utorak, 27. svibnja 2008.

Baphomet myth in secret societies

The Baphomet is not a masonic symbol, nor is it worshiped by freemasons. It has no traditional relation to the pentagram, nor the Goat of Mendes, nor Pan, nor the Green Man. The name seems to have first appeared in twelfth century France and its image first appeared in 1855. Then Anton Szandor LaVey and his atheistic Church of Satan adopted it in 1966. But it all starts with the Roman Catholic Inquisition and the Knights Templar. 16

Established in 1118 by Hugh de Payen and André de Montbard 2, the Knights Templar — from September 13, 1128, properly styled Pauperes commilitis Christi et Templi Salomonis — are forever linked to the history of the Baphomet. But of 231 knights examined by the pope’s Commissioners in Paris, only 12 admitted, under torture, to knowing anything about the icon, as against 183 who confessed that they renounced Christ and 180 who confessed to defiling the cross in various ways.3

The term’s identification with Mahomet appears to be derived from its usage in Provence. This had been the centre of the Cathar Church in France, until the Albigensian Crusade of 1209-1229 killed its protectors and the nascent Inquisition killed or silenced any survivors. Montague Summers4 suggested, without proof, that the name was a combination of two Greek words (baphe and metis) and meant 'absorption into wisdom.'15

It should be noted that the term Baphomet is not to be found in King Philippe’s grounds for arrest, issued September 14th, 1307, the 127 articles of accusation drawn up on August 12th, 1308, nor in any of the papal bulls issued by Pope Clement V. The articles of accusation refer to the adoration of idols: a cat or head, sometimes having three faces. The descriptions revealed during the trials varied but generally were of a "head with one face or two faces, sometimes bearded and sometimes not, made of silver or of wood, a picture of a man or of a woman, an embalmed head that glowed in the dark or a demon."5 The trials say little of the actual head, but there are some textual accounts of it. Guillame de Arbley who was the preceptor of the Templar house at Soissy in the diocese of Meaux testified on October 22, 1307 that he had seen the bearded head twice, which he claimed was gilded and made of silver and wood.6

Although modern writers will occasionally refer to the Templars' use of the pentagram, or five-pointed star, they fail to provide examples. The seals of the Masters generally depicted crosses, castles, fish, lambs, lions and the like. The plans of their castles and strongholds — those few they constructed — in Europe were dependent on topography and sightlines, not sacred geometry.14

Éliphas Lévi
What does this have to do with Freemasonry, or more particularly, anti-masonry? The presumed link is the pentagram. Over six hundred years after the suppression of the Knights Templar, one Éliphas Lévi took it upon himself to determine the value of the pentagram and equate it with the Baphomet. He termed the Baphomet, "the Goat of Mendes" and included a fanciful illustration of it as a frontispiece to his Doctrine and Ritual of High Magic in 1861.7 Although his frontispiece illustration depicts a one-point-up pentagram, he is also credited with being the first to arbitrate that the one-point-down image represented the Baphomet.8 No known graphical illustration associating the pentagram with evil appears before this. Michael Howard claims that Lévi based the illustration on a gargoyle that appears on a building owned by the Templars; the Commandry of Saint Bris le Vineux.9 The Catholic Inquisition of the early 1300s does not appear to have made a connection between the Templars' alleged worship of the Baphomet and the pentagram. Goldberg’s Sacred fire : the story of sex in religion depicts an image that could act as a link between the Templars and Lévi. But there is no mention in the text and no source is cited.10

Abel Clarin de la Rive, 1894 [
The next similar depiction appears in 1894 when self-confessed fraud Leo Taxil incorporated a similar figure into his attacks on Freemasonry.11 These three images, and subsequent imitations,19 constitute the complete catalogue of images purporting to represent the Baphomet. They have no historical precedent. They have no existence other than in the imaginations of their authors. And the point cannot be made too strongly — they have nothing to do with Freemasonry.

It is a literary and historical curiosity that masonic author, Albert Pike quoted extensively, and apparently uncritically, from the writings of Éliphas Lévi. He writes: "Hierogliphically to express this law of prudence, they gave their mercury, personified in Egypt as Hermanubis, a dog’s head; and to their Sulpher, represented by the Baphomet of the Temple, that goat’s head which brought into such disrepute the occult Mediaeval associations." "The Gnostics held that it composed the igneous body of the Holy Spirit ; and it was adored in the secret rites of the Sabbat or the Temple, under the hieroglyphic figure of Baphomet or the hermaphroditic goat of Mendes." 18 It is clear that Pike’s authority was Lévi, who had no authority.

Placing the image of a goat face inside a five-pointed star appears to be the inspiration of Paul Jagot, in his Science Occulte et Magie Pratique (Paris : Editions Drouin, 1924, p. 172). It incorporated an open star, not a pentagram, and Jagot provided no citation.

The image next appeared in The Handbook of Magic & Witchcraft by Charles W. Olliver (London : Rider & Co., 1928, p. 47). As reproduced at the top left of this webpage, the head is now contained in a pentagram, with the addition of the words "Samael" and "Lilith". Olliver also failed to provide citation.

In 1931 Oswald Wirth included the goat head and pentagram in his La Franc-Maçonnerie Rendue Intelligible à ces Adeptes, Deuxième Partie: "Le Compagnon," (Paris: Derry-Livres, 1931, p. 60). Again, the image was uncited.

Maurice Bessy provided an illustration of the goat head and pentagram inside two circles, with the word "Leviathan" written between the lines in Hebrew, in his A Pictorial History of Magic and the Supernatural (London :1964, p. 198). He also provided no source.

Only in the later twentieth century, with the creation of the American Church of Satan, did the inverted pentagram, with or without the goat head, become a popular symbol for Satan. Their source appears to be Oswald Wirth and Maurice Bessy, neither of whom identified it with the Baphomet.

1 komentari:

shelly02 kaže...

The Baphomet is an thought questionnable deity, improved in the 1800s as a determine of occultism and Satanism. Often wrong for The devil, it symbolizes the duality of men and women, as well as Paradise and Terrible or evening and day signified by the increasing of one arm and the down act of the other. It can be taken actually, to signify any of the significant enlightening dichotomies of the universe.