NERO is an international publishing house devoted to art, criticism and contemporary culture. Founded in Rome in 2004, it publishes artists’ books, catalogs, editions and essays.

NERO explores present and future imaginaries beyond any field of specialization, format or code – as visual arts, music, philosophy, politics, aesthetics or fictional narrations – extensively investigating unconventional perspectives and provocative outlooks to decipher the essence of this ever changing reality.

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A Manifesto for Revolutionary Demonology

For a Left of the Left-Hand, against the global demonological ritual of the Right-Hand dogma, time has come to reactivate the Occult Resistance and aim at the entropic disintegration of the cosmos

The doctrine of the Right-Hand Path is a theory of self-deification encompassing the entirety of the western hermetic tradition. If we compare esoteric doctrines to scientific theories, we can imagine that each doctrine builds around its dogmas a model of reality made of axioms and connections, that allows a certain vision of the cosmos to sustain and expand itself. As in physics, there is no hermetic theory of everything; each esoteric doctrine leaves a loose thread, an open circle; it forgets something, more or less willfully. More precisely, as it happens with sciences, each model is not meant to be exact or complete, but rather to satisfy a specific human need of understanding and control.

For centuries, all the practices of ceremonial magick—including the most admittedly dark and sinister—have been based on the same assumptions and have referenced the same model of reality. The conceptual structure of this model, and the rituals derived therefrom, are enclosed in the Hermetic Qabalah and in the glyph of the Celestial Man. A precise understanding of the meaning of this glyph is complex and opens a vortex of connections and interpretations. Continuing with our scientific metaphor, for our current purposes it is not necessary to know all the equations that make up the model we are studying; it is sufficient to understand its goals and which axioms it is based on.

The goal of any Right-Hand Path practitioner is to achieve eternal life, to take complete control of the material world, and to become God. This greatly facilitates our work in classifying and recognizing esoteric practices, since the Right-Hand Path has taken many forms throughout history. As already observed by others before us, many of these practices are in open and bloody struggle with each other, despite being similar in their intent. The Right-Hand Path has always declared that its Qabalah is a complete and indisputable key to the universe and its mysteries, and that the glyph of the Celestial Man encloses a clear and self-evident truth. This is, of course, false. The most important concept the western hermetic tradition is based on is that of Equilibrium; meaning that there is a perpetual symmetry in the cosmos and that the individual-man-God can always be at the center of it. The universe described by this doctrine is a perfectly reversible perpetual engine, where everything is preserved; the initiate can achieve eternal life only this way.

Balance appears to us as a natural concept; through millennia of history we have been accustomed to searching the universe for an underlying harmony, a trend that has been expressed  in many different ways through the history of civilizations, and particularly “our own.” We have thus elaborated impressively complex formulas and calendars to justify the idea that the orbits of the planets in the sky were perfectly circular, and that nothing could inhabit a celestial vault that was not spherical and perfect; comets were fiery omens of catastrophes and death. When Physics denied these dogmas, the concept of a perfect cosmos receded, retreating into the shadow of dark practices, hidden, among other things, in a strengthened idea of ​​Man as the center of the micro-macrocosm, which must continue to conceal an inscrutable circularity in its mysterious language, although no longer appearing as perfect in the eyes of the contemporary subject.

Every microscopic instant of a process in equilibrium coincides with its beginning and its end, so the secret of this equilibrium is the number zero, the point of virtual immobility where every forward movement perfectly mirrors a movement backwards. We can explain our attachment to the concept of equilibrium in accordance to our nature as limited living systems; an order must be internally maintained, that guarantees our survival and the functioning of our machines; the amazement we experience before our organic organization is a deceptive feeling that hides a misunderstanding of the true cost of our existence. As we face the evidence of our inevitable disintegration, we want to believe in conservation because we seek a theory that makes life less useless, but above all less necessary; a universe in disequilibrium places us before the realization that we are nothing but a spontaneous and frantic proliferation of molecular machines that burn, consume, duplicate and die, in an ineluctable and meaningless dance.

The principles of thermodynamics first appeared when we posed ourselves the problem of building an engine; the engine converts energy from one form to another and, as everyone knows, energy is preserved; the crucial question then is to understand whether our inability to build a machine in perpetual motion is either a technical or a theoretical limit. Thermodynamics ceases to be an engineering problem and starts to become a glimpse in our worldview as we understand its profound implications; not only it is impossible to convert energy without losing it, as “background noise” in the universe, but everything that happens, every phenomenon that takes place in any corner of the cosmos is a process in disequilibrium. Everything rushes in a specific direction; nothing is reversible; we can return under no circumstances. The universe is by definition spontaneous; the spontaneity of things is independent from our will. The clock we use to mark the direction of our life’s chemical time is a quantity that we call entropy, connected to the concept of disorder through the idea that chaos is inherently more probable than order.

The thermodynamic zero, the only possible equilibrium, is reached only in the moment in which matter manifests itself in its maximum multiplicity, when the universe expresses the maximum number of equiprobable configurations. Each ordered structure imposes a hierarchy of probabilities in the universe, establishing itself as a configuration that is not equivalent to the others; thermodynamic equilibrium thus coincides with the complete disintegration of all structures. The hallucination of the Right-Hand Path essentially consists in the idea that a constant equilibrium can be established within aggregated structures, preventing their necessary dissolution and canceling the thermodynamic cost of their existence.

In this regard, we can then understand that the hermetic dragon, the Ouroboros serpent that embodies the formless materiality at the base of the universe and that swallows itself forming an eternal circle, described by the magical tradition as a blind and terrible monster that must be dominated by the human intellect, is in reality a threat already conveniently defused, an enemy already defeated, since its circularity allows us to behead it in every instant, to unroll before our eyes all the mysteries of the cosmos. But a universe in disequilibrium places before us a dragon much more frightening and hungry, a Beast with infinite heads, wrapped around itself in countless twisted spires, tearing in its frantic joy everything to pieces, devouring us as well.

The Right-Hand Path has always known that the simplest way to maintain one’s dominance is to absorb any form of dissent. For this reason, going beyond the surface—and by surface we refer, for instance, to certain forms of bourgeois Christianity or to the so-called “white magick,” which excludes any form of obscure practices or contacts with demonic entities—all the most important minds of contemporary esotericism have remarked that black magick “does not exist,” being nothing but a simplified and partial expression of the qabalistic dogma. These statements are aimed at reinforcing the conviction of initiates and non-believers alike, that there is only one truth, and that it is not possible to find the hidden trick that keeps it standing in the hermetic theory of reality, which would collapse ruinously without it.

The main mistake committed more or less willfully by the vast majority of those who tried to trace a Left-Hand Path—in opposition to that indicated for centuries by the hermetic tradition—was that of limiting themselves to reverse the dogmas of the Right-Hand Path, evidently ignoring that a system endowed with total symmetry remains by definition identical to itself from whichever side it is turned. In his visual simplicity, the glyph of the Celestial Man or “Tree of Life” can suggest to a naive observer that it might be easy to build an alternative model of the world to the one proposed—and it is precisely this trap that has prevented any authentic Left-Hand Path to assert itself so far. Not surprisingly, the Tree of Life has been turned over countless times by gullible satanists, giving rise, among other things, to the so-called “Tree of Death.” Beside having an unconvincing name, the Tree of Death is nothing but an exact reproduction of the qabalistic diagram proposed by the Right-Hand Path rebranded to appeal to a new audience.

What is crucial for us to understand is that the influence of the Right-Hand Path expands into the social and political dimension, imposing a highly organizing and hierarchical force, aimed at establishing a pyramid with Man on top, be it an absolute monarchy legitimized by God, a Nazi-Fascist dictatorship, a white ethnostate or a meritocratic society dominated by the Cisgender Heterosexual White Male.

