Is chaos magic bullshit
AN INTRODUCTION TO THE CHAOS MAGICK
Chaos - the absence of form and order - haunts Westerners more than any other word. It fills his consciousness with visions of seas flowing into rivers, of people giving birth to frogs, of fish flying through grassy clouds. It's the unnamed heart of every horror story - the unexpected, the unpredictable, the uncontrollable, the outlaw - chaos.
Western man has tried from the very beginning of history to defeat this most ruthless enemy of all - Chaos. He has searched for words and gestures to tame the chaotic, arbitrary wills of his earliest gods. He created the image of an almighty deity who not only created order out of nothing but is also the essence of the law. He chose innumerable tyrannies because he preferred the loss of his own soul to the sight of dogs running wild in the streets. He has explored the world around him, hoping to find immovable laws. He has almost destroyed the original state of his planet - those innermost processes that enable his life to control every facet of his existence, often sacrificing his deepest instincts on the altar of desire for stability. And where he could neither find nor impose order, he devised myths, dogmas, spun philosophical speculations, occult formulas and sterile scientific theories, and killed anyone who dared to question these ideas - all to deny the horror, which he feels when he faces what he cannot understand.
From the darkest past to this second, his image of the sage has been that of someone who knows the secret law hidden in the seemingly arbitrary world around him. His vision of the magician was about someone who can use that law to adapt the changing events of life to his will.
Yet, beginning in the late sixties and continuing into the present, voices from England - the least chaotic of all countries - have been home to elaborate gardens, teas at four, and a class system that determines the place of each person on their first breath - Chaos proclaimed the only reality, the true source of all magick. Angry, and sometimes screaming, they scream at those denunciations who proclaim the search for divine order. They revere that ancient enemy - chaos.
In order to understand this rebellion, we must first study the traditions that broke out. Since we cannot examine the entire body of the occult in a work of this magnitude, we have to limit ourselves to those currents which are most relevant to the Chaos Magick.
Let's start in medieval Europe. It was during this period that three branches of occultism developed that continue to influence Western magical thought to this day - Wicca, Satanism, and Ceremonial Magick.
Of the three, Satanism is the easiest to discuss and dismiss. For because of the Church's continued interest in this subject, Satanism is the most carefully recorded and best explored of the three branches. Its basic concepts are also the simplest: the complete reversal of the Christian faith. The Satanist performs the Latin Mass backwards, mocking it, extolling greed instead of mercy, vengeance instead of forgiveness. Just as Christians see Christ as a personal savior who rewards a life full of serving renunciation with an eternity of happiness after death, so Satanists see the devil - who, incidentally, is identified by Christians with the enemy of the divine order, chaos incarnate - as a personal savior who rewards him with earthly power and wealth for raping the neighbor's wife. In both cases, the object of worship is viewed as an external master whose will must be carried out. Unlike Wicca and Ceremonial Magick, Satanism seems to have changed little since the day it was born. From the beginning to the present day, its strongest stream has been an outcry against the unnatural sexual morality represented by Christianity. In the Middle Ages it could have been an extreme and rather dangerous form of therapy against sexual complexes. In the following times it seems to have been a pretext for parties, and perhaps the more unattractive you were, the more sex partners you had. As soon as the church stopped burning its supporters, Satanism became an attitude to shock the more socially conventional. This is especially true today where Satanism has been the slogan of a number of rock bands - a means by which to upset the parents of pimple-faced teens, boil their already overactive hormones, and add the illusion of substance to the screeching howl and infernal Can add noise.
