A few days ago an old friend that I haven’t heard from for a long while contacted me. She wants to know about Chaos Magick and handed me a list of questions.
I met L' a few years ago on an ayahuasca retreat.
So “how is the plant medicine related to Chaos Magick”? She asked me
I must admit that I had to stop and think about her question, I found it surprising not to have a straight forward answer right there and then.
For the last ten years or so I've been journeying the parallel paths of ayahuasca and chaos magick. The more I drank ayahuasca I felt that my magick my craft, Chaos Craft, is evolving and becoming like second nature to me. I learned and practice as much as I could but the real teaching always came in the form of a very dark and bitter liquid – the ayahuasca tea, the pure essence of probably one of the most powerful and wise plants entities.
“So how did you start with Chaos Craft and how do you practice? And how are the results?”
L’ bombarded me with all those questions and all I could think at the time before I managed to say anything was, ‘wow, slow down woman!’ and while I was trying to get my head around all of this and taking a breather she drops the final question: “If nothing is true, and everything is permitted, then how do you choose?”
How do you really? And where do I start? I told L’ that I need some time to think and I’ll get back to her. And here I am, still thinking and not sure at all how it all started. It is funny how we journey on our paths for a long time thinking we know it all and everything is sorted and then we meet a neophyte, a beginner, along the way with all those questions and you find yourself sitting down and revising all you know, but thinking about all this stuff, “it’s cool, it’s like food for the soul”.
I met SteveD on the ‘Apophis Club’, an online forum for the discussion of Michael Kelly’s fantastic book Apophis. The Apophis Club was and still is a great virtual meeting place for magicians on the Draconian / Sethian current. It didn’t take long for me to notice Steve’s unique way of thinking and writing, and after a while of communicating on the forum, I asked Steve if he can be my mentor (I had to really twist his arm to agree) and once we establish the ways of mentoring communications (we were living in deferent countries at the time) I followed Steve’s guidance onto the most fantastic and magickal path – Chaos Craft.
I had many questions, and at certain times I probably overwhelmed SteveD with the intensity of my curious mind. But I was blessed with the most patient mentor and even at times when I was a pain in the ass he managed to see through all my bullshit and guide me through. I couldn’t be here without his mentoring and I feel blessed that our paths had crossed at that particular moment in my life, that he is still part of my life. Kheper!
Chaos Craft was the perfect way for me to weave together my shamanic and Sethian practices and progress in my own personal way and time. What appeals to me at the most was that I didn’t have to climb the usual system of magickal schools of collecting grades and titles but advised to focus on creativity and an open mind. Before you know it, I could see the magic everywhere and without any manuals or “how to do” books, I just knew what to do and how to attract the magic into my life.
So you asked me ‘how do you practice and where to start?’
The best way to start anything is by collecting information about it and nowadays it’s very easy, just google Chaos Magick and start reading.
You will find lots of stuff, it won’t take long to find the Chaos Magick classics and you probably should read through some of them but the most important in my opinion is to use your intuition and read what you find the most interesting for you. Anyway, a good place to start on the Chaos Craft path is Here and Here.
I find it very helpful in starting a personal journal to record your observations and dreams and maybe learn some divination technics, most popular are the Tarot or Astrology but there are lots of divination technics around so just pick the one you are most attracted to and start learning it.
Personally, I use dream divination and find the Tarot a great tool to learn about dream symbolism.
I think that it’s a very good idea to start and connect to the cycles of the year and the moon and to the rhythms of the earth.
Make an altar – an offering table to Baphomet, to focus and connect with Baphomet.
The next step is banishing, there are many ways and many rituals for that, my personal favourite is The Gnostic Pentagram Ritual Here
So, Get a notebook and turn it into your personal journal, start documenting your dreams, insights and observations.
Learn some form of divination.
Connect to the cycle of the moon and the rhythm of nature.
Invite Baphomet into your life – make an altar.
Start practising The Gnostic Pentagram Ritual
While you practising all of that, carry on reading and learning and if you can find a mentor to guide you through it ‘s even better.
And now for your final question “If nothing is true, and everything is permitted, then how do you choose?”
"لا شيء حقيقي وكل شيء مباح"
In the words of Hassan-i Sabbah
“Nothing Is True, Everything Is Permitted”
although we may no longer understand the exact context, these words seem relevant to our times as chaos magicians, where it is a kind of formula similar to, but I’d say better than Crowley’s “Do What Thou Wilt…” etc.
I found Erik’s words on that matter resonate with me and my understanding of the concept.
‘Nothing is true’ “means that truth can only be experienced by each individual for themselves- for me, it is a gnostic paradigm that tells me that only through experience can you come to know the true nature of things and ultimately reality itself.
‘Everything is permitted' is in my interpretation literally that we are free to take responsibility for our own actions and that there is not one moral authority who can dictate to us.”
So, my dear L,
I hope I’ve answered some of your questions or at list gave you a few ideas of how and where to start.
I’m adding my personal favourite booklist but remember that what works for me not necessarily will work for you, there are many books out there so find what you like and start creating your own path.
Rhythms of vision by Lawrence Blair
The Sea Priestess by Dion Fortune
All of Julian Vayne’s books,
Getting Higher: The Manual of Psychadelic Ceremony
Seidways by Jan Fries
Liber Null & Psychonaut by Peter J. Carroll
Condensed Chaos by Phil Hine
SSOTBME Revised an essay on magic
Apophis by Michael Kelly
Chaotopia by Dave Lee