Pagans, Freemasons, Satanists, and the Knights Templar: A Common Link?
Article ID: 12997
Age Group: Adult
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Author: Rev. Luna Seastar
Posted: March 29th. 2009
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A NOTE BEFORE READING: I do not try to offend anyone EVER with these writings. They are simply facts that I have found through my studying. I am the type of person who likes to "share the knowledge". Some or even many of you may know this information, but I am just finding out and would like to share it with any others who don't know yet. All of my information was obtained through sources that translated historical documents with an unbiased point of view. Thank you so much and Blessed Be!
Baphomet (bæ •fomet) . [a. F. Baphomet; cf. Pr. Bafomet, OSp. Mafomat.] a. A form of the name Mahammad used by mediæval writers. b. Alleged name of the idol, which the Templars were accused of worshipping. (According to l'Abbé Constant, quoted by Littré, 1 this word was cabalistically formed by writing backward tem. o. h. p. ab., abbreviation of templi omnium hominum pacis abbas, 'abbot' or 'father of the temple of peace of all men.') . Hence Baphomet, meaning: Fire-baptism.
The Baphomet is not a Masonic symbol, nor is it worshiped by freemasons. It is definitely not worshiped by most Wiccans. It has no traditional relation to the pentagram, or the Goat of Mendes, or Pan, or the Green Man. The name seems to have first appeared in twelfth century 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.
The Knights Templar was established in 1118 by Hugh de Payen and André de Montbard, and from September 13, 1128, properly styled Pauperes commilitis Christi et Templi Salomonis — are forever linked to the history of the Baphomet. The original function of the Knights Templar was to ensure safe passage for people traveling from Europe to Jerusalem and visa versa. To make a long story short, the Knights Templar ended up getting so wealthy on their travels that the poverty stricken kings of Europe started seeing this, they ordered them to be arrested on the charge of heresy.
But of 231 knights examined by the pope's Commissioners in Paris, only 12 admitted, under torture, to knowing anything about the icon Baphomet, as against 183 who confessed that they renounced Christ and 180 who confessed to defiling the church in various ways, such as homosexuality, urinating on the cross and worshipping Satan in the form of a black cat which they kissed under the tail.
In their confessions, the Knights Templar members described the idol as a goat endowed with women's breasts and an erect phallus. It wore a five-pointed star or pentagram around its neck and oil, which was said to be rendered from the flesh of dead infants, and it was massaged into its skin.
I would have to assume then, that this is also the idol gave birth to our common image of Satan as a red goat-man with horns, a tail and a pitchfork. I am assuming this due to the fact that in much earlier writings and depictions of Satan he is shown and described as he is in the bible (God's most beautiful angel) .
Let it be known that the methods of torture in these times used to extract confessions were (in my opinion) an abomination of the human race! Unspeakable acts were performed on these individuals during torture. Death was a release in these times! I haven't added up the totals in my studies, but MANY people died under torture. So with this in mind, I ask the question: If you were undergoing this type of unforgivable and horrifying treatment, wouldn't you say and agree with pretty much anything your inquisitors wanted in order for the pain to stop?
In 1310, thirty-six Templars died under torture; meanwhile fifty-four of them were burned alive at the stake. It was the 13th day of the month on a Friday! This is where the stigma about this day comes from!
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. Pope Clement V even admitted that there was no evidence of heresy in the order. Nevertheless, Phillip of France insisted that he close it down.
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."
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.
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.
What does this have to do with Pagans, Freemasonry, or Satan worshippers?
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. 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. 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. 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.
The next similar depiction appears in 1894 when self-confessed fraud Leo Taxil incorporated a similar figure into his attacks on Freemasonry. These three images, and subsequent imitations, 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!
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 and Witchcraft by Charles W. Olliver (London: Rider and 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.
PLEASE NOTE: All of my writings here came from the 2 sources listed below (which I HIGHLY recommend you reading if you would like more information on these subjects and more)
Book: Nigel Cawthorne "Witch Hunt – History of a Persecution"
Rev. Luna Seastar
Location: Anaheim, California
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