We’re horning in on the lives of some of our favorite farmhouse familiars by taking a closer look at our good friends the goats. As anyone who’s spent time down on the farm with Black Phillip knows, our friends the goats have always reminded us to live deliciously. But why have billygoats gotten such gruff treatment from the public, who seem to always want to associate them with the devil? Here to help us forage over some of the history, we have Genevieve, executive director of City Grazing in San Francisco.
Praise, condemnation, questions, and punny nicknames can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Lilith and Uruk’s Home Fund – Go Fund Me
- Posters claiming ‘increased Satanic Cult activity’ in the San Bernardino National Forest deemed fake
- City Grazing
- Wiley Online Library: Goat domestication and breeding: a jigsaw of historical, biological and molecular data with missing pieces
- PBS: The Story Of… Goats
- Encyclopedia.com: Sheep and Goats
- Slate: Why Are Goats Associated With the Devil, Like Black Phillip in The Witch?
- How the Devil Got His Hooves and Horns: The Origin of the Motif
- TheTorah.com: The Scapegoat Ritual and Its Ancient Near Eastern Parallels
- The Jewish Encyclopedia: Azazel
- Azazel/Book of Watchers
- The Demonization of Pan
- Grimm’s Fairy Tales, 1812, “The Lord’s Animals and the Devil’s”
- The Horror is Real: Goya’s supernatural works hide terrible truths about Spanish history
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Welcome to Black Mass Appeal, a podcast that brings modern Satanism to the masses. Today on Black Mass Appeal, we’re horning in on the lives of some of our favorite farmhouse familiars by taking a closer look at our good friends, the goats. Also, in the news, satanic cult rumors in California are ‘missing the forest’ for the trees and Satanic Bay Area has a new Halloween treat planned for everyone. Joining me today I’ve got Daniel.
Hi, my name is Daniel. I’m an organizer for Satanic Bay Area and I’m a member of the Satanic Temple. And, say, Why are goats such bad shots?
Because they only graze you. And I had to record that twice. So I would like to think that Simone and Tabitha were much more exasperated with me the first time.
No, no, I think it was still pretty effective the second time.
Well, also joining me today is Tabitha.
Hey, this is Tabitha. I am an administrator for Satanic Bay Area and sometimes I like to cross bridges and kick the shit out of trolls. It’s just what I do. You can call me gruff if you want to. I don’t give a fuck.
Joining us later in the show will be Genevieve, of City Grazing. Until then you’ve got me, my name is Simone. I’m an administrator for Satanic Bay Area. And I think that goats are the G.O.A.T., the greatest of all time. If you were the greatest goat of all time, you’d be the good goat, I think.
Kiss the good goat.
Black Mass Appeal 1:38
*Tabitha and Simone laughing*
Alright, Black Mass Appeal is a product of Satanic Bay Area and not associated with any other Satanic groups. This is a podcast for Satanists to discuss modern Satanism, its history, left-leaning political activism, and how Satanism relates to current events and pop culture. We’re for people who want to learn more about modern Satanism, whether you’re a newbie or already involved in Satanic groups. And speaking of Satanic groups, well, the pandemic and Shelter-in-Place drags on, but we still have something fun coming up.
That’s right. Everybody’s Halloween plans are really up in the air this year still, but we do have one big plan for Halloween. That is still going to pan out regardless of the situation with public health in your locality. Tabitha, what do you want to tell people about what we’ve got cooking in our witch’s cauldron Halloween-analogy-transition.
*laughs* Are you- are you done? Or you wanna- you got a couple more words in there?
Sorry, my brain has to reboot sometimes…[unintelligible]
It’s okay, I understand. So, we are finally doing our third chick tract. It is called “I Remember Halloween,” and it is going to be all about those great hell houses that I’m sure some of you, as soon as you heard me say the word hell house, got very upset. They’re these great things that Christian people like to do to scare children into believing in Jesus. So of course, we got one flipping it’s on its head and it’s going to be freakin amazing. And I’ve been working really hard on it. Daniel, you wrote it, and I have been drawing and drawing and drawing, and then, you know, trying not to freak out because the world’s ending, and then drawing more. It’s been a good time. *laughs*
Yes, since Jack Chick wrote so many anti-Halloween tracts, and since those tracts are among his weirdest, his funniest, and his most ironically popular, it made sense. We were planning all along to do a kind of a pro-Halloween tract, but it took a while to figure out what that should consist of, and actually the hell house gimmick was a- gave us a really good idea. We’ve talked in the past about doing a Hell House episode – maybe we will someday – I think we’re handicapped by the fact that none of us have been to a Hell House and I certainly don’t want to pay to go to one. Uhm-
Well, I sort of went to one.
Oh, yeah, you told that story on the show before you had like the- the Hell House 4D immersive theater experience. If anybody can, like, smuggle us into a Hell House for free, let us know. Because I don’t think we want to monetarily support that, but we do want to do the gawking anthropological research of being there.
Can we just say we’re anthropologists, or will like the league of real anthropologists come and be mad at us?
Yeah- you don’t want to find out.
You don’t want to cross the league. So our plan is to send this one to the printer September 1st, so that we can start doing pre-orders at the beginning of September and start taking, uh, post-pre-orders? I guess those are just regular orders.
Yeah, a couple weeks into September, and that way we’ll have them shipping out to you, you know, by the early October. Of course, we expect this one will probably be still popular after Halloween, but we want to hit that window.
Um, I do also want to say-
It’s our holiday shopping season, we can’t miss our own Black Friday.
That’s true. Uh, these make great stocking stuffers for when you leave your stocking out for Satan on Halloween Eve. Uhm- I do want to say one thing I’m really proud of- we did the first Chick tracks three years ago now, and we crowdfunded that. It was a very successful campaign- I’ve never done crowdfunding before. Um, and in fact, it went, we- that went so well, that we ended up with some money left over to produce the second tract, which we did, you know, the next year. And then I figured at that point, it’s like, okay, so we want to do a third one, we’re going to have to do another crowdfunding campaign sometime. But when it came time to actually put the money together for this, we realized that, uh, sales of previous tracts as well as, you know, everything else that we’ve done since then, have been so robust that it’s, like, oh no, we can just finance this ourselves. And I know that’s a small thing, but at the same time, it’s a nice, it’s a really great feeling to hit that kind of, like, bare minimum self-sustaining benchmark. Um- because, you know, I don’t know, it’s, it’s a couple of years ago, I would not have said we would have been able to do that with these. And so, uh, thank you very much to everybody who has, uh, who has any of them in their possession.
I mean, the support that we’ve gotten for the show, the support that we’ve gotten for Satanic Bay Area, and the support that we’ve gotten for the chick tracts, in particular, has been absolutely amazing and overwhelming, and the generosity of the initial kickstarter, the generosity of the people who are Patreon contributors, and the folks who are, you know, just buying and either having and giving out the current existing chick tracts has allowed this to become a self-sustaining venture, so, uh, we look forward to this new track and many tracks to come.
Tracks forever! Wee!
Well, before we get to more Patreon, let’s actually go to our Apple podcast reviews. So, um, if you want to leave a review for the show, it’s really helpful no matter what platform it’s on. Although, we read from the Apple podcast reviews because they’re the easiest and most plentiful, but by reviewing the show, you do get to raise the profile of the show for folks who are, you know, looking for it, who are searching. And also, you know, word of mouth, tell your friends.
So, let’s go ahead and we’ll start with Flumenstellarum, who says “Love, love, love this podcast. Never did the whole podcast thing until this one. I’m in a small town and I feel like I don’t have a whole lot of options for exploring Satanism with other people, but this podcast helps. I want to move out to somewhere with more like-minded people, but I can’t yet. I hope to visit someday- see y’all and converse about our boy Satan, but till then I’ll be your fan. Suggestion: The titles of song clips would be nice. I’m putting together a Satan-adjacent songs playlist.” Well, Flumenstellarum, just listen carefully: we don’t use song clips on this show. Wink. But if you wanted to search for Black Mass Appeal, in the music part of Spotify, there might be a playlist of songs that, uh, we really like on this show. Wink.
Songs that if we had music on the show, we would put in.
But we don’t.
We don’t at all.
So we all, we all, we all get each other, right? Okay, cool.
Next up is a review from someone who’s calling themselves, I’m hungry and a problem, which-
Big same. Relatable. *laughs*
Yeah. Mood. *laughs*
Uh, the title of their review is just, uh, a series of the, the horn hands. They say, “I’m an agnostic Satanist and a minor, in a rural conservative area, so it can feel pretty lonely sometimes. This podcast is fun and informative to listen to, but it also gives me a- wait for it- community! I just found it a few weeks ago, but I’ve binge listened to at least 10% of the episodes. Thanks for making this show.”
Well, thank you for listening. Clearly, you’re somebody I can relate to- I’m hungry and a problem. You know, we, we don’t really talk about this, we haven’t really talked about this on the show a whole lot before. But, um, when it comes to working with minor people, people who are under the age of 18 in the United States, you know, for a Satanic Bay Area, we, um, you know, for myriad reasons, members of Satanic Bay Area do have to be of the age of majority. It’s for legal reasons, liability reasons. Also, just literally, Wicked Grounds does not allow people under 18, as, um, some of our friends who have an infant child found out, unfortunately. But when it comes to listening to the show, you know, people of all ages have the ability to find us.
And so, um, you know, we use a lot of swears, sorry about that. But, yeah, you know, and, um, on the Discord, we do have, uh, a designation for folks who are under the age of 18, so they could still participate in a safe and limited way. We just don’t want to ever be perceived as proselytizing, or of quote, unquote, ‘brainwashing children,’ but you seem like quite the, uh, mature and intelligent young person. So, thank you for listening.
I also want to say as somebody who also was a minor in a rural conservative area for many years, you can get through this, I promise. I want to do like, I want to do like an “it gets better” video, but just for, like, kids in small towns who can’t stand it. There is a future out there, I promise.
*laughs* Okay, and our last one comes from Remy Voodoo who says, “New favorite podcast. I started listening this month. Love it. I’m currently on episode 17. I got a long way to go, but I’ll enjoy every minute of it. Hail Satan.”
What episode is Episode 17?
That’s the music one.
Oh yeah, another one that we might need to get back to at some point.
I think that episode is actually a great example of how one of the ways we’ve done this show has changed over the years. I don’t think we would ever do a topic that broad to tackle in a single episode, uh, today. *laughter* Not that that’s not a good show, I think it is, but at the same time, like, you know, it’s just our, our, our bearings are radically different now. Uh, which makes me curious what Remy will think listening to the rest of the episodes going forward.
Yeah, we, we know better, we know about, uh, how long-winded we are. How off-topic we can get, so.
