Friday, January 6, 2012


The Baphometh (or Bafomath*) was the God of the Knights Templars, a 12th Century order of Knights disbanded on grounds of heresy. The Bafomath communicated to the Templars in the form of a disembodied voice emanating from a dismembered head. Philip K Dick, the author of A Scanner Darkly, spoke of a giant metallic head floating in the sky and following his every move. It was this experience which led him to write Valis, the story about a computerised God that had infiltrated our reality in order to restore rationality. It seems to me that Bafomath and Valis are one and the same entity. Alternatively, Bafomath might be the demiurge of the BIS, Valis' sworn enemy; although the two are hard to separate.

The Devil is often depicted as a horned-goat with wings and a human female body. In this drawing of Bafomath by Eliphas Levi we can see that the creature is a hermaphrodite, a blend of both male and female characteristics. On the Bafomath's right arm, which is raised and points to a white crescent moon, is written the word 'Solve'. On his left arm, which is lowered and points to a black crescent moon, is written the word "Coagula'. Together the words 'Solve et coagula' form the basis of the Hermetic principle of the Alchemists.

In order for the Philosopher's Stone to be created the alchemist must first dissolve a specimen of 'Prima Mater' in a crucible. Once the impurities have been removed the mixture can be allowed to coagulate once more, thus completing the Great Work. This process of dissolution and reconstitution must happen numerous times before the product can be deemed ready.

In terms of the human soul (for alchemy is often said to be as much or more about the distillation of the human spirit, as it is the making of gold from base metals) the concept of the Solve, or the universal solvent, is to break down our mental barriers and distinctions between 'us' and the world; so that we become 'One' with the Universe and its workings. When the human is returned to their former state, he/she is thus enlightened as to the nature of reality, the problems of social classes etc, etc. It is in this state that they must continue their crossing towards the further shore; the Promised Land of the Enlightened Buddhist Masters.

The Salvia Bardo, which I have spoken about in other posts, is similarly a region of dissolution and reformation. Here there is little difference between you or your neighbor, or indeed the entire experience we speak of as being 'reality'. It is the end of dreams and reality, where basic notions such as 'up' or 'down' hold no bearing; the equalizer of the opposites. But with the end of duality comes the call for its preservation; coagulation. As in the case for the twin chimney stacks of Poolbeg Power Station in Dublin City.

This need of ours to have an 'other' - that which is perceived as being separate from ourselves - was expressed in the request to preserve the now defunct Poolbeg Power Station from demolition. The twin, red and white striped chimney stacks have been an icon of Dublin, in times gone by, and a committee was formed to challenge Dublin City Council's motion to have them collapsed. This goes to show that while duality may have been vanquished, calls are made in favour of its preservation in order that life can continue in a somewhat normal fashion.

The concept that a dilapidated power station on the East coast of the Emerald Isle could have any bearing on psyche of humanity as a whole may seem 'a tad bit' erroneous, but I assure that this power station has great symbolic meaning and import, on a variety of different levels. I will be discussing these in a later post; So stay tuned.

* The actual spelling of the Baphometh was revealed by Aleister Crowley undoubtedly via numerology in the early 20th Century. The spelling 'Bafomath' is my own creation and is derived through the usage of anagrams, the meaning behind which evokes the universal solvent of the next piece.

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