The Black Goat Of The Welsh Sabbat

The Black Goat Of The Welsh Sabbat

Goat image 1

“Ah, Cadwalader, have I found you at last?”

Why the goat?

Why not the scapesquid? Why not the Sparrow of The Sabbat?

It may have something to do with the goat’s inherent liminality.

Unlike the pig, they’re cheap to maintain. Unlike the sheep, they’re wiley. Unlike both, they provide milk as well as meat and skin.

This makes goats occupants of fringe areas. From Welsh Legends and Fairy Lore (1953):

Writers on Wales, generally tourists of the eighteenth century, often refer, in some surprise, to the number of goats they saw in the countryside; indeed, the Welshman was always associated with his goat as the Irishman with his pig.

It was very natural, for it was a popular animal, and it survived as an adjunct to cottage life, like the pig and the poultry, well into the twenties of this (Ed: twentieth) century – in fact, until the advent of the cheap milk scheme for schools and the general expansion of the milk service into the country -due entirely to the appearance of the milk-lorry and the milk-van.

The goat was an animal easily and economically kept, it needed hardly any attention at all, and for its size gave a surprisingly large amount of milk, entirely free from the tuberculosis germ. Giraldus Cambrensis in his journey through Wales with Archbishop Baldwin, in 1188, notes that the wooded hills were full of goats… Descendants of these herds may have run wild on the mountains almost to within living memory.

On top of all this, they’re also just a bit… you know… weird.

Driving through Snowdonia and North Wales a couple of weeks ago, my mind kept swinging back to the goat of folklore as we looked out over the empty -and occasionally hollow- hills.

This story, from the same book, is worth quoting in full:

Goat 1


Goat 2

Amazing, right? Where to begin?

Goats, on good terms with fairies, hiding treasure. A cross species friendship that is also cross-dimensional. The light of the moon revealing Jenny’s true Magonian form?

Wait, no, I know. A frikking full moon sabbat of all goats, summoning the Goat King who then takes his fairy revenge on the human.

The story of a human following a fairy into wild, liminal areas is so common that it even shows up in Spielberg’s ET. (Little clue for you there.) But there are some animals that seem to have a peculiar resonance with phenomenology. Ever since owls first appeared, flanking Ishtar, they have been associated with the spookier end of extradimensional encounters. Mike Clelland is writing a whole book about it.

Goats appear to fall into the same category. It’s not quite the same kind of resonance one gets with owls (I would argue it’s a more beneficial one), but it is still there. And if they stand in for a certain type of phenomena or class of contact, it is tempting to see scapegoating as some kind of ancient contract or sacrifice… a way of removing the unwanted out into the Otherworld abandoned by the priestly class.

A burial chamber in the wilds of Snowdonia.

A burial chamber in the wilds of Snowdonia.

The Vedic Pashupati; Horned Lord of Beasts; sits in a Yogic pose at the bottom of the Indo-European tree that emerges in successive cultures as various horned gods and goddesses in Egypt and Sumeria, Moses in some translations, Dionysus, Pan, then Baphomet and eventually as the Devil himself, the Black Man of the Sabbat.

I hope to spend the winter tying the Vedic manifestations back through Antediluvia and ultimately to the rise of modern consciousness in humans… however that happened. In the meantime, I want to slide your mental timelines back up to Cadwalader and the location of his Magonian encounter. Wales has always been a place of otherworldly remoteness in European imagination. Its hollow hills hide Merlin and various sleeping kings and fairy courts. They are a place where the Magonian happens with some consistency.

Take the ‘Welsh Roswell’ incident. Dismissed as the combination of a meteor and an earthquake happening at the same time, the conventional explanation fails to take into account the local witnesses who saw circles and balls of light hovering in valleys and on hilltops before flying off. Or the here-now-gone-then military presence many of them swear to. Or the fisherman who saw balls of light emerge from the Irish sea and fly off at the same time. Or, according to Nick Redfern’s investigation, testimony from military personnel that “there were bodies.” But that’s probably the usual military bullshit. The Anglesey RAF base did, however, “treat the incident as a plane crash.”

