the frontispiece carries
the sign of the pentagram on the forehead,
with one point at the top, a symbol of light,
his two hands forming the sign of hermetism,
the one pointing up to the white moon of Chesed,
the other pointing down to the black one of
Geburah. This sign expresses the perfect harmony
of mercy with justice. His one arm is female,
the other male like the ones of the androgyn
of Khunrath, the attributes of which we had
to unite with those of our goat because he
is one and the same symbol. The flame of intelligence
shining between his horns is the magic light
of the universal balance, the image of the
soul elevated above matter, as the flame,
whilst being tied to matter, shines above
it. The beast's head expresses the horror
of the sinner, whose materially acting, solely
responsible part has to bear the punishment
exclusively; because the soul is insensitive
according to its nature and can only suffer
when it materializes. The rod standing instead
of genitals symbolizes eternal life, the body
covered with scales the water, the semi- circle
above it the atmosphere, the feathers following
above the volatile. Humanity is represented
by the two breasts and the androgyn arms of
this sphinx of the occult sciences."
Levi called his image “the Baphomet
of Mendes”, presumably following Herodotus'
account that the god of Mendes — the
Greek name for Djedet, Egypt — was depicted
with a goat's face and legs. Herodotus relates
how all male goats were held in great reverence
by the Mendesians, and how in his time a woman
publicly copulated with a goat. However the
deity that was venerated at Egyptian Mendes
was actually a ram deity Banebdjed (literally
Ba of the lord of djed, and titled "the
Lord of Mendes"), who was the soul of
Osiris. Levi combined the images of the Tarot
of Marseilles Devil card and refigured the
ram Banebdjed as a he-goat, further imagined
by him as "copulator in Anep and inseminator
in the district of Mendes".
Criticism of Levi's interpretation
Egyptian connections aside, Lévi's
depiction, for all its modern fame, does not
match the historical descriptions from the
Templar trials, although it is akin to some
grotesques found on Templar churches, having
the same horns and beard, female breasts,
bat-like wings and hind-quarters of an animal,
and being seated on a globe in a similar posture.
Critics argue that Lévi and other
writers, such as Albert Pike, were attempting
to use the false accusations against the Templars
to fabricate from the name Baphomet a veritable
Deity of Hedonism and Rebellion against a
Christian establishment. Levi's now-familiar
image shown here as a "Sabbatic Goat"
shows parallels with works by the Spanish
artist Francisco Goya, who more than once
painted a "Witch's Sabbath"; in
the version ca 1821-23, El gran cabrón
now at the Prado, a group of seated women
offer their dead infant children to a seated
goat. Levi also incorrectly identified Baphomet
with Herodotus' mistaken "Goat of Mendes".
Crowley's further fanciful connections linked
the ram-god of Mendes with the syncretic Ptolemaic-Roman
Harpocrates, a version elaborated upon the
child-form of the Egyptian god Horus. Harpocrates
was a granter of fertility, but he was not
associated with debauch or lust -- and, most
important, in animal-form, he was a ram, not
a buck goat.
The Baphomet of Lévi was to become
an important figure within the cosmology of
Thelema, the mystical system established by
Crowley in the early twentieth century. Crowley
identified Baphomet with Harpocrates and also
with what he called the Lion-Serpent. Crowley
agreed that Baphomet was a divine androgyne,
while also being bi-sexual (as Crowley was)
and "the hieroglyph of arcane perfection".
In The Law is for All Crowley identifies the
Lion-Serpent with one's "Secret Self",
which he also called the Holy Guardian Angel.
In Magick (Book 4), Crowley writes, "The
devil is this serpent, Satan. He is life and
love. He is light, and his zodiacal image
is Capricornus, the 'leaping goat,' 'the god
For Crowley, Baphomet is further a representative
of the spiritual nature of the spermatozoa
while also being symbolic of the "magical
child" produced as a result of sex magic.
As such, Baphomet represents the Union of
Opposites, especially as mystically personified
in Chaos and Babalon combined and biologically
manifested with the sperm and egg united in
Promotional poster for Léo Taxil, Les
Mystères de la franc-maçonnerie
dévoilés (1886), adapts Lévi's
Promotional poster for Léo Taxil, Les
Mystères de la franc-maçonnerie
dévoilés (1886), adapts Lévi's
But Crowley saw Baphomet as more than the
Union of Opposites—-he is also the Lust
that leads to such Union. Baphomet is depicted
in Crowley's Thoth Tarot deck, in the card
"Devil" (Atu XV). Here, he is identified
with the Greek god Pan, the All-Begetter.
He is "creative energy in its most material
form , the goat leaping with lust upon the
summits of earth, the divine madness of spring"
Crowley, who was known as "The Beast,"
also identified himself with Baphomet. In
The Equinox of the Gods he describes another
card from the Tarot, this time "Lust"
(Atu XI), "It shows the Scarlet Woman,
BABALON, riding (or conjoined with) me The
Beast ; and this card is my special card,
for I am Baphomet, 'the Lion and the Serpent,'
and 666, the 'full number' of the Sun"
It is perhaps for this reason that Crowley
assumed the magical name of Baphomet when
he was risen to the X° within Ordo Templi
Throughout history, many cultures have regarded
left-handedness as evil. This tendency can
be seen in the etymology of words such as
sinister, which in Latin means both "left"
and "unlucky." Consequently, the
left hand has often symbolized the rejection
of traditional religion.
