VISIONARY REVUE


      The iconography Johfra used for his figure of the Horned God is worthy of further examination. The ram’s head, bat wings, and cloven hooves are elements associated with the Christian devil from the earliest times in Christianity. Indeed, they may be traced back even further into the Pre-Christian era. But the torch between his horns, the breasts and the erect phallus with entwined serpents are motifs clearly derived from Eliphas Levi and his description of Baphoment.

LEVI'S IMAGE
OF BAPHOMET

      Levi was an Occult philosopher who lived in Paris from 1810 to 1875. He published an image of Baphomet which has since become the source of iconography for many Visionary artists, including H. R. Giger (and myself).
      Levi gives a long explanation of the iconography of Baphomet, saying:
      “This is a pantheistic and magical portrayal of the Absolute... indicating the mystery of the universal procreation.”

      The god Baphoment arose during the middle ages as the name for the idol which, according to the Inquisition, the Knights Templar brought back from the Holy Land and worshipped in secret. These charges were brought forth for political reasons, and it is doubtful whether such an idol ever existed. But ever since Levi called his occult image ‘Baphomet of Mendes, the Sabbatic Goat,’ it has been taken as an image for the Templar’s idol. In popular imagination, Baphomet has become an image of the Christian devil.



 
 
 


PARIS - SPRING 2003


BAPHOMET: THE HORNED GOD
detail from WITCHES' SABBATH I

      In his painting, Johfra has used Baphomet’s image to give us (in Levi’s words) ‘a pantheist and magical portrayal of the Absolute’. In particular, he is trying to express ‘the mystery of universal procreation’. The multitude of figures swirling around the Horned God are moved by Nature’s all-creative power, which expresses itself in humanity through desire, delight, and orgiastic revelling. The Horned God with his erect phallus becomes the focal point of their collective longing. But he must be seen as an image embodying procreation, and not the force itself. That force is manifest - invisibly - in the masses of figures and their collective movement towards mingling, merging, and uniting as a whole. They are a collective manifestation of Life.



 
 
 


<--LAST PAGE

 


NEXT PAGE -->

 
 


HOME

 


EDITORIAL

 


JOHFRA:
THE LIFE

 


JOHFRA:
THE WORKS

 


HERMETIC
JOHFRA

 


PANTHEIST
JOHFRA


 
 


DIANA
VANDENBERG


 


ELLEN
LORIEN


 


JOHFRA
GALLERY


 


VANDENBERG
GALLERY


 


LORIEN
GALLERY


 


LINKS