Baphomet (/ˈbæfoʊmɛt/;[citation needed] from Medieval Latin Baphometh, Baffometi, Occitan Bafometz) is a deity that the Knights Templar were falsely accused of worshipping and that subsequently was incorporated into disparate occult and mystical traditions. The name Baphomet appeared in trial transcripts for the Inquisition of the Knights Templar starting in 1307.[3] It first came into popular English usage in the 19th century during debate and speculation on the reasons for the suppression of the Templars.[4] Since 1856, the name Baphomet has been associated with a "Sabbatic Goat" image drawn by Eliphas Levi[5] which contains binary elements representing the "sum total of the universe" (e.g. male and female, good and evil, on and off, etc.).[6] On one hand, Lévi's intention was to symbolize his concept of "the equilibrium of the opposites" that was essential to his magnetistic notion of the Astral Light; on the other hand, the Baphomet represents a tradition that should result in a perfect social orde


A chronicler of the First Crusade, Raymond of Aguilers, called the mosques Bafumarias.[10] The name Bafometz later appeared around 1195 in the Occitan poems "Senhors, per los nostres peccatz" by the troubadour Gavaudan.[11] Around 1250 a poem bewailing the defeat of the Seventh Crusade by Austorc d'Aorlhac refers to Bafomet.[12] De Bafomet is also the title of one of four surviving chapters of an Occitan translation of Ramon Llull's earliest known work, the Libre de la doctrina pueril.[13] Two Templars burned at the stake, from a French 15th century manuscript. British Library, London. When the medieval order of the Knights Templar was suppressed by King Philip IV of France, on Friday 13 October 1307, Philip had many French Templars simultaneously arrested, and then tortured into confessions. Over 100 different charges had been leveled against the Templars. Most of them were dubious, as they were the same charges that were leveled against the Cathars[14] and many of King Philip's enemies; he had earlier kidnapped Pope Boniface VIII and charged him with near identical offenses of heresy, spitting and urinating on the cross, and sodomy. Yet Malcolm Barber observes that historians "find it difficult to accept that an affair of such enormity rests upon total fabrication".[15] The "Chinon Parchment suggests that the Templars did indeed spit on the cross," says Sean Martin, and that these acts were intended to simulate the kind of humiliation and torture that a Crusader might be subjected to if captured by the Saracens, where they were taught how to commit apostasy "with the mind only and not with the heart".[16] Similarly, Michael Haag[17] suggests that the simulated worship of Baphomet did indeed form part of a Templar initiation ritual

Alternative etymologies

While modern scholars and the Oxford English Dictionary[37] state that the origin of the name Baphomet was a probable Old French version of "Mahomet",[18][31] alternative etymologies have also been proposed. According to Pierre Klossowski in Le Baphomet (1965, Editions Mercure de France, Paris; translated into English by Sophie Hawkes and published as The Baphomet in 1988 by Eridanos Press): "The Baphomet has diverse etymologies… the three phonemes that constitute the denomination are also said to signify, in coded fashion, Basileus philosophorum metaloricum: the sovereign of metallurgical philosophers, that is, of the alchemical laboratories that were supposedly established in various chapters of the Temple. The androgynous nature of the figure apparently goes back to the Adam Kadmon of the Chaldeans, which one finds in the Zohar" (pages 164–165). In the 18th century, speculative theories arose that sought to tie the Knights Templar with the origins of Freemasonry.[38] Bookseller, Freemason and Illuminatus[39] Christoph Friedrich Nicolai (1733–1811), in Versuch über die Beschuldigungen welche dem Tempelherrenorden gemacht worden, und über dessen Geheimniß (1782), was the first to claim that the Templars were Gnostics, and that "Baphomet" was formed from the Greek words βαφη μητȢς, baphe metous, to mean Taufe der Weisheit, "Baptism of Wisdom".[40] Nicolai "attached to it the idea of the image of the supreme God, in the state of quietude attributed to him by the Manichaean Gnostics", according to F. J. M. Raynouard, and "supposed that the Templars had a secret doctrine and initiations of several grades" which "the Saracens had communicated ... to them."[41] He further connected the figura Baffometi with the pentagram of Pythagoras: