Chaos Magick Is Magickal Terrorism

The definition of “Magick” put forth by Alistair Crowley is one that is generally accepted. That is Magick is the attempt to create change in conformity with the will of the magician. This change can range from something simple like creating the circumstances that are favourable in getting a job to something that is highly complex and of a metaphysical nature  such as conversing with an angelic entity. Chaos Magick is the most recent development in the tradition of Ceremonial Magick.

chaos magick

Chaos Magick is an innovative and modern approach to the realization of Magickal intent.

The origin of Chaos Magick lies with the work of  Austin Osman Spare and Peter Carroll. Both of these magicians argued against the exclusion of techniques of “sorcery” from their Magickal practice.

Both magicians developed systems of Magick that were incredibly innovative and they spurned traditional Magick as needlessly complicated and impotent.

Austin Spare was an artist and was influenced by the work of Jung and Freud on the subconscious mind. He also integrated Magick into all areas of life and this is shown by his art which is an integration of his spell work. (below)

chaos magick austin spare

Peter Carroll’ s influence came from the newly developed scientific chaos theories of subatomic interactions of the quantum universe. He was also the founder of a Magickal order that was both secretive and adhered to a rank structure which some Chaos practitioners see as going against the Chaos current.

Peter Carroll’s’ introductory work “Liber Null” and “Psychonaut” is currently the most widely available work on Chaos Magick.

More recently the ideas of Chaos Magick have been extended further by many including Phil Hine who has published articles on Chaos Magick.

To view Chaos Magick solely as a reformulation of traditional Magick is not accurate. Chaos Magick is new and attempts to deconstruct your belief s and therefore release trapped energy. Energy that is held in your belief structure. This assault on your normal belief patterns upsets the status quo of your mind and is similar to guerrilla warfare on your consciousness. Hence Magickal Terrorism

Those practicing Chaos Magick will change beliefs based on the desired otcome of their magickal act. So that means that process of your belief is whats important not the actual belief that is held.

This orientation has adaptability as its main asset. Just like reality which changes constantly and has no real “truth” this type of magick can be very destabilising for individuals whose sense of personal identity requires that the universe be perceived as an ordered and meaningful place.

In particular Chaos Magick refutes any possibility of eternal rest or order. It views the universe as to complex for normal human psychology to understand. Chaos Magick can be self-annihilating like Zen Buddhism and other Buddhist schools of “topsy-turvy wisdom” The koans found in Zen Buddhism are designed to short circuit your rambling mind and bring about a state of mind similar to that sought by a Chaos magician.

I like to think of Chaos Magick as a psychological approach to Magickal ritual. Forgoing identity to achieve Magickal will through the use of  gesture, ritual, sound, visualization, the cues of your senses, meditation and of course your emotional states such as anger, fear, disgust, boredom or despair all of which can be generated at will.  Any method that can create the momentary state of “Gnosis” is considered acceptable. Favorite techniques frequently involve sex, pain, and confusion. The use of Sigils is popular. It’s aim is to block your conscious mind and create ‘Gnosis” a state of mind in which the defense of your ego is overthrown and the Magickal intention of the magician can be driven deep into the flux of the universe

Chaos Magick is non-discriminatory and recognizes that ideas are not reality although ideas may influence your perception of reality. Chaos Magick does not discriminate between White, Grey or Black Magick nor between between good and evil or right and wrong. What that means is that Chaos Magick is probably not for those who have not internalized a personal moral or ethical code.

Chaos Magick is not for those who wish to establish varieties of social order where they would be best taking opportunity in .Ceremonial Magick and Wicca. Chaos Magick is concerned only with developing Magick that work and rituals that have specific effects creating change in conformity with the will of the magician

All of this means that Magick can be destabilizing because its designed to deconstruct your belief, dearly held opinions and the stories you tell yourself to lull yourself into a sense of security. You need to forsake old ideas and allow your personal self identification to be disrupted. As a result of this you can benefit from some dramatic life changes.

Chaos Magick can be used to discover your True Will, communicate with the Mother Goddess or anything else that you can think of however its true purpose is to violently liberate and free the individual from structured belief and the use of traditional Magickal methods.

