Anton Channing Liber Minor 0
|Pagan Teenage Voice |
(Magazine of Minor Arcana)
|Quest Magazine: |
|University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire|
|Pagan Dawn |
Nothing is True, Everything is Permitted
(from the special free preview edition released on Beltaine of 1998)
Theory 0 - The Ethicks of Chaos
Welcome to the preview column of Liber Minor, a dose of Chaos for all budding teenage magicians, and for any older magicians who happen to read it. Before I continue I would like to point out that the views I set out in this column are mine and mine only. They are not the views of any Chaos Magickal order or other Chaos Magicians, although perhaps one might expect there to be some similarity! Actually the views might only be mine some of the time. I reserve the right to disagree with myself at a later date.
You may have noticed that this column is divided into two halves, theory and practicks. This is so that you aren't bored by tonnes of theory and also because here in Chaosville we believe that magick should be as much about doing as it is thinking. It is in doing that you have fun and a Chaos Magician lives for fun!
So what is Chaos Magick? One of the things that makes Chaos stand out is its approach to ethics. In Wicca, for example, you can sum up ethical thinking with "An it harm none, do what you will" and the threefold law. These are both very nice tidy idealistic laws but unfortunately they have no basis in reality. Physics has already proved that "every action has an equal and opposite reaction" not that "every action has a reaction three times as great". "An it harm none" may seem like a nice tidy rule of thumb to live by but it is not an ultimate truth. In practice Wiccans have found it very difficult to agree on a definition of harm and many have been forced to admit that it is an impossibly idealistic vision to try and live by.
Then there is Thelema and "Do as thou wilt shall be the whole of the law, Love is the law, Love under Will." This is a statement suggesting that, so long as you follow your Divine Will, then you can do anything you like. Chaos however goes one step further and states "Nothing is True, Everything is Permitted". Chaos then is a belief that there is no truth in the universe and that everything is possible. In other words, you can do as you like regardless of whether or not it corresponds to any notion of "divine will". What naive self important creatures we are if we believe any action we take could go against the divine will of creation!
So how does a Chaos Magician approach an ethical dilemma? Do Chaos Magi choose to be nasty or nice? Most Chaos Magicians seek to liberate themselves from social, political, religious and other restrictions to their freedom. Paradoxically this can lead to Chaos Magicians being among the most organised of magicians, since organisation can actually be very liberating! Chaos Magicians then also like to help liberate those around them, because this can have return benefits for the magician. If your friends are also more liberated, as well as yourself, then that allows you to enjoy those freedoms together and therefore increase all your freedoms even further. The same applies to further liberating society as a whole.
I just thought I'd make it clear, that when I say liberating ones friends, I do not mean by going around preaching to them about how restricting certain of their behaviours, habits are, but by encouraging and helping them in actions they wish to take which will have the effect of increasing their freedom.
That's enough theory for one column and time to get onto the fun bit, the Practicks! The following is an exercise in liberation from the chains of belief, and results should be recorded in a special magickal diary if you have one. One word of warning, as far as I know this exercise is untested. Anyone trying it out does so at their own risk. I would be interested to hear about how people find it...
Practicks 0 - Random Astrological Belief Exercise(1)
Random belief can be a powerful liberating tool and the following will be a powerfully liberating exercise for all those of you with a strong belief in astrology. If you don't know much about astrology, the following exercise will also be a good way to learn.
This exercise should last for twelve consecutive weeks(2), and should be practised alongside your other magickal work.
In the first week you should learn as much as you can about your own star sign and during that week you should alter your behaviour as much as possible to fit your star sign. You really should take your star sign to the extreme in all you do, the way you dress, your behaviour. Read your horoscope in the paper and believe it.
In the second week you should change your star sign to the next one in the zodiac. You should believe that you are your new star sign and dress like it accordingly. You should strive as much as possible to behave like your new star sign. When you read your horoscope you should read it for your new star sign instead, and if anyone asks, tell them your new sign instead of your old one. Change your birthday if necessary.(3)
In the third week you should move on to the next star sign and keep going until you have been all the star signs in the zodiac!
Good luck, and may the Chaos be with you!
(1) If you are currently working on Liber MMM, this exercise can be counted as a work of Metamorphosis and should be committed to the Magickal Diary. The Liber MMM can be found in Liber Null & Psychonaught by Peter J. Carroll, ISBN 0-87728-639-6 and published by Samuel Weiser. This book is highly recommended for anybody seeking to study Chaos Magick.
(2) If you are really brave, you could make it last 12 months, or any length of time equally divisible into 12 equal segments. If you are pressed for time you could cram the whole exercise into 12 hours!
(3) It might be worth timing this so that you don't have to miss your birthday. If you are doing a 12 month version, this might prove difficult. If you are really crafty however, you could time it so that you have 12 birthdays in one year!