The religion of Baphomet

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Sharad9
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The religion of Baphomet

Post by Sharad9 » Thu 28 Jun 2018, 15:48

I watched a series called "Game of Thrones" in which a priestess called The Red Woman conceives a shadow demon and uses it to kill the enemies of the king she served. It seemed like an interesting concept, so I tried to include it into my world. This setting takes place in an alternate version of medieval Europe. Witchcraft was not feared and persecuted like it was in our world. It is respected, with the worship of Baphomet being the official religion of the land. It came to power during a great plague which devastated the continent. When the Judeo-Christian God failed to help and stayed silent, Baphomet heard their pleas and came to their aid and offered power to the first witches to save their people. As a result, Witches became the dominant power in society and gathered together to form covens, which are the center of political and religious power. Schools and research are given over to studying the occult as magic took the place of science. Spells require various components and materials, as well as the knowledge of certain chants. Time limits vary, with longer and more powerful spells taking many hours to complete.

Witches have the power to summon a familiar. These creatures are ethereal daemon spirits summoned from the spiritual realm to exist in servitude to their master, and can be used for various purposes. They exist as formless entities until brought over into the material realm, and are considered minor deities in their own right due to their connection with Baphomet. They can serve as magical batteries or amplifiers for the witch to increase power for a spell. They can also be used for battle or assassination, or a repository for special items, etc. Witches are connected to their familiars for life, and can communicate telepathically and see through their eyes.

The resulting daemon is a reflection of the person's personality, and can take various forms, and no two familiars are the same. Because of the intimate connection and lifelong nature, a witch can only ever have one familiar. Therefore, witches wait until they are extremely confident in their abilities, status and personal preferences before using their single chance. It grows in power and size with her until it reaches full maturity. The magical prowess and understanding of the practitioner increase as they are bound for life to one who was literally made from it. Through the connection between one and their familiar, one can manipulate their spells to degree that was previously impossible for them. It also allows for one to be able to understand spells and magic that they would have no understanding/knowledge of quicker and more readily.

The summoning of a daemon is a year long ritual that takes the form of three steps, each meant to test the individual in some way. The first is a period of fasting, which is meant to test devotion and committment. This takes place over the course of three months and includes much prayer and meditation. The second test involves an ancient spell meant to test the willingness to sacrifice. A coven of witches participate, with the initiate using herself as a conduit between the physical world and the spiritual world, opening herself up to be indwelt by the spirit. Chanting and various components such as sigils and runes connected to the god are used. A human life must also be offered to Baphomet on a sacrificial altar due to the rule of equivalent exchange: To obtain, something of equal value must be lost. If all goes well, a daemon spirit is drawn into the initiate from the spirit world. the seed gestates in the womb for a period of nine months, and becomes bound to the individual's soul.

The ritual concludes with a final ceremony in which the daemon is birthed into the physical world. This is a test of endurance, and the pain of labor may be too much to bear for the weak. The ones who survive however are welcomed into the priesthood and are among the most powerful of magic users. Having a daemon familiar is seen as a mark of prowess and a status symbol of power in society, and are highly prized.They are respected and revered by the population due to their strength of will and devotion to Baphomet and their craft. There is a downside however. Giving birth to a familiar destroys a woman's ability to give birth to children the normal way - this is intended: witch has to make a sacrifice of both body and soul to make the bond possible and give the familiar a physical form. A witch who has spawned a familiar can never have children or create a lineage, which is part of why familiars come with such prestige - it indicates a powerful dedication to the art.

I tried to keep some of the dark and unsettling tones from the show. I'd like some feedback on this concept. What works and what doesn't. Any opinions would be appreciated.
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elemtilas
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Re: The religion of Baphomet

Post by elemtilas » Fri 29 Jun 2018, 00:43

Sharad9 wrote:
Thu 28 Jun 2018, 15:48
I tried to keep some of the dark and unsettling tones from the show. I'd like some feedback on this concept. What works and what doesn't. Any opinions would be appreciated.
I've never seen the series in question, so comment on it, or your take on it but on first sight, I'd say this is an interesting and entirely believable system.

I am especially happy to read that the taking of a familiar is not a quick five minute ritual but rather requires much sacrifice and strength of spirit and mind and character.

I don't know if this was in the show or not, but if it was your idea to make the familiars be the spiritual children of the witches is one of those why didn't I think of that ideas! (There are some births very distantly reminiscent of this idea in the The World, but not this precisely.) You came up with a goody here!

Questions:

Are the daimons so summoned individual creatures with their own wills and desires that the witch must in some way conquer? Do they ever resist being summoned? Do they ever revolt once born and bound?

Re Baphomet, is this a name you chose (or was it borrowed from the show)? The name itself has a rather odd history in Western religio-occult literature: is there any connexion with that shadowy figure?
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Re: The religion of Baphomet

Post by Sharad9 » Fri 29 Jun 2018, 01:17

i actually did come up with the daemon-children idea so thanks. the daemons are basically part of the witch's soul, so they are loyal and obedient. however, they have their various personalities and some will be more difficult than others. some are talkative like donkey from shrek, others barely speak unless spoken to, etc. i just chose baphomet because i saw a picture of him which looked cool, and he has some history in pagan cultre and the occult.
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elemtilas
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Re: The religion of Baphomet

Post by elemtilas » Fri 29 Jun 2018, 01:54

Sharad9 wrote:
Fri 29 Jun 2018, 01:17
i actually did come up with the daemon-children idea so thanks. the daemons are basically part of the witch's soul, so they are loyal and obedient. however, they have their various personalities and some will be more difficult than others. some are talkative like donkey from shrek, others barely speak unless spoken to, etc. i just chose baphomet because i saw a picture of him which looked cool, and he has some history in pagan cultre and the occult.
In that case,

https://media.giphy.com/media/4Z5lEBKx7 ... /giphy.gif

It's a fantastic idea!

