Last in the pantheon is Slaanesh, who knows well how to play on the obsessions of his rivals. The Ruinous Powers generally draw their strength from the sentient minds of the galaxy's inhabitants, whose collective unconsciousness shapes the psychically-reactive substance of the Immaterium and actually gives birth and sustenance to the Chaos Gods and any other spiritual entities who are empowered by a sufficient level of belief, like the Eldar's lost gods or the Emperor of Mankind Himself.

[21] Unambiguously "born" from Chaos were Erebus and Nyx. With the advent of philosophy, Chaos became more of a concept than a deity, described as “a shapeless heap” and “a rude and undeveloped mass” by the Roman poet Ovid. Eventually, these instinctual, formless entities gained a rudimentary consciousness of their own.

Parallels between the Hebrew Genesis and the Babylonian Enuma Elish were established by Hermann Gunkel in 1910. Dark omens, Chaos Cultist activity and mutation frequently herald and accompany their arrival in realspace, and when the armies of the gods blaze into being, reality itself bows before them. Though the four major Chaos Gods are the most well-known and the most likely to be worshipped individually, there also exists within the Warp a plethora of minor Chaos deities.

When a follower of a Chaos God dies, their soul is absorbed into the greater psychic mass of that God within the Warp, adding its energy to the already formidable power of that deity. The Chaos Gods and the Forces of Chaos that serve them are the greatest enemies of the Imperium of Man, the Aeldari and most other sentient forms of life in the Milky Way Galaxy, even if they are not fully aware yet of the threat Chaos poses, like the T'au Empire.
[14], In modern biblical studies, the term chaos is commonly used in the context of the Torah and their cognate narratives in Ancient Near Eastern mythology more generally.

"[32], For Ovid, (43 BC – 17/18 AD), in his Metamorphoses, Chaos was an unformed mass, where all the elements were jumbled up together in a "shapeless heap".

But it seems that, in the beginning, there was a primordial emptiness. How many handsome youths, who had sworn to remain insensible, have opened their thighs because of our power and have yielded themselves to their lovers when almost at the end of their youth, being led away by the gift of a quail, a waterfowl, a goose, or a cock. When an invading army emerges victorious, they immediately set to work on turning the ravaged battlefield into part of their god's realm, moulding the raw entropy of that section of the Immaterium into whatever form best pleases their master. "the gaping void above the Earth created when Earth and Sky are separated from their primordial unity" or "the gaping space below the Earth on which Earth rests. We [birds] are the offspring of Eros; there are a thousand proofs to show it. The Chaos Gods were born -- vast psychic presences composed of the fantasies and horrors of mortals. The Chaos Gods, also called the Dark Gods or the Ruinous Powers, are powerful entities who inhabit and control the psychic dimension that underlies all physical reality known as the Immaterium or the Warp.

They comprise the armies of the Chaos Gods within the Warp, and frequently battle the daemonic armies of other Gods and unbelievers on the material plane. In: Kirchhoff, Thomas (ed. Sonorous chanting and the dolorous clangs of rusted bells herald their attacks, while the army advances under an impenetrable swarm of flies.

Eventually, the gods grew to such a point where they could act independently of the general flow of emotions and thus became the Gods of Chaos. He mated in deep Tartarus with dark Chaos, winged like himself, and thus hatched forth our race, which was the first to see the light. During this period, the Chaos Gods set out to bring about the Master of Mankind's downfall, beginning with the spiriting away of his infant Primarchs from the laboratory on Terra where they were created, and culminating in the spiritual corruption of half their number and the civil wars of the Horus Heresy. The lower limit reaches down to the "apeiron" (i.e.

As intrigue, feints and lures lead forces into traps, elsewhere pacts are forged, and opposing sides join forces mid-battle as a common cause creates a temporary amnesty between rivals. The Greco-Roman tradition of prima materia, notably including the 5th and 6th century Orphic cosmogony, was merged with biblical notions (Tehom) in Christianity and inherited by alchemy and Renaissance magic. Genesis 1 uses seven words to describe the good chaos with which God began his creation. First amongst them is Khorne, the Lord of Battle, possessed of towering and immortal fury.

True, their sexual union would produce luminous offspring – Aether (the Divine Air) and Hemera (the Day). From Chaos and Mist, came Night (Nox), Day (Dies), Darkness (Erebus), and Ether (Aether). "Chaos magic" as a branch of contemporary occultism is a product of the 1970s.

Some of these minor Chaos Gods are outlined below. Khorne most despises Slaanesh, whose earthly decadence and sensual lusts are at odds with the Blood God's martial pride and desire for indiscriminate slaughter; the Dark Prince finds Khorne's artless brutality dull, and takes a perverse delight in agitating him.

[39] The 1708 introduction states that the treatise was written in 1597 in Magdeburg, in the author's 23rd year of practicing alchemy. Paracelsus thus identifies Earth as "the chaos of the gnomi", i.e., the element of the gnomes, through which these spirits move unobstructed as fish do through water, or birds through air. [43] In both cases, chaos referring to a notion of a primordial state contains the cosmos in potentia but needs to be formed by a demiurge before the world can begin its existence. It is for this reason that the Ruinous Powers seek to corrupt and turn to their worship as many mortal souls as they possibly can. If so, they represent the initial way in which Space was split (completed when Gaea gave birth to Uranus, the Sky), with Eros being the driving force of creation. ): The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2017 Edition). When the gods do battle, the Immaterium shakes and Warp Storms rage across the galaxy. By the time his lithe and sensuous legions arrive, the foe is utterly beguiled, and his minions will sweep forward with unmatched speed to slice through opposition in an orgy of mayhem and debauchery. The Chaos Gods are able to devote a fraction of their psychic power in the Warp to create daemons, psychic entities whose appearance and character reflect their patron god's own nature. And out of this egg, Phanes (or Protogenos) came out, a bisexual deity who proceeded to mate with himself to give birth to everything existing. The Ruinous Powers possess the ability to interact with the material universe in a limited way as the entities of the Warp can at times enter the material universe through the minds of those individuals gifted (or cursed) with psychic powers.

The strange powers of psykers of all kinds flow from the power of the Warp, the psyker's mind acting as a channel for the unreality of the Warp to affect reality. "[35] An Orphic tradition apparently had Chaos as the son of Chronus and Ananke.

Lobenhofer, Stefan (2020): Chaos.

[5], It may also mean space, the expanse of air, the nether abyss or infinite darkness.