The Book of Baphomet.An introductory address delivered at the book launch, 4/8/12, Glastonbury, by Pete 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, Eliphas Lévi, born 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 revolutionary politics/theology, for which he got imprisoned twice during the various political crises in mid 19th century France. After that he began an influential career in esoterics and magic, writing several books and visiting Britain 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 founders of 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 making people 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 this he 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, but the ideas it appears to represent graphically have had enormous impact, basically Levi hints that this image constitutes his vision of God.
Levi seems to have written about it in rather guarded, almost milquetoast terms, but remember he had already got himself imprisoned for writing too plainly about politics.
The Image of Baphomet he presents seems to exhibit 7 qualities: -
ANDROGYNOUS 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.
MAGICAL Caduceus, magical gestures, waxing and waning moon.
SHAMANIC Horned, theriomorphic, wild.
This seemed like just about everything I wanted in a deity!I thus offered it as a central rite of the Pact, in the Mass of Chaos (B).
So where did Levi get the idea from? Well partly from historical myth and legend and partly from his personal feelings and imagination and mysticism one suspects.
The Catholic Church and the French King accused the Templars of Heresy, almost certainly falsely, and their inquisitors threw in all the usual accusations of sex, sorcery, blasphemy, and Baphomet worship.
Occultists admire the Templars on the basis that they might just have actually had a taste for sex and blasphemy and maybe magic. However their actual sin as far as western Christendom was concerned was LOOSING THE HOLY LAND, following their disastrous defeat at Hattin.
The accusation of Baphomet worship arose from a mispronunciation, Muhammad = Mohamed = Mahomet = Baphomet. The crusaders imagined that the Moslems worshipped some mad primitive savage deity/devil, and it seemed that their deity was beating ours.
The Templars were really accused of going native and sympathizing with the Islamic enemy. The blasphemy accusations arose because part of their training involved getting prepared to appear to renounce their faith if captured. The Vatican has recently accepted this.
All gods and all religions and all magical traditions get cobbled together out of bits and pieces of previous traditions. It’s all syncretic, scholarship confirms this, and Chaos Magic adopts it as a guiding principle without apology or evasion.
So, starting with Levi’s drawing, what have modern esotericists done with Baphomet?
DUALISTIC ANDROGYNOUS LUCIFERIC THERIOMORPHIC
SEXUALISED MAGICAL SHAMANIC + GAIANISTIC
They have added GAIA, a sense of the sacredness of the Biosphere and Ecology, Life on Earth.
And that makes a rather pleasing Eight!
This new book by Nikki Ward and Julian Vayne resumes the fascinating history of the development of the concept of Baphomet from its earliest historical mention through its development by Levi and then to the cutting edge of its current manifestation.
Their brave and audacious exploration of the modern Baphometic current using full-on eroto-gnosis and extreme chemo-gnosis creates a tale which is destined to enter into esoteric legend.
I commend this book to you.
For some years I served as Treasurer to the Bristol Branch of UKIP, my first ever membership of a political party. I joined for several reasons, partly because EU regulatory red tape has started to create idiotic problems for my business without bringing any benefits, but mainly because I didn’t want to see my country subsumed within a developing Synarchist Totalitarianism, or to have to open its already overcrowded shores to uncontrolled immigration. I attended the triumphalist conference after the 2004 European parliament elections but left after the 2005 Westminster general election campaign. I had three reasons for doing so.
Firstly I don’t think the UKIP MEPs should take the enemy EU shilling. They should not draw any form of salary or expenses, for to do so means compromising and corrupting themselves. Yet their policy of stunts and buffoonery in the EU ‘parliament’ seems perfectly appropriate for a virtually powerless sham parliament that exists merely as a fig leaf for the democratic deficit of the EU. They should seek funding from the UKIP membership or simply keep their day jobs. MEPs have almost nothing of any significance that they can actually do anyway. If UKIP had had such a policy it would not have ended up with crooks and spivs standing for MEP election.
Secondly I deplored the strategic error of contesting far too many Westminster seats in the 2005 general election. This simply destroyed the funds I had spent a lot of time gathering and adding to personally, without applying any significant electoral pressure to the Conservative party whatsoever. The British people seem happy to vent their anger at the EU by sending a two fingered message in the form of a dozen UKIP MEPs, but they remain unwilling to have such buffoonery in Westminster.