On that note, speaking of past episodes, I went back to listen to a show. It was actually Episode 33 about Satan in the Bible, and, like, I skipped ahead and, like, at the 15 minute mark, we still haven’t gotten to the main topic. Like, ‘fuck, what were we doing that day? What was going on?’ *laugher*
It was so weird. So, those people who complained that the first act of the show takes too long might have been on to something at one point. *Simone laughs*
*laughs* All right, well, yeah, in the interest of moving things along, uh, let’s talk about Patreon. So, Patreon is the means by which, uh, we get to run the show. It’s also the means by which we get to fund cool stuff like the chick tracts, like other Satanic Bay Area projects, and that gives us the ability to, uh, donate to charity on a regular basis, which, uh, we’re really thankful for. So, we have some new contributors to thank. First of all, we’ve got Michelle Martin. And then in the Satanic Mini Beast Club, those are the folks who, uh, are contributing $3.33 per month. We’ve got Satanic Brat, and D Mendez. Then the Mark of the Beast Club, which is $6.66 per month. We’ve got, Brodeseus92, Luke Fomley, Puppy Cat Midi, and Tracy, who is an upgrade.
Thank you so much to everybody who backed the Patreon. Thank you so much to everybody who’s contributed to Patreon in the past. I want to say one thing, by the way, on Patreon when people stop being your patron, oftentimes Patreon will ask why, and if you look over the list of people who have unsubscribed to us over the years, almost always, like, well over 99% of the time people just say, uh, my financial situation changed anymore. I can’t-I just can’t afford it right now, and, like, that’s great. Uh, it’s very, it’s very, very encouraging that very rarely was it somebody who had an issue with the show, or with our Patreon itself. What I’ve noticed in the last couple of months is a lot of people leaving notes saying that they’ve lost their job or their livelihoods, been affected because of the public health crisis. And I just want to say to all of those people, thank you so much for your support in the past. Thank you so much if you’re still listening to the show, we hope that things get better for you. We hope that you’re able to come back to the Patreon again in the future, but that’s not the important thing. The important thing is that you’re looking out for yourselves and that everybody is getting through this, so I want to give an extra Hail Satan, to everyone out there who, like some of us also on this show, have had their lives and their livelihoods changed by what’s going on right now. So, we are all in this together, separately.
*laughs* Yeah. I mean, we are so grateful that you ever even considered to support us in the past or at all- that we completely understand and if you are able to come back in the future, sweet. If you want to just keep listening, also sweet. We just want to make sure that y’all are okay.
Yeah, the listening is the important part, right? *laughs*
And again, telling your friends is free.
So- but speaking of, uh, Satanic community and, you know, being there for each other, we do have a special shout out. Former guest of the show, Lilith Starr, former Head of Satanic Temple Seattle, her and her partner, Uruk suffered a really devastating loss a couple of days ago, as we, as we tape this. Lilith and Uruk’s home was, uh, damaged by fire, you know, burned and there is a GoFundMe to help them, to get back on their feet. There will be a link in the show notes and, you know, it’s already raised above the amount of money that was the goal, but fuck it. I mean, these are really incredible people who are vital to the Satanic community. Lilith is the author of “The Happy Satanist,” a book that I know has really affected a lot of people’s lives, and this is an opportunity to say thank you and we support you. So, if you are able, go to our show notes, find the link to their GoFundMe, and, you know, pitch in, if you’re able.
Lilith has appeared on the show a couple of times in the past. She’s been a big supporter of ours. We met her a few years ago when we were up in Seattle for a couple of days. She was extremely gracious, she’s a great friend, and she’s an excellent Satanist, and people who are fans and followers of hers knows that she struggles to make ends meet sometimes because she is disabled. And this fire, fortunately, the good news is it did not burn their unit. So they did not lose all their possessions, but the building is condemned and the reason for this crowdfund is to help them put together some funds for, for moving expenses because we all know it costs a lot to move even when you are moving because of dire necessity. So, again, we know a lot of people are in tough spots right now, so if you can’t help, that’s fine. But anybody who’s able to put even- and contribute even a little bit, uh, consider doing it because, you know, um, it is, it is a very good cause in this case.
All right. Well. Let’s go ahead. We’ll take a break, and we will come back with the news.
Black Mass Appeal 17:32
*old-timey breaking news sound*
Those doots mean something. They mean, it’s time for the news!
So today, our news story is titled, “Posters claiming, ‘Increased Satanic cult activity’ in the San Bernardino National Forest deemed fake.” “‘Someone has been putting up signs about Satanic activity in the San Bernardino National Forest,’ authority said on Thursday while putting those rumors to bed once and for all. Forest officials reassured the public that there are no known threats of Satanic nature to visitors in the forest. The posters claim that camping isn’t advised in the area due to, ‘increased Satanic cult activity in the area.’ It also said that several animals were reportedly sacrificed as a part of the Satanic rituals and that several people have gone missing in the area. ‘That is not an official Forest Service sign and there is no known threats of this type to visitors,’ the San Bernardino National Forest wrote on Twitter. Anyone with information about who is posting the signs was asked to call, 909-383-5651.” Yeah, and tell them, you know, tell them who’s actually doing it. It’s not Satanists.
*laughs* That’s so bizarre.
You know? Again, we don’t sacrifice animals. We don’t sacrifice people. Like, why? Why? Why is this the go-to prank? Is it a prank? Is someone, like, trying to, like, get someone in trouble? Is it they think it’s funny? I don’t- who knows?
I mean, do they think it’s true?
I don’t even know, man.
Somebody on Twitter suggested this is somebody’s way of trying to get some of those campgrounds to themselves.
So, the Scooby Doo villain way. *laughter*
Two things that I’ll say about this. First being that, you know, sometimes they will have these service warnings. They’ll say there’s a fire watch. They’ll say there’s a bear watch. I almost kind of like the idea, ‘Yeah, we got a Satan watch in place, uh, in the North part of the state today for next week. We, we, we got some extra heavy devil cult activities. I just, you know, we’re reassuring- it’s, it’s, it’s not a warning. It’s just an advisory we may upgrade to a warning, you know, as, as, uh, the variables develop.’
Satanic level is orange. *laugher*
Yeah, I was gonna say like if we had our own color code system as, like, you know, low level green is, like, you’ve just got some kids in black clothes hanging about. Yellow is, like, when their clothes actually have, like, a pentagram on them. Orange is when you see, like, a dead chicken on the ground? I don’t know, what, what would be red? Like, actual beheaded people?
Satan is- has arrived. *laughs*
Satan is fully- he’s fully there.
Black Mass Appeal 20:40
*Simone and Tabitha laughing*
‘Our Washington bureau has reported that the Pentagon is currently at Devil Con 3, thank you.’ *laughter* The other thing I’ll say is that for the last two weeks, I’ve been doing a lot of reading about the Satanic Panic for reasons that we may discuss on the show in the future, but not right now.
And reading these flyers I was amazed at kind of how retro they felt. Like, there are of course Satanic conspiracies today, we’ve talked about them back in Episode 18 and 40, but, like, they don’t, you know, they have a vibe all of their own. Like, it’s- that medium has progressed. Whereas these again feel almost like, almost like throwbacks, so I was very curious about what kind- it, it gives the impression that the person who made these notices are almost very naive in a weird way, you know, so. I assume this was their attempt at a prank and maybe they’re just uh, uh, maybe they’re not up on who their marks are. I don’t know. Weird.
Yeah, I mean, like, the current, the current Satanic Panic thing is all QAnon bullshit with pictures of Chrissy Teigen photoshopped into a still of the movie, uh The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover. This is old school. This is old school, it’s on paper, even.
Posted you know, with tape on, on trees and shit. So-
It’s almost refreshing in how, in how old-fashioned it is. *laughs*
Except for the littering.
Oh, yeah. I’m sure the forest rangers loved this prank.
You think Chrissy Tiegen would do the show?
You know, at this point- *laughs*
What does she got to lose, right? *laughs*
Yeah, I was going to say she, she had a show on Quibi, and, uh, that show was- that whole network was fucking damned from the beginning, so who knows. Okay, let’s go ahead, we’ll take a break and we’ll come back with the main topic. Hey Tab, you want to hit us with that goat noise?
*bleats* I gotta do it again.
Black Mass Appeal 22:36
*Intros in with bleat*
As anyone who’s spent time down on the farm with Black Phillip knows, our friends the goats have always reminded us to live deliciously. But why have billy goats gotten such gruff treatment from the public who seem to always want to associate them with the devil? Here to help us forage over some of the history, we have Genevieve, the Executive Director of City Grazing in San Francisco. Genevieve, thank you for joining us on Black Mass Appeal.
Thanks, Simone. Thanks for inviting me.
Now, I know that this request to come on the podcast is probably a little bit of an odd one, so tell us what City Grazing typically does.
Well, City Grazing is a nonprofit based in San Francisco. We have a mission of sustainable land management and we facilitate that through goat grazing. So, mostly what our goats are doing all day is taking their typically devilish behavior and turning it into the heroic pursuit of reducing fire hazards.
Which, as Bay Area folk know, is absolutely essential. So, they’re doing, hm, somebody’s work, maybe not the Lord’s work.
They’re just being goats. Conveniently, that does, uh, the rest of us a great service.
I mean, I have to imagine that as a goat this is the dream gig to have.
Getting paid to eat for a living is a pretty good one, you know. I think we all wish for that.
Yeah. Can I sign up? *laughter*
Now, where did the idea for City Grazing come from in the first place?
Uh, well, you know, that’s a good question. Um, goat grazing has been around for centuries in terms of land management. And most, you know, in, in recent times, there’s actually quite a bit of professional goat grazing that happens in the state of California and nationwide. So city grazing, though, fills a pretty unique niche in San Francisco. A lot of grazing companies don’t want to come in to do smaller properties. So most grazers focus on 10 acres and up, they bring in hundreds of animals. I know grazers who own 4000 sheep and 4000 goats, for instance, they do really, really big parcels of land. So when you’re driving down the freeway, you’re seeing hundreds of goats on the side of the Oakland Zoo, that kind of thing- really, really big pieces of land. And, uh, we came about- the founder saw that happening and he thought, “wouldn’t it be fun to do that on a small scale in the city?” And we got a few goats and kind of started experimenting with it.
How many goats do you guys actually have?
We always have right around 100 animals. Right now, I believe we are at 92.
I mean, that’s still a pretty sizable herd but then I’m just, I’m but a city dweller, so, um-
Speaking of so, yeah, you mentioned that most of these grazing companies will focus only on the larger areas, but, you know, you are city grazing, you’re working in urban areas. Typically what are the kinds of spaces that you bring your goats to?
Oh, we do everything from you know, a postage stamp size 25 foot by 25 foot San Francisco backyard with four animals to, um, a couple of acres, uh, in Mount Sutro that’s uh- We’ve got that one coming up again really soon. We’re helping with, uh, some of the forest restoration that’s going on up there. So we tend to do parcels that are two acres and under. Some of those are larger and more publicly accessible, but a lot of what we do is small scale backyard work. There’s a lot of blackberry all over the Bay Area, a lot of English Ivy, a lot of fennel, and all of that stuff can be made is favored by goats, some of their favorite stuff to eat.
