The "mano cornuta" or "Baphomet" hand sign signals/depicts the horns of the "Goat of Mendes" or Baphomet, an androgynous demon that is synonymous with Satan. "Baphomet" literally means "both ways," & presumably why he/she is androgynous, androgynous meaning indistinguishable between mascul...ine & feminine, both male & female, hermaphroditic.
The sign of the horns is a hand gesture with a vulgar meaning in Mediterranean countries, and a variety of meanings and uses in other cultures. It is formed by extending the index and little fingers while holding the middle and ring fingers down with the thumb.
It is almost identical to the Karana mudra of Eastern religions.
The sign of the horns was seen on the 1969 cartoon figure of John Lennon on the album cover of the Beatles' Yellow Submarine. Others say the figure was giving the American Sign Language sign for "I love you" (drawn incorrectly by the animators; the sign for "I love you" also has an extended thumb), as it would seem to make more sense with their material at the time, and the fact that the Beatles had little to do with this animated film. These animations are taken from photos of John Lennon giving the sign from early 1968, not long after he was known to have read a book on black magic by Aleister Crowley, whose image appears on The Beatles Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album. The photo of Lennon giving the handsign appears on the cover of The Beatles' single from the same year. It was popularized in concert in the early 1980s by Ronnie James Dio, when he was a member of Black Sabbath. Ronnie James Dio said he learned it from his grandmother. It lives on in the legacy of many bands, particularly among heavy metal and hard rock bands.
This hand sign is commonly used by baseball players to remind each other that there are two outs in the inning. This practice was reportedly invented by catcher Elston Howard because the previously-used sign, an extended index finger and middle finger, was hard for outfielders to recognize from their distance from home plate.
When confronted with unfortunate events, or just when these are mentioned or suggested, a person wanting to avoid that fate could resort to the sign of the horns to ward off bad luck. It is a more vulgar equivalent of knocking on wood. Interestingly, superstitious ones can alternatively "touch iron" (tocca ferro) or touch their noses, which are not considered as vulgar alternatives, or (for males) grab their testicles (the left one with the right hand in Argentina, a country very influenced by the Italian culture), which is considered very vulgar, but is perhaps the most commonplace of the three. In Peru it is shown usually by saying contra (against). In Dominican Republic is usually used the expression zafa as a protection against curses commonly known as fukú, as well when a mention is made of someone or something believed to be involved with a curse. All of these gestures are meant to somehow conjure some supernatural power to protect the performer of the gesture. This sign may be used (e.g. in Cuba and in Italy) to indicate a man whose wife is unfaithful (probably in the very widespread traditional association of horns with a cuckold), and as with superstitions, gestures to avert harm such as knocking on wood or saying "solavaya" are commonplace.
Such gestures are typically used when a black cat crosses one's path, when seeing a hearse (whether or not it is loaded), or when encountering any situation, object or person believed to bring about bad luck. It was once thought to prevent or distract the effects of the Evil Eye, that is of intentional or directed curses. Historically the gesture was pointed at people suspected of being witches.
In Italy, pointing the index and little finger at someone is a common curse as well as an accusation of having an unfaithful wife. With fingers down, it is a common apotropaic gesture instead, by which superstitious people seek protection in unlucky situations (something like touching wood). Thus for example the President of the Italian Republic Giovanni Leone shocked the country when, while in Naples during an outbreak of cholera, he shook the hands of patients with one hand while with the other behind his back he made the corna. This act was well documented by the journalists and photographers who were right behind him, a fact that had escaped President Leone's mind in that moment. The gesture was interpreted as especially offensive for the patients. It is much more common in southern Italy, and is typical in the popular culture of Naples, where President Leone was born.
