There are few figures in modern occultism that are more enigmatic as Baphomet. Baphomet, quite simply, is a mystery. It’s incredibly hard to find information about this god. You can piece through some wikkipedia articles, or read some scattered ramblings on personal occult sites that mention the Templars or the Church of Satan but in the end it’s all regurgitation of the same stuff over and over. As I’m sure anyone who has tried can tell you, trying to research Baphomet is incredibly frustrating! It’s even more frustrating for those of us who actually work with this deity, as most of my own experience has been primarily personal and gnosis derived.
Finally there is a book which puts it all together for us! This book was released last month by authors Nikki Wyrd and Julian Vayne by Madrake of Oxford Press.
First off the book itself is gorgeous. It’s hard cover and painted with a somewhat nostalgic air-brush style that reminds me of the old days (A good thing). It feels slick and begs to be read. I think the thing that strikes me best about the book is it’s actually very well written! Usually when I read occult books, I’m hungry for information and the style of the writing is not terribly a concern. This is actually a book which you’ll enjoy reading. The words flow, and there is no dissonance between the two writers. In fact, their voices blend together into one harmony throughout. This is one you’ll want to curl up with and just plain savor. I was literally disappointed when it was over. It’s probably going to take me multiple readings to even begin to digest half of the material in it though, there is so much information within.
The authors start at the beginning, literally. The beginning of the universe starting at the big bang, and lead you on a cinematic mind trip through the beginnings of the formation of the galaxy, to life on earth (paying particular attention to the satisfying panspermia hypothesis), to the rise of man and civilization. This beginning blends poetry and science. It may go on a bit long for those who aren’t interested in such, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Then onto the meat of the book, the origins of the god Baphomet, beginning with the Templars. These first few chapters take a very Victor Hugo approach. Did you ever read Hugo and find long chapters of back story that didn’t appear to be relevant at the time, only for it to all be pulled together later? These early chapters are much like that. From the Templars to secrete societies, The enlightenment period, to Elphias Levi, each chapter weaves a thread into the story of Baphomet, though ‘ts not always clear how each peice fits in at the time. It all comes together in the middle of the book to allow you to view the entire tapestry, and everything is made clear. It then goes on to include the Pagan Horned God and modern representations up through Caroll’s re-interpretation of the god.
Then the book takes a sharp turn from history into the realm of personal experience. There is a section of both the authors and various other voices giving their own personal and often times powerful experiences about the god revolving around a specific rite which was performed.Here you can see how Baphomet manifested for each individual participant in their own voices, of how each viewed in sometimes similarly, sometimes differently, but always personally.
The final section of the book details practical work and gives a five week exercise (Baphomet through the Spheres) to thoroughly explore an aspect of Baphomet weekly, leading up to full invocation at week 5. It’s also peppered throughout with interesting images of the God from various sources.
I honestly don’t think there is any other book that so fully goes into the subject of Baphomet that is nearly as satisfying. it’s well written, interesting, informative, and often time makes one feel real emotion in the reading. I think anyone who has even a passing interest in Baphomet would do well to pick this one up.