Well, I have to agree with them there because blackberry is awesome, although I think we’re probably eating different parts of the plant.
They’ll eat the berries first. They agree with you. If you brought them a pie, they would eat that before they ate the plant, I promise.
Now, what’s the, what’s raising goats like? What’s the most difficult part of raising goats? I mean, you know, we hear that they’re, uh, kind of notoriously, mm, independent-minded?
Yes. Yeah. You know, we, uh- *laughs* have a phrase, ‘escape-proof fencing.’
And that is the quest that we are constantly on, and that is the most difficult part of containing goats and raising them safely. And that’s where they get their reputation from. Absolutely, goats are- I call them opportunistic, the nicest way I can put it. They’re a little bit sociopathic. They’re a lot like people. They have social cohorts. Some of them are smarter than others. Like, an example, we, we adopt goats in, um, we’ve adopted retired dairy goats. We just brought in 16 more goats. One of these 16- just one of them- studied the way that we were closing our fences, closing our gates. She taught herself how to undo a bungee cord within the space of 48 hours, just from watching us-
*laughs* Dude. That’s amazing!
And she didn’t do anything about it, just to let you know. She just undid the bungee cord and then stood there, proud of herself, waiting for someone to notice. *laughter* Like, ‘check it out! I can do what you can do.’ *more laughter* So, you know, they’re opportunistic. They’re just interested, and that’s the quality that makes them really good at doing grazing projects. There are very few mammals that you would want to take into a new situation every week. But goats love it, they thrive on it, they’re curious and they get bored. So, they are looking for a challenge. And, again, they’re a lot like people in that regard. So as long as, you know, I think of them as essentially being, like, having, uh, a lot of 14-year-old, drunk, punk rocker employees-
Black Mass Appeal 29:05
*Simone and Tabitha laugh*
Think of them that way- they’re like underage drinkers who are a little out of control. You just put some fences around them, give ’em something to do, something to eat, they’re gonna chill out, they’re going to do okay, but-
Out of curiosity, when a goat gets out, and becomes, if you will, an escape goat-
-what does it usually, what does it usually get up to you? When, when you go to recover them, where have they gone and why?
To be totally honest, the majority of them will simply stand right on the other side of the fence. *laughter* Really, the majority of them. Now, if they escaped because say, like, a dog gets into their pen, that’s a different story and they will just go on a mad, crazy run until they feel safe again, but if they are not being chased, and they simply find a way to go under a fence, they will just go looking for the next patch of ivy. And they’ll just stop. They’ll stop, you know, three feet away from where they were because now they’re eating something else. *laughter* They’ll go, you know, three doors down and be eating somebody’s delicious rose bushes, because, well, there they are. They’re really just constantly looking for their next meal.
So they, they sound kind of like savants in that they’re very smart, but not in a very executable way necessarily? *laughter*
Yeah, yeah. That’s a very complementary way to describe it, yes.
Black Mass Appeal 30:32
*Daniel, Simone, and Tabitha laugh*
Now, uh, we’ll get into this a little bit more, uh, as we go further into the show, but the personality of goats, like I said, you know, they are, are thought to be quite independent. The comparison to 14-year-old drunk punk rockers, well, I think our listeners are gonna be able to relate to that. Could you maybe describe how, uh, goats compare, perhaps, to other farm animals, like for sheep, for example?
Sure. Yeah, uh, I grew up on a ranch and that’s kind of how I got into doing this. Um, and we had pretty much every other animal. We had goats for just a very short period of time and I think this is a pretty good example of, you know, it gives you what you’re looking for. The goats that we had would break out of their pen and eat my mother’s landscaping. She had this one little area in front of the ranch house that she would keep beautifully manicured, and every time she got those roses replanted the goats would breakout, eat all the new plants, and then just stand there. And the sheep don’t do that. Cows don’t do that. Horses don’t do that. Pigs don’t do that. Goats though, they have a knack for just waiting until the thing they want most shows up and then zeroing in on it. I, I tell my employees to think of our fences as, it’s a negotiation between us and the goats. There’s no real way to absolutely contain a goat unless you are putting up 10-foot cyclone fencing with razor wire on top of it. They actually can’t jump over that, but I have watched a Pygmy goat clear an eight foot fence from a standing position. Not even running or jumping.
Just standing there and deciding she wanted to jump over it and doing it. It, it’s, um, they have this power *laughs* to clear any obstacle, if they wish. And I kind of think that that’s part of where their diabolical reputation comes from because it is surreal, like you watch that happen and you question your own vision, you question- that you just hallucinated. Because, I mean, it looks like, a Pygmy goat is shaped like a pony-pig, right? They’re these tiny, little, round, fat creatures with short little legs. They don’t look like they should be able to do that. But, it’s kind of like deer if they want to they’ll go right over a fence, and you just don’t see any other animal who has that capacity, uh- in domesticated farm animals.
Now I’m just sort of picturing, you know, I’m, I’m just thankful that the goats want to go for the ivy and the blackberries, not people. Otherwise, you’d have, like, uh, real life raptor situation, like Jurassic Park on our hands. *laughter*
Absolutely, um, one of my former coworkers, uh, Trevor, used to say if goats had top teeth, the entire world would be a desert. *laughter* Interesting little tidbit about goats: they do not have their upper front teeth. They have molars on the top jaw but they don’t have incisors.
Which makes it even more interesting that they can eat all of the crazy plants that they can eat.
Yeah, I, I guess they’re just sort of pulling it up. How do they, how- what’s the mechanic of how they eat then?
They have very, very very dexterous lips and tongues, and if you watch them eat they will do all these amazing gymnastics with their lips to pull the parts of the plant in that they want. And then they’ll bite it off with their molars [unintelligible]
Huh. Already learning something today. *laughs*
Ok, I’m, I’m going to ask the million dollar question, why do they always want to climb on you?
To see whether there’s blackberry sprouting from the top of your head perhaps? I honestly-
Black Mass Appeal 34:32
I, I can’t tell you that it I- you know, sorry, I wish I could. But they, they also always, like goats, always always always orient to the highest space, and it has to do with those really unique pupils that they have, you know they have the rectangular pupils, and it is theorized, at this point, that those evolved to give them the best distance predator vision, both to let them spot predators coming from far away, so they have an incredible peripheral vision, goats can almost see behind themselves from a standstill. But they also can then see all the plants that are growing in that range as well, so they’ve got this very unique vision and being up high just maximizes that ability to track predators, to track the best vegetation, and I think that’s why they’re just always trying to get on top- of you, on top of each other, on top of the barn, on top of the truck, you know, it’s just always on top.
I feel like the answer to that question is just cause they want to. *laughs*
Yes. In the end- you know, see, see that first word I used: opportunistic, and yeah, yeah-
It makes me think of SNL had this Tracy Morgan bit where I think that he was some sort of zookeeper and, uh, Matt Damon. Matt Damon was also in the segment with him and they were, uh, talking about goats and Tracy Morgan was just, like, ‘that goat’s got devil eyes,’ *laughter* and it just stuck in my head. It was the funniest thing. But, you’re right, the, the goats have very unique eyes and I didn’t realize that their vision was so good because of it.
Yeah, it’s a very interesting thing. Um, thank you for that reminder. I was a huge Brian Fellows fan and I-
Yes, Brian Fellows!
I, I do not remember that specific segment, so I’ll have to go back and look that up. But yeah, they have these amazing rectangular pupils and a couple of years ago, there was a little bit more scientific research done on, like, just what the heck is up with the rectangular pupil, but it gives them amazing, amazing peripheral vision.
Do any other animals, uh, also have that?
Frogs, but it works in a different way.
Hmm. I’ve never heard that frogs, uh, have been associated with the devil, but maybe we could start a new trend. We could swap them. They can take their turn.
Ah-don’t witches have toads?
*gasps* That’s an excellent point.
Getting schooled by the goat people. *laughter*
We have a lot to-
I could be wrong but I think horses have eyes that are, are, I don’t know if they’re the same but they have weird, long pupils, so-
Yeah, they have weird pupils, but they’re different, but yes, you’re correct.
Horses do um, and I think, and again, this is not my area of expertise, so I don’t know but I’m pretty sure that some, um, varieties of deer and antelope also have a differently shaped pupil. It’s not the same as a goat’s, but, and, and again, the evolutionary theory is it’s just about having great peripheral vision so you can see that mountain lion or that cheetah coming along.
Now, aside from their current job, uh, as, as, as city grazers, as landscape management, when we talk about the domestication of goats, definitely, you know, seen them used for, for milk, for, uh, you know, for butchering, but also we’ve seen them depicted as you know, pulling carts. Uh, how, how workable are they in terms of being a domesticated animal?
Well, that’s a really good question and it’s a little bit breed specific. And, uh, some, some types of goats have been bred specifically for characteristics like workability, distillity[?], and of course, milk production or meat production. So, meat goats tend to be a little more difficult to work with. They’re hardy, they’re strong, and they can be kind of fierce because of course, the goal here is just to raise a really thickly muscled animal that when it’s slaughtered, will have a lot of meat on it. [unintellible] And dairy goats are bred for their personalities because you want a goat that’s going to be cooperative, easy to walk into the barn for milking every day, willing to put up with being milked and not kicking you, *laughter* you know, things like that. And we’ve actually come around, at City Grazing, to working with dairy goats for a couple of reasons. One, a milk goat only has about a five to six year, uh, working lifespan as a dairy animal, but they’ve got another four to six years of life that they could theoretically be allowed to live if they just had something to do. So we transition them into being grazing goats, and then we can work with that natural, inbred characteristic of being agreeable. It just makes them much easier to load in and out of the truck, easier to work with, easier, you know- less likely to run away if they should escape, and actually less likely to try to escape.
How many different breeds of goat are there?
Oh, I have no idea. Many. Many. *laughter* I would have to Google that but-
Well, I mean, uh, certainly seems like just about every continent has its own form of goat, so-
Right, right, that’s-
Worldwide, I mean, everyone’s familiar with them as an animal, which I think does help make them, you know, become more easily understood as a symbol. So, the reason that we’re talking today is because, as we mentioned, in the, in the introduction, the goat is one of those animals that constantly gets associated with Satan, the devil, evil, other entities like that. We’ve talked before about snakes. You know, we’ve made passing mentions to cats and bats and other creatures on this show, but I mean, the goat is the one that keeps coming up, especially because of the big one which is the representation of Baphomet, which is a goat-headed figure, so why don’t we, kind of, go into some of this lore that we are going to use to analyze the association here.
