Chaos Magick

Git ‘ard magick.

Chaotic Identity

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Peter Carroll’s psycho-historic model of aeonics provides a useful tool with which to evaluate the past and present changes of human consciousness. By evaluating the interactions of the three major paradigms of Magic, Transcendentalism, and Materialism, valuable observations and predictions can be made about the changes that have and will affect human social and psychological conventions. Indeed, several of the predictions that Carroll makes regarding social changes in advanced rationalist cultures are already beginning to manifest.

However, one of Carroll’s predictions – the death of identity – seems to pose a problem to human development. Identity, in one form or another, is the basis for human action and interaction, and establishes the way in which the individual contributes to the survival of the community. It serves as a focal point for psychological and biological survival drives, and enables the development of the complex social structures that drive societies across the planet. While being able to manoeuvrer within social structures is useful, especially to the magician, and loose social structures allow a great amount of freedom, a complete deconstruction of social systems seems counterintuitive to the continued success of humanity. Our social nature helps to define us as a species, and a deliberate attempt to disassemble such a vital component to the well-being of the human animal — even under the name of progress — seems very ill-advised.

As the Fifth Aeon bears down upon us, identity has already become fragile and ephemeral, leading to development of identity as a commodity. Ironically, in a time when people are free to adapt themselves to any social setting and define themselves however they wish, the need to have a strong identity which is affirmed by a group of like-minded peers is manifesting stronger than ever. While this might be interpreted as a resistance to the coming aeonic shift, it could also indicate an area in the human psyche that is too deeply rooted to hope to change within the next several thousand years of human evolution and thus might be best unmolested. Let us heed the cautions of the Bene Gesserit and not seek to meddle with the basic drives necessary to the survival of humanity!

Some human cultures root identity firmly in group structures, deriving a sense of being from their relationship to others or their role in the community. Others — most notably Western cultures — establish identity based upon individual opinion, desire, and achievement. These are the cultures that have given rise to the most violent societal changes, and which are fast ushering in the Fifth Aeon consciousness. The emphasis on the individual in Western cultures has led to the breakup of society, which in turn has left the individual with no framework within which to define himself. Identity is bought and sold as people consult lifestyle and makeover experts, experiment with new religions and sexualities, and redefine their social and political relationships to one another not just from generation to generation, but from fad to fad.

Obviously how identity is defined is flexible, but one fundamental principle cannot be ignored: identity is always defined. With few notable exceptions, there is always some way for a person to define who he is, and anyone who has that taken away from him will suffer great psychological distress. Chaoist theory seems to skirt this problem, careful to give the magician tools with which to define himself to varying degrees and in various settings. Indeed, considering this, it could be argued that Chaos Magic is not about destroying identity, but constantly creating it in order to fit into whatever social enclave is most useful to the magician.

Still, the nature of identity is changing. People are able to redefine themselves at a whim (if they have the psychological fortitude to do so), and the social structures that serve to establish and reinforce identity seem to be falling apart. If identity is so integral to successful functioning, then how can humanity survive the coming aeon? Is the Fifth Aeon the final phase of man before our eventual extinction, or will it leave us better able to cope with an increasingly complex technological world?

Perhaps Phil Hine’s observations on the nature of the sub-culture can provide a means of supporting identity. Hine rightly describes sub-cultures as a means of finding a stable environment in which identity can be established, especially when the individual finds the broader culture too chaotic or unappealing. It seems simplistically obvious that if sub-cultures offer a sense of identity in a chaotic culture, and culture is becoming increasingly chaotic, then an increase in the number and diversity of sub-cultures can be expected. Indeed, this is in line with Carroll’s predictions.

The nature of sub-cultures is itself changing, as various cliques are established based more upon tastes and opinions than ethnicity and socio-economic status. Membership in sub-cultures is also more open, making it easier for individuals to move from one group to another. With the development of more and more advance communications technology, even geographical barriers fail to impede interaction with people of like mind. Further complicating the situation is the fact that any given person can ostensibly belong to multiple sub-cultures or cliques, and can even hold differing roles and identities in each.

Looking back to Carroll’s psycho-historical model, this sub-cultural proliferation can be seen to fit the predicted pattern of the Fifth Aeon. Carroll describes the coming aeonic pattern as resembling the tribalized societies of the first shamanic aeon. While it is true that Carroll makes this comparison in asserting that the paradigm pattern of the coming aeon would serve just as well in supporting a post-apocalyptic primitive society, there is no reason to assume that this pattern of shamanic tribalism would not function in a post-modernist, high technology society.

