What is Chaos Magick?

Chaos Magick. I don’t know about you but I find that life is chaos and I’ve learned to love it.

It wasn’t always that way, though. I tried very hard, like most people do, to control all the aspects of my life. I tried to possess things – people, money, random shit that you can buy at the store – and it amounted to nothing but constant disappointment and sadness. I’ve developed a pretty bad anxiety and depression disorder thanks to that and my time in the military (another attempt at order.)

Then I found Grant Morrison.

It’s not a secret that I’m a comic book fanboy and have relegated most of my brain space for useless trivia and facts about comic books. A significant portion of that space is set aside for a few creators that I just absolutely love. One of those creators is Grant Morrison.

Mr. Morrison has written literally every kind of comic book story that is out there. I say literally figuratively because I’m confusing as fuck and it sounds more impressive. Seriously, he’s written spandex-clad heroes and villains, psychonaut travelers, strange fictions, and even some non-fiction.

It wasn’t until a few years ago that learned he was into something called chaos magick. Being a hopeful writer of comics, I took a lot of interest in this. I began to study his ways which led to deeper study until very recently when it all just clicked. He was on to something. The world, the universe, was chaos and we could manipulate it. Not control it but manipulate it.

He turned me into a chaote, a Mage, an agent of Chaos.

I’m going to be absolutely honest here…you’re probably going to think I’m a fucking nutjob after reading this post if you didn’t think so already.

Don’t worry about that, though…I can assure you that I am whackerdoodles. In fact, we’re all a bit fucking crazy, yeah? There are roughly 3,000 or so deities currently being worshiped around the world right now. Every single individual has a different personal belief system overlaying the organized belief system in which they profess to follow. Every single one of them believes themselves to be right and justified in their belief system. Even in organized settings, each individual thinks something a bit differently than their peers. It is an attempt to explain the thunder from the heavens, to enact the illusion of order where there is none, to invite entropy into your life so that the universe becomes smaller and more manageable. Belief is about control.

There is power in belief and, yes, even power in the belief of whatever god you worship or lay claim to worship. That power rests solely inside of the believer, though. I give two shits if Jesus Christ came down from the heavens at this very moment and tried to strike me dead, it would not work. I don’t believe in the power of that deity. I don’t infuse it with the source of my own power. It is powerless in my version of the universe.

I don’t profess to have special knowledge of the universe. I don’t think I’m psychic or have gifts that any other person couldn’t use. I’m neither a mutant nor a superhuman of any kind. I am, however, a believer in chaos as a universal constant as opposed to the orderly constructs we try to superimpose on the universe. Chaos is natural, if not desired. It’s the way the operating system works and when you embrace that you gain power you never knew was there because you learn and finally understand one of the most powerful secrets any philosopher has ever come up with…

Nothing is true. Everything is permitted.

Never has a series of words struck me as hard as these. I love words and I truly believe they have power. How many times have you read a book or a story and been driven to cry or laugh or be sad? That’s power.

“Nothing is true.” While we believe that things in our perception of the world are true, they’re not. Matter exists but isn’t as solid as we like to think. Again, it depends on perception. If you were an atom, traveling the space between the brain and the foot of a human would be much like us traveling light years across space to another planet. There is so much space in this reality it’s insane. That space exists both within and outside of you. Fundamentally, you are being tricked by conditioning and your own ego to believe that you are real when, in fact, you are simply a thought given form.

“Everything is permitted.” Once you’ve realized how unreal everything is, then you have power. Then you are no longer constrained by the universe or the ego. You’re free and with that freedom, you can grow. With that freedom, you can change your universe.

The learny bits…

I’m going to go over some very basic tenets of chaos magick. I’m not writing anything new here at all (with the exception of my witty side comments.) I’m not trying to remake the wheel or a toaster oven or a number 2 lead pencil. I’m not trying to be your guru or anything else. I’m just throwing shit at the wall and hoping it sticks to be honest. You know…chaos. So, here goes.

