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Offline Mooning Freddy

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Why is the Devil depicted with a goat's head?
« on: April 19, 2013, 11:00:09 AM »
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Slayer - Angel of Death (Goat Edition)

Thought some people here would be interested to know this story. "The Devil", especially in Satanist imagery is drawn with a goat's head. The picture of The Baphomet is a being with a goat's head and female body.  Why is the goat seen as a symbol of Satan and Satanism?



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baphomet

I think the best explanation to it would be through the name Azazel, which became in Christianity as well as Islam a synonym of Satan. Who, or what originally was Azazel?

The term Azazel was originally used in Jewish texts as a reference to sacrifice of goats. Literally it means "passing of the goat" (Ez- Goat, Azal- exhaust). "Sending a goat to Azazel" is a reference for using it as a scapegoat (funny that the term scapegoat is derived from the ancient Jewish practice) for pardoning people's sins. However, perhaps mistranslation presented it sacrificing a goat to a being called Azazel, which was seen as Satan. Ironically enough, Jewish mythology eventually decided to present it as a real being as well, somewhat of a demon. 



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azazel

Another interesting explanation is that the goat features come from the Greek deity Pan, a god depicted with a goat's head.
Since Christianity was built on bashing pagan, mostly Greek and Roman religions, makes sense that Satan could look like a pagan god (see: Beezlebub, a Christian name for Satan or a demon who was an actual Mesopotamian deity)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beezelbub


http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/1327/why-is-satan-often-shown-as-having-goatlike-features
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Offline Ratty

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Re: Why is the Devil depicted with a goat's head?
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2013, 02:30:07 PM »
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However, perhaps mistranslation presented it sacrificing a goat to a being called Azazel, which was seen as Satan. Ironically enough, Jewish mythology eventually decided to present it as a real being as well, somewhat of a demon. 

This would make sense since as I recall Jews in medieval Europe were thought to make blood sacrifices to dark powers, sometimes being accused of killing Christians for that purpose. It's not unlike how Christians, when they first came about, were rumored to be a weird cult with cannibalistic practices because in taking communion they ate the (wine and bread) body of Christ.

As for the connection to Pan it's possible, but it could be a tie to other goat-inspired nature and fertility Gods. Many (maybe most?) of the demons in the Christian pantheon are just re-purposed Pagan Gods. It was part of the conversion process, come to a new land and tell all the people the Gods they'd been worshiping were actually demons deceiving them.

Offline Lelygax

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Re: Why is the Devil depicted with a goat's head?
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2013, 04:06:30 PM »
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Scapegoats sacrifice has been made in name of God in bible too.

The Bible

The scapegoat was a goat that was designated (Hebrew לַעֲזָאזֵֽל ) la-aza'zeyl; either "for absolute removal" (Brown-Driver-Briggs Lexicon) or possibly "for Azazel" (some modern versions taking the term as a name) and outcast in the desert as part of the ceremonies of the Day of Atonement, that began during the Exodus with the original Tabernacle and continued through the times of the temples in Jerusalem.
Throughout the year, the sins of the ancient Israelites were daily transferred to the regular sin offerings as outlined in the Torah in Leviticus Ch 16. Once a year, on the tenth day of the seventh month in the Jewish calendar, the Day of Atonement, the High Priest of Israel sacrificed a bull for a sin offering for his own sins. Subsequently he took two goats and presented them at the door of the tabernacle with a view to dealing with the corporate sins of God's people — the nation of Israel. Two goats were chosen by lot: one to be "The Lord's Goat", which was offered as a blood sacrifice, and the other to be the "Azazel" scapegoat to be sent away into the wilderness. The blood of the slain goat was taken into the Holy of Holies behind the sacred veil and sprinkled on the mercy seat, the lid of the ark of the covenant. Later in the ceremonies of the day, the High Priest confessed the sins of the Israelites to Yahweh placing them figuratively on the head of the other goat, the Azazel scapegoat, who "took them away" never to be seen again. The sin of the nation was thus "atoned for" (paid for) by the "The Lord's Goat" and "The Azazel Goat".
In Christian thought this process prefigures the sacrifice of Christ on the cross through which God has been propitiated and sins can be expiated. Jesus Christ is seen to have fulfilled both of the Biblical "types" - the Lord's goat that deals with the pollution of sin and the scapegoat that removes the "burden of sin". Christians believe that sinners who own their guilt and confess their sins, exercising faith and trust in the person and sacrifice of Jesus, are forgiven of their sins.
Since the second goat was sent away to perish,[14] the word "scapegoat" has developed to indicate a person who is blamed and punished for the sins of others.