So, quick disclaimer for people who may be listening to this episode before some of the other ones, we already talked about Baphomet way back in Episode Four. Also, by complete coincidence, we’re recording this episode on a baling day[?], so, hey. We also talked a little bit about the sigil of Baphomet in episodes 30 and 72. And in Episode Four, we also mentioned the parable of the goats and the sheep in Matthew 25, quote, “And before Him shall be gathered, all nations they shall separate one from the other, as a shepherd dividith his sheep from his goats, and he’ll shed a sheep in his right hand, but the goats on the left.” We already went over that one. Maybe we should revisit some of those topics in the future, I don’t know. That was one of our very early shows. Perhaps it’s, it’s just possible we didn’t know we were doing yet quite at that point, *laughter* but unfaithful listeners can let us know if they think we should go back to Baphomet- have a return to Baphomet, as it were. But again, if you’re wondering why we haven’t- we’re not going to talk much about those things, it’s because they’re called [?] already.
And, so, we have some little facts here that we want to integrate into this conversation. Tabitha, why don’t you take on this first one here?
All right, from ‘Goat domestication and breeding: a jigsaw of data and animal genetics’ from 2017, “domestic goats are spread across the five continents with a census of 1 billion individuals. The worldwide population of goats descends from a limited number of bezoars-” Bezoars?
You got me on that one?
I’m gonna go with bezoars- “domesticated 10,000 years before the present.” Ooh, that’s- *laughs* okay.
YBP, you know me.
YBP. I’m, I’m into that actually. Anyhow, sorry. “Domesticated 10,000 years before the present in the Fertile Crescent. The Extraordinary adaptability and hardiness of goats favored their rapid spread over the old world reaching the Iberian Peninsula and Southern Africa, 7000 YVP and 2000 YVP, respectively.”
A billion goats.
That’s a lot of goats.
One billion goats. *laughter*
I don’t know about anybody else, but it gives me a very happy, fuzzy feeling thinking about there being a billion goats in the world.
Yeah, me too. *laughter*
It definitely makes my job a lot easier.
*laughs* You’ll- your cup overflow if
Someone is always looking to give us more goats, let’s put it that way.
I wish I could have a goat. *laughs*
Don’t know we all?
*laughs* Shall I continue? “In general, domestication should be viewed as a cumulative and gradual evolutionary process that only in the long term leads to the establishment of a new phenotype adapted to cap- captivity and human needs. In this sense, goat domestication likely followed a prey pathway, i.e., goats were initially hunted, but at a later stage, but at later stages, they were directly managed by humans to ensure prey availability. The post domestication dispersal of goats was followed by a population expansion and- most notably in Asia and Africa. These continents nowadays contain 58.2 and 36.2%, respectively, of the 1 billion goats worldwide.
So when we’re talking domestication, people are like, ‘hey, goats are delicious. Let’s keep them around,’ and then they realized, goats are awesome for other reasons, so we definitely want to keep them around.
This goat’s really good at getting out of its pen. How can we use this to our advantage? *laughter*
Did Harry Houdini have any goats that were aware of? *Tabitha laughs* I wonder how many goats are just named Houdini, basically?
Oh, so many. *laughter*
Do all of yours have names? Like, are they all individuals?
Oh my gosh, I love it.
Um, and, you know, their names can sometimes come out of their personalities. One of the new ones we’ve just named her Ponch, and it’s kind of a circuitous route to how that got there, but she was dancing on a little, tiny table like one of the hippos from Fantasia.
Black Mass Appeal 45:21
And we’re watch- and she’s this great big, giant animal, you know, she must weigh close to 200 pounds-
-she really needs to lose weight. And she’s twirling around, you know, and just like, very proud of herself that she can balance on her little tippy toes. And I said, “She looks like one of the hippos from Fantasia, doesn’t she?” And, and, my, my number one goater Dawn was like, “I’m on it!” She just looks it up on her phone, she’s like, “You know, the composer was [Ponchielli], let’s name her Ponch, “so we did.
Aw, I love it!
Sometimes they get a name out of their hobbies or they’re- the one who immediately learned how to undo bungee cords? Her name is Trouble, for obvious reasons.
Black Mass Appeal 46:04
A goat named Trouble!
That was my nickname in high school.
So yeah, they all, they all end up with names. Sometimes we just name them all after a boy band, you know. It’s just, it’s how it works out.
You know, since you’ve got the, the individuals with their personalities, is there a way that you kind of rotate them in and out of jobs? Is there some goats that are better at certain, certain jobs than others? Or-
-is it just kind of whoever’s on duty that day?
It’s a little bit of both, but definitely, you want to have, you know, let’s say we’re splitting off five goats or 15 goats to go to a backyard. You want to pick at least one good alpha goat, who’s gonna kind of show the other ones what to do and, and stick up for them if, you know, let’s say a dog or coyote comes into the property. And you don’t want too many of those. You wouldn’t want to grab a group of like three goats who all have alpha tendencies because they’re just gonna spend the whole time fighting. But you also don’t want to pick one goat who’s going to get bowled by two others. So we look for the social cohorts that they form on their own. And we have certain groups that, that tend to be together, like we’ve got one herd that’s- we refer to our main herd as the OG’s, the original goats-
Black Mass Appeal 47:20
-and, you know, adding goats into that, that’s just a large group of goats that all get along pretty well together. They’re all adults. They’re all in good health. None of them have any real issues. And we, we wouldn’t want to put in anyone, any of the goats that are too young or too new, or have health challenges in with that larger cohort.
So, what is goat society? Like, is there kind of a pecking order structure? Or, you know, I guess it depends on the individual personalities?
Yeah, let’s return back to that example of drunk 14-year-old punks.
Black Mass Appeal 47:57
So you can imagine, let’s say- we’ve all been to Gilman Street, you go to Gilman Street, there are 100 kids in there. There’s going to be a pecking order, right?
Like, you’re going to have, you’re going to have little fights, you’re going to have little mock battles going on. There’s going to be a lot of one-upmanship. That’s what goats are doing constantly. Or at least that’s how Gilman was way back when in the 80’s when I used to go. *laughs* So, that’s- I, I, I constantly return back to that when I’m watching the goats. It’s really fun if you, like, if we’ve split them up. Let’s say we’ve taken 40 goats to one place, 40 goats to another, and they return, everybody comes back together at a different, larger location. They will go through, they will have, like, it’s basically, like, a fist bump, they’ll just touch heads. Like, “oh, I haven’t seen you in a while.”
Black Mass Appeal 48:47
And they’ll give each other a little bump. But sometimes that bonk turns into, like, they’ve got their hackles raised, and they’re going to have an actual little, like, ‘I didn’t like you then and I don’t like you now,” kind of a thing and just start going at each other. And it’s all in good fun. It’s very rare that those mock battles end up with any actual physical injury. Part of that is because we don’t actually keep any intact billy goats in our herd. All of our males are fixed. And that’s partially population control, but it’s also about herd management.
Right? You know, I’ve definitely seen the, the pictures of the goats who have pool noodles placed over their horns because they’ve gotten into a bad habit of, of head-butting people. What’s, what’s, what’s that behavior about? You know, I don’t know that many animals outside of goats, maybe bighorn sheep, that, that use head-butting as the main, kind of, battle mode.
Yeah, yeah, I will say that, you know, in all of my years of working with animals, I have been injured by a sheep quite intensely with a head-butting. I’ve never had any of my goats hit me in a way that was that forceful. And the only time that I’ve had my goats hit me hard enough to really make me, you know, step back, they thought it was another goat. And it’s funny because if they hit you and they think you’re another goat, they will suddenly pull back and look at you with this very apologetic like, “Oh, I’m sorry, did I do that?” *laughter* Because they, they definitely know the difference between us and each other and they hit each other, much more forcefully. They know that we will bring them food, they know that we’re going to take them to the next good meal. So they’re relatively cooperative with us. I won’t say they’re always cooperative. You know, they will fight back if they decide it’s not the day they want to get in the truck, but it’s still on a much lower level than the way that they battle with each other.
They know that we’re squishy?
They know that we’re squishy! Yeah, they do seem to- they also know that, you know, I think, even more, they know that we know where the good food is. They don’t know know how to drive, but I do. *laughter* And they know that, you know, we will get in the truck and we will take them to the next good meal or we will bring a good meal to them with it. And they’re very, very aware of what that connection is. And, I know, I like to train them with a bell so that if they do get out, again, let’s say they do get out, they are getting chased by a dog or they just take off down the street because they’re freaked out. If they hear our bell, they will come to it because they know like, “Oh, there’s the lady with the food.”
It’s the dinner bell.
So, it’s- yep, that’s- it’s always the dinner bell. And, so but to get back to the head-butting issues, I really, really do think that it’s a method of communication. They do have a very intense social hierarchy. There is always a goat that’s at the top. And it’s really interesting when our, when our alpha goat passes away. It’s really interesting to watch the jockeying that occurs and we’ll have a few months where there are three or four goats that are trying to re-establish the pecking order. And they’ll actually rule together pretty comfortably until one emerges as the actual alpha. And that alpha is always being challenged just a little bit. And that goat has kind of like a, a lower level cohort of those other, like, three or four that were originally jockeying, they work it out. And so then they get a kind of, like, a court system going on, basically. So you’ve got your ruler, and he’s got his three, or she, underlings, and they tend to take the fights from the younger goats that are trying to come up.
Huh. Now, how do they get along with other animals? You know, we have here a quote from the story of goats from PBS. And it says that “in the earliest days of livestock farming, flocks of goats have been partnered with flocks of sheep since the grazing habits and byproducts of both animals complement one another, where sheep are placid grazers, legendary for following a leader. Goats are more fastidious and inquisitive browsers infamous for wandering off on their own accord.” Now, do you see pairs of goats with, with sheep? Do they get along with other farm animals? Or do you have to kind of keep them separate?
I’ll be honest, when I looked at that, it’s, it’s a very idealistic description of what’s going on there. Sheep and goats are good in terms of, like, you have goats go through and graze a pasture first, because they’re going to eat things that will one, kill a sheep, and two, that sheep just don’t like. So they’re going to eat all the top, they’ll eat all the brush, they’ll things like blackberry and scotch broom, which sheep simply can’t eat. It basically comes down to their need for minerals, so she- goats have a need for copper and selenium. That in a week, a goat, what a goat needs will kill a sheep, so it’s a very different set of needs. And sheep love grass, they- goats will eat grass but they don’t love it- we really have to bribe them into it and convince them to do it. Sheep love it, so that’s why they would follow each other in rotational grazing like traditional on a, on a ranch. Sheep will follow goats quite well but not in a shared herd situation. So, you don’t keep your goats and your sheep living in the same area because goats will kill a sheep just for fun.
Yeah, they, they do get their demonic reputation *laughter* a little bit because they will do things like, like- large- one of the reasons we don’t put baby goats in with our OG’s is because the OG’s will kill a baby goat just for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. They’re very aggressive with each other and with other animals. If they feel like it; not always. It’s not consistent behavior. But it’s consistent enough that they are deserving of their reputation.
