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June 10th, 2009


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02:45 pm - Musings on Chaos Magic
Many years ago, I read a certain article about chaos magic, one that struck me as rather poignant. It's called "GO UNDERGROUND and be a CHAOS MAGICIAN" and is form Joel Biroco's The Exorcist of Revolution. While it's generally an aimless meandering through Biroco's brain (though not at all uninteresting), the thrust of it is that Chaotes cannot be a part of the corporate world and really practice their craft to its greatest depths and heights.

It was from this essay that I first got an image of the peddling magician, creating amulets out of discarded aluminum cans and bits of string and held together with old chewed gum, a sort of modern day begging priest, or goes for you Hellenes out there. I have always liked this model, always thought that it was something that we need in this society, and always thought that there might be a place for me to do such a thing. Well, perhaps not the discarded gum part.

Re-reading the essay, though, brought me to think on it a bit more than I had in the past. I would fall into the "nine-to-five magician" category that Biroco holds up: I live in a corporate world, and the thought of quitting right now does, indeed, scare the hell out of me. I'm pleased with my job, where I am, and where I am going. Contentment, which I'm sure would be frowned upon by Biroco, is something I know in this place right now, even if it is sometimes a bit stressful and often a very hard job.

On the other hand, I purposefully did not arrive here through magical means, nor through ritual, nor even through prayer. I did no work other than the work of my own hands to make it here, put on no ceremonial clothes outside of the suit I interviewed in and the clothes I chose to wear daily, spoke no incantations beyond the statements made in my interview, and manipulated the selection process only by submitting a resumé. Biroco's "nine-to-five magicians" ignore their impulses for a more romantic life, and direct their mystical work toward their own career direction.

Suddenly, I fit the one-tracked, stunted "nine-to-five magician" mold a bit less.

In many ways, I find that the focus I have now (and have always had, though sometimes to greater extent than others) on being careful about what I practice magic for and who I practice it for/on has mitigated some of the limitations of the corporate world that could trap a guy like me: I practice neither on nor for myself. I've developed some interesting amulets over the years (the Cthulhu amulet being one of my favourites), done some amazing sigil work, involved myself in healing rituals that went better than I could have imagined, and given offerings for all sorts of people in amazingly sacred spaces (high on Mt. Olympus and beneath the Temple of Apollo at Delphi being the best of them). All this work was done for others, or at the request of others, and there's very little direct benefit to myself. Certainly, none of it is directed at my choice of career path.

Do I agree with Biroco's thesis, that I am not the magician I could be were I free of the shackles of oppression that the 9-5 world has clasped me in? I think that he might be right on that point. The other half of his thesis, though, that exiting society's rules is the only way to go, that it somehow naturally creates the Chaote and brings him/her to a state of deep magics with great heights, is flawed.

Chaotes are self-made: there Biroco and I appear to agree fully. What I don't agree with, though, is that environments themselves are enough to set our fates and overcome the self-making process.

We are who we are because we wish to be ourselves: no more, no less.
Current Location: Southeast of Disorder
Current Mood: busy
Current Music: "The Great Filling Station Holdup", -JB

(20 comments Leave a comment)

Comments:


(Deleted comment)
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From:chronarchy
Date:June 10th, 2009 07:43 pm (UTC)

Re: This is just my opinion, but it happens to be an opinion I'm vehement about.

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Yep. I think that the narrow "dual path" that's presented is full of potholes that can swallow a whale (and not just a little one: we're talking humpbacks or blues here, not belugas).

Still, I find the essay to be very interesting on the whole, and the notion not unromantic and unattractive.

Edited at 2009-06-10 07:44 pm (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:June 10th, 2009 08:01 pm (UTC)

Re: This is just my opinion, but it happens to be an opinion I'm vehement about.

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A great question, but one I'm not qualified to answer, since I've not actively been in on any discussion.

For which I suspect I am very grateful. :)
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:June 10th, 2009 08:29 pm (UTC)

Re: This is just my opinion, but it happens to be an opinion I'm vehement about.

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Yay! Because I am under the impression that there is drama, but I just don't know anything about it. And it did seem very odd that you'd ask on my journal, of all places :)

I think I need a better description of "crazy things," as the CLG'er's seem to run the gamut of "crazy good" and "crazy-crazy" and "crazy bad". . . And as with any Grove (including ours), many fit several categories :)
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:chironcentaur
Date:June 11th, 2009 12:32 am (UTC)

Re: This is just my opinion, but it happens to be an opinion I'm vehement about.

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You know, there might be people there willing to do so. I'm not certain, but I suppose its worth contacting the grove and asking.

As for the drama, don't ask. Its quiet now, don't want to give it ideas. ;-)
[User Picture]
From:angelofastheny
Date:June 11th, 2009 12:52 am (UTC)

Re: This is just my opinion, but it happens to be an opinion I'm vehement about.

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I'm from CLG and I'm sure you could find someone willing either to help you out or point you in the right direction, but I wouldn't call it or them crazy. Just hop on the website and e-mail our senior druid or ask on the message board. We're a pretty eclectic group of people. Hell, our SD may find this post. :D
[User Picture]
From:romandruid
Date:June 11th, 2009 01:28 am (UTC)

Re: This is just my opinion, but it happens to be an opinion I'm vehement about.

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Mmmm... man, I want me somma dem Immense Cosmic PowersTM. Where do I get them?!
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From:dragynphyre
Date:June 11th, 2009 12:17 pm (UTC)

Re: This is just my opinion, but it happens to be an opinion I'm vehement about.

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Are you willing to settle for the Itty Bitty Living Space that goes along with those?

(watch Disney's Alladin if you didn't catch the reference)
[User Picture]
From:smithing_chick
Date:June 11th, 2009 01:53 am (UTC)

Re: This is just my opinion, but it happens to be an opinion I'm vehement about.

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Sidenote- *THAT* is a really great icon. :-D

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