01 February 2004


A friend of mine is stranded out in America for a while. People like me, with weird interests, are pretty thin on the ground out there, which is why I try to stay here in San Francisco as much as possible.

But the internet solves all problems, and Tribe.net reports that there is, of course, a bit of a goth community in this part of America, and that many of them are chaos magickians. And it occurs to me that there must be throngs of other people reading this who also want my guidance about hanging with chaos magickians.

Here's the deal. Chaos magick can be described as the controlled art of going usefully crazy. Don't knock it on that basis: joining the United States Marine Corps, getting an advanced degree in physics, and becoming a method actor also involve going usefully crazy. But as with other craziness-inducing pursuits, things can go wrong, so some folks describing themselves as chaos magickians are crazy in an entirely tiresome and useless way.

I strongly recommend bringing as many chaos magickians into your social circle as you can manage, but you do want to do some triage. When you meet a chaos magickian, presume that they are crazy, and keep an eye out for what kind of crazy they are.

Plus, it's good to know what they're talking about. If you've read some Robert Anton Wilson (you know who you are, out there) you've got a leg up. Do not expect them to be impressed that you've read the Illuminatus trilogy, folks; I'm talking about the weird stuff published by New Falcon. But to be truly cool, and perhaps become a chaos magickian yourself, read Phil Hine's little monograph Oven-Ready Chaos, which contains everything you need to know. Indeed, it contains Everything You Need to Know. And it's only 68 pages! Including a mapping of characters from The Rocky Horror Picture Show to the qabalistic tree-of-life diagram!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In hopping around occult circles, I learned a very useful thing: Just because a belief in or the study of "magic" as an art or practice requires some suspension of disbelief, there is no reason to utterly suspend skepticism and approach things from a analytical and rational perspective. In fact, simply BECAUSE one needs to divorce onesself from the idea that "THIS CANNOT BE REAL! IT DEFIES ALL LOGIC AND SENSE!" perhaps it is even more important to keep a grounded perspective when entering the realm of the "occult sciences".

There is, after all, no bigger assmagnet, and there are some predatory motherfuckers out there.

- a. s. koi