There was a time when I was proud to be considered a chaos magickian. Never one to bow to social pressures, I happily embraced the adversarial aspects of a path that is as equally derided among my fellow occultists as by the unenlightened masses. I spent long evenings defending this choice at moots and meet ups, online and off, all the while smugly hoarding ersatz enlightenment against everyone else. Yet now I find that the meta system which once felt so convenient no longer sits well with me, due in part to the actions of others who also find themselves lumbered with a similar title to my own.
While the mainstream public knows very little about the memetic sorcery that is supposed to have helped Trump ascend to the American presidency, the alternative media has wasted little time in congratulating a group of 4Chan based chaotes for their part in his victory. Add to this the co-opting of the chaos star itself by far right movements and you can see why those who once called the eight pointed symbol a badge of honour might be less inclined to claim it as their own in the current social climate. Of course, it is only natural that times change and labels become heavy with meaning. Nothing is really true after all.
As an anarchist I have little interest in politics. I have no real opinion of Trump over Clinton aside from an equal distaste for both and any system that could give such sociopathic lumps of gristle a platform to rule as gods over the supposedly free world. As Frater Marabus highlighted in the Chaosphere Experience cassette tape all the way back in 1986, organised politics and the chaos current are naturally opposed. Any plan to force a top down model of control on society is simply an attempt to counteract the very abstractions of every day life which enable mankind to truly access the boundless creativity at the heart of the void.
Few, if any of those implicated in this flouring of memetic sorcery, seem to consider themselves chaotes. The parallel actually seems to have been the reaction of the alternative media, and surprisingly for their ilk they have no issue with magick when it serves their ultra conservative purposes. The Trump era has created such strange bedfellows as the Satanic Alt-Right and ultra zealous God and gun loving Christian fundamentalists, something that I would have believed to be impossible in the heyday of the old Church of Satan. I guess such important ideological differences as the Jewish question are irrelevant when you are both on the winning side.
Worse, jobbing journalists are circling the drain as they always do, bullishly spreading their asinine and poorly researched bile without taking the time to truly understand the concepts at play. These hacks display little better than a working knowledge of the wider occult diaspora, yet are continually offered book deals by virtue of their mainstream back catalogues. They remain ignorant to the fact that the situation has nothing to do with real chaos magick. It is a hijack, pure and simple, a hostile take over by unrelated groups who chose to steal our techniques without playing by the rules that we had set out for their use. And yes, the irony is far from lost on me.
As a result of this cognitive dissonance I have recently been thrust into the unenviable position of fighting against the very same gut reaction as the ceremonial magickians who piss and moan when chaotes steal their toys. Yet I am no blinkered old aeon sorcerer, and I am above such self deferential piety. Mine is a path of personal growth, where every challenge becomes an opportunity. While some have sought to batten down the hatches and defend the borders of the chaos current against this incursion, I find that I have neither the time nor the energy to do so. It just does not feel important enough a hill to die on now, not when I have much more pressing things to attend to.
In truth, I never had any real claim to the title of chaos magickian anyway. Despite a life long interest in all things strange I only became a practising occultist around 2005, long after the end of the eras which spawned and respawned this most fractal of systems. I am proud to be one of the internet kids, the lost generation who found their occult tools online while ignoring the structured teachings of groups who would baulk at our lack of a safety net. While the system has taught me self reliance and flexibility of thought, I feel no real loyalty to the chaote label whatsoever. I guess I have grown beyond it, yearning for more than it can provide.