The Kaaba, the Dome of the Rock and Solomon’s Temple in Masonic Templar traditions

The following is an excerpt from Baphomet: The Temple Mystery Unveiled by Tracy R. Twyman and Alexander Rivera..

There are several interesting connections between the (alleged) temple(s) in Jerusalem and the Kaaba in Mecca that we have noted. One is that Mohammed is alleged to have flown from the Kaaba to Jerusalem and back in a single night. Actually, The Koran says that he was taken “for a Journey by night from the Sacred Mosque to the farthest Mosque,” but these have always been taken to be the Kaaba and the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, respectively. He also visited Heaven, as Enoch and Hermes are said to have done. While he was there he met Jesus and John the Baptist.

Supposedly it all started when he laid his head on the black stone of the Kaaba (analogous to the biblical story of Jacob falling asleep with his head on a stone), and was visited by the archangel Gabriel (the angel of wisdom and communication, similar to Hermes in that regard). He was given a ride on a winged horse with the face of a human female whose name was “Barak” (“Lightning”). Amazingly, before the trip began, Mohammed was baptized with the holy water of wisdom, including his internal organs. A hadith (tradition) attributed to Malik bin Sa`sa`ah (as reported in the first footnote on Sura 53 of the Hilali and Khan translation of The Koran) says that Mohammed told him:

While I was at the House in a state midway between sleep and wakefulness, (an angel recognized me) as the man lying between two men. A golden tray full of wisdom and belief was brought to me and my body was cut open from the throat to the lower part of the abdomen and then my abdomen was washed with Zam-zam water and (my heart was) filled with wisdom and belief (emphasis added).

Zam-zam water is that coming from the sacred well near the Kaaba, which supposedly miraculously sprang from the ground when the Arab progenitor Ishmael and his mother Hagar were dying of thirst in the desert after being ditched there by Abraham. It is used by Muslims today in much the same way that holy water is used by Catholics. The whole incident is called “Isra,” which sounds an awful lot like “Israel,” but is actually translated “Night Journey,” from the root “sera,” meaning “to travel by night.” Although it is described as happening to him while he was in a state “midway between sleep and wakefulness,” most Muslims take it to have been a literal, physical, and miraculous journey.

However, to us it sounds identical to the term “go forth by night,” which is used in the European witchcraft tradition to refer to the process of astral-projecting in one’s sleep as a method of attending the Witches’ Sabbath on a high mountain peak. After projecting their souls into the ether, it was said that the witches would ride flying goats or broomsticks to the secret meeting place for the ceremony. The Devil or “Black Man” was sometimes said to arrive at the Sabbath by the same method. Just like with Mohammed’s Night Journey, while it sounds like it’s all just a dream, it was taken by the witches themselves to be real. The Church took it to be so real that confessing to it was punishable by death. Modern witches sometimes have a more nuanced understanding. As Nigel Jackson wrote in Masks of Misrule:

The true Sabbat is simultaneously a state of Dreaming-Consciousness and an extradimensional locus where the convocation of the living and the dead occurs and the Great Return which leads to a new becoming is achieved.

. . . The oneiric nature of the Witch-Cult is evidenced at some of the earliest trials in Toulouse in 1335, where the witch Catherine Delort affirmed that she went to the Sabbat in her sleep. The Dream-Sabbat is the supreme rite of the Witches. . . . The Sabbat is a dream . . . of such potency that the profane world seems pallid and unreal in comparison.

Postcard featuring “the Easter Witch” with goat-riding and cat-riding.
Postcard featuring “the Easter Witch” with goat-riding and cat-riding.

This journey to the Sabbath on the back of a goat evinces the stories of Masonic initiations involving a goat ride, discussed previously. One can find postcards from the nineteenth and early twentieth century decorated with images of caricatured men dressed in Masonic regalia mounted upon a caprine animal and captioned with the term “Riding the Goat.” As we mentioned, the rumor among suspicious “cowans” (non-Masons) was that this was part of the Masonic initiation ceremony. But as the previously-quoted passage from Albert Mackey’s Masonic encyclopedia proves, the fraternity officially denies that this is anything but a joke inspired by the accusations from their critics that they worship the Devil.

Another postcard making a goat-riding joke
Another postcard making a goat-riding joke

The 2012 book Ritual America: Secret Brotherhoods and Their Influence on American Society, edited by Adam Parfrey and Craig Heimbichner, features numerous pictures taken from Masonic supply companies offering mechanical goats for sale to be ridden during ceremonies (along with devil costumes and other diabolical paraphernalia). However, they quote Christopher Hodapp’s Freemasons For Dummies (written by a Mason, of course), which puts a damper on the idea that these goats were ever used for any “real” ceremonies. He says that the toy goats were only used:

. . . in other fraternal organizations and “fun” degrees. . . . Such items only served to perpetuate the myth that Masons and other fraternities required a goat-ride ritual for their initiations. Freemasonry never has.

