But how did this being come about in the first place?
The Goat is known to most occultists from Astrology first developed by the Chaldeans.The Goat symbolizes male fertility, and is known, to even those who peruse the daily astrology columns of the local newspaper, as representing the astrological sign of Capricorn; Dec. 22 to January 22. Capricorn is a combination of both a Goat and and a fish. According to J.E.. Cirlot in his Dictionary of Symbols; this dual aspect refers to the dual tendencies of life towards the abyss ( or water) " or chaos of the beginning of time, and " the heights or mountains " or order and malkuth (the earth) as symbolized by the goat aspect.This is all well and good,but what does old Eliphas Lévi’ have to say about it in his Dogme et Rituel de la haute magie (1855-56 & 61, translated into English by A. E. Waite under the title Transcendental Magic),
"The Pentagram, which in Gnostic schools is called the Blazing Star, is the sign of intellectual omnipotence and autocracy. It is the Star of the Magi; it is the sign of the Word made flesh; and, according to the direction of its points, this absolute magical symbol represents order or confusion, the Divine Lamb of Ormuz and St. John, or the accursed goat of Mendes. It is initiation or profanation; it is Lucifer or Vesper, the star of morning or evening. It is Mary or Lilith, victory or death, day or night. The Pentagram with two points in the ascendant represents Satan as the goat of the Sabbath; when one point is in the ascendant, it is the sign of the Saviour. By placing it in such a manner that two of its points are in the ascendant and one is below, we may see the horns, ears and beard of the hierarchic Goat of Mendes, when it becomes the sign of infernal evocations."
As you can see,a number of entities are associated right off the bat,St John,the goat of Mendes,and even Lucifer and Lilith.then when you add the idea that it is just an old French corruption of the name of Mohammed (which was Latin-ized to “Mahomet”) – the Prophet of Islam,things get very cloudy indeed.You see, during the Crusades, the Knights Templar lived for quite some time in Middle-Eastern countries where they became involved with the teachings of Arabian mysticism.Some say This contact with Eastern civilizations allowed them to bring back to Europe the basics of what would become a large part of western occultism, including Gnosticism, alchemy, Kabbalah and Hermetism. The Templars’ affinity with the Muslims led the Church to accuse them of the worship of an idol named Baphomet.But this, in and of itself is not the whole tale,when you dig deeper you can see that this Goat Headed deity, being formed of both male and female principles, with a Caduceus of Mercury for its phallus,has much to teach us outside of the known tales of the church. One arm points up and one down,with the Latin ' Solve et Coagula' written on them.giving us As above,So below a term loved,used and abused by magicians on the Right and Left side of the playground.
The Order of the Nine Angels see Baphomet as a sinister acausal entity, depicted as a mature, human women, naked from the waist up, who holds in Her hand the bloodied severed head of a young human man. She is the dark, violent, Goddess - the real Mistress of Earth - to whom human sacrifices were, and are, made. She - as one of The Dark Entities, as Vamperess of The Dark Gods,brings death and dark Knowledge in each blood soaked hand.
Arkon Daraul, an author and teacher of Sufi tradition and magic argued that Baphomet came from the Arabic word Abu fihama(t), meaning “The Father of Understanding”. Arkon Daraul, A History of Secret Societies.
Dr. Hugh Schonfield, , developed one of the more interesting theories. Schonfield, who had studied a Jewish cipher called the Atbash cipher, which was used in translating some of the Dead Sea Scrolls, claimed that when one applied the cipher to the word Baphomet, it transposed into the Greek word “Sophia”, which means ” knowledge” and is also synonymous with “goddess”.
Even old man Crowley though that Baphomet was a divine androgyne and "the hieroglyph of arcane perfection": and had this to say In Magick (Book 4) "
The Devil does not exist. It is a false name invented by the Black Brothers to imply a Unity in their ignorant muddle of dispersions. A devil who had unity would be a God... 'The Devil' is, historically, the God of any people who one personally dislikes... This serpent, SATAN, is not the enemy of Man, but He who made Gods of our race, knowing Good and Evil; He bade 'Know Thyself!' and taught Initiation. He is 'The Devil' of the Book of Thoth, and His emblem is BAPHOMET, the Androgyne who is the hieroglyph of arcane perfection... He is therefore Life, and Love. But moreover his letter is ayin, the Eye, so that he is Light; and his Zodiacal image is Capricornus, that leaping goat whose attribute is Liberty.
What is Baphomet? Is it a symbol of Satan,Lucifer,the Freemasons? Or perhaps of spiritual enlightenment? Is it a symbol of good or evil? The answer is simple: It is both.
So much more can be said about this,but for now I will leave you with these thoughts on the mix of Gods,Satan and the symbolism of Baphomet by the old goat himself......
“We don't worship Satan, we worship ourselves using the metaphorical representation of the qualities of Satan. Satan is the name used by Judeo-Christians for that force of individuality and pride within us. But the force itself has been called by many names.We embrace Christian myths of Satan and Lucifer, along with Satanic renderings in Greek, Roman, Islamic, Sumerian, Syrian, Phrygian, Egyptian, Chinese or Hindu mythologies, to name but a few. We are not limited to one deity, but encompass all the expressions of the accuser or the one who advocates free thought and rational alternatives by whatever name he is called in a particular time and land. It so happens that we are living in a culture that is predominantly Judeo-Christian, so we emphasize Satan. If we were living in Roman times, the central figure, perhaps the title of our religion, would be different. But the name would be expressing and communicating the same thing. It's all context.”
― Anton Szandor LaVey, The Secret Life of a Satanist: The Authorized Biography of Anton LaVey
Sorses: Magick (Book 4),Crowley.The Secret Life of a Satanist,LaVey.Arkon Daraul, A History of Secret Societies.Transcendental Magic,Eliphas Lévi’. Dictionary of Symbols,J.E.. Cirlot .http://vigilantcitizen.com/hidden-knowledge/whoisbaphomet.