 European and North American popular culture
In Bram Stoker's 1897 novel Dracula, Jonathan Harker mentions the hand gesture in his journal (chapter 1):
“ 5 May. [...] When we started, the crowd round the inn door, which had by this time swelled to a considerable size, all made the sign of the cross and pointed two fingers towards me. With some difficulty I got a fellow-passenger to tell me what they meant; he would not answer at first, but on learning that I was English, he explained that it was a charm or guard against the evil eye. ”
 Music history and acoustics
Daniel Speer (1636-1707) calls this sign "zwey quehr Finger" and designates it as a measure of the distance between adjacent positions on a tenor trombone. Literally "athwart two fingers" this primitive measure may rank along with the cubit in its antiquity. Michael Praetorius (1571-1621) uses this term in his Syntagma Musicum III to describe the pitch difference between "Choir tone (Chorton)" and "Chamber tone (Kammerton)." "To find the difference between Chorton and Kammerton, one must lower the slide on a tenor trombone made in Nürnberg the distance of "zwey quehr Finger" which is one-half step; zwei quer Finger is German for 'two across fingers'.
 Contemporary use by musicians and fans
The 1969 back album cover for Witchcraft Destroys Minds & Reaps Souls on Mercury Records by Chicago-based psychedelic-occult rock band Coven, led by singer Jinx Dawson, pictured Coven band members giving the "sign of the horns" correctly and included a Black Mass poster showing members at a ritual making the sign. Starting in early 1968, Coven concerts always began and ended with Jinx giving the "devil's sign" on stage. Incidentally, the band also recorded a song called "Black Sabbath", on their 1969 album and one of the band members is named Oz Osborne, not to be confused with Ozzy Osbourne of Black Sabbath.
On the cover of The Beatles' Yellow Submarine album (1969), the cartoon of John Lennon's right hand is making the sign above Paul McCartney's head. For many fans, this was one of the many "Paul is dead" clues. Some may think it is possible that the cartoonist misrepresented the sign for "I love you", which is very similar and more in keeping with the band's public message and image. However, the 1969 cartoon is based on many photos of John Lennon making the hand sign in 1967. Lennon had been privately studying the writings of Aleister Crowley, who appears on the cover of the Beatles' "Sgt Pepper" album. One of these photos of Lennon doing the hand sign appears on the cover of a Beatles single release shortly after, making it the first time the hand sign appears on a rock release.
Beginning in the early 1970s, the horns were known as the "P-Funk sign" to fans of Parliament-Funkadelic. It was used by George Clinton and Bootsy Collins as the password to the Mothership, a central element in Parliament's science-fiction mythology, and fans used it in return to show their enthusiasm for the band. Collins is depicted showing the P-Funk sign on the cover of his 1977 album Ahh... The Name Is Bootsy, Baby!
Frank Zappa can be seen making the gesture in the 1977 film Baby Snakes.
Music fans sometimes brandish this sign, often accompanied by headbanging, to signify that they enjoy the music they are listening to, mostly when the music is of the rock or metal genre (see below).
 Heavy metal subculture
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Ronnie James Dio making the sign at a Heaven and Hell concert.
It also has a variety of meanings in heavy metal subcultures, where it is known by a variety of terms, including maloik, devil sign, devil horns, goat horns, metal horns, heavy metal devil horns, death fist, horns up, slinging metal, metal sign, sticks up, throwing the goat, rocking the goat, sign of the goat, throwing the horns, evil fingers, the horns, forks, metal fist, satan salute, the Irons, and the Jackal.
A March 31, 1985 article in Circus by Ben Liemer states that Gene Simmons of Kiss was influenced by Blackie Lawless of W.A.S.P. in 1977 after watching Sister perform in Los Angeles. Blackie had come across a hand salute known as the corna in an occult book and had started using it during live performances.
Gene Simmons appears to be making the sign with his left hand on the cover of Kiss' 1977 album Love Gun. Simmons has later claimed — noticeably in the special features segment "Satan's Top 40" in the movie 'Little Nicky' - that he plays his bass with his plectrum in his middle two fingers so when he raises his hand, he automatically draws the horns.
