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 RitualHere
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?”
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.
On the longest night of the year the tribe has gathered for the Winter Solstice ceremony.
The Spice is very strong and it doesn’t take long before the doors of perception have opened before us.
My ‘mission’ is to raise Babalon.
My Babalon working will be like a prayer to raise her power and energy in Everywoman.
I believe that Babalon is Everywoman, but many women deny her existence, some are afraid of her, some are so prudish they truly believe she’s an whore.
I embrace my Babalon, she is integrated within me, she is part of me and always was. There was time I didn’t know who she was or what is her name, so I called her “Everywoman”.
I’m Every Woman – A tribute to Whitney Houston
“Whatever you want, whatever you need, anything you want done baby, I’ll do it naturally.”
The ritual and ceremonial music is vibrating in the air but for some strange reason I can’t get out of my head the 80s anthem song by Chaka Khan – “I'm every woman”.
In the 90s Whitney Houston took Chaka Khan’s song and made it into an even bigger anthem, a classic that will never go out of fashion, a good party will always have this anthem at the peak of the night.
I remember the first time I heard it, the Chaka khan version, and how I thought to myself, what a great song, perfect for me. The song came out in 1978, I was only 10 years old.
In the 90s I was a party girl, The Ministry of Sound and The Zap club, Brighton, were like my second homes.
I remember one night at the club thinking to myself; if “God is a DJ”, “Everywoman " must be his wife! I didn’t know anything about Babalon or the Scarlet Woman at that time, but an affinity with Everywoman, was always part of me.
Whitney Houston was born with the touch of the Red Goddess, she was beautiful, talented and charismatic. It didn’t take long before she became world famous, she was, and still is, the most awarded female artists, and remains one of the best–selling musicians of all time.
Whitney Houston was a goddess, flying high and far, but she couldn’t handle the fire of the Red Goddess, and soon those flames consumed her. After over a decade of meteoric success, she allowed her demons to take over, and she burnt out.
So I toast the first cup of Spice to you Whitney, and to Everywoman out there.
Here She Comes
My mind is racing. I really don’t understand where did all this stuff came from? I’m here at the ceremony and all I can hear is these 80s–90s club anthems playing in my head, and think of Whitney Houston. But then something at the corner of my eye catches my attention. I’m looking but not too sure what I am seeing.
It’s a crack in space/time, like in the Dr. Who episode “The Crack in the Wall”.
And I knew it’s her on the other side. I call her, come, enter, my beautiful goddess. Flames burst out of the crack, it can only be her, and there she is – Babalon!
She is shining like the sun at sunrise, and the only thing on my mind is the question – Who swallowed the sun? Now as I write it down, it’s a bit obvious, don’t you think? But at the time I just couldn’t see it.
The Library of Babel
As soon as she enters, I know – Babalon is the librarian of the Library of Babel. I am very pleased with myself, and move on to other things. The goddess NewMedia is here too, and she is loading me with information, I need to write all this stuff down, I need to remember it all.
I see the connections in everything I do, like synapses that pass electrical surges through a great spider’s web, or was it the WorldWideWeb? Marketing, advertising, books, writing, writing, writing, writing, writing … attention, attention! The system is overloaded. I’m stuck in a loop, thank god it’s time for the second cup.
Shiva is serving the second round of Spice. He has a special gift, he is a master of blessing the Spice, and this time he adds a special boon, a magickal journey.
As soon as I drink the second cup of Spice I’m back at the library of Babel. I’m lost in a maze, it’s HER maze, it’s HER LIBRARY!
She is not the librarian at all, it’s her library! At the very same moment I notice a little path that leads to a garden.
The Garden of The Forking Paths
The garden is strange, if anything, it looks like another maze, like the library. It’s kind of grey and dusty. I go down the path, thinking to myself “so who swallowed the sun?” At that time I didn’t have a clue. Then another thought crosses my mind – why is this garden is so “forked”? A garden should be light and green, soft and gentle, that word, Gentle, made me stop for a moment, and I rethink it all again.
Why is the garden so forked? A garden should be light and green and soft, like The Garden of Eden. The word EDEN in Hebrew means – Gentleness = עדן = EDEN. The path I chose in The Garden of The Forking Paths leads to The Garden of Eden!
