Speak of the Devil

Modern drawings and other depictions of the devil originated from the ancient Greek god, Pan. His body had human form from the waist up, but it looked like a goat from there downwards. He also had horns and some say a short tail.

The Greeks associated him with orgies and sexual pleasure of all kinds, especially male lust. Is it little wonder then, that later on, the early Christian church decided to make his appearance its symbol of total evil?

Did You Know?

Why is Friday the 13th considered an unlucky day? It's because of the Knights Templar.

King Philip IV of France issued his famous command to destroy the Knights and their order on Friday, October 13, 1307. His most damning charge against them was that they engaged in Baphomet worship.

Ever since that day, Friday the 13th has been considered the unluckiest of days. Well, it certainly was for the unfortunate Knights Templar!

The Baphomet Cult & His Followers Through Their Long History

Even Since Ancient Times, the Cult of Baphomet Has Survived, Possibly to the Present Day

The giant, horned goat-looking creature, half man, half beast has come to symbolize evil in almost all the cultures of the western world. Even in the east, many societies see malevolence in this type of creature. As the Tarot cards clearly show (see right), this beast almost universally represents Satan or the devil.

Like all such images, this "picture" didn't come out of nowhere. It actually has a long and interesting history, going back as far as 4800 years, culminating in the worship of a mythical god called Baphomet. Gods of evil have borne this look throughout the ages. Nowadays, such "demons" are as easy to recognize as a famous celebrity.

Why is this so? To answer to this question, let's take a trip back in time past four millennia, to the land of ancient Egypt and the great dynasties of the Pharos. Egypt built the earliest "civilization" known today and created the oldest written mythology of gods and goddesses worshiped by peoples of any western kingdom. Today, we know this mythology through their hieroglyphics, early Egyptian writing, in their monuments and pyramids.

Baphomet-Like Cult in Ancient Egypt Thrived on the Nile Delta

The goat-headed god of Mendes—the Greek name for the ancient city of Djedet, Egypt—was depicted with a goat's face and legs.

The Greek writer Herodotus relates that all male goats were held in great reverence by the Mendesians, and in that time and place, women were known to publicly copulate with goats.

In around 1900, the British historian E. A. Wallis Budge wrote:

At several places in the [Nile River] Delta, e.g. Hermopolis, Lycopolis, and Mendes, the god Pan and a goat were worshipped [some said] in these places goats had intercourse with women, and Herodotus instances a case which was said to have taken place in the open day. The Mendesians [reportedly] paid reverence to all goats, and more to the males than to the females, and particularly to one he-goat, on the death of which public mourning is observed throughout the whole Mendesian district; they call both Pan and the goat Mendes, and both were worshipped as gods of generation and fecundity. Diodorus  compares the cult of the goat of Mendes with that of Priapus [god of the erect penis], and groups the god with the Pans and the Satyrs [Greek goat-man gods]. The goat referred to by all these writers is the famous Mendean Ram, or Ram of Mendes, the cult of which was [reportedly] established by Kakau, the king of the IInd dynasty [second dynasty of ancient Egypt, about 4800 years ago].

In other words, the worship of goat gods was common early in ancient Egypt, in at least one city, Djedet (later called Mendes) in the Nile delta and probably many others as well. Whether it actually originated there is unknown. However, we do know that sexually charged goat/phallic worship spread rapidly across Egypt. Later, it moved from that culture into ancient Greece and much of the known world at that time. The cult had many common elements, including gods that were half-man, half goat, varied sexual rites of intercourse with women and worship of the male sex organ (phallic worship). Even Osiris, one of the greatest of Egyptian gods, had the head and horns of a goat.

Pictures of Baphomet through the ages:

Left - Ancient Egyptian depiction,

Right - Baphomet as the Celtic goddess
Brigid, "The Bride"

The Ancient Greeks Loved Their Many Horny Goat Gods, Creatures & Myths

Herodotus and Diodorus were only two of several ancient Greek historians who wrote about goat gods and myths that existed in Greece from around 3000 years ago and onward. In fact, one of the most worshipped and loved of the Greek gods of that time was Pan, whose top half was human with horns, but his bottom half was all goat (see right).

The Greeks also believed in legendary creatures called Satyrs, similar in appearance to Pan, who were continually giving in to their sexual desires. Even the god of orgies and parties, Dionysus, was often shown with horns. Pan also was a pretty "horny" guy himself and was said to have had sex with hundreds of human women. During the four centuries before the birth of Christ and even later, the Pan cult flourished.

