All posts by Psyche

About Psyche

Psyche serves as the editor for Spiral Nature, and has been published in numerous journals, including The Cauldron, PanGaia, Witches & Pagans. “Strategic Magick” appeared in Manifesting Prosperity (Megalithica, 2008). Psyche tweets as @plutopsyche.

World of Dust, by Joel Biroco

By Psyche | July 14, 2014 | Leave a comment

Detail from "Deja Vu," by Joel Biroco
World of Dust, by Joel BirocoWorld of Dust, by Joel Biroco
Coronzon Press, 185 pp., 2013

Joel Biroco’s now classic essay, “Go underground and be a chaos magician,” was revolutionary to my teenage occultnik self. It was fierce and angry and punk as fuck.  The Exorcist of Revolution, the book that it was taken from, has been labelled as “juvenilia,” and probably rightly so, but I was a juvenile, and that ferocious urgency resonated deep within.

That essay was my introduction to Biroco. After devouring it, and everything else I could find online, I spent a small fortune collecting back issues of Kaos, the influential chaos magick magazine he edited, and any chapbooks I could scrounge up on eBay. It an was instructive period.

Biroco’s work has always been powerful, but World of Dust haunts: Continue reading


Why I left the OTO

By Psyche | June 18, 2014 | 28 comments

The golden spiral staircase at the AGO, photo by Ian MuttooBy 2010 I’d been a practicing magician for some 15 years. I’d explored Paganism, Satanism, chaos magick, ceremonial magick, various forms of divination, and so on. I underwent the Abramelin ritual and was underwhelmed by the results. I felt I’d gotten as far as I could on my own, and I wanted to meet with people who were dealing with the same challenges I was. People I could talk to face-to-face, and share coffee with. I wanted to really feel like part of a community — an offline community. Much as I loved the online communities I’d found (the zee-list, chaoskaos, alt.magick.*, Irreality, etc.), I need to find people I could see. People I could learn from.

Whatever else I think of Aleister Crowley, I believe he was an exceptional magician, and many of his books remain the best ever written on practical magick. The Ordo Templi Orientis, the order he entrusted his legacy to, seemed a likely choice. I got in contact with my local lodge, and, after some months, finally met with representatives from that lodge at a pub. They seemed like good folk, and, after a few more months, I was in.

Continue reading


Sexism revisited

By Psyche | July 3, 2013 | Leave a comment

Static - Marc FalardeauThe comments section for “Sexism in contemporary occulture” and “Gender and the elements” flared up when they were originally published on Plutonica.net, and it became clear that the larger conversation is far from over. If you haven’t read these posts yet, they’re a good place to start.

Two new essays have appeared recently on this theme, and they bear a closer look.

In an essay on Enfolding.org titled “Occult gender regimes: Polarity and Tradition,” Phil Hine gets to the heart of what makes so many uneasy broaching the subject in the first place. He writes,

the very act of questioning the inevitability of gender polarity is a radical step – and one which potentially shatters the foundations of the occult implicit-order – itself a reification of the wider gender-order of Western Culture. Gender polarity is often reified in occult texts as an earthly reflection of cosmic or otherwise essential principles – which are held to be inevitable and juridical (“Laws”). Frequently it is asserted that gender polarity is inevitable because it occurs on the “higher planes” or is a reflection of essential qualities of deities, archetypes, etc – it is universal and timeless – part of an unchanging/unbroken tradition which has only been challenged very recently…

Hine traces the origin sexual polarity to  Aristotle via Plato, and the absurdity of enshrining these views in “tradition,” further shattering the idea that these ideas represent some “unbroken” mystic tradition. It’s good stuff. Continue reading


Chaotes then and now

By Psyche | June 25, 2013 | 2 comments

Roots, image by Peter RosbjergIt’s hardly surprising that something called chaos magick is constantly in flux, both in terms of what gets classed as chaos magick and the people it attracts.

I was first introduced to the subject by some English bloke on IRC in a random Wiccan chatroom who later, through a series of unlikely circumstances, became my partner. He introduced names I’d never heard of before: Austin Osman Spare, Peter J Carroll, Robert Anton Wilson – people with three names writing weird and wonderful things. Continue reading


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