From Wikipedia.


Also, this:
Umineko - Goat servants & Beelzebub appears!

When I read goat, I needed to share this lol
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Offline Gaawa-chan

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Re: Why is the Devil depicted with a goat's head?
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2013, 05:18:28 PM »
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Early Christians trying to portray other religious figures in a bad light, I'd guess.

Offline Ratty

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Re: Why is the Devil depicted with a goat's head?
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2013, 05:26:10 PM »
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Also, this:
Umineko - Goat servants & Beelzebub appears!

When I read goat, I needed to share this lol

My personal favorite use of this trope was in Berserk with the Great Goat Head
Here's one depiction of him for illustration, spoiler'd because it's somewhat gory and some may find it unsettling.
(click to show/hide)
« Last Edit: April 19, 2013, 05:35:08 PM by Ratty »

Offline X

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Re: Why is the Devil depicted with a goat's head?
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2013, 05:48:06 PM »
+3
I find the whole notion of Satan(ism) is just utter nonsense; An excuse by the early church to paint Pagan spirituality in a negative light so that Pauline Christianity could be seen as the one true faith. This is typical Roman imperialistic behavior that has unfortunately lasted roughly into our current century. Jesus never spoke of such a being because there never was one to begin with, let alone of hell (whom is actually the Nordic goddess of the frozen underworld), or of the fallen angel Lucifer because angels can't fall from grace as they are crafted out of God's pure and incorruptible love (ie they don't have human emotions, just love). He only spoke positive messages to the people's of Judea about an all-loving, merciful god. All the Dogma and talks of Satan are of the Roman mentality to promote fear into the populous. It is an underhanded tactic that is simply unexceptable in today's society; one of the earliest forms of terrorism. I will admit that it makes for great story-telling but that's all it's good for.
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Re: Why is the Devil depicted with a goat's head?
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2013, 08:10:07 PM »
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inb4 someone points out "Satan" and "Lucifer" are mentioned in the Bible and the Bible is the word of God and Jesus is God incarnate ergo Jesus mentions "Satan" and "Lucifer"


... I'm not that guy. The Lucifer argument just shows how illiterate most Bible-thumpers really are. Just wanted to post it before some religious guy beat me to it, though.
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Offline Lelygax

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Re: Why is the Devil depicted with a goat's head?
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2013, 08:42:00 PM »
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My personal favorite use of this trope was in Berserk with the Great Goat Head
Here's one depiction of him for illustration, spoiler'd because it's somewhat gory and some may find it unsettling.
(click to show/hide)

He looks so skinny, its he really powerful? Its only one or there exist more of them?

I find the whole notion of Satan(ism) is just utter nonsense; An excuse by the early church to paint Pagan spirituality in a negative light so that Pauline Christianity could be seen as the one true faith. This is typical Roman imperialistic behavior that has unfortunately lasted roughly into our current century. Jesus never spoke of such a being because there never was one to begin with, let alone of hell (whom is actually the Nordic goddess of the frozen underworld), or of the fallen angel Lucifer because angels can't fall from grace as they are crafted out of God's pure and incorruptible love (ie they don't have human emotions, just love). He only spoke positive messages to the people's of Judea about an all-loving, merciful god. All the Dogma and talks of Satan are of the Roman mentality to promote fear into the populous. It is an underhanded tactic that is simply unexceptable in today's society; one of the earliest forms of terrorism. I will admit that it makes for great story-telling but that's all it's good for.

Please, be more careful to show your arguments without offending the religion of other people, since somebody feelings can be harmed without you noticing it. Im not saying it because of what you said, but how you said. Im not offended because I dont go to the church everyday or take religion as a very serious thing, but saying that some teachings are like terrorism or utter non-sense is a little harsh.

As I said, no harm done atleast with me, I like the idea of this topic and where we are going with it  :P
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Offline Ratty

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Re: Why is the Devil depicted with a goat's head?
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2013, 09:18:25 PM »
+1
He looks so skinny, its he really powerful? Its only one or there exist more of them?

Please, be more careful to show your arguments without offending the religion of other people, since somebody feelings can be harmed without you noticing it. Im not saying it because of what you said, but how you said. Im not offended because I dont go to the church everyday or take religion as a very serious thing, but saying that some teachings are like terrorism or utter non-sense is a little harsh.