“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

The first thing you need in order to become a chaote is that dogma is out the window. Dogma is limitation, unnatural order imposed on the chaos, and it will stop you from doing just about everything if you hold on to it.

The second thing you need to embrace is experimentation. You need to find YOUR path to travel. Nothing is out of the question here. You can try drugs, sex, rock-n-roll…you name it. Any of these things might lead you down the path.

Third, neglect is not allowed if you want to be successful in your endeavors. You must practice, you must push through. Doors don’t open for those who are not willing to tear them down.

Fourth, deconditioning is paramount. The world has done a number on you since day one. They’ve attempted to put you in your place and keep you there to be a happy little drone. They’ve done everything they can to impose their culture on you. It’s time to be free of that if you want to be a chaote. This is your universe.

Fifth, and perhaps most important, you must achieve a trance state of altered consciousness. Not permanently of course, but you must be able to reach out into the universe so that it can reach into you and turn a key. There are many ways to do that. Again, it’s up to you on how to do it. Refer to the experimentation portion.

I’m diving deep into the occult.

This is scary to a lot of what I call the “norms.” That is to say, the normal people who subscribe to a limited set of beliefs or who simply refuse any sort of spirituality outright. People look at me very strange indeed when I don’t deny the power of magick or the results it has produced for me. Some think I’m joking and laugh at my statements. Many are terrified that I’ve become one with some evil force due to their brainwashing by the three most powerful religious sects in the world. The truth, however, is far less insidious. I’ve opened my mind to the possibilities that the universe offers us all, the answers that neither religion nor science can offer. I have become a chaote, a chaos magician, bound by no dogma, fettered by no arbitrary rule system. That terrifies people, as the unknown always has since the dawn of human consciousness. I’m 100% okay with this.

Chaos is another name for opportunity.
In adversity, it furthers one to be persevering.
Chaos is inherent in all compounded things.
Before the beginning of great brilliance, there must be chaos.

Chaos Magick: A Theory

I will preface this theory with a few facts:

  • I am no guru. For the longest time, I’ve questioned the nature of things. Since I was a child, I’ve looked upon the world and wanted to know what made it tick. Many people do this only to concede to the perceived reality that they are told is “real,” to validate that which is easiest for them to embrace. I have never acquiesced to the assumption that one book, one ideology, one religion, one spiritual movement can cover all the bases. As such, while I believe I may be on to something here, I don’t pretend some sort of authority on the matters. I’m just an eternal seeker looking to better myself.
  • Perception and belief are the underlying truth of all things. What you perceive is your reality, no matter what others may tell you. What you believe is your driving force. Your eyes look out on the world and see a very different place than the one my eyes see.
  • There are things in this reality, and all other realities for that matter, that defy logic. A funny thing happens when you think you’ve pinned down the truth…the page turns and the story continues to unfold.
  • As cliche as it may seem to many in the know, Hassan I Sabbah’s mantra of nothing is true, everything is permitted, feels like a universal constant once one accepts it. Knowing that you know nothing yet you have the power to achieve great things presents oneself with an enormous amount of freedom that you can find nowhere else.

What exactly is chaos magick?

Chaos magick, in a nutshell, is using belief as a tool to affect the way the underlying operating system of reality works. I have heard it compared to everything from the Law of Attraction to Wiccan magic to Hermeticism and everything in between. In truth, my truth in the least, I see it as all of these things and none of these things. There are no rules, there is simply function. There are no practices, there are merely various techniques. It is both real and unreal. It is the duality that permeates our existence. The outward facing persona and the shadow within us all. In short, it can only be defined on a personal level even though it makes up the fabric of all realities.

On to the theory…

I feel that it is a popular school of thought that chaos is bad and order is good. Chaos represents all the things which we wish to control but can’t. Order represents all the things that we have taken mastery over. Chaos is seen as destruction, disorder, confusion. Order is looked upon as command, direction, knowing. People prefer order over chaos simply because our minds have been trained to accept that this is the natural order of things. Even the way that pragmatic thought is structured, the natural order of things, lends credence that this is the right and good way to act in regards to life, the universe, and everything. If one does not live in an orderly manner then one will never succeed.

