The second of a two part series on Eris, Greek goddess of chaos and disorder. Here we explore Her divine nature as portrayed in Discordianism.
Discordianism is a rather new religion, begun in the late 1950s, which can best be described as a religion disguised as a joke disguised as a religion disguised as a joke…ad nauseum. Its founding text is the Principia Discordia, a mad collection of both typed and handwritten text, cut and paste quotes, images, drawings, rubber stamps, and genuine insight, the authors of which are Malaclypse the Younger and Omar Khayyam Ravenhurst. Omar Ravenhurst was an alias of Kerry Thornley, but while Malaclypse’s identity remains under speculation, he is widely believed to be Greg Hill.
Its matron goddess is Eris, goddess of chaos and disorder. She’s portrayed rather malevolently in some Greco-Roman myths, but Discordians see Her in a softer light, while still revelling in the mischief and disharmony She brings.
Discordianism’s underlying doctrines resemble Catholicism turned on its head, with a healthy dose of Paganism infused with an absurd amount of drugs. To quote Kerry Thornley in his introduction to the fifth edition: “If organized religion is the opium of the masses, then disorganized religion is the marijuana of the lunatic fringe.”
There are a few core concepts in Discordianism, such as the existence of Discordian Popes. The Principia gives a template for Pope Cards, which explain that “Every man, woman and child on this Earth is a genuine and authorized Pope”, and recommend the bearer be treated right.
POEE, the Paratheo-Anametamystikhood of Eris Esoteric, is a non-prophet irreligious disorganization described as “a tribe of philosophers, theologians, magicians, scientists, artists, clowns, and similar maniacs who are intrigued by Eris, goddess of confusion, and her doings”.
The Sacred Chao one of the more popular symbols of Discordianism resembling the yin and yang symbol of Taoism, but as the Principia explains, “The Sacred Chao is not the Yin-Yang of the Taoists. It is the HODGE-PODGE of the Erisians.” It further elucidates “…instead of a Podge spot on the Hodge side, it has a PENTAGON which symbolizes the ANERISTIC PRINCIPLE, and instead of a Hodge spot on the Podge side, it depicts the GOLDEN APPLE OF DISCORDIA to symbolize the ERISTIC PRINCIPLE. The Sacred Chao symbolizes absolutely everything anyone need ever know about absolutely anything, and more! It even symbolizes everything not worth knowing, depicted by the empty space surrounding the Hodge-Podge.”
The Law of Fives states that “ALL THINGS HAPPEN IN FIVES, OR ARE DIVISIBLE BY OR ARE MULTIPLES OF FIVE, OR ARE SOMEHOW DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY APPROPRIATE TO 5.” Five being a number of chaos, the disruption of four, traditionally seen as a stable number representing order. This, coupled with William Burroughs’ obsession with the number twenty-three, which many Discordians discover through the works of Robert Anton Wilson, a well known Discordian author, has given rise to Discordia Day, on the twenty-third of May, the fifth month. Discordia Day is recognized as a day to celebrate Eris and Discordianism, getting into mischief and having a laugh.
Eris is worked with in a lighthearted manner, Her penchant for disrupting the norm is celebrated with mischievous glee, and all works of chaos are Her works.
Rejoice in the sight of a messy room, laugh in a traffic jam, and celebrate divine disruption with joy. Hail Eris!
- Malaclypse the Younger and Ravenhurst, Omar Khayyam. Principia Discordia. IllumiNet Press: Lilburn, 1991.
For more, you can check out the entire Principia Discordia online at http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~tilt/principia/. Also recommended: The Illuminatus! Trilogy, a novel by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson.
First published on Suite101.com on 29 May 2006. (Unfortunately.)
-><- -><- -><- -><- -><- -><- -><- -><- -><- -><- -><- -><- -><- The Principles of Discordian Magick - A Very Loose Discussion A document to be included in the forthcoming _Confunomicon_ by Lord Falgan, F.M., K.S.C. Novus Ordo Seclorum Erisium -><- -><- -><- -><- -><- -><- -><- -><- -><- -><- -><- -><- -><-
…dedicated to The Prettiest One…
Okay, this is a discussion on magick, eh? Whoa, like, conjuring demons, throwing hexes, and predicting the futunre? Manipulation of the Hodge/Podge to TOTAL WORLD DOMINATION?! No. First off, any demons that might be around aren’t gonna waste time with Discordians (they’re after the Greyfaced Religions, ’cause the guilt they can lay on them…). Throwing hexes is painful, and bad for the joints. And if you are worried about the future, and world domination, then you have no business trying out magick anyway. So, like, what is Discordian magick, eh? Okay, Discordian Magick is a way in which the Discordian practicing it (called a Phool) to either add to or create Eristic Vibes or to deflect or destroy Aneristic Vibes.
Vibes: Psycho-emotional energy given off be humans and other creatures.
Eristic: Pertaining to Eris; pertaining to chaos in general.
Aneristic: Against Eris; pertaining to order in general.
Phool: one who is aware of the presence an actions of Vibes and uses Discordian Magick to manipulate the same
Face: An aspect of Discordian Magick; the category of magick
Nature: The end-product of Discordian Magick
Hodge: The pseudo-Zen force of Order in the world
Podge: The pseudo-Zen force of Chaos in the world
The Doctrine: things have a tendency to work out ok in the end
Ju-Ju: The “aftershocks” of Discordian Magick; the long-term effects.
The Sacred Chao: The image of the Hodge and Podge.
Greyface: One who unconsciously generates Aneristic Vibes.
