“Nothing Is True, Everything Is Permitted”

 To Erik 

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.

Io Baphomet

Booklist

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

Three Demon Daemons for Pisces

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As is well known to those who follow my reconstructed Egyptian daemonic or demonic calendar, every 30 day lunar period is dominated by three entities, one for each ten day period or trimester, also known as a decan, from Latin for 10. Here they are, as depicted on the wall of the temple of Isis at Philae:

The new moon began on 23rd February with the left most image known simply as Akhw, which I have translated elsewhere as spirit entity, very like the later idea of the Djinn, which in many ways is a belief system in continuity with that of Pharaonic Egypt. The astrological month of Pisces also, as it happens, begins more or less now, and these seem very appropriate spirits for the Pisces type.

Now of course, I have argued that all of the 36 decanal demons are like the class of demonic things known in old Egypt as the Akhw, but this is not to say this term is here just a generic thing. There is something very special about this demon. Rather than being generic we could say it is the paradigm for the whole array of night spirits, In the ancient almanac from which some of these details are gleaned, a great deal of otherwise lost folklore and mythology is recorded, often in passing. In several places in the long text, special rites are prescribed for the Akhw, who maybe otherwise become troublesome. No surprise then that the group of three have a particularly demonic aspect, where as other images could simple be those of the common gods of Egypt.

Interesting too that whereas many other images of the demons have been mutilated in later times, these three survive intact. Here’s an example of one of the other images, although with the typical mutilation of the effective organs, the face & hands. The context of these mutilations is a subject in its own right and very interesting magick too:

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The middlemost image shown earlier is very strange, quite monstrous really; a human headed entity, wearing the archaic skull cap similar to that worn by the god Ptah, but no arms! This absence of arms is intentional, nothing is left to chance in Egyptian art, although the meaning may be lost on us, but something like, he has no hands to take hold of you. His entire body tapers off into that of a crocodile. His or her name translated as “one who comes before or heralds the two souls (the Ba)” Now, as these entities are also groups of stars in the so-called decanal belt – he could be the herald in the sense of the group of stars that rises before the third and final demon, the one who rules the dark nights of the month, and the mysterious days before the next new moon when gods such as Horus arise from the body of their father Osiris. No surprise then that the entity that we are guided towards, is the strangest of the entire strange series of three. The image shows a snake with two heads, one at each end of his body. Monstrous but useful if you want to look in two directions, and in this case two levels, perhaps upper and lower. But troublesome if the two souls decide to pull in different directions. Perhaps they are meant to represent two snakes mating, their sensuous bodies molded together. Ancient mystery of the body is encoded here, one that emerged later in the Hindu tradition known as Tantra. Two souls are fine as long as they move in coordination and in the same direction. We tend to think that being single minded is the best way to get things done but perhaps here we can detect an equally old and valuable idea, that two heads are better than one.

The decans are discussed in greater detail in my books Supernatural Assault in Ancient Egypt and Phi-Neter: Power of the Egyptian gods. I’m currently working on a combined volume, devoted to the Egyptian Demonic Calendar. Look out for all these titles wherever good books are sold, but certainly on Amazon.

Oh, and my name is Mogg Morgan

From Shakti to Kali – The cycle of the Kalas

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Each lunar day is said to have its own unique magical quality and in the Hindu tradition is called a Kala. The following poem is inspired by one couple’s intimate exploration of one cycle of the Kalas.
Shakti
That’s how you named me
And yes why not
I am beautiful
And wise
Like Shakti
I am kind
funny
sexy
and happy
I love
and I am loved
In the mornings
when I wake up
by your side
two suns rising in my eyes
Shining light so bright
I can see your body
sparkle with golden dust
I could see your heart
melting into the stones
When we kissed the
Golden dawn

For 15 days and nights
We are shining bright
Happy
Dancing
Kissing
Telling little love stories
to each other
The stories of Kameshvari and her
ankle bracelet
Duti The impossible girl messenger
and ChitraMalini-
The bright one
The full one
The one who initiates her twin sister-
Kali
Tonight is the 15th night of
sweet love
Long kisses
Passion and desires
I am Shakti
The lady of desire
Messenger of love
Bright garland
The kiss of life
I am Shakti
My eyes shine like
Two bright suns
but if you look closely
You will see
Two black suns rising inside
I am Kali
I am the dark one
You can only see me
when the moon is full
I am Kali
My eyes are 2 black suns
Which will darken your days
And blacken your sight
I am Kali
I’ll spread my darkness
Slowly slowly
You will not even notice
When it touches your heart
But on the 7th day
When a black tear will
Drop on your shoulder
You will know only confusion
and darkness
Your heart will be broken
Only then you will know
That The Terrible ,
The Formidable
Has been awakened
I am Ugra
I am darkness
From now till the end of the cycle
You will know only darkness
The night sky will grow darker and darker
You can only see the artificial stars
I am Ugra
I am a night crawler
I will dim the lights
In your heart
One by one
Till you won’t
Be able to see
Only darkness
Only me
And on the end of your cycle
You will not
Be able to tell
Was it Mita

I am alive !

 

Zar, Encounters with the Trance Dance Tradition of Egypt

Zar is the name of an exorcism dance tradition known most commonly from Egypt. The word is itself of obscure origin but most likely explanation is that it means a “visitation”. When western observers first encountered Zar in Egypt they described it as “black magic”:

“WITHIN only a comparatively short period of years,” says Professor Macdonald, “quite easily within thirty years, I should say — we have come to know that practically all through the Moslem world there is spread an observance exactly like the Black Mass in Christendom. That is to say, it is a profane parody of a sacred service. ..”