But what if that isn’t so?

I believe that chaos energy was what the formless void that existed before the creation of the universe. The theological philosophies of humankind all spring from this thinking. They don’t name it as such but names, truly, only matter when trying to project authority over something. Chaos itself obeys no authority. Before the beginning of the universe in which we live, the shitting out of this reality, there was chaos in it’s purest form, unbridled and wild energies that would soon coalesce into something more. Many people have named it. God, the Source, the Big Bang, etc., so it is a given that people, deep in their being, know something was there because they can feel it. Something gave birth to us all. That something was chaos.

Chaos is life

Tell me something more chaotic and messy than the birth of a human being. Random sperm impregnates random egg, cells divide in an unpredictable fashion, DNA sequences encode together to form us into the traits that define our appearance and genetic makeup, and then we come kicking and screaming into a foreign world from an orifice of flesh that is both a center of life, pleasure, and pain. If that is not chaos then I have no idea how to define it.

From Chaos, all things are born. When a nation falls, something new is born of it. When your body decomposes, it feeds the bugs and worms that help life continue on. When a star goes supernova, it plants the seeds for life.

Attributing all these things to some “creator,” in my mind anyway, is how human beings deal with the fact that there is no such thing as destiny, fate, or moral obligation to bow to a deity that was created from the human consciousness. That is not to say that gods are not real. However, all god forms are born in the mind of the sentient being which is self-conscious. They are an attempt to explain the universal consciousness, that which binds us all in a way that is purely indescribable on this level of existence. They are a creation of belief, a tool with which to manipulate the energies from which we are all born.

Chaos is neither good nor evil, but a balance.

Many people want to ascribe to chaos a subtext of evil intent. In reality, it is neither good nor evil. It is an absence of intent, which is why, if you were so inclined, you can manipulate it. It’s the underlying operating system of the universe, the code which propels us forward. Most people chose to accept their lot in life and do nothing in order to change that. A chaote simply refuses to believe in predestination. We forge our own paths through the darkness, devoid of paradigm. We are the universal programmers changing the code via perception and will.

Order is entropy.

Chaos is the natural order of the universe. That should be apparent simply by observing the behavior of the sentient beings that exist on our own planet. Any attempt to impose order on that chaos always leads to entropy. Governments and nations fall, buildings do not last, bodies rot, and anything that attempts to impose order on chaos eventually ceases to exist. It’s energy continues, broken down into its purest, chaotic form, but the shell becomes what it has always been…an unnecessary receptacle that is no longer needed to carry said energy.

Isn’t chaos magick just an attempt to place order on the chaos itself?

I believe the answer to that is both yes and no. Yes, it is an attempt to manipulate the direction that the chaos will take in order to get a pre-determined outcome based on the chaote’s desires. I feel that the answer no applies as well as a true chaos mage doesn’t seek to subvert the underlying nature of the energy itself. They are simply helping direct it into a useable form. We do not hoard the energy and we do not try to contain it. We simply redirect it like a detour sign on the highway of the omniverse.

This sounds like a bunch of new age bullshit.

Yeah, I can see why you’d think that. I mean, we’re talking about chaos magick after all and using sigils and such to rewrite the underlying operating system of reality. It does sound a bit far-fetched in some aspects but I would invite you to remember something that’s buried deep down in your consciousness. Almost 10,000 years ago the human race was a very different type of civilization. When we transitioned towards a more “civilized” existence, we forgot a lot of things. We imposed order on chaos and tried to tell the universe how existence would play out. We forgot the communal nature of our species, our tribe, and we became split. We forgot magick in place of rationale. This was the Great Forgetting.

As I said, this is just a theory.

I don’t claim to be some guru. You may have a different theory and that’s okay. My paradigm is not your paradigm and there are more worlds than these. Find your truth.