THEM: A group who consciously generates Aneristic Vibes; Phools gone Greyface.
Discordian: One who unconsciously generates Eristic Vibes.
Norm: A normal, vibe-unaware, guy-on-the-street. Typically Aneristic, due to the great amount of ambient Aneristic Vibes in the world.
Vibes: what they be.
Okay, vibes are like energy which is given off by all creatures. You may know of Vril or Kirlian Aura or Alpha Waves or some other nonsense. Vibes may or may not be them, its really not important. What IS important is that they exist, and if they exist, then they can be manipulated and created and destroyed. (Destroying waves can be bad Ju-ju. Be careful.) How do we know vibes are there? Because, if you open up, you can feel them. You’re being hit by them all the time, just most people aren’t aware of them. Next time someone is being extremely chaotic, notice how that person’s actions and presence affect you… the same for someone being extremely ordered. Sometimes, the vibes can change your mood, your attitude, even y our health. So, now that I know the vibes are there, what can I do with them? Okay, eh? So, there are two basic kinds of vibes: Eristic and Aneristic. Eristic Vibes are pulses of chaotic energy, while Aneristic Vibes are pulses of ordered energy… this means the fundamental concepts of chaos and order, not the waves themselves. (I.E. if vibes have a structure, both Eristic and Aneristic probably have the same structure. It is the kind of energy which differs, not the structure.)Eristic Vibes USUALLY cause Chaos, Discord and Confusion (the first three Faces (q.v.)) and Aneristic Vibes USUALLY cause Beurocracy and Aftermath (the last two Faces). I say USUALLY because, like most things, there are several occasions when the five will cross over. A Phool must learn to appreciate the spinning of the Chao, and the counter-push-pull of the Hodge and Podge, and learn when Eristic Vibes are needed, and when Aneristic Vibes are needed. As a very general rule, the world needs more Eristic Vibes… there are far more Greyfaces in the world than there are Discordians.
Okay, eh, Discordian Magick is not exempt from the Law of Fives. There are five facets to Discordian Magic, just like the five faces of a pentagon. Ergo, to keep in line with this analogy, these aspects of magick have been termed “Faces”. The 5 Faces are, naturally: Chaos, Discord, Confusion, Bureaucracy, and Aftermath.
# Aftermath # # Chaos # # # # # # # # Bureaucracy # # Discord # # # # # # # Confusion
When a Phool manipulates Vibes, the method in which the Vibes are manipulated is defined by the Face.
Some brief explanations:
Chaos: Vibes manipulated within the Face of Chaos, generally speaking, are designed simply to increase the amount of Eristic Energy in the area. Chaos magick is specifically unorganized, and often purposeless. It is used to change mood, tone, and is also a way to banish Greyfaces.
Discord: Vibes manipulated within the Face of Discord are deigned to affect large numbers of Norms, and sometimes Greyfaces. It is the second most destructive form of magick, and requires care in its use. It causes Norms to act in ways they would not normally, often for reasons they do not fully comprehend.
Confusion: The most common form of magick, Vibes manipulated within the Face of Confusion is a Discordians primary weapon against Anerism. It is a subtle form of magick, designed to gradually wean norms and Greyfaces from their hopeless addiction to Aneristic Vibes.
Beurocracy: Vibes manipulated within the Face of Beurocracy must be treated with care, as they can easily slip into Aneristic ones instead of Eristic. Bureaucratic Magick is designed to affect a large number of Norms into unconsciously succumbing to Eristic Influence. When used especially well, this form of magick is particularly effective against Greyfaces, as they may not even know that they are being manipulated.
Aftermath: Vibes manipulated within the Face of Aftermath are the most dangerous tool a Phool can use. They are by far the most destructive, and involve a permanent destruction of Vibes, and a ceasing of the Spinning of the Chao. Aftermath Magick is serious stuff. It means a closing and a termination of Energy. Don’t use this stuff unless you’re, like, really sure of yourself and are prepared to accept responsibility for the Ju-Ju you may cause.
The Nature of Magick is not really an integral part of the Magick, but it helps the Phool to classify the effect his magick will have on the world. There are many natures, but some of the basic ones are:Creative: Designed to create ambient vibes. Usually called “Eristic Creative” or “Aneristic Creative”.
Destructive: As Creative, but designed to destroy the vibes in question.
Anti-Greyface: Countering Aneristic attacks by Greyfaces, or planting seeds of Chaos in their subconscious.
Personal: Magick designed to alter the Phool’s own moods, feelings, and attitudes. Helps recover from Aneristic attacks.
Ritual: The ritual is a means of simply causing Ju-Ju. It rarely has immediate effects, but when done, the Vibe Ju-Ju will cause long- term effects which the Phool may desire.
Oracle: A means of “seeing t he future”… not really, but what it does is open the Phool’s mind to ideas which may indeed affect the future.
This has been a very basic introduction into the theories and practice of Discordian Magick. It has been presented in hoped of laying a groundwork for further study and explanation in the upcoming work The Confunomicon. If there are any who would like to share their observations, make comments or suggestions, or offer to publish the book, I will be at the listed space/time hodge/podge locale until May 1, 1991:
Lord Falgan, F.M., K.S.C.
Pineal Research Lab
Mu Cabal, Novus Ordo Seclorum Erisium
5210 16th Ave NE
Seattle, WA, 98105
USA, Earth, Galactic Quad: ZZ92ZA
All Hail Discordia!
(K) 3175 Cabaletta Texts- All Rites Reversed,
Reprint what you like… but please credit me, fnord?