Interestingly, the Greeks never associated these gods with evil. However, their rampant sexuality was taken for granted. It was imitated and even condoned. Pan and friends were direct descendants of the goat gods of ancient Egypt. Almost always their worship and celebrations consisted of public orgies with any of the following activities: rape, bi-sexuality, pedophilia and bestiality (usually with goats or rams). Here lies the origin or our word "pansexual," that is, being into just about any kind of sex! Rumors abounded that in many places such rites even demanded human sacrifice, often accompanied by sexual intercourse and sometimes necrophilia. By modern standards, Pan was the ultimate sex god. He symbolized male lust run rampant.

In fact, the ancient Greeks in the Classical and early Hellenistic eras (circa 500 to 100 BCE) and earlier were famous for allowing and even publicly enjoying a variety of different kinds of sex. However, nowadays, most people would consider this kind of "pansexuality" to be horrific. The Greeks in those days seemed to live in a moral world apart from almost everyone else.

Times do change, and so did the Greeks. Shortly after the Roman Empire conquered the known world (including the Greeks around 150 BCE), the Pan cult started to tame or go underground. As much as the ancient Romans loved orgies and the like, the lusty rites of Pan were often just too much for them to condone.

Enter the Christian Church: During the Dark Ages & Middle Ages, Pan Aged As Well

By 312 CE, the Roman Empire officially became Christian, and the early Church rapidly banished whatever was left of worshiping Pan and his friends into the caves, literally underground. Graffiti left on the walls of the Roman catacombs and grottoes (tunnels and caves beneath cities) show evidence to this day that worship of a goat god continued, complete with many "kinky" types of orgies. Early Christians, seeing the same drawings, were shocked and labeled such practices as "grotto-esque," the origin of the word "grotesque."

The Church soon finished what the Romans had started. Pan or anything like him was declared definitely and officially evil. As the influence of the Church continued and spread after the Roman Empire fell during the 500s, such pagan practices not only went out of fashion but could easily turn a Pan follower into human barbecue. Such "pagans" as they were called, were often burned at the stake by church order.

During the Dark Ages (around 500 to 1000 CE), Europe convulsed with the invasions of "barbarians" from the outside, like the Goths, as well as the resurgence of "pagans" from the inside, like the Celts. Finally, as Christianity prevailed over the whole continent, all public practice of pagan rites ended. Still, invaders and others brought their own religions with them. Interestingly, most of these religions had their own horned gods, like Cernnunos, Asmodeus, Herne the Hunter, Tammuz and Damuzi, "The Green Man." Even the Muslims brought in their own version of the devil, Shaitan. These pagan or non-Christian figures had so much in common that eventually "Pannism" matured, evolved and soon became pan-European. Religious rites dedicated to such gods were common, though underground, throughout Europe during the Middle Ages, for example, among the Gypsies.

The photo below shows a modern re-enactment of such a pagan rite during the Middle Ages. There is definite Celtic influence, and the rites were typically outdoors, involved worshiping a horned sex/fertility god and demanded some kind of sacrifice. At that time the sacrifice was usually animal, though there were always rumors of some human sacrifice in remote areas of Europe. The photo below shows the celebration of the Celtic holiday and rite of Imbolc on February 1.

According to St. Bede, an English historian of the period (around 700 CE), many ceremonial practices of paganism were frequently "baptized," that is, brought into the church. As long as the pagan followers gave up idols, orgies, sacrifices and the like, and then accepted Christianity, the church accepted many of their rites and holidays. Bede wrote:

The temples of the idols in that nation ought not to be destroyed; but let the idols that are in them be destroyed; let holy water be made and sprinkled in the said temples, let altars be erected, and relics placed. For if those temples are well built, it is requisite that they be converted from the worship of devils to the service of the true God ... And because they have been used to slaughter many oxen in the sacrifices to devils, some solemnity must be exchanged for them on this account ... but kill cattle to the praise of God ... For there is no doubt that it is impossible to efface everything at once from their obdurate [stubborn] minds; because he who endeavors to ascend to the highest place, rises by degrees or steps, and not by leaps.

In other words Christianity adopted much of pagan practice from the other peoples of Europe. For example, Christmas was originally a pagan holiday honoring the winter solstice. The Church simply adopted the holiday as the "birthday of Jesus." The Celtic holiday Samhain (nowadays called Halloween) was transformed into "All Saints Day." This general practice had two major results for the "goat god" followers:

  • As discussed earlier, paganism influenced the church. By 500 CE, almost all Christian pictures of the devil  bore an interesting resemblance to Pan or his ancient "divine relatives."
  • The underground pagan "Pannists" realized that their goat god had counterparts in many if not all the different religions that came into Europe during this period.