Unlike Satanism, the Ceremonial Magick did not present itself as a rebellion against Christianity until the end; the fact is that ceremonialists were careful to avoid anything that the church would consider heretical. Often it was pious people who felt that they were exploring the deeper mysteries of the Christian faith. In his rituals he invoked the protection of the gods of the Jews and Christians and the help of the archangels and angels of the Jewish-Christian pantheon. If he had to evoke demons, he did so in the name of the Father, and he only invoked those devils whom his God had made the service of mankind. He was never persecuted by the church. There is a strong class and gender bias within the Ceremonial Magick - its interns have traditionally been from the aristocracy. This bias permeated the entire field. Their rituals were directed at male beings; they were long, practicable only for those with extensive free time; they were often in Greek and Latin and included knowledge of geometry and mathematics, all hallmarks of the educated class; and they required lavish robes and supplies that only the rich could afford. The greatest indicator of his class prejudice was his strange scientific orientation. Like a scientist, the ceremonialist believed that the desired effect could only be achieved if the appropriate tools were used in the appropriate procedure - any deviation resulted in certain failure. Like the scientist - which, by the way, he often was - the ceremonialist sought knowledge. Since he had hardly any material need, he often sought the secrets of the visible and invisible universe only for the sake of knowledge. Although the ceremonialist mostly worked alone, he usually learned his art in a box - he moved up the ranks, guarding the secret teachings of his own ward, while slavishly obeying his superiors, hoping to move forward. The hierarchical structure of the lodge was parallel to the ceremonialist's view of the universe; each rank represented a clearly defined level, which he had carefully examined and mastered.
Although much of this bias remained - the lodges, the expensive equipment, the hierarchical view of the universe - unlike Satanism, the ceremonial magick has evolved and changed. The agents of this change were the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and its most famous member, Aleister Crowley. The first change was in the beings that were addressed. While the Jewish-Christian landlords were retained, the Golden Dawn also turned to the Egyptian and Greco-Roman pantheon, often dressing in robes and jewelry, which suggested the deity invoked. After Crowley proceeded alone, he continued the invocations of the old gods. He also denied the existence of an almighty deity at the top of the universal hierarchy. He proclaimed that the magician's goal was "to gain knowledge of and conversation with the Holy Guardian Angel," the fulfillment of his true will, and the knowledge of his own divinity. Although some magicians were influenced by the work of Carl Jung, who viewed all gods as archetypal images projected by the collective subconscious, and by Eastern philosophies which we shall touch later, others began a more psychologically oriented approach to their work. There is little doubt that Crowley believed that the Holy Guardian Angel was a being outside of himself, one of a number of intelligences operating from another dimension of existence. For Crowley, the knowledge of the magician's divinity did not mean absorption in the absolute, it meant the fulfillment of his individual line of development. Crowley worked tirelessly - he wrote new rituals in English, founded the Argentum Astrum and restructured the Ordo Templi Orientalis, adapted oriental concepts, synthesized the various magical traditions - Greek, Egyptian, Hermetic, Kabbalistic, Masonic - in a new system that he used published endless books. Aside from bringing Magick back into the public eye, Crowley's greatest contribution has been his open recognition of the true source of magical power - sexual energy. Since he had now openly announced the secret, he reveled in the flood of documents that followed - he confessed his use of drugs and orgiastic devotion, which facilitated the entry into altered states of consciousness, he stood up for Thelema, a philosophy of the absolute personal Freedom (or illegality, as its critics chalk up), and styled himself as "Das Tier 666", Crowley left his path to shock. And in doing so, he opened himself up to unnecessary misunderstandings and was branded as a black intern in many places. Despite his evil reputation, and despite the existence of more traditional Judeo-Christian ideas - principally those of Dion Fortune and Israel Regardie, both Kabbalists - Crowley is widely regarded as the fountain from which all modern ceremonial magick flows.
Wicca, the third branch, is probably the hardest one to write. Without unduly believing the medieval persecutors who associated it with Satanism, the works of Margaret Murray envisioning the religion of prehistoric man, and the largely self-glorifying "traditions" of its modern followers, one can say almost nothing about its past. Be that as it may, a few things seem all too obvious - the most important of which is that the Wiccan contrasted with the ceremonial mage in every way. First and foremost, the Wiccan practiced a religion opposite to Christianity, undoubtedly a continuation of ancient local beliefs, although it is difficult to say for sure what that belief was. It was because of their rejection of Christ why Wiccans were killed by the Church. In an age when church and state were one, religious tolerance was seen as the gateway to anarchy .
