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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Term: Chaos Magic

DEFINITIONS

Chaos Magic: A term coined by Peter Carroll in 1978 in his book Liber Null (published in the US in combination with another work as Liber Null and Psychonaut) to describe a system of magick that its practitioners (who usually call themselves Chaoists or Chaotes) consider to be radically different from previous forms of magick. Important concepts in this tradition include the power of belief (expressed as “fake it until you make it”), the Gnostic state (being extremely focused) as necessary for most magick, and extreme eclecticism including the use of any belief system (even ones that are known to be entirely fictional) for the working of magickal rituals. Carroll, with Ray Sherwin, founded the Magical Pact of the Illuminates of Thanateros (IOT), which is an important force in the very loosely organized Chaos Magic movement.


ARTICLES

The Robin Wood Tarot—A Review
Summary: A delightful delicacy in lively, stand-out color that modernizes the Rider-Waite-Smith deck in style while keeping most of the symbolism (including the medieval context) and making the characters’ personalities really apparent. This moves ...
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Amulet
A magical device for general protection and good fortune. An amulet differs from a talisman in that talismans are made and ritually consecrated for specific tightly focused purposes, while amulets are more general, and are often not formally ...
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Fundamental Laws of Enochian Magick
The three fundamental Laws of Enochian Magick are stated in H. P. Blavatsky’s The Secret Doctrine. These Laws pertain to everything in the universe, from subatomic particles to galaxies: 1. The Law of Duality states that an om-nipresent, eternal, ...
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What Is Rune Meditation?
Before the runes can be effective for works of magic or divination, they must be understood on the intuitive level and made to come alive in the unconscious. This will occur over time simply by using them, but the process can be encouraged through ...
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Basic Instruments of Ritual
The basic framework of Western magic is made up of a few surprisingly simple instruments that function on the astral plane (another way of saying in the imagination). Usually they have their material correspondents. As the physical instrument is ...
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Vodou - An African Shamanic Tradition
At first sight, shamanism and Vodou - what Hollywood has introduced into the popular imagination as "voodoo" - seem to have little in common. The former seems based on peaceful co-existence with nature and the elements, while the latter, in so far ...
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Oral Tradition and the Druidic Class
The ancient Druids considered it profane to record their teachings in writing. All of their teachings were handed down by spoken word in verses or stories. People at different levels taught different categories of the ancient lore. The highest in ...
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Review of The Quest Tarot
Summary: A brilliant, colorful, modern deck with 3D sci-fi imagery that will appeal to futurists and people looking for "something different" while keeping close enough to the Rider-Waite-Smith tradition that Tarot traditionalists will find it ...
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Hoodoo
The traditional folk magic of African-American culture, also known as conjure magic and rootwork. (The origin of the word "hoodoo" itself is uncertain, although it may derive from a West African source.) Hoodoo is to occultism what the blues are to ...
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Review of the Faery Wicca Tarot
Summary: A complex deck that can lead to intense readings by intermediate and advanced readers, it is also appropriate for those following Kisma’s Faery Wicca tradition. The Irish names will take dedication to master, but the usefulness of extra ...
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Review of Dame Fortune\'s Wheel Tarot
Summary: Dame Fortune’s Wheel Tarot is an elegant marriage of historical research and practicality. It celebrates the Tarot’s introduction as a divinatory tool, stripping it of modern esoteric burdens. The result is a deck that is eminently easy to ...
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"Writers will put things into a novel that they daren't put in sober prose, where you have to dot the I's and cross the T's."1 This quote is from Dion Fortune, to my mind the foremost magical teacher of the West. It tells us clearly that in writing fiction, magicians can go out on a limb. They can give us a taste, secondhand but deeply felt, of... read this article
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