This booklet has been an attempt to put over some of the basic ideas behind Chaos Magick. What you should bear in mind when reading it is that you're getting my ideas on the subject -strained through my experiences and the zig-zag trail I've blazed through the weird world of magick. There are no 'definitive' books on the Chaos approach. No time-laden glamour of 'tradition' into which the fledgling magician may step with safety, and absolve himself of responsibility for being creative and innovative. The demand of Chaos Magick is that you weave your own path of development, rather than following someone else's - and how you weave that path is largely left up to you.
Where is Chaos Magick going? There is no discernable, distinct path that is going 'somewhere' - no golden bliss of illumination or stated goal tied into the approach. The end-point, if indeed there is such, is for you to decide and discover. Critics of the Chaos approach (both outside and within the corpus) have highlighted a tendency towards 'playing with magick' - trying out different magical systems with the same blitheness that we might try different flavours of ice cream. Some practitioners try out different rituals and techniques without any deeper understanding of how these experiences fit together. Because there is no laiddown 'path', one might then think that there is no path, but again, this is for each of us to
Phil Hine decide. Chaos Magick reflects much of modern western culture, with its emphasis on a multiplicity of ever-changing styles, of diffuse fragments blending in with each other, without a discernable 'thread' to bind them together.
But it is down to each of us to find our individual sense of connectiveness. To throw up a semblance of order from what Austin Osman Spare called, 'the chaos of the normal'. The term 'Gnosis' also means, 'knowledge of the heart' - that which can only come from personal insight and experience, and very often, is difficult to communicate to another, other than in an oblique form. Chaos Magic is merely an all-embracing approach to Gnosis, which encourages each individual to become responsible for their own development - what you do, and how you interpret it in the light of your own experience. I'm occassionally asked by people 'what do you have to do' to become a Chaos Magician. There really isn't an answer to this. You could, for example, practice Qabalah (and exclusively Qabalah) for ten years, and thus consider yourself a Chaos Magician - if you wanted to. Above all, don't confuse opinion with dogma, or glamour for commitment - but that's only my opinion anyway! Hail Eris!
Phil Hine, March 1992.
Was this article helpful?
Magick is the art and practice of moving natural energies to effect needed or wanted change. Magick is natural, there is absolutely nothing supernatural about it. What is taught here are various techniques of magick for beginners. Magick is natural and simple and the techniques to develop abilities should be simple and natural as well. What is taught on this site is not only the basics of magick, but the basics of many things.