Where the medieval ceremonialist was an aristocratic man of the city, the Wiccan was always a country dweller and very often a woman. Where the ceremonialist practiced alone, performed intricate rituals in Latin and Greek, called angels and demons to teach him the mysteries of the universe, the Wiccan commonly celebrated the phenomenon of the changing seasons, singing simple rhymes to secure a better harvest, or a partner. The ceremonialist practiced the mystical "art", the Wiccan practiced the "craft". Many of these differences continue to this day. The modern Wiccan still works in a coven, and although he may live in a city apartment and have no knowledge of agriculture, he still celebrates the changing of the seasons, singing in rhyme whatever he needs. Where modern Wicca differs from its medieval roots is hard to tell. Hereditary witches, descendants of Wiccans who survived the "cremation times", are doing terribly secretive about the beliefs and practices they inherited from their ancestors. Even if they weren't, it would be impossible to say how far the original ideas have been distorted, added to, or diminished as they have been passed on from generation to generation. Therefore, it is equally impossible to say how much Gerald Gardner - the father of modern Wicca - received from the past, and how much, despite his assertions to the contrary, he actually created. Whatever the case, as most of the modern ceremonial magick comes from Crowley, the modern Wicca comes from Gardner. Though agricultural symbolism is teeming with Gardner's rituals, and consequently those of most modern Wiccans, much of it seems very much like the rhymed and simplified version of ceremonial rites whose true authorship rumors see in Gardner's good friend, Aleister Crowley . However, as opposed to ceremonialism, modern Wicca is what constitutes its ruthless feminism. Wiccans worship a dual deity - a god, often identified with the sun, Mars, Pan, or Horus, and a goddess, often identified with the moon, earth, Venus, or Isis. In all appearances the goddess is considered to be dominant. She gives birth to God, who is nevertheless son and husband. It is considered to be eternal, while God suffers continuous death and rebirth, symbolized by the passage of the seasons. The phases of the moon goddess - increasing, full and decreasing - are identified with the three phases of the woman's sexual life cycle - girl, mother, old woman. The basic ideas are worked out in a variety of ways. Women are always considered to be wiser, psychologically more powerful, and spiritually developed than the man, while the Wicca rituals are performed by a priest and a priestess, so the priestess is always the absolute authority. The priest is always their servant. An observer well versed in psychology could see a subtle form of feminine sadism and masculine masochism in Wicca rituals. Many Wiccans represent matriarchy - a social system in which women hold ultimate political power. Unlike the ceremonialists, who tend to organize their rituals according to tricky astrological calculations, the Wiccan performs its magick according to the phases of the moon - works of expansion begin at the time of the new moon and culminate during the full moon; Works of restriction are done in reverse. Since they identify the earth with the goddess and try to keep in touch with their agricultural roots, the modern Wiccan has a strong interest in ecology. Today, Wicca is extremely image-conscious, downplaying its popular association with flukeys and orgies. Much work is being done on psychological healing. His feminism and concern for public opinion give him a unique attitude towards sex - on the other hand his alleged ancestry from ancient fertility cults and his feminist focus on female sexuality force him to recognize sex as a source of magical power, on the other hand makes him consideration for appearing to be a monogamy champion. The perfect coven includes loving, deeply connected couples. No crowleyite orgies, please. With regard to the god and the goddess, most Wiccans are unsure whether they should be viewed as male and female aspects of a single deity, or as two separate beings. Although the Wiccan Grace contains a line that says that the goddess is to be found in oneself, most Wiccans treat it as an external existence. Starting with Alex Sanders, many have broken with Gardnerianism, creating endless offshoots, almost all of which have retained the emphasis on feminism. Modern Wicca could be called the religion of the Women's Liberation Movement .