Rest assured: There is no lodge goat. The degrees of Freemasonry are serious business to Freemasons, and there is no horseplay (or goatplay).

A Masonic goat-riding apparatus
A Masonic goat-riding apparatus

On the opposite side of the spectrum of belief, Turkish television, in the late 90s, aired footage supposedly taken of the “secret 33rd degree ritual” of Scottish Rite Masonry (which is purportedly “honorary” and has no actual ritual, according to Masonic publications). The rite shown on TV, taken with a “hidden camera,” allegedly showed a goat being “sacrificed to Satan,” although the image quality is so poor that nobody could have guessed that from watching it. Nonetheless, the video had quite an impact on the Turkish public, where Masonic conspiracy theories are quite widely believed. In fact, throughout the Muslim world it is frequently taught in school textbooks that the Ottoman Empire was taken down by infiltration from atheistic anti-establishment Freemasons in the Turkish government through the “Young Turks” reform movement, largely populated by Masons.

The claim that mechanical goats have only been used in auxiliary “fun” lodges is probably a reference to the antics of groups like the “Royal Order of Jesters,” a quasi-Masonic offshoot organization open only to members of the Masonic “Shrine,” which itself is only open to those who have already reached the thirty-second degree of the Scottish Rite. The ROJ is dedicated to the concept of “Mirth,” and their official emblems for lodge functions are usually pornographic. Their mascot is the Billiken, a charm doll that looks like a little troll smiling evilly. It is called “the God of Things as They Ought to be,” and the dolls, which began being sold around the turn of the century in an un-Masonic context, were said to bring good luck. The ROJ Billiken is often shown displaying his anus (marked with a red dot) and inviting the onlooker to kiss it. This is a clear reference to the osculum inflame of the Gnostics, Templars, and witches.

The Royal Order of Jesters is registered as a tax-exempt charitable organization and promoted as a place for men who are already Masons to have fun putting on comedy plays and the like. In reality, the ROJ seems to exist solely as a place for members to have group sex with prostitutes, which is what happens at most of their meetings. In relation to this, some of the Jesters were prosecuted for the trafficking of underage sex slaves after an FBI sting in Buffalo, New York. The existence of an inner hierarchy of the Jesters called the “Secret Order of Brothers in Blood” hints at possibly even darker practices. The obscene kiss of the Jesters is not unique to them among Masonic organizations, but is also practiced by their parent order, the Shrine, yet in a much more interesting context.

ROJ Billiken displaying his jewell
ROJ Billiken displaying his jewell
Another depiction of the ROJ Billiken jewell
Another depiction of the ROJ Billiken jewell
Royal Order of Jesters pin showing the Satanic cornuto hand  signal
Royal Order of Jesters pin showing the Satanic cornuto hand signal

The Ancient Arabic Order of the Noble Mystic Shrine (an acronym for an anagram of “A MASON”) was started in 1870 in Manhattan by Walter M. Fleming and William J. Florence. Mr. Florence claimed that the idea came to him when attending a party in Marseilles, France that was thrown by an Arab diplomat, which ended with the guests being initiated into a secret society of some sort. This inspired him to create a Masonic appendage organization dedicated to “fun” and “fellowship.” Originally membership was confined only to Masons who have reached the 32nd degree of the Scottish Rite (Prince of the Sublime Royal Secret), or the Knights Templar degree of the York Rite. (In 2000 this was changed so that you only have to be a third degree Master Mason in the Blue Lodge, and in Arkansas you don’t have to be a Mason at all.) The first “Temple” (as the lodges of this group are called) was named “Mecca.”

Shriner advertisment
Shriner advertisment

There is no doubt that the “Shrine” which the order is named after is the Kaaba in Mecca. The initiation rite involves pretending that you are there. At the start of it, the “Oriental Guide” opens the Bible to the first chapter of Job, and The Koran to the 38th Sura, with The Koran placed in front of the Bible. Strangely, some of the opening lines indicate the idea that “Allah” and “God” are not the same thing, as the “Illustrious Potentate” prays the following:

In the name of God, our Father, and by the existence of Allah, the creed of Mohammed, and the legendary sanctity of the Temple of Mecca, I now proclaim this Temple regularly opened for business and ceremony. . . .

Elsewhere in the ritual, Allah is referred to as “their God”—that is, “of the Arabs.” But then the Illustrious Potentate declares his faith in that very religion, proclaiming:

Who is he who hath professed to have conversed in person with the Supreme and maketh himself mightiest of the mighty? Mohammed, the Prophet of the Arab’s creed.

