Talk:Chaos magic

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NPOV Neutrality[edit]

This article is written from the point of view that Chaos magic is real. --User:Cagliost

This comment is written from the point of view that reality is real. ZachsMind 00:29, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
Could you give specific examples? I've read through the article, and nothing is saying that Chaos magic actually works or accomplishes anything. It's just saying that given that some people practice magic, Chaos magic is one means of practicing that. Much like how the Protestantism talks about how it differs from regular Christianity, without discussing whether Christianity itself is correct, or even whether Jesus or God exists. --Lifefeed 19:12, Jun 8, 2005 (UTC)
Yes I can give examples. It says, "Real life chaote Grant Morrison has afforded chaos magic a more accurate portrayal in his comic book epic The Invisibles." But clearly if there is no such thing as chaos magic (as I'm inclined to believe) there is no accurate portrayal of it.
Likewise, when it says of 'chaotes': "most assume these beliefs are shaping reality in a magical way", they are describing the concept of 'paradigm shifting' in their usage of it. In the first sentence we are to presume the existence of this 'paradigm shifting,' as it says: "Chaos magic is a relatively new form of ritual magic, generally involving paradigm shifting and empty-handed (without the use of props) rituals including stimulating focus of the will, often through meditation, psychoactive drugs, self-inflicted pain and orgasm." It involves 'paradigm shifting.' Note that the quote didn't include apostrophes around the term even though it denotes a concept peculiar to this practice, at least in this usage. Those are two examples of POV at a glance. --Maprovonsha172 20:28, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I changed the part about Morrison to 'Real life chaote Grant Morrison has afforded the theories of chaos magicians and their practices a more accurate portrayal in his comic book epic The Invisibles.' Is that more acceptable? I don't understand your problem regarding the use of paradigm shifting, could you explain it a little more clearly? (I'm trying to work with you here) Lachatdelarue (talk) 21:49, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Your change is acceptable. My point about 'paradigm shifting' is that is seems to have a special meaning here different than whenever else I have heard it. A paradigm is a "a philosophical or theoretical framework of any kind" such as a paradigm shift from neo-classicalism to Romanticism, or a "an outstandingly clear or typical example" of something such it is used in the common phrase-"a paradigm case". This is an entirely different usage. It is described very ambiguously in the article: "the technique of arbitrarily changing one's model (or paradigm) of magic a major concept of chaos magic." The magical technique of changing one's model of magic? Could you explain that little more clearly?
Okay, I looked up Kuhn's use of the word. He began to resent the misuse of the word so he started saying exemplars (for basic assumptions we work with). Wikipedia said it is similiar to groupthink, or mindset.
Here is another ambiguous quote from the article: "The idea is that belief is a tool that can be applied at will rather than unconsciously." That's commonly accepted, there's nothing magical about that. We largely believe what we want to believe. That's accepted. But then, where does the magic come in...
"...most assume these beliefs are shaping reality in a magical way." This is kicker. This is what I'm assuming they are really getting at. This is a commonly held belief among New Agers. They think consciousness creates reality. This is New Age Bullshit, but since I know you will say that's only my opinion, let's agree that we should be more careful about saying chaos magicians can "shift paradigms." Honestly, this seems emblematic of our academically lazy culture, taking snipits from postmodern texts, New Age "revelations", and whatever else serves to comfort us and flatter us and our preconcieved notions.
So your change is fine, but the "paradigm shift" nonsense is still POV. --Maprovonsha172 22:16, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Your first example is bogus. There is such a thing as Chaos Magic. The question of whether it works, or has any genuine correspondence to reality is completely unrelated to POV, unless the article specifically claims that Chaos Magic is efficacious. There is a set of philosophical beliefs and rituals that goes by the moniker of Chaos Magic, which Morrison uses in his works. Even that is not POV, since Morrisons protrayal is more like the beliefs and actions of Chaos Magic practioners than those portrayals it is contrasted against- Buffy et al.
Your second example is better; simply using the phrase 'paradigm shifting', with a later explanation that implicitly claims that this paradigm shifting works is POV. Not very though, since the sentence ('most assume...') is from a believers POV, and says as much. But I shall make it clearer. --maru 22:10, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)
To respond to this statement/question: 'the technique of arbitrarily changing one's model (or paradigm) of magic a major concept of chaos magic." The magical technique of changing one's model of magic?' -- It is exactly what it says it is. For one ritual I may use a Pagan paradigm (kindly earth deities etc) and for another I may use the ideas set forth in one of the Necronomicons. I am shifting which paradigm I use. I hope that clears that up for you some. Lachatdelarue (talk) 22:31, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)
What of the idea that consciousness creates reality which it also implies? The line that says that "most assume..." doesn't isn't implicitly POV because it is the POV of the "most", but the first sentence of the article does act as if "paradigm shifting" is an actual phenomenon. Maybe that "most assume..." line should be removed or further clarified. Otherwise it appears to conform to Wikipedia's standards, even though (as you can imagine) I still think it's bullshit! Maprovonsha172 22:41, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Paradigm shifting does exist, as fact (one of the few things involving chaos magic that does). Shifting paradigms simply means changing the way you view the world (or magic) at will. It is something someone does, not something that is theorized about. I'm not saying it works, I'm just saying it does exist. BTW, I'm glad we're making headway. I was really upsetted by the way things were progressing earlier. Lachatdelarue (talk) 22:49, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I'm fine with that definition of paradigm shifting, and I will take down the template as long as I can delete the "most assume these beliefs are shaping reality in a magical way" line which most blatently screams bullshit and which sort of implied that paradigm shifting had something to do with that very New Agey sentiment. Maprovonsha172 23:41, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)
How about if we move the statement about shaping reality etc to another place, so as not to imply that paradigm shifting is the cause? removing it because it 'blatently screams bullshit' is, once again, your opinion. You removing that would be like someone going to the Christianity article and removing something about how Christians believe that when they die they will go to heaven, because it screams bullshit to that particular editor... Lachatdelarue (talk) 00:46, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)
What you began to say was fine but your analogy doesn't work unless, like this article, the Christianity article underhandedly endorsed a Christian POV in some way. You know what I mean, as well, or you wouldn't volunteer to move it. Maprovonsha172 01:01, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)
No, the statement itself isn't the problem. The placement was. It shouldn't have been in that paragraph to begin with. And frankly, any article about a religion (or politics or philosophy etc) is going to have a very slight POV to it, it's just about unavoidable. If we went around qualifying every statement, it would get ridiculous. Did you look at the Examples linked to from the NPOV tutorial? They've got some good points. Lachatdelarue (talk) 02:22, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)
magic is simply any unexplained process. whether it works can be personally evaluated by the practitioner, but since it's unexplained, the question of whether this tests any real phenomenon is problematic because it is not independently verifiable. -- 22:47, 10 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Relation to other types of magic[edit]