The three currents of Western occultism, described above, can be termed Orthodoxy - from which Chaos Magick descended and against which it rebels. Before we can explore Chaos Magick more fully, we must pause for a moment to examine four other trends that have deeply influenced it: Jungianism, Parapsychology, Physics, and Eastern Philosophy. We have little to say about Carl Jung's work except that his theory of archetypes - universal images that symbolize human experience and aspects of the human mind - definitely established the Chaos Magickian view of all gods. While most chaos practitioners would like to see science as just another system, they cannot help but be influenced by apsychological research which suggests that psychic ability may be a function of the human mind - which is the glimpse of Magick's power makes possible without ghostly support. Quantum physics with its indeterminate and often theoretical particles has to find a warm corner in his heart. But Eastern philosophy is its greatest resource, and we cannot understand its particular definition of chaos - the cornerstones of its conception - without understanding Asian thoughts. Whatever the differences in terminology and practical approach, the three great currents of Eastern Philosophy - Hinduism, Buddhism and Taoism - unite in proclaiming that the universe is a great, constantly changing whole, beyond all concepts, Categories and Definitions. The Hindu calls it Brahman, and its gods, like the theoretical particles in quantum physics, are mere symbols of its cosmological aspects.For the Buddhist it is the emptiness - this one beyond all naming and description - and his pantheon of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas is, like Jung's archetypes, a symbol of the psychological states. The Taoist simply calls it the Tao, the way. Furthermore, they agree that the inner nature of man - which the Hindu calls "Atman", the Buddhist "no soul", and the Taoist "not-self" - is identical to that of the universe. In all three religions it is considered enlightenment to know these two things existentially - the liberation from views and opinions which are only falsehood, fetters and illusions. Here is the difference between the traditional and the chaos practitioner in the definition of that terrible word - chaos. For the chaos practitioner, chaos is not the absence of order, but - to paraphrase Henry Miller - an order beyond understanding. This is analogous to the Hindu's Brahman, the Buddhist Void, the Taoist Tao, and the Old Anglo-Saxon Wyrd. It is constantly changing, it can be perceived, but it is beyond intellectual categorization. At best, order is the aspect of an indescribable reality which our sensory equipment allows us to perceive - the bee sees a flower differently than a human being. In the worst case, the order is an illusory model, projected by our biases. To Albert Einstein's assertion that God does not play dice with the universe, the Chaos practitioner could answer that the universe is God - if he has to use such an emotionally charged word - and that He is the only thing He can play with. Since he believes that reality is ultimately indescribable, he renounces all dogmas, takes his ideas and practices from everywhere, combines them as it suits the situation, and drops them when they are no longer applicable. In an unknowable universe, no belief is valid - nevertheless, every belief is valid as long as the believer regards it as an aid, a necessary illusion, and as long as he continues to work for him.