Steven Tyler, during the pre-ride film for Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith displays a sign of the horns on his forehead during the movie, along with the line "Wait a minute, I love that idea!" However, it is often confused with the Shocker because of how the gesture is viewed from the audience. If a guest makes the Shocker during the ride photo opportunity, it will not be displayed or allowed for purchase as all vulgar displays in photos at Walt Disney World are banned, but the Sign of the horns is permitted for Rock'n'Roller Coaster because of the attraction's 'rocker attitude' persona.
Ronnie James Dio is known for popularizing the sign of the horns in heavy metal. His Italian grandmother used it to ward off the evil eye (which is known as malocchio). Dio began using the sign soon after joining (1979) the metal band Black Sabbath. The previous singer in the band, Ozzy Osbourne, was rather well known at using the "peace" sign at concerts, raising the index and middle finger in the form of a V. Dio, in an attempt to connect with the fans, wanted to similarly use a hand gesture. However, not wanting to copy Osbourne, he chose to use the sign his grandmother always made. The horns became famous in metal concerts very soon after Black Sabbath's first tour with Dio. The sign would later be appropriated by heavy metal fans under the name "maloik", a corruption of the original malocchio.
Terry "Geezer" Butler of Black Sabbath can be seen "raising the horns" in a photograph taken in 1971. This would indicate that the "horns" and their association with metal occurred much earlier than either Gene Simmons or Ronnie James Dio suggests. The photograph is included in the CD booklet of the Black Sabbath: Symptom of the Universe 1970-1978 compilation album.
From a 2001 interview with Ronnie James Dio on Metal-Rules.com:
Metal-Rules.com – "I want to ask you about something people have asked you about before but will no doubt continue to talk about, and that is the sign created by raising your index and little finger. Some call it the "devils hand" or the "evil eye." I would like to know if you were the first one to introduce this to the metal world and what this symbol represents to you?"
R.J. Dio – "I doubt very much if I would be the first one who ever did that. That's like saying I invented the wheel, I'm sure someone did that at some other point. I think you'd have to say that I made it fashionable. I used it so much and all the time and it had become my trademark until the Britney Spears audience decided to do it as well. So it kind of lost its meaning with that. But it was…I was in Sabbath at the time. It was symbol that I thought was reflective of what that band was supposed to be all about. It's NOT the devil's sign like we're here with the devil. It's an Italian thing I got from my Grandmother called the "Malocchio". It's to ward off the Evil Eye or to give the Evil Eye, depending on which way you do it. It's just a symbol but it had magical incantations and attitudes to it and I felt it worked very well with Sabbath. So I became very noted for it and then everybody else started to pick up on it and away it went. But I would never say I take credit for being the first to do it. I say because I did it so much that it became the symbol of rock and roll of some kind."
Whatever the derivation may be, the sign eventually came to signify, variously, that the one gesturing is rocking him or herself, is encouraging the recipient of the gesture to rock as well, that he/she emphatically appreciates the rocking that may have already commenced, or at the time others may have already commenced the rocking while in a large crowd or other situation where one would generally rock out.
Wax statue of LaVey
Anton LaVey, founder and High Priest of the Church of Satan, was known to occasionally make the sign of the horns.
 Other uses
Minnesota Twins pitcher Boof Bonser using the sign to show that there are two outs.
* It is used as a school spirit gesture for the University of Texas, for "Hook 'Em Horns" since UT's mascot is the Longhorn.
* It is used as a school spirit gesture for the University of Utah, symbolizing the letter U.
* It is used as a school spirit gesture for the University of South Florida, symbolizing bull horns, since USF's mascot is the Rocky the Bull.
* It is used as a school spirit gesture for North Dakota State University, symbolizing the horns of the bison, as the school's mascot is Thundar the Bison.
