The Book of Baphomet.
An introductory address delivered at the book launch, 4/8/12, Glastonbury, byPete Carroll.
I’d like to begin by looking a little at the life and work of the man who brought the idea of Baphomet to
the modern world,
Alphonse Louis Constant
(February 8, 1810 - May 31, 1875),He trained as a Catholic priest but resigned due to falling in love, he then started to write revolutionarypolitics/theology, for which he got imprisoned twice during the various political crises in mid 19
centuryFrance. After that he began an influential career in esoterics and magic, writing several books and visitingBritain where his ideas would eventually have a great impact on the Golden Dawn.He made a journey from CLERGYMAN, to RADICAL, to MAGUS.
Apart from a little light reading in witchcraft, Levi’s books provided me with my first introduction to
magic.It was largely through the occultists inspired by him that Lévi is remembered as one of the key foundersof the 20th century revival of magic. He came up with four ideas which seem important: -1) Astral Light theory. This departure from straight neo-platonic ideas at least had the virtue of makingpeople think a bit more deeply about how magic might work.2) The Upright and Averse pentagrams as symbols having different meanings.3) The equation between the 22 Trumps of the Tarot and the Hebrew Alphabet and the elements, with thishe opened up a huge field of syncretic speculation.
4)Baphomet, an image worth a thousand words.
This may look a bit Kitsch now, having appeared on rather too many black leather jackets, butthe ideas it appears to represent graphically have had enormous impact, basically Levi hints thatthis image constitutes his vision of God.Levi seems to have written about it in rather guarded, almost milquetoast terms, but remember hehad already got himself imprisoned for writing too plainly about politics.The Image of Baphomet he presents seems to exhibit 7 qualities: -DUALISTIC God-DevilANDROGYNOUS Includes the Female.LUCIFERIC Torch, light bringer, forbidden wisdom.THERIOMORPHIC Half human half animal, Pan-
like, Pagan, incorporates the ‘lower’ selfs’
SEXUALISED Breasts and symbolic penis. Goats as horny/satanic.