The full model of Chaos Magick can be seen immediately by a cursory glance at the mind of the man their interns consider their father - Austin Osman Spare. Formerly a member of the Golden Dawn and a companion of Crowley until disagreements made their relationship difficult, Spare endlessly condemned religion, science, and ceremonial magick. His attacks on all three were based on the same premise: In a universe that defies description, all systems of belief can only be wrong. Since man is part of the universe, and thus already God, all that religion can offer him are false idols that prevent him from feeling his own divinity. From the beginning Spare saw that science itself is also a form of religion, an attempt to name the unnamable, a system of categories that rejects everything that it cannot contain. He viewed ceremonial magick as an overly complicated waste of time - carried out by greedy charlatans for the gullible - that prevents man from discovering his true source of power which lies within himself. Spare preached simplicity in all magick work, and he considered creating and meditating on sigils as the ultimate in magick, rather than prayer and ritual - a personal design of stylized letters that express a wish and yet hide it from consciousness. Sigils have traditionally been the design of magickic talismans, but Spare explained that their power was not actually in the lines and figures of their execution - their power came from their effect on the deepest layers of the unconscious. So you had to create your own design, which had to be simple enough to be easily visualized and complex enough for the awareness to forget its original meaning. In his work on sigilization we see the Eastern influence on Spar's ideas. Although the sigil is made under the influence of a desperate desire, and while the idea continues to be visualized and meditated on, it cannot have a magical effect until one has exhausted the desire, forgot the meaning of the sigil, and completely indifferent to the desire and the symbol that has represented him. For Spare, meditation meant holding the sigil in front of the inner eye until it gradually excluded all other thoughts, and then slipped out of consciousness, leaving the mind empty - the polar opposite of fixing one's mind on a symbol, weighing its meaning to fend off all other ideas and to focus all his concentrated will on its realization. Anyone with even a superficial knowledge of Hindu or Buddhist tantra will recognize this as the practice of the tantric, who makes identical visualizations of yantras - geometric designs that represent cosmic and psychological forces, yantras are the basic models behind mandalas - and the Regards the fulfillment of a wish as a step towards freedom from all wishes. As if that weren't enough, Spare's concept of the universe appears like reformulated Asian ideas. He called the absolute Kia - a word that has no meaning in any Western language and is similar to the Japanese word "ki", which denotes the living breath behind all life. Notice how close Spare's words come to those of Lao Tzu. Spare: "It doesn't need a name to designate it, I'll call it Kia ... the Kia, which is expressed in understandable ideas, is not the eternal Kia." Lao Tzu: "The Tao that can be spoken is not the Tao ... It has no name itself ... in the absence of a better word I call it" The Tao "". The Kia - which could just as easily be called chaos - is beyond description, a complete whole, with no divisible parts, an inconceivable zero. Yet it manifests itself in obvious dualities - male and female, light and darkness, birth and death. In Spare's formula, two come out of nowhere. But the poles of every duality are not absolute towards themselves; each is like an arm, connected by a trunk, which in this case cannot be described. The dualities always rise together. Joy comes with pain, faith with doubt. Hence the mind cannot avoid conflict and contradiction. Spare's solution is not to choose between opposing forces, but to observe them simultaneously - a state of mind that fixates on sunrise and sunset, for example, twilight hours that are neither day nor night. "Neither-nor" "Neither-Neither", adUe.] Immediately reminds one of the Hindu "Neti-Neti", not this / not that, Nargajuna's dialectical negation, in which nothing can be described as existing or non-existent, the non-choice of the Taoist Hermit, and the non-exclusive consciousness of the Zen master. He also insists that the ego be in a state of self-love - which should not be confused with narcissism - a state in which it is happily absorbed in the joy of its own existence and not in need of it to be continuously enlarged through conquests and enrichments. As the Upanishads say, “Let the self find its resting place within itself.” In his lifetime Spare - a brilliant artist who made a series of outstanding automatic drawings - never received the attention that his former companion Crowley received. The little attention he received was mostly bad. Art critics hated his work, and many occultists, including Crowley, viewed him as a black magician. His ideas - which he