Why is the Goat Used as an Image of Satan?

Dear Reader,

A common story given as to why the goat is often used as an image of Satan is because of the ancient story  of the scapegoat, that is, Satanists, beginning in about the 19th century with Eliphas Levi, adopted the image of the goat for Satan in order to claim Satan as a scapegoat for evil when, in fact, the devil was, as Lucifer-Prometheus and the serpent of the gnostic myths, merely trying to help humankind.

While it is true that the baphomet figure as we know it does have its origins in Eliphas Levi, the use of the goat figure is ancient.

The satyr, a half man-half goat figure, was depicted in often very crude anatomically detailed manner on Greek vases as well as some Roman mosaics as well as a variety of myths. He is always associated with sexual degeneracy, and, very interestingly, degenerate music.

Is there a connection with Orphism here?

I would be willing to say yes.

The satyr figure was associated not with fertility per se, but with bestiality, rape, orgies, and other transgressive and degenerate forms of sex. What is further interesting is that in the stories of satyr rapes, like the story of rapes by gods such as Zeus, Poseidon, and Apollo, there is usual a bestial metamorphosis of some kind involved as well as a narrative of the loss of innocence of a young girl or nymph in a garden or other rustic settings.

The goat as animal thus became associated with sodomy, bestiality, as well as with magic rituals associated with these acts.

Thus we left with a few interesting points.

  1. The satyr and goat have traditionally been associated with transgressive sexual activities; thus, Eliphas Levi’s use of the goat as the hermaphroditic baphomet is an old trope. Satan as the adversary or tempted is defined by his desire to break the natural law and rebel against God’s order. Thus transgressive sex has a Satanic mystical element to it.
  2. Secondly, although St. Augustine dismissed the idea outright that Eve had sexual relations with the serpent in the Garden of Eden, could all of the stories of bestial rape of a virgin by a god in classical mythology be perverted tales of the fall of Eve?
  3. Were the bestial occult sex rituals performed in the Mediterranean reenactments of this seduction of eve by the Serpent?
  4. Is every transgressive sexual act a participation in this ur satanic ritual?
  5. Is this is what is going on at a black mass in which degenerate sex activity is being performed?
  6. Is this a clue to uncovering the human trafficking epidemic, the abuse of children in the Church, and even the Weinstein Hollywood stories of rape?

Olympias and the Acroamatic Teaching of Aristotle

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Dear Reader,

Aristotle is often considered the most level headed of the ancient philosophers and rightly so. While there is strong evidence that Plato is alluding to certain of Orphic or Pythagorean mysticism in dialogues such as the Phaedrus and Symposium, there is generally little reason to believe that the Macedonian philosopher was a hidden occultist.

However, there is a passage at the beginning of Plutarch’s Life of Alexander that always strikes me as odd:

It would appear, moreover, that Alexander not only received from his master his ethical and political doctrines, but also participated in those secret and more profound teachings which philosophers designate by the special terms “acroamatic” and “epoptic,”and do not impart to many. For after he had already crossed into Asia, and when he learned that certain treatises on these recondite matters had been published in books by Aristotle, he wrote him a letter on behalf of philosophy, and put it in plain language. And this is a copy of the letter. “Alexander, to Aristotle, greeting. Thou hast not done well to publish thy acroamatic doctrines; for in what shall I surpass other men if those doctrines wherein I have been trained are to be all men’s common property? But I had rather excel in my acquaintance with the best things than in my power. Farewell.” Accordingly, in defending himself, Aristotle encourages this ambition of Alexander by saying that the doctrines of which he spoke were both published and not published; for  in truth his treatise on metaphysics is of no use for those who would either teach or learn the science, but is written as a memorandum for those already trained therein.

A couple of things to consider.

Aristotle and Alexander studied together at the precinct of the nymphs near Mieza.

Alexander learned medicine from Aristotle, which was often associated with natural magic.

