Friday, January 9, 2015

Got Goat? (Part II)

Baphomet Evocation, 17", Tea stained wood, wool, rusty barbed wire, pyrography.

Continuing the exploration of the barnyard aesthetic using wood, wool and barbed wire.  Specifically rusty barbed wire.  Also continuing the theme of "From Sheep, Goats" juxtaposing the image of individuality, freedom, and unity consciousness arising from materials derived from the animal that has traditionally symbolized weakness, obedience, and subservience-of-self to the dictates of the herd.

Barbed wire is used to circle the tops of prisons, and to restrict the free movement of animals upon the earth. 

Rusting, the barbed wire is in a state of decay, as we observe the old stale power structures in the world beginning to weaken, stagnate,and crumble, losing the power to restrict humanity from reaching its full potential. 

In this particular piece the barbed wire is being absorbed into the goat itself, that internal alchemy of transmuting base metal into gold. 

For all the menace that some people seem to associate with this particular classic rendering of the five pointed goat, it's ears are so soft and cuddly, it's nose wanting to nuzzle playfully, a smile hinting at the hidden mirth of Baphomet's roots as Pan, that horny hybrid of animal, man and god. 

One of the seed pieces that preceded this was Baphomet Invocation, started and completed December 25, 2013.  There, the goat is not yet formed in three dimensions, but is instead sigilized through pyrography on a bit of board scavenged from construction trash, with raw locks of wool impaled on rusty barbed wire, and beneath, a representation of those same locks transformed into felt.

Baphomet Invocation

Traditionally, in images of Baphomet's full body, we see the word "Solve" tattooed on he/she's right arm, and "Coagula" on the left.  "Solve" represents the component ingredients, and "Coagula" is the synthesizing of those components into a new coherent substance.  This has long been how I have viewed working with wool, the component locks, chosen, selected, manipulated, and put through the transformational process of "Tapas"  (heat, discomfort) to become "felt."  Or Gold.  Or "True Will."  In Baphomet Invocation we can see Solve in the locks, and Coagula in the felt nailed to the bottom of the board.

I feel it has to be addressed, because unsurprisingly this comes up sometimes:  "What's up, is this stuff satanic?"

No.  It is not.  For fun and curiosity, I'll look at the historic and symbolic components of Baphomet in  a future post, along with modern implications.

As an afterthought, a bit of relevant trivia: according to the Chinese Zodiac, we are about to enter the Year of the Goat.  Additionally, the Chinese Zodiac contains a five element aspect.  This is the year of the "Wooden Goat" which occurs once every sixty years. 

And:  some funny goat noises.

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