There might be no need for an introduction as we have all heard the frightening term Baphomet at least once in our lives. Even though this mysterious monster is well-known, it is difficult to define, and horrifying depictions of it may be found in various cultural contexts, including literature, music, paintings, and motion pictures.
Most of us will think of Satan when we hear the word Baphomet. Due to popular opinion, which indeed equates Baphomet with Satan, this is the case. After all, Baphomet is demonic based on the gory, vivid imagery that characterizes it in popular culture. However, from a traditional perspective, the devil goes by several names, including Satan and Baphomet.
The mainstream and specialist viewpoints frequently diverge. Although Baphomet does possess demonic qualities, the consensus is only partially accurate. However, the majority of occultists would disagree. They view Baphomet as a being of light that stands for justice, equality, harmony between opposites, and even paradise.
In this essay, we’ll delve into the mystery of Baphomet, the demon many people fear yet revered by even fewer. Even some stories claim that this monster caused the sad demise of the Knights Templar.
Let’s look more closely.
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Where Does the Name Baphomet Come From?
It’s not surprising that there is disagreement among specialists and the general public concerning the name’s etymology because Baphomet has long been a divisive character.
However, we’re going to offer the most well-known explanations behind it.
Corruption of the Word “Muhammad”
During the siege of Antioch in July 1098, the name Baphomet was first mentioned. Anselm of Ribemont, a notable siege hero, specifically, penned a letter outlining the siege’s happenings. He says that the crusaders prayed to God before taking the city, while the people of Antioch cried out to Baphomet for assistance.
The Seljuk Empire, predominately made up of Muslims at the time, held Antioch even though it had a majority of Christians. Many academics concluded that Baphomet was simply a French mistranslation of the name Muhammad due to this.
This argument does have some support because Mahomet is the French equivalent of Muhammad. Muslims, however, address Allah directly in their prayers rather than through mediators like prophets and saints. This theory doesn’t have much support because Muslims wouldn’t ask Muhammad for assistance, even though it does sound feasible.
The most vital support for this theory is that medieval troubadours continued to compare Muhammad and Baphomet in their poetry. The mystery has not yet been resolved because we cannot determine whether this was an error.
The Templar Knights’ Idol
The Inquisition is the source of the following significant reference to Baphomet. The most potent and well-organized order of crusaders, the Templar Knights, were virtually all captured by King Philip IV of France in 1307.
The entire order was put on trial by King Philip for alleged heresy. He charged that the Templars revered the idol Baphomet. We’ll cover this subject in a different chapter of this article because it is too complicated to cover here.
Both the templars’ notion and the “Sophia theory” are fascinating. Leading authorities in the field arrived at an outrageous-sounding yet brilliant theory to explain how the word Baphomet came to be used.
These academics contend that Atbash was used to create the term “Baphomet.” The Hebrew cipher atbash encodes words by changing one Hebrew letter for another.
When the Atbash encryption technique is used on the word Baphomet, the result is the Greek word Sophia, which means wisdom.
But the word Sophia has more than one meaning; it also refers to one of the leading figures in Gnosticism. The early Christian sect known as Gnosticism held that the snake from the Garden of Eden was the true God and that the Old Testament God was the devil.
The Knights Templar and Gnostics were both charged with practicing devil worship. So, is it possible that the Gnostic Sophia was the real Baphomet of the Knights Templar? Something to consider.
Baphomet and the Knights Templar
As we have already mentioned, the Knights Templar was the most illustrious and influential order engaged in the Crusades. They have sworn poverty but are also credited for being the first bankers in history.
Aside from their military dominance and successful business ventures, they are known for taking some of the most significant religious artifacts during the Crusades.
With all this authority, it’s understandable why they made enemies among Christians. Because of this, many people came to believe that the accusations of Baphomet worship were only a pretext for depriving the Templars of their power and money.
However, many academics concur that there must be some validity to the claims, given the magnitude of the incident. The Inquisition claims that the Templars worship an array of Baphomet idols. Some of them even had a dead cat’s body with a wooden face affixed, an ancient man with a lengthy beard, and a man with three faces!
The Templars were allegedly forced to deny Christ, spit on the cross, and kiss the feet of the idol Baphomet. From this perspective, the Gnostics and the Templar order are related by their rejection of traditional Christianity.
As these are still regarded as the origins of the “satanic” part of Baphomet, the continuity between Gnostics and Templars continues to inspire fiction and non-fiction writers today.
Eliphas Levi’s Baphomet representations
It’s time to argue against hypotheses that compare Baphomet to the devil since we’ve already discussed those theories. Eliphas Levi is the ideal ally in this situation. He is, after all, one of history’s most well-known occultists. The drawing of Baphomet that has become so well-known was created by Éliphas Lévi and is shown above.
We’ll examine his iconic drawing to comprehend better what Baphomet represents in the occult realm.
Baphomet’s goat head symbolizes the Greek God Pan. Pan is the deity of fertility, s*xuality, and the natural world. He is attributed with granting wealth and inducing flowering in trees and vegetation. Conveniently, according to some sources from the Middle Ages, the Templars associated these traits with Baphomet, who had a horrifying expression of a goat head, signifying the horror and bestiality of the sinner.
The pentagram represents the necessity of the soul ruling over the body rather than the other way around. Contrary to popular opinion, this philosophy coincidentally supports most conventional religious beliefs.
A point is typically present at the apex of the pentagram to represent the triumph of spirit over matter.
The symbol of two hands, one pointing up and the other down, represents the Hermetic maxim “As above, so below.” According to this theory, the macrocosm and microcosm of our worlds are reflections of each other. In other terms, it explains how nature is perfectly balanced.
The Crescent Moons, the Rod, and the Torch
The torch represents the intellectual flame that illuminates the universe with the light of global harmony. The rod, which stands in for the genitalia, represents eternal life triumphing over the fleeting material world.
The crescent moons represent the nods in the Kabbalistic Tree of Life. Hebrew for the black moon is Geburah, which signifies strength, and for the white moon is Chesed, which represents loving-kindness.
The breasts represent Baphomet’s androgynous nature, humanity, and procreation. Its androgyny is further evidenced by the arms, one of which is female and the other male. Remember that the masculine arm takes us to the black moon, while the female arm points to the white moon (loving-kindness) (strength).
Baphomet stands for the fusion of opposites because he possesses traits from both s*xes.
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Final Thoughts: Baphomet in Modern Culture
The representation of Baphomet has had a profound influence on Western civilization. The plots of well-known books (The Da Vinci Code), role-playing games (Dungeons & Dragons), and video games (Devil May Cry), to name a few, all involve this creature.
The Church of Satan and The Satanic Temple use Baphomet as their official emblem. The latter even created an 8.5-foot-tall statue of Baphomet, which aroused fury among people worldwide.
Some believe that this personifies evil. Others see it as a representation of knowledge and harmony in all things. You can’t dispute that it has some impact on reality, even if it’s simply a figment of your imagination.
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