France just won the (soccer, for the Americans) World Cup with what was unanimously seen afterwards as a cheat move. That cheat opened the score, and began the downward spiral of the opposing team’s morale that lead to their defeat.
I looked around Twitter to see if I was the only one to feel just a little disgusted by the move and I came across one recurring opinion: the dive (the player fakes being tripped-up in order to fool the referee into calling a foul) was a strategic move. Several spectators had the opinion that this is exactly why the players take a dive, and why it works.
If you’ve been around the less-frequented corners of the Internet and seen some of the occult pages out there, you’re bound to have seen cries of “Conspiracy!” Especially cries of conspiracy that there’s a secret war going on foryourmind. Heck, you don’t even have to go that far at all to find this kind of message. The pop culture classic (yes it is a classic now) movie The Matrix is all about those who attempt to wake people up to “the world of the real” by trying to “free your mind”.
A family story goes that one day, my father, as a young freelance copywriter whose job took him to all sorts of countries for short two- to three-year stints, came back home to visit his mother. She told him she was very pleased to see him and all, but, she said, “My dear Andrew… just what is it that you do?” Every time her son came to visit, this question cropped up again. And no matter how many times my father told her, she just couldn’t retain the idea that her son wrote text (“copy”) for print and television advertisements.
Chaos is… well… chaotic. The word comes from the Ancient Greek kháos which refers to the formless void before there was existence. Given this, chaos is a synonym of ‘the void’ but also ‘the all’ in the sense of the most primary “stuff” of all Reality. And so, given that this is the same stuff that you, me, and even [a/the] god and everything material and immaterial, we can call it anything we like.
So the term “chaos magic” is a pleonasm, because you’re saying “chaos chaos”… except you and I know that’s not what we mean when we say “magic”. So just what is magic, and the practice thereof?
Chances are you already have a pretty good idea what it might be: You’re vaguely aware of what a druid is – perhaps even of the distinction between the ‘ancient and mythical’ druids of yore and the modern ‘new religious movement’ of the same name. You might have encountered some of the notions and precepts behind the practice of chaos magic (if so, I congratulate you, intrepid explorer – you’ve seen some pretty hidden corners of the inter-webs).
So how do the two combine? It may seem a little contradictory to be a druid and a chaote (or chaoist) – some of the imagery associated to chaos is pretty dark, ‘chaotic’, veering toward Satanism even – so how can one possibly be a nature-loving priest yet also a practitioner of chaos work?