The Sacrificial Universe


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David Chaim Smith has been known to students of kabbalah for more than a decade, but a recent return to art as a vocational practice has brought his work to a wider audience. His first book with us, The Sacrificial Universe, draws upon his experience to present us with a devotional approach to ecstatic visionary mysticism. Ranging from intellectual treatises on sacred geometry, biomorphism and the symbol of the serpent in kabbalistic theory and practise, to a poetic twilight language of ecstatic devotion, The Sacrificial Universe is unlike any other book we have offered to date.

Produced as a lavish small folio with generous margins and a classic typographic style, The Sacrificial Universe presents David’s key artworks of the last four years as full-page images, with the triptychs and quadriptych offered as folding plates. The complex and evocative iconographic symbolism is also explored through commentaries. And yet The Sacrificial Universe is more than a homage to those seventeenth century books of hermetic mysticism. Structured according to the classic kabbalistic text Sefer Yetzirah, The Sacrificial Universe may be approached on three levels (world, year, and soul) to offer the reader a view of gnostic surrender within a vision of the self-consuming nature of phenomena.


35 monotone plates, including six folding
28 vignettes in text
English text


Preface: Paths of Associative Reflections


The Birth of a Sacrificial Language
The Heart of the Matter
Sacred Geometry of the Serpent’s Crown
An Ocean of Copulating Reflections
Mysteries of the Double Hexagram
The Nine Keys


Penetration of the Dream membrane
The Magical Language of Biomorphism
The All-Burning Prayer of Cognizance


The Gnosimic Verses
Three Seals
Three Aspects of Gnosis in Six Manners of Investigation
The Heart Adorned with the Serpent’s Crown
A Blazing Mirror of Itself
Commentary on the Stages of Ideational Contemplation
Funeral for the Empire of Witness



Further Publications