A post-modernist theory identifying the proliferation of sub-cultures with a tribalist tendency has already been developed. In this neo-tribal environment, identity is subsumed into the group and defined largely by the role one plays within that group. The element which differentiates neo-tribalism from tribalism is the fluidity of the former – the individual is free to move between groups and occupy diverse roles.

This freedom to tailor personas according to the will of the individual is an underestimated element in neo-tribal theory. True, the identity of the individual becomes dependent upon the roles he plays in whichever groups he belongs to, but new social and technological developments allow him to select carefully which groups he wishes to belong to and which roles he wishes to play. Instead of relying upon social interactions with other within his locale, the individual is now able to interact with others based solely upon a projected intellectual image. The advent of the internet and the expansiveness of cyberspace have usurped the tribe, allowing individuals to form close social and emotional ties with people they may never meet in person.

This cyber-tribalism may be the only way to satisfy the human need for identity in such a chaotic environment. We live in an era where someone may never know his neighbors, may work a position which denies him human contact, may work odd hours and thus be denied social contact, or may have lifestyle choices that are out-of-place in his locale. Yet such a person can establish rich personal relationships through chat rooms and message boards, may hold important social roles in online organizations and communities, or may even develop fantastical personas to express otherwise repressed drives or interests.

The individual thus forges his identity through interactions via personas he creates of his own whim. Despite defining himself through group membership, he retains a purely individualistic control over his identity, and can even play varying and even contradictory roles in different groups. The quiet, shy woman in the next cubicle may run a dominatrix website, an online horticultural supply store, and a blog about unicorns. She may speak with her parents daily, even though they live thousands of miles away – her boyfriend (or even husband!) may live across several oceans. She may even operate a subversive political site, whose members believe her to be a man. Yet she is free to define herself according to any, all, or none of these things.

This cyber-tribalistic society is a potential boon for the Chaos Magician. While long-term paradigm shifts are best left to “real life” interactions, the increase of online interaction makes it even easier for the magician to adopt any identity he wishes, testing new personas and belief structures. Indeed, as the pace of life in Western society quickens, and the Fifth Aeon sets in, the need to adopt and develop differing roles and belief structures may become a social necessity. The need for identity will still remain a central element of human nature, but this need will be satisfied by carefully constructed interactions which reflect the preferences and tastes of the individual.

How to charge a sigil playing video games

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Video game controller, image by dgoomanyOne of the most fascinating aspects about pop culture magick is the adaptability it grants you. Case in point, recently I’d been reading Disinfo’s Book of Lies, particularly the essays on Austin Osman Spare. The ideal state to be in to charge a sigil is one where the mind is blank, vacuous, and thus open to the influences of the sigil. I began to think about that and how pop culture could be applied to charging and firing sigils.  Continue reading

Servitor Management

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From: Xi O’Teaz
To: zee-list

>>Sentient entities as a general rule will strike out
>>if you try and put them “under control”. Much the
>>same you or i would. The only difference is the
>>mutlipurpose servies have the advantage of access to
>>a whole range of nasty non-physicals.

>thus, my hesitance at making something too ‘multi’ in
>purpose it could get muddled & angry, like me :)
>d bananZa

See, I read about this, but I don’t find that to necessarily be the case. First of all, if you harbour Doubt and Fear and MisTrust in your Own Creation, the chances are good that the servitor may indeed become unruly.

Perhaps I got around these problems with a strong Belief in the following:

I have always treated my servitors as Creations, whose DNA is its Intent; i.e., just as we humans have certain *drives*, e.g., sex, food, water, shelter–“that is what we do”; so too do my servitors perform their functions because “that is what they do”. That’s their purpose, Intent, and Destiny. Part of their Intent is to generally be likeable, agreeable, and protective of me. Thus I generally give them Personalities, and we “talk” (sorta). I call them, and think of them as, my “Friends who take care of things for me” ;-) They take care of things they are good at, and I take care of things I’m good at.

And as far as “servitors getting pissy ‘cuz they’re not getting ‘fed’ enough” theory, I have yet to find that to be the case. But then again, I guess I generally say some sort of “thank you” (energy exchange) whenever a Friend does something for me, but that’s just having good (energy exchange) manners, IMHO.

That being said, I have never had any real problems with a “serfie revolt” or some-such-thing, anymore than any of my physical friends would do such a thing.

But then again, I would never really try and put a friend under “my control” in a slavish manner as is suggested by many a Grimoire and Manual of Magick!