Do the daimons' personalities usually reflect / accord with / run against those of their witches? Are they entirely obedient or can they resist if the witch wants them to do something contrary to their personality or conscience? Since they're part of the witch's soul, I'd imagine they'd have some conscience as well?
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If we stuff the whole chicken back into the egg, will all our problems go away? --- Wandalf of Angera
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Re: The religion of Baphomet

Post by Lambuzhao » Fri 29 Jun 2018, 04:31

Sharad9 wrote:
Thu 28 Jun 2018, 15:48
This setting takes place in an alternate version of medieval Europe. Witchcraft was not feared and persecuted like it was in our world. It is respected, with the worship of Baphomet being the official religion of the land. It came to power during a great plague which devastated the continent. When the Judeo-Christian God failed to help and stayed silent, Baphomet heard their pleas and came to their aid and offered power to the first witches to save their people. As a result, Witches became the dominant power in society and gathered together to form covens, which are the center of political and religious power.
Hmm… witches as Plague Doctors. Interesting idea ~ The Cunning-Folk avenged!
:wat:

I don't know, however, how much a submission to and worship of a cacodemon like Baphomet was autochthonous to European Wicca, or an imposition
upon Wicca by the more dominant (in our continuity) Judeo-Christian associated lore.

I might think that, in time, Wicca might have laid a foundation for secularized proto-scientific inquiry.
Though the Cunning-Folk would've had a devil of a time getting contemporaneous Muslims to share their Arabic copies and translations of Classical scientific & mathematical texts. Or maybe not, if you make use of the possible Baphomet/Mahomet connexion.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baphomet# ... tymologies

Interesting paths for sure.
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Lambuzhao
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Re: The religion of Baphomet

Post by Lambuzhao » Fri 29 Jun 2018, 18:03

Do not think this was the direction you were headed in, but goodness, what an interesting trove of possibilities.

So, Baphomet has connections to outlier Christianity, i.e. the Knights Templar.

It also has possible connections to Gnosticism thru the (folk) etymology :grc: βαφη μητȢς /ba.phe: me:.tus/ "bath of wisdom".

It also has connections to (racist anti)Muslim nomenclature, where Baphomet could be a corruption of Mahomet, and a word in Occitan (¿source?) for a mosque is a bafumaria.


I might suggest that Eastern Gnostic Mandæans ¿Yazidis?, whom for the world, Medieval Crusaders thought they were 'Muslims', when they came into contact with them in the Levant.

The Yazidis taught the Templars about their religion of Melek Taus (sic. Baphomet) and their ritual purifying ablution, called the βαφη μητȢς.

The Yazidi-Templars grew in strength and power since their 'baths of wisdom' sucessfully cured Plague. Their variety of Monotheism continued to cultivate adherents.

Maybe Wiccans, Cunning-Folk etc. also had their own means of combatting Plague, or maybe they joined forces with the Yazidi-Templars. More probably, the more autochthonous Wiccans rejected and struggled against the invading Yazidi-Templars (?!?)

Wow. What would Old Black Phillip think?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=V3dK1tOlRjo

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Re: The religion of Baphomet

Post by Sharad9 » Sat 14 Jul 2018, 02:15

elemtilas wrote:
Fri 29 Jun 2018, 01:54
Sharad9 wrote:
Fri 29 Jun 2018, 01:17
i actually did come up with the daemon-children idea so thanks. the daemons are basically part of the witch's soul, so they are loyal and obedient. however, they have their various personalities and some will be more difficult than others. some are talkative like donkey from shrek, others barely speak unless spoken to, etc. i just chose baphomet because i saw a picture of him which looked cool, and he has some history in pagan cultre and the occult.
In that case,

https://media.giphy.com/media/4Z5lEBKx7 ... /giphy.gif

It's a fantastic idea!

Do the daimons' personalities usually reflect / accord with / run against those of their witches? Are they entirely obedient or can they resist if the witch wants them to do something contrary to their personality or conscience? Since they're part of the witch's soul, I'd imagine they'd have some conscience as well?
Sorry for the delay. The familiar has its own personality which may or may not reflect the witches. Some can be difficult to train, on while others are easy and obedient. Think like raising kids. They must ultimately obey the witch but might find minor ways to rebel.

What is "The World" that you mentioned?
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Re: The religion of Baphomet

Post by Ànradh » Sat 14 Jul 2018, 13:03

Sharad9 wrote:
Sat 14 Jul 2018, 02:15
What is "The World" that you mentioned?
That's his own setting; it's fairly detailed.
Sin ar Pàrras agus nì sinne mar a thogras sinn. Choisinn sinn e agus ’s urrainn dhuinn ga loisgeadh.
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Re: The religion of Baphomet

Post by gestaltist » Tue 31 Jul 2018, 13:34

Love the idea. I'm a sucker for good alternate histories, and you thought of a very interesting divergence point. Do you want to keep some trace of Christianity? I think it would make sense. God's silence would probably be taken as an important tenet in that world's variant of Christianity.
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