"Chaos magic is also a place for individuals that would find no acceptance in other traditions of magic, such as Ian Read, former National Front activist and now editor of Rûna, homosexual magician and author Phil Hine and drug use advocate Julian Vayne."

I have excised the above from the main article on Chaos Magic as I find it deeply problematic for a number of reasons.

Firstly, the idea that individuals that would find no acceptance in other traditions of magic due to the 'fact' of them being right-wing, homosexual, or pro-drugs is, as a global statement, rather simplistic. While some magical orders do openly state that they do not accept members who use drugs or are not heterosexual, this is rather different than making a generalised claim that all other traditions (apart from chaos magic) reject individuals on the grounds of politics, sexuality, or drugs advocacy. There is certainly a debate which is worth having around politics, sexuality, and drugs and their relation to the occult.

Still on this point - on a biographical level, at least, it's demonstratably false. Both Julian and myself have been involved in a number of magical traditions - such as Wicca and Thelema.

Secondly, I find it intriguing that the author(s?) of this paragraph have isolated, for each of the individuals they're using to indicate the character of chaos magic, a highly-charged significator. Ian Read = ex-National Front activist, Phil Hine = homosexual, Julian Vayne = drugs advocate - and the conflation of these three highly-charged terms (hardly neutral) go together to imply something quite negative about chaos magic - especially as the reader has been told that these three things are not accepted in other magical traditions. It rather gives the impression that chaos magic is a dumping ground for degenerates of various stripes. And it also implies to a certain extent that there's a relationship between the three things as well - apparently one thing leads to another.

A far more 'neutral' statement (though still biographically accurate) could be:

"Chaos magic is also a place for individuals that would find no acceptance in other traditions of magic, such as musician Ian Read and now editor of Rûna, former Pagan News editor Phil Hine and permaculture advocate Julian Vayne."

Though I'll grant you, it doesn't have quite the same impact, does it? Indeed, readers will be left wondering what it is that other 'magical traditions' have against musicians, fanzine editors or permaculture advocates.

