Anton Channing Liber Minor 5
|Pagan Teenage Voice |
(Magazine of Minor Arcana)
|Quest Magazine: |
|University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire|
|Pagan Dawn |
Dogma 5 - Introduction to Discordianism and Eris, goddess of Chaos and Confusion.
Eris and Discordianism are both very important aspects of the Chaos Magick movement, so important one might wonder why I have neglected to mention them up until this point. The answer is simple really, the number 5 being an especially sacred number to Discordians, I decided to wait until part 5. (N.B. 23 is also important).
Eris was a goddess much misunderstood by both the Greeks and Romans, depicted as causing havoc and mayhem where ever she placed her hand. In fact none of the other Greek gods liked her much. This is because she always gave the gods beautiful playful gifts of chaos. The gods being so hung up on pompous order couldn't cope with this chaos and always went a bit out of control whenever they were given such a gift, often causing much strife, war and disaster among humans. The myth of the golden apple is a fine example. Because they were scared of Eris they didn't invite her to a wedding party, even though all the other gods and goddesses were.
Eris was very upset and so she gatecrashed (not being hung-up on rules of who can go or not.) She brought a beautiful wedding gift for the bride, a golden apple with Kallisti, the Greek for "For the fairest", inscribed upon it. She had of course magically charged it to ensure that the bride had a chaotic, liberated and free life and that her husband would not try and restrict her with rules and orders and all that nonsense. She placed the apple on the bride's table. Noticing that all eyes were on her, and feeling a little embarrassed, she quietly left without saying a word. Of course Zeus was the first to pick up the apple, and no-one had realised that it was actually a wedding gift and so all the goddesses claimed that it must be them that it was meant for, each believing that they were the fairest, except Artemis who was a bit of a tom-boy. They all pleaded with Zeus to give the apple to them.
Zeus, of course, secretly thought that he himself was the fairest but being a man was too proud to admit it. Eventually he got a young man named Paris to decide for him, which led to the Trojan war. Eris pondered how something as harmless as a butterfly could lead to something as destructive as a hurricane. No one seems to have noticed that without Eris, a whole saga amazing stories and works of art would never have occurred, no Achilles's Heels, no Trojan Horses, no Ulysses voyage, no Cassandra the prophetess, no mention of Helen. And of course no Discordian Society and no Illuminatus! trilogy. Who knows, maybe even no Chaos Magick!
This of course leads us to the question of what, exactly, is the Discordian Society? Good question. It was founded by two mysterious men from California, called Malaclypse the Younger and Omar Ravenhurst. Malaclypse the Younger wrote a book called the Principia Discordia. In it he detailed the principles of Discordianism. It is a book which contains such words of wisdom as "It is my firm belief that it is a mistake to hold firm beliefs" and "Common sense is what tells you that the world is flat". Of more importance is "The Hell Law says that Hell is reserved exclusively for them that believe in it. Further, the lowest Rung in Hell is reserved for them that believe in it on the supposition that they'll go there if they don't".
Discordianism is founded upon the belief that all of the worlds ills are caused by imbalance towards Order over Disorder and a mistaken belief that Disorder and Chaos are the same thing. This is not so, Chaos is transcendant and liberated from the duality of Order/Disorder. Order and Disorder are both gifts given to us by the Chaos, which Discordians call Eris. Unfortunately, civilisation has chosen to ban all kinds of Disorder, even constructive Disorder whilst simultaneously forcing upon us the straight jacket of Order, even destructive Order. Law is presented to us as an unquestionable god, whose word must be obeyed at all cost, otherwise civilisation would collapse. This is not strictly true, in fact the truth is that civilisations prosper when laws are relaxed and collapse when they become too strict to be enforceable.
Along with this imbalance in favour of Order is a ridiculous belief that one must always be serious in order to be dignified, and that humour is to be frowned upon, or merely laughed at, but not taken seriously. Another imbalance. Discordians have taught us that we should be able to take humour seriously and seriousness humorously. So laugh and be disorderly, whenever you feel oppressed by order and seriousness, to help restore the transcendant state of Chaos to your mind.
After the Principia Discordia came the Illuminatus! trilogy by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson. Illuminatus! was divided into 5 acts, in accordance with the Law of Fives and named after the five great Discordian ages of Chaos, Discord, Confusion, Bureaucracy and Aftermath, 10 Parts, named after the Sephiroth on the Qabalistic tree of life and 3 books, named The Eye in the Pyramid, The Golden Apple and Leviathan. It tells a fiction conspiracy story about politics, magic, sex, religion, history, order and chaos, and consists mostly of a war between two main secret societies, the Ancient and Illuminated Seers of Bavaria and the Legion of Dynamic Discord. Most of the chapters are headed with quotes from the Principia and Eris plays an important role in the outcome of the story. It is essentially the second holy book of all Discordians. Many readers of this popular novel are unaware that Discordianism does in fact exist as a real movement, and are therefore equally unaware that the Principia Discordia is a real book, believing it to be made up, like Lovecraft's Necronomicon.
Practicks 5 - Discordian Saint Invocation.
The recently deceased Screaming Lord Sutch is currently undergoing formal canonisation to become an official Discordian Saint. By the time you are reading this it is likely that he will be a recognised Discordian Saint. As you can see we don't mess about with our canonisations, unlike the Catholic Church, who tend to take centuries to get round to recognising new Saints. Screaming Lord Sutch was Britain's longest serving party leader, as head of the Official Monster Raving Loony Party. His party slogan is worthy of the best Discordian, "Vote for insanity - you know it makes sense". Although he never managed a presence in Westminster, his party do have a mayor, Ashburton Mayor Alan Hope is a member of the OMRL Party. Contrary to popular belief, the OMRL Party wasn't just a joke, it had a political agenda, and many of its policies have been copied by mainstream politicians. Votes at 18, abolition of the 11-plus, and all-day pub opening were all originally OMRL policies before they were adopted by any other party.
Below is a ritual for invoking Saint Screaming Lord Sutch, for use in any instance where politics of any kind need an injection of humour, discord and/or insanity. As Discordianism encourages individualism it is not necessary to wait for confirmation of his official canonisation. It is in the form of a chant...
Screaming Lord Sutch, Screaming Lord Sutch, Saviour of British Politics! Screaming Lord Sutch, Screaming Lord Sutch, Screaming Lord Sutch, Oh Great Wise Loony! Come To Us at this Time and Let Us Not Be Lost Among The Precepts of Order! Come To Us at this Time and Protect Us From Bureaucracy! Come To Us at this Time so That We May Be Forever Free! Come To Us at this Time and Bless Us With The Divine Madness of Discord! Come To Us at this Time and Grant Our Prayer, Oh Great British Lord! (Repeat x23)
Use this chant whilst meditating upon a sigil of your chosen political intention, or upon a traditional Discordian Symbol, such as the 5-Fingered hand of Eris, The Golden Apple or the Sacred Chao, and or upon the numbers 5 or 23. (3 illustrations forthcoming)