a cache of usenet and other text files pertaining
to occult, mystical, and spiritual subjects.


Das Kaos

To: Personal Email (Questionaire)
From: (Kalki the Flower Urchin)
Subject: Das Kaos
Date: Wed, 18 Jan 1995 14:39:54 -0800 (PST)

| 1. How would you define Chaos Magick?

Chaos Magick is a theme of occult endeavor derived from such authors as
Austin Osman Spare, Ray Sherwin and Peter Carroll, favoring, in theory,
a lack of adherence to tradition or dogma.  It incorporates a variety of
disciplines as determined valuable by the individual practitioners, and
this has resulted in some commonalities, such as the usage of sigils in
the practical realm and 'Chaos Science' in the realm metaphysique.

There are a number of groups and individuals who today associate with the
'Chaos' descriptor, yet as is usual with human beings, some ossification
and dogmatism, even within the Chaos Magick social milieu, has occurred.

There is some question as to whether Chaos Magick is very different
from other themes and movements in occult society, and indeed it does
appear that, like 'New Age religion', Chaos Magick incorporates quite a
few traditional theoretics and devices, though certainly with an added 
emphasis upon individual variation from these.
| 2. How did you first come into contact with Magick in general
|    and Chaos Magick in particular?


In high school I visited the local metaphysical bookstore and purchased
the Dover edition of Aleister Crowley's 'Magick in Theory and Practice'.
I'd read 'weird and horrific' books prior to that, but always cheap and
historical synchronicities, oddities of the occult and gothic worlds and 
various strange cultural differences filled their pages.  Reading Crowley 
was something unexpected.

After cutting my teeth on (and not understanding much of) that book, I
purchased _The Book of Thoth_, by the same author, along with the tarot
deck which it presumes to interpret, drawn by Lady Freida Harris.  I'd
seen Smith-Waite decks for years, but had never taken the time to look into 
tarot as a discipline, finding little value in the yellowy Rider cards.  
When I saw the 'Thoth Deck', however, I was inspired.  I took them home 
and, over the years, studied them with interest.  Such was my introduction
to magick.  Ritual and other elements came more slowly to me.

Chaos Magick

After some years of study in Wiccan and more orthodox Hermetic traditions,
including a passing postal relationship with the OTO and Bill Heidrick,
I began to attend Order functions.  I met up with a man who was to become
my lover and live-in friend for a number of years.  He was a socialite of
incredible energy, and a fierce networker among the dedicated.

Among his many interests (Masonry, Rosicrucianism, Thelema, etc.) he found
something called 'Chaos Magick' and thought, from what he knew of my own
practices, that it would be 'right up my alley'.  He kindly provided me with
written materials, including a copy of _Liber Null and Psychonaut_ and a
number of issues of 'Thanateros' and 'Chaos International'.  I've since
done a bit of research on my own and met Chaos Magicians via computer.

| 3. What form do your rituals and meditations take?
|    Do you work in a group or solo or both?

This has changed drastically over the years, to the point where I cannot
easily say what if any consistent form I maintain in either.  My intent is
to minimize 'ceremony' and 'presumption' while maximizing the transformative
effect of my workings.

Usually my rites involve psychoactive substances, but not always.  Until
very recently (and with only limited exception) I have done my rites alone.  
Sometimes this was inspired by my tendency to engage activities which I've 
learned that others regard fearfully, such as masturbation or some other 
means of altering my state of consciousness.  Sometimes this resulted from 
my inability to find anyone with whom I shared values and/or common magical 

Here's an example of something recent and formal: I made a deck of 
flashcards, each with one of the 99 names of Allah, their translation and 
explanation found on the back of each.  My researches in Islam indicated to 
me that the recitation of these words would yield insight.  At various times
I have indeed found the chanting of these, especially given my exposure
to mosque recitation, to be a remarkable tool of consciousness alteration.
I am gradually reciting them with and without the use of the cards.

| 4. How do you feel about political/social justice movements
|    which seek to change the world?

I feel that where they do not become violent they are very useful for
directing people's energies away from gross consumerism.  On the whole
I have little use for them personally.  My preference is to focus upon
how people can affect themselves rather than how I or anyone else might
affect others.

To this end I have begun what I shall develop into a working system and
ideology surrounding ecological magick directed toward inspiring life-
style changes within the practitioner.  I shall likely call the entire
discipline 'Ekoccultism' and will draw from such sources as Richard
Sennett's _The Uses of Disorder: Personal Identity and City Life_,
E.F. Schumacher's _Small is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered_,
and Duane Elgin's _Voluntary Simplicity: An Ecological Lifestyle that
Promotes Personal and Social Renewal_.

Perhaps this will succeed along political lines where Wicca and other
so-called 'Earth-loving' magical paths fail miserably, though my main
intent is to see if such a self-transformative vehicle can be created.

| 5. What do you envision the future of Chaos Magick to be?

