Chaos magic is hard to define because it is an idea rather than a set of rules for magical practice. The core of chaos magic is that the practitioner is free to adopt whatever works for them. This understanding comes from the perspective that it is not necessarily the ritual or path itself that has any inherent magical qualities, but the practitioner themselves.
So a practicing chaos magician (or chaote) may choose to incorporate Thelemic rituals and beliefs alongside Wicca or Voodoo or whatever else they choose.
Chaos does not come with a specific Grimoire or even a prescribed set of ethics. For this reason, it has been dubbed “left hand path” by some who choose not to understand that which is beyond their own chosen path. There is no set of specific spells that are considered to be “Chaos Magic Spells”. A Chaos Magician will use the same spells as those of other paths, or those of his/her own making.
Any and all methods and information are valid, the only requirement is that it works. Mastering the role of the sub-conscious mind in magical operations is the crux of it, and the state called “vacuity” by Austin Osman Spare is the road to that end. Anyone who has participated in a successful ritual has experienced the “high” that this state induces.
The two major authors in chaos magic are Carroll and Hine.
Peter J. Carroll’s Books
- Liber Null
- PsychonautNOTE: (published in one volume in 1987)
- Liber Kaos (1992)
- PsyberMagick: Advanced Ideas in Chaos Magick (1995)
Phil Hine’s Books
Other Chaos Training Books: