Ancient mankind definitely felt that the heavens had control over their lives. The stars themselves were synonymous with the concept of “fate.” Some believed that the start and planets were independent actors deciding the destiny of things below, and so they felt it was worth praying and making sacrifices to the celestial intelligences that they believed were connected with these heavenly bodies. Others, such as many of the philosophers quoted in the ancient Syriac farmer’s handbook called The Book of Nabathean Agriculture, believed that the heavens were a mechanism, influencing the world below, but itself just a machine, and the only true control was exercised by the God or gods that created that mechanism. These were the only ones worth praying to.
Nabathean Agriculture goes on at great length about how the planets in particular exercise this influence. The elements of the Earth, it says, each have special properties that connect them with certain planets. So the movement of these planets, and how they act upon each other (whether helping or hindering each other’s energies, depending upon their alignment with one another) influences the elements in our physical bodies and in the world around us. Some of the authors quoted in that book stated that while there are intelligences connected with these bodies, they are neither omniscient nor omnipotent, and even the position of another planet vis-a-vis the Earth can prevent them from perceiving information or prevent their influence from being felt. Still, it was worth seeking the favor of these intelligences, obtaining foreknowledge of the movements of the heavens, and utilizing the energies that these celestial bodies emitted.
This is still the basic concept behind modern pop astrology: there is an omnipotent God who controls the stars, and the stars control our destinies to some limited extent. Depending on when you were born, certain heavenly influences will affect you more than others. Within that influence, we exercise free will, but with knowledge of the stars, you are more prepared to deal with the elements of fate beyond your control.
Gnosticism is a loosely-defined mystical religious world-view that began to proliferate around the time of Christ and in the three centuries afterward. Many Gnostic groups were Christian, though they had a much different view of Christ than what became the prevailing orthodoxy. John the Baptist may have come from this school of thought, and it seems that it influenced the writing of the Gospel of John as well.
Although it came out of Judaism, its viewpoint is the diametric opposite. The creator of this world, whom the Jews worship as the one true God, was thought by the Gnostics to be an evil and deranged ego maniac who chose to believe he was the only God, and that there was nothing outside of his creation. But he is wrong. They believe there is another, purer existence that preceded this, populated by beings of divine light, the chiefs of which are called “Archons.” Our creator God, whom they referred to as “the Demiurge,” was one of these Archons. Being insane, he decided to trap our souls — sparks of this divine light — inside of a material prison, so that we would have no perception of what’s outside and would worship him alone. He then created the mechanism of the planets to control this world. An article called “The Gnostic Account of the Fall and the Creation of the Material World” by M. Alan Kazlev, explains it thusly:
Because the lower heavens, such as the astrological spheres, are the creation of the inferior world-creator, rather than the supreme principle, the Gnostics adopted a very negative and pessimistic approach to astrology. It is not that they disbelieved in it, just the opposite. They saw it as a fatalistic mechanism by which the archons are able to imprison the sparks from on high.
This viewpoint — against the creator God and existence itself, can almost be thought of as openly Satanic. In fact, many Gnostic groups made heroes out of the villains of the Bible, such as Judas, Cain, and the Sodomites, because these were the enemies of their enemy: God. Those who believed in Christ felt that he had been sent to undo the works of the Demiurge and free us from this prison. As the Catholic Church began to develop and take over the Jesus movement, Gnostics were labeled heretics, and accused of participating in rituals of perverted sex orgies and child sacrifice. Interestingly, the accusation was that these rituals were done to offend the creator God and mortify the profane flesh.
Very little is known for such about what the “Gnostics” believed, much less what they practiced. But the Knights Templar were the recipients of similar accusations from the Church, and many historians have suggested that they were Gnostics. Nineteenth-century Austrian Orientalist Joseph von Hammer-Purgstall gathered a number of images that he said came from Templar properties and illustrated Gnostic concepts and rituals that the Templars may have been performing. Thomas Wright describes it in his 1865 book Worship of the Generative Powers:
The most interesting of the coffers described by Von Hammer, which was preserved in the private museum of the duc de Blacas, is of calcarous stone, nine inches long by seven broad, and four and a half deep, with a lid about two inches thick. It was found in Burgundy. On the lid is sculptured a figure, naked, with a head-dress resembling that given to Cybele in ancient monuments, holding up a chain with each hand, and surrounded with various symbols, the sun and moon above, the star and the pentacle below, and under the feet a human skull. The chains are explained by Von Hammer as representing the chains of æons of the Gnostics. On the four sides of the coffer we see a series of figures engaged in the performance of various ceremonies, which are not easily explained, but which Von Hammer considers as belonging to the rites of the Gnostics and Ophians.
