What is Chaos Magic?

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Zos_chaostar-red2

Austin Osman Spare, in a ‘ChaoStar’

 

Chaos magic is a post modern Occult, or magical, paradigm. The principle concepts come from a collaboration between the writings of Austin Osman Spare and Peter Carrol, specifically  in Peter Carrol’s books, Liber Null and Psychonaut.

Chaos magicians use ‘belief’ as a tool, on the understanding that it is the belief in other magical paradigms that is the engine of their success. Such that a formula: Belief + ‘gnosis’ + desire = result, is promoted by Peter Carrol and accepted by most Chaos magicians. The ‘gnosis’ in this sense refers to the magician’s state of consciousness, one wherein the conscious mind is absent, such as in trance, sexual orgasm, exhaustion or ‘being in the zone’ when playing a sport or video game.

In practice Chaos magicians may seem like ‘eclectic magicians’, borrowing magical ideas from a variety of sources and paradigms, and developing a system that is personal and perhaps unique, corresponding to what they personally find easiest to believe or found they had the most success with. It is in this way chaos magic is ‘chaotic’. Chaos magicians tend to focus on the result, the result being the one thing that can be verified.

The writing of Robert Anton Wilson, in such books as Quantum Psychology, establishes the idea that people live their life interpreting the world through a ‘reality tunnel’. For example a Zealous Christian might go through life understanding God or Satan is behind all they experience in life, whereas a materialist Scientist might go through life understanding everything they experience correlates with scientific principles that are understood  or perhaps yet to be resolved. Some Chaos magicians build upon this concept with a practice of ‘paradigm piracy’.

Paradigm Piracy, this would be a practice of adopting say, Roman Catholicism, as a belief and practice, and working with it until you too can have success with faith healing – and THEN switching to something entirely different, Taoist magic perhaps, and working with THAT until you have what you consider to be ‘success’ and then moving on to something else….

Chaos Magic has little magical technique unique to itself, but it is strongly associated with Sigil Magic and secondarily with Servitors. Sigil magic is a brainchild of Austin Osman Spare and is a simple and brilliant technique that often involves masturbation, leading to some dismissing chaos magicians as people ‘wanking over doodles’. The Servitor technique borrows from the TULPA concept originating in Tibetan Buddhism, and is comparable the the ‘invisible friend’ some people have as children, albeit ‘weaponized’ and given ‘powers’.


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