As I said, no harm done atleast with me, I like the idea of this topic and where we are going with it  :P

There were not more goatmen like him but there are other undead who are made around him. He's a minor entity in Berserk, he appeared first as a cult leader (where the head was a mask) then was turned into a fully fledged demon, though still an underling to more powerful beings, in the "Conviction" arc. Said arc was very critical of organized religion and how fanatical belief that one has the ultimate truth can lead to horrific institutionalized brutality and personal depravity. Especially when combined with fear, which leads to things like the torture and killing of the defenseless as "witches".

Also I have to agree with X, looking at the Christian religion from a historical perspective one can see how it has bent into what it is today in order to attract and then keep converts. (Not to single out Christianity, you can take the historical perspective on just about any religion.) Part of this was using the threat of hell and Satan, which were for example used by the Church for monitary gain in the middle ages by the sale of "indulgences" http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/286800/indulgence
That being said I knew a self-proclaimed Satanist once and he claimed that he did not worship the devil, but believed Satan was necessary to keep a balance, that for there to be good you had to have bad, two sides of a coin.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2013, 09:43:17 PM by Ratty »

Offline X

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Re: Why is the Devil depicted with a goat's head?
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2013, 01:33:08 AM »
+1
Quote
Please, be more careful to show your arguments without offending the religion of other people, since somebody feelings can be harmed without you noticing it. Im not saying it because of what you said, but how you said. Im not offended because I dont go to the church everyday or take religion as a very serious thing, but saying that some teachings are like terrorism or utter non-sense is a little harsh.

As I said, no harm done atleast with me, I like the idea of this topic and where we are going with it  :P

Try not to worry there Lelygax  ;)  My criticism about the church is a little harsh at times, however it's not to intentionally hurt Christians themselves. More 'n less my intentions are along the lines of educating or bringing an awareness to those who aren't familiar with the church's political past. Also there was nothing terror-like in the teachings of Christ either. Jesus' teachings were simplistic and love-intended. In fact he was the first true hippie in every sense of the word (minus the narcotics bulls**t of today), and was also a Gnostic (Knowledge seeker). All the tyrannical nonsense can be found in the bible itself which was written by (again) the Roman imperialist state three hundred years after Christ. A lot of Jesus' teachings did make it into the bible but at least half of them were altered to suit the political agenda of the Holy Roman Empire. And there are at least 44 volumes that were deliberately left out of the Bible because they did not "fit" with the church's political agenda. Some of those works were written by Judas and Mary Magdalen. Satan was a terror tactic. Not just to explain the concept of evil to humanity's limited mindset, but also to promote fear into those whom were illiterate (which was the majority of the populous in Europe at that time). The Dark ages were the result of the church itself when they began their quest for power and politics. Banning pagan spirituality and condemning those who were skilled in the arts of advanced medicine as witches to be slaughtered. Nowadays illiteracy is almost nonexistent with such things as mandatory education, libraries, research centers and the internet. Yet the so-called Devil still exists due to humanity's ignorance on the subject. I know there is no Satan due to my researching the subject extensively, but he is never-the-less a part of our popular culture, especially when it comes to things like stories, heavy metal music, video game antagonists, bestial pornos <--Whoops, did I just say that out loud!  :o  Again it is because of our finite minds that there has to be a polar opposite to everything we encounter. We can't just accept something as that something without tagging something else onto it. Especially when it comes to good and evil. But that's mainly due to the type of world in which we dwell. However when we talk about God's realm (heaven or the other side) there is no such evil, not even by Satan's standards that is anywhere near the fractal equivalent to the positive force that is God. It's just the nature of things. I myself am not a Christian but that doesn't mean that I don't follow Jesus' teachings of an all-loving God. When it comes to faith there is no reason to make it so complex as the Romans did. Just stick to what feels positive to you and discard the rest. Sorry for the long post Lelygax but I hope I've answered your question.
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Offline A-Yty

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Re: Why is the Devil depicted with a goat's head?
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2013, 02:08:38 AM »
0
angels can't fall from grace as they are crafted out of God's pure and incorruptible love (ie they don't have human emotions, just love).




What about all the times in the  angels carry forth the will of their wrathful God? Were they just lamenting that their boss gave them violent tasks?