This picture in particular was suggested Von Hammer-Purgstall as being an illustration of the Templar’s demonic idol Baphomet. Explanation for this and other illustrations presented by Von Hammer-Purgstall has been lacking in the last 1.5 centuries. However, I think what it is showing is a ritual to actually bring down the heavens, and put an end to fate. It is a Gnostic ritual to release the souls trapped in the prison of matter.
In Sefer Hekhalot, also known as The Third Book of Enoch, it tells the story of the fallen angels that bred giants with human women, and it says that they taught their hybrid children abominations of ritual magic. One particular passage is worth quoting:
They brought down the sun, the moon, the stars and the constellations… How was it that they had the strength to bring them down? It was only because Uzza, Azza and Azael taught them sorceries that they brought them down, for otherwise they would not have been able to bring them down.”
Interestingly, in Christopher Marlowe’s Faust, this is one of the things that the title character asks the demon Mephistopheles to be ready to do for him:
I charge thee wait upon me whilst I live
To do whatever Faustus shall command,
Be it to make the moon drop from her sphere
Or the ocean to overwhelm the world.
Now the demon mentioned in Sefer Hekhalot — Azazel — is, in most versions of the tale, one of two leaders of the fallen angels who helped organize the conspiracy among them to impregnate human women. In the First Book of Enoch, God instructs Enoch, who is writing the history of the afffair, to “ascribe the whole crime” to Azazel and make him solely responsible in the official record, including the disastrous result of it: the creation of giants who wrecked the Earth to the point that God had to bring the Deluge to get rid of them.
Did Azazel know that these actions would result in such destruction? Was that in fact the point? After all, in both the Christian, Jewish and Muslim traditions, the fallen angels are shown being jealous of mankind, and plotting our doom. They did not think that God should have created us in the first place, and complained that God would honor so much a creation made from “clay.” Our physicality, in the eyes of these angels, is what made us inherently inferior to them, as they are made out of a much subtler substance — “smokeless fire,” as the Muslims believe. The Koran says that Satan was cast out of paradise for refusing to bow down and worship Adam. The books of Enoch say that after the Flood, Azazel and his accomplices were cast into “Dudael,” a wasteland of suffering, as an eternal punishment.
This eternal stretch of painful imprisonment, along with his anger at man and resentment of material creation, might explain why Azazel and his colleagues might be interested in seeing creation put to an end. This brings us to another set of legends regarding Azazel. Rabbinical sources tell us that the tempting serpent in the Garden of Eden was a hermaphroditic creature that consisted of the male demon Samael and the female demoness Lilith compounded together. The cabalists called this creature “the Beast” and “the Other God.” This is especially interesting because some Gnostics referred to the demiurge who created physical reality by the name of “Samael” also. The cabalistic work Treatise on the Left Emanation by R. Isaac b. Jacob Ha-Kohen and Tr. Ronald C. Kiener describes Samael as evil, but specifies that this is “not because of his nature but because he desires to unite and intimately mingle with an emanation not of his nature.”
This is interesting for many reasons. After all, Baphomet was a hermaphrodite as well. A version of Baphomet’s sigil by occultist Stanislas de Guaita includes the names of the demons Samael and Lilith. The opposite side of this sigil shows the figure of a man, with the names “Adam” and “Eve” written around it. We read in Treatise on the Left Emanation that:
In this tradition it is made clear that Samael and Lilith were born as one, similar to the form of Adam and Eve who were also born as one, reflecting what is above.
Note that while the human pair are described as “above” (and therefore, presumably, superior to) the serpent pair, certain cabalistic writings suggest that the serpents represent something older and more primordial, as the Abyss (nothingness or chaos) is considered older than creation.
It appears that the fathers of Western occultism were well aware of the legends about Lilith and Samael. Why else would their names have been included on de Guaita’s Baphomet sigil (particularly with the names of Adam and Eve included on the other side of the sigil)? We can probably assume too that it is these two snakes who are being represented by the caduceus staff that mage Eliphas Levi depicted rising from Baphomet’s crotch region. The caduceus (the ancient symbol of a pole encoiled with two snakes) has been connected not only to Hermes and alchemy (both things associated with Baphomet), but also with the image of a crucified serpent, and with the picture of the snake coiled around the tree in the Garden of Eden. Now we know why!