A few minutes later, the High Priest pronounces:

There are Moslems among us; there are others who swerve from propriety: but who so seeketh Islam earnestly seeks true direction. . . .

Later, the candidate must declare:

And upon this sacred book, by the sincerity of a Moslem’s oath, I here register this irrevocable vow, in wilful violation whereof may I incur the fearful penalty of having my eyeballs pierced to the center with a three-edged blade, my feet flayed and I be forced to walk the hot sands upon the sterile shores of the Red Sea until the flaming sun shall strike me with livid plague; and may Allah, the God of Arab, Moslem and Mohammed, and the God of our fathers, support me to the entire fulfilment of the same. Amen, Amen, Amen.

Templar seal depicting the Dome of the Rock
Templar seal depicting the Dome of the Rock

He is then put through the “Moslem test,” which is a series of hazing rites of physical abuse, on his “journey” to the “shrine” where the black stone is. Just as at the real Kaaba, the sacred black stone is situated in the corner, the one in the Shriner rite is placed in the southeast corner of their “temple.” One of these hazing rites is called the “Grand Salaam,” and involves being hit on the buttocks with an exploding paddle. He is also made to urinate on the “Devil’s Pass,” which seems analogous to what Muslims do during the “Hajj” (the pilgrimage to the Kaaba). Later it is explained that this is literally just an excuse to get him to whip out his penis for others to see, as a test of his manhood. He is told:

Since this is a male organization, it is one way we have of making sure we are not admitting any impersonators into our ranks. Thus, you had to display your male organ to give a few drops.

As if this were a real concern, part of the ritual involves a character (male, a brother) dressed up as a female who is found to be “spying” on the fraternity, and who is stabbed in the heart as punishment (with a bag of wine under his armpit punctured to represent the blood). They pretend to cut a wound into her breast into the shape of a Muslim crescent. The “blood” is collected in a bowl and held aloft. Then the Illustrious Potentate tells them all:

Let us in this maiden’s blood, seal the alliance of our bond of secrecy and silence, and let this day’s bloody work in the deepest recesses of every Noble’s heart be buried.

. . .

. . . It now becomes our duty to deposit the result of our vigilance in the tomb, isolated from the eyes of a meddling world; a fit abiding place for the remains of the unfaithful. . . .

Another character, the “spy” woman’s male accomplice, is “beheaded,” and a plastic head is placed on display on a chair next to a skeleton, a coffin, a noose, and a coffin. Then the members are given a lecture stating that their order was started by Mohammed himself, with the exact same raison d’etre as the Knights Templar: to protect pilgrims en route to the holy shrine. He says:

My friends or Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, the order with which you have become united was founded by Mohammed and has as its background the trackless desert of Arabia and the fearless, devoted, and barbaric Arab.

Arabic history and tradition tell us that after the fall and separation of Adam and Eve, they were united near the place now known as “Mecca.”

Adam prayed for a Shrine where he might worship. In due time, a Tabernacle of Clouds was given to him.

After the death of Adam, the Tabernacle was withdrawn, and his son, Seth, erected a Temple of Stone in that place; later Ishmael, with his father Abraham, rebuilt on this sacred spot of the Tabernacle of Clouds, the Kaaba or the Sacred Temple of National Worship.

Each year the true followers of the faith would make a pilgrimage to Mecca to worship at the national shrine.

Because of the presence of a lawless element in the city of Mecca, many of these pilgrims were robbed, beaten, and even murdered. Therefore, in the year of AD 647, Mohammed organized a group of fearless men as an inquisition or vigilance committee, whose main objects were to protect the weak, dispense justice, and punish the criminals.

The order was firmly established in 1698, and since then has become one of the most highly-favoured secret organizations in the world.

Because of the ruthless manner which the group used to accomplish its aims, its leaders had to be careful in their selection of new members. Therefore, severe tests and strong obligations were required of each candidate.

You have just passed through those tests and are now a Noble of the Mystic Shrine.

In these rites, the Shriners pretend to have much respect for Islam, the Kaaba, and Mohammed. In fact, the candidate is essentially converting to Islam here. The supposed beauty and truth of The Koran is praised with words like this:

The Koran is the unique history of our founder Mohammed. The work is absolutely unique in its origin and in its preservation, upon the authenticity of which no one has ever been able to cast a serious doubt. The Koran is the actual text as dictated by Mohammed himself, day by day and month by month, during his lifetime. It is the reflection of this master-mind, sometimes inartistic and self-contradictory, more often inspiring and lyrical, and always filled with great ideas which stand out as a whole.

Mohammed rededicating the Black Stone at the Kaaba, by Jami’ al-Tavarikh, from Compendium of Chronicles, Rashid Al-Din, c. 1315.
Mohammed rededicating the Black Stone at the Kaaba, by Jami’ al-Tavarikh, from Compendium of Chronicles, Rashid Al-Din, c. 1315.