Like Wicca and the New Age movement, Chaos Magicians must eventually come
to a reckoning with their history and contents.  When this occurs then the
marketeers will of course devise a new emphasis and create a new 
'Revolution' in occult thematics.  

As for the Chaos Magick authors and typical themes, I think that these are
likely to continue a growing trend toward the focus upon the wrathful and
horrific energies which traditionalists within most religious and very many
arcane schools find abhorrent.  Lovecraftian and Enochian mythotypes are 
but the tip of a vast iceberg that modern horror-fiction and traditional,
though often hidden, mystical practices have yet to disclose.  

If the Chaos Magick movement is to prosper it must release its focus upon
certain authors and themes as 'penultimate', explore not only historical
sources (Tibetan Buddhism, Chinese religions, etc.) but also the fabulous
contents of popular imagination.  The merger of fiction-writing-as-mythos
has yet to be mined, especially where icons and theories are concerned.

In regards practice, the trend of taboo-breaking and self-control must
continue, tattooing and scarification giving way to more and less extreme
pursuits, socially, combined with personal practices such as BDSM and the
use of psychoactive substances.

No discipline is sacrosanct to any tradition.  No worthwhile theory is
valuable unless it can stand outside its cultural window-dressing.  The
maxim made popular by Carroll and others ('Nothing is true.  Everything
is permitted') must be applied not only to the theories and forms of
practice *outside* the Chaos Magick culture, but also to those which 
become popular *within* it.  Only in this way will it not calcify into 
a lumbering and hypocritical miasm, bereft of innovation and false of 


The Arcane Archive is copyright by the authors cited.
Send comments to the Arcane Archivist:

Did you like what you read here? Find it useful?
Then please click on the Paypal Secure Server logo and make a small
donation to the site maintainer for the creation and upkeep of this site.

The ARCANE ARCHIVE is a large domain,
organized into a number of sub-directories,
each dealing with a different branch of
religion, mysticism, occultism, or esoteric knowledge.
Here are the major ARCANE ARCHIVE directories you can visit:
interdisciplinary: geometry, natural proportion, ratio, archaeoastronomy
mysticism: enlightenment, self-realization, trance, meditation, consciousness
occultism: divination, hermeticism, amulets, sigils, magick, witchcraft, spells
religion: buddhism, christianity, hinduism, islam, judaism, taoism, wicca, voodoo
societies and fraternal orders: freemasonry, golden dawn, rosicrucians, etc.


There are thousands of web pages at the ARCANE ARCHIVE. You can use ATOMZ.COM
to search for a single word (like witchcraft, hoodoo, pagan, or magic) or an
exact phrase (like Kwan Yin, golden ratio, or book of shadows):

Search For:
Match:  Any word All words Exact phrase


Southern Spirits: 19th and 20th century accounts of hoodoo, including slave narratives & interviews
Hoodoo in Theory and Practice by cat yronwode: an introduction to African-American rootwork
Lucky W Amulet Archive by cat yronwode: an online museum of worldwide talismans and charms
Sacred Sex: essays and articles on tantra yoga, neo-tantra, karezza, sex magic, and sex worship
Sacred Landscape: essays and articles on archaeoastronomy, sacred architecture, and sacred geometry
Lucky Mojo Forum: practitioners answer queries on conjure; sponsored by the Lucky Mojo Curio Co.
Herb Magic: illustrated descriptions of magic herbs with free spells, recipes, and an ordering option
Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers: ethical diviners and hoodoo spell-casters
Freemasonry for Women by cat yronwode: a history of mixed-gender Freemasonic lodges
Missionary Independent Spiritual Church: spirit-led, inter-faith, the Smallest Church in the World
Satan Service Org: an archive presenting the theory, practice, and history of Satanism and Satanists
Gospel of Satan: the story of Jesus and the angels, from the perspective of the God of this World
Lucky Mojo Usenet FAQ Archive: FAQs and REFs for occult and magical usenet newsgroups
Candles and Curios: essays and articles on traditional African American conjure and folk magic
Aleister Crowley Text Archive: a multitude of texts by an early 20th century ceremonial occultist
Spiritual Spells: lessons in folk magic and spell casting from an eclectic Wiccan perspective
The Mystic Tea Room: divination by reading tea-leaves, with a museum of antique fortune telling cups
Yronwode Institution for the Preservation and Popularization of Indigenous Ethnomagicology
Yronwode Home: personal pages of catherine yronwode and nagasiva yronwode, magical archivists
Lucky Mojo Magic Spells Archives: love spells, money spells, luck spells, protection spells, etc.
      Free Love Spell Archive: love spells, attraction spells, sex magick, romance spells, and lust spells
      Free Money Spell Archive: money spells, prosperity spells, and wealth spells for job and business
      Free Protection Spell Archive: protection spells against witchcraft, jinxes, hexes, and the evil eye
      Free Gambling Luck Spell Archive: lucky gambling spells for the lottery, casinos, and races