Thirdly, and most importantly for me, I found the attempts by UKIP to develop a manifesto policy on the environment lazy, scientifically illiterate, and terrifyingly myopic. Well maybe one doesn’t expect much intellectually from a party that has had to adopt a right-wing-populist agenda to gets its euro-skepticism across, but its Friday, 13th manifestoes of April 2012 stoop to new depths of contemptible short sighted populism on the subject of ‘Planning for our green and pleasant land’
It includes such gems as: -
“Ban new wind farms and subject existing ones to democratic local planning procedures,
Build new power plants to secure our energy supply,
Close the Climate Change Department saving up to £18billion a year,
End wasteful UK subsidies to ugly, cost ineffective ‘renewable energy’ scams,
Stop all payments to the Intergovernmental Climate Change Panel and other UN climate-related agencies.”
Humanity now faces the tragedy of having Too Much Fossil Fuel with the discovery of the deep gas and the oil shale reserves. This doesn’t actually seem all that surprising, this planet doesn’t naturally have an oxygen atmosphere, free oxygen exists solely because millions of years of photosynthetic activity have liberated it and buried the carbon whist doing so. This planet holds enough fossil fuel to consume all the atmospheric oxygen and if we don’t stop burning it soon the planet will trap ever more energy and the climate will go really crazy, we can look forwards to rising sea levels and severe rain flooding alternating with scorching droughts, welcome to a new dinosaur age.
Both my daughters study ecology at degree and doctoral levels, the evidence for anthropic climate change and mass-species extinction remains increasingly impossible to deny, both they and I remain severely concerned for their futures.
UKIP does not take its nimbyism far enough, okay so most people would rather not have wind turbines and solar panels all over the place, but do they really want an unstable climate, ruined agriculture, resource wars raging all over the world, and climate refugees in their backyard instead?
Weaning ourselves off fossil fuels will have its costs, particularly if Britain’s competitors do not follow suit till later, but Britain should have the courage to make some sacrifices for the future and to set an example. In the longer term, renewable energy technology developed with the customary British genius for science, engineering and innovation will provide an invaluable export commodity.
The current UKIP stance on the environment sounds like cowardly appeasement, oh this carbon dioxide thingy is nothing to worry about, it might be nice to have the place a bit warmer, let the carbon giants get on with it, they pay the bills and keep the trains running, it will all blow over eventually…….
Well no it won’t. It will get bloody serious and threaten our way of life in these green and pleasant lands if we don’t stand up and show a bit of Churchillian foresight and backbone.
Saturday and off to Glastonbury for the Book of Baphomet book launch. Decided to go a bit early and inspect glasto itself, it has rather a lot of mystical supermarkets and galleries, catering it would seem, largely to the tourist and pilgrimage trade, I can hardly imagine the local hippys and pagans managing to consume a fraction of the merchandise on offer. Some of the stuff on offer seemed totally OTT to a mage that just carries but a simple self-made wooden pocket wand. Just how much extra belief can you invest in a two foot long silver chased bar of machined quartz encrusted with half a pound of exotic semi-precious stones?
Anyway, I acquired a copy of Phil Bakers book on Austin Osman Spare http://strangeattractor.co.uk/shoppe/austin-osman-spare-2/ having read such glowing reviews of it on Arcanorium College www.arcanoriumcollege.com , and indeed it makes for a very informative read, it seems stylishly written and deeply researched, and really gives the flavour of the brilliant crazy old rogue and wizard, and his life and times. It also clears up certain misconceptions that have crept into more popular accounts of his life and work.
The Book of Baphomet book launch went well, Julian Vayne and Nikki Wyrd played their promo videos and then spoke about their work and book and I gave a bit of background to the development of the Baphomet concept since Levi. The guests included the extraordinary Orryelle Defenestrate Bascule with whom I spent some time, rather like Genesis P Orridge he sports a weird riotous fairground sort of appearance yet beneath the showmanship lies a serious alternative philosopher, we have exchanged publications and established lines of communication.
Thence to Druidry Grove on Sunday for some rather quieter reflective ritual work, and the usual philosophical salon with the Proff.
Refreshingly, during the entire 11 hours of these events nobody at all even mentioned the Olympics once.
In case they had done so I came prepared with my hound's results across Llangenith sands, she would have won the 100m rather easily, and almost reached a seagul before it lifted off, must discourage such behaviour.