This realization made me stop for a moment. I looked at the 9th Gate card that I had brought with me. In the card, which I painted a few days earlier, behind Babalon is the Ninth gate illuminated with the sun’s rays. I look at the card for a while, and as soon as I put it back in my bag, I’m back in The Library of Babel.
I look around me, books are floating in the air, staircases spiraling in all directions like some weird Michael Escher picture. Then BANG! The Ninth Gate materializes in front of me in all its glory, and at the same time, the shocking realization; SHE IS THE LIBRARY, SHE IS THE LIBRARY!
And another crack appears in space/time. The room is spinning, thunder and lightning, a cacophony of strange and very loud noises. The library has exploded and I’m being sucked into a black hole, what remains of it is spiraling around me; books, staircases, labyrinths, forking paths, gardens, all in a mad and chaotic dance, spiraling towards the black hole.
I’m going mad, am I going mad? I know I must look into the crack that grows with each moment, I know who’s coming, but I dare not look. I go down on my knees and try to pray. But only one word comes out of my mouth:
I forgot all the words to the prayer. I can hardly find my voice, all that comes out is a faint mumbling of just one word, the one that makes sense:
Each time I repeat this word, things getting clearer.
The room has stopped spinning.
I can breath again.
The books and the staircases are still spiraling around me but in a very slow motion.
Everything has stopped as it is, books and staircases frozen in mid spiral in the air. I can hear the beautiful ancient mantra, the sound of the sea, waves on a breezy sunny day, and I remember.
“I believe in one secret and ineffable LORD; and in one star in the company of Stars of whose fire we are created, and to which we shall return; and in one Father of Life, Mystery of Mystery, in His name CHAOS, the sole viceregent of the Sun upon the Earth; and in one Air the nourisher of all that breathes.
And I believe in one Earth, the Mother of us all, and in one Womb wherein all men are begotten, and wherein they shall rest, Mystery of Mystery, in Her name BABALON.
And I believe in the Serpent and the Lion, Mystery of Mystery, in His name BAPHOMET.”
At this moment the beautiful shamaness comes and crashes next to me, she knows nothing of Baphomet, but she understands Chaos. Together we are experiencing The Eternal Moment, we both know that the only time is now, and this now is for eternity. I hug her, whispering in her ear “open your eyes, and call Hir, Baphomet, sHe is already here” and she does and she sees what I see.
“And I believe in the Serpent and the Lion, Mystery of Mystery, in His name BAPHOMET.”
The tribes of the Spice are the tribes of the serpent and the lion. Some follow the serpent, some follow the lion, all are drinking the same Spice, both tribes sharing similar ceremonies but different rituals.
Baphomet walks among our tribes naturally – which takes me back to the beginning of the journey, when I heard Whitney Houston singing in my head the lines “Whatever you want, whatever you need, anything you want done baby, I’ll do it naturally”…
In the Thoth Tarot, the card Lust, ‘appears the legend of the woman and the lion, or rather lion–serpent’ (The Book of Thoth). Another realization of eternal moment, Babalon rides Baphomet just like the tantric Kali rides Shiva.
“And I believe in the Serpent and the Lion, Mystery of Mystery, in His name BAPHOMET.”
Baphomet is the serpent and the lion, Mystery of mystery; the Fifth Head of the serpent is The Raging Lion!
“The Desire and aspiration of the highest, most spiritual spark of your consciousness is to clothe itself in flesh and personality and to Come Into Being here and now. The purpose of Initiation is not to swap one for the other: it is to open the eyes of both, perceive what is Real, and empower the entire Self to its maximum potential…” (Michael Kelly, Dragonscales)
“The Fifth Head, that of the Raging Lion, is one specifically focused upon Desire, upon passion.” (Michael Kelly, Dragonscales)
With all this in mind, I hear the call for the third cup.
The Third Cup
The third cup is a meditation journey on the sounds and vibrations our Music Master has prepared for us.
The Music Master and I go back a long way. He was there the first time I took the Spice. He taught me how to listen to the vibrations and how to see with my ears. His journeys are my favourite part of these ceremonies, and after a night of illuminated Chaos, I am looking forward to lying down and chilling out on his magickal carpet.