Perhaps the key to the whole “getting along with servitors” thing is to Percieve the servitor relationship from a different Perspective…


3 Coyotes Dancing

Judeo-Christianity and chaos magick

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The chaote is free to adopt any system (s)he so pleases and deconstruct it on whim. It is generally considered taboo for any chaote to develop any sort of personal dogma. I thereby call into question the doctrine of personality and its implications. I posit that the personality is as undefined and arbitrary as “god”, “spirit” and “love”. Since these are left entirely for the individual (or not-so-individual) to interpret as they please or are told, i recommend another approach to the socio-religious status quo, and namely Judeo-Christianity. This approach is encouraged in the interest of originality and inclusion, useful qualities for any chaote.

“Self” remains as undefined as “God”, and is equally arbitrary in definition and significance. Although personality can be defined as the collective character, behavioural, temperamental, emotional, and mental traits of a person, the bases of such – thought and emotion – remain only classifications of experience, not definitions. It is therefore belief only that defines the personality. Time and experience, the fundaments of memory, which is possibly the single most important factor in the development of personality, are not static. It is absurd, then, to assume that the product of such ever-changing conditions should be anything but impermanent and malleable. Personality is little more than a doctrine, a set of beliefs that one has adopted to differentiate their self from others. This dogma is developed around mostly inescapable experiences but is entirely open to re-interpretation as any other belief system.

It is easily argued that originality itself is an illusion. This remains undisputed here. There is nothing new under the sun. However, there is much to be said for deciding one’s own order – or disorder – of reality rather than ignorantly accepting any of the provided options. There is also much to be said for advancing one’s own likes rather than digressing on dislikes. Those who do are usually considered “original”, or at least “strange”, and thus have a particular if illusory claim to uniqueness.

Those who merely criticise and attack what they do not like are unoriginal. They have created nothing; they are merely reacting to what someone else has done. Furthermore, to utterly dismiss any paradigm on the basis of personal preferences is to assume that the personality is absolute. Thus, those who can not or will not at any time adopt any particular view on any topic presuppose two dogmatic truths: 1. Their personality is an absolute truth that cannot change. 2. The particular view in question remains absolutely irreconcilable (does not change) with their personality.

“Nothing is true; all is permitted” (Hassan I Sabbah). This paradoxical credo (that it would remain undisputed is also paradoxical) of the chaote demands that the very self be called into question. Since there is no such thing as a True Self or personality, one is free to explore all that was previously believed unacceptable for whatever reason, and is encouraged to do so. In the context of North Americn (Western) society, this typically results in exploring so-called alternative paths and the occult. However, this is a one-sided approach that excludes a wide variety of options. By ignoring or directly attacking the socio-religious status quo, and namely Judeo-Christianity, one originates nothing but merely reacts to what others have already established, and furthermore confirms unquestioned faith in the doctrine of “self”. In doing so, one remains as equally limited as if bound to meet the requirements of that status quo. This reflects poorly on the very basis of chaoism.

Christians limit themselves by considering their theology the only truth and refusing to explore other faiths and ideas, and are thus considered closed-minded. Likewise chaotes, who suppose a larger degree of freedom in the ability to choose whatever works, invariably limit themselves by refusing any serious inquiry into Christianity. To assume the meta-belief that belief itself is a tool for achieving effects but not allow oneself the option to explore all the tools available is to presuppose a truth (the personality) and incur a specialization that may ultimately hinder the effects desired. Thus inclusiveness becomes a desirable quality for anyone who wishes to maintain as much potential as possible.

Inclusion suggests, indeed, that nothing is true–not even the self. Incorporating Crowley’s Qabalah and Spare’s sigilisation into one’s personal grimoire is no measure of originality; not only is it adopting pre-set formulae with historical credibility, it is appropriating some of the most common occult alternatives to the Judeo-Christian paradigm. Taking on Emperor Haile Selassie I as one’s personal deity while adopting a Sikh mindset and using Islam’s jinns for servitors, on the other hand, could be something original and interesting. Moreover, inventing systems of philosophy and magick that are in no way related to any other system (eg, no astrology, no gematria, no sigils) would seem an ideal exercise for the aspiring chaos magickian. All in all, one should not be so constrained by their doctrine of personality as to explore only that which is obscure or unpopular.

It is therefore in the chaote’s best interest to retain Judeo-Christianity in the catalogue of possibly useful paradigms.

Copyright 2002. saintstephen. Permission to reproduce this article granted under the condition that this copyright notice is included.

Acoustic Sigils

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Music and !0Magic!1

I’ve stumbled on what seems to be an excellent system for creating ACOUSTIC sigils to go along with a respelling of intent. I’m sorry the explanation is a little long and maybe difficult to understand for the musicially uninitiated. Like many things, it’s much easier to put into practice than explain unfortunately.