To mainstream Christians the "horned goat god" became the very picture of evil. To holdout pagans, the Greek god Pan was changing into something broader and more universal than just an ancient Greek myth and an excuse for fun, bizarre orgies.

The Order of the Knights Templar: Did They Also Crusade for Baphomet?

During 1096, Pope Urban II ordered the first Crusade with the purpose of retaking Palestine from the rule of Turkish Muslims. Shortly afterward, the pope also created the special Order of the Knights Templar to help protect Christian pilgrims (travelers) on their way to Jerusalem.

With the pope's blessing and promises of absolution from sins, the order quickly grew. Aristocratic knights nights from all over Europe flocked to join the new "army."

The Knights Templar (see right for a picture of such a knight on his way to the Holy Land) were famous for many things. Their connection with everything from Freemasonry to modern conspiracy theories has inspired volumes of books and popular novels.

The Crusades lasted for almost 300 years. but the Knights Templar only made it for about 200. The order started out poor and idealistic, but as it quickly became more powerful in the church and European society of its time, it changed. The organization grew wealthy and often corrupt. Their riches and power became the envy of all aristocratic Europe.

Possibly because its members traveled widely across three continents, they encountered a vast number of beliefs and religions different from mainstream European Christianity, for example, the Gypsies or Romani people, who were openly pagan.

Strong historical evidence suggests that large numbers of them did convert to different religions, though this accusation is still controversial. Much scholarship also points to the evolution and maturing, by around 1150, of goat-god or Pan worship into a more universal god and system of beliefs. This "new paganism" of that time spread throughout Europe but obviously remained secret and underground. Beliefs and worship in this  version of the old deities represented to its devotees humankind's vital link to nature and natural impulses. Followers came up with a new name for this version of the old Pan-like gods. In whispered tones, they called him Baphomet.

The origin of the word "Baphomet" is unclear, but the earliest known reference to it is from the notes of a member of the Knights Templar, in 1098, the crusader Anselm of Ribemont:

As the next day dawned, they called loudly upon Baphomet while we prayed silently in our hearts to God; then we attacked and forced all of them outside the city walls ...

He never said who "they" were. Could they have been the enemy? Or were they some of his fellow Knights Templar or crusaders turned pagan? His text is not clear.

Evidence suggests that the Baphomet following grew during the 1100s, possibly fueled with help from the Knights Templar. By 1200, references to Baphomet were appearing in writings all over Europe, by church advocates railing against the religion. The few pictures that remain show him as the traditional goat-headed horned devil figure. Apparently, the god's makeover didn't extend to appearance.

As rumors spread and panic grew, it seemed that a new enemy of Christianity had popped up during this time, right in the middle of European culture. His name was Baphomet. The church soon began going to great lengths to stamp out his followers. After 1200, evidence of trials and executions of accused "Baphomet worshippers" appeared all over Europe for the next hundred years.

This mass "witch hunt" exploded into open warfare in October 1307. King Philip IV of France had, for many years, been growing envious of the Knights Templar's wealth and power. When word of "Baphometism" among the ranks of the Knights spread dramatically in France during that year, this rumor was all the king needed. He went to Pope Clement V and had their order condemned. On October 13 of that year, the king moved swiftly and secretly to eradicate the order and seize most of their wealth.

There were battles everywhere in France, but the Knights Templar were no match for the French Army. Within a few years, the movement to eradicate the Knights spread to almost all of Europe, and only a few of them escaped. The charge of Baphomet worship was the most damning complaint against them and caused many to be burned at the stake, including their French leader, Jacques De Molay.

Some writings say that, just before his execution in 1314, De Molay cursed Philip in the name of Baphomet, predicting he would die within a year. Of course, onlookers and church leaders laughed and scoffed. However, King Philip definitely did not have the last laugh. As if to confirm the curse, he died in 1315.

After this series of mass executions, the very mention of the word "Baphomet" could be cause for trial, imprisonment or worse. Once more, the goat-man religion, even with its new name and more universal god, went totally underground and disappeared from sight in mainstream Europe. Some evidence of a few brave, secretive holdouts remains. However, the power of the church reigned supreme. It effectively hid and marginalized the worship of Baphomet as a movement and religion for the next 500 years.

