What is chaos magick?

Red hand, photo by fathomfive

“Nothing is true; everything is permitted.”
– Hassan I Sabbah

“I tell you: one must have chaos in one, to give birth to a dancing star. I tell you: you still have chaos in you.”
– Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra

“…if you want a one-line definition with which most Chaoists would probably not disagree, then I offer the following. Chaoists usually accept the meta-belief that belief is a tool for achieving effects; it is not an end in itself.”
– Peter Carroll, January, 1992

“Chaos is not in itself, a system or philosophy. It is rather an attitude that one applies to one’s magic and philosophy. It is the basis for all magic, as it is the primal creative force. A Chaos Magician learns a variety of magical techniques, usually as many as s/he can gain access to, but sees beyond the systems and dogmas to the physics behind the magical force and uses whatever methods are appealing to him/herself.”
– Mark Chao, “Defining Chaos

“The Chaos Magician seeks to understand the natural laws behind the workings of magic, and the reasons behind the use of ritual in the performance of a magical working.”
– Jaq D. Hawkins, Understanding Chaos Magic1

“Chaos Magick is an extraordinary deconstruction of magick, semantics, and psychology designed to eradicate consensual belief structures and, using the energy freed by this act, glimpse the fractal contours of reality.”
– Marik

“Chaos Magick is in essence shamanism devoid of culture.”
– The Heretic Heathen, on alt.magick.chaos

“Chaos can be beautiful and good. Order can be dangerous and evil. As any carpenter will tell you, some tools are dangerous. Dangerous tools are safest when properly sharpened, and used by experts. You get to be an expert by practicing your sharpening skills, not by hacking away…”
– alt.magick.chaos FAQ V 1.00

“There’s basically two kinds of magick. There’s puff’s magick, and git ‘ard Magick. Chaos is git ‘ard Magick.”
– Mick McMagus, Leeds, 1987

“Rather than trying to recover and maintain a tradition that links back to the past (and former glories), Chaos Magick is an approach that enables the individual to use anything that s/he thinks is suitable as a temporary belief or symbol system. What matters is the results you get, not the ‘authenticity’ of the system used. So Chaos Magic then, is not a system – it utilises systems and encourages adherents to devise their own, giving magic a truly Postmodernist flavour.”
– Phil Hine, Condensed Chaos2

“Much of what passes for magical theory is, at root, a matter of belief. As such, it is more relevant to the successful outcome of the magician’s spell that he has some degree of belief in what he is doing. Moreover, whereas scientific theories are based (at least so we are told by scientists) on mathematical proofs, magical theories are rooted in personal beliefs of whoever is expounding them. Where as scientific theories at least have the appearance of being unified and consistent, magical theories do not, nor is it a requirement, from the position of practical magic, that they do.

“Henceforth, whilst there are a great many theories and models proposed as to how, or why, magic works (based on subtle energies, animal magnetism, psychological concepts, quantum theory, mathematics or the so-called anthropomorphic principle) it is not a case that one of them is more ‘true’ than others, but a case of which theory or model you choose to believe in, or which theory you find most attractive. Indeed, from a Chaos Magic perspective, you can selectively believe that a particular theory or model of magical action is true only for the duration of a particular ritual or phase of work.”
– Phil Hine, Prime Chaos3

“Chaos comes before all principles of order & entropy, it’s neither a god nor a maggot, its idiotic desires encompass & define every possible choreography, all meaningless aethers & phlogistons, its masks are crystallizations of its own facenessness, like clouds…Chaos never died.”
– Hakim Bey, “Chaos” in T.A.Z.4

“Chaos Magic is about actualising the will in the real world, rather than attaining ever more colourful dreams in imaginary higher states.”
– Steve Wilson, Chaos Ritual

“Chaos Magick does not use a concrete theoretical focus, the emphasis in Chaos Magick is on the Doing rather than the Explaining…Thus, in Chaos Magick a system of belief is a means to an end and is not an answer to the mystery of Life, the Universe and everything.”
– D. J. Lawrence, The Chaos Cookbook

“…I think the magician is sort of adversarial by nature. Brash and arrogant at the least, to acknowledge that there is a pattern and to also say “I can do better”.”
– Fra. Samuel 23, of ChaosCurrent.com

“…Chaos magick should be all about ‘getting out there and doing it’. Sometimes it is also all about thinking about how to do it, and thus creatively inventing marvellous and sometimes scary new ways of how to do it. And then damn well doing it!”
– Francis Breakspear, Kaostar!5

Image credit: fathomfive

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...Footnotes:
  1. Read the review of Understanding Chaos Magic. []
  2. Read the review of Condensed Chaos. []
  3. Read the review of Prime Chaos. []
  4. Read the review of T.A.Z. []
  5. Read the review of Kaostar! []
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Spiral Nature is an online magazine dedicated to alternative spiritualities, and practical magick. We've been exploring occulture since 2000. Follow Spiral Nature on Facebook, , Pinterest, Tumblr, and Twitter.
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