It doesn’t seem like the person who wrote this has actually read The Koran, which does not contain any history per se and is not meant to be taken as such. But for some reason, they certainly want to promote it. Yet, there is clearly an air of the unholy, the prurient, and the base in the ritual. In addition to the public urination requirement, there is what we might call the abundant “ass-play.” The candidate is made to wash the “hind parts” of one of his fellows (with what is pretended to be holy Zam-zam water). He is slapped on the buttocks numerous times with various objects, including during the aforementioned “Grand Salaam,” which happens when the candidate is instructed to place his “hind parts in the faces of the Nobles sitting behind” him. He is later forced to eat something that he is told is “dung.” Finally, when he reaches the black stone in the corner of the temple, which they call the “Black Stone of Casper” (presumably named after one of the three Oriental Wise Men that attended the birth of Jesus), he is told to kiss it (which is what Muslim pilgrims do to their own black stone), only to then be humiliated for doing so! The holy Black Stone is then compared to a butt. The candidate is told, condescendingly:

Ishmael and his father, Abraham, built the National Shrine near the place where . . . an angel presented them with a dazzling White Stone, which they inserted in the wall of the Temple, and each year the worshipers would journey to Mecca to kiss this Stone. Today so many have kissed the Stone that it has become black, and is known as the Kaaba Stone or Black Stone of Casper. Our ritual stipulates that you, in token of your sincerity, seal your obligations by kissing the Black Stone of Casper.

No doubt many times you have stated that you would not “kiss” anybody’s “hind parts” to gain a favor. Well, it seems that you wanted to be a Shriner so bad that you were willing to kiss “the Black Stone of Casper.” Shame on you.

Waldensian heretics performing the obscene kiss on a goat, from Jean Tinctor, Traittié du crisme de vauderie, from Sermo contra sectam vaudensium (Sermon Against the Waldensians), 1465.
Waldensian heretics performing the obscene kiss on a goat, from Jean Tinctor, Traittié du crisme de vauderie, from Sermo contra sectam vaudensium (Sermon Against the Waldensians), 1465.
Worshipper kissing the Black Stone at the Kaaba
Worshipper kissing the Black Stone at the Kaaba

This is all very interesting. The humiliating admonition at the end reminds us of the description of the Templar initiation in the Chinon Parchment, where it says that, after being made to kiss his brother’s behind, the new initiate would be encouraged to confess his “sin.” Later in the “Shrine Lecture,” the candidate is told that in Mecca the Black Stone is “according to Arab tradition, in the center of the world and immediately beneath the throne of the Almighty.” In Eliphas Levi’s depiction of Baphomet, the goat-man is shown seated on a dark cubic stone, with a lunar crescent (an Islamic symbol) on either side of him. Are the Shrine rituals a clue that some Masons see the Kaaba as the “seat” of the goat god, to be “kissed” ritually as the butt of the goat was kissed anciently by Templars and witches?

Mohammed and Barak flying over the Kaaba, shown with chequered floor, from D’Ohsson’s Tableau General de l’Empire Othoman, 1788-1824.
Mohammed and Barak flying over the Kaaba, shown with chequered floor, from D’Ohsson’s Tableau General de l’Empire Othoman, 1788-1824.

That, perhaps, will never be known. But does the existence of the Shriners strengthen Prince Michael of Albany’s argument that the Templars found the Solomon temple at the Kaaba site, and that secrets pertaining to this are hidden within the rites of Freemasonry? It certainly seems that way to us. Although the Shrine is, admittedly, not the oldest of Masonic orders, it is now one of the highest ranked, at least in America. It does seem significant that this order is essentially the pinnacle of Freemasonry, open (until recently) only to their most elite. After going through all of the Masonic rituals dedicated to the Temple of Solomon, and immediately after receiving the honors of the Knights Templar, one then then has the opportunity to “graduate” next to an order dedicated to Islam and its foremost temple! But they are also making fun of it, like the old “Feast of Fools” where people would mock the Passion Play in medieval times, and which constituted a Black Mass of sorts. It also reminds us of the mocking of Islamic holy symbols and rituals that purportedly took place within the Order of Assassins, as we mentioned earlier.

Also interesting is a description given in the Shrine Lecture about how Mecca (at the time the lecture was first written) was sort of hidden in the surrounding landscape. It says:

Mecca unfolds in the wilderness of the Arabian desert, halfway between Yemen and Syria, in a land wasted by winds and secular rains, a valley enclosed between two sharp and arid chains of rock mountains, making its position so secluded that not until the pilgrims are looking down into its streets do they know that they have arrived at the sacred city.

