Lately I have heard some modern definitions of Chaos Magick which really do not explain what it is, nor do they seem to understand how it works. Chaos Magick is often confused with no order and permission to do whatever to achieve a result; that is not the essence of Chaos Magick, nor was it ever meant to be used without proper responsibility and understanding of its laws. It is my hope through this article to expand a bit on what Chaos Magick is and how it works.
Although Chaos Magick is currently being treated as if it was something new, it has been with us for many centuries, as it is a branch from even older styles of Magick.
Before I continue, let me clarify why I spell Magick the way I do. Magic is a term meant to encompass “tricks” while Magick is a pure mathematical and esoterical term used for referring to the process of alchemical transformation–every letter holds a mathematical value. Since pure use of the primordial energy within and without is not trickery, I use the term Magick when referring to it.
Towards the end of 1970’s, a group of English occultists, lead by Richard Wing and Peter J Carrol, founded a magick group which they called “The iluminates of Thanateros”. This group proclaimed the establishment of a new vision regarding magick; it was this vision what they came to call “Chaos Magick”.
Their vision was never meant to create a new style of magick; for they didn’t create anything nor did they discover a new way of using magick; instead they simply had an affinity with particular visions or perspectives that ancient magicians had explored regarding how to best utilize magick.
Chaos magick is simply a particular attitude regarding magick; this attitude was nurtured from many sources like: Shamanism, paganism, witchcraft and occultist theories like the ones expressed by Aleister Crowley and Austin Osman Spare. Modern Chaos Magick has also been nourished by notions of postmodernist philosophy & constructionism, as well as popular art and culture. However, traditional Chaos Magick is mostly based on primordial mathematical principles and quantum physics.
Despite all these sources of inspiration, Chaos Magick does not conceive magick as something which must be transmitted by ancient masters to be real or to work; for magick lies within us all, some simply have a natural ability to use it and others need to work hard for it (these are the ones who often fall for trickeries hoping to avoid the work require to access one’s own magick). They understood pure magick cannot be taught but must be lived and experienced. One can guide a beginner, but either he or she will tap onto his inner alchemical mechanisms or not–in order to tap onto those mechanisms, he or she must be willing to confront his shadow and embrace it. After all Chaos Magick takes its name from the primordial force of Chaos not from disorderly nonsensical things.
**I also would like to clarify a very important thing: currently those unfamiliar with the origin and actual practice of Chaos Magick, believe superficial trickery will result on magick. Trickery of any kind, only fools the immature or superficial mind, while having no impact whatsoever on self or others.
The primordial force of chaos is not random nor disorderly; its order is not apparent but it is there. One has to learn to understand its rules and how shadow work takes place in order to understand the power of chaos and its mechanisms; those who are familiar with this concept and have experience it, know very well the order, balance and power the primordial force of chaos holds.
To better understand the above, let me explain Chaos as the Greeks defined it. The word chaos, meant cleft and was designated to define the original, primordial state of matter before the emergence of the cosmos. Therefore, it is the underlying reality of two intertwined forces (light and darkness), which can only be access through the subconscious (shadow work). As the subconscious heals and frees itself from the limitations imposed on the rational mind, the power of our inner chaos magick grows. As you can see then, it takes work, discipline and practice, not just the nonsensical reciting of random words or powerless rituals–for no ritual works without actual understanding and proper integration of its primordial rules.
Peter J Carrol said it clearly “to accede to chaos is to accede to the quantum world”, something which cannot transpire without learning, understanding, testing, experience, discipline and practice. Our quantum world is the place where nothing is definite and pure potential reigns supreme; however, like anything else, it has its laws and mechanisms.
Magick is the use of pure raw art and science to cause changes to occur. In order to take place, these changes require the power of will (inner work) and the development of the internal elements (air, fire, water, earth). We are all in possession of these elements, we just need to discover which is our dominant element and do the work so that element remains in balance with the other 3.