Finally, it's not my intention to appear to be 'censoring' public discussion of Ian Read's political history or Julian's advocacy of drugs (or indeed his advocacy of Tarot cards), it's just that I feel that it's simplistic to imply that any one attribute of any individual is somehow indicative of a whole "movement". Oh, and btw, whilst I have no problem with being labelled as "homosexual" I'm not, in actuality, homosexual. I can't help wondering though, why for the writers of the above paragraph, the 'fact' that I'm "homosexual" is more important to point out than me being a magician, or indeed, an author. --Phil Hine

I don't find this paragraph said all other traditions reject people with such highly-charged traits. Inserting "many" before "other traditions" would have been enough to clarify this.
I don't see what's so negative about right-wing politics, drugs, or homosexuality, either. What I meant to point out when I wrote this part was that chaos magic is much more accepting of personal flavors and opinions than societies (or most magical traditions) are. Alright, perhaps trying to do so by means of examples is not a good idea, and I'm sorry I got your sexuality wrong. Still the very high level of tolerance among chaos magicians is something I find very worthwhile noting, if in another way. --Wade Butler
I wonder if chaos magic is another term for conversion? It seems to me that this paradigm shifting methodology has a lot in common with religious conversions that suddenly transform the way that a person thinks. --Anon.
not conversion so much as self-directed shape-shifting. you wear beliefs like you wear clothes. try changing them, see how different the world looks. -- 00:01, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)


This article could do with beginning with a summary, at least one sentence before the table of contents.

what does 'empty-handed' mean? without the use of props? or without making a fist? -- 14:53, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)
With out the use of props. I added that to the article. --Lachatdelarue (talk) 15:07, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)

When you say "real"...[edit]

Ok, so I have no problem with the idea that Chaos Magic "exists", in as much as one can define it, it has characteristics that one can write down in an enyclopedia. However, I cannot help but wonder whether supposed (or self-proclaimed) "Chaos Magicians" really believe themselves to be adherants of a real religious / philosophical structure.

A cynic, playing devil's advocate, might suggest that so-called Chaos Magicians are, on the whole, slightly debauched, louche, artistic types who like to dress their recreational activities or spiritual uncertainties up in more esoteric terminology than most people out of vanity or other earthly motivations.

Eg, "Hey babe... I'm not just trying to get in your pants... it's for a ritual!" or "I only smoke this much weed to achieve a gnostic state!" or even, "Yeah, I know last week I was studying Nazi Grail-lore and now I'm building a Golem. I just shifted my magical paradigm."

I guess all I'm trying to ask is - Is it not possible that "Chaos Magic" is in fact a rather tongue-in-cheek joke for the benefit of a few literate libertines? 19:53, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

It is possible. However, it's irrelevant to our purposes. This is an encyclopedia, and we use reputable sources, not our own opinions. Friday (talk) 19:56, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
The IOT holds annual international meetings that are members-only, so at least some spend significant sums of money to engage in chaos magic without outsiders to play any superficial joke on.Denial 01:43, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
Seems to me like a combination of wannabes in line with the first chap's comment, and the more serious kind who are Discordians that have forgotten how to 'keep it real'. ;) But these are unverifiable opinions by nature, as they are so subjective. Even putting them in the article under the old 'Some people hold the view that...' would be using Weasel Words.Doctor Atomic 12:58, 25 February 2006 (UTC)

I assure you, Chaos Magic is not a simple "joke". There are actual practitioners who do this stuff. Kurds 00:37, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

Yup, I know many people who practice it. And I do as well. To me(and those I know) it is very real. And with reason. However it could always be that we are imagining things. But that could apply to virtually anything.-- 20:47, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

Things aren't real "to" anyone. They're either real or they aren't. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2600:1014:B127:77FE:0:6A:F1D0:DD01 (talk) 03:14, 12 August 2017 (UTC)

I'd like to state, that you don't have to buy every book you can get about chaos magic(k), or any expensive props to "get started" with it. The idea is on one hand so simple, that one might look at it as a joke, on the other its "simplicity" makes it the tool it is for those who already had "mystical" experiences on their own. You can get the idea just from reading "Ovenready chaos" on Phil Hines website, without ever buying a book. Also The "Iluminates of Thanateros" or the "Temple of psychic youth" don't ask any fees. Plus: it is stated in every publication on the matter i've read, that is is a highly personal endeavor, having no dogma, rejecting authority, encouraging practitioners to got out and do something instead of collecting books on occult themes...this makes it less proiftable than it could be (in fact the list could go on and on). If it was intended to be a hoax, than one mostly for fun, as the structure of the idea itself lessens possible profit. The word "magic" has been tainted with the taste of fraud eversince it became necessary to distinguish between accepted technologies (including psychological techniques) and those not compatible with current wordlviews. The word "magic" serves as a marker for something that CAN NOT BE REAL in our current age. It turns people of science into people of ignorance when they see an idea affiliated with it. It is the unease of the scientific method reaching it's own barriers. With quantum mechanics we left certanity, with string theory we leave physics behind to enter metaphysics, whatever this means. Imho npov means to stand outside those discussion, so we should move discussions about the reality of magic to the main article, where both positions should be served to the reader including underlying arguments. This article outlines just a specific idea inside the complex topic of magic. --CouchFuzius 17:32, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

