Occult Author Aaron Leitch on Chaos Magick

Noted occult Aaron Leitch recently posted his thoughts on Chaos Magick. These appear below. These views do not necessarily reflect those of the curators of this blog and sure as hell don’t represent the official views of O.T.O. on such matters. These are presented purely for entertainment purposes. Probably.


After making some of my usual snide comments about Chaos Magick, someone finally decided to ask me what I meant by one comment or another. So I gave this reply, and figured I post it here, too. It’ll rile up more people this way…(winky emoticon appears n the original FB post)

So here, in a nutshell, are my main problems with the Chaos philosophy/system/mindset/whatever the hell you’re calling it today:

1) At its heart, Chaos magick tells you to create your own system. Make your own sigils. Create your own thought-form spirits. Make your own magickal language. Fashion your own style of working. And what’s wrong with that? Nothing – *if you’re already an adept.* Someone who has been trained and earned real experience in their tradition is expected to do all of those things. The beginning student is not in any position to do any of that, but Chaos tells him to do it anyway. Fail.

2) I dropped the psychological model of magick some time ago. And, regardless of whether or not the Chaos paradigm *allows* one to view the spirits as objectively real, the greatest bulk of the Chaos literature focuses on the psychological. It basically distills everything I disagree with about modern occultism and enshrines it as The Truth.

And it’s not only the psychological interpretations that irk me. Chaos also seeks to “strip down”, “simplify” and otherwise remove magick from its spiritual and cultural context. To put it bluntly, Chaos Magick is the end result of everything that went wrong with occultism in the West. It represents everything my own published work seeks to rectify.

3) And with all due respect to the early founders of the Chaos movement, who did in fact write some interesting material, the common rank-and-file Chaote understands that material about as well as most rank-and-file Thelemites really understand the Book of the Law. Just as the latter constantly confuses “Do What Thou Wilt” with “Do Whatever You Want”, so too do I see young Chaotes using their paradigm as an excuse to just make crap up as they go along and consider it “just as good” as what I accomplish with my blood, sweat, and tears.

In fact, it is among this crowd that I usually hear the utter nonsense that teachers shouldn’t be teaching, but learning from the students instead. (Itself a complete misunderstanding of an old bit of wisdom about teachers learning much from the act of teaching.)

I don’t know how old you are, but I’m old enough to remember the Star Trek rituals, the evocations of Tony the Tiger and Cap’n Crunch, Elemental Fire being called in the voice of Beavis… it was not pretty, my friend.


Frater Lux Ad Mundi

One Comment

  1. The psychological model you speak of seems to be the dominant one however: far from ‘enshrining it as truth’ the central tenet of Chaos Magic (which is repeated throughout!) is this: ‘nothing is true, everything is permitted’- before even attempting to join you are expected to accept this. I know the Australian Chaos Magicians tend to espouse the ‘spirit model’. Shame about this.

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