Frenchman Eliphas Lévi Restored Baphomet Worship in the 1800s & Gave Him Respectability Plus Much Better PR

The five centuries before 1800 were not kind to Baphomet or his followers. However, all of this changed in the 1800s. The church and government in Europe were no longer executing occult followers, and men of intellect were able to think freely. Kings, queens and parliaments even allowed occultists to write and publish their beliefs. The first and most important of the men to take advantage of this new freedom lived in late nineteenth-century Paris. He name was Eliphas Lévi (born Alphonse Louis Constant, 1810 - 1875).

Lévi (see the photo below and on the right) entered training for the priesthood early in life but quickly became disillusioned by Christianity and gave it up. He later pursued several spiritual pathways that only brought him to dead ends.

Having given up the Christian religion, Lévi still yearned for spirituality. This quest drove him to find another faith. In 1818, the name Baphomet had appeared publicly, for the first time in the nineteenth century, in an essay by the Viennese Orientalist Joseph Freiherr von Hammer-Purgstall. He sought to use Baphomet to condemn the Knights Templar and by extension, the Freemasons. Though Hammer-Purgstall was later discredited for using faked evidence, Lévi discovered Baphomet through his writings and started doing some research of his own.

Of course, these studies led him to learn of Baphomet's long and fascinating history. Lévi realized that since 1818, the name of Baphomet had become further associated with the occult and gathered a sizeable following. Soon Lévi became convinced that Baphomet represented the essence of the spirituality he was seeking.

Then, in 1853, Lévi visited England, where he met the novelist Edward Bulwer-Lytton, who was interested in Rosicrucianism as a literary theme. Bulwer-Lytton was also the president of a minor Rosicrucian order. Lévi studied Rosicrucianism and was fascinated by its systematic occultism, much of which he adopted himself. However, Lévi yearned for a divinity, someone or something to replace the "god" he had lost. He wanted the type of organized belief system offered by Rosicrucianism but with a touch of the divine.

Lévi's first treatise on magic appeared early in 1854 under the title Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie, and was translated into English by Arthur Edward Waite as Transcendental Magic, Its Doctrine and Ritual. The book's famous opening lines present the essential themes of modern occultism:

Behind the veil of all the hieratic and mystical allegories of ancient doctrines, behind the darkness and strange ordeals of all initiations, under the seal of all sacred writings, in the ruins of Nineveh or Thebes, on the crumbling stones of old temples and on the blackened visage of the Assyrian or Egyptian sphinx, in the monstrous or marvelous paintings which interpret to the faithful of India the inspired pages of the Vedas, in the cryptic emblems of our old books on alchemy, in the ceremonies practiced at reception by all secret societies, there are found indications of a doctrine which is everywhere the same and everywhere carefully concealed.

In this book, he included a frontispiece image (see the artwork on the right below) he had drawn himself, which he described as Baphomet, "The Sabbatic Goat," showing a winged humanoid goat with a pair of breasts and a torch on its head between its horns. This image has become the modern world's best-known representation of Baphomet.

Lévi's haute magie (transcendental magic) found great success and kept on gaining adherents even after his death in 1875. The recently growing popularity of spiritualism (channeling the dead) on both sides of the Atlantic after the 1850s contributed to this success. Lévi's magical teachings were free from obvious fanaticisms, even though their exact formulations were murky and unclear.

Interestingly, Lévi had nothing to sell and did not pretend to be the initiate of some ancient or personally created secret society. He incorporated Tarot cards into his magical system, and as a result, the Tarot has been an important part of the paraphernalia of Western magicians ever since.

Lévi was also the first to declare that a pentagram or five-pointed star with one point down and two points up represents evil, while a pentagram with one point up and two points down represents good. Because of the occultists inspired by Lévi, he was one of the key persons who began the modern revival of occult magic. His occult renaissance extended through the twentieth century and into contemporary times.

Lévi considered Baphomet to be a depiction of the absolute forces of nature in symbolic form and explained in detail his drawing's symbolism. He wrote:

The goat on the frontispiece carries the sign of the pentagram on the forehead, with one point at the top, a symbol of light, his two hands forming the sign of occultism, the one pointing up to the white moon of Chesed, the other pointing down to the black one of Geburah. This sign expresses the perfect harmony of mercy with justice. His one arm is female, the other male like the ones of the androgyne [both male and female] of Khunrath, the attributes of which we had to unite with those of our goat because he is one and the same symbol. The flame of intelligence shining between his horns is the magic light of the universal balance, the image of the soul elevated above matter, as the flame, whilst being tied to matter, shines above it. The beast's head expresses the horror of the sinner, whose materially acting, solely responsible part has to bear the punishment exclusively; because the soul is insensitive according to its nature and can only suffer when it materializes. The rod standing instead of genitals symbolizes eternal life, the body covered with scales the water, the semi-circle above it the atmosphere, the feathers following above the volatile. Humanity is represented by the two breasts and the androgyne arms of this sphinx of the occult sciences.