Presumably this is the problem which OP is referencing. Those who are posting on the page fail to maintain NPOV. Contrast any other mystical or religious pages, which, when not being edited by their adherents, are described without assumption of fact in supernatural claims. Wikipedia is not designed to showcase an author's book on Topic X unless that book fits into a broader framework of discussion, which this clearly does not. By losing NPOV and acting merely as a reflection on primary references with no mention of the place this has out of the larger picture of various spiritual beliefs, there is little worthy in the article. Barbaroi (talk) 21:15, 6 September 2011 (UTC)

'Magic' vs. 'Magick'[edit]

Death chaulk has changed the word 'magic' to 'magick' in many places in this article. Although I understand that this is chaos magic(k) we're talking about, wouldn't it be a good idea to keep the spelling consistent with the article title? If no one has any strong objections, I'll change it back. Zorblek (talk) 12:41, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

No! You totally can't do that! The proper spelling is Kayosz Mahgeeck! As such I will edit the entire article to fit my point of view. You can complain, and I will listen, but it's not maybe going to sometimes happen! -- The Prophet Wizard of the Crayon Cake {Prophesize) 03:47, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
Eh? Eh? What was that? You want me to revert? As you wish... :P Zorblek (talk) 08:52, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
I believe it was first coined as "Chaos Magic" but today many practiioners call it Chaos Magick to take away the 'bunny in a hat' appearance. FK0071a 12:48, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
For the record, this is not something strictly held to Chaos. All pagans globally recognize it spelled as "Magick". It has been used this way for many many many years. (talk) 14:55, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
For the record, the only correct place to use the spelling "magick" is for Aleister Crowley's system of "Magick", for which he intentionally "revived" this spelling. Elsewhere, we use the standard English spelling. Yworo (talk) 20:10, 4 December 2011 (UTC)
I disagree. Crowley may have coined the term, but it is widely accepted to be the proper spelling when referring to it today. "Selene Scott (talk) 00:33, 16 June 2013 (UTC)"


The article says:

  • Like Crowley's "'Do what thou wilt' shall be the whole of the law," this phrase is often mistakenly interpreted in its most literal sense to mean "there is no such thing as objective truth, so whatever you want to do is good and just for you." However, "Nothing is True and Everything is Permitted" is more widely interpreted to mean "there is no such thing as an objective truth outside of our perception; therefore, all things are true and possible."

But I see no difference between the two quotes. I don't see why the Chaos sentence is any better than its detractors. Both say there is no objective truth. Both say you make your own laws. How is there any difference? It seems like the magicians are deceiving themselves, denying that they're warping the definition of objective truth. NCartmell 16:07, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

I don't see a contradiction between these phrases; perhaps whoever added that complaint was mistaking the contrast of definitions as some sort of contradictory statement. -- 23:27, 3 July 2006 (UTC)
I would assume that the former variant is an ethical statement, while the latter is an ontological one.

Our dear sir above indeed has it nailed. The fact is that some use the statement to justify any action of revolt which otherwise could seem unethical, whereas for many others it means that "any conceivable action can and will occur".

There is no contradiction, that tag should be removed. --Clementduval 05:54, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

I don't think Nietzsche uses that quote in Zarathustra, but he does mention it in his Genealogy of Morals. In any case the Nietzsche citation is superfluous considering he is quoting the order of Assassins anyway. Why does Nietzsche need to be mentioned here, he has nothing to do with the occult.

Empty Handed?[edit]

I have a serious problem with the idea that chaos magic is an empty-handed practice. I assure you many chaos magicians use a number of props. If someone practices sigil magic, chemognosis, and borrows from myriad traditions, if he/she then picks up a ritual tool does that all of a sudden make him/her not a chaos magician? I think not. In addition, I'm not sure I would call sigil magic empty-handed, considering making a sigil can be thought of as the creation of a ritual tool. Does anyone object to changing the empty-handed reference to "sometimes empty-handed" or eliminating it entirely? Plenty of chaos magicians (myself included) like to pick up an athame or an athame-substitute during a ritual. Zensufi 01:28, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

I think it is reasonable to maintain the concept of "open-handed magick" in the general discussion about techniques of chaos magick, but I think it is clearly an error to say that chaos magick is fundamentally open/empty handed. That chaos magickians utilize both formal ritual structure as well as methods which are categorized as open handed, seems evident. It may be that a definition of open handed magick is somewhat unclear; for example, in my view the deliniation between "open handed" or closed handed(?)" magick is not dependent on whether or not I am holding a physical object. Fwoelper 03:29, 1 December 2006 (EST)

Empty-handed magick is something to aspire to. One of the main tenets of Chaos Magick is to use whatever you want, so long as it works, so I think the article needs to be altered to show it as a technique amongst many others. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:41, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

OBEs and Divination[edit]

From the second paragraph:

Some common sources of inspiration and and techniques include ceremonial magic, chaos theory, science fiction, OBEs, and divination.