Firstly a number of interesting items from some of my friends and colleagues: -
Dave Lee’s new novel, The Road to Thule. A rollicking tale of futuristic post apocalypse Wodenist society replete with strange science and sorcery, plenty of sex and violence, surprising storyline, fascinating characters, all in all; a book in a genre all of its own, you don’t come across anything like this very often. Niche critical acclaim already calls for a prequel and a sequel. Lets hope Dave obliges.
Dave has also blogged an interesting essay on a recent talk he gave: -
Nikki Wyrd and Julian Vane have just released The Book of Baphomet
I had the privilege of reading the draft of this astonishing work, hence on the back cover it says:
“An excellent read, consisting as it does of such a wealth of
information, research, anecdote, experience and vision” - Peter J Carroll.
I might also add that it also contains some remarkable work by its authors with sex magic and heroic chemognosis, so obtain a copy now, perchance it should become banned.
Secondly, EPOCH, The Esotericon and Portals of Chaos, proceeds well, it should eventually consist of about 50 large images on cards which the magician can use for cartomancy, but which we have primarily designed as altarpieces as foci for Evocation and Invocation, plus a book containing three Grimoires for Elemental, Planetary and Stellar magic, this last appears as an updated Necronomicon. Matt Kabryn and I, assisted by the Staff and Alumni of Arcanorium College, should have this ready in about a year. I’m making statues of the entities involved for use in ritual work, and to assist the graphics effort. Attached see Hastur.
Jose Manuel Barroso, head of some apparently important part of the hydra like EU Totalitarian Synarchy has just said that 'Britain will reduce(?) itself to the level of Norway or Switzerland if it leaves the EU'.
Is that a threat or a promise?
Just think about it for a moment........
Hurrah, oh yes, please yes, bring it on Jose!
With reference to the previous post about the Higgs, my thanks for all the supportive emails from fellow skeptics. The Hyperbole in the upmaket press about the 'discovery' of 'The God Particle' has wildly exceeded even the over-egging that CERN gave their meagre result. Apparently the title 'God Particle' arose from a publishers decision to reject the title for a book about the hunt for it provisionally titled 'The Goddamn Particle'. So now it enters the popular imagination and the rickety cannon of scientific orthodoxy as a given, along with that other huge leap of questionable asumptions that constitute the standard big bang inflationary expanding and now accelerating expanding universe/multiverse? hypotheses.
We now have a very messy and questionable result which the particle jockeys will undoubtedly use to justify much more funding and which will keep the theorists writing speculative papers.
On a lighter note, since nobody can quite decide whether to attribute the entire idea to Peter Higgs or whether the idea that a boson should exist as a consequence of a mass-giving field represents a group effort, we should perhaps consider calling the 125GeV signal 'The Europarticle'.
The Europarticle, like its monetary equivalent, seems based upon dubious theory, it has cost a fortune and kept vast numbers of people busy collaborating on it, and it shows every indication of falling apart very quickly, plus it has failed to create unity (between quantum and relativistic models).
Based on the energies involved and its apparently bosonic characteristics, I'd like to enter my best guess for posterity, think the elusive once in a trillion 125GeV signal probably represents just a couple of Z bosons stuck together momentarily.
Higgs or Not?
Today’s announcement from CERN does not send me scuttling off to eat the relevant pages of The Apophenion and The Octavo as I promised to do if the Higgs mechanism proves correct.
The CERN announcement, like many before it, seems to have a whiff of desperation about it, almost as if they need to justify their activities and maintain the excitement before the impending particle physics conference in Melbourne and another lengthy shutdown of the LHC.
The search for the Higgs boson has led to one of the most expensive and messiest series of experiments in history.
They appear to have evidence of some sort of a particle with an energy around 125GeV. However this particle only appears once every few trillion collisions and we can only infer its fleeting existence from its decay products as it only lasts for a vanishingly short time. This particle could well consist of a composite entity like a top-antitop meson rather than a truly new fundamental particle.
I have severe reservations about the Higgs Mechanism for many reasons: -
1) The Higgs Mechanism evolved to explain the surprisingly large masses of the W and Z bosons of the weak interaction compared to the mass of the photon which theoretically has a zero mass even though it carries momentum and energy. Theorists have attempted to extend the Higgs mechanism to explain the masses of all other particles with mass. The Higgs boson does not in itself confer the property of mass upon other particles. According to the theory of the Higgs mechanism, particles acquire mass through interacting with the Higgs field, their mass then simply represents the extent to which they couple with the field. The Higgs boson itself doesn’t normally manifest in nature, supposedly it only appears fleetingly when we supply enough energy to the omnipresent Higgs field for one to pop into existence.
