This is a very long article and i have roughly broken it into several parts. It appears to provide serious insight into pagan theology in particular as respects the Greek Mythos. That such has plausibly survived in several modern guises is no surprise and needs to be better understood as those modern Memes are apparently coming to bite us.
Most of this material i am obliquely aware of as occasional references in other works. We now discover what we have here, perhaps a whole meme.
My first caution is to understand that these writings represent a deep understanding of the sources employed and cannot be dismissed out of hand, even when you are sure they are all on the wrong track altogether. They are also a window into a world not otherwise encountered.
What is impressive is the solid sources behind all the original material itself.
Above: The Distinguished Charity of Mete by Jesse Peper
For 25 years, I have been writing professionally about history and current events, viewed through the angle of comparative mythology and the anthropology of religion. One of my areas of focus has been the influence of occult ideas and groups on civilization, particularly that of the West. Early on, I chose the subjects of Freemasonry, and the mythos of the Holy Grail as topics of research, and this inevitably led me to Baphomet, the idol allegedly worshipped by the Knights Templar. My interest in Baphomet was especially ignited by a series of personal supernatural encounters I had with this entity myself through a Ouija board, beginning in 2001. I detail these encounters in my 2014 book Clock Shavings.
Eliphas Levi’s Baphomet
While ridiculed by fellow scholars at the time, and by many historians since, Hammer-Purgstall’s revelation of the Gnosis of Mete found a fertile medium in which to grow in the Satanic stylings of Anton LaVey and Aleister Crowley, particularly the latter. Aleister Crowley not only adapted many of Eliphas Levi’s ideas about Baphomet and ritual magick, but saw himself as a reincarnation of Levi. He took on “Baphomet” as his own initiatory name in the magical order he headed: the Order of Oriental Templars (a.k.a. “Ordo Templi Orientis,” or “OTO”), when he proclaimed himself the “Caliph” of. He had taken over leadership of an older German order (many members of which carried on without him), and made it his own. As for the meaning of the name of the Templar demon, Crowley wrote in his Confessions:
Illustration of demon “Bafomid,” from ibn Wahshiyya’s De Alphabetis Incognitis
Various portraits of Joseph von Hammer-Purgstall, and postage stamp from 1981
Included on Hammer-Purgstall’s illustrious resume is the fact that he was the first president of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, and the Austrian Oriental Society in Vienna still bears his name as a tribute in their longer formal title. Today they teach German to immigrants, amongst other things. In addition to working closely with the powerful and connected Duc de Blacas, Hammer-Purgstall was friends with Johann von Goethe and Ludwig von Beethoven. He provided them both with his translation of the Koran, which influenced them both notably in different ways. Despite the attempts by some to trash his good name, he is still considered a national treasure in Austria, and has even been featured on a postage stamp.
Louis, Duc du Blacas
Pierre, Duc du Blacas.
The “Blacas Cameo” from the collection of Louis, Duc de Blacas at British Museum. Wikipedia describes it as “an unusually large ancient Roman cameo” with a bust of “Augustus I.” The same source continues: “He has thrown the aegis, an attribute of Jupiter, over his shoulder.”
The “Projecta Casket,” alleged wedding furniture from the “Esquiline Treasure” of Louis, Duc de Blacas at British Museum. Wikipedia reports: “In spite of the Christian inscription on the Projecta Casket, the iconography of the figurative decoration of the treasure is purely pagan, a common mixture in Roman metalwork from the period to about 350, when Early Christian art had not yet devised iconography for essentially secular decoration. Three sides of the Projecta Casket’s lid are decorated with pagan mythological motifs – these include the deity Venus on a cockleshell, nereids (sea-nymphs) riding a ketos (a dragon-like sea monster) and a hippocamp (a monster with the front quarters of a horse and the tail of a fish). The mixture of Christian and pagan inscriptions and symbols may have been a compromise reflecting the affiliations of the bride and groom’s families.”