or, the bibliography and other resources.
“TOO MANY CHOICES! JUST PICK ONE FOR ME!”
Hine, Phil. Condensed Chaos
Superb introduction to the practice of chaos magic. Whereas Pete Carroll’s Liber Null appears like a collection of pronouncements, out of context, Condensed Chaos fleshes out the magical attitude and practice from the author’s own vast experience of both doing magic and giving workshops on it. And he shows a down-to-earth sense of humour.
The Toolkit consists of those books which I think work best in conjunction with this site. They are packed with information and exercises, and each author’s approach is distinct from those of the others, giving a delightful taste of the possible variety.
Chapman, Alan. Advanced Magick for Beginners
The author takes us from entry-level exercises through the gamut of magical skills all the way to the Great Work of Magick. But he wants most of all to restore the initiatory dimension all but lost in chaos magic after the seminal work Liber Null & Psychonaut.
Fries, Jan. Visual Magick
Not so much a chaos magician as a ‘freestyle shaman.’ Originally a treatise on how to do sigils, this book grew in the telling, and encompasses a whole range of approaches from hypnosis to raising animal atavisms. Very much geared to getting up and getting sweaty by DOING magic.
Hine, Phil. Condensed Chaos (see above)
Farber, Phil. Brain Magick
Phil brings his wealth of experience as magician and neuro-linguistic programmer to bear on this blend of neuroscience and magic, with exercises mostly for self-transformation.
This list is for those who wish to read more widely around the subject. Each of the following books scores highly on two criteria; practical usefulness in magic and broad understanding of the roots and characteristics of chaos magic. They will definitely fill out the picture for you.
Additional: many of these authors have more books than are mentioned here. Just a hint.
Carroll, Peter J. Liber Null & Psychonaut
Two series of terse essays giving general lines of chaos magic. The first outlines the grade syllabuses of the Illuminates of Thanateros, the second concerns itself more with groupwork and further elucidation of the first.
Here the author attempts a Chaos Magic Theory. While the mathematical metaphor doesn’t come off for me, the sections on the eight magics and the appendices, especially ‘Liber KKK,’ provides a paradigm template which helps to structure one’s understanding of the otherwise confusing morass of approaches to magic.
(with Matt Kaybryn) The Epoch
An expansion of the Tree of Life into the Chaobala, a broad pantheon of deities to work with, with accompanying set of cards. The artwork is staggeringly good and the cards big enough for use in Evocation.
Crowley, Aleister. Magick
Gems from the Equinox
Magick Without Tears
Each of these encapsulates Crowley’s magick, which has influenced Western magic immensely. Just pick one.
Daniels, Aaron B. (with Laura Daniels). Imaginal Reality, vols One & Two
A philosophical tour de force rather than a practical manual. The most rigorous attempt yet at producing a philosophy underpinning chaos magic.
Dukes, Ramsey. S.S.O.T.B.M.E.
A seminal chaos magic text, treating mainly of the relationships between Science, Magic, Art and Religion, and partly responsible for steering British magic away from merely psychological techniques. Dukes, whatever pseudonym he uses, constitutes the secret weapon of chaos magic.
Kraig, Donald Michael. Modern Magick
A coursebook of Qabalistic magic in the style of the Golden Dawn, this will save a lot of looking up of obscure Qabala stuff and explains the field clearly. Much of Western magic is based on this, so here is a useful sourcebook from a much-missed man.
Lee, Dave. Chaotopia!
Subtitled ‘Magick & Ecstasy in the PandaemonAeon,’ once a snapshot of chaos magic and a collection of essays and exercises especially those concerned with ecstatic states, from one of the major figures still very active in chaos magic.
Malaclypse the Elder (et al.). Principia Discordia
The sacred text of Discordianism, a favourite of Robert Anton Wilson, which puts a sense of humour into magic.
Sherwin, Ray. The Theatre of Magick
An excellent introduction to magic in its own right, and a valuable reminder that Pete Carroll didn’t create chaos magic on his own. A completely different approach and therefore in itself a lesson. I rate it more highly than even his The Book of Results.
Spare, Austin Osman. The Book of Pleasure
The Focus of Life
Two most directly relevant works from the grandfather of chaos magic.
