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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

Growing Herbs
Growing herbs is a delightful past time. Not only can we enjoy the curious fragrances and often beautiful leaves and flowers of the plants themselves, but we’re also assured of a steady supply of herbs for use in magic. Most herb magicians grow at ...
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The Work of the Medsen Fey - the Leaf Doctors of Haiti
Loulou Prince is the medsen fey (leaf doctor/herbalist and shaman) for a Haitian community of around 1,500 people who live in the vicinity of Jacmel, a small town close to the border with the Dominican Republic. In his daily practice, he deals with ...
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Meditation
Meditation is: An emptying of the mind of all thoughts and "chatter" often by concentration only on the slow inhalation and exhalation of breath and is characterized by slow alpha and theta waves. It induces relaxation and a "clean slate" ...
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Review of the Witches Tarot
Summary: This deck is for every witch who wants a deck rich with magickal symbolism. In the magickal world as in tarot, associations and correspondences are of major importance. Ellen Dugan combines tarot and witchcraft together to create something ...
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Pagan Tarot (mini) Review
Summary: A brilliantly drawn deck using images of contemporary Pagans in ritual and everyday situations. Although the meanings are the same as the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, the new images may be jarring to those not involved in Paganism. However, for ...
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Magickal Powers
Nearly all magickal groups and teachers make the point that the attainment of psychic and magical powers can be an impediment to real spiritual growth. But, is that really true? If the object of the Great Work is integration with the Higher Self to ...
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Creating a rune amulet
Modern rune rituals are sometimes done entirely with visualization - the runes are made in the astral world and are never actually written down or carved on any material. This technique works fairly well, but it is not in harmony with the ancient ...
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Witchcraft: Death and Resurrection
Soon the leaders of the new religion, determined to wield absolute control over all aspects of human life, sought to stamp out such crimes of heresy as foretelling the future, psychic healing, spiritualism, the creation of protective amulets and ...
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Baneful Herbs and Flying Ointments
One of the darkest chapters in the history of herbs has been in the traditional usages of "baneful" (poisonous) herbs. Such herbs, including henbane, hemlock, hellebore, mandrake and datura, were popular in Renaissance magic for inducing visions, ...
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What Is an Herb?
Even botanists haven’t been able to agree on this. In magic, we avoid these arcane arguments by simply stating that an herb is any plant or any part of a plant that’s used in magic. An "herb" can be a cactus, a flower, a seaweed, a moss, a mushroom, ...
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Goal of Ritual
The ultimate goal of ritual magic is fulfillment. As is true with most ultimates, it is seldom, if ever, reached. The degree to which it is approached signifies the success or failure of the practice of magic in the life of an individual. When ...
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The Old City Jail ("Gaol") in Charleston, South Carolina was built in 1802 right over the Provost Dungeon and a potter's field. It also served as an insane asylum and housed Union soldiers (prisoners of war). The Gaol held prisoners up until 1939. The death toll on site is estimated to be anywhere from 10,000–14,000 (although admittedly,... read this article
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