The description brings to mind the idea of the Templar treasure hunters intrepidly marching down to Mecca with inside information about what was really there, and an open invitation from the guardians of the sanctuary, as Prince Michael claims it to have happened. Besides, if we were, just for a moment, to entertain the idea that the Masons got the Shrine rites directly from Mohammed himself, would this not then indirectly imply the involvement of the Templars? Weren’t the Templars (with their seeming involvement with Sufi groups and the Assassins) better positioned to have obtained such secrets from Muslims in a position to know, rather than a New Yorker from the nineteenth century who attended a party in France with an Arab diplomat?

The real question though, is whether or not there really is a secret connection between the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and the Kaaba in Mecca that the Templars may have known about. There may be at least a vague memory of this latent in the traditions of modern Freemasons and their offshoots. In this regard it is worth contemplating a few salient points.

Firstly, the “Black Stone” of the Kaaba is, like the Kaaba itself, older than Islam. As the Shriner initiation ritual indicated, there is an Islamic belief that it was brought down from Heaven by an angel, or that it “fell” from Heaven (which would make sense if, as is assumed, it is a meteorite). The places where it first landed supposedly indicated to Adam and Eve where to build the first altar to God. Its use was interrupted by the Deluge. Later, Abraham and Ishmael supposedly built an altar in the same spot, around the same stone. Here (say Muslims) it was Ishmael, not Isaac, who was almost sacrificed to God by his father, before God changed his mind at the last minute. There are other theories too. Tracy R. Twyman’s husband, Hareth al-Bustani, once attended a Sufi lecture where he was told that the Black Stone brought the germ of life to Earth from outer space. Others have suggested that the Kaaba is positioned at the center of Pangea, the land mass believed to exist before the continents drifted to where they are today.

Ishmael’s descendants, the Arabs, turned the area of the Kaaba into a place of pagan worship. Supposedly, there were at one point hundreds of idols within it, each belonging to one of the Arab tribes who sent pilgrims there every year to sacrifice goats to them. (The offerings were placed inside of a dried well within the Kaaba tent.) The number that we have read most often for how many idols were there is 360, which divides nicely into 12, the number of tribes that supposedly descended from Ishmael, and matches up with the number of degrees in the circle around the Kaaba that pilgrims walk in. However, we have also seen the numbers 364 and 365 written in books, which may indicate a connection to either the lunar or solar calendars (respectively). 364 is the number of days in thirteen lunar months, and the number thirteen seems important to the Freemasons, particular the Shriners. Muslims do observe a lunar calendar (though not one of thirteen months), and they do appear to afford some special reverence to the Moon, as the crescent is one of their emblems (and was used by the Templars on their seals also).

Mecca as the center of the universe
Mecca as the center of the universe

Presently the Kaaba stone is broken into several fragments, and much of it appears to be lost. The remaining bits are sealed together in a black epoxy, which is then affixed to the Eastern corner of the tabernacle it sits within. This structure is roughly in the shape of a cube, thus the name “Kaaba,” which means exactly that. The silver object that holds the black stone in the corner looks a bit vaginal, with the stone and epoxy recessed inside of it, and this is what the pilgrims kiss when they are “circumambulating” around the Kaaba during the Hajj.

The Temple Mount in Jerusalem is, like the Kaaba, supposedly built upon the “Eben Shetiyah,” the “Foundation Stone” of the world. This is believed to have been Ground Zero for creation, from which everything God made radiated outward. This rock is in the center of the platform called the “Temple Mount,” and it is believed to be the site where Solomon placed the “Holy of Holies,” the inner chamber of his temple, built in the shape of a perfect cube, where the Ark of the Covenant resided.

This is the rock that the Dome of the Rock, which crowns it, is named after, and it is here that Mohammed supposedly touched down when he came there during the Night Journey. The rock purportedly enjoyed Mohammed’s company so much that it tried to follow him when he left. As he ascended back up, it floated up also, and they say Gabriel had to press down on it to get it to go back in place. This allegedly caused his hand print, as well as the hooves of al-Burak, to be left in its surface (which some people believe can be seen there to this very day).

Depiction of the Night Journey
Depiction of the Night Journey

The location is thought of as a nexus between Heaven and Earth. Indeed, right next door is something called the “Dome of the Chain,” which is actually older and was in fact the architectural model for the Dome of the Rock. According to Jerome Murphy-Conner, in his 2008 book The Holy Land: An Oxford Archaeological Guide from Earliest Times to 1700, Mujadir ad-Din (a fifteenth-century writer in Jerusalem) once wrote:

Among the wonders of the Holy House is the chain, which Solomon, son of David, suspended between Heaven and Earth, to the east of the Rock, where the Dome of the Chain now stands. The chain had one characteristic. If two men approached it to solve a point of litigation, only the honest and upright man could take hold of it; the unjust man saw it move out of his reach.

