Table of Contents
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is set in the fictional town of Greendale. It is a dark coming-of-age story that includes horror, fear and witchcraft. Sabrina Spellman must reconcile her dual nature as a half-witch, half-mortal while fighting the evil forces that threaten her, her family, and the daylight world humans inhabit. It is an adaptation of the Archie comic series of the same name.
Occult Sciences #
The series is filled with witchcraft, potion-making, necromancy, conjuring, demonology, alchemy, sacred geometry and other references to the actual cult group’s rituals and ideologies. Not being an expert in such West-based sciences, we can state that the East shares such ideas in the form of tantric worships, ghost exorcism and a lot more.
Church of Night: A Cult #
The first part of the series is all about Sabrina getting initiated into the cult of the Church of Night who worships and derives special powers from the Lord of Hell, Lucifer Morningstar who is depicted as Baphomet who is a goat-man cross-breed represented by some Satanic Cults. The dialogues and puns are complementary to the regular speech in the West. For example, when most people say, “What the Hell?”, this cult of people would say, “What the Heaven?” and so on. They have Anti-Pope and other anti-, Unholy- and Un* components that is opposite to the Christian beliefs.
Choice Conundrum #
Sabrina Spellman faces the conundrum of choosing between her mortal and witch life; her attachments to the mortal side and her family’s staunch decision for her to pursue their traditional witching; makes it difficult for her. The whole of part one is about her fight to choose the right one without losing out free will which she fears might happen if she signed the “Book of Beasts”. SPOILER ALERT: She will be forced(as orchestrated by Lucifer and Lilith) to sign the book to save the city of Greendale from the 13 Witches.
Academy of Unseen Arts #
This section of the series shows the strength of the cult. The academy to train the newly initiated in the vast topics of occult sciences like witchcraft, necromancy, conjuring, demonology, alchemy, sacred geometry, invocation, ritual magic, herbalism, binding magic, satanic scriptures etc.
The existence of the academy shows how powerful the cult is, how they train their newly initiated, how the students are etc. The academy has borrowed a lot from our real-world college scenarios, for example, ragging freshpeople is rephrased as harrowing and is a welcome activity in the Academy of Unseen Arts(even if it leads to death). There is also a library, research faculty and journals in the academy to enhance the learning and understanding of the “Unseen” arts that are taught here.
Fight between Good and Evil #
The whole series deals with the fight between good and evil with the last part dedicated to the fight between good and evil beyond good and evil. The first part is about choosing the Path of Light and the Path of Night, the second part to trap the evil i.e, Lucifer and transcend evil, the third part is about reviving her love from eternal damnation in hell and moving Lucifer to another host; wherein the trapping of Lucifer has brought out huge instabilities and the pagan cult threatens the church of night’s annihilation. Part four is the time loop and Eldritch terrors. But the first half is mostly the fight between good and evil but the later parts tried to bring something beyond these but felt like they were still stuck within good and evil. It is like Prahlada Maharaja praying to Lord Visnu; in front of his enraged father who offered him a second choice to present his understanding of the grand scheme of things; about how he manifests the duality of friendship and hatred, good and evil by the medium of maya in this material world. We, the embodied spirit, cannot perceive beyond dualities unless we transcend the three modes of nature.
Pagan Religions #
Part three of the series depicts the visit of pagans sensing the broken balance of good and evil due to the trapping of Lucifer. Pagans are supposed to be the worshippers of the earlier Gods before Christ; meaning they were annihilated by the preachers of Jesus; who is again threatened by the followers of the Dark Lord(a.k.a Lucifer). It brings the fact of the cyclic structure of events in history repeating itself in some sense. We see their minimal version of bringing their God to life and helping him rule the earth, though I see almost all the cults bring about the destruction of the world, in this web series.
Hecate: The Dark Mother #
It is during the rise of Pagans and the depletion of powers of the coven of the Church of Night in Greendale that Aunt Zelda comes up with the conversion to the worship of Hecate. She does so with the help of her me-tet who happens to be Edward Spellman, who should have been the father of Sabrina Spellman. She elects herself as High Priestess of the coven and Directrix of the Academy and starts the conversion of the elements. It is with her(Hecate) powers that the coven manages to fight and annihilate the pagans. Of course, it is because Sabrina comes from the future and guides them all to make it successful.
Time: Loops and Travels #
During the quest to restore the second Unholy Regalia of Bowl of Pontius Pilate. Here, the depiction is, Pontius Pilate has trapped himself in an eternal time-loop and thus the Bowl, lost to history. Sabrina is taken to travel to this oop, retrieve the bowl and exit the loop to square her loss to Caliban in the first quest. Time loops sound like a wonderful concept to implement some sci-fi imagination. However, to enter the time loop, she does time travel to enter and exit using the time stone. There is also another instance in Part 4 where the other Sabrina switches places with the Sabrina who was trapped-in the third quest to find the Unholy Regalia of Judas Iscariot’s 30 Pieces of Silver-and time travels using all the three Unholy Regalias and the Egg which Ambrose and Prudence confiscated from Father Faustus Blackwood from Loch Ness in Scotland. This event is one of the most important plotlines filling the storyline with loops and surprises.
