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Found 1 result

  1. "Nothing is true; everything is permitted." Disclaimer: Everything below is entirely my opinion. And with that out of the way, I'm going to go full speed ahead into a topic that I've found to be of little discussion around here. Maybe it's for a distinctive reason, and maybe it's just due to the general population of Tradwitch not feeling the inclination to expound on the topic, but I've got idle hands, an active mind, and far too many ounces of espresso kicking around in me. So without further ado, I'm going to spill my own ideas of this quirky subject here---take from it what you will. It's usually called Chaos Magick, when it's called anything at all. I call it no-frills bullshittery, witching without the woo, practically practical magic and, when I'm feeling particularly suit-and-tie about it, Postmodern Traditional Witchcraft. No matter what you want to call it, the jist of it can be condensed into the quote I dropped above: Nothing is true; everything is permitted. It is an aggressively non-dogmatic approach to magic which forever seeks to separate the technically worthless elements of magical workings from the nuggets of value. What is "technically worthless" under the lens of Chaos Magic is any component of a deliberate magical act which does not contribute to the desired result being made manifest. Another core feature is the notion of belief as a tool. Like a cauldron or a knife or a poppet riddled with pins and needles, one's belief in anything as a source of power for them to tap into is a tool to be used for making their magic happen. This ties into what has been said of the Four Powers in another thread, particularly in regards to the Power to Know---it applies this Power in an extreme and highly utilitarian way. Belief as a Tool Nothing is true: this is the underpinning notion. Gods aren't objectively real, and neither are spirits, faeries, demons, the ghost of great grandma, or any other configuration of similar entity. They are not to be accepted as objectively real because there is no manner of proof, and Chaos Magic is all about the empirical validation. While the gods probably don't exist in their own independent right, it is generally agreed on within this tradition that the belief in their existence is of benefit to the practitioner. Thus enters the use of paradigms. A paradigm is a model or a cognitive framework. All spiritual traditions operate under their own paradigm, and one trait of the Chaos Magician (sometimes called Chaotes) is the flexibility to pick up and put away paradigms at will, as it serves them and pleases them to do so. It is not to be confused with the spiritual drifters who go from one faith to another in their searching or exploration, though I'm sure many a Chaote has been mistaken as such. It is a deliberate and purpose-driven immersion into a chosen belief or belief system with an end goal clearly in mind. Nothing is sacred unless one believes that it is sacred. Nothing has power or value unless one perceives that it does. From ghost to God to egregore to archetype, all things are empty and devoid of inherent meaning or virtue, and it is the practitioner who puts value on loan to these things for their own designs. The key is to shape the narrative, and not to let the narrative shape you. So, you found what accumulated to be a big wad of cash while you were cleaning house last week and attributed it to your household's faeries because for a week before the cleaning took place, you set out milk and cookies for the wee ones and hung a few colorful fairy jars up around the property. You got what you wanted, so it's cool to take those jars down and repurpose them for anything else if you want and to flush that milk right down the commode, and it's also cool to feel no real inclination to "pay the faeries back" for the services rendered. They're not really real, anyway, says the Chaote who has subsequently dropped faeries out of their worldview in the interim. Believing in them served a purpose, and the Chaote is beholden to no dogma that would advise them to treat the fey in any particular way that they don't themselves find meaningful. To me, this is the heart of Chaos Magic, and maybe the only real thing that can be said concerning the tradition--a term that I use loosely here, but use nonetheless. It is often bogged down by discussion about sigil magic which is highly endorsed by a few of its most public and foundational practitioners, and many come to Chaos Magic from a ceremonial magician background, not a folk or traditional witchcraft one, and so they have left their own particular imprint on the social sphere of it.
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