communicated in short books, which were written in a lively, denouncing, rhetorical style, in memory of "Thus Spoke Zarathustra" - only finally received those considerations that they deserve. Perhaps the highest compliment to a man who hated the doctrine that those responsible for rediscovering his work do not see him as absolute authority. While Ray Sherwin, Julian Wilde, and "The Circle of Chaos" may praise Spare's work, they see it as a starting point, an influence on the forerunners of their own endeavors. Unlike the Crowley followers, they didn't make spare a golden trump card. Spare's students - however they may hate this expression - differ from it as they differ from one another. The main difference is that Spare's successors criticize the ritual but do not dismiss it. Before we get into a point-by-point examination of how Chaos Magick differs from conventional occultism, it would be helpful to review the practitioners who have become known in America. We can say little about the "Circle of Chaos". They are an eclectic collection of diverse occultists who came together in the mid-sixties - partly in response to rising sectarianism and commercialization within the occult world. They have created a set of rituals that interweave different straits of the traditions of their different members. So far they have only published one book, "The Rites of Chaos", which is copyrighted under the name "Paula Pagani". It is a collection of seasonal rituals, rhyming celebrations of the traditional Wiccan holidays. Originally known as the "Circle of the Wyrd", the "Circle of Chaos" is mainly Wiccan in style, if not entirely in substance. The same cannot, in the truest sense, be said of Julian Wilde. He regards himself as a shamanistic-tantric Wiccan, and as a whole is just as eclectic as that term implies. He claims to have studied Wicca, Kabalah, Shamanism, Zen and Tebetic Tantric Buddhism, used Sex, Drugs & Rock'n'Roll as tools to achieve trance, and was influenced by the writings of Carlos Castaneda and Michael Moorcock. His "Grimoire der Chaos Magick" - a fragment of his personal Book of Shadows, which he published as a collection of suggestions for like-minded souls - is a thin but extraordinary book. His writing style is even wilder and more denouncing than Spare's. His invocations are free verse, full of striking images, conveyed in a barbaric, yet majestic language - between the lines one catches a person who has survived almost every kind of personal catastrophe. As if to prove his sincerity about his attachment to eclecticism, his book contains both a bitter attack and a ritual by - Aleister Crowley. Wilde is the founder of the Church of Ka'atas, an existence that does not exist in the legal sense of the word, but is just a name for those who more or less share his views. He is truly, as he describes himself, a chaos warrior. Ray Sherwin is perhaps the most conventional of all chaos practitioners. As a member of the I.O.T. - an English lodge that comes from the O.T.O. emerged - he is a ceremonial magician. Unlike Spare and Wilde, his books are written in a calm, analytical style, systematically exploring points of the magician's practical affairs. One point worth noting is that the I.O.T. - in contrast to other chaos practitioners - sees chaos as one end point of a duality, with the other end being cosmos / order. Sherwin doesn't seem to agree completely, but he doesn't completely refute it by adopting a maybe / maybe not stance. After having a general overview of the Chaos Magick, we will now consider, point by point, how their practitioners differ from orthodox occultism and from one another. Unfortunately, we have to limit this discussion to the viewpoints of Spare, Wilde, and Sherwin, as the "Circle of Chaos" has only published its seasonal rituals. The Source of Power: What the magician considers to be the source of his power determines the rest of his practice. Obviously, the Satanist believes that his power is a gift from his master, the devil. The ceremonialist believes that his power, over a number of astral beings, ultimately comes from the Lord of Hosts, the Supreme God - a Crowleyan would say that only the astral beings exist and give power. And the Wiccan places his trust in the Goddess, God, and the elements. However, each of the Chaos practitioners agreed that as yet undiscovered energies within the human subconscious are the true source of magick. They share this view with Eastern philosophy, parapsychology, and such modern magick theorists as Isaac Bonewitz. Preliminary Exercises: Most magical traditions contain a body of exercises designed to open the novice to magical influences of what must be mastered before he is allowed to proceed to ritual work. Without a doubt, the modern satanist considers a few orgies and a few hundred pounds of the strongest weed he can buy to be sufficient. Both the modern wiccan and ceremonialist focus on astral projection and on visualization - usually the tattwas and the major arcane of the tarot. Save, on the other hand, puts all emphasis on the death pose - in which you totally relax your body and keep your mind