Baphomet the Goat God
The goat god Baphomet became important to the Order of the Knights Templar and remained a significant image in freemasonry. It has acted as a foundation to many satanic images that incorporate goat-features.
The Order of the Knights templar was formed during the crusades when many knights and squires set out for the Holy Land. For generations they dominated a large part of the Mediterranean with their headquarters in Malta. The inverted five-pointed star, or Cross of Malta is used as a cryptogram for Baphomet.
Dennis Wheatley writes of this Order and the symbolism of Baphomet in his text The Devil and All His Works:
The Order was founded in Jerusalem in 1119 by Hughes de Payns and his comrade Godeffroi de St Omer. The latter was an Albigense, so from the beginning the Order had anti-Christian leanings; and, as most of its knights spent most of their lives in the Near East, it was not altogether surprising that certain of them became involved in Eastern Practices. Before many years had passed, the whole Order gave itself up to the worship of Baphomet, a pagan deity envisaged by Arab mystics.
The idol of Baphomet represented in magical form the Absolute. It had the head and hooves of a goat, with a black candle set between the horns; and human hands, upheld and pointing to two crescents, the upper white, the lower black; the belly was green and had scales like a fish; the female breasts were blue; the sexual organs consisted of a penis and a vulva in the form of a caduceus; on its forehead it had a pentagram. The image was seated cross-legged on a cube, the symbol of four, the square and foundation of all things; the feet rested on a sphere, representing the world.
In Malta a raised index and little finger remains a common hand gesture that relates to Baphomet's horns and is used as a protection against evil. It is also used to signify sexual betrayal or sarcastically as a taunting gesture of male virility. The gesture is known to have been used for over 2000 years; a record dated in 1644 records that it is…
"used in our nimble-fingered times to call one cuckold, and to present the badge of cuckoldry, that mental and imaginary horn… common use hath made it the known signal of disparagement, so naturally apt are the fingers to speak scoffs".
Dennis Wheatley, The Devil and All His Works, Arrow Books, 1971, pp. 215-216.
John Foley, Signs and Symbols, Guinness Publications, 1993, pp.57-61