The so-called "Mendes Pentacle" or Sabbatic Goat emblem was devised in the 1950s and falsely attributed to the nineteenth century occultist Elipas Levi. This symbol is commonly confused with Levi's depiction of the Templar icon Baphomet, which was not presented as a symbol of evil, but of harmony, redemption, and union with the divine.
The Sigil of Baphomet has its origins in accusations of demonic worship by the medieval Knights Templar.
It is also the official insignia for the Church of Satan, chosen by Dr. Anton Szandor LaVey. Satanists who follow the philosophies of LaVey often adorn themselves with the sigil.
The Hebrew letters at each of the points of the pentagram read "לִוְיָתָן" starting from the lowest point and reading counter-clockwise. Translated, this is Leviathan, a sea creature figuring in Judaic mythology. Leviathan has many complex meanings, many of which apply to its use in the Sigil of Baphomet. Leviathan is commonly associated with Satan, and the fourth book of the Satanic Bible is named the Book of Leviathan.
Although versions of the Sigil of Baphomet appear as early as the 1897 book “La Clef de la Magie Noire” by Stanislas de Guaita, the variant in common use today was designed for use by the Church of Satan, and is known as the Hell's Kitchen Baphomet. This variant is copyrighted by the Church of Satan and cannot legally be reproduced without permission. Historic variants are in the public domain.
Nonetheless, the two have been confused so often it is nearly impossible to separate them in modern usage. The name "Mendes goat" derives from a connection Levi made between the Templar Baphomet, the Goat of the witch's Sabbat (as depicted in popular art), and the Egyptian god Ammon, of Mendes, Egypt- an emblem (according to Levi) of fertility and sexual freedom. Levi's connection was spurious (The God in question was represented by a ram, not a goat), but the confusion has persisted.
A simplified version of the symbol shown was adopted as the emblem of Anton Lavey's Church of Satan in 1966 and called The Sigil of Baphomet. The Hebrew letters surrounding the pentacle spell out "Leviathan," the mythic sea monster of the Old Testament.
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