There are some books that are required
reading for the dedicated student, and this list represents my top five books dedicated to chaos magick - books that defined chaos magick as a distinct field of study and practice.1. Liber Null & Psychonaut: An Introduction to Chaos Magic, by Peter CarrollLiber Null
, first published in the late 1970s by Ray Sherwin, is the handbook for the Illuminates of Thanteros, the first group dedicated to chaos magick. The IOT was conceived of as a new kind of order based on meritocracy, and Liber Null
serves as an introductory text to what was then a new approach to magickal practice.New Falcon published Liber Null and Psychonaut
together in 1987. Psychonaut
expands upon themes raised in Liber Null
, and contains the much maligned pseudo-scientific approach to catastrophe theory, but it does have its moments, defining and reframing magickal theories for a new generation of occultists. Read More
Infernal Texts: Nox and Liber Koth, edited by Stephen Sennitt New Falcon Publications, 1561842346, 118 (incl. recommended reading), 1997, 1998, 2004Liber Koth
and Nox: The Black Book
were originally published separately in 1997 and 1998 respectively, by Logos Press.Nox
is an anthology of twenty-two essays and articles previously published in Sennitt's magazine of the same name written by various chaos and black magickians. Primarily consisting of the rites and theories of the Order of Nine Angels, Nox
draws heavily on the Golden Dawn, Aleister Crowley, the OTO, and H P Lovecraft for inspiration; often "correcting" their views, Lovecraft in particular (apparently forgetting that he wrote fiction). Read More
The Lovecraft Lexicon: A Reader's Guide to Persons, Places and Things in the Tales of H.P. Lovecraft, by Anthony B. Pearsall New Falcon Publications, 1561841293, 472 pp. (incl. appendix), 2005
Lovecraft invented so many creatures and places, for a new reader approaching his works for the first time, keeping them straight could seem overwhelming. The Lovecraft Lexicon
aims to aid the reader by providing a useful guide to his creations: people, places, things, and, of course, Things. It's a neat idea, and it works. Read More
The Pseudonomicon, by Phil Hine New Falcon Publications, 1561841951, 64 pp. (incl. bibliography), 1996, 2004
This slim tome offers a living example of an approach to Lovecraftian magick and working with and within the Cthulhu Mythos.Though it has its basis in fiction, the Cthulhu Mythos remains appealing not despite unfilled gaps, but because of them, as Hine notes. There remains some sense of otherness, mystery and even danger to the Mythos which is alluring and indeed devilishly attractive to those put off by the softer side of worship and magickA true chaote, Hine states that he "cannot really see the point of magical approach which does not, at some point, risk derangement" (pg 48). Invoking Cthulhu surely invites madness, and therein lies great power, a concept many shamans would be familiar with. Yet insanity remains the last taboo. Read More
Cthuloid Dreams: A Collection of Occult Poetry, by DJ Lawrence
Chaosmagic.com, 115 pp., 2004
Inspired and influenced by the Discordianism, Lovecraft mythos and Setianism, DJ Lawrence has compiled a collection of poetry gathered over the years.
Often lyrical with delightful turns of phrase, Lawrence seems taken with decidedly darker themes, with titles such as ‘Bitter’, ‘Set’, ‘Death’, ‘Necronomicon’, and of course, the title-poem ‘Cthuloid Dreams’.
This is a neat collection of more than sixty short poems, whose evocative imagery would lend itself well to inclusion in darker themed rites.
Cthuloid Dreams can be purchased exclusively from Chaosmagic.com’s online store.
The Chaos Cookbook, edited by DJ Lawrence Chaosmagic.com, 221 pp. (incl. bibliography), 2004The Chaos Cookbook
is a result of the combined effort of the Dead Chaoists’ Society, edited by its founder, Dead Jellyfish. It’s an interesting assortment of brief essays and ready-made group and solitary rituals for a variety of occasions.Chaos magick theory is only briefly touched upon in a few short essays at the start of the book, as a brief introduction as to what is to come. Indeed, chaos magick itself is only ever loosely defined; Lawrence states that '…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'. Read More