The unity of procedure consists in the fact that every sacrifice involves putting the divine in communication with the profane by an intermediary - the victim - which may be piacular or honorific, a messenger or a means of divination, a means of alimenting the eternal life of the species or a source of magical energy which the rite diffuses over objects in its neighbourhood.
The first form of his theory distinguishes (i.) honorific, (ii.) piacular and (iii.) mystical or sacramental sacrifices; but the latter type is traced back to the same cycle of ideas as that in which the piacular sacrifice originated.