* In baseball, the gesture, especially when the forearm is rotated, indicates "two outs." In the common signal for "two" (the index and middle finger raised), the fingers may be too close together for distant outfielders to distinguish the two fingers from one. Elston Howard is commonly credited with originating this use.
* Similarly, in American football, a referee will use the sign to indicate "second down".
* In volleyball the sign can be used (the fingers often points downwards) by the setter to communicate with the attacker, frequently to signal a double quick-attack play with the middle and right-side attackers.
* In road cycling, when a group is riding in a (single file) paceline, the lead rider will flash the symbol with one arm raised up in the air to indicate a wider road surface is available, and that riders may "double up" (ride two abreast in a single lane).
* This is also the primary sign for the Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13 street gang found throughout Central America and the U.S. Many of the first generation of MS-13 members had been heavy-metal enthusiasts and fans of Black Sabbath.
* The Blue Man Group, in their Megastar 2.0 Tour performances, posit a comedic false origin of this gesture as a tribute to rock legend Floppie the Banjo Clown, a character whose hair is arranged with two large vertical protuberances causing his head to resemble the gesture.
* This is also a part of an unofficial sign for "bullshit" in American Sign Language. See: Profanity in ASL
* In WWE, it is the signature taunt of Edge. When Edge walks to the ring he performs his signature taunt whilst his signature fireworks go off. Edge's ex-girlfriend Lita, as well as former in-character proteges Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder, also used this as their signature pose, though Lita's use was before joining with Edge while Hawkins and Ryder's was during their association with him.  Though it should be noted that former ECW and TNA wrestler Jerry Lynn used it as his signature hand sign before Edge started doing it. Some TNA wrestlers like Shannon Moore use this gesture as a taunt, too. Pro wrestling referees similarly use the sign to represent a "two count", as opposed to the first two fingers. This use is similar to baseball's use.
* Many Houstonians in Texas use the symbol to represent "The H" as in H-Town, because of the hands being in the shape of an H.
* In Turkey a modified version of the sign is popular as a symbol of the ultra nationalist organization Grey Wolves. The tips of the thumb and middle fingers are pressed together to symbolize the wolf's snout.
* In Hinduism and Buddhism, this gesture is known as the Karana Mudra. Its use in dispelling evil or negative influences is a noticeable juxtaposition to the contemporary uses of this sign.
Existing most often within the metal subculture is a variation in which both hands are used. All digits, with the exception of the little fingers, are closed and the hands are then brought together; thumb on thumb. This form has been referred to as "too much metal for one hand" or "too much rock for one hand".  This technique is often employed by Kirk Hammett of Metallica, Butch Walker and other musicians. A similar sign can be made by crossing the hands and extending both index fingers.
Another form used by the metal subculture (such as the Brazilian band Angra) is similar to the version depicted above, except that all digits except the index finger are closed and the hands are brought together with thumbs pointing in opposite directions. One form features the forearms crossed, the pinkies interlocked, and both thumbs and index fingers extended (sometimes referred to as the "Super Ozzy").
There is a two-person gesture known as the "rock lock", where a second person makes a hand with the second and third finger extended (rather than the first and fourth), and grabs the first person's metal gesture from the front in an interlocking fashion. The meaning is essentially an affirmation or reply to the original gesture made by the first person, something like a heavy metal high five. Another variation can include the second party forming a traditional "devil horns" sign and rotating it 90 degrees, interlocking at the knuckles.
In 1996 WCW (World Championship Wrestling) begin using the symbol for their nWo heel stable with Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash. They, however, took the middle and ring finger and connected them to the thumb, giving the symbol the look of a "wolf" for their nWo "Wolfpac".
Guitarist Olliver Kirby is known to play with his strumming hand as a horns sign, using his thumb to strum. Angus Young holds both his hands to the sides of his head with index fingers extended to create "Devil Horns".
The Kliq, a group from WWE (Shawn Michaels, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Sean Waltman, and Triple H) adopted a variation of the horns to identify between them.