The heartland of Zar is modern Sudan, which was in the ancient world known as Nubia, the “land of gold”. The Nubians were famous as practitioners of sorcery. Sudanese people have in past been forcibly relocated all over the Middle East via the slave trade, thus there are different kinds of Zar, the most famous being Egypt Zar, but there are also branches all over the Mehreb, Morroccan (Gnawa), Libya, Algeria, and also Iran where they are known as the people of the air. Zar spirits can be Pagan, Muslim, Hindu, Christian or Jewish. 

Initiations into the cult could be be “demonic” – that is one becomes an initiate because of encounter with a specific disease-spirit . One instinctively recognizes the musical signature of your first spirit. Depression is one of the most common triggers for Zar possession, something that, for example, commonly afflicts Egyptian women. From the Iranian branch we learn that there are in fact 72 different kinds of Zar spirit. 

Masters of the Zar circle are known as Baba or Mama – father or a mother. They are experts in all the different Zar spirits, having been introduced to them by their first spirit initiator. These spirits are very similar to those from pharaonic Egypt – where they were known as the Akh or Akhw. These terms have been compared to Arabic Afarit, a kind of Djinn. Actually Djinn are fiery spirits whereas the Zar spirits often live under the earth in places such as caves or tombs.

A contact in Egypt, thinking I might help, told me about the problems experienced by his sister who would fall into a spontaneous possession trance that was catatonic. When her relatives spoke to her in this state and asked what she wanted, the spirit would reply “she wants a divorce.” The spirits are very practical and make a lot of sense in people’s lives. So the first question one should always put to such as spirit should be : “what do you want?”

Often part of the answer is a ceremony of some kind, which like much ancient folk ritual was ecstatic. The ceremony breaks many taboos and can involve alcohol, food, music and ecstatic dance in mixed company. It is important to have a blood sacrifice, usually a goat, whose blood will be offered to the spirits, while the human participants share the feast. 

Wadôh wadêh ‘eni wadôh – yâ mamma / or Al La (Mogg Morgan author of Supernatural Assault in Ancient Egypt) 

The Masters of Zar 

Around 7 pm we were ready to go out to see the Masters of Zar that was showing at the El Dammah Theater, we couldn’t find the theater on the map, and weren’t sure about the address so we got Essmat to write the address and the name of the theater in Arabic so we can show it to the Taxi driver. Thanks to Essmat’s note, the Taxi driver could find the place which was tucked away at the back of a tiny ally. Inside, a very small theater, maybe enough room for about 50 people. There were not many people, only us and 4 other British tourists and about 10 locals. 

At exactly eight o’clock three “mamas” enter. They are dressed in beautiful traditional dresses. The “crone” is dressed in royal blue, the “mother” dressed in black and the “younger” was dressed in red (the youngest probably in her fifties the oldest probably in her eighties). They started singing and chanting and one by one the other members of the group entered. They are drumming and chanting and building the rhythm into a very energetic trance beat which makes you want to get up and dance.

Four British guys are sitting in the front row and it doesn’t take long before one of them gets up and dances with the zar troops. The three mamas dance around him and it looks to me that they are guiding him into a deeper trance – they are circling and chanting around him dancing, hypnotising him, like they are putting a spell on him or maybe they are trying to break the spell that he’s been under…who knows?…

The atmosphere in the room is buzzing and I am sitting at the edge of my chair waiting for the right moment to get up and join in the magickal Zar circle. While thinking that, one of the Zar members approached me, he was a very handsome black man, very tall and looked like an Egyptian Pharaoh, all regal and beautiful in his white Galabia. He took my hand and lead me towards the dancers. As soon as we got into the circle the three mamas circled and danced around me, it felt like they are trying to show me something so I follow their moves which apparently was the right thing to do as the 2 older mamas moved on to dance with the 2 guys, and left me with the third one – The Black Mama, she showed me her moves which I followed and repeated. The rhythm and beat of the music grew faster and hypnotic, I could feel I’m going into trance. The eldest of the company, who I suspect was the leader, got closer and started to dance with me, while dancing together the rest of the company formed a dancing circle around us. The rhythm of the drums became faster and louder all smiling at me like they know something I don’t. I feel hypnotised, I dance the ancient dance with the company of wild Egyptian gypsies, the elder looked into my eyes, said something and smile and handed his drum over to me!

HE HANDED HIS DRUM TO ME!!!

I nearly fainted, this is the deepest shamanic initiation I know, holding THE DRUM in my hand I felt the buzz of its rhythm vibrating all over my body and in my heart. The three mamas are circling us and it feels to me that they are flying around us. I’m so excited and nervous at the same time, I can hear my drum completely out of tune, the “red mama” looked at me and with her eyes I can see her asking, “what are you doing woman? You are out of tune”! I gave her the drum back and thanked her of saving me from total embarrassment. From the corner of my eye I see the black prince leads Mina into the circle and before I knew it the “black mama” is taking me by the hand and Mina with her other hand and dances with both of us, everyone in the circle is cheering and dancing around us, the atmosphere is intoxicating, this is all a bit too much for me, I feel that I’m going to explode with joy, I need to sit down. I leave the circle feeling like I’m walking on clouds, feeling I am blessed.

The show’s going on for a little while longer, and once it’s finished I went to say goodbye to the three mamas. I get hugs and kisses from all of them, but it’s the Blue Mama, the eldest, she really got me. She gave me a big big hug, kissed both of my cheeks, looked into my eyes and said : “Habibty, Ya-Albi” ( “my darling, my beloved – my heart”), I was in tears. I kissed her back and thanked her.

For one long moment we were one, I was as one with her, I was a Zar.