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 Carroll
Liber 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. Continue reading
Abraxas, Issue One, Autumn Equinox 2009, edited by Robert Ansell and Christina Oakley Harrington
Fulgur, 128 pp., 2009
Abraxas isn’t just “An International Journal of Esoteric Studies”, this first issue is also an art book. At 290mm x 232mm it’s a large quarto, beautifully bound, and printed on high quality paper, including a handtipped sheet. Richly coloured paintings are beautifully reproduced, along with many lovely illustrations in monochrome. And then there’s the text.
This first issue focuses largely on witchcraft, and while I can’t detail every essay that appears, I would like to highlight several that I felt stood out in this already exceptional collection.
Stephen Grasso’s piece “Skip Witches, Hop Toads”, illuminates Continue reading
The Four Powers, by Nicholas Graham
Megalithica, an imprint of Immanion Press, 1905713045, 128 pp. (incl. appendices, glossary, annotated bibliography), 2006
The Four Powers was written as the book Graham wished he’d had to accompany him on his first forays into magick as a young adult. As such, following a forward by Lupa (an early magickal co-conspirator and author of Fang and Fur, Blood and Bone, also published with Immanion Press), a note to parents is included. It seems unlikely a parent would buy this book for their teen, flip through it and find this message addressed to hir, though it’s a nice gesture. Continue reading
“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 Continue reading