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Frabato, the Magician

To: alt.magick
From: (Christopher Tuttle)
Subject: Re: Frabato, the Magician (9406.fbardon.ct)
Date: 49940624

Quoting: |, 
	 |> (Robert C. Bright)

|>I read _Frabato the Magician_ recently and was surprised to learn that
|>Bardon considers the god of the 99 Lodges was Baphomet.  Is this so?
|>Bardon also says that Baphomet is a demon whose deal with the 99
|>Lodge folks is a personal demon and stuff for life in exchange for
|>the death of one of its members each summer solstice.  (Then
|>eternal service)  Does anyone have any thoughts on this subject?

|>"Confused in Philadelphia"

|One thought... Who is Bardon, and why does he claim demonic presence?
|I've seen plenty of people criing demon far to easilly.

Franz Bardon was a 19th century German magician.  He belonged to a ceremonial
magical order (the name escapes me at the moment!), one of many that sprang
up in Germany between the late 17th and early 20th centuries.  He is most
famous for a two-volume work on ceremonial magic training called _Initiation
into Hermetics_ -- of which the first volume is quite useful (although quite
densely written), whereas the second volume is pretty obtuse and not really
useful to anyone not following the system in its entirety.  Quite a few parts
of Initiation into Hermetics (vol. 1) have found there way into other western
occult "systems/traditions" (without citations, I might add) . . . for example,
the preparatory method for "Universal Condenser" later found in the Witchcraft
of both Paul Huson and Alex Sanders seems to have been "borrowed" from Bardon.

Bardon's group seems to have been greatly influenced by both the Rosicrucian
and Freemasonic movements.  Since the "traditions" of both of these groups
claim the Knights Templar in the "historic" lineages it's not surprising that
Baphomet should appear in Bardon's novel, _Frabato, The Magician_.  Baphomet
is the hermaphroditic "god" that the Templars were accused of worshipping
instead of Yahweh (the most common image of Baphomet is that drawn by the
late 18th-early 19th c. French magician, Eliphas Levi); Baphomet, because
of its hermaphroditism, really appealed to magicians of the time because
of the close association between magic and alchemy -- the central theme of
alchemy being the "Chymical Wedding," that is, the marriage of one's
spiritual self to one's emotional self, the body to the soul -- symbolized
by a hermaphrodite.

_Frabato, the Magician_ is a 19th c. novel -- written during the rise of 
Romanticism when Europe was obsessed with occultism, especially things having
to do with demons, Black Masses, etc.  As a result, Bardon sets his story in
a similar framework -- expecting it, I'm sure, to attract more readers in the
event that some of them will see beyond the "trappings" to the underlying
messages.  Thus, don't take Bardon's portrayal of the Lodge, and of Baphomet,
too seriously.  The "mythic" attributes he gives to Baphomet are most likely
the creation of his own imagination -- at least, they don't correspond to
anything I've come across amongst the "actual practices" of the contemporary
groups.  The closest comparison that can be made is to extant 'confessions'
coerced from tortured Templars by the Inquisition in the 14th century.  Most
modern historian/magicians believe that you can't take the 14th c. Church-
recorded material at face value.

Hope this helps . . . .  If you enjoyed Bardon's novel, you should try
Sir Edward George Bulwer-Lytton's _Zanoni_ and _A Strange Story_ -- both of
which contain much more useful/practical magical information gleaned from
the contemporary occultism (Bulwer-Lytton studied with Eliphas Levi).

Light in Extension,

Christopher A. Tuttle/Thoth
former Co-Editor, Tides: A Journal of Wicca and NeoPagan Spirituality
(POB 317, BU Station, Boston, MA  02215; or
[Nota Bene: Tides ceased publication (temporarily?) on 1 April 1994]

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