Here, Lévi is saying that Baphomet represents the human, divine, spiritual, natural, sexual and universal all rolled into one. To demonstrate this bold assertion, instead of relying on half-baked evidence as Hammer-Purgstall had done, he went back to the original god in ancient Egypt, the goat of Mendes, for his main inspiration. He believed that a religion older than the Bible gave him the authority to make his case, as well as his new philosophic religion.

However, there is still much of ancient Pan, as well as Baphomet worship from the Middle Ages, in his Baphomet description above. Although he rejected the extremes of sexual and other fanatical rituals of the ancient goat-man cultists, he exalted and spiritualized Baphomet into his own occult belief system. For all practical purposes, this system became a religion.

The Lévi quote above explains the basis of his beliefs. His book, Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie, became the manifesto (bible?) for a new movement, and soon Baphomet "temples" were springing up all over France and the rest of Europe. A new/old religion was being reborn that lasted a generation after Lévi's death.

At the time he died, Lévi was gathering a substantial following that could have advanced these beliefs much further, incorporating the goat-man cult and practices of the past. However, his resistance against true paganism and untimely death cut short any logical progress into primal rituals and black magic. The lot fell to others who outlived and came after him, to make these connections.

Englishman & Occultist Aleister Crowley Boldly Brought Baphomet & Black Magic into the Twentieth Century

Aleister Crowley (1875 – 1947), born Edward Alexander Crowley (see the photo on the right), was an influential English occultist, astrologer, mystic and ceremonial magician, responsible for creating the religious philosophy of Thelema. In his role as the founder of the Thelemite faith, he came to see himself as the prophet who was entrusted with informing humanity that it was entering the new Aeon [Age] of Horus in the early twentieth century.

Crowley spent his early years popularizing occultism, often by trying to the "bad boy" of modern "paganism." His books and statements on black magic outraged his contemporaries. They scandalized and even terrorized almost everyone who knew or knew of him and was not one of his followers. He loved sensationalism and the public spotlight, courting the press avidly. His special target of scorn was continually the Christian church.

Always seeking to appear radical or original, he denied any and all influences from Eliphas Lévi and others. However, anyone who examines his life and writings with a knowledge of the past can see Lévi's "footprints" almost everywhere in Crowley's work. He even took the nickname "Baphomet" to his friends. His Thelemite philosophy bore a striking resemblance to Lévi's Baphomet teachings, but with a much more liberal does of ancient pagan practices.

Maybe because Crowley lived in a more "liberated" era, he wasn't afraid to take Lévi's paganism to its logical conclusions, ritually and sexually. He publicly advocated sacrifices, drug use, "free love" and orgies, among other things, and bragged that he practiced all of the above quite often. It's easy to see how he totally scandalized Britain and the rest of the world during the straight-laced era of 1895 to 1920.

However, to this day, his followers and biographers deny that he practiced any form of human sacrifice, even though some of his writings seem to advocate it. Still, he never ruled out blood-letting, bestiality, extreme sadism, occasional torture, or even vampirism. No wonder others called him "The wickedest man in the world."

After much traveling, writing, experimenting with many worldviews and sketching out others, Crowley finally, in 1920, gathered all of his thinking on the occult together into a single, organized philosophy. He called it Thelema and founded it in Palermo, Sicily, in Italy. Soon it became a worldwide movement, the twentieth-century version of Lévi's "transcendental magic." Being both ceremonial and occult, Thelema advocated paganism and black magic but at the same times had all the trappings of a religion, with its own mysticism, gods and rituals.

The Baphomet of Lévi became an important figure within the cosmology of Crowley's Thelema. In one of his books of Thelema, Magick (Book 4), Crowley asserted that Baphomet was a divine androgyne (figure combining male and female) and "the hieroglyph of arcane perfection:"

The Devil does not exist. It is a false name invented by the Black Brothers [the church] 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 that 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.

For Crowley, Baphomet is moreover a representative of the spiritual nature of male semen, while also being symbolic of the "magical child" produced as a result of sexual magic. As such, Baphomet represents the union of opposites, especially as mystically personified in chaos and Babylon, beginning and end. Biologically manifested, these forces became the sperm and egg united in the fertilized egg, according to Crowley.