Well, on the subject of sheep and goats, can we get to a point that I’m really excited about?
Go for it.
So over the years, we have sometimes run into this question of why the goat thing with the devil? Why that animal and that imagery specifically? And of course, that’s not the only animal that gets tied into Satan and Satanism, but obviously, it’s the most common. And in the past, I feel like we have struggled to answer that question because it seems like a very obscure, esoteric point, and I was never 100% happy with the explanation that people gave to me. Finally, I think I’m going to give away the game up front because even though we have a million things to talk about, this one I feel like is kind of the big answer, at least I’ve convinced of that. Here, I’m going to read from an Encyclopedia. com article here about sheep and goats in the history of world religions: “Sheep and goats appear frequently in the history of religions from prehistoric times down to the present and across a wide geographic area. In religious practice and mythology, goats have been important as symbols of extraordinary virility and fecundity and as animals associated with the profane, and so we’re often associated with fertility cults.” I’d just like to point that out: Why do, why do livestock, for example, show up in people’s religious beliefs and practices? Because that’s what they’ve got around. Goats are an extremely common herd animal to raise and, as we learned prior to that, to hunt, so of course, they’re going to show up in people’s spiritual beliefs. ‘Cuz they’re everywhere, right? You know, this is, this is what you fold into your practices is these things that are in your lives. Continuing, “A Babylonian hymn compares Ishtar to a goat and Tammuz to a kid. Also in Babylonia, a goat was sacrificed in order to rid a person of disease. In a Sumerian tradition, the goat was linked to the god Enki, who had the form of a goat in the front and a fish’s tail in the back that was crowned with the head of a ram.” You will, you will see that I noticed a lot of conflating or mixing up of goats and rams in art and in various other practices. Continuing, “This bizarre combination reflects Enki’s nature as ruler of both water and plants. In the Israelite religion, the goat was the preferred sacrifice to Yahweh. Ancient beliefs about goats have survived in folklore of various modern peoples. Modern day Mummers continue to link the goat with the ancient cult of fertility when they sing, ‘where the goat goes, there the wheat grows.'” I don’t think I know that one, but apparently it’s a banger from way back. “And when they portray the mock death of a goat and its subsequent resurrection-” Okay, that’s intriguing. “As in ancient times, the goat continues to be associated [with] various traditions with the nether world with ketonic power-” Ketonic means underground. “In this respect, the goat is opposed to the pure lamb. And that last sentence is where I said, “Aha! Now I think I get it,” because we know that in Christian, in Christian theology, Jesus is frequently likened to the lamb, to the sacrificial lamb specifically, and in the Book of Revelation, he even appears as the slaughtered lamb in some of John’s, let’s call them interesting, visions. Go back to Episode 53 for more on that. And so, it makes sense that if you are looking for animal imagery that is complimentary, but inverse to a goat, what is it going to be a sheep or a lamb? What’s it going to be except a goat, they’re frequently raised together. But as Genevieve points out, they have kind of cross purposes, they have sort of inverse personalities. You could also compare Satan to a predatory animal like a lion or a wolf, and sometimes they do that, but the goat just kind of makes sense. It’s right there. It’s the obvious alternative. And so I don’t think it’s surprising that we get things like the parable of the goats and the sheep that we talked about earlier. and I also don’t think it’s surprising that, again, if you were looking for a counterpoint to this one specific image of the pure, innocent, beautiful lamb, it’s probably gonna be the goat. It’s probably gonna be the drunken, 14-year-old, frat boy of your herd. So more than anything else-
They’re not frat boys, they’re punkers, man.
Oh, yes. Excuse me. Thank you. *laughter*
They’re more fun than frat boys, you know what I mean?
*laughs* Fair enough. But you see what I’m getting at here. It’s all of the, all of the tumblers click into place on that, at least in my opinion, so-
-if there’s one big answer, I think this is it, so I was very excited about that.
Yeah, if I can comment to that just to back you up, I would say from personal experience with sheep and goats, If you want a group of sheep, like, let’s say you were, you are herding sheep. You want them to go in a direction, you can get one of them moving in one direction and the rest of them will simply go along with it. They will stick together. We’ve all seen these videos, and it’s very easy to keep goats all- or sheep all going in the same direction. Goats, on the other hand, if they decide that there is something on the other side of you, that is more delicious than where you want them to go, they don’t care. They- you can, you can grab their herd leader and try to make it go in the direction you wish for it to go, the rest of the goats will not follow you, they will go eat all of the roses or all of the wheat or all of whatever it is that they wish to get to, then they’ll follow you afterwards. And that streak of independence, would, I would think, for, you know, a group of people that are, are nomads, that are leading these types of animals around, you could absolutely associate that lamb, which is also again, a more fragile creature that is more likely to die if he eats the wrong thing or doesn’t get enough water. Sheep are also are much more- they’re less drought tolerant and are more heat-sensitive than goats. Goats can go for days without drinking, and really not have any problems at all. And, so they’re, they’re just these incredibly hardy animals that have the ability to survive on their own and can do whatever they wish. Sheep don’t really have that. They are much more the domesticated animal that is dependent on the shepherd. So, the, the analogy in the Bible is, is really clear if you’ve worked with both animals. It just seemed super obvious to me even as a bored child listening to *laughter* Bible readings, I was always, like, “Oh, yep, pretty obvious there, isn’t it?” So-
And, um, I, I would say, by, by that same token, that means that goats actually make a handy analogy for Satanism, also, because- We’ve talked a little bit on the show before about how being a Satanist has some built-in internal contradictions. Yes, sometimes, we have leaders, or we have formal groups, or we have rules and tenants and structures, but we also stress this idea about individualism as the primary motivating factor. And, sometimes those ideas get in the way of each other. But, you know, you look at the goat. It’s like, well, goats are social animals. Goats have structure. Goats have leaders, but they also sometimes don’t care. And so, *laughter* I feel like we can all identify with that pretty closely. Also, I should have brought this up earlier, but I wanted to tell the story, sorry to keep talking, but Genevieve, when we emailed you to appear on this show- you know, sometimes we email people out of the blue to ask if they want to come on the show. Often we do not hear back from them, which could be for any number of reasons. But in Genevieve’s case, I got the email back a day later saying, not only, “Yes, I’d be happy to come talk on your show,” but also saying, like, “I feel like on some level, I’ve been waiting for an invitation like this ever since we started doing City Grazing.” And I love this vision of somebody, like, coming home one day saying, “I got this great idea for sustainable local business. I’ve got some money lined up. I’ve got some idea- I’ve got, I’ve got some angles on some loans, and I guess all we need to do now is sit back and wait for Satan to call.”
I’m assuming that’s exactly how the conversation happened.
Totally. That’s exactly how it went. *laughs* I wish I could say that I had started City Grazing so that yes, I could I get absolutely confirm that, that nice little fantasy. *laughs* Unfortunately, it did not. But, it’s, it’s kind of that way. You know, one of the more appealing things about working with goats is that you’re not- never going to get bored. They will give you something you did not expect all the time. And they’re, they’re very interactive. And I don’t like for things to be predictable, and so I can see why they have their kind of demonic aspect. If you just want the farm to be as simple and easy and flowing as smoothly as possible, you don’t get goats. My mother was convinced that the goats were of the devil *laughter* because they would do these things. They would just wait until she had something beautiful, and then they’d just break out again and eat it again. And she made my dad get rid of them. She made him sell them. It was just like, “No, these animals are a problem. They can’t be around.” And, as a bored kid, I was like, “Yeah, but those are the ones that are fun.” *laughter* You know, it’s fun to watch them eat the landscaping. It’s hilarious to watch them stand on the cars. And so working with them now, you know, they, they do for all of us. They satisfy that urge to be entertained. Like, you know, sheep are really boring. They just all move together as one, they do what they’re supposed to do. Goats, it’s something new every time, and they’re always playing with each other or dancing or, you know, sliding down hills. One thing about the goats, they play. They actively, physically play, and if we put them in a location that’s got a grassy slope, they will slide down at like kids in a playground.
Oh, that’s so cute, ugh.
Like, on their sides, on their backs, and if they catch people watching, they will stop. *laughter* They like to do it just for the goats.
I, I wasn’t doing anything.
Yeah, yeah, they, they just want the goats to see them playing. I’ve also- when we were using electrical- electrified fences, which we don’t very much anymore, they’re just not that predictable, again, goats, once they learned like, “Oh, it hurts, but it doesn’t really hurt.?” Like, they’ll just go underneath it if they want to. But when you were using them more regularly, we had a, one particular goat who would shove the other goats into the electrified fence when they weren’t looking.
*laughing* Oh, no!
And she would- they do this thing, when they think something’s funny where they wag their tails very rapidly. They don’t laugh out loud, but they do this, this little tail wag that’s very distinctive when they’re amused. And she would just stand at the top of the hill, shove goats into the fence when they lost their balance, and then she would just wag her tail. *laughter* She was highly entertained. Like, tell me that’s not just a little bit devilish, you know?
That’s so funny.
*laughing* I love it.
I actually wanted to kind of circle back to something real quick because in the quote from Encyclopedia.com that Daniel read is, they made mention of associations with fertility cults. Now, you know, we think of fertility, we think of, you know, rabbits, but what is the fertility of a goat? Are they particularly, um, productive?
Oh, yes, exceedingly so, and, and again, that is part of why we don’t keep any intact males around. Goats will actually if, if allowed to, they will bear their first set of offspring before they’re even fully grown. So males become viable somewhere between six and eight months.
They’re not fully grown and- goats aren’t fully grown until they’re three years old. So they can actually kid long before it’s really healthy for them to do so. And they also have a lot of really gross behavior that starts out if you have an intact billy goat around. All of the male goats will begin peeing on their own faces. I have no explanation for this again. *laughter* Veterinary medicine cannot explain to me why male goats urinate all over their little goat beard. They just get themselves really, really stinky, and apparently, this is highly attractive to the female goats.
And the female goats will also then have their hormone production activated, and they will begin to fight with each other- not in that playful way that I was talking about before that they use to establish hierarchy within the herd. They begin to battle for that intact male’s attention, and they will just, like, cut each other open. They’re like, it’s, it’s like a cage fight gone bad. And so you kinda don’t want to have- it’s another reason why you don’t see billy goats kept in close proximity with the rest of a herd. It just generates really bad behavior. So their virility-
Pissing and fighting does sound like teenage punkers.
Pissing and fighting, yeah. And it’s, uh, their virility is definitely unquestioned, like, among other animals. With sheep, with cows, you don’t have that kind of behavior going on.
Okay, well let’s move along. And let’s talk about some more distinct associations with witchcraft and Satanism. So, you want to take this next one, why are goats associated with the devil?
