Chaos magick. A set of tools for creating change in line with the occultist’s will and a meta-system that too few really understand. Those, like myself, who have spent any time working within this not quite paradigm will readily tell you that it strains to overlap with the scientific method. Replicability forms an important aspect of the process, as does the methodology making as much sense as possible within the constraints of all acquired learning up to that point too. Yet there are a damned few who have taken this reliance upon aping old aeon science beyond the point of lunacy, and in their hubris created a silent schism within an already broken movement.
These merry men and women, by way of their groups and initiatory orders, now claim to hold the only true gateway to the void within their overly obtuse learning plans. Too easily will they look down on practitioners who refuse to flock beneath their tattered banners, derisively accusing these newcomers of not being real chaos magickians, whatever that even means. As such those who practice outside of these initiatory and workshop based structures imposed retroactively on the current are berated and belittled by the more dogmatic voices from within it. That this dogma seems to grow in line with a particular adept’s popularity is, I feel, rather telling.
Despite what some within the arcane world would spit at us through gritted teeth, there are no proper chaos magickians. As the roots of the system lie partly in rebellion against the assumption of legitimacy expressed by the numerous more established occult paths, similar claims by those with the longest adherence to the current or most subscribers for whichever mail order learning programme they are hawking that week simply misses the point of what once made it so powerful. Everything we do must be evaluated by us alone and focused through the lens of our personal paradigm. Anything else is hubris and decadence.
“There should be no commentary or explanation to formalise a dogma. Unfortunately it is the nature of our species to accrete reason about any mystery so that we may get to know it better. Certain commentaries upon chaos magick are helpful; many are not. Those who wish to possess the current, those who have misunderstood and desire to intellectualise it have begun to produce seasonal rituals and initiatory rituals and other old Aeon devices. This is a magickal cul-de-sac. The very power of chaos is in its spontaneity. It is in the act of pushing ourselves out on a limb that we encounter chaos force … in short there is always room for new chaos magick methods, but no room whatsoever for chaos magick rituals per se.”
I am not arguing that chaos magick should be restricted to the ideas rooted in its formative years. Yet as the above quote by Frater Marabus from 1986 highlights, there was a building sentiment even then that nothing was to be gained from creating gurus among the more experienced members of our already fractured community. Confusion between using models of physics to trick the mind into accepting a certain series of events during ritual and actually believing in the numbers on the chalk board has left a depressingly visible group of chaotes to fall into talk of three dimensional time and hyperspace cosmology, in doing so accepting fiction over fact.
The ultimate result of the current elitism is a situation wherein the internet kids, those like myself who pieced their personal paradigm together from the ersatz melting pot of late Twentieth Century bulletin boards and mass market occult paperbacks, are now seen as second class citizens within the chaos community. Too easily do those who would exploit the title of chaote to make fame and followers drag what we even more ersatz practitioners do through the mud. And yet, are such self realised occultists not the true heirs to a current that was always about finding your own path through the murky world of fake gurus and assumed truths?
Chaos Magick is not a dogma. It is a mindset. It teaches us to evaluate the skills and tools which we develop, as well as the leaders who would claim mastery over those ideas. While mail order and internet courses might help some, all that they will ultimately create are clones of those who have gone before. Reaching some group viewpoint is the cornerstone of the monolithic initiatory orders we fought so hard to escape from. That the first to find value in this blighted current would ever want to be seen as the very dogmatic elders that they once railed against so strongly is really rather sad, and proves just how far we have all slipped from the bleeding edge.