There is a tradition regarding the origin of the name Baphomet which deserves recording, even though it is not regarded as authentic, having no present-day proponents.

This tradition regards the name as deriving from “Boubastis” – the Greek name for the Egyptian goddess Bastet, recorded by Herodorus (2.137 ff). It is interesting that Herodotus identifies the goddess with Artemis, the goddess of the moon. Boubastis was regarded as the daughter of Osiris and Isis and often represented as a female with the head of a cat – cats were regarded as sacred to her. Artemis was a goddess unmoved by love and was regarded as Apollo’s twin sister (the identification of her as a ‘moon goddess’ followed naturally from this since Apollo was linked with the sun). Like Apollo, she often sent death and plagues, and was propitiated sometimes with sacrifices.

It is interesting that:

(a) “Boubasteia” is the Pythagorean name for ‘five’ [qv. Iamblicus: Theologumena Arithmeticae, 31] – perhaps a link with the ‘pentagram’?

(b) the Templars, with whom the name Baphomet is associated, were said to have worshiped their deity in the form of a cat.

The tradition recorded above, and the one described in part I, both regard Baphomet as a female divinity – and both are esoteric traditions, hitherto unrecorded. It is possible that both are correct that is, that the actual name Baphomet derives (as mentioned in part I) from the Greek “Baphmhoa”: the prefix referring to being ‘dyed/stained’ or ‘dipped’ in blood. The suffix derives derives from ‘mother’ or ‘mestress’ used in a relligious sense (qv. Iamblicus ‘De Mysteriis’). This name – Baphomet – is thus a descriptive one for the “dark” (i.e. lunar) goddess, to whom sacrifices were made, and which was actually known in former times as ‘Boubastis’ – that is, Bastet, to whom cats were sacred. Thus, Baphomet could be regarded as a form of Artemis/Bastet – a female divinity with a ‘dark’ side or nature (when viewed via conventional morality) to whom sacrifices have been, and continue to be, made. Sinister tradition regards Baphomet as the Bride of Satan/Lucifer – this would fit well since Lucifer is often regarded as a form of Apollo: Artemis is the female form (’sister’) of Apollo. Here, it must be remembered that both Apollo and Artemis were not aetherial, moral and lofty divinities (the classical gods have been romantically misinterpreted) – they could be, and often were, deadly and dark: both ’sinister’ and ‘light’.

Baphomet: A Note on the Name.

September 22, 2009

The name of Baphomet is regarded by Traditional Satanists as meaning “the mistress (or mother) of blood” – the Mistress who sometimes washes in the blood of her foes and whose hands are thereby stained. [See ‘The Ceremony of Recalling’.]

The supposed derivation is from the Greek “Boubastis” and not, as is sometimes said, from”Mhios” (the Attic form for ‘wise’). Such a use of the term ‘Mother/Mistress was quite common in later Greek alchemical writings – for example Iamblichus in “De Mysteriis” used “Mhirisp” to signify a specific type of ‘amalgram’ (and some take this to be a metaphor for the amalgram of Sol with Luna, in the sexual sense).

In the Septenary System, Baphomet, as Mistress of Earth, is linked to the sixth sphere (Jupiter) and the star Deneb. She is thus in one sense a magickal “Earth Gate” (qv. the nine Angles), and Her reflexion (or ‘causal’ nature – as against Her acausal or Sinister nature) is the third sphere (Venus) related to the star Antares. According to esoteric Tradition, the antares aspect was celebrated by rites in Albion c. 3,000 BP – in the middle and toward the end of the month of May and some circles/sacred sites were said to be aligned for Antares. In contrast, the Sinister aspect of the Mistress (i.e. Baphomet) was celebrated in the Autumn and was linked to the rising of Arcturus, Arcturus itself being related to the Sinister male aspect (Mercury – second sphere), later identified with Lucifer/Satan. Thus, the August celebration was a Sinister hierosgamos – the union of Baphomet with Her spouse (or ‘Priest’ who took on the role of the Sinister male aspect). was assumed by the Priestess/Mistress of the cult. Thus, the May celebration was the (re-)birth of new energies (and the child of the Union). tradition relates this Sinister, sacred Arcturian rite as aligned to the rising of Arcturus, over three thousand years ago. In the middle ages, Baphomet came to be regarded as the Bride of Satan – and it is from this time that both ‘Baphomet’ and ‘Satan’, as names for the female and male aspect of the dark side came into use (at least in the secret sinister tradition).

Hence the Traditional depiction of Baphomet – a beautiful mature woman (often shown naked) holding up the severed head of the sacrificed priest (usually shown bearded).

To some extent the Templars revived part of this cult, but without any real esoteric understanding and for their own purposes. They adopted Baphomet as a type of female Yeshua, but with some bloody/sinister aspects – and contrary to most accepted ideas, they were not especially ‘Satanic’. Rather, they saw themselves as holy warriors, and became a military cult with bonds of honour, although their concept of “holy” differed somewhat from that of the church of the time, including as it did dark/Gnostic aspects. Their sacrifices were in battle and not part of a specific rite.

The image of Baphomet (e.g. by Levi) as a hermaphrodite figure are romantic confusions and/or distortions: especially of the symbolic/real union of mistress and priest and his later sacrifice. The same applie to the derivation of the suffix of her name with ‘wisdom’ (and a male image at that.) – even the confused Gnostics understood ‘wisdom’ as female.