Before I get into the actual process, I wanted to talk about the importance of instrumentation in “magical” music.

I’m attracted to the trance producing capabilities of music and so have gotten interested in 1) the gamelan music of Indonesia. It’s stated goal is to place the audience in a half-awake half-asleep state. 2)the ecstatic qawali singing of Persian music and 3) the polyrhythms of Africa and therefore Voudou.

What is interesting to me is that gamelan instruments are played in pairs which are roughly a quarter step apart and this creates binaural beats which are in the range of the alpha or theta brainwave frequencies. Also, the gamelan is tuned to a scale that is divided into 10 equal parts instead of the normal 12 of western musical practice. The number 10 has magical correspondences which I will leave up to you to extract. In a related topic, the music of Thailand, with a very similar rhythmic structure and instrumentation to that of gamelan, is in 7 equal steps to the octave which relates to Uranous and 7 headed dragons if you’re into that sort of thing.

The scales used in Persian music are in 24 or 48 equal but have most of the notes tuned to normal notes like the music of India but the Setar (not sitar) has two of it’s strings tuned to C and C1/4sharp producing the binaural beats again. The setar is the preferred instrument of Sufi mystics!

African music for ritual and worship is always polyrhythmic in a western conceived measure of 4/4 played simultaneously with another measure in 12/8. The 12/8 polyrhythm is characteristic of all voudou drumming. Another interesting facet is that in Africa, the Amadindas xylophone is tuned to a scale of 5 equal steps. When creating rhythms and melodies on a wheel as I’m about to show you, it makes a PENTAGRAM! for the Paganly inclined. This is just a subset of the 10 equal of gamelan music. The 5 equal tones to the octave from Africa are what gave rise to the “blue” notes in blues music when African slaves were deprived of their native instruments and had to adapt to the idiosyncrasies of an instrument like the guitar.

Having music in “weird” tunings separates it from the music of mere mortals and adds to its potency in magical work. So, I have started combining these elements to produce the ritual music I’m looking for.

The music I come up with is not difficult to play but requires at least 2 people to get increased efficacy out of but preferably 4 people should be used and ideally 8. However, 1 person playing in 12/8 is enough to throw something unusual into the music because we’re so used to hearing and playing music in 4/4 or 3/4.

When creating a statement of desire, I use the method of first eliminating any repeat letters to create a “mantra” which has no recognizable similarity to the original statement. It’s important that it have at least 2-6 consonants because these will end up as rhythmic events. This is what “well-formed rhythms” have every 5 seconds which roughly equals about the span of one measure. Another interesting aside is that Masks of Alaskan shamanism are always distorted to show the “magical” source of the spirits they’re fashioned after, so there is a historical justification for this method of distorting the magical tool prior to that of Osman Spare.

Anyway, I will eliminate the vowels as well and like to add my own again later to create the “mantra.” If eliminating letters reduces the mantra too much then it’s not necessary to do it and the substitute method of only eliminating the vowels is used. If either method leaves you feeling that the word is still too recognizable then a method of extrapolating permutations is used. So, if the statement of intent is, “I want to love myself better. This is simplified to “I love myself” and the vowels removed with the result “lvmslf.” This has a duplicate letter “l” so I eliminate the second one. I like to reinterject the vowel “a” with the result “lavamasafa.” For me, this is staisfactorily unrecognizeable but if you didn’t think so then you could take lvmsf and rearrange them putting every other letter on a different side such as lmf/vs. This results in lamafavasa. If your mantra is longer than 6 consonants then you can use both methods and do anything else you have to do to make it come down to 6. I’ll use the first one which goes lavamasafa because I was happy with it.

Now draw a circle and mark the quarters and cross quarters. This represents both the diatonic melody and also the rhythm in 4/4. For ease of reference I’ll use the C major scale but any mode of this scale or Persian scales such as Rast or Indian Ragam could be used instead which have microtonally flat scale degrees, as long as it has 7 notes to the scale and the includes the octave. This will also work for the Thai tuning.

The point at the top is the notes “C.” The next note going clockwise around the circle is “D.” The one after that is “E” etc… all the way around until you get to the 8th position which represents the “C” an octave above.

Now, I write the alphabet around the circle starting at the top with “A” going clockwise around. Next, I look for the correspondences between the alphabet and the notes of the scale. The mantra is lavamasafa so the first LETTER I’m looking for is “L.” When I find it I see that it corresponds to the NOTE “F.” The next letter is “V,” since I’m avoiding all the vowels, which corresponds to the note “A.” I draw a line from the “F” on the circumference cutting across the circle to the note “A.” The matrix created by the note/letter correspondences also produces the SIGIL! by drawing a line from note to note Cool!!! Another side comment is that advertisers for products like Marlboro cigarettes know there are gender differences in logo attractiveness. Designs with sharp points, like this method creates, are likely to appeal more to a males unconscious and not as well to females, at least the ones living in North America.

