Matouš Mokrý

Charles University

Animal Sacrifice in Chaos-Gnosticism: Return to Tradition?

Contemporary Left-Hand Path and Satanic milieu have almost entirely abandoned the use of animal sacrifice as an instrument of exercising magician’s will and changing events in the material world. On the contrary, there is some evidence that points towards the presence of ideologies of animal rights and vegetarianism in respective communities and thought of individuals. The resurgence of animal sacrifice in Chaos-Gnosticism, Satanic esoteric current which emerged around the half of 1990’s in close connection to Swedish black metal scene, thus contrasts major trends of darker forms of Western esotericism. Teachings of Chaos-Gnosticism advocate Gnostic ideas of false and restraining demiurgic creation of material cosmos out of which must those who attained gnosis free themselves via magical work that also serves as a means to destroy the material world. My paper will focus on the nature of Chaos-Gnostic animal sacrifice and its function within the current. Among other things, it will examine role of the sacrifice in re-enchantment of the world and in constructing and maintaining transgressive Satanic identities. By an analysis of the various Chaos-Gnostic magical literature (mostly The Book of Sitra Achra and Liber Falxifer I and II) and internet material it will show that the practice of animal sacrifice is a part of larger return to more traditional modes of magic which highlight external, non-subjective conception of magical reality and traditional principles and techniques at the expense of magician’s free experimentation. Traditionalistic aspects of Chaos-Gnostic magical practices are partly at odds with individualism of contemporary Left-Hand Path and Satanic milieu (which could be seen as an amalgam of expressive and utilitarian self-ethics) and thus my paper will also deliberate upon the interplay between utilitarian individualism, expressive individualism and tradition in the current.