The fact that the Baphomet sigil is also presented frequently with the word “Leviathan” indicates that some occultists have been aware that this is also another name for the same figure. Leviathan, described in the Old Testament as a giant sea dragon capable of encircling the Earth, is said to be female, or part of a hermaphroditic beast just like Lilith and Samael. Sometimes Leviathan’s male counterpart is said to be Behemoth, a land beast. Sometimes the pair are just referred to in the plural as “the leviathans.”
Very similar things are said about Leviathan and her consort as are said about Lilith and Samael. They are clearly just different names for the same figures. In both cases, it is said that they were once together physically, but that God separated them, because the act of their mating was somehow dangerous to the well-being of the universe. So, in both cases, they were cleaved apart, castrating the male, and preventing them from ever uniting sexually again. With both sets of characters, it is written that if they ever come together again, all of existence will somehow be annihilated.
In the case of the leviathans, it is said numerous times in the Bible that that the End of Times, God will slaughter them and feed their flesh to the righteous among men at a feast with the messiah in the New Jerusalem that will take place inside of a tent made from the monsters’ skin. This is what the Jewish festival known as the “Feast of the Tabernacles” is meant to celebrate, and it is probably why the early Christians adopted the fish as their symbol.
Because Samael and Lilith (a.k.a Leviathan and Behemoth) are constantly longing for each other, they found a way to mate via an “intermediary” called “Tanin’iver” (“Blind Dragon”) or “the Groomsman.” We read about it in Treatise on the Left Emanation:
You already know that evil Samael and wicked Lilith are like a sexual pair who, by means of an intermediary, receive an evil and wicked emanation from one and emanate to the other…. The heavenly serpent is a blind prince, the image of an intermediary between Samael and Lilith. Its name is Tanin’iver. The masters of tradition said that just as this serpent slithers without eyes, so the supernal serpent has the image of a spiritual form without color–these are “the eyes.” The traditionists call it an eyeless creature, therefore its name is Tanin’iver. He is the bond, the accompaniment, and the union between Samael and Lilith. If he were created whole in the fullness of his emanation he would have destroyed the world in an instant.
Now this is getting really kinky! This “Tanin’iver” is a “slithering serpent” without eyes who somehow enables the castrated Samael to have sex with Lilith. But if he were to “manifest fully,” then the destruction of the universe, which happens whenever these two “truly” mate, would come about anyway. So whatever Tanin’iver does for them, it has the capability of being just as good as the real thing. But mercifully, right now, it is not, or else we would all be dead.
More detail on this subject comes from The Zohar, where the “intermediary” is described as none other than “Azazel,” the goat demon who figures so prominently in the Old Testament (as we will explain shortly). Zohar I.152b-153a says:
Now observe a deep and holy mystery of faith, the symbolism of the male principle and the female principle of the universe … there is the line where the male and female principles join, forming together the rider on the serpent, and symbolized by Azazel.
So here the Tanin’iver is likened to a “line” that unites the two creatures, and is said to be “riding” them, and to be symbolized by the goat-demon Azazel. Another passage from The Zohar, from Vayetze 116 (Volume 9) goes on further with the same language:
The unholy filth grasps the male above and the female below. Here, male and female join together. They are the rider on the serpent…. This is the secret of Azazel, which includes the male and female of defilement.
The sigil of Baphomet that includes the word Leviathan is very telling. The whole figure is surrounded by an Ouroboros, usually seen as a symbol of eternity and rebirth as it shows as a snake swallowing its own tail. If interpreted in this context, the picture shows the sex rite of the Beast. The tail going into the mouth represents a serpent having sex with itself, as its own protrusion enters into its own cavity. In the middle is the face of the Goat, Azazel, the intermediary or “Groomsman.”
Interestingly, “the Groomsman” was a title used by European witches for the “Goat Man” who presided over their Sabbaths. Sex orgies were a big part of these gatherings, reportedly, and confessing witches testified that not only did they have sex with the Groomsman (esp. all female were “married” to him upon initiation), but they also had sex with each other. The Groomsman would play match-maker, telling who to do what to whom, and he would delight in making the most abominably perverse combinations (such as mother with son, etc).
What was the point of these sex rituals? Why did the Gnostics and Templars purportedly do the same kinds of rituals (in the case of the Templars, also involving a goat)? Let us recall that the illustration of Baphomet presented by Von-Hammer Purgstall shows the androgynous beast dragging the heavenly bodies down from the sky via their chains — the chains with which they bind us. It is about making the sky literally fall down.