2) We already have a most excellent theory of mass called General Relativity, this describes mass as spacetime curvature. Most importantly it includes both the inertial and gravitational components of mass. In Newtonian theory these two components just appear as co-incidentally identical. In General Relativity their fundamental equivalence forms the cornerstone of the theory itself. The Sat Nav system validates GR on a daily basis; it simply wouldn’t work properly if it didn’t account for the curvature of spacetime around this planet.
3) The Higgs mechanism can only perhaps explain the inertial component of mass, but not only does it fail to explain gravity but it ignores the fundamental equivalence principle of GR. In a Higgs based universe gravity would have to have some other mechanism, presumably the emission and absorption of so called ‘virtual’ gravitons. This would then require that mass carrying particles mysteriously coupled with the Higgs field and the graviton field in EXACTLY the same way, despite that the apparently massless photons remain subject to gravity.
4) Basically the attempt by particle physicists to explain mass and gravity with the same sort of Gauge Force model they use for electromagnetic interactions seems highly questionable, and the Higgs mechanism remains very far from proved.
You may well wonder why I bother with all this physics stuff, well as I explain in my books, my current Magical Theory also makes certain predictions about the structure of spacetime and particle physics in terms of a 3D time metric, and if these become falsified I'll have to build another magical theoretical framework.
Following a number of heated debates with my eldest who has gone native after marrying a fine Scot, I've taken a lot more notice of the arguments about Scottish Independence.
I'm all for the gloriously bogus Tartan Romanticism myself, castles, kilts, mountains, broadswords, haggis, Burns, the skrill of the bagpipes, love all that stuff.
However economically it doesn't make a lot of obvious sense. Politically, Scotland has become tainted by a subsidy induced sense of socialism which it probably cannot afford to maintain unless it gets ownership of all the North Sea oil and gas revenues.
Macro-politically, Scotland already has it both ways with a voice in Westminster and its own Parliament. That Westminster Parliament may soon allow us all a referendum on leaving the ghastly EU and we shall probably say yes to that.
And where does that leave Scotland? Hankering after an EU membership? Well they can have ours if they want one.
Arcanorium College announces its program for Semsters 6 and 7. www.arcanoriumcollege.com
Semester 6. Jun 15th - Jul 28th
Pete, Elder Gods
Hyperritual, Measuring Magic
Semester 7. ~Aug 6th - ~Sept 14th
Tadhq, Knights of Chaos 3.
Andriehvitimus, Chaos Vodoun
In Semester 6 I invite Staff and Members to asist in the creation of a Necronomicom worthy of the name, so far nothing in the field strikes me as entirely good enough. As this planet's premier magical institution we have the capability and the responsibility to do so, whatever the casualties.
Whilst the rest of the world is preocupied with watching the London Olympics on television the Knights of Chaos will mount a third annual campaign to save the biosphere and human civilisation by deploying sorcery against those forces striving to destroy them. Every little helps. Willing Wands Welcome, apply to Arcanorium College online, as above.
Personally I find the Olympics tiresome, when you start taking sport too seriously it first becomes absurd and then grotesque, and berift of any sense of fun or sportsmanship. I may however give the ladies beach volleyball a few moments of attention, that looks like fun, and basically who cares who wins? The best time to see London incidentally, is in the 1970s, a slightly down at heel bohemian place full of Hippys and old bookshops. Since then the place has become poisoned by too much money. I used to crash in sleeping bags in properties that now fetch more than a million quid each.
I just re-noticed Dave Lee's review of The Octavo. http://chaotopia-dave.blogspot.co.uk/2011/02/octavo-by-peter-j-carroll-review.html
Plenty of good cheer this week, married off my eldest daughter to a fine scotsman, dog bit my sporran mistaking it for a badger, it probably once was a badger, otherwise a splendid day. The anti-rain spell worked despite an averse forecast, we had a brief flurry of snow to accompany the sunshine, white wedding in May! I returned to find that my mandrakes have sprouted from seed as had the canarian dragon tree, this may take 300 years to mature but the project to repopulate southwest england with mandrakes may only take a decade or two.
I notice that my seminal earlier blog on Designer Religion has now achieved 1,000 reads. Perhaps this calls for a franchise operation.
