Myths of the Symbols
The Baphomet dates back to the Knights Templar. To completely understand the Baphomet, one must understand the story of the Knights Templar first. The Knights Templar was an order of warrior monks officially founded in 1118 by Hugues de Payns after the successful campaign to recapture the holy city of Jerusalem. They were originally known as the “poor Knights of the Temple of Solomon” and their stated purpose was to protect Christian travelers to the Holy Land. The Catholic Church at the Council of Troyes officially sanctioned them in 1128. The Knights Templar received the support of St Bernard of Clairvaux, who was commissioned to write their “Rule” or their guide to their religious practices, which included their mission statement.
The organization was known for begin ferocious battle and it acquired, primarily through donations, vast holdings of land all over Europe, particularly in France. It also accumulated enormous wealth during the time of the crusades.
On Friday, October 13, 1307, following a lengthy series of events, the bailiffs of King Phillip IV of France (also known as Phillip the Fair), entered the Templars’ main sanctuary known as the Commanderies and captured, without a hint of struggle or protest “all” of the Knights Templar. They were imprisoned, tortured and forced to “confess” to a list of heresies and perversions. This is also how Friday the 13th became unlucky.
In 1312, the Templars came to an end, when Jacques de Molay, their Grand Master, chose to burn at the stake then recant.
The Baphomet was a French symbol that had been sanctioned as their shield. Around the circle of the Baphomet in Hebrew is the word Leviathan.
Leviathan is the Biblical name of the great sea beast that swallowed Jonah. “Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights” – Book of Jonah, verse 17.
According to the Bible, Jonah was then delivered from the belly of the sea beast after repenting for his sins. He was unharmed.
The goat was actually the animal used by the priests in ancient Egypt during their cleansing and banishing rituals.
The goat was used as it was the cheapest animal and was easily acquired. The priest would take the goat and whisper the sins of the city into the ears and then drive it out into the desert to die, thus cleansing the sins of the city. This created the modern day phrase ‘Scapegoat’.
The entire symbol is set on the Mogen Solomon or Shield of Solomon. This symbol is commonly referred to as the pentagram.
This symbol was designed and created by King Solomon specifically for the purpose of protection against evil and harm.
The whole symbol when put together literally means protection from all evil and sin. The church had sanctioned this symbol to be created for the Knights Templar to be placed on their shields during the crusade. This only makes sense as it would be able to be interpreted by the followers of Mohammed in the Middle East as it contains their symbolism. Unfortunately that reasoning was turned into a double edged sword and used against the Knights. Phillip the Fair was able to show the symbol to the French people and tell them it was a blasphemy and that it was actually a symbol of the infidels. Since in French language Mohammed is written Mohamet and pronounced close to the Baphomet (Baph-o-may).
We may never know the full extent of the conspiracy between the French crown and the Church against the Knights Templar, but their purpose and symbol was forever changed in history by that conspiracy.
This symbol has most been confused with the Goat of Mendez. It became the symbol of the Church of Satan (COS), when in 1964 Anton LaVey, the founder of COS, adopted this symbol for use on its books, masses, jewelry and literature. It has also mistakenly been thought of as a copyrighted piece of the COS, but it is a public domain symbol and actually belongs to the Knights Templar and the French Church.
Goat of Mendez
Eliphas Levi (1810-1875) had come across a passage that had been written by Rabbi Mendez. Levi described what he had read in his Dogme et Ritual de la Haute Magie (Dogma and Ritual of High Magic) first published in 1860. The passage had contained all that was in opposition of itself and yet needed each other to be whole. It is the perfect definition of polarity. The dualistic nature of life and creation is shown in perfect form in this drawing. The drawing has combined both male and female characteristics with the breasts of both as well as one more masculine arm and one feminine arm (modern artists have simply assumed this to be a lack of artistic skill on the part of Levi and have sought to correct it but instead have taken from the meaning of the image). There is one arm upwards and one down signifying the Hermetic Axiom or saying “As above so shall it be below”. The two moons are representative of the Waning and Waxing and can be seen as day and night. On the right arm is written Solve, Latin for solution or movement. On the left arm is written Coagulation, Latin for coagulation or non movement. Both are representative of Alchemical processes which oppose each other. The image is neither animal nor man, as seen by the goat head on the body of a man but with goat legs signifying that it is neither man nor animal. The image has wings and fish scales on the belly, signifying that is neither bird nor fish. He sits on a square that sits on a circle. It is everything that is within opposition to itself but needs each to be whole, to be balanced. This is NOT the Baphomet or the God of the neither Witches nor Satan. It is the Western answer to the Eastern Yin/Yang.