‘Why are goats associated with the Devil?,’ from Slate in 2016: “‘There is nothing about goats in the Salem records or, that I can tell, in any American records of other witchcraft prosecutions,’ the famous Cornell scholar Marybeth Morton wrote. Emerson Baker, a history professor at Salem State University, co-hosted a packed screening of The Witch in Salem and considers himself among the film’s biggest fans. ‘It’s just about the best depiction of early New England that I’ve seen in a movie,’ he told me, but he too said he didn’t recall goats in North American lore or historical records. Eggers, the movie’s writer and director, conceded that Black Philip is in some ways his own special creation. ‘It’s not that I’ve not found any evidence in English witchcraft of goats playing some kind of function similar to this, but it’s just not as common,’ he said. ‘Most of the goat mythology tends to be from continental witchcraft. In England, if you were a goat farmer, you were thought of as very backwards.’ Malcolm Gaskill, a professor of early modern history, confirmed that goats play a more prominent role in European witch imagery. ‘In European engravings and paintings that depict the witches Sabbath, the devil is often depicted as a goat or goat-like man,’ he wrote.”
I think that’s kind of interesting is, you know, when we, the witch, is one of our favorite movies on this show for Satanic Bay Area and I think collectively amongst Satanists, but I was really surprised to learn that the association with goats and witchcraft was not as strong in North America.
Yeah, I didn’t realize that at all.
So continuing, “when did goats first become a tool of the occult? Everyone I asked pointed in different directions, including Greek mythology, biblical references, Baphomet, and rich artistic records stretching back to the Middle Ages. There is no single point of reference. But ghosts pervade many stance- strands of mythology connected to malevolent spirits. The origins may be elusive, but Gaskill offered a convincing explanation for why the link exists. ‘I guess the goat devil features so prominently in European iconography because of the horns and weird eyes.'” *laughter* Thanks, dude. *more laughter* He wrote, ‘”But also because of the association with predatory sexual potency and energy.'”
Well, we’ve certainly confirmed that.
it does smell incredibly bad. *laughter* And so if you, if you’re gonna read into like, ‘Oh my god, this is, like, hell must smell like this, like a horny goat.’ It’s kinda possible, like, it does. It’s a truly awful, awful smell.
I mean, I just, I find it amusing how, you know, over time, so much importance and meaning has been ascribed to these representations. But really, it just boils down to, they look weird and they smell bad.
They do what they want. They look weird. They smell bad. *laughs* They’re definitely evil. *laughs again*
And Baphomet is a really cool image. You know, it just sticks with us. It’s a great meme. It just keeps coming back.
Yeah, it’s true.
Now there’s one really important contextual point that we haven’t gotten to yet, which is, here’s from a paper titled ‘The scapegoat ritual and its Ancient Near East parallels.’ I’m not going to try to pronounce the author’s name, it’s in the show notes sorry. “The ritual of cleansing the Tabernacle in Leviticus 16, which always takes place every Yom Kippur, features the ‘sent-away goat’ ritual. Aaron is to take two billy goats from the Israelites and stand them at the entrance before the tent of meeting. He places [lots] on the two goats, one for Yahweh on the other for Azazel. He brings forward the goat identified for Yahweh, which will be a sin or purification offering. The second billy goat is treated differently. Aaron shall lay hands upon the head of the live goat and confess over all of the iniquities and transgressions of the Israelites, and it will be sent off to the wilderness, thus the billy goat should carry on it all of their iniquities to an inaccessible region. He who sent off the billy goat for Azazel shall wash his han- clothes, and bathe his body in water, and after that, he may reenter the camp. Traditional commentaries throughout the ages have struggled to understand this rite-” Yeah, I’m there with ya, man. “-Which is unusual in the biblical corpus. Animal rituals, especially the Priestly texts are always, almost always sacrifices, i.e., offerings to God. The most ancient example of a sending away ritual was uncovered in the Ebla archives in modern Syria from the 24th century BCE. There a tablet describes a ritual in which an animal is sent away in order to purify the space prior to a royal wedding. Here the goat is sent out, dressed up in a decorative silver bracelet and car-” Aww, that’s nice. “-And carries with it impurity allowing the gods, and later the king and queen, to enter the mausoleum as part of the wedding ceremony. A Hurro-Hittite rite found in the archives of modern Turkey states, ‘an exorcist lets lose a number of live animals referred to as nakussis, which carry off abstract evils and by doing so, purifies the royals and the deity alike.'” So of course, this practice is where we get that term ‘scapegoat,’ and here we see that it’s quite literal. You are very literally taking all of your problems and metaphorically transferring them onto this one creature, and then disposing of it as a way of ridding yourself of those as well, but of course, we also see that the right is much more elaborate than that, that there are two goats, and that the contrast between them is apparently very critical. And, by the way, if you’re wondering what the Azazel is, we’re going to get to that in a second, although I’m not necessarily sure there is an answer. For once though, I am actually 100% sure we are pronouncing the name of that demon correctly. So, there’s- a lot of the time when people talk about the association of the Devil and goats, they will bring up this particular passage because it ties the goats directly to this idea of sin in, again, a couple of different ways here, which is intriguing.
You know, the thing that I’ve been thinking about- so I learned today that goats are really good at living on their own and can survive for a long time, so I like the idea that they kept doing this scapegoat thing and then all the, like, loose goats, like, got together and just, like, had a good time out in the wilderness.
Black Mass Appeal 1:15:04
Thanks, Bible. *more laughter*
Well, do we want to get into- oh shoot. I want to say [Azayzel], but you seem pretty firm on your pronunciation, Daniel?
Yes, for once, I am sure that we were pronouncing a name- how to pronounce a name on this show, and I know this because- I think we brought this up back in Episode 48 when we did the names of the devil- you’ll notice that in ‘suffix el,’ which is a word that gets translated sometimes as strength, but also sometimes refers directly to God. In fact, the- sometimes the earliest names for God in Hebrew texts is El or Elohim. Elohim might mean something slightly different its, it’s, it’s weird, but that’s why-
So what about- what about Kal-El?
Wow, ok, you just blew my mind. Um-
But we- I, we brought this up earlier because you’ll notice the name-
Or Nick Cage’s son, whatever.
Yes, you’ll notice the names of angels, always end in the ‘el’ sound: Michael, Raphael, Gabriel, even the scary angels like Azrael and Samael, and so, because that ‘el’ sound always connotes that particular relationship with God, and even my name, Daniel, which an ex-Catholic, Satanist friend of mine told me means ‘judged by God,’ which I didn’t know when I picked the pseudonym but fucking yeah, okay. *Simone laughs* So yes, so you have to, it has to end on that heavy ‘el’ noise. So this- I- for once, I’m pretty sure about this one. Anyway-
We’re gonna get letters, I just want you to know that.
We are going to get, we are going to get emails, I know. *laughter*
That just really makes me want to call you ‘Dan-i-elle.’
Black Mass Appeal 1:16:41
*Tabitha and Daniel laugh*
For all I know, that’s how they said it then, I don’t know. So for an explanation of Azazel, we’re going to turn to the Jewish Encyclopedia circa 1906, which is a resource that we’ve used a lot on this show, but I can’t help it, it’s got a lot of stuff in there that’s very- you can’t necessarily find easy references to elsewhere. I do worry that being over 100 years old, this might be a little out of date, so, I don’t know, ‘at’ us if you know, so. Azazel, “the name of the supernatural being mentioned in connection with the ritual of the Day of Atonement. After Satan, for whom he was in some degree of preparation, Azazel enjoys the distinction of being the most mysterious extrahuman character in sacred literature. Unlike other Hebrew proper names, the name itself is obscure. The Rabbi’s interpreting Azazel, as ‘Azaz,’ (rugged) and ‘el’ (strong), refer to the rugged or rough mountainous cliffs of which the goat was cast down.” I’ve also sometimes heard it interpreted as rugged, being reference to the desert or the wilderness or the wasteland. Sometimes I call it- sometimes they translate this word as ‘the God of the rough places,’ or something along those lines, ‘God of the desert, the wasteland.’ “Most modern scholars, after having for some time endorsed the old view, have accepted the opinion mysteriously hinted at that Azazel belongs to the class of ‘se’irim,’ goat-like demons, jinn haunting the desert to which the Israelites were wont to offer sacrifice.” And when I read that I’m like, “the hell do you say? I, what?” Again, my mind was blown. They’re, they’re sac- they were sacrificing the goat demons? What? And then I discovered, actually- we brought this up on the show before too if you go back to the Lilith episode, number 47- and you remember that one passage from Isaiah that might mention Lilith, that also mentions the goat demons out in the desert or sometimes- we saw there were a million translations- sometimes they were goat demons or sometimes they were just goats or sometimes it said satyrs or sometimes it says night monsters or just wild creatures. This apparently is the same thing [as] the se’irim, according to the same encyclopedia- the Jewish Encyclopedia, is a “rendering by English versions of the Hebrew with Satyr, ‘he-goat,’ or ‘wild goat,’ or some of the passages just as Devil. The old versions used for- a word denoting a demon, a false god, or ‘hairy being’. It is certain that a natural animal is not intended in these passages. Thus in Isaiah- okay, here, sorry, I got ahead of myself again- Thus in Isaiah, the se’irim are mentioned together with Lilith and animals of the desert and desolate places, and are described as ‘dancing’ and ‘calling to one another.'” Now I kind of like that idea of what Tabitha just said about all the scapegoats surviving off the land and getting together to party once a year. Maybe that’s what this was, I don’t know. “In other passages they referred to as objects of worship. Possibly the versions reflect the ancient corruption of the se’irim as hairy and perhaps goat shaped beings-” I’m sorry- ancient conception as hairy and goat-shaped beings. The association of monstrous beings with ruins and desert places is still a prevalent element in the folklore of Arabia and Syria, and the Arabian jinn are also represented as having monstrous hairy forms.” So, this is weird and obscure, but it is possible that there was this long-established Jewish lore slash demonology of goats and goat demons that may or may not have been an object of idolatrous worship, which, If true, yeah, I think that might contribute to our image of Satan as goat-like, I just gotta go out on a limb there, so weird, really weird. This one I kind’ve had to, like, when I read this the first time, I just kind of sat and stared at a wall for five minutes trying to make sense out of it all.
Genevieve, you said you had a scapegoat story in one of your emails?
I do, yeah. So, a few years back, this is actually about, gosh, I think about six or seven years ago now, it’s when I first- I hadn’t been working for City Grazing for too long. And we were approached by a Jewish community group that was doing some singles mixers at the time of year that the scapegoat ritual traditionally happened. And they wanted to know if we would be willing to bring goats to these three different events that they were staging, so that people could assign their sins to living goats, in honor of this ancient tradition and- It sounded like fun. I didn’t think too much of it. I certainly- it never crossed my mind that this would have an impact on these goats’ lives. We joked about the fact that I was not going to take these goats to the desert and let them go. And as long as they were cool with that, that these goats would just be going back to their normal grazing life, sure. We could show up and make this happen. And they were fun! They were great events. And we had these three goats that we rotated through these events. They were all very healthy, young, and, and sociable goats, so that they would be more contented to be at a backyard party in San Francisco and have people coming up and touching them and whispering things in their ears. All three of those goats died within a year of these events.