Anyone care to elaborate? If no one objects, I'd like to replace "OBEs and divination" with "experimentation". I would also like to add "world religions" and replace "chaos theory" with the much broader "scientific theories" and "mathematics". --Tsuzuki26 08:05, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

That was mine. I like your edits; I was just trying to capture the diverse sources from which chaos magicians borrow. What's this about Norse magic sitting in the beginning of the list? It seems too particular, like my original includsion of OBEs and divination. If anyone thinks it still belongs there after I remove it, please explain. Thanks. Zensufi 21:45, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
No clue. I'm not the one who added it. --Tsuzuki26 02:09, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Chaos Magic term first used?[edit]

In this article it states that:

However, in "Condensed Chaos", in a section entitled "A Brief History of Chaos" on page 15, Phil Hine states that:

  • "...the first edition of Peter Carroll's Liber Null, which while describing the basic philosophy and practical approaches, did not contain the term 'Chaos Magic'."

So, when and where was the term 'Chaos Magic' first used? FK0071a 12:46, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

UPDATEI have found no facts since I made this entry so have changed the article slightly to read thus:
  • "It is unknown when the term chaos magic first appeared in print. In 1978, the first book publised to be classed of chaos magic, Peter James Carroll formulated several concepts on magic..." FK0071a 20:31, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

Truth? Ha![edit]

Rather, they temporarily assume the truth of parts of particular systems in order to accomplish their goals.

Whoever wrote that does not understand the first thing about chaos magic. It is not necessary to "assume truth" of systems or parts of systems -- in fact, Grant Morrison says (in "Pop Magic!") that one should instead go through the motions and see if they work. I can understand that this may be hard to appreciate, since people often think of magic as a "belief system", but really it isn't - at least not chaos magic -- at least not as described by GM. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 02:19, 4 December 2006 (UTC).
I was the one who wrote that chaos magicians "assume the truth" of other belief systems. By this, I did not mean that the chaos magician actually believes that these are correct, because we have no problem holding contradictory beliefs. Rather, because these systems do seem to have real results, we "assume the truth" of them in the sense that we use them insofar as they work. I don't think we actually just "go through the motions" because these motions include going through different beliefs. In chaos magic, there is a strong emphasis on trying out different belief systems, but this doesn't mean that ALL chaos magicians mess with belief. However, one seminal article on chaos magic is Frater U.'.D.'.'s piece on models of magic, which definitely focuses on belief. Grant Morrison is not the arbiter of what chaos magic is. Zensufi 21:35, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

In Pop Culture[edit]

"The name "Chaos" and the chaosphere are also used to represent the ever-present evil in Games Workshop's line of miniature games Warhammer Fantasy and Warhammer 40,000 (which resulted somewhat ironically in some chaotes adopting terminology from those games)."

I wouldn't call the Chaos Gods of Warhammer Fantasy and 40K evil exactly. In the games the people that fight against the Chaos Gods sometimes take actions that could be considered evil and the Chaos Gods sometimes take actions that could be considered good. If an opponent of a Chaos God does an evil act it does not make them more Chaotic nor does it result in their coruption. I'm not sure how to rework it though.

In Warhammer Fantasy/Warhammer 40K, if an opponent of Chaos does something evil, he/she often starts to shift towards Chaos. In fact, this is a major running theme of the Games Workshop universe: that today's champions of Chaos used to work for Good but were lured by Chaos, sometimes by being too extreme in the defense of Good. (To be fair, the other running theme is that Good is often as bad as Chaos, and that there are no good guys. GW fans call this "grimdark"). (talk) 20:12, 11 April 2017 (UTC)

The chaosphere[edit]

Too bad we can't have a way to randomly change which variant displays each time the page is loaded. --Tsuzuki26 03:47, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

Awaiting citation[edit]

Magical paradigm shifting[edit]

[citation needed]

Perhaps the most striking feature of chaos magic is the concept of the magical paradigm shift. Borrowing a term from philosopher Thomas Kuhn, Carroll made the technique of arbitrarily changing one's world view (or paradigm) of magic a major concept of chaos magic. An example of a magical paradigm shift is doing a Lovecraftian rite, followed by using a technique from an Edred Thorsson book in the following ritual. These two magical paradigms are very different, but while the individual is using one, he believes in it fully to the extent of ignoring all other (often contradictory) ones. The shifting of magical paradigms has since found its way into the magical work of practitioners of many other magical traditions, but chaos magic remains the field where it is most developed.

One of the most frequently cited tenets of Chaos magic is that "Nothing is True and Everything is Permitted," a quote attributed to Hassan I Sabbah and used by Friedrich Nietzsche in his work Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Like Crowley's "'Do what thou wilt' shall be the whole of the law," this phrase is often mistakenly interpreted in its most literal sense to mean that there is no such thing as objective truth, so people are free whatever they chose. However, "Nothing is True and Everything is Permitted" is more widely interpreted to mean "there is no such thing as an objective truth outside of our perception; therefore, all things are true and possible."

The idea is that belief is a tool that can be applied at will rather than unconsciously. Some chaos magicians think that trying unusual, and often bizarre beliefs is in itself an experience worth having and consider flexibility of belief a form of power or freedom in a cybernetic sense of the word.

The Gnostic state[edit]

[citation needed]

A concept introduced by Carroll is the gnostic state, also referred to as gnosis. This is defined as a special state of consciousness that in his magic theory is what is necessary for working most forms of magic. This is a departure from older concepts which described energies, spirits or symbolic acts as the source of magical powers. The concept has an ancestor in the Buddhist concept of Samadhi, made popular in western occultism by Aleister Crowley and further explored by Austin Osman Spare.

The gnostic state is achieved when a person's mind is focused on only one point, thought, or goal and all other thoughts are thrust out. Users of chaos magic each develop their own ways of reaching this state. All such methods hinge on the belief that a simple thought or direction experienced during the gnostic state and then forgotten quickly afterwards is sent to the subconscious, rather than the conscious mind, where it can be enacted through means unknown to the conscious mind.

  • Added citations for magical paradigm shifting and the gnostic state. --Tsuzuki26 03:20, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

Chaos magicians[edit]

[citation needed]

Practitioners of chaos magic attempt to be outside of all categories - for them, worldviews, theories, beliefs, opinions, habits and even personalities are tools that may be chosen arbitrarily in order to understand or manipulate the world they see and create around themselves. Chaos magicians are frequently described as funny, extreme or very individualistic people. They also may consider themselves exceptionally tolerant, remarking that whatever one might disagree over is merely an opinion, and hence interchangeable, anyway.

While chaos magic has lost some of the popularity it had in the UK during the 1980s, it is still active and influential. Its ideas can be found to leak into modern shamanism in particular, and are common in occult Internet forums. Proponents assert that the growing individuality of occultism in informal, often Internet-based surroundings is a direct result of the success of chaos magic, while critics argue this informal occultism often lacks a well-developed understanding of gnosis and paradigm shifting and is therefore not rightfully called chaos magic.

Symbols and deities[edit]

[citation needed]

Chaos magic is unique among magical traditions in that it does not attribute significance to any particular symbol or deity. Wicca and Thelema, for example, could not be what they are without the Mother goddess and Horus, respectively. In contrast, chaos magicians may (or may not) pick any concept or set of concepts to worship, invoke or evoke. Traditional deities associated with chaos, such as Tiamat, Eris, Loki and Hundun are also popular, as are the entities described in the Necronomicon.

Following the tenet that anything can have significance and hold magical power, chaos magic rituals have centered around symbols as diverse as the color Octarine, a single worn sock, random-found street debris, or Harpo Marx. In some instances these uses have developed into temporary, but elaborate cults that may be seen as parodies of more fixed magical traditions, or of "fixedness" in general.

The eight-pointed chaos star (chaosphere or chaos wheel), originally taken from the fantasy novels of Michael Moorcock, is frequently used by chaos magicians and is today seen as a symbol of chaos magic's "infinite possibility." It is a spoked device with eight equidistant arrows radiating from a central point. The current rounded shape was devised by author and chaos magician Peter Carroll. However, this preference is not shared by all and may be argued to root solely in the symbol's semi-official use by the Illuminates of Thanateros. Most chaos magicians routinely create magical symbols for themselves (see Sigil).

Wikimedia Commons sidebar.[edit]

There's a graphic on the left side of the screen that says "Wikipedia is controlled by a close-knit group of Chaos Magic Overlords, as seen in the Wikimedia Commons logo.". Is this correct? If not, is it really an appropriate joke? --irrevenant [ talk ] 11:24, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

I've reverted it - put it back if it should be there, but I doubt it. --irrevenant [ talk ] 11:30, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

AOS as a chaos magician?![edit]

I believe that Austin Osman Spare should be removed from the section "Noble chaos magicians" due to the fact that he is the founder of a school of magic that some later magicians have deduced Chaos Magic out of that. --Sepand (talk) 20:46, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

I tend to agree. His methods are used by chaos magicians, but so are some of Crowley's, Patanjali's and a lot of others. He's mentioned in the influences and that should be enough. - Denial 13:51, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
I also agree and have done the removal. Alabaster Crow 21:35, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

Mr T practises chaos magic???[edit]

I don't think this is true. I think some one added it as a joke, but I might be wrong. —Preceding unsigned comment added by JettisonCargo (talkcontribs) 22:34, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

It most likely is. I'll look through history and see if it really needs to stay, because according to Mr. T's article, it says he's a born-again Christian and has its own reference. Disinclination (talk) 17:01, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
There is a reference in the Mr T article: "Jones, William (2005). in Jason Louv (Editor): Generation Hex. The Disinformation Company. ISBN 1932857206." Can someone here check that? - Denial (talk) 12:40, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

Black magic types[edit]

There are three types of Black Indian magics

1.Chethabadhi : It is black magic done to kill single person.He gets ill and become weak day by day and finaly death.

