Someone asked me recently on Instagram what I thought about chaos magic, which I thought was an excellent question.
The truth is that I don’t have a lot of experience as a practitioner, but I’m intrigued by the core principles of its philosophy, and the little chaos magic I have done I’ve found to be very effective.
Like in many systems of magic, one of the core principles of chaos magic is that our beliefs create our reality. Chaos magicians hold that there is no absolute truth or reality which exists outside of us: instead, belief is viewed as a tool which we can utilize to channel the raw energy of the universe or of consciousness (sometimes referred to as kia) to achieve practical results.
Chaos magic takes a postmodern approach to magic. What this means is that it views any system of signification of meanings as viable for use in shifting beliefs and creating realities, without particular attachment to the cultural ontology of which that system is a part.
As Peter Carroll, author of Liber Null & Psychonaut has said, “When stripped of local symbolism and terminology, all systems show a remarkable uniformity of method. This is because all systems ultimately derive from the tradition of Shamanism.” In other words, the particular cultural package a symbol/belief comes in is irrelevant, as long as it’s effective in conveying that particular idea.
One of main practices of chaos magic involved the use of sigils.
I created my first sigil as part of an assignment for a course on practical magic I took with Carolyn Elliott, INFLUENCE.
Here’s how it’s done:
- Write a sentence in which you set out your magical goal or intention.
For this course, Elliott suggested we set the intention to be free from all shame and insecurity around our “witchiness and sexuality.” So that’s exactly what I did.
2. Eliminate all the vowels from your sentence, leaving only the consonants.
My sentence was something like: “I EMBRACE AND EXPRESS MY WITCHINESS AND SEXUALITY FREELY AND WITHOUT FEAR.”
Which then became the letters: M B R C X S W F H N L T
3. Draw a symbol using the shapes of all the consonants that remain once.
I recommend using a piece of scratch paper to play around with a bunch of different ways to draw your symbol. It might take a while to get a final result you really like. Then you can draw your symbol with a higher quality paper and pen before you get ready to charge the sigil.
Here is how mine came out:
In Elliott’s assignment, she recommended we charge the sigil by opening sacred space and meditating on the desired outcome as if it had already happened, as if we were creating a “precognition” of an event already determined in the future.
I chose to charge this sigil differently, by doing some solo sex magick (which is probably the most common way to charge sigils in chaos magick).
Basically, you concentrate on your desired intent while you bring yourself to a state of gnosis (in this case, orgasm). When you get here, focus all of your energy and intention on your desire and release it into the universe. [This is sometimes known as creating a “magickal child,” or in chaos magic terms, a “servitor.”]
Some say that after charging the sigil, you should repress all memory of it. In the words of Austin Osman Spare, there should be “a deliberate striving to forget it.”
I didn’t take this advice literally. I’ve written about it here, so I didn’t forget (I don’t think I could have done so if I tried).
What I did do was leave it alone, though. I didn’t think about it or worry if it had been or would be effective. I just let it be, trusting that it would come into effect when the time was right.
And now it’s been over a year since I performed this ritual, and I can say with all sincerity that it’s one of the most effective pieces of magic I’ve ever done.
This doesn’t mean that everybody now responds well to my witchiness or my sexuality. That’s still not the case.
What it does mean is that whenever I experience anything less than positive from people around these issues, I have very little reactivity around it. Now I’m just like, “Oh, you don’t like it? Okay, that’s fine. :)” And I just keep being as witchy and sexy as I feel I want to be in that moment. No fear and insecurity necessary.
If you want similar results, I recommend you try this practice. I had good results with it, and I hope the same for you.
If you do decide to try it out, drop me a note in the comments! I’d love to hear how it works for you.