Prime Chaos: Adventures in Chaos Magic, by Phil Hine
New Falcon, 1561841374, 240 pp. (incl. recommended reading), 1993
Herein contained the reader will find much excellent advice for beginners and those more experienced regarding preset beliefs approaches to magick which can often limit one’s abilities to perceive and participate in the world. Hine notes the need for constantly moving forward, to continue that sense of magickal progress that is so important to magickal work, for the magickian to “mutate and survive”.1
As is common with most books on magick, a brief history of magico-spiritual and social thought is outlined, but he also stresses the importance of personal experience over merely following what others believe, writing that “magical learning is not just about taking in ‘facts’ which someone else provides, in the form of a book, for example. One needs to actively experiment and work with magical information, in order for it to become personally meaningful.”2
He notes that ritual can be more than the psycho-drama, a la Anton LeVay: “For me, the crux of the matter is that ritual magic is fun. Moreover, ritual magic is a skill. A magical ritual is more than the sum of its parts. Ritual has elements of performance, and its own psychology…Ritual can be broken down into the arrangement of sensory cues, voice techniques, gesture, visualization, movement, symbolism, role-shifting, and trance induction, yet it is more than any of this. Unaccountably, rituals, when performed, create an atmosphere – a space – in which something mysterious and wonderful may happen. If nothing else, ritual demonstrates how little we know of our potential, of ourselves, and the world through which we move”.3
Several examples of ritual invocation are to be found, with a detailed explanation of the three parts of invocation.4 Hine discusses Crowley’s approach to devotional magick5 and what it can entail. There is a large section devoted to group magick, and explains why it is an essential part of experience and progression. Also talks about the role of the teacher and how to go about teaching and instructing those who desire it.
Prime Chaos is notably more influenced by Crowley, with numerous references to his works and ideas. Hine also details four models of magick which are reminiscent of S.S.O.T.M.B.E. Indeed, his suggested list for further reading seems more branched out than Condensed Chaos. In Prime Chaos is more advanced and Phil Hine comes across as more mature in his writing, voice and style. Whereas Condensed Chaos was a ‘should read’, Prime Chaos is a ‘must read’ for the novice and experienced.