2.Banamathi: It is black magic done to small village or small that all people in that town or village become sick and become become weak day by day. death will come onces to every home .that means one person dies in each house.

3 Kashmora : Its is most powerfull black magic. IT is done to whole country.One person die in each house. what moses done to egypt written in bibble. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:53, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

I believe this information is irrelevant for the article "chaos magic" since "chaos" here doesn't refer to "the evil chaotic forces" but to mathematical Chaos theory along with the "cosmology" in Michael Moorcock fantasy books of Elric of Melniboné. If you can find relevant sources, your notes might be relevant for the articles Left-Hand Path and Right-Hand Path and/or Black magic. ... said: Rursus (mbork³) 18:24, 29 October 2009 (UTC)

Uhmm, Chaos Magic by which group/school (NPOV)[edit]

There are many many schools of magic, philosophies of magic, magical traditions that don't use the term chaos magic or even organize magical practices this way. However, this article is written in a style that any modern practitioner of magic that follows the article's guidelines would then be a user of chaos magician. The intro needs to specify which schools or traditions of magic make this classification and which the article is primarily referring to. All it currently says is "Chaos magic is a school of the modern magical tradition" however, as modern magical tradition does not have it's own article, it needs further explanation, and should be listed in the intro. If a practitioner of magic does not have a belief system that includes this classification of magic, he wouldn't use or even recognize the term; i.e. this article is not NPOV because it treats the classification as universal when it is not. It needs to specify the main "authors" so to speak of the movement in the intro (dor example, an article on Thelema would invariable mention Crowley in the intro). Many different traditions can have different definitions of what chaos magic is, and none is either more right or wrong. (talk) 06:53, 13 September 2009 (UTC)

No gnosis[edit]

Actually, I think the article links incorrectly from the "chaos magic" concept of "gnosis" to gnosis. As I have read it and possibly experienced it, gnosis is involuntary, and not an altered mind state achieved through good old hypnosis, good old trance or good old meditation. The "chaos magic" concept of "gnosis" is AFAIK not gnosis. ... said: Rursus (mbork³) 18:29, 29 October 2009 (UTC)

Criticism retracted: the article doesn't link to gnosis. I was wrong, pardon. ... said: Rursus (mbork³) 18:30, 29 October 2009 (UTC)

CITATION NEEDED FOR QUESTIONABLE INFORMATION regarding secretomancy and shhhhsism, if they are legit[edit]

Hi. Is this information from the article correct? If so, it needs citation. I can't find any references to "secretomancy," "shhhhsism" or the anal glands of lemurs in google searches, except for sites copying this article.

I am not sure about semenancy, sounds like something Crowley et al would have been into. If practiced, semenism needs citation as well.

<<Others practice syllogistic manipulation of the endocrine system by use of rituals involving rare biological materials such as giraffe testicles and lemur anal glands, which is known as secretomancy - not to be confused with shhhhsism, the order of secret worshipers of secrets - nor with semenancy (divination through semen splatter pattern interpretation).>>

I am using a Thai keyboard and can't find the tildes, if indeed they are here. Melissa Rossi, March 26, 2010. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Melissarossi199 (talkcontribs) 10:16, 26 March 2010 (UTC)


Enlightenment through disordering.

Free will through 'belief'.

Retrochronic causation through forgetfulness.

This must be in jest. Else, that is, if this is really what you practise, you must be trying to descend some inverted tree of life descending from Malkuth into the bowels of Qliphothic excrement, wherein you, sacs of depreciating waste, hosts of multiplying misconceived parasites, slither deeper after the illusory, infernal light of your belief, losing free will and consciousness, forgetting whence you came, lost and rejectable.

Whichever but the blackest of black lodges buried in the ill brain of a most idiotic and foolish human could have thought up this sheer anti-logic, this enervating, energy-squandering lethal venom for Our Mercury? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:27, 27 March 2010 (UTC)

I don't see how your ridicule has any place on a Wikipedia discussion page. Furthermore, I don't see how your comment has got anything to do with secretomancy and shhhhsism. Calanor (talk) 15:02, 7 November 2010 (UTC)


Some important references I don't see here:

Principia Chaotica

Kaos Liber

(by Peter Carroll)

Xurtio (talk) 07:12, 10 August 2010 (UTC)


I must say that I've tended to the opinion that some credit should go to Ramsey Dukes for formulating at least some principles of Chaos Magic, primarily in S S O T B M E ("Sex Secrets of the Black Magicians Exposed") which dates from 1974: at this time Dukes was well-acquainted with Spare's work and had been influenced by it, particularly in terms of the significance of being able to detach oneself from traditional magical systems.