The ancients believed that people could do rituals to invoke the energies of the planets and stars into their own bodies. In fact, they believed that the energy from the Sun was the chief source of the energy (both physical and metaphysical) that sustained life on Earth. Even when the sun went away at night, they believed that life continued by means of the energy coming from the stars and planets. In The Book of Nabathean Agriculture we read:
…The Sun sets for the night and one might thus presume that our world would then relapse back to its dead state. This, as we may every night perceive, does not happen. The reason for this is that during the night the other celestial bodies take the place of the Sun and substitute for it (NA, pp. 245–246). This gives the basis for a belief in the effects of the stars, as well … as one may use star- or moon-bathing, tanjìm, i.e., letting something be influenced by the rays of the stars and the Moon.
This connects to something I wrote about recently on this blog (see the quote below), also referencing a book I wrote several years ago:
In Money Grows on the Tree of Knowledge, I wrote how these images from Flamel’s book illustrate certain aspects of the process of alchemy, which can be gleaned if one compares them with other alchemical tracts as well, such as the 16th-century Splendor Solis by Salomon Trismosin, or Fulcanelli’s Mystery of the Cathedrals, published in the 1920s. It was from studying these manuscripts that I discovered that the secret alchemical recipe for longevity is shown to be bathing in the blood of children that has been infused with stellar influences, which Fulcanelli called “the Bath of the Stars.” Fulcanelli also makes reference to alchemy as “celestial agriculture,” which might explain the images of fieldworkers that appear in The Book of Abraham the Jew and other alchemical tracts.
What I have said in the past is that many of the secrets hinted at in alchemical texts hint that one can perform this process — bringing the influences of the stars down from Heaven into the bodies of children, then slaughtering those children, and then drinking and bathing in their blood, to obtain youthful skin or even eternal life. This may be the death and rebirth indicated by the Ouroboros serpent, and many other mystical symbols as well. This may also be the meaning of the term “Baptism of Wisdom,” which Baphomet’s name has been interpreted to mean. Also, in the depiction of Baphomet by Eliphas Levi, he is shown with the Latin words “Solve” and “Coagula, (“Dissolve” and “Coagulate”). These words are used by alchemists to describe the process of dissolving atoms to their “primal material” and then reconstituting it in the desired form.
So is it possible that there are spiritual entities who want to slaughter us — the children of the gods — and dissolve our universe in order to bring about the rebirth of a reality more preferable to them, in which they (representatives of the older, pre-physical universe) are once again placed in their proper role at the helm, instead of being subordinate to men made of clay? Are these the spirits who have inspired such destructive rituals as described above?
Furthermore, are there humans on Earth who would be so Nihilistic as to actually want to end existence? Actually, this is the stated goal of practitioners of Zen Buddhism, who aim to eliminate their karma so that they can escape the cycle of rebirth because “existence is sorrow.” Scientists have warned that the particle collision experiments currently taking place at CERN — in which they aim to “re-create the Big Bang” in miniature — could have the result of sparking a chain reaction that could end existence, either over a period of months, or even in an instant, just as it is said will happen in Lilith and Samael ever come together. Similar sentiments lurk behind the theologies of traditional Buddhism and its chief influence, Hinduism. Right outside of the CERN building stands a statue of the Hindu goddess Shiva. When she and her consort Shakti come together, they can create or destroy worlds. Their “dance” makes the heavens quake.
Finally, I must mention some of the things that my spiritual contacts have revealed in recent months. On the national radio show that I help produce, “Ground Zero with Clyde Lewis,” we have talked much about CERN and the possibility that they might perform an action at CERN that has the result of “collapsing” the “pole” that (metaphorically, according to numerous ancient mythologies) holds up the heavens. We have also speculated that this could result in the opening of the “gates of Hell,” whatever that entails. The conversation was sparked by a message specifically about this that I received from Baphomet on the Ouija board during a live seance we performed on the radio last Halloween. (My history with these sorts of divination sessions over the last 14 years is documented in my book Clock Shavings.)
In January my husband and I contacted Baphomet on the Ouija board once again. We asked about the opening of the gates of Hell and whether or not it would be happening soon. We were given a message about “THE POLE,” “WYOMING,” “BEAR” and “0 POPULATION.” After meditating on it for a day, I realized that the message might be about the collapse of the metaphysical pole, and perhaps, the shifting of the magnetic pole as well, signified by Arctos the Bear, the constellation associated with the North Pole. This could result in the eruption of a super-volcano at Yellowstone Park and the elimination of the population of Wyoming, if not most of the US.
