From the Dictionary of The Occult and Supernatural
"Baphomet was the deity worshipped by the Knights Templar, and in Black Magic as the source and creator of evil; the Satanic goat of the witches' Sabbath and one of the names adopted by Aleister Crowley."
When the medieval order of the Knights Templar was suppressed by King Phillip of France on Friday, Oct. 13, 1307, King Philip had many French Templars simultaneously arrested, and then tortured into confessions. The death of these 1000s of Templars is the basis for why Friday 13 is considered a day of bad luck. The name Baphomet comes up in several of these confessions, in reference to an idol of some type that the Templars were said to have been worshipping. The description of the object changed from confession to confession. Some Templars denied any knowledge of it. Others, under torture, described it as being either a severed head, a cat, or a head with three faces.
In the 19th century, the name of Baphomet became associated with the occult. In 1854, Elphas Levi published Dogmas and Rituals of High Magic, in which he included an image he had drawn himself which he described as Baphomet and "The Sabbatic Goat", showing a winged humanoid goat with a pair of breasts and a torch on its head between its horns. This image has become the best-known representation of Baphomet.Levi's depiction is similar to that of the Devil in early tarot cards, but it may also have been partly inspired by grotesque carvings on the Templar churches of Lanleff in Britanny and St. Merri in Paris, which depict squatting bearded men with bat wings, female breasts, horns and the shaggy hindquarters of a beast.
Legend states that in 1801, Issac Long brought a statue of Baphomet to Charleston where he helped establish the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. Long apparently chose Charleston because it was geographically located on the 33rd parallel of latitude (incidentally, so is Baghdad), and this council is considered to be the Mother Supreme Council of all Masonic Lodges of the World.
Albert Pike was Long's successor, and he changed the name of the Order to the New and Reformed Palladian Rite (or Reformed Palladium). A 33rd degree Mason, he was one of the founding fathers, and head of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, being the Grand Commander of North American Freemasonry from 1859 and retained that position until his death in 1891. In 1869, he was a top leader in the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. The Order contained two degrees: 1) Adelph (or Brother), and 2) Companion of Ulysses (or Companion of Penelope). Pike's right-hand man was Phileas Walder, from Switzerland, who was a former Lutheran minister, a Masonic leader, occultist, and spiritualist.
Pike also worked closely with Giusseppe Mazzini of Italy (1805-1872) who was a 33rd degree Mason, who became head of the Illuminati in 1834, and who founded the Mafia in 1860. In addition to the Supreme Council in Charleston, South Carolina, Pike established Supreme Councils in Rome, Italy (led by Mazzini); London, England (led by Palmerston); and Berlin, Germany (led by Bismarck). He set up 23 subordinate councils in strategic places throughout the world, including five Grand Central Directories in Washington, DC (North America), Montevideo (South America), Naples (Europe), Calcutta (Asia), and Mauritius (Africa).
Pike was said to be a Satanist, who indulged in the occult, and he apparently possessed a bracelet which he used to summon Lucifer, with whom he had constant communication. He was the Grand Master of a Luciferian group known as the Order of the Palladium (or Sovereign Council of Wisdom), which had been founded in Paris in 1737. Palladism had been brought to Greece from Egypt by Pythagoras in the fifth century, and it was this cult of Satan that was introduced to the inner circle of the Masonic lodges. It was aligned with the Palladium of the Templars.
Albert Pike died on April 2, 1891, and was buried in Oak Hill Cemetery, although his corpse currently lies in the headquarters of the Council of the 33rd degree of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry in Washington, D.C. Gen. Albert Pike is the only Confederate general with a statue on federal property in Washington, DC. He was honoured, not as a commander or even as a lawyer, but as Southern regional leader of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry. The statue stands on a pedestal near the foot of Capitol Hill, between the Department of Labor building and the Municipal Building, between 3rd and 4th Streets, on D Street, NW.
Happy Friday the 13th!