“I was of the opinion that a UFO had come down, then I changed my mind after reading the research of Andy Roberts. However, I still get accounts now and again from locals and retired military people (all from RAF Valley, interestingly enough) of knowledge of bodies recovered and taken to Porton Down, Wiltshire. So, I’ll be the first to admit that, today, it’s one that continues to puzzle me. On the one hand, I am convinced that Andy has solved massive parts of the story. But, on the other hand, it’s difficult to dismiss the testimony of the military people who have accounts to relate, and nothing to gain by spreading a false story. I think, though, that we have not heard the last of the case by any means!” -Nick Redfern [More.]

It may well have been a meteor. But then what did the witnesses see? For that matter, what did the farmer Cadwalader see? Either/or explanations don’t get you very far in Magonia. Now that we’ve tied goats back to UAPs, I want to share the latest MGMT video that seems to have grasped at least two parts of this particular elephant. Oh, those boys.

Appropriately, it’s called Alien Days.

Jacques Vallée: There is a distinction to be made between a Matrix-like virtual world and what I first proposed in “Messengers,” namely an information multiverse with fully physical manifestations. After all, when I was researching mystical groups in the Melchizedek tradition, and was picked up by the only cab driver in Los Angeles called Melchizedek, it was a real car and a real driver! To start understanding consciousness we need to develop a physics of information that does not rely on the formulation of the physics of energy, which is limited by its use of dimensions. [More.]

We could end here, but I want to share one more piece of resonance. While researching this post, I came upon the story of a goat hunter -a man who was out killing goats- who was himself killed when he fell off a cliff in 2010. You’ll never guess his name.



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  1. 4

    Regarding the whole ‘Magonian Cover Animal’ thing– funnily enough, in my neck of the woods back in Florida, I knew a disproportionate number of people whose ‘trigger animal’ was the cow. One of my friends’ mothers– a delightful Southern lady from a staunchly Baptist family– had a deathly cow phobia, and claimed it was because she kept having cows appear in her room at night when she was a little girl. It was something about the shape of their heads, she would say. She also sported a very suspicious, perfectly triangular scar of unknown provenance on her arm. I know two other people who were also freaked out by cows for similar reasons.

    I wonder about cultural ‘trigger animals.’ Do Floridians see cows where Midwesterners see owls where Japanese see foxes?

    Oh, and re the Goat, I’m also reminded of the Set Animal. Not always horned, per se, but there’s something THERE, there.

    And criminey, I *will* be making that rarebit recipe at some point.
    JP´s last blog post ..The Black Squirrel’s Conjure 4: How Conjure “Works”

  2. 5
    Lance Foster

    Thanks Gordon for keeping things so varied and interesting. Something about the horizontal pupil of a goat’s eyes…it’s like a cat’s pupil turned sideways…
    I have taken a new direction. I have returned to my own Turangawaewae in flyover country in the U.S. and am deep in it. It’s my tribe’s reservation in tornado alley.

    BTW, here’s a movie you might keep an eye open for:
    “ALUNA is made by and with the KOGI, a genuine lost civilization hidden on an isolated triangular pyramid mountain in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia, nearly five miles high, on the Colombian-Caribbean coast. The Kogi say that without thought, nothing could exist. This is a problem, because we are not just plundering the world, we are dumbing it down, destroying both the physical structure and the thought underpinning existence. The Kogi believe that they live in order to care for the world and keep its natural order functioning, but they recognized some years ago that this task was being made impossible by our mining and deforestation.”

  3. 6
    Jon Spring

    MGMT. They are awesome. I had no idea. Thank you. And your life is a lie. Speaking of liminality, for those who haven’t read “The trickster and the paranormal,” I think it is worth a look. Hansen wrote it in such a way that you can skip through and read what you want, it isn’t a requisite linear narrative. So one can go to the bit on liminality and so on.

  4. 8
    Aidan Wachter

    Gordon, I’d love some book rec’s on the Vedic & pre- Vedic stuff. I have a few classics, and just ordered in The Alchemical Body by DGW. Any suggestions would be appreciated!

    Goats are whack, we loved ours when we had them. Very smart, very weird.

  5. 10
    Phinehas Roy

    Gordon, have you read The Accursed Share by Bataille? Your recent talk of sacrifice has gotten me thinking about it.

  6. 11

    I have been reading your blog posts for a while now ever since I was turned on to them, but never felt the need to comment until now.

    The idea of informational physics and Lance Foster’s mention of the Kogi way of seeing things reminds of the book Words Made Flesh by Ramsey Dukes a.k.a Lionell Snell. Which inspired my own model of the planes, so to speak.

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