The Iconography of Baphomet

The Iconography of Baphomet

The symbolism behind the goat-headed deity.
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History and Symbolism

Baphomet is a religious symbol often tied to the occult. The most popular image that has come to be associated with Baphomet is “Sabbatic Goat” drawn by Eliphas Levi in 1856. Levi intended this image to represent the desire to create, procreate, and to possess great power and influence. The imagery is not intended as evil, but rather morally indifferent.

The figure is shown as a human body sitting cross-legged with a goat head. Baphomet is a hermaphrodite, featuring both male and female qualities to represent the duality of human spirit. “Flow and ebb” is written across the forearms in Latin. The image features a Pentagram, a 5 point star with each point representing different elements. The top point is the spirit, then in clockwise order, water, fire, earth, and air. In the lap are two snakes winding up around a staff towards each other. This symbol, a Caduceus, represents the power of negotiation and reciprocity. Baphomet was possibly influenced by a goat-like deity named Pan, after the Greek word for “all.” These iconic symbols both represent a dual, omnipresent nature. The name Baphomet is a translation of “The father of the temple of universal peace among men,” in Latin, backwards. Baphomet has been linked to many different organizations and individuals throughout history such as the Knight’s Templar, the Freemasons, Wicca, Paganism, Aleister Crowley, Witchcraft, and the Church of Satan. A Baphomet-like image is also featured as the Devil in the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck.

In Wicca and Witchcraft

The figure is pointing at both a white and black moon, symbolizing light and darkness. This pose, with one hand pointing up and one pointing down is known to represent the saying “as above, so below.” This phrase is used often in rituals and spells and refers to the connectedness of all things, unity, protection, and that the universe and man are one and the same. "Dynamic interconnectedness to describe the physical world as the sort of thing that imagination and desire can effect. The magician's world is an independent whole, a web of which no strand is autonomous. Mind and body, galaxy and atom, sensation and stimulus, are intimately bound. Witchcraft strongly imbues the view that all things are independent and interrelated.” The symbols of personal power and the magnetism of universal forces in the image of Baphomet are crucial to the practice of Wicca and Witchcraft.

In Satanism

One of the Satanists’ beliefs is that we are all our own god, free to rule ourselves and adhere to our own moral compass. The torch sprouting out of the goat’s head represents intelligence, balance, and enlightenment. Originally written by Anton Szandor Lavey in the Satanic Bible, one of the Nine Satanic Statements reads “Satan represents man as just another animal, sometimes better, more often worse than those that walk on all-fours, who, because of his divine spiritual and intellectual development, has become the most vicious animal of all!”

As followers of the Church of Satan are still largely underground, images such as those of Baphomet are incredibly important to the prevalence of Satanism in modern day society.

Cover Image Credit: http://nukethefridge.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Baphomet-by-Levi.jpg

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The Husband I'm Praying For

My future husband should be a mirror of the Lord.
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Growing up, we have all probably wondered about the man we will marry — what he looks like, what his voice sounds like, what color his eyes are, etc. We have all watched Disney's fairy tale movies like "Cinderella," "The Little Mermaid" and "Sleeping Beauty." The love stories that Disney creates can be merely fiction. Knowing this leads many people to believe that kind of love does not exist. As a kid, I always wanted to be Ariel and find my Prince Eric. The older I got, I realized that that kind of man does not exist without God. The Disney love story only exists through God. God writes a love story that we can not imagine. That is why we should be confident in His will for our lives. We should be confident in the love story God is writing for us.

I woke up this morning thinking about relationships and how hard it is to be in one at the age of 20. I'm not looking for a husband or a significant other right now, but I am praying for that special someone that God has planned for my life. Whether God places this special man in my life next week or in 20 years, I am going to be praying for him. I pray for the man that seeks God and His guidance. I just can't imagine being with someone who doesn't love God as much as I do. Honestly, I've decided that from this point on, I am going to let God guide my footsteps. I refuse to worry about all that is wrong with me when I should just be praying for the man God has in store for me.

Girls my age have been blinded to what a good boyfriend is and what a potential husband really looks like. I pray for the man who prays before each meal and thanks God for his simple blessings. I don't want to end up settling for less-I know what I deserve and I know that God has a plan. The husband I pray for is the man I want my daughters looking up to and being proud to have as a father. I want my children to know that their father loves Jesus and is not ashamed of it. A man who is ashamed of Jesus or only loves Jesus on Sundays is not husband material. I want my husband to be the man people associate Jesus with.

I pray that my husband is humble. I pray that my husband makes strangers feel his loving presence and know that Jesus is present in his life. I pray that my husband wants the same things I do, like 15 children — just kidding. But, I do pray that he has a sense of humor and that he understands my need for laughter and sunshine in my life. I pray that my husband seeks Jesus during hard times and understands when the answer to his prayers are no. I hope my husband understands that no matter what, God has a plan and an answer, even if it isn't what he wants. I want my husband to be understanding of my needs and what I want out of life. I want my husband to encourage me and my decisions. I want my husband to be the man that my children know is praying for them. I want my husband to be the man who cries the first time he sees me in my wedding dress walking down the aisle. I want my husband to be the man our kids can run to at 3:00 a.m because they had a bad dream and need him to hold them. I want my husband to have a loving and sincere heart. I pray that the man I am going to marry is praying for me, just like I'm praying for him.