The third cup is the cup of the Shamaness. I love this woman with all my heart. We look at each other and smile. I say: “only a little cup for me this time”, she looks at me, smiles back and pours the Spice, a full cup…
I drink the blood of the dragon and lie back on the cushions and fly.
The Seven Jewels of the Red Goddess
In the myth of Inanna she descends into the underworld, and meets the guardians of the seven gates, who will not let her pass through unless she leaves one of her jewels in each gate, only then can she proceed into the underworld.
The Seven Jewels are:
The Great Crown
The Wand of Lapis Lazuli
The Jewel Around her Neck
The Jewel On Her Breast
The Belt of Jewels Around Her Hips
The Jewels Around Her Wrists and Ankles
The Jewelled Robes
In his book Dragonscales, Michael Kelly asks what these seven jewels are?
On page 125 of Dragonscales, he writes:
“As an exercise for further thought and meditation, I would like to throw out the suggestion that the seven jewels of Ishtar are resonant with the Seven Heads of Apep, but in reverse order, with the Jewelled Robes having an affinity with the Head of the Scorpion and the Great Crown having an affinity with the Head of the Typhon. This affinity and this inversion of ordering may be suggestive of one of the secret links between the Lady and the Serpent. Muse upon it…”
I’m flying the magickal journey the Music Master takes us on, and musing upon Michael’s riddle. It doesn’t take long and I’m back again at The Garden of the Forking Paths. Now there are new paths ahead of me, and I don’t know which one to follow. There’s a tiny voice in the back of my mind which whispers “Follow Me”… so I follow it down a very narrow and very old path.
I love the author Tom Robbins. Back in the 90s I read quite a few of his books which probably helped a lot to shape the way I think and perceive things. There is something in the myth of Ishtar’s seven jewels that reminds me of something he wrote, but what was it??
The song about Miriam the Prophetess is playing and I remember.
Tom Robbins writes the story of Salome and The Dance of The Seven Veils.
The myth of the Seven Veils Dance, and the myth of The Seven Jewels probably are based on the same myth of Inanna/Ishtar. In the original dance of The Seven Veils, those veils come off in the same order as the seven Jewels:
The Veil around Her Face
The Veil around The Shoulders
The Veil Around her Neck
The Veil On Her Breast
The Veil Around Her Hips
The Veil Around Her Wrists and Ankle
The Veil Around her Legs
In the book Skinny Legs and All, Tom Robbins actually does reverse the order in which the veils are coming off Salome:
I’ll try to explain:
The First Veil to come off is the veil around her legs, ‘The Jewelled Robes’, think again what the Jewelled robes might mean… she is dancing and her most precious jewel is unveiled.
“Because Veils of ignorance, disinformation, and illusion separate us from that which is imperative to our understanding of our evolutionary journey… The first of those veils conceals the repression of the Goddess, masks the sexual face of the planet…”
By taking her Jewelled Robes off first, our Red Goddess has awakened the Serpent, the Typhon, the Kundalini.
So, our Salome is dancing and the veils of illusions keep coming off, one by one, unveiling and, abandoning old patterns such as blindness to the wonders of nature, politics, religion, money, death, time.
The Seventh Veil:
The Veil around Her Face – The Great Crown – The Head of The Scorpion
“The illusion of the Seventh Veil was the illusion that you could get somebody else to do it for you.
To hang on your cross.
Everybody had to take control of their own life, define their own death, and construct their own salvation. And when you finished, you didn’t call the Messiah. He’d call you.” (Skinny Legs and All)
This is all very much in the spirit of the Scorpion Head…
For me the theories of Tom Robbins always make sense. And now it’s nearly the end of the journey and the sun is going to rise any minute. I can just see that at the end of the path I’m journeying, there’s another path to follow (it is the garden of the forking paths after all) but I’m too tired now, maybe next time…
The Great Crown – The Head of The Typhon – Spirituality and awakening.
What a Night !
Here Comes The Sun.
“Whatever you want, whatever you need, anything you want done baby, i’ll do it naturally”