Real Chaos Magick is the use of techniques of mental self-control which are developed to facilitate access to the subconscious; the techniques are there to help the magician maintain focus while accessing our inner raw world (subconscious/chaos)
In principle, a well-trained and experienced chaos magician would have no need for the use of ceremonies, rituals or symbols, for he can control his well-developed will and focus (something which takes years to develop). However, most people need some tool to allow them to stay focused while navigating the dual, confusing yet orderly waters of our subconscious. Symbols, rituals, chanting, mantras and so on, are not magical per se, they are simply tools used to help guide and focus–for our mind has always understood and worked best with symbology.
Because Chaos magick is access to our primordial force or subconscious, it requires discipline and self work; that way the mind does not interfere with the will and our will can be executed. This is why, it has always been accepted among magicians, that the greatest obstacle in life is not something or someone else but our own mind.
Magick Chaos honors its name because it is a balance; on the one hand it requires self knowledge and proper understanding, while on the other hand it encourages people to not take themselves too seriously and to enjoy the process of experimentation and use of their own inner magick–it is not one side or the other, both are required. This honors chaos, for chaos is the pure joining of two strong primordial forces (light and darkness) which seem opposite yet are perpetually and harmoniously intertwined.
The magick of chaos works with two main tools: Metabelief and Gnosis. Metabelief is being conscious that a belief is a psychological state which can be manipulated according to our will. It is the recognition that it is something we have learned yet it has the power to work symbiotically– on its own, it can mold our reality, but we can also consciously use it to mold our reality and that of others. Gnosis regarding magick allows the connection with our subconscious. It is through Gnosis we can reach the chaotic part of our subconscious; the place where pure power resides, where all possibilities reside. It is the conjuncture and proper understanding of these two tools, which grant Chaos Magick its malleability and adaptability.
In order to connect with the subconscious, the most common methods to silence and discipline the transitional mind are meditation and the intensification of emotions. This tells us, that in order to access the power of our subconscious mind, we need to either be very still or to exacerbate intense emotions. Aside from these two but very much needed tools, the practitioners of Chaos Magick are free to create the outer structure of their magical procedure–that part can be random, not the principles.
Chaos Magick practitioners have made use of sigils or magick seals which are really an extract of western magick; they have just been modified to fit the “new” criteria of modern Chaos Magick. It is imperative to understand that although Chaos Magick offers a wide variety and length of its use, it is not free from primordial laws and like anything else it has its limitations. For this reason, it would be immature and unrealistic to believe one can use Chaos magick without being properly verse on the subject. Likewise, one would be foolish to think Chaos Magick can be use to violate primordial laws. Real Magick is natural not supernatural; otherwise we would have no access to it.
There is some criticism towards Chaos Magick (as it is, not the modern distorted belief, which isn’t magical at all). The main concern and criticism aimed at Chaos Magick is regarding its moral relativism. To embrace Chaos Magick is to embrace pure force as is, which means it does not recognize things as good or evil; exactly the way the primordial force operates–it is all about intention. As such, many other branches of magick have criticized heavily the proper teaching and use of Chaos Magick. Real practitioners of Chaos Magick answer back by stating any teaching, any powerful law or principle, can be used for good or bad–magick is NOT the problem; if there is a problem, it resides within the rottenness of the soul of the person utilizing it.
It is imperative to remember that any magick with bad intention will always falls short when challenging magick of good intention; for in practicing black magick one goes against the principles of life and the flow of primordial power. As such, when we hear stories of demonic, satanic or dark magick, it is not that those who practice it are more powerful nor do they usually have full understanding of the laws–rather the intensity of their intention is “focused” which makes their emotions powerful.
All emotions are powerful; specially the ones which are not toxic; the problem resides on the erroneous belief we have been taught that “toxic” emotions are more powerful because they can corrupt us. If we could get past this ridiculous concept and accept all emotions are powerful; even more so those in harmony with primordial force; we would not fear any of our emotions and would be able to maintain focus on those which are in alignment with primordial law.
People who truly understand the above, are not bothered nor affected by those who like to practice malevolent magick. The reason they are not affected is because their focus is inwards; to where their power resides; not outwards. In other words, if I don’t believe, nor give any room to the belief that any toxic emotion sent to harm me will have any impact on me; because only I can determine what enters my aura; then whatever toxic emotion or witchcraft sent my way will have no impact. Based on primordial law, it will simply be “return to sender” with no karma to be balanced from my side. That is the power we hold inside…the pure raw power residing within our subconscious.