Cover Image Credit: Alec Vanderboom

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There's Nothing Wrong With Embracing Your Singleness

Being single is a place of focusing your attention on yourself, not a sitting area while you wait for your significant other.

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First and Foremost

Everyone's view on being single is unique to them. My job here isn't to persuade anyone to think the way I think. I want to share my beliefs and thoughts about this topic because it's important to me.

For a long time, I had a skewed mindset about being single. So if I can, I'd like to shed some light on a topic that's usually talked about in a negative context. My opinion about singleness has changed throughout the years, influenced by numerous relationships, my spirituality, and accepting myself.

Backstory

When I think about how my personal experiences have shaped the way I look at being single, I feel as if I have three different experiences.

I first viewed singleness like a sitting area while I wait for my significant other to come through the door and call my name. This time of singleness came before I had any relationship experience. I was in high school, focusing on school, basketball, and friends.

But my mindset about being single was extremely negative. I thought that since I didn't have a boyfriend or no one was interested in me, there was something wrong with me and I just had to wait for a guy to pick up interest. Now when I look back, it was a weird and unhealthy place to be in.

The second story is sad, depressing, and the result of my first breakup. During that time, I was miserable and couldn't understand why anyone would want to be in that position. It's funny: before I ever had a boyfriend, I was never this sad and unhappy. But being in a relationship, breaking up, or doing anything for the first time can change your entire perspective on that thing, which is what happened to me.

The third experience is the one I'm in right now. I can honestly say I'm living my best life. My Christianity has heavily influenced my current mindset about singleness. I came out of a relationship and into a great place of freedom, security, and happiness. I understand that my being single is not a bad thing, nor is it a place to go out searching for someone else who will be there to fill the times I may be lonely.

Being single is a label, not who you are.

Don't get it twisted - being single does not define you! It's not something you need to point out to everyone you meet or use as a characteristic when you describe yourself. I made the huge mistake of thinking that because I'm single, it's something people need to know because that's just who I am now. But it's not.

Just like when it comes to putting so much meaning behind labels like "boyfriends" and "girlfriends," the same thing happens with the word "single." Sure, you can bring it up if you're actively getting into a relationship or dating, but it's not something the changes your personality. You should be yourself whether or not you're single or in a relationship.

Your singleness is a special time for you and you only.

I cannot stress this enough. There are so many pressures and stereotypes that circle around what a guy or girl should do while they're single. Some say being single is a time for exploring your sexuality and finding what you really like, while others say it's the time for dating and sleeping around. And some say singleness is a time to try every risky opportunity you can before you settle down.

I disagree with all of these. Being single is a learning process. Whether you come at it from different stories like I did or you've embraced it from the start, being single is time for you to dive deeper into who you are as a person, alone.

Find your strengths, weaknesses, and everything in between. Set standards and boundaries for yourself for the people you're going to meet in the future. Become a strong, independent person for your goals, wants, and needs. Stand up for yourself when you face hardships and work them out. Find people who genuinely love you and have your best interest at heart.

All in all, the choices you make during your singleness should benefit you extensively. You aren't responsible for anyone else except yourself and that kind of freedom is unmatched.

My religion has definitely influenced my perspective on singleness.

My opinion on being single may be different from other people due to my faith and what I believe in. According to my spirituality, singleness is not just a time for you. It's also a time for you and God.

Having the time while you're single to focus on your personal relationship with God is extremely important. It makes sense to focus our freedom on the person who set us free from the beginning. With God on your side during your singleness, it allows you to stay on the right track and do all of the things I mentioned above.

But in reality, it is hard for us to always do the right things and not make bad decisions. We're human and it's inevitable. However, there's a way that's been carefully designed and created to help us: the word of God.

The way I see myself as a single Christian is amazing. I'm not worried about what my future holds or the downfalls I may experience in my life. Why? Cause God's got me. Yes, I have my moments where my faith is low and I sin or mess up and find myself more lost than I was before. But there's beauty in that too. There's hope in the messing up because I know God forgives and can wipe my plate clean.

Before you get it mixed up though, this isn't like a free pass to do whatever I want, whenever I want. That's not how God intended forgiveness and repentance. God wants us to know that the plan He has for us relationship-wise is already taken care of. As long as we live according to Him, which to be honest is a great and safe way to live, He has our best interest heart and will love, protect, and care for us no matter what.

(You may have noticed how I haven't talked about all the things that could go wrong when you're single. That's a long conversation for a whole other article.)

Being single is not a bad thing. It's a time for you, to learn who you are and what you want from life. Embrace that.

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