The image of Baphomet, also known as the Goat of Mendes, is one of the most misunderstood and feared symbols of the occult. It first appears in the book “Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie” (“Dogmas and Rituals of High Magic”) by famous French occultist Eliphas Levi, in 1854. The symbol is actually meant to be a synthesis of esoteric and occult concepts related to Hermeticism, alchemy, Kabbalah, and others.
The name Baphomet likely originates from the French spelling for the founder of Islam, prophet Muhammed, Mahomet in French. In the 14th century, the Knights Templar were falsely accused of worshiping the Deity/Image of Baphomet, by the then king of France “Phillip the Fair.” They were accused of heresy, and after a series of trials were officially disbanded. Some speculate that they continued to operate in secrecy however, and continued to exert their influence up until present day…possibly playing a part in the rise of Rosicrucianism and Freemasonry.
Levi gives a surface level interpretation of the image in the book in which it appeared. As with all symbolism though, there are layers of deeper meanings that can be revealed through knowledge of esoteric philosophy and imagery. At it’s core it is a symbol of the alchemists, with the words “Solve” and “Coagula” on each arm perfectly representing the Hermetic principle of “as above, so below” and how it relates to nature and alchemical transmutation. The four Platonic elements, sacred geometry and math, kundalini, the Kabbalistic tree of life, and the zodiac are just a few of the other encoded concepts in the symbol. Watch the video I made below for a much more in depth explanation of this highly misinterpreted image.