While there is no known connection between Alexander’s mother Olympias and Aristotle, as far as I know, Olympias was a devotee of the Orphic cult and practiced some sort of serpent worship. This is not to say that Aristotle has necessarily had hidden Orphic teaching in his work.

But we are left with few interesting questions.

Did Alexander pick up Orphism from his mother?

Did Alexander and Aristotle worship together or practice and early form of theurgy at Mieza?

What is the hidden teaching of the Metaphysics?

Leviathan, Hecate, and the Ouroboros

One of the prevailing theories of Christian “deep” mythological research is the idea of an ur religion that is at the basis of all nonChristian religion. While this may sound rude and predjudicial, the idea is that all of these religions are basically identical in outlook and are fundamentally diabolical.

Whether or not one agrees with this view, it is clear, from my own research, that in the West and to a certain degree the Islamic, Hindu, and East Asian world (as well as diasporic, Talmudic Judaism, there is an Ur religion from which all these religions sprang.

An early manifestation of this religion in the West has been called Orphism.

In Orphism (as well as Gnosticism), the World Soul (called Hecate as well as Psyche by the Chaldeans and theurgists) is called the “serpent” and “Leviathan” and is combined in Greek religion in the image of Hecate surrounded by serpents.

Interestingly, some schools of Talmudic Judaism venerate this serpent.

It is a “no brainer” who this serpent is in the Bible. However, how could Satan be the animating principle of the universe or even earth?

Is this simply a lie or trick? Or do demons play some function in the mechanical workings of the universe similar to the good angels?

Is there a deeper mythological-occult significance to Thomas Hobbes’s Leviathan and the modern state?

Another Look at Ficino, Demons and Music

Image result for renaissance musicians paintings

Dear Reader,

While I have written on facets of this topic before, I just came across two more interesting quotes from Marsilio Ficino regarding music.  Ficino had suggested in his De Vita that a demon could actually carry music into the ear. He also proposed that the musician could “make” demons with his music.

While the later idea is ridiculous, it nonetheless opens that idea that demons can be summoned via music and could enter into a person via the ear or perhaps by affecting the thamus or spirit.

This idea is especially pertinent to the notion of Orpheus as a mage-musician as well as the contemporary celebrity as a musician-mage able to mold and shape the audience through induced possession.

As a side note, the idea of an “alien” organism entering the ear is a common theme in science fiction present in Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan and Alien: Covenant.

Orpheus as Shaman, Mage, Artist, and Scientist

DSC00355 - Orfeo (epoca romana) - Foto G. Dall'Orto.jpg

One of the dominant ideas of Renaissance Neoplatonism and contemporary occultism is the belief that that prior to Plato there was a tradition of magi that included Pythagoras, Empedocles, and Zororaster in which a theological tradition was passed down called the prisca theologia.

While one might readily dismiss this idea as ridiculous fantasizing, several professional scholars have written on the idea that these mystery teachings do, in fact, crop up in Aristotle.

The father of this tradition was allegedly Orpheus whose myth has a number of shamanistic and magic elements in it, including the following:

  1. A marriage that was never consummated with Eurydice, his wife.
  2. A serpent that stings Eurydice (a memory of the serpent in the Garden of Eden)?
  3. A descent to the underworld and power via music over the demons in the underworld.
  4. The failure to bring his wife from the underworld.
  5. The power to enchant nature and animals and plants to do his bidding via ritual music.
  6. The creation of pederasty and sodomy (as possibly a cultic ritual) after failing to retrieve his wife.
  7. His own death and dismemberment and prophesied future resurrection by women who desired him (human sacrifice?)

All of these elements would later serve as the basis of later Western magic up until the present day.

Interestingly, in French cave paintings, this “Orpheus” shaman shows up as a shape changer (possibly a constellation) associated with animals and phallic activity as well as music (I could not find the cave painting of the musical shaman).

Image result for shaman in lascaux cave