After you’ve plotted the whole thing you’ve got the order the notes should be played in and only PART of your sigil because you will have to create the rhythm for the 12/8 cycle to superimpose over this one in order to create a polyrhythm.

You’ll be happy to hear that the rhythm for the 4/4 portion is already contained in the design of the sigil. The notes “C” of the scale is also the first beat in the measure if you now treat the circumference of the circle as a rhythmic matrix instead of a melodic one as we have been doing up to now. This sigil shows that its rhythm has NO events on the first and second eighth notes but DOES have events on the next four. We are finished creating the rhythm for the part which is in 4/4.

Before we go on to the 12/8 portion, we can place the notes of the melody in the linear form of the rhythm i.e standard music notation. So, not only is the rhythm the first drum part, it is also the rhythm for the melody associated with it.

In this case we have one note left over which doesn’t fit onto the rhythm so I alternate playing it and not playing it to help create a little variety.

The melody should be played on gamelan instruments, Thai instruments or Setar. Or, if you’re capable, sung, as the voice is the preferred instrument for communicating intent in Shamanism.

A 12 string guitar can also be adapted to play binaural beats by detuning the sets of double strings by a 1/4 step, Persian musicians outside of Turkey usually tune to 1/8 steps and this still corresponds to acceptable brainwave frequencies for magical use. Or two instrumentalists can play purposefully out of tune a bit on western instruments of any kind in a pinch.

African music also has a pattern played on bell(cowbell, agogo or otherwise) which I derive by rhythmic diminution of the part I already have. In laymans terms it means to play one part twice as fast as the drum part on an obnoxious bell, if you’re into traditional African music, or on a shaker or rattle if you’re crossing over into shamanism.

The Shaman often holds the rattle close to his head because the random, multiple strikes occuring inside the rattle also affects brainwaves placing himself into a magical state or if you shake it above a patient, putting them into the alpha “healing” frequency.

Next we create the melodic and rhythmic patterns in 12/8 the same way we made the ones in 4/4 except we make a new circle marking the quarters but this time we don’t mark the cross quarters and instead ultimately have 12 stations on the circumference of the circle.

Plot the alphabet around the circle and draw the sigil based on the letter associations from the statement of intent.

If you wish to derive a melody from this, the most natural way is from the chromatic scale which has 12 notes or you can devise some other scheme.

Again, the station at the top of the circle is the first beat of the “measure.” This word is in parenthesis because African musicians don’t conceive of their music in measures or of even having a downbeat. Anyway, rhythmic events are known because of where the sigil makes tangents with the circle.

Most rhythm around the world is additive and not necessarily divided exactly in half as is western music. It’s easier to play in 12/8 if you think of it as 3+3+3+3. This rhythm has a rhythmic event on the first beat in the first group of three. An event on the last beat in the second group of three. On the first beat in the third group of three. And on the first and last in the second group of three.

I forgot to mention that the kind of repetetive music which sigilization constructs is very similar to avante guarde music and the music of John Cage who is mentioned on some of the Chaos “magic” websites I’ve seen. I forgot to mention previously that instruments can be acquired or made inexpensively or free. A gamelan metallophone/xylophone can be constructed out of electrical conduit and a pipe cutter or out of discarded wood. Just experiment with the lengths until you get the right pitches providing a whole range of tuning possibilities very cheaply. 5 gallon plastic water bottles make great drums and the small ones also work well as a kind of bongo. Anything can be used really such as foot stomping or an upturned garbage can. Salt shakers or toothpick vials make nice shakers. Different lengths of ABS pipe with end caps make stamping tubes which can function as a drum part producing different pitches. In Cuba a brake “drum” taken from a car is often used which can function as the bell of African music in this context. I use big circular saw blades as gongs since they are prominent in the rhythmic structure of gamelan music playing on every fourth beat with the lowest pitched gong playing before everyone begins and as the last stroke of a piece of music. A fretless instrument like a guitar or violin can be made from some wire, a broom handle and a coffee can for a resonator/body. Use two strands of wire and tune them a quarter step apart. Use coloured tape to indicate different places where to put your fingers. Mapping out The Thai tuning, gamelan tuning and standard scale steps or whatever is your preference. If you want to play it like a violin or cello, a bow can be made from a dowel and any piece of fabric that you can put dried tree sap on.

If anyone wants to post this on their personal website has my permission.

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