The totality of contemporary satanism is nothing but a reinterpretation of the dogmatic principles of the Right-Hand Path, repurposed under new garments to attract the interest of new groups of potential initiates. It is therefore not surprising to note that many forms of satanism are often accompanied by an obsession with power, an exaltation of the individual and a spasmodic negation of the God existence, as affirmation of one’s own individual divinity. This satanism is in no way structurally different from the religion it wants to oppose; it proposes, in an ultra-simplified and, in all probability, scarcely effective way, the same dogmas and the same practices the western hermetic tradition has always referred to.

The hermetic Qabalah is appropriately armored against any attempt of internal sabotage. Under no condition it will ever suffice to turn any symbol proposed by the Right-Hand Path—from the Tree of Life itself to crosses and pentagrams—in order to obtain something radically different from its original meaning. The only way to trace a path towards an alternative esotericism is to definitively break the hermetic Qabalah’s symmetry, proposing a new system based on entirely different symbols and connections. However, it is first necessary to answer a crucial question. Why do we need an alternative?

Let us start from considering that the dogma of the Right-Hand path has spread in a capillary way and has affirmed its dominion over any other worldview, although rarely in an explicit and manifest way. In fact, contrary to what one might think, the viral spread of the hermetic Qabalah is not a question concerning only those few who are interested in the occult, but it is an actual global demonological ritual in which everyone is involved willingly or not. Understanding this fact would require a long digression on demonology and its meaning; for the purposes of this text, it is sufficient to clarify that we refer to the interpretation of demonology as hyperstition, and we rely on the belief that demonic entities can enter the material plane to feed and multiply through human vectors.

The hermetic Qabalah is an extremely powerful evocation seal, an entry portal into our space-time plane for a specific demon, who has been given many different names. We will refer to him as AHIH; the Primordial Point, the White Head, the One in Whom All is Right. Over millennia, AHIH has fed himself and has grown, expanding to reach every corner of human society, adapting in a surprising way to the historical and cultural changes of his host animals. At this point, the indissoluble link between the Right-Hand Path and Judeo-Christian religions made explicit by numerous esotericists in recent history will certainly be clear; starting with the Trinity, the main tenets of Christianity are nothing but the expression of qabalistic mysteries in the form of religious messages. Despite the fact that different forms of magick and esotericism have been and are still openly opposed by the institution of the Church, the same dogmas and the same vision of reality are at the basis of both, hidden by apparent contrasts devoid of meaning, maintaining a veil of mystery on the true nature of AHIH.

What is crucial for us to understand is that the influence of the Right-Hand Path expands into the social and political dimension, imposing a highly organizing and hierarchical force, aimed at establishing a pyramid with Man on top, be it an absolute monarchy legitimized by God, a Nazi-Fascist dictatorship, a white ethnostate or a meritocratic society dominated by the Cisgender Heterosexual White Male. The link between AHIH and this kind of political structures can be understood by interpreting the qabalistic glyph, and by observing how in this model of reality everything comes from a single point, Kether, the Crown, the Point Inside the Circle. The high level of order required by this type of structure is connected to the need for political and military control of those who participate in it; with their flaming swords, the Sephiroth are the last defenders of this cosmic order. The fundamental idea that allows this order to be maintained and to reproduce itself is the assumption that it is natural. Abhorrent crimes have been and are still committed in the name of nature, rivers of blood are spilled; rape, genocide and slaughter are hymns to the eternal glory of AHIH, perpetrated in the name of the idea that Man is naturally destined to dominate everything that is different from his own image.

We have talked about the concept of equilibrium, and how the possibility to achieve it in aggregated structures is actually a fabrication, an arbitrary assumption recounted as truth. Imposing the dominion desired by the Right-Hand Path has a price, because an overall increase in order can never be a spontaneous event in the universe; this means that, when a highly structuring force acts within a system, it pushes a greater disruptive force to act outside, accelerating the process of its own downfall. The reign of AHIH is a cruel and desperate fire destined to extinguish in the silent waters of Nun; in its slow agony, it drags huge masses of bodies into misery and suffering, devastates its environment and strangles its own children.