The symbolism of Baphomet with the snake occurs prominently in Crowley's writings. For example, in the "Creed of the Gnostic Catholic Church" recited by the congregation in The Gnostic Mass of Thelema, there is the important sentence: "And I believe in the Serpent and the Lion, Mystery of Mystery, in His name BAPHOMET."

Here, Crowley brings up a fascinating subject, that is, Baphomet's traditional association with the snake. Both Crowley and Lévi repeatedly connected the two. Lévi 's famous drawing shows Baphomet with snakes in his lap. This symbolism goes back to ancient times.

There is, of course, the Judeo-Christian serpent of the Garden of Eden, which tradition says was the devil himself. However, this reptile's association with the goat-man god and aggressive male sexuality is obvious. The snake is a near-universal phallic symbol.

The Sigil of Baphomet (see the artwork on the right) bears much interesting symbolism. Not only does it show a serpent, but in a special way. It's the Ouroboros, the snake in a circle, eating its own tail. This is an ancient occult symbol meaning eternity or forever. The upside-down pentagram represents the power of black magic and bears the goat-face of Baphomet, its source. The Hebrew letters, if read counter-clockwise, spell "Leviathan," an ancient mythical monster in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament). Occultists generally associate Leviathan with Satan.

Numerous pagan and neopagan cults have adopted the Sigil of Baphomet as their own. Even the sensational contemporary Church of Satan uses it as their symbol. However, to Lévi , Crowley and members of the Baphomet Cult, it has great power and symbolizes the ultimate forces of nature and eternity. This sigil is as emblematic of the Baphomet Cult as the cross is for Christianity.

What happened to Crowley in the end? History was not kind to Thelema, the new Baphomet cultists or Crowley. After 1930, the Great Depression and World War II occupied the world much more than the occult or black magic. After 1945, the Cold War with the Soviet Union and the ending of colonialism drew much more attention than mystical incantations or pagan rites.

Crowley died quietly in 1947 after a long illness. He lived long enough to see his occult "empire" with all of its publicity, writings and former glory become virtually forgotten. After his funeral and cremation, a close friend read a simple poem Crowley wrote, "Hymn to Pan."

Sex, Drugs, Rock 'n Roll, Magic & the 1960s: The Trendy Comeback of Occultism & Baphomet

Even though Aleister Crowley seemed to disappear into history along with his beliefs, this vanishing act turned out to be just a short intermission. The year 1967 and the "Summer of Love" changed all that. Everything occult made a phenomenal reappearance in the mass media, first in Britain and the U.S. and then all over the globe.

All the "evils" advocated by Crowley and publicly condemned just two generations earlier suddenly became the "in thing" to do. Crowley's famous command "Do what thou wilt" became, in the "hippie" lingo, "Do your own thing." Free love, recreational drugs, public orgies, paganism, occult practices and even black magic were all freely trumpeted as desirable by large numbers of people, especially the young.

Rock stars like the British Jimmy Page (of Led Zeppelin), David Bowie and the American Jim Morrison (see the photos below, from left) publicly announced their interest in and even advocacy of the beliefs and practices of none other than Crowley himself. Crowley's Magick volumes became trendy reading along with Catch 22, The Prophet, Lord of the Rings, and Steppenwolf, all popular "must read" books of the "flower child" era.

So, it naturally followed that a revival of Crowley would bring a resurgence of interest in his "patron saint," Baphomet. In fact, it's believed by many that a large number of revelers and worshippers during the 1960s and 1970s, who were accused of "Satanism" by the ignorant, were actually trying to revive worship of the goat-man god, whether in the name or Baphomet, Pan or any other. Figures as diverse as Timothy Leary Mick Jagger and Charlie Manson were jumping on the Crowley bandwagon and bringing back Baphomet.

Even though the free-love generation finally ran its course, interest in Crowley and Baphomet has continued. The modern Goth subculture, for example, owes much of its philosophical existence to Crowley and his ideas. This movement still thrives worldwide, especially in Britain and the U.S. Reports continue that some kind of unorganized but real Baphomet Cult lives on as well, although once again retreating to its favorite place, the dark underground.

So pay special attention to that weird guy at the next Halloween party you attend. You know, he's the one who dresses up with the goat-head costume, says he's "horny" and acts high. Who knows? Maybe he's just having innocent fun. Or he could be one of Baphomet's faithful. Speak of the devil ...