Floorplan for the Dome of the Rock
Floorplan for the Dome of the Rock

Some Muslims further believe that this same test will be used to judge their souls at the End Times, and that the Final Judgment will take place right there under the Dome. This chain of course reminds us of the one mentioned in The Iliad that Zeus dangled between Heaven and Earth, and the chains held by “Mete” on the coffer at the British Museum, which might be used to pull the Sun and Moon down from their heavenly spheres.

In his book on the cabalistic text Sefer Yetzirah (The Book of Creation), Aryeh Kaplan writes about a pair of serpents, one coiled around the other, called the “telis,” one male and one female. They are clearly Lilith and Samael. He describes them as hanging down from Heaven, and that the universe is suspended from them. Kaplan says that according to cabalistic tradition, they can also be viewed as one hair hanging down from the beard of “Zer Anpin,” a name for the “Little Face” of God, visualized as a disembodied head. Yes, like Baphomet (and the Roman god Janus), God has two faces—in his case, one small and one large, and like Baphomet, can be viewed as a head. From each of the hairs of Zer Anpin’s beard, an entire universe is suspended. This is a head of wisdom, for as Kaplan explains:

The Talmud states that the hanging (or piled) hair relates to the fact that every letter of the Torah contains “piles and piles” (teli tela’im) of wisdom. Besides this, the hanging hairs are said to relate to the lines upon which the letters of the Torah are written.

The Torah which is spoken of here is not the ordinary written Torah, but the primeval Torah, which was written “with black fire on white fire.” According to many Kabbalists, this primeval Torah is itself identified with Zer Anpin.

In this picture, each letter of the Torah is seen as a hair in the beard of Zer Anpin. These are not seen as simple hairs, but as channels, through which God’s wisdom emanates from His “head.” The “head” is the concealed wisdom of God, while the letters are its outwards revelation. . . .

Zer Anpin by Eliphas Levi
Zer Anpin by Eliphas Levi

A few paragraphs later, Kaplan makes a comment which seems to indicate that the place where the hair/serpent hangs down, from which our universe is suspended, is actually Jerusalem:

The scripture calls the “hangings” of the divine beard Taltalim. The Zohar relates this to the word Talpiot, which, as the Talmud teaches, is the “hill (tell) to which all mouths (piot) turn.” This “hill” is the mount upon which the Temple was built, which Jacob called the “gate of heaven” (Genesis 28:17).

According to tradition, the area of the Temple Mount connects not just Heaven and Earth, but the underworld as well. For Muslims believe that beneath the Foundation Stone is the Well of Souls, a cave where you can hear the cries of ghosts awaiting judgement. A whole punched in the Foundation Stone leads down there. The Talmud also says that the stone covers an opening to the Abyss, where the waters of the Deluge came from, and receded back to. According to The Book of Jubilees, it is even the place where Eden once was. The cube-shaped inner sanctum of Solomon’s Temple, where only the high priests were allowed, is said here to match up precisely with the location of the Garden, so that when the priests go in there, it is like returning to the forbidden zone of Eden. The inner sanctum of the temple contained the Ark of the Covenant, which served as God’s “throne” on Earth, where he would make his appearance during the ceremonies, just as his throne was also present (according to many extra-biblical texts) in Eden.

Mohammed’s Night Journey, as we mentioned previously, brings to mind the story of Jacob, who, according to Genesis, fell asleep on a certain stone and had a fantastic vision of a ladder leading to Heaven, with angels ascending and descending upon it. Afterwards, he declared the spot where he had slept the “House of God, and a gate to Heaven.” He built a temple on that very spot, using the rock he had slept on as a cornerstone.

Another depiction of Mohammed's steed Barak
Another depiction of Mohammed’s steed Barak

Significantly, the word for “ladder” used in this instance was “salem,” which specifically indicates a ziggurat (a stepped pyramid like the kind found in ancient Mesopotamia). Consider the fact that this word is part of the name of the city of Jerusalem, where the temple of Solomon is commonly believed to have been. Consider also that the “Tower of Babel” was literally, according to the story in Genesis, a stepped ziggurat as tall as Heaven, built for the purpose of storming Heaven. Then consider that the builder of another temple, the foundations of which have been found in Jerusalem (unlike those of Solomon’s Temple), was named Zerubabel, because he was born in Babylon.

Also amazing is the fact that Jacob’s pillow stone is believed by Brits to be a treasure of their own monarchy, and they claim that this is the stone which sits beneath the throne where all their kings and queens are coronated. But it came to them via the Stuarts of Scotland (who got it from Ireland, where it was supposedly brought from Egypt). Prince Michael claims in The Forgotten Monarchy of Scotland that the stone beneath the throne is a fake, and that the real one is in his family’s possession.