One-yeah. One of them, there was a, an illness that ran through the herd. It killed almost no other animals. You would expect that, at worst, this, you know, the animals that might have perished from this would have been elder goats or very young goats. Not a ridiculously healthy, two-year-old animal. So one of them died from this. One of them died from a very weird feeding incident, where she began frothing at the mouth violently, and simply died. And it happens on occasion, it’s called frothy bloat, but again, it is very strange that it would just be this one animal that would die that way. And the third, we found dead at a grazing site. Not a mark on her. No explanation. No other goats dead. Just dead.
Yep. And I decided after that, that we weren’t going to do any more rituals! *laughs*
Yes, good call.
So, there is a lot of power in ritual, and occasionally you come across it, and this was one of those occurrences. So, it’s a spooky story and it stuck with me because I’ve never really seen ritual create that profound of an impact.
Okay, weird. *laughter*
*laughing* I’ll leave it up to you guys, whether you actually want to air that bit or not, like, feel free-
Oh, no, it’s fascinating.
Yeah, no, that’s too good to leave out.
One last point on Azazel, then I’ll stop talking, I promise. We have mentioned on the show previously, this time I don’t remember which episode, but of course, that is also the name of one of the prominent fallen angels from the Book of Watchers. The weird, apocryphal, Jewish text that largely- provided a lot of the framework for what would later become the Satan myth, so the fact that that one name is associated first with the scapegoats, and then later with the fallen angels is, again, possibly, part of the root of that devilish goat imagery. I would really like to do a Book of Watchers episode one of these days, but I think it came in like, fifth place on the Patreon poll last time, so probably not soon.
Now, we’ve mentioned before on the show, the phenomenon of the Christian religion moving into a new geographic location and the people then either trying to incorporate the gods of the native peoples or flipping them on their head and making the gods demons and, you know, encouraging their rejection. And so we kind of touched on that just a bit earlier. Now, we’ve got a little bit more here with the demonization of Pan by Kevin Hearne, in 1998. “To the Greeks, Pan was a shepherd, a thing of nature, certainly not out to corrupt and steal men’s souls. He was lusty; he played pipes and was therefore musical; and he was a god of nature. And though much is made in schools and textbooks of the major Olympian gods of Zeus and the gang, it was clear from the archaeological evidence that Pan was the favorite god of the Greek people. There are more dedications to him than to any other deity. Perhaps this is what led Christian theologians to demonize Pan. They sensed a powerful competitor in the hearts of the people. After the Council of Nicea issued the Nicene Creed and the Roman Catholic Church was established in 325 CE, Christian theologians transformed Pan from a benign nature god into Satan.” Now, okay. Let’s backtrack a little bit here. Pan. You know what Pan looks like. Pan looks like Mr. Tumnus from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.
We got the goat legs, we got some other goat-y features, but definitely a strong goat association, very strong goat look, if you will.
So, continuing. Historian Jeffrey Burton Russell believes that “since Pan was ‘a phallic deity like his father Hermes, he represented sexual desire, which can be both creative and destructive.’ The Church still preaches loudly about the destructive power of sexual immorality. Since pan’s sexual nature was so evident, this might explain the Church’s readiness to hold up Pan as an example of profound moral turpitude. ‘Sexual passion, which suspends reason and easily leads to excess, was alien to the asceticism of the Christians; a god of sexuality could easily be assimilated into the principle of evil.'” And from what we heard about goats, uh, that’s a pretty strong association.
*laughs* Continues, “Pan’s sexuality, when combined with his unwholesome visage, thus gave the aesthetics exactly what they needed. Since he had never been attractive to begin with, and Christians were wont to associate ugliness with evil (deformations and plagues of all kinds were seen as a punishment of God), Pan became the image of the devil.” Man, that’s really judgy. Poor pan.
Prior to reading this essay, I did not realize that, although I load this up, this is true that there were more dedications to Pan than to the other, seemingly more prominent gods. I guess that makes sense since Pan represents things like- First of all, he is a nature and a shepherd god, and so, you know, when you have a, a population with, with a significant farming demographic, it does make sense that they’re going to gravitate to a god like that. Also, he’s the patron of things like, you know, music, and theater, and dance and fucking. You know, things that people do like to do, so, I- he’s going to have a popular image, there. Also being a nature god, he might have been a little bit older than the Olympian gods who become more prominent later, and so he might have just had time to build up a fan base. So. I’m going to put you over there[?]. Also, is Pan unattractive? I feel like people on the internet might have opinions about that.
*laughter* Yeah, I, I, uh, cough. I have opinions.
Wasn’t Pan also the god of wine? Am I remembering this incorrectly?
I believe that would be-
Sorry, go ahead, Simone.
I was just gonna say that.
Um, yeah, so, so Dionysus is the god of wine, also the god of theater. It makes sense if you were Greek, I guess. Pan was the god of theater critics. I don’t really know why, except that being associated with Dionysus, it would make sense that if you’re looking for a god of criticism, that you would go to two gods who hang out a lot. Pan is also the only God who is supposed to have died. And, speaking as someone who’s been a theatre critic for eight years now, I refuse to believe these are coincidental variables. *laughter*
Now going from ancient myths to myths that are a little bit more contemporary, we’ve actually got something here from Grimm’s Gairy Tales in 1812, The Lord’s Animals and the Devils.
From Grimm’s Fairy Tales, 1812, the Lord’s Animals and the Devils. “The Lord God had created all animals and had chosen out the wolf to be his dog, but he had forgotten the goat. Then the devil made ready and began to create also, and created goats with fine long tails. Now when they went to pasture, they generally remained caught in the hedges by their tails, whereupon the devil had to go and disentangle them, with a great deal of trouble. This enraged him at last, and he went and bit off the tail of every goat, as may be seen to this day by the stump. Then let them go to pasture alone, but it came to pass that the Lord God perceived how at one time they gnawed away at a fruitful tree, at another injured the noble vines, or destroyed other tender plants. This distressed Him, so that in his goodness and mercy he summoned his wolves, who soon torn in pieces the goats that went there.”
That doesn’t seem very merciful to me.
Yeah, what the heck? Also, like, God, why- are you not busy? *Simone laughs* Like, you’re really distressed at some goats, eating some plants like, chill out, dude.
Those were his noble vines.
I feel like you should have been able to make more, but- *Genevieve laughs*
Why don’t you take the next, the next passage.
Okay. “When the devil observed this, he went before the Lord and said, ‘your creatures have destroyed mine.’ The Lord answer, ‘why did you create things to do harm?’ The devil said, ‘I was compelled to do it, inasmuch as my thoughts run on evil. What I create can have no other nature, and you must pay me heavy damages.’ I will pay you as soon as the oak leaves fall, come then, your money will then be ready counted out. When the oak-leaves had fallen, the devil came and demanded what was due to him. But the Lord said, ‘in the church of Constantinople stands a tall oak tree which still has all its leaves. With raging and curses, the devil departed, and went to see the oak, wandered in the wilderness for six months before he found it, and when he returned, all the oaks had in the meantime covered themselves again with green leaves. Then he had to forfeit his indeminity, and in his rage he put out the eyes of all the remaining goats and put his own in instead. This is why all goats have devil’s eyes, and their tails fitting off, and why he likes to assume their shape.”
So the goat does have devil eyes!
There you go. It’s right there in the Gimm’s Brothers fairy tale.
Didn’t realize that Saturday Night Live was so literary. *Genevieve laughs*
I just- the Devil’s like, ‘look at these amazingly cute like animals I made.’ And God is like, ‘these are dumb and I hate them, and now I’m gonna kill them all.’ And the Devil’s like, ‘Hey, you can’t do that. I’m gonna sue you.’ And God’s like, ‘Yeah, fine. Okay, I’ll give you your money…soon [TM]. And then the Devil’s like, ‘Alright, where is it?’ And God’s like,’*annoying god chuckles* I don’t think so.’ And then, and then- that’s the goats’ fault.? *laughs*
I know. He’s using a loophole to get out of paying for, paying for the damages against the poor goats. Doesn’t seem right.
Yeah, God sounds like an asshole.
I’ve got a couple things to say about this story. One, this line here where the Lord asked him why do you create things to do harm? Oh, you’re one to fucking talk. *laughter* Second of all, I find it very interesting if you look at, you know, folklorists tend to classify fairy tales and folk tales by what stories are similar, like, they assign names to groups and then, you know, usually will filter one story into one group or another. When I looked it up, this story has no group. There is no other story like this that has been recorded and is still extant. It’s a weird thing on its own. The thing that I find most interesting about this bit where the devil gets outwitted by the thing with the oak trees is there is a, kind of a sturdy subgenre of folk stories in which the devil is this, sort of ineffectual, antagonistic, trickster figure, and gets outwitted usually by a, by a saint, or, or by, you know, a humble personage. I’ve never seen it being God before, but I guess that’s not necessarily surprising. And, I remember reading once the idea that, you know, these are very, very similar, and very obviously analogous to stories in which- fairy tales in which the humble hero outwits the ogre, or the giant, or the genie, or the witch, or the sorcerer, you know, who has all of this power, but is often, kind of, easily hoodwinked by them in that way. And it’s pretty obvious that during the Christianization process of these cultures, people just took those stories and changed the hero to a saint, or in this case God, and change the villain to the Devil, and then left the story completely intact. This story kind of smacks of that in my mind. When I say I read that somewhere, I actually don’t remember. If anybody out there knows which book has that anecdote in it, please let me know, because it’s actually been driving me nuts. I’ve been trying to cite it.
*laughs* That’s the story of our lives, is that we’ve read so much material that, you know, some of it just floats around in there and you can’t remember where it is.