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12 Responses to “Chaos Magick Is Magickal Terrorism”

  1. HarrisonFnord

    I’m a little confused here. While you have a very good explanation of the basic ideas of Chaos Magick, you failed to detail why Chaos Magick is terrorism.

    As a Chaos Magician, I resent your attempt at marginalizing me using loaded cultural language. The idea that we’re inherently unstable, or lack any concept of good and evil is offensive. Within modern currents of Chaos Magick, it’s well accepted that neither order, nor disorder are the nature of existence. Rather, they come in cycles.

    Ideas of good and evil are peculiarly human things. In my personally experience, much evil comes from the attempt to do go, and that the range of our ability to control the effects of our actions is quite limited. “Good and evil” seem to be most effectively used as a regulator of action in immediate interpersonal relations.

    What any particular individual refers to as good or evil, is a product of that individual’s perspective with timespace, and cultural space.

    While there is much traditionalist hand wringing over the idea of abandoning culturally programmed ideas of good and evil, all it does is make a person flexible, and more able to negotiate new concepts of good and evil with cultures, of which they are unfamiliar.

    We are no terrorists. We are experimentalists. We’re driven to understanding, not devotion. And in order to understand, you must first admit that you are confused. If you don’t, it’s like trying to navigate the galaxies of the universe with a roadmap of Cleveland. Just because it gives you the heebie jeebies, is no reason to be a bigot.

    Harrison Fnord
    Beauty. Variety. Conflict.

    1. Hi Harrison,

      No offence meant, perhaps read the article again more slowly. I am a huge fan of Chaos Magick. Compared to … what you wish to compare it to – Chaos Magick is “unofficial, unauthorized, uses violence and intimidation” against established systems or ways of doing things. (Look up the definition of terrorism. )NOT against people. The way of doing things is terrorism against the old way/established way of doing things. Sure it’s a dramatic explanation but nowhere does it say “you” or a person who practices Chaos Magick is a terrorist.

      Why would you feel marginalized by this article? Any one who dabbles in Magick is already way over on the margin unless of course you can see its parallels with modern personal development.

  2. Magick terrorism? Because one worships the certain fact of chaos? What religion doesnt hope for some betterment, some damning principles of thr enemy, and self worth? All do in one way or another. There is nothing to be said about this except perception is unique to each person. I can only hope you wake your eyes to the realization that some of the worshipers of the Old or Elder Gods of the Necronomicon are not evil, don’t hate to hate, but only want what other religions want, the usurp of their god(s), and self gratification. This piece is nothing but slander and a bias that shotguns a large group for the actions of a few. You have only become yet another hater to add to the list of people I oppose. In my eyes you are no better than Westborough Baptist.

    1. Hi Victor, Perhaps you should read the article again slowly. There is nothing bad in this article about “you”, people who identify as Chaos Magicians or Chaos Magick in general. Its a comparison against something else.

      Now that there are two negative replies I would put forth the argument that to be upset is identifying too strongly with being a Chaos Magician and therefore this would be something to work on? Just a thought.

  3. I understand the Point you’re making with this article and do not feel threatened by the gist of it at all. However, I feel the use of the word “terrorism” within the title of the article is what’s causing discomfort. As one who works with Chaos, I have no qualms with adjusting my methods of working at a moments notice if need be. The Chaos current is always in motion, shifting with the tides. If anyone working within the Chaos current cannot move within that ever shifting flow of ideas without feeling “terrorized”, then they should not be fishing, or sailing upon that stream, yes?

    What I notice here are two individuals with names which sound “male” who feel threatened by your use of the word “terrorism” to describe this magical current. I say, “Welcome to my world, gentlemen.” I, likewise, feel terrorized at the moment, quite possibly because I work within this current and can very quickly shift my working methods. Women are terrorized on a daily basis in very covert ways which many do not seem to notice, nor care about, until it is far too late.

    I find it very interesting that men (or so it may appear) feel threatened by this article, where I, a woman, do not. And there is a saying, “If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen.” Or, perhaps move it elsewhere; or mix strange brews privately until they are properly seasoned and ready for consumption, yes?