However, The Talmud says that Jacob’s stone is the very same as the Foundation Stone in the Temple Mount, and that this is the same location where Jacob had built his temple earlier. Yet the Bible’s description of the incident with Jacob (Genesis 28: 10-22) makes it seem to take place somewhere else, in a place then called “Luz,” which he renamed to Bethel (“House of God”). Bethel is usually found north of Jerusalem on the maps printed in Bibles.

Now, doesn’t it strike you as odd that the Christians and Jews have both each identified multiple sites for what seems to be the same honor: the location of their temple that connects Heaven to Earth? Also, doesn’t it strike you as odd that the Muslims honor both the Temple Mount and the Kaaba, for essentially the same reason? Mohammed even visited both in the same fantastic night, making the connection between the two overt. Also, he originally instructed the converts to his new religion to set their “Qiblah” (the direction in which Muslims are to pray) to point towards the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, but then later changed it to the direction of Mecca on the instructions of his deity. What does this mean?

Tracy R. Twyman has speculated about this earlier in her book The Merovingian Mythos and the Mystery of Rennes-le-Chateau. On the subject of the various “navels of the world” that have been observed by different societies in different places throughout history as their premiere holy sites, the alleged centers of the world where supposedly creation began (of which there must be hundreds), she suggested that these locations are usually marked with relic, such as the world’s “foundation stone” or a “stone from Heaven,” that makes them sacred. They are thus considered the “navel of the world” because that’s where the sacred “belly button” is placed. When different locations become identified as such by the same society, this indicates to her that the sacred object has been moved from one place to another during the course of time. Therefore both places are remembered as the “center,” even though only one (or none at all) may still be the location of the stone.

This would explain why the mere symbol of “the Stone” itself, and not just any particular location, is enough to unite Hermetic and occult groups throughout the centuries in an unending tradition of the veneration of this concept. In Wolfram von Eschenbach’s Parzival, the Holy Grail is a “stone that fell from heaven.” By magic it calls out the “Grail knights” (clearly Templars, with red crosses on their mantles) that it wants to serve it (as their names appear temporarily on its surface). As we just mentioned, the tent around the Black Stone at Mecca is cubic, and the “Holy of Holies” of Solomon’s Temple was cubic. So too was Noah’s Ark (though few realize this, unless they try to draw out the dimensions dictated to Noah by God). The alchemists, as we stated before, described their Philosopher’s Stone as cubic. The Anatolian goddess Cybele, worshipped throughout the ancient world, was associated with a stone that was venerated, and many have suggested that her name is connected with the word “cube.” You will recall that, according to Joseph von Hammer-Purgstall, the feminine aspect of Baphomet, whom he identified as “Mete” or Sophia, could also be equated to Cybele. The image of “Mete” on the coffer he found was labeled by the British Museum as featuring Cybele, probably because of the towers on her crown (one of Cybele’s signature features).

It should come as no surprise then to find those critical of Islam suggesting that the veneration of the black stone of the Kaaba is a continuation of the goddess worship of the ancient world. They even claim that the goddess being worshipped there is Lilith herself. In The Archeology of World Religions by Jack Finegan from 1952, the author suggests that Allah, a version of the Babylonian Enlil, was worshipped as a supreme creator god at the Kaaba, though among other gods, by the pre-Islamic pagan Arabs. His consort in this scheme was the goddess Allat, linguistically connected to Lilith. Allat is actually mentioned in The Koran, Sura 53, where the names of three goddesses popularly worshipped by pagans at the pre-Islamic Kaaba are cursed. But according to eighth-century Muslim historian Ibn Ishaq, based on the narration of Muhammad ibn Ka’b, tradition has it that these verses originally said something else entirely. But then Mohammed determined that those verses had actually been inspired by Satan, so Allah gave him new ones to replace them. The (now infamous) “Satanic Verses” supposedly stated:

Have ye thought upon Al-Lat and Al-‘Uzza, and Manat, the third, the other? These are the exalted [birds], whose intercession is hoped for.

Finegan puts forth that the crescent and star symbol of Islam represents the Al-Lat (as a lunar goddess) and Al-Uzza (connected with the goddess and planet Venus, the Morning Star). He also describes Al-Manat as the deity who metes out justice or fate, making her the equivalent of the Roman goddess Nemesis. Let us point out that “Nemesis” just happens to be the password of the Masonic Shrine. Also interesting is that, in The Third Book of Enoch, the Watchers (who become the fallen angels) are led by three characters, named, “Azza,” “Uzza,” and “Azzael” (all seemingly based on Azazel), who accuse mankind of sin before God (but are themselves driven from their heavenly abode because of their own transgressions).

