Beyoncé operates on a totally different wavelength from the rest of us. I mean, we can all agree about that, right? Her latest artistic work is Black Is King, a “visual album” streaming on Disney+.
If you watch the trailer below, you wouldn’t be alone in wondering what the heck this project is about. It’s certainly intriguing, and there’s a lot of visual symbolism to unpack in just over a minute of footage.
The full film clocks in at 85 minutes and tells the story of an African boy-king who loses touch with his roots and then returns to his rightful place in glory. Beyoncé serves has both a mother/goddess figure and the narrator of the film.
If Black Is King drummed up any controversy, it’d have to be because of the ongoing tensions about race in America, right? Well, not according to one minister on the internet…
Since this is Beyoncé, there are a lot of fabulous costume changes. That includes one moment where she shows up in a cowhide top with an elaborate headpiece constructed of horns and a disc wrapped in braids.
According to Cedric Knight, a minister with the Greater Bethel Temple Apostolic Church in Louisville, Kentucky, Queen Bey is finally revealing her true allegiance to Satan in the video.
Specifically, he thinks that she is dressed up as Baphomet, a central figure in Satanism. The goat-headed figure is central to the Satanic Temple and can be seen in lots of occult film and media, such as Black Phillip in 2015’s The VVitch. As Knight illustrates in his photo collage, similar iconography can be found in the Rider-Waite tarot deck depicting “The Devil” in the major arcana.
There’s just one problem: Anyone with even a passing familiarity with Ancient Egyptian mythology could tell you that Beyoncé is not dressed as Baphomet.
Despite Knight’s confident claim that Beyonce “is in contract with Satan for her fame” and isn’t bothering to hide it anymore, he completely missed the mark.
The cowhide top is a major clue. And those are cow horns, not goat horns. The disc behind her head? It’s a classic Egyptian motif representing the sun.
When you put it all together, you can clearly see that she is paying homage to Hathor. This ancient goddess is linked to fertility, bounty, and protection. She’s the mother of the sun god Ra and an important figure in women’s worship during much of the Egyptian empire.
Appropriately enough, Hathor is the gentle and nurturing side of Sekhmet, the lion-headed warrior goddess who is fierce and destructive. You can see the two goddesses depicting in a wall carving above. Bringing the subtle nod to the lions of Egypt is an interesting touch here, and one that Beyoncé likely intended. Not that she’d ever tell us directly; she lets her work stand for itself.
This isn’t the first time that Beyoncé is at the center of occult conspiracies and bizarre slanders. Rumors have circulated online for years that she and Jay Z are members of the Illuminati, sending secret messages through their music and videos.
Just this summer, a Florida politician accused her of being secretly Italian, not a woman of color. (For the record, that’s Ariana Grande.) And of course, people refused to believe that her pregnancy was anything but a hoax.
It’s almost like a powerful, unapologetic Black woman makes people uncomfortable…