A couple of weeks later we tried to follow up on this conversation. We asked to speak to an ambassador of the Gnostic “Archons” or the Demiurge. We were given the words “OGDOADS,” then the numbers “7” and 1.” Then the planchette went up to the Moon symbol in the upper-right corner of the board and dragged it down to the bottom of the board. It did this several times.
On our uniquely-designed Ouija board, instead of the word “Goodbye” at the bottom, we have waves, representing the waters of the Abyss. So when spirits leave, they go back to the Abyss from which they came. I believe that the spirit was telling us about dragging the moon from the sky down into the Abyss, just like the Baphomet images from Von Hammer-Purgstall show. The “Ogdoad” is the Gnostic word for the eight-fold combination of the seven “planetary Archons” (the sun, moon, and five main planets known to the ancients), along with the Demiurge who created them. The combination of seven and one is mentioned in the caption found beneath the Von Hammer-Purgstall Templar coffer image, which I just now realized when writing this article. It says:
Let Mete be exalted, who causes things to bud and blossom! he is our root; it (the root) is one and seven; abjure (the faith), and abandon thyself to all pleasures.
“Mete,” said Von Hammer-Purgstall, means “wisdom,” and is a shorter name used to refer to Baphomet. “Abandon thyself to all pleasures” refers to the sex orgy rituals shown on the other sides of the coffer. It seems to me the fact that the image of Baphomet bringing down the heavens is combined on the same object (a Templar coffer) as images of sex orgies and babies emerging from wombs indicates some connection between these things. In other words, somehow the Templars believed that the sex orgies, and perhaps the sacrifice of the babies that came from them, would result in the destruction of creation, which they seemingly welcomed.
How this would be achieved is perhaps still a mystical secret. But we know the cabalists said that Adam had sex with Lilith (breeding demons), and that Eve had sex with Samael (breeding Cain). Perhaps it is this unholy union of angels or demons with humans that, if done in the right way, brings cosmic doom. Baphomet, that is, Azazel or the Tanin’iver, is somehow the intermediary that enables this. That is why the Templars revered and invoked this entity.
Notably, in 2014, on the TV show “Penny Dreadful,” in the episode titled “It’s Not a Party Without a Seance,” an almost identical story as that of Samael and Lilith was told about the Egyptian god Amun-Ra, who is channeled on the Ouija board. One of the characters related a prophecy stating that if he ever unites again with his lost lover Amunet, it will bring about the destruction of the world.
Earlier today, there was a total eclipse of the sun by the moon. Events like this used to be viewed with great fear by our ancestors. They were afraid that the sun might die and never come back. Many cultures performed sacrifices at these times to ensure that the world would not end and the sun would come back. They believed that if they didn’t do these sacrifices, it might not.
Today we are much more enlightened. We know this isn’t so. But perhaps some of the Nihilists in charge of things today wish that it was.
Baphomet: The Temple Mystery Unveiled by Tracy R. Twyman and Alexander Rivera.
“Can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? And be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?”
For seven centuries, the enigma of Baphomet has mystified both scholars and the general public. Did the Knights Templar really worship a demonic idol of that name? If so, what does the word mean? What is the origin of this figure? What was the nature of the rituals that the Templars performed in secret? What were their covert beliefs? And why, if the Templars initially described their idol as a mummified severed head, is this figure now represented as a hermaphrodite human with the head of a goat?
Authors Tracy R. Twyman and Alexander Rivera have dived head-first into the bottomless abyss of mystery and returned with some astounding wisdom to share. Here for the first time they reveal the genesis of these symbols, showing how they relate to the Witches’ Sabbath, traditions of Sufi Islam, alchemy, Gnosticism, cabalism, the teachings of Hermes Trismegistus, and so much more.
Learn why the Templars and their beloved severed head are frequently associated with John the Baptist, and how this connects to his student, Simon Magus. Discover the known facts about things like the Chinon Parchment, the Book of the Baptism of Fire, the Templar Abraxas seals, and newly-found documents which claim that the Templars discovered the real Temple of Solomon during a secret trip to Mecca.
Join Twyman and Rivera on this exciting adventure into the unknown. Immerse yourself in this knowledge, if your heart has the strength. It is certain that your mind will never be the same.