It is worthy of note that on the grounds of the Kaaba, there are three pillars (actually changed into flat walls now) that have always been there. Pilgrims traditionally stone them each with pebbles, to represent throwing stones at the Devil. The “Tracing Board” of the first degree of Freemasonry (an instructional graphic) always shows three pillars, above which are the Sun (on the left), the Moon surrounded by stars (on the right) and the All-Seeing Eye above the one in the center. They are positioned in a right triangle, with a ladder (like a fireman’s ladder) in the midst, leading up to Heaven. There is a chequered floor on the bottom, indicating either the floor of the Kaaba, or the floor of Solomon’s Temple (as they have both been depicted with such a floor in artwork).

Masonic tracing board showing a ladder to Heaven
Masonic tracing board showing a ladder to Heaven

What if we were to think of both the Kaaba and the Temple Mount as each being a “ladder to Heaven,” and the stones associated with each as “pillars” that “hold up the sky?” This is a concept commonly found in mythology and in Islamic scripture in particular. So the three pillars on the Masonic tracing boards could be expressive of the idea that there is a third pillar somewhere else. More commonly, though, the concept is expressed with only two pillars, such as those of Jachin and Boaz. These are the names given in the Old Testament to the two pillars that allegedly stood outside of the entrance to Solomon’s Temple. In Masonic lodges they are usually represented with a globe on top of each: one a terrestrial globe (showing the world), the other a celestial globe (showing the stars in the sky). Thus the pillars are shown holding up both the Earth and Heaven, just as the ancients believed that such pillars kept the sky from collapsing on top of us, and kept the world from falling into the Abyss.

In Freemasonry, and in many Western occult traditions, these pillars are taken as representations of two polar opposite but necessary principles of existence, often characterized as either “strength and beauty” or “wisdom and severity.” In the classic Rider-Waite tarot deck, one pillar is shown colored black, and the other is white. Then there are the Pillars of Seth, and the Pillars of Hermes, which were both described as having been erected to preserve human knowledge through a global catastrophe. Both of these sets of pillars are also the subject of Masonic legends.

The High Priestess tarot card, featuring the pillars of Jachin and Boaz
The High Priestess tarot card, featuring the pillars of Jachin and Boaz

So is it possible that the Templars, and later the Freemasons, revered both the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, and the Kaaba in Mecca, as the twin pillars of the universe, and the locations of two sacred stones, one black, and one (in their system of symbols, at least) white? Could it be that they had a special relationship with the guardians of the Kaaba, as Prince Michael suggests, due to a shared blood lineage, and a shared understanding of the sacred secrets hidden in these places. Is it possible that they revered Baphomet as a representation of the union of these two things—the powers behind both holy shrines? Did they perhaps also honor Mohammed, and Islam, for having rediscovered and united the powers of these two places.

Let us recall that, while the Templars may have been Christian in a certain sense, the upper echelons of the group were certainly more than that as well, as we have amply demonstrated in this book. We know that Jesus, the Virgin Mary, and John the Baptist are all acknowledged as holy people in The Koran, and by Muslims everywhere. Those of us who grew up Christian should also know that in John 14:16-17 (KJV), Jesus told his apostles before he left them that:

I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever. Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

The Greek word here, Periclytos, has been variously translated as “comforter” and “consoler.” Some Islamic theologians choose to believe that it is the equivalent of the Arabic word for “praised one,” which is “Ahmad,” one of Mohammed’s epithets. In Sura 61:6 of The Koran (Sahih International translation), Mohammed is identified as the one whose coming was promised by Jesus:

And . . . when Jesus, the son of Mary, said, “O children of Israel, indeed I am the messenger of Allah to you confirming what came before me of the Torah and bringing good tidings of a messenger to come after me, whose name is Ahmad.” But when he came to them with clear evidences, they said, “This is obvious magic.”

However, verse 22 of John Chapter 14 (KJV) makes it clear that the Comforter is in fact the Holy Spirit:

The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

This would seem to disqualify Mohammed, unless we want to identify the Prophet with the Holy Spirit. Certainly, we previously mentioned evidence that suggests Baphomet may have been identified with the Holy Spirit, as he/she was with Sophia, the Divine Wisdom, which the Church has always equated with the Holy Spirit. So we can connect Mohammed with Allah, Allah with Allat, Allat with Lilith, and Lilith with Sophia, and thus get to the Holy Spirit that way. Also, there is the possibility that the baptism “with fire, and with the Holy Spirit” that John the Baptist promised the one to come after him would bring was, in the eyes of the Knights Templar, the same as their “Baptism of Wisdom.” Let us recall that the Templars’ alleged secret rule, supposedly contained in The Book of The Baptism of Fire, was said to have been written for the “Consoled Brothers,” and possibly referred to the Cathar rite of Consolamentum.

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.