Eldritch Terrors: Beyond Good and Evil? #
The eight eldritch terrors are, terrors of annihilation. They are:
- The Darkness
- The Uninvited
- The Weird
- The Perverse
- The Cosmic
- The Returned
- The Endless
- The Void
Faustus Blackwood in a matter of months(for the people in this fictional world) manages to learn about the primal terrors called the Eldritch Terrors and goes on to write a Gospel on it. He spends 15 years in a church of his making(again, that is 1 month for others) mastering the distortion of space and time which is fathomless for any witch or warlock in the world. He unleashes this terror and seeks to take control of the void, the last terror and become powerful. In fact, he confesses the same to Lucifer when Sabrina transfers Lucifer from Nickolas Scratch to Faustus Blackwood as:
I’ve seen beyond the veil of this world, oh, mighty Satan. I know there are powers more vast and cosmic than a single vainglorious fallen angel. I speak of the eldritch terrors, Lord Lucifer. Older than the oldest gods. -— Father Blackwood to Lucifer
I feel the terror suffix is added because it causes annihilation. But the suffix itself represents our embodied and attached-to-matter nature vividly. Since, anything created will be destroyed eventually, it doesn’t seem that terrorizing as it is depicted. But, bringing forth that terror on purpose is definitely evil. I remember reading an argument made by British Idealists wherein if we set some activities’ virtue to be good and its opposite to be bad, we can argue our way to prove that good is ultimately bad and vice versa. This coupled circular referencing is what is also happening in the show when we see the Eldritch terrors in the perspective of Sabrina Spellman. In the perspective of Faustus, it is partly good but his intentions for it is grounded in the material conception and revenge.
Space: Wormholes and Other Universes #
The series is full of teleportation but the explicit mention of portals is minimum. We get to see a lot of teleportation scenarios, both material and astral. There is also a situation where Sabrina Morningstar is sent to another cosmos(the one with inferno, earth and paradise called Re-cosmos) using a wormhole which is conjured up in a mirror to avoid the cosmic terror. This reference to the existence of multiple universes brought in a new dimension of view to the show. Starting out to be a thriller coming-of-age show, it turned out to be a good fantasy and sci-fi loaded show which is complemented with witchcraft and occult practices.
The Void is not Void #
The last Eldritch terror, the Void, appears not to be void. Funny enough, there is a reference to black-hole to describe void and an idea of creating a black-hole inside of a black-hole to annihilate the existing blackhole-the Void. Sabrina Spellman enters the void after Sabrina Morningstar escapes the Void of the Re-Cosmos to warn Spellman of the upcoming danger. As Spellman enters, she witnesses the realms of other universes present inside of the void. She opens the Pandora box inside of the void which is ironic, full of stuff and the box consumes it all. Meanwhile, using the body of Sabrina Morningstar, the Spellmans try to pull out the spirit of Sabrina Spellman into the Morningstar’s body to save her from the Void. They succeed but manage to pull a part of the all-consuming property of the Void inside Sabrina(now it will click why black-holes are referenced). Then after some brain squashing events, we see ourselves in the Mountain of Madness at the hell where Faustus trains Sabrina to control the void and he plans to own those powers. Here, the Spellmans trap Faustus again(he cannot be killed as Lilith helped engrave the mark of Cain in his body just before releasing Lucifer from him) and try to save Sabrina. Sabrina tricks them all and sacrifices herself to save everyone from the void.
Missing Parts #
I have missed a lot of topics like the Paradox created by Sabrina by time travelling, Nick wandering in space without a spacesuit, the Nether Realm(witch and mortal limbo), the Laws of the Night Church, Lilith forcing the prophecy to come true, resurrections, the gate of the hell in Greendale Mines, the symbolism of symbols used throughout the series, Sabrina Spellman being Sabrina Morningstar, some science-fiction blend like opening a wormhole in a dressing-table glass etc. I might comment upon such detailed sections individually in the future articles, probably after a rewatch. Meanwhile, I would recommend watching the series to get your perspectives on things happening around the world.
This series has definitely given me a long path to walk within myself and to appreciate and critic the world outside. It has also given me a lot of intellectual cues to chase after and interest to quickly devour Dante’s Divine Comedy and Friedrich Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil which are collecting dust on my shelves. Overall this was a fun 36 hours of content with more than 100 hours of thinking cues stuffed in. An overall enjoyment in terms of intellectual and emotional aspects that it is worth a rewatch.