The word "right" as in "right-hand"
generally derives from the Hebrew term yamin
from the Old Testament, meaning "stronger"
and "more dexterous". In Hebrew,
the term for "left" is sem'ol, meaning
It is possible that this division also derives
from the practice of using the left hand for
purposes of personal hygiene after defecation
in some cultures, rendering the left hand
as Lévi's illustration suggests, has
occasionally been portrayed as a synonym of
Satan or a demon, a member of the hierarchy
of Hell. Baphomet appears in that guise as
a character in James Blish's The Day After
Judgment. Christian evangelist Jack Chick
claims that Baphomet is a demon worshipped
by Freemasons, a claim that apparently originated
with the Taxil hoax Léo Taxil's elaborate
hoax employed a version of Lévi's Baphomet
on the cover of Les Mystères de la
his lurid paperback "exposé"
of Freemasonry, which in 1897 he revealed
as a hoax satirizing ultra-Catholic anti-Masonic
propaganda. Lévi's Baphomet is clearly
the source as well of the later Tarot image
of the Devil, in the Rider-Waite design. The
downward-pointing pentagram on its forehead
is enlarged upon by Lévi in his illustration
of a goat's head arranged within such a pentagram,
which he contrasts with the microcosmic man
arranged within a similar but upright pentagram.
The symbol of the goat in the downward-pointed
pentagram was adopted as the official symbol—called
the Sigil of Baphomet—of the Church
of Satan, and continues to be used amongst
The Lesser Key of Solomon
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OF THE Baphomet
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.
The charge was notable because it was different
from usual forced confessions. Over 100 different
charges had been leveled against the Templars, most
of them clearly false, as they were the same charges
that were leveled against other of King Philip's
enemies. For example, he had earlier kidnapped Pope
Boniface VIII and charged him with near identical
offenses of heresy, spitting and urinating on the
cross, and sodomy. However, the charges about the
worship of an idol named Baphomet, were unique to
the Inquisition of the Templars.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the
name's first appearance in English was in Henry
Hallam's 1818 work Middle Ages, reproducing an early
French corruption of "Mahomet", a common
variant of Arabic Muhammad. The name Baphomet also
appeared in the English translation of the Viennese
Orientalist Joseph Freiherr von Hammer-Purgstall's
Mysterium Baphometis revelatum as The Mystery of
Baphomet Revealed,[ which presented an elaborate
pseudohistory constructed to discredit the Freemasons
by linking them with "Templar masons".
He argued, using archaeological evidence faked by
earlier scholars and literary evidence such as the
Grail romances, that the Templars were Gnostics
and the 'Templars' head' was a Gnostic idol called
Baphomet. He did not realise that Gnostics did not
Some modern scholars such as Peter Partner and
Malcolm Barber agree that the name of Baphomet was
an Old French corruption of the name Muhammad, with
the interpretation being that some of the Templars,
through their long military occupation of the Outremer,
had begun incorporating Islamic ideas into their
belief system, and that this was seen and documented
by the Inquisitors as heresy. Peter Partner's 1987
book The Knights Templar and their Myth says, "In
the trial of the Templars one of their main charges
was their supposed worship of a heathen idol-head
known as a 'Baphomet' ('Baphomet' = Mahomet = Muhammad)."
Partner's book also provides a quote from a poem
written in a Provencal dialect by a troubadour who
is thought to have been a Templar. The poem is in
reference to some battles in 1265 that were not
going well for the Crusaders: "And daily they
impose new defeats on us: for God, who used to watch
on our behalf, is now asleep, and Muhammad [Bafometz]
puts forth his power to support the Sultan.
The use of this poem to prove that "Baphomet"
or "Bafometz" was an early French corruption
of "Mahomet" ("Muhammad") is
critiqued as being circular in a 1995 article published
by Kevin Bold ("A History and Mythos of the
Knights Templar"). Instead Bold supports Idries
Shah's proposal that "Baphomet" derives
from the Arabic construction Abufihamat, meaning
"Father of Understanding"
For now I tend to favor the Arabic origins over
the Old French for the following reasons: first,
as an iconoclastic religion, Islam strictly forbids
images, either painted or sculpted, of either God
or Muhammad, so the idea of even unorthodox Muslims
worshipping an idol is simply ludicrous. Second,
of those authors I have read who claim that "any
expert on Old French" will say that Baphomet
was another name for Muhammad never actually cite
any such Old French experts to document this assertion.
One such writer was Peter Partner, who even found
a French troubadour ballad from the late thirteenth
century and published an English translation, showing
parenthetically that "Bafometz" had appeared
in the original French (he had rendered it as "Mohammed"
as if this had somehow proved his point).
The Sigil of Baphomet is the official insignia
for the Church of Satan, chosen by Anton Szandor
LaVey. Satanists who follow the philosophies of
LaVey often adorn themselves with the sigil.
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 today was designed for use by the
Church of Satan, and is known as the Hell's Kitchen
Baphomet. This variant is copyrighted by the Church
of Satan and cannot legally be reproduced without
permission. Historic variants are in the public
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 Earth 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.
The Horned God is a modern syncretic term used
amongst Wiccan-influenced Neopagans, which unites
numerous male nature gods out of such widely-dispersed
mythologies as the Celtic Cernunnos, the English
Herne the Hunter, the Hindu Pashupati and the Greek
A number of figures from British folklore, though
normally depicted without horns, are nonetheless
considered related: Puck, Robin Goodfellow and the
In the religion of Wicca, first publicised in 1954,
the Horned God is revered as the partner and/or
child of the Goddess (commonly described as the
Great Mother or the Triple Goddess). According to
Gerald Gardner Wicca is a modern survival of an
ancient pan-European pagan religion that was driven
underground during the witch trials. As such the
Goddess and Horned God (the "Lady" and
"Lord") of Wicca are the supposed ancient
tribal gods of this faith.