I can picture it. God, with his booming voice, tells an angel to destroy a whole city or kill newborns or whatnot. The angel looks shocked and start muttering to himself in a Michael Jackson -like soft voice. But he must obey, so he flies away.



"Noo..oh you're being so ignorant. Oh you big mean poopy head. I don't want to murder. I like climbing to a tree. Yay! Let's have an adventure.".


Offline Lelygax

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Re: Why is the Devil depicted with a goat's head?
« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2013, 09:26:59 AM »
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@Ratty

Cool, I've only played 1 hour of Berserk to PS2, I need to watch the anime in a near future.

@X
To say the truth it doesnt even was a question lol
I agree with you in various aspects, I've only give this advice because I know some people IRL that could feel insulted with these words that you've used previously (Im not one of these persons). I've only said that as an advice or something like that.

Thanks for pointing the number of books that they not included, I've seen an older post that you talked a bit about this, but I forgot how much books have been left out. I've even a conversation about that with a friend (a Spiritist), about the Bible origins, how they took reference from some others religions and etc. :P


@A-Yty

LOL
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Offline Mooning Freddy

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Re: Why is the Devil depicted with a goat's head?
« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2013, 10:26:19 AM »
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Quote
I can picture it. God, with his booming voice, tells an angel to destroy a whole city or kill newborns or whatnot. The angel looks shocked and start muttering to himself in a Michael Jackson -like soft voice. But he must obey, so he flies away.

An epic album called mabool by the Progressive oriental metal band Orphaned Land tells the Biblical story of The Great Flood, and the songs are followed with Hebrew quotes from the bible. Needless to say, it sounds badass and captures the nature of the story perfectly, especially the cruelty of the divine punishment of sinners. It's all probably mythology borrowed by the Jews from ancient nations, but it's badass nevertheless.   

Orphaned Land-Mabool

"And, behold, I, do bring a flood of waters upon
the land to destroy all flesh,
wherein is the breathe of life,
from under heaven, and every thing that is in the
Land shall die...and I shall wipe away
the world I created upon the land."

"He who sheds man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed."
El Norra Alila, the vengeful God
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Offline X

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Re: Why is the Devil depicted with a goat's head?
« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2013, 10:36:40 AM »
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Quote
What about all the times in the  angels carry forth the will of their wrathful God? Were they just lamenting that their boss gave them violent tasks?

I can picture it. God, with his booming voice, tells an angel to destroy a whole city or kill newborns or whatnot. The angel looks shocked and start muttering to himself in a Michael Jackson -like soft voice. But he must obey, so he flies away.

Our god is a god of love. Do you know what 'all-loving' means? It means that god is unbiased in his/her love of any and all things, including those who do wrong. A god of loves does NOT kill, nor would he/she order the deaths of innocent or guilty peoples'. God would also not ask for the sacrifices of children cause that's just sick and it takes a sick mind to do such a horrible thing. The angels depicted in the bible are most likely the ancient Valkyries ripped out of Norse mythology as they were the ones to carry out the tasks of slaying the enemies of Odin the All-Father. As for real angels (the ones that people have reported seeing) they do not carry the burden of humanization with them because it simply does not exist within them. They are described as very pure, beautiful, glowing angelic beings with an aura of calm, warmth and a loving presence. God created angels before human souls therefore angels do not have the ability to feel any of the imperfect emotions that we feel. And yes that includes envy. Angels are perfect beings, we're not. We are flawed, the are not. Once more the Bible was written by Romans who didn't know what they were doing. And even if they knew they kept it hidden from the masses and created their own views for their own purposes. The story of Lucifer was created to explain the rise of evil but was done in a way that contradicts the reality of the angelic subject. True evil comes from us because we are imperfect. And it was that imperfection that lead to the creation of Christianity as we know it today. If you don't believe me that's fine. But do yourself a favor and research the subject extensively. However do not rely on the bible for such research as it is full of contradictions, politics, racism, prejudism, sexism and other convoluted subjects that Jesus never, ever considered talking about. Books like the Jewish Qur'an (Koran) are far more closer to Jesus' original teachings. That would be one place to start. Another place would be to read all of the miraculous stories of people who've been helped by angels in some form or another and then compare the stories with the ones from the bible and I bet you anything that the two versions would contradict one-another.
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Re: Why is the Devil depicted with a goat's head?
« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2013, 11:47:46 AM »
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Quote
Why is the Devil depicted with a goat's head?

Because he rocks? \m/,
"Stuff and things."

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