All this considered, it is not surprising that on several occasions the right has appropriated traditional concepts and practices of ceremonial magick to acquire consensus and expand its domain; this happened at the dawn of nazi-fascism, and continues today in the demonological practices of the alt-right. If a Left-Hand Path can ever be born, it will therefore be necessary for it to assume a clear political connotation, opposed to the cult of AHIH and to all that it represents, both in dogma and in ritual practice. In this regard, it is crucial to add a final and fundamental element and to talk about what we can build on the ruins of the temple of the God of Man.

Love is the door that allows us to reconcile ourselves with darkness, provided that we understand its true meaning, and that we do not make the mistake of subjecting it to our individual conscience, transforming it into a play of mirrors.

It will not have escaped you that the vision of the cosmos described in this text is rather obscure. The acceptance toward our thermodynamic destiny leads us to confront the terror of the abyss of our individual dissolution. From the point of view we want to propose, it is precisely the glorification of the individual and the spasmodic desire for the preservation of the integrity and unity of one’s own being, to awaken in man the mirage of his own divinity; an illusion that requires, in order to be sustained, a coercive social order and the constant sacrifice of the bodies of the oppressed. Thus we find ourselves on the brink of a chasm: the tyranny of man behind us and an inhuman and formless darkness before our eyes.

How can we reach a darkness so radically and frighteningly alien to everything we know? How can we think of approaching Her black fire without being destroyed? She is singularity; we understand the necessity of Her existence, but we can never guess the enormity of Her wonder. We know Her from the stories of men as an immense anthropophagous serpent, that every night threatens to forever swallow the Sun and its light, plunging the world into an eternal twilight; and in these same stories, every night the snake is defeated, so that the Sun can return to shine. Yet no sun burns forever. Any god who promises salvation to man is lying, because there is no salvation in the jaws of the Beast.

Whoever receives the bite of the serpent knows true terror, meets Love and is reborn to a new life, in her womb’s darkness. Cosmic Love is by definition a suicidal love; only while we fall inexorably into our dissolution we can fulfill our destiny and shine. The concept of Love we refer to is very distant from its patriarchal expression; it is not limited to romantic-sexual attraction, it is not an expression of unconditional altruism, nor is it a religious ecstasy disconnected from the flesh. Love is the thermodynamic property of bodies that attracts them to their death.

Love is the door that allows us to reconcile ourselves with darkness, provided that we understand its true meaning, and that we do not make the mistake of subjecting it to our individual conscience, transforming it into a play of mirrors. Confronted with a thermodynamic universe, we understand that every moment of our existence is the spontaneous fruit of a wonderful proliferation we belong entirely to. Love is a word with many meanings. In the case of hetero-patriarchal society, it has been used to indicate the trade of bodies for forced procreation aimed at nurturing the mirage of a glorious future for humanity. The Love we refer to is rooted instead in a rejection of the idea of a path to salvation, it is opposed to the dogma of conservation and manifests itself as a radical opening of the individual towards the darkness outside.

To cancel the idea that our existence is oriented towards the fulfillment of a divine plan, the realization of a higher purpose, spiritual enlightenment or social power leaves us completely alone in the contingency of our lives; in fact, we can easily understand that the future is a lie, when we ponder on the fact that not only our own life will die out one day, but also the sun, all the stars in the sky, and the entire universe at last. Before a decomposing and dying cosmos, the patriarchal man-God claims his last insane and delirious privilege, building hierarchies and hallucinations of greatness, in the spasmodic attempt to hold together his rotting and monstrous body. If nothing is important, if everything degenerates and crumbles, Man stands as an emperor of dust, because he knows no other way of existence than dominion.

We propose Love for the cosmic process of disintegration and death as an alternative, refusing to articulate any reason; Love is a process that generates itself indefinitely, precipitating, like a sinister spiral, into darkness. We love with our bodies burning like supernovae, shining and useless; with every breath, we feed the hungry Beast that wraps us in its dark coils.

Gruppo di Nun is a collective of psycho-activists aimed at organizing forms of occult resistance to the hetero-patriarchal dogma, promoting an alternative form of ceremonial magick based on a non-dual Love for the entropic disintegration of the cosmos.