Stratton-Kent, Jake. Geosophia
One instalment of the Encyclopaedia Goetica. Jake’s thesis is that the Western Magical Tradition can be traced continuously from ancient Greek goeteia to the present and is furthermore able to take that tradition forward.
Thorsson, Edredd. Futhark
Foundational text in rune magic, another common magical paradigm with which you might usefully familiarize yourself, from the founder of the Rune Guild.
U. D., Frater. High Magick, vols I & II
The chiefest works of this influential German chaos magician who first expounded information or cybernetic models of magic.
Vayne, Julian. Magick Works
(with Greg Humphreys) Now That’s What I Call Chaos Magick
Julian, writing at first with Greg, gives reflections on the practice of magic illustrated by first-hand accounts. These really happened, folks. I know, because sometimes I was there.
(with Nikki Wyrd) The Book of Baphomet
My beloved friends and colleagues offer wider and deeper understanding of Baphomet than the common ‘randy goat-boy’ stereotype.
Vitimus, Andrieh. Hands-On Chaos Magick
Wetzel, Josh. The Paradigmal Pirate
And another, with a gung-ho account of chaos magic not for the pure in heart. Especially good for his accounts of layered rituals and enchantment series.
White, Gordon. The Chaos Protocols
The acclaimed author of the Rune Soup blog describes how to steer your magical boat through the rough economic waters ahead of us all as ‘business as usual’ collapses in chaos around us. This book gives you not only the hard facts but the magical means to deal and come out on top. You cannot afford to not know this.
Pieces of Eight
Gordon outlines his idea of minimal requirements for your working chaos magician.
Gordon’s exploration of the prehistoric beginnings of magic.
Aside from translations of any books mentioned previously, Deutsch-speakers may want to consult these important works:
.717, Frater. Handbuch der Chaosmagie
Conata, Soror. Kuchenmagie
and Facebook page: Illuminaten von Thanateros Sektion Deutschland
a journal: Visionarium
Again, aside from translations of any books mentioned previously, here’s a collection of extracts from the writings of Pete Carroll for Francophones:
(traduit par Soror D.S. & Spartakus Freemann) Chaos Compendium
And a website: https://www.kaosphorus.net/
Fabulous Polish Chaos Magic site: https://magiachaosu.wordpress.com/
OTHER INTERNET RESOURCES
Chaotopia. Dave Lee’s blog. Sign up for the newsletter.
chaosmatrix.org, Fenwick Rysen’s legendary Chaos Matrix website, back from the void.
Rune Soup: Gordon White’s thought-provoking chaos magic blog.
The Blog of Baphomet: Julian Vayne, Nikki Wyrd and Steve Dee offer a dialogue between nature and culture.
Real Magic on the Street: Andrieh Vitimus championing practical magic.
This final list contains useful material to prepare oneself as magician.
Bandler, Richard. Richard Bandler’s Guide to Trance-formation
A solid guide to self-hypnosis and its uses by the co-founder of NLP.
Cialdini, Robert. Influence
The black book of persuasion. Use with care.
de Bono, Edward. Lateral Thinking
Ideas and techniques for creatively generating alternatives, particularly useful for problem-solving and for curing the common ailment of Having The Right Answers.
Dobelli, Rolf. The Art of Thinking Clearly
A compendium of cognitive biases, ways in which our minds work outside of consciousness and reason. It’s very worthwhile knowing about these.
Goode, Greg. The Direct Path
Non-sectarian course in self-enquiry, with progressive exercises, framed as experiments, which anyone can do.
Meadows, Donella. Thinking in Systems: a Primer
Meadows wanted an introduction to systems thinking for her students, so she wrote one. It’s very readable and clear and does indeed change the way you think from thinking in terms of objects to thinking in terms of systems and processes.
Vogler, Christopher. The Writer’s Journey
Originally a scriptwriters’ template incorporating Jungian archetypes into Joe Campbell’s The Hero’s Journey to generate plot and characters. For us a mythical journey of initiation. And you’ll never watch a blockbuster movie in the same way again.
Wilson, Robert Anton. Prometheus Rising
Right Where You Are Sitting Now
My three favourites of Uncle Bob, assisting us in our illumination.
Wittgenstein, Ludwig. On Certainty
Wittgenstein wrestles with knowledge, belief, certainty and doubt in a final, cancer-terminated effort to remove philosophically-induced confusions.