    But there is a conundrum here; a very strange duality which must be addressed… and please forgive my paring down the gender descriptions to s/he here as this is only for the sake of simplifying discussion. I have no intention of offending other Chaos practitioners who identify Other-wise.

    From my observations and personal experience, male practitioners of Chaos are able to do as they wish without much fear of “Terror”ism tactics, either openly or covertly, while female practitioners still run the threat of being “Terrorized” covertly if they shine too brightly within this particular mode of practice.

    Perhaps this is why women are viewed as “witches” and not as Chaos Magicians, proper?

    Excellent article.

    1. Hi Rose,

      I do understand the hardships women have to endure on a daily basis – men also have difficulties to overcome just for being men Just different problems to overcome depending on which sex you are.

      Can you explain what difficulties you have had to face when you “shine” as a woman in the arena of Magick? It sounds like you know males who feel threatened by what you know or can do? (it’s not uncommon)

  4. Dear Aymen,

    We all have difficulties to overcome regardless of gender, race, class, etc. How we label ourselves isn’t the issue. How others perceive us, is.

    I find it difficult to respond to your reply due to my particular situation, but it is safe to say that unless you are a woman in today’s world, you cannot understand what it is like. That’s like saying you understand what it’s like to be homeless when you’ve never experienced it yourself.

    As to your last two questions: Any attempt to express the difficulties I’ve personally encountered would begin to lead into areas not suited for this particular article. And to your last question, yes… I’ve been told by some men who work within various esoteric fields that I “intimidate” them. Seems to me that is their problem, isn’t it?

    Yet, I’ve recently shut down my personal blog due to covert harassment… i.e. “terrorism”… by unknown parties which continued after publicly requesting the activity stop.

    “No” and “Stop” are very simple words to understand. Wouldn’t you agree?

    1. I am always amazed that there are so many “brave” souls who attack others from behind the safety of their computer. If you are a writer and had a blog it’s a pity you have had to shut it down – perhaps you have articles that you would like to submit to this site?

      1. I had a nice comment all written up, clicked submit, and it was eaten by the internet gods. Go figure.

        At any rate, I do agree with your first sentence, completely. My blog is (was) an informal sharing of my experiences based on my personal perspective with the intent of illustrating how much alike we all are, while retaining our unique individuality at the same time. It’s clear to me someone either loved what I was doing, or hated it. “Brave” souls preferred to encode covertly rather than simply overtly comment on my blog, and it is difficult to tell if “They” were saying, “Good job. I like.” Or, “Shut up, Lady. You suck”.

        I’ve no desire to play that game. I’m exhausted and would rather have an open dialog… really, I’d rather have some fun to break up the monotony of life, you know? And, I prefer “brave” individuals simply state their thoughts and intent plainly. They’re too chicken, I guess.

        As for submitting articles, I thank you for the offer. I’ve written articles before, but my blog is (was) an informal expressive and explorative jaunt. Shifting back into a more formal mode isn’t something I’m keen on at the moment because… “brave” individuals who stalk the interwebs, and all that jazz… though not like I haven’t given the article/essay biz some serious thought as of late.

  5. I simply think that while your use of the word “terrorism” is effective at making your headline attention catching, its cultural connotations make it an ineffective choice for a positive metaphor (at least for politically moderate audiences). Maybe it would work better in a spoken context rather than in an internet article – your experience as a life coach would give you more insight into that than me.

  6. I don’t intend to step on Rose’s toes or derail what she has said, by the way. I fit into a few gender and sexuality minorities myself (Phil is a great male-sounding internet pen name, I’m experimenting to see if I’ll get taken more seriously that way). I’ll back up what she’s said about inequality within magical practices.

    Also, for the record. I’m really uninterested in attacking anyone. I did appreciate this article and think that you should definitely consider writing more in the future.

  7. Thanks for this article. It really brought things together like why the concept of Gnosis is explained the way it, and the general attitude of the occult community as a whole, lr atleast the ones that practice Chaos Magick. I also don’t usually see great criticism of this school so that too was an interesting change of pace. I just didn’t get how Zen Buddhism leads one to a similar mindstate as Chaos Magick when its purpose is to quiet the mind. I know this article is old but maybe someone can explain it to me?


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