(I actually think that the reference to chaos magic in the Dukes article itself tends to underplay his role, as it has him influenced by chaos magic before it really existed.) It's interesting to me that SSOTBME gets a "further reading" line in the current article but neither he nor it is mentioned in the text. (This doesn't impact the credit currently given to Spare in the article IMO.)

Is Dukes's contribution to early chaos magic worthy of being addressed here?

Richard E (talk) 23:25, 15 September 2010 (UTC)

If it's verifiable using reliable sources, go for it. What you want is to be able to work from and cite somebody commenting on what you're talking about. —chaos5023 (talk) 23:40, 15 September 2010 (UTC)

Use of the word 'Magic'[edit]

'Magic' to those of us who have studied, is the art of a stage magician. The word 'Magic' is never used to describe any type of Magickal art. In my opinion, the title should be changed."Selene Scott (talk) 00:22, 16 June 2013 (UTC)"

In context "magic" is acceptable, "magickal" being a Crowley initiative also taken up by Wiccans (but not always) - ostensibly to distinguish from stage magic but also for gematria. Pockmarking an article with "k" spellings (even in "magickian") could be seen as in-universe language & OTT. Manytexts (talk) 16:25, 18 May 2014 (UTC)


That section was just an utter mess. I cited the Liber Kaos for the "Modern practitioners are experimenting with retro-chronal magick, or changing past events." The discussion of the topic occurs on pages 29 - 39, although the wording is far less pseudo-intellectual than the sentence used above. I would recommend a rewrite of it.

I also removed the POV questioned sentence. " a skill requiring a deep understanding of the nature of memory and belief" is stated nowhere that I could find in my library or online resources, and actually makes the concept more complex than it is presented by Peter Carroll and others.

"the proposed mechanism through which all magicknow[sic] works". This makes two assumptions. First, it implies that magic now works through a different system than it used to, also expresses that magic works as fact. While I am a long-time practitioner of Chaos magic, and I believe in its efficacy, that does not mean that 'magic as fact' belongs in the Wikipedia article. Other beliefs don't get to do it either. It is also contradictory to other statements in the article, and to references give, that Chaos is a 'system'. Much of Chaos itself is based around borrowing from other traditions, it does not have a fixed set of practices or beliefs. Removed.

Asked for citation on Marilyn Manson being a notable author. I would suggest that all the people in that list are either cited or linked to another article that mentions their involvement with Chaos Magic.

I didn't remove this, but it's just babble. "It requires the practitioner to maintain a careless memory of how things used to be, with a belief that things are in chaotic flux, an expectation that change will occur and the ability to accept the changes as they occur." The terms 'careless memory' and 'chaotic flux' are not defined or clearly used in context. It should be rewritten or removed.

Removed "Terry Pratchett describes the process as the "zipper in the trousers of time"." as this was never used my Pratchett in reference to Chaos Magic, it is merely a quote representative of the belief system. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:43, 3 July 2014 (UTC)

This article used to be fairly well written. It seems that some of the more recent changes are a bit erroneous. Perhaps by someone who reads too many message boards rather than books by the creators and early founders of the movement. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:41, 3 July 2014 (UTC)

Chaos Magic redirect[edit]

Someone is changing the Chaos Magic redirect target to Timo_Tolkki#Chaos_Magic. WTF? See — Jeraphine Gryphon (talk) 08:05, 18 July 2015 (UTC)

'magickal' and semiotic drift[edit]

Semiotic drift has nothing to do with it. Magickal is a misspelling not supported in any print dictionary, which is Wikipedia's standard. It would have to be pronounced Ma gi' kal if it were spelled this way. Book titles and usage notwithstanding. Magick is fine and well attested. Magickal is jargon and not acceptable in the general text of articles. If it is used it needs either to be in quotes or with (sic) added. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Choronzonclub (talkcontribs) 22:25, 21 December 2015 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Chaos magic/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

Article gives a basic understanding of what Chaos magic consists of, but could use further detail, referencing and worldwide view to push the article to GA status. Bookkeeperoftheoccult (talk) 01:59, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

Last edited at 01:59, 3 March 2008 (UTC). Substituted at 11:15, 29 April 2016 (UTC)


This revision added a link to a paid subscription based online chaos magic school. Seems like plugging/advertising, and there are definitely other links that could be there that are far more notable and relevant. Is it appropriate for this to be here?

Seisatsu (talk) 05:09, 10 November 2016 (UTC)

You're right, it's basically spam. I removed it. — Jeraphine Gryphon (talk) 14:53, 10 November 2016 (UTC)