as empty as possible, for as long as possible, a useful practice for the neither / nor state of mind to promote. And Wilde created a whole new set of exercises. The most interesting of them is a meditation based on Tibetan Tantra in which you visualize your body completely melting together and then build up from nothing, and another meditation in which you visualize the chakras - psychic centers , which are arranged one above the other on the backbone, a yogic concept - as if they were modern rooms, connected by a spiral staircase. Wilde says, honestly, that one does not have to believe in the literal existence of the chakras. The remarkable aspect of all these exercises is that they try to bring the practitioner into connection with his / her deeper self - not with outer beings and planes. Divination: Usually the next step in training the novice is learning various methods of predicting future events. Wiccans tend to focus on the magic mirror, the crystal ball, and occasionally reading things from tea leaves and the like. Both ceremonialists and wiccans place great emphasis on the tarot. In recent years the I Ching and the runes have grown in popularity, and in some places the Ouija board is experiencing a revival. Medieval occultists believed that the divinatory methods were channels through which gods, half-angels and spirits communicate with man. Even Crowley believed that their operations depended on astral intelligences. Although there are still those who hold on to the older views, most modern practitioners view divinatory devices as a means of focusing the consciousness and allowing the subconscious to present its knowledge of the future. All chaos practitioners agree with the modern view. Wilde takes it a step further by suggesting that palmistry and astrology, which most occultists view as objective "sciences", are also means of focusing. For savages - who designed his own version of the Tarot's Major Arcane for his private use - the arrangement of the planets on a horoscope or the lines in a palm probably have no other meaning than what they suggest to the interpreter's psychological abilities. Initiation: In all occult traditions, both in the West and in the East, initiation is regarded as the death of the old being and at the same time as the birth of the magical person. It is usually the case that magical power is conferred on the initiator during the ceremony - either through an immaterial being, or, in the Eastern traditions, through the teacher. Chaos practitioners have a more complex view of the process. For Spare, initiation was a farce, like any other ceremony. Sherwin and Wilde agreed that initiation itself means nothing more than acceptance by a particular group of practitioners. Wilde takes the shamanistic view that real initiation is a product of a serious personal crisis trapped in a situation from which there is no normal progress, no escape, the individual spontaneously summons previously unexpected forces from his subconscious. While agreeing with Wilde's point of view, Sherwin believes that it is the responsibility of the initiating group to artificially produce a controlled crisis in the initiator - a practice used by the ancient mystery schools of Egypt, Greece and Rome, and by Masonic ones Medal. Ritual and Ceremony: Traditional Magick practitioners saw the ritual as a performance that the gods liked so much that they complied with the performer's request to re-wind the cosmic cycle in favor of a particular goal. Achieving every detail of the ceremony has always been considered of the utmost importance to the success of the operation - failure meant failure. However, modern Wicca suggests that intention determines the effectiveness of a rite more than the perfection of its form. Chaos Magick agrees with modern Wicca - and again goes a few steps further.Both Wilde and Sherwin regard the ritual as a form of theater, aiming to heighten the performer's emotions to rare heights and then discharge them to the outside - a catharsis that drains the magician of obsession and leaves his mind placed in Spare's separate "neither / nor" state. They believe that magick cannot function as long as the magician consciously wishes the operation to succeed. To get his wish, it cannot be his wish any longer. Unlike the various traditions of the ceremonialists and Wiccans, who all use specific methods of drawing a circle, each claiming their path is the only correct one - Wilde, Sherwin, and the Circle of Chaos advise practitioners to draw their circle so as you want it. While traditional magicians of all convictions demand that rituals for specific purposes must be carried out with the appropriate scents, oils and colored candles, Wilde suggests using the most confusing scents and the brightest colored candles that can be found - for all rituals. He also suggests visualizing various animals as the guardians of the circle, rather than the traditional masters of the elements. Sherwin suggests either extraterrestrials dressed in suitable "B-Movie" costumes or naked sex objects to be visualized in the four watchtowers. Wilde, who believes that the