Okay, now. Let’s jump ahead in time to something a little bit more recent, and, so we’re going to talk about the artist Francisco Goya. Now, Francisco Goya was a Spanish painter who was born in the mid-1700s and died in the, kind of, early side of the 1800s. You have definitely seen his paintings. First of all, if you’ve seen that really creepy painting of this dude devouring a smaller dude, and his, like, arm is, is hanging in his mouth, that’s your Goya. That’s Saturn devouring his son. But, Goya also painted a lot of images of witches and, you know, they’re Sabbaths, and lots and lots of goats. So, that brings us to this article here. ‘The horror is real: Goya’s supernatural works’ by Stephen Gambardella. “There are two possible readings of Goya’s dark paintings. The literal interpretation is that Goya, aware of the stories of moral and social breakdown across Spain, was portraying the Satanism and witchcraft as a kind of 18th-century horror for his rich patrons, as titillating for them as horror movies are to us.” I do like that point. If you don’t have movies, you can have some really cool and creepy paintings around and kind of get that same feeling when you walk down your hallway. “The ironic reading of the ‘dark paintings’ is that Goya wasn’t attacking witchcraft, but rather the opposite: he was attacking the organized religious authorities that mutually buttress the ruling classes. Even more liberal interpretations of Goya’s dark paintings go as far as suggesting that his depictions of witchcraft are satires of priestcraft, and that the witches are ciphers for priests who prey on people’s superstitions and fears. Now for us, there’s something dreadful in Goya’s paintings of the Devil, not in the appearance of the goat, but rather the people masked before him.” And, just as an aside, there’s a really- one of his famous works featuring a goat has got the big, kind, of black horned goat in the center, ringed by, by people, which is, I guess, sitting around him on kind of like, a grassy knoll. We’ll go ahead and post links in the, in the show notes. But so, “the witches appear to be less than human, abjectly obedient and drunk on superstition. ‘The Great He-Goat’ is seen as a horrific satire of the slide into superstition of Spanish spiritual life. It’s telling that on the wall directly opposite The Great He-Goat, and in the same unusual dimensions, Goya painted a pilgrimage to San Isidro. In this mournful painting, a procession of pilgrims making their way to San Isidro’s Hermitage of Madrid are no better treated in paint than the witches huddled before the goat-form of the devil. The front pack of people are distorted and seemingly singing a hymn. As a procession recedes, the pack of worshippers merge with the rocky landscape.” So again, you know, we’ve talked before about how a lot of our ideas of the way that things look are slightly more modern than we might attribute them to. So, you know, the ideas about what the Devil looks like has these words roots in, as we mentioned before, in the idea of what Pan looks like, but it’s also shaped by more recent culture and then, you know, modern pop culture, so the idea of, you know, this imposing goat with his, you know, creepy followers has, has been a thread up until more modern times.
I just want to say, Goya has two paintings from this period that usually get called ‘Witches’ Sabbath’ or ‘The Great He-Goat,’ and in one of them, the Devil is this dark, silhouetted goat-like figure at the far left of the frame, and he’s actually quite creepy, and the other one he’s right in the center of the frame, and is well lit and it’s a much more vivid image of this figure, and that one cracks me up every time because you could look at the expression on the Devil’s face there, he looks like he has no idea what’s going on.
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He’s like, “Um, thanks for inviting me. Why am I here?” *laughs*
You know, I think- someone out there is gonna correct me, but there’s a video game called ‘Layers of Fear,’ where you are walking around this really creepy house that’s sort of changing around you, and the house is owned by this painter who’s gone mad. And, you know, I forgive the video game programmers because there’s only so many paintings you want to digitize and throw into this ever-expanding house, but one of Goya’s paintings, the first one that Danny described, is one of them, so you turn around a corner, like ‘Oh! There’s that goat again. Hey, goat.” But it’s a very creepy game.
That game is so scary. *laughs*
You know, it was pretty scary, but then we played Outlast, so that quickly got, *laughs* got shoved away.
Outlast was scary, too. Uhh.
All right. Well, I know that there’s still a ton to talk about on the goat front. If we’ve left off any of your favorite anecdotes, works of art, goat facts, then just let us know- you’ll have to contact us on social media, send us an email because, you know, the- We’re always willing to talk about goats, at length. But, before we wrap up, I just kind of thought we’d go around the, the table here and see what folks’, you know, favorite thing about goats is, you know, what maybe that you’ve learned that’s new, and especially, of course, in its relation to the Devil or, or Satanism. So, Daniel, any, any parting thoughts to share?
You know, one thing that I neglected to put in the notes here is, if you go to Collin de Plancy’s Infernal Dictionary, which was a, as I mentioned on the show, previously, a gift to me around the holidays from some listeners, thank you very much. And you look up the section there on not goat, but he-goat, it has an entry for, because it’s not very, necessarily the most helpfully arranged reference book you’ve ever read in your life. The entry there includes an anecdote that apparently was contemporary to the 19th century, which is that: if you boil the blood of a he-goat and splash your face with it, you will suffer violent hallucinations for the rest of the evening. And I read that-
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and I think, yes! That was my exact reaction. Great. Thanks, Collin, why would I do that? But apparently, this was simply an accepted folkloric anecdote from the period that he felt he wanted to include in there. I particularly like this because, even though we have struggled to try to explain why there are these superstitious associations between goats and these sinister, these seemingly harmless animals, mostly harmless as Genevieve points out, maybe sometimes, they, they earned that reputation a little bit, and these very malevolent ideas and yet, if you look at history, and you look at sociology, and you look at the history of religions, there are some degrees to which yes, these, these ties make sense, but there are also some degrees to which people just believe strange things, and the why’s and the wherefore’s elude us, maybe because they are lost to time, or maybe just because it is human nature sometimes to make connections between unalike things in a way that simply do not add up for the rest of us. And I kind of like that. I think the inexplicably of these things is part of what makes them intriguing. And that, that mystery just kind of catches in your brain a little bit. So these days, we refer to that as kind of, like, meme power, you know, once something becomes common enough, it has inertia on its own, and you don’t have to think about where it comes from. A lot of things in history, I think are like that, too. Once people accept the weird thing, then it no longer matters why they believed it to begin with. So, that is my, that is my closing thesis.
Tab, how about you?
I would like to share an anecdote about one time when I left the Oakland Zoo. *laughs* Daniel-
Daniel and I had gone to the zoo, and it was very fun. I like to see the bats. They were cute. And on our way out, when you leave the zoo you crest this hill and you kind of zigzag down it till you get down to the bottom of it. Well, Daniel’s kind of tired, he’s already starting to snooze by the time we got there, and I literally start screaming at the top of my lungs because the entire hillside is covered in goats because I’m guessing they we’re doing some kind of clear because it is all, it’s just the hill, the whole hillside’s grass, and I start screaming and Daniel kind of wakes up from a stupor, he’s, like, “what? Ahh.” *Simone laughs* He, like, thinks that the car is crashing, I’m like, “GOOOAAAATTTTS,” like as long as I can. And I am kind of almost about to run myself off the road because I was so fucking excited. And, then we got to travel down this whole hillside full of goats, and it was probably in the top ten of the experiences of my life, so that’s- it’s not really the most profound thing, but it was the most exciting goat-related excursion. *laughs*
She’s not kidding. by the way. Shen she screamed, I looked around, I expected, like, a truck to be bearing down on us. *everyone laughs* That is how full-throated an exclamation she shouted at that moment.
Well, and yeah, and I’m like, “goats!”. And he’s like, “what, what?!” And I’m like, “I’m sorry, goats!. I’m really sorry I’m yelling! GOATS!” *laughter*
Back, gosh, a couple years ago now, I was giving a talk on Satanism at East Bay Nerd Night. And, going before me was actually somebody from the Oakland Zoo, and they were talking about their conservation efforts, and she and I were chit-chatting before the show, and, you know, everyone knew what I was there for. Because I guess I fit the bill. But, you know, I was talking to the, the nice zoo lady, and, you know, talking about the animals that they had there, and she made mention that yes, they have goats, and then she said something, like, “But I’m sure you want to sacrifice them.” And I was like, “No! No, I don’t. I like them. Goats are our friends. And then, also, *sighs* if people want to continue to associate goats with Satanism, why are we sacrificing the symbol? That’s like before a football game, you know the Colt,s like, slaughter horse on the football field- that makes no kind of sense to me. Anyway, Genevieve, any, any parting thoughts or wisdom about goats that you’d like to pass along to folks who might not know?
You know, I would encourage everyone to have the experience that Tab just described.
*laughs* Um, if at all possible, come visit some grazing goats, whether you are fortunate enough to encounter hundreds of goats on the hillside outside the Oakland Zoo, which happens every year. I know the people that bring those goats there, and it is a really, really, truly exhilarating site. But, you can also just come visit a City Grazing public site. Anyway that you can encounter goats, get a little feel for all of that excitement and the whimsical nature of them and their opportunistic ways. It’s, it’s a great symbol. It really is. Goats are, you know, they, I think they are as- they’re both incredibly evil and incredibly delightful all at the same time. They make my working life always fun, and always interesting, even when they’re making you crazy, *Simone laughs* breaking through fences and finding new ways to open gates. As long as they can not open padlocks, we’re still secure, so they’re not using keys yet, so we’re okay. *Tabitha laughs* But yeah, you know, it’s- they, they really are a lovely animal to spend time with, especially in they’re being less than perfect. I love that about them.
Now, real quick, because we just didn’t cover this in the rest of the episode, but if you, a human being, are meeting a goat, and you want to pet said goat, what is the best way for a human to approach a goat so that they’re safe and comfortable?
Great question. Let the goat smell your hand, and then, they almost all really love having their shoulder scratched.
Just kind of, rather than putting your hand up over their head, which might make them shy away from you or wonder what the heck you’re trying to do their horns, reach around the outside of their body, give them a little scritch scratch on their shoulder, and then if you really feel the need, because those horns are very tempting, aa goat that has horns, you do want to put your hands on them, they are fast. So, come up their neck slowly, give them little scritches, just like you would a cat.
You know, again, enjoying shoulder rubs, I think that we can all relate to more than we think.
Right? *laughs* Yeah.
I’m also petitioning to change our, our create a tagline of ‘very evil and very entertaining’ for us.
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All right. Well, Genevieve, thank you again for joining us, If folks want to use City Grazing services or just find out more, where can folks find them online?
That’s our website, and if you just google ‘San Francisco goats,’ we will show up. We’re really easy to find online.
Awesome. Well, thank you again for joining us.
Thank you so much for having me. It’s been a pleasure.
And if you want to get in touch with us about goats, or any other devil thing, you can always email us at Blackmassappealpod@gmail.com. The website is Blackmassappeal.com, and you can find us on most social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram as Black Mass Appeal.
If you want to find out more about Satanic Bay Area, check us out at Satanicbayarea.com. Find us on Facebook, on Instagram as Satanic Bay Area, or you can follow us on Twitter, the handle there is @satanicSF. In the past, you could have come on down to Wicked Grounds coffee shop for Satanic Coffee Hour on the third Thursday of every month, but for obvious reasons, that is on hiatus. instead, pay attention to our Google Calendar and our social media to find out when we are having our next online meeting via Jitsi. And Tabitha, next time we do that, what are we going to be having?
Copious amounts of alcohol!
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*Simone and Daniel woo*
That sounds like an excellent plan. And that also sounds like a great note to say ‘Hail Satan’ on, are we ready?
Yeah, let’s do it.
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*Sound of Music’s ‘The Lonely Goatherd’ plays*