Jay-Z and Kanye West released their much-anticipated album “Watch The Throne” and although we are often told not judge a book by its cover, there seems like there may be some disturbing occult symbolism on the cover of their album. Are the 4 images in the middle of each side of the square illustration the shape of the goat-headed Baphomet? Blogs and message boards are already buzzing questioning if that is the case and why it would be there.
Background On Symbolism
Manly P. Hall, one of the foremost celebrated Freemason philosophers and an expert on the occult wrote this of esoteric symbols:
“Symbolism is the language of the Mysteries; in fact it is the language not only of mysticism and philosophy but of all Nature, for every law and power active in universal procedure is manifested to the limited sense perceptions of man through the medium of symbol. Every form existing in the diversified sphere of being is symbolic of the divine activity by which it is produced. By symbols men have ever sought to communicate to each other those thoughts which transcend the limitations of language.
Rejecting man-conceived dialects as inadequate and unworthy to perpetuate divine ideas, the Mysteries thus chose symbolism as a far more ingenious and ideal method of preserving their transcendental knowledge. In a single figure a symbol may both reveal and conceal, for to the wise the subject of the symbol is obvious, while to the ignorant the figure remains inscrutable. Hence, he who seeks to unveil the secret doctrine of antiquity must search for that doctrine not upon the open pages of books which might fall into the hands of the unworthy but in the place where it was originally concealed.” Secret Teachings of All Ages p. 38
In the occult world, symbols are a language unto themselves. The “secret doctrine” of ancient times were hidden for those “in the know” through symbols and signs. As Hall continues:
“Today men gaze with awe and reverence upon the mighty Memnons standing alone on the sands of Egypt, or upon the strange terraced pyramids of Palanque. Mute testimonies these are of the lost arts and sciences of antiquity; and concealed this wisdom must remain until this race has learned to read the universal language–SYMBOLISM”
Which brings us to the symbol that is in question on the cover of “Watch the Throne” and that is one of Baphomet.
The Baphomet is a mystical figure known in many esoteric and occult circles. A creature with a goats head, androgynous human body and a phallus that is actually the caduceus often linked with the symbol for the medical profession. This figure is claimed to have several different purposes, dating back to the times of the Knights Templar and the Crusades in the 11th century, all the way to the Church of Satan today.
The Baphomet is said to symbolize the “union of opposites.” As represented in the image above, drawn by black magic practitioner Eliphas Levi (whose name is on the bottom), there is the image of a light moon and a dark moon. The positioning of its hands are also in opposite directions representing the motto “as above, so below.” All these sayings and symbols point to the what is known as the “Secret doctrine” which is the union of the gods with humanity. The fusion of the “sacred feminine” and the masculine is nothing more than the desire on the part of occultists for the return of the “gods” to Earth to once again mate with human women, a topic covered in great detail in our article on the Nephilim of Genesis Chapter 6 of the Bible. This ancient secret could not be discussed and has been passed on through symbols for centuries. The Baphomet thus became seen as a “Father of wisdom” and liberator of the spirit to those who were initiated.
Anton LaVey, founder of the church of Satan, provides a very succinct explanation (as cited on an excellent blog explaining Baphomet in detail):
“The symbol of Baphomet was used by the Knights Templar to represent Satan. Through the ages this symbol has been called by many different names. Among these are: The Goat of Mendes, The Goat of a Thousand Young, The Black Goat, The Judas Goat, and perhaps the most appropriately, The Scapegoat.
Baphomet represents the Powers of Darkness combined with the generative fertility of the goat. In its “pure” form the pentagram is shown encompassing the figure of a man in the five points of the star – three points up, two pointing down – symbolizing man’s spiritual nature. In Satanism the pentagram is also used, but since Satanism represents the carnal instincts of man, or the opposite of spiritual nature, the pentagram is inverted to perfectly accommodate the head of the goat – its horns, representing duality, thrust upwards in defiance; the other three points inverted, or the trinity denied.
What is the meaning of this? It holds several meanings but in it are the keys to the “divine work” or “great mystery” of many esoteric pursuits: man becoming god. By the fusion of opposites (dark and light, male and female, etc.) man can seek godhood. This was the true goal of alchemy practitioners centuries ago. The idea of changing “lead to gold” was just a metaphor for the pursuit of godhood and immortality. Hence Baphomet having the phrases “solve” and “coagula” on its arms, which is the motto of alchemy – namely, dissolving and reforming into a new, greater being. And that is done by the return of the ancient “gods” or fallen angelic beings, to Earth. All of these references of “opposites” are really alluding to the desire for the occultist to join with spirit beings from the angelic realm. And that union is the “secret teaching.”
The Baphomet symbol has become more used in pop culture. Here is another example:
The director of Gaga’s video for “Paparazzi”
And is this the symbol that can be seen at the top center of the album cover? You decide:
This would not be the first time that subtle imagery has been used by Jay-Z or Kanye West. Here are images from Jay-Z’s video for “On to the Next One”, released on 1/1/10, which flashed these images briefly:
And here is a picture of Kanye West:
Interestingly, Luciferian and occultist Aleister Crowley also referred to himself as “Baphomet.” One of Crowley’s main goal’s was to promote revolution against any moral or religious values in society. His tome, The Book of The Law, and its precepts have been an inspiration to famous musicians for decades. Whether it is Led Zeppelin, The Beatles or Ozzy Osbourne, Crowley’s influence and mantra “Do what thou wilt, shall be the whole of the law” seem to be frequently present. The phrase is an instruction to pursue whatever lusts, vices or pleasures you desire, with no regard for morality. And it also carried the double meaning of controlling one’s destiny and success through the power of “will”, which one with esoteric knowledge could be capable of accomplishing.
With respect to Christianity, Crowley stated:
That religion they call Christianity; the devil they honor they call God. I accept these definitions, as a poet must do, if he is to be at all intelligible to his age, and it is their God and their religion that I hate and will destroy” (Crowley, The World’s Tragedy, p. xxx).
Jay-Z wearing a sweatshirt with Crowley’s motto:
While it could be coincidence that the images on the album cover bear a resemblance to Baphomet, it would not be a surprise if it was not coincidence based on the past imagery used in photos and videos by these two artists. Artists are free to use whatever images or messages they desire to express themselves. That is the part of the beauty and freedom of art. But the viewer of art also has the freedom to use discernment in interpretation and understand the spiritual nature behind it. And as always, Christians, true followers of Christ Jesus The Lord, should be on guard against any type of spiritual deception or anything that glorifies other gods:
“..what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” – 2 Corinthians 6:14
“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” Ephesians 5:11.