Chaos Magick is not a religion but rather a postmodern magickal system.
Chaos Magick is hard to define since it doesn’t really have any communal, commonly shared components – not in its ethics nor in its practice. It’s highly individualistic, even more so than Satanism and other occult traditions. But the most basic core of Chaos Magick is the use of belief as a tool.
Power of Belief
Chaos Magick is centered around using whatever set of ethics or practice that works for YOU. Chaos Magick emphasizes the ability to consciously choose and make use of a certain magickal principle or belief for any given time.
For example a chaote, as the practitioner is known, might use an athame for his ritual work because he is drawing ritual inspiration from a tradition which uses an athame. During his magickal work he acts upon the belief that the athame is vital to his work, with full conviction. After the ritual or magick work, he discards the belief that the athame is vital and goes back to a rather neutral magickal stance – but for the duration of the magickal work the chaote *believes* beyond all belief that the athame is crucial for the work to be done.
There are quite a large number of agnostic and atheistic chaotes who use the belief in certain gods as a tool as well, and regard magick as psychological phenomena, not paranormal or spiritual.
The Gnostic State
This is a concept introduced by Peter J. Carroll, also known as gnosis. It is the idea that an altered state of consciousness is ideal for magickal work. There are three types of gnosis:
- Inhibitory gnosis, which is basically forms of deep trance, meditations, sensory deprivation – with or without the use of trance-inducing drugs.
- Exitory gnosis, which is basically sensory overload, intense arousal and other intense emotions – with or without the use of hallucinogenic drugs.
- Indifferent vacuity, which is magickal work done almost parenthetically.
A short reading list for the curious mind (in order to read)
- Phil Hine – Condensed Chaos
- Peter J. Carroll – Liber Null & Psychonaut
- Robert Anton Wilson – Prometheus Rising