source of power lies within the practitioner, suggests that the magician exalts his anger, hatred, sadness, sorrow, or most especially his lust - by suggesting that they either masturbate before the ritual to let someone satisfy you, stopping before orgasm in order to preserve the sexual release for the climax of the rite. He believes that supplications to the gods should be composed spontaneously at the climax of the ritual. Sherwin, for his part, rejects the theory that certain rituals should be performed at certain times, on the grounds that not all people are appreciably affected by the phases of the moon, and that the tables indicate certain days and hours to certain planets assign, were recorded before the discovery of Neptune, Uranus and Pluto and are therefore invalid. The best time to perform a ritual is when the need and opportunity presents itself. The gods of chaos: Since chaos practitioners view their gods as projections of their own minds, their attitude towards them is eclectic and - so orthodox magicians would say - disrespectful. Wilde's Grimoire lists a potpourri of divinities from a mishmash of pantheons. He says gods can be adapted from the words of writers like Tolkien, and further notes that any god who does not provide a minimum of servitude should be forgotten. In general, Chaos practitioners prefer to focus on recently rediscovered or newly created deities. Among the rediscovered, some of the favorites are Baphomet, an androgynous, heard god used by the Knights Templar as a Kabbalistic symbol in the 12th century, written about by Eliphas Levi in the 19th century, and that of Wilde as the total of the universal forces and the personification of active chaos is considered. Another favorite is Eris, Goddess of Discord, a long-forgotten Greek deity who (in Hesiod's "Theogeny") was considered the wilder, feminine half of Eros, the god of love. For the ancient Greeks, Eros and Eris together comprised an androgynous Aphrodite. The circle of chaos pays homage to Thataneros - a deity created by thessalonius Loyola - who represents the Freudian principles of sex and death. Wilde created K'atas - a wise old oriental with green eyes who acts as a calm guide through the chaotic storm. Taking chaos theory to its furthest extreme, it can be said that a comic book hero like Superman could be the best protector for someone who cannot relate to such classic war gods as Mars. Magical Works: Unlike Wilde, who has nothing new to add to the techniques of practical magick - he suggests buying traditional spell and candle burning books and adapting their teachings to his needs, Sherwin's experiments have led him to some interesting innovations guided. As if to drive a splinter through Spare's body, Sherwin insists that sigils are best visualized through rambling rituals. Taking Spare's work a step further, however, Sherwin believes that one should extract certain sounds from the sentence that has been sigillized and then intonate them like a kind of nonsense mantra while meditating on the sigils. As we can see, the Chaos Magick practitioners unite and separate from one another through their emphasis on experimentation and individual experience. Chaos Magick is not a new or different type of magick. It is a set of working principles - some new, some ancient - which the individual practitioner can creatively reinterpret to suit their needs. It is difficult to say what effect such a personalized approach will have on American occultism. Who can predict the chaos? It may appeal to American individualism. It could create a useful bridge between Eastern and Western occultism - a connection sabotaged in the past by the liberal white man's cringing search for the exotic savage - by the conservative white man's atavistic inability to accept someone's wisdom does not resemble him or own his technology, and the inferiority complex that leads Asian teachers to treat Westerners as rich laggards. At worst, it could just be another slogan, from mohawk-headed morons who are too stupid to see the true chaos within the order of daily life and invoke chaos by breaking beer bottles on the sidewalk and themselves vomit in other people's passages. Regardless, even this disgusting possibility is tolerable, if only the Chaos Magick silences the man-hating big words of the maxi-matriarchal Wiccans, and ends the need to authenticate ancient traditions that were created the day before morning by ethnically minded witches , and ends the endless discussion of rival occult games, how many levels there are in reality, and what is the one true color scheme with which to do magick - all of which currently dominate American occultism. If the Chaos Magick could stop the American ceremonialist from licking the toes off their Aleister Crowley statues ... but maybe it's a little too much to wish for any of these things. Never mind. Whatever happens to it, the British take us again. This time it says on their banners:
An Introduction to Chaos Magick, by Adrian Savage, 1988, Magickal
Childe Inc., N.Y., Translated into German by Sebastian Neitsch.
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