by Gordon White,
This is a book that will probably not get the attention it deserves because it is written by a self described Chaos magician.
I was first introduced to Chaos magic in 1990 by a young guy I met on a drilling rig in the North Sea. We would spend many a coffee break and evening discussing the occult. This was in the day’s before we had satellite TV and decent telephone’s. The only form’s of communication were ship to shore radio telephone via Montrose 2182 or via snail mail sent to Sedco Forex’s Aberdeen office.
I have a bad habit of surrounding myself and building a life around people who run contrary to what I want. A history of trying to fit into a pigeon hole that society has pre-determined for me. The drug addled teenager and the wannabe outlaw biker phases were already behind me. This was going to be the flowering of my occult phase which had started in my early teens. Not to be unfortunately. All too soon I succumbed to the pressure from my boss’s, the alcoholic Dundonion AA and the equally obnoxious failed Premier league footballer PS. So I slotted myself into a culturally suitable pigeon hole. Next came many years of happily and unhappily married life, followed by life as the globe trotting rig pig with a pocket full of cash and a hard-on in his pants. Before long that gave way to a life of an expatriate and then back to married domestication. It was only in mid-life that I started to take control of the forces around me and understand who I really was. Sadly 25 good years lost, 25 years of potential study lost, 25 years of development lost.
Maybe… Possibly the experiences of the previous 25 years were probably necessary to produce who I am today, no short cut was available. As Gordon say’s in the book The pirates of the classical age were not only necessary but also improved the British navy and speeded up its development and the development of the British Empire. It also quickened the independence of many Caribbean nations.
The fact that this book in just a few short hours of reading has evoked such reactions and reminiscence’s in me is testament to the power in Gordon’s words.
By definition a chaos magician is somebody who through practical experimentation dismisses that which does not work and adopts that which does. This book takes me back all those years to the long discussions I had with a now unknown person, name, address, telephone numbers long since forgotten and now would be utterly useless.
At this point I’ve said precious little about the book. It’s a collection of thought provoking essays that will stimulate your mind into further explorations on the subject’s. Fifteen essays that occupy about 2 thirds of the book followed by section with some practical exercises and the last few pages with an interesting further reading/ study list.
Whether you are biased against chaos magic or not will determine if you read this book. I hope that this book is the start of the re-imagining of chaos magic that Gordon envisions. That changes the perception of chaos magicians from snot nosed undisciplined kids (young and old) into disciplined, practical, experimental magicians, independent of snotty noses or age.
I’ll leave this review here with a couple of quotes from the book…
“Terence McKenna once famously said that science asks “Give us one free miracle and we’ll explain the rest.” That miracle is the instantaneous arrival of all the laws of nature and all the matter and energy in the universe, appearing out of nowhere at the moment of the Big Bang, before going on to expanding uneven and unexplained ways. Quite the miracle. Sounds like magic. Bad magic.”
“The very best magicians are scavengers of the useful and banishers of the useless.”
I hope this book fires you up like it has done me.