The Dark Matter absence seems to be causing some serious head scratching amongst our cosmologists, and the chances of the Higgs existing seems to receede with every passing spin of the LHC. The standard models of cosmology and particle physics look set for drastic revision, hooray.
There remains some danger that the Euro and the EU may survive though. We must have the courage to accept the short term consequences of their collapse and welcome destruction, for otherwise europe will condemn itself to a Synarchist Totalitarianism run by an unelected oligarchy of faceless bureaucrats that we have no power to deselect, and who will expand their regulatory powers beyond all apparent sense and reason until they have achieved their actual goal of Arbitary Power. SCREW THE EU.
Saturday 26th May marks Apophenia's Birthday, prepare rituals, lay in plenty of chocolate.
Ahem, yes well I did predict that some time ago and wrote it up in The Apophenion and The Octavo.
Half-crazed wizards can take speculative risks denied to career scientists.
See the VHC paper on this site. Vo = (Gm/r - rA)^1/2 sorts the galactic rotation just fine with a small adjustment to orbital velocity due to the Anderson decelleration.
BTW the universe has never expanded and no big bang occured either, we inhabit a vorticitating hypersphere of a universe, finite and unbounded in both space and time. Don't expect the Higgs boson to appear either, Mass = Spacetime Curvature, not a gauge field effect.
St George's day will probably pass more or less unnoticed as usual, since our phyrric victory in WW2 and our loss of empire and superpower status we haven't really done patriotism with any enthusiasm.
Our Illiberal Dimocrats want a fully elected House of Lords, the hereditary principle seems indefensible as does the automatic inclusion of the bishops of what has become a marginal religion. The other parties want to retain the right to appoint lords to the 'upper' house to preserve their influence there.
I have a far more radical idea. If democracy works through a system of checks and balances then what we actually need is a non-democratic check on democracy itself. The monarchy no longer really provides this. Thus we should have a RANDOMLY SELECTED upper house. A few hundred people picked at random off the electoral rolls with absolute power of veto over parliament. After all we trust this principle in our courts of law, twelve citizens at random for the jury, to moderate the power of the judiciary.
Such an upper house would contain a representative selection of all age and income groups and sexes by virtue of its randomness.
Let us hope that Francois Hollande wins in France. His policies display the usual economic illiteracy of socialism but they do have the virtue that they will hasten the breakup of the single currency and hopefully the entire cursed European Union.
With the Esotericon now moving at a fair pace towards its final shape, and the accompanying Portals of Chaos Deck half done, we have finally accepted the challenge of fully entering the Mythos of the Elder Gods using the tools and perspectives of Ritual Chaos Magic in the hope of recovering a proper Necronomicon for its final chapter. An instrument for recovering dangerous knowledge from the depths of the entire panpsychic universe.
We note with some amusement that the first spell in our first book, Liber Null , actually read I wish to obtain the Necronomicon , given as a lighthearted example of how to use the Austin Spare sigil making technique, as the whole Necronomicon idea seemed a bit fanciful at the time, now however, a quarter of a century down the line it seems that the spell may have actually done something, so, 'conjure long' as they say.
After 40 years of slaving over a hot pentacle we hope to have enough sanity points to carry this venture through, the lore clues seem to develop with our investigations, see below: -
Lovecraft's original handrawn form of the Elder Sign may possibly indicate a bind rune of:
Algiz, a somewhat mysterious rune variously interpreted over history as Elk, Elk-God (Horned God?) Protection, or Life.
Ansuz, The Aesir (Gods) but both reversed and mirror imaged, somehow oddly appropriate.
Laguz, Lake or Ocean, reversed.
Derleth's description of the Elder Sign as 'a distorted five pointed star' may actually prove strangely compatible with this in a sense, for if we represent the Lovecraft sign with 10 lines then it becomes topologicaly foldable into both a pentagram inscribed within a pentagon, and also into the more or less topologicaly isomorphic figure of the pentachoron which constitutes the first regular 4 dimensional hypersolid. (Imagine it in 3 dimensions as a tetrahedron with 4 additional edges meeting at a fifth point in its centre, a strangely distorted five pointed star indeed when viewed in only 2 or 3 dimensions.)
Thus we can perhaps regard the Lovecraft Elder Sign as an unfolded pentagram-pentagon and/or an unfolded pentachoron. In the aether a folded antenna usually works about the same as a flat one.