We’ve often heard of goats being associated with witchcraft and Satan himself. The Bible never seems to have many good things to say about this creature (Matthew 25:31-46), so it should come as no surprise that one of the statues of the Satanic temple, known as Baphomet, has a goat’s head.
Although the statue in the BBC article hit the news only five years ago, this name has a history that traces back to the Middle Ages, having connotations with evil practices and idol worship, and, no surprise, Satan.
In this article, we’ll dive into the odd history of Baphomet, how the image of Baphomet has changed (or stayed the same) over the years, and why we should care about this figure.
What Is Baphomet?
As mentioned previously, this Satanic statue or idol has a goat’s head.
This makes sense if we analyze the history of pagan and polytheistic religions. The Egyptians had a goat god known as Mendes. The Greeks revered a mischievous figure known as Pan. The Celts had Cernunnos. Perhaps this sheds even more light on why Scripture doesn’t often have good things to say about goats.
Also, most depictions of Baphomet contain a pentagram on its forehead and is part-animal, part-human as well as part-female, part-male, a conglomeration of opposites.
Many of the more modern depictions of Baphomet include phallic and sexual symbols as well as more contrasting elements such as white and dark moons. Most modern depictions often have Baphomet doing a two-fingered salute, a common occultist gesture.
The History of Baphomet
The history of Baphomet has been broiled in debate. Many have claimed that the name Baphomet itself has roots in the name of the prophet Muhammed.
For our purposes, we won’t look that far back. We’ll start in the 1100s-1300s. The knights of the Templar worshipped a gnostic idol known as Baphomet, or the first known description of Baphomet comes from a 1098 account of the Siege of Antioch, but again, this version seems to mean “Muhammed” rather than a half-goat, half-human hybrid.
Baphomet skirts the sidelines of history until we hit the age of Enlightenment. In 1861, a French occultist, Éliphas Lévi, created a world-renowned image of Baphomet, “imagined as a Sabbatic goat.”
And, as featured in the BBC article, the most recent image of Baphomet, a public one, was said to have been commissioned as a protest of public statues of the Ten Commandments.
Many who adhere to Satanism might use a depiction of Baphomet in some way in their worship.
Baphomet’s Influence Today
Baphomet’s influence plays an important role in the Church of Satan today. But it can also be seen frequently in pop culture, as well as other Satanic symbols and sayings such as “Hail Satan.”
As stated in the linked New York Times article, Baphomet shows up as a character in the popular show “Sabrina.”
Other shows that seem to have devilish symbols include the canceled shows “Good Omens” and “Lucifer,” which is now on Netflix.
Several pop artists such as Celine Dion and Billie Eilish have resorted to symbols and lyrics that explicitly depict common elements of Satan worship. In the case of Celine Dion, her gender-neutral clothing seems to come from Satanic influence.
Why Should We Care about Baphomet?
If you’re anything like me, you’ve developed a pit in your stomach even lightly researching the subject of Baphomet. This often happens whenever we encounter something evil and Satanic.
As Christians, we may want to turn a blind eye to spiritually dark things, to act like evil practices and symbols have not seeped their way into media, into ideologies, and into our very own lives.
Satan loves to work in the shadows.
We should know and care about Baphomet because we should understand whenever we encounter a Satanist or occultist symbol. We fight spiritual battles every day, and therefore, should at least know what we’re fighting against.
We should also have an awareness of these symbols and how they’ve found their way into the lives of our children and the media they consume.
I should note that the most recent depiction of Baphomet has two children smiling up at the statue. Satanists want to paint a clear picture that Baphomet is something good, something comforting, something children can look up to.
If we do not remain vigilant, any Satanic symbol can do the same. It can convince us and our children that it’s not all that bad, or worse, something even good.
Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/Edalin
Hope Bolinger is a literary agent at C.Y.L.E. and a graduate of Taylor University's professional writing program. More than 600 of her works have been featured in various publications ranging from Writer's Digest to Keys for Kids. She has worked for various publishing companies, magazines, newspapers, and literary agencies and has edited the work of authors such as Jerry B. Jenkins and Michelle Medlock Adams. Her column "Hope's Hacks," tips and tricks to avoid writer's block, reaches 6,000+ readers weekly and is featured monthly on Cyle Young's blog. Her modern-day Daniel, Blaze, (Illuminate YA) Den (releasing July 2020), Dear Hero (releasing September 2020), and Dear Henchman (releasing 2021) Find out more about her at her website.