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As all that is solid melts to air and everything holy is profaned...

Friday, April 29, 2005

chaos and disorder, magick and postmoderniity

Chaos Magick?

Chaos and Disorder were punk groups. Chaos UK had a single 'Summer of Hate' on Chaotic Records released in 1979. Got it here- cover steclined on a sheet of yellow card. Speed -Vocals, Snotty- guitar, Tony- bass and Steve UK -drums. Disorder were fellow travellers from Bristol. If you go to http://www.cherryred.co.uk/anagram/artists/disorder.htm you can buy the records. Although I am listening to The Doors LA Woman whilst writing this. Citu of light, city of night.

Rwind to 79 and I think there is a first mention of something called 'chaos magic' by Ray Sherwin. This was up in Leeds where there was a bookshop called the Sorcerors Apprentice. he story, as vaguely recaleld is that in 1978 someone tried to revive the Golden Dawn (Victorian magickal group) and after the meeting or before or during Pete Carroll and Ray Sherwin had the idea to 'modernise' magick- to critically assess what worked and what did not and cut out the dead wood. The aim was to create a 'results based magick' and from this came chaos magick. The chaos bit being influenced by the recent emergence of the application of 'non-linear dynamics' maths to science which in turn was due to increases in computer power.

Fractals and the Madelbrot Set http://aleph0.clarku.edu/~djoyce/julia/explorer.html came out of this science and created psychedelic images which were popular during acid house era in early nineties.

There were also the Stoke Newington Sorcerers and Frater Chronozon - see his stuff here
http://freespace.virgin.net/ecliptica.ww/book/contents.htm - as you will see he was born in 1947 and along with most of the originators of chaos magick, was pre-punk generation. Which can be confusing since many versions of CM history imply it was 'punk magick'. It wasn't and it isn't.

Not sure if there ever was a 'punk magick'. But Jamie Reid claims his Druid great uncle George magregor Reid as an influence http://www.3ammagazine.com/litarchives/2004/mar/interview_jamie_reid.html

And when Jon Savage came to tea in 86, he gave us a copy of Up they Rise which has a photo of Jamie's great uncle at Stonehenge 1911 summer solstice. Hadn't ocurred to me before, but this gives a great link to chaos magick. Joel birocco was there and it was thanks to Joel that I heard about this funny chaos magick stuff. And Joel now says what got him going in that direction was an I Ching reading at Stonehnege festival in 84. Which is where and when Pinki did her stuff (see Pinki and the druids blog here). Synchronicity or what!

Maybe. So summer of 83 whilst everyone else (see 83 diary blog) was at the festival, I put together the first Enccylopaedia of Ecstasy - my psychedelic punk fanzine thingy. Stonehenge 84 I was busy with Zos Kia Rape release on All the Madmen - we/ me and John Gosling/ cut the master (or mistress since it was Min's record) at Porky's Prime Cuts on June 21st. Zos Kia Cultus was artistic visionary work by Austin Osman Spare. Spare knew Crowley and a young Kenneth Grant of 'Typhonian OTO' fame. "The Images and Orcales of Austin Osman Spare" is what many folk reckon is Grant's best book. Spare's 'sigils' have become a chaos magick cliche. X Ray Spex I am a cliche....

Back/ forward to 86. I had by then three volumes of the Encyclopadeia of Ecsatsy stacked up in Hackney, so i started flogging them round alternative/ occult bookstores sale or return. (My first attempt to sell it ended up with me meeting Beki Bondage - see 83 diary). Joel Birocco found a copy and wrote to me offering an exchange of his new mag for back issues of mine. A good deal. So I got a copy of Chaos No.3 hot off the press.

There never were a Chaos 1 and 2 - allegedly bit of a ploy to get one up on Leeds chaotics so their mag had to be called Chaos International. Joel gave the EoE a good review in Chaos 4 and so Dave Lee asked for a copy and we did another swap and I started writing for Chaos International as well in 1987. First piece about being in the Green Field at Glastonbury festival for solstice - a ranting, rambling discourse edited into coherence by Dave for CI 3.

So what was it - chaos magick - all about? I hadn't a clue. For me it was a neat continuation of the old anarcho goth punk / encyclopaedia of ecstasy stuff by other means. I certainly hadn't read Pete Caroll or Ray Sherwin's stuff- at least until I found bits in CI. I was more enthused by Starwhawk's eco-pagan feminism and Nema's Maat Current. Which probably needs some explication so look here http://www.starhawk.org/ and here http://www.horusmaat.com/ both of which for me connected wih Pinki's Greenham / Molesworth anti-nuclear work and her Stonehenge stuff... and since I was living with her and bringing up a family with her was pretty influencial.

Joel managed to wind up everyone - a classic was when he 'revealed' that Genesis P of Psychic TV/ TOPY had met with David ? the then head of the UK oasis of the Caliphate OTO. That really got everyone going! If the references don't make sense, think political splinter groups or protestant religious factions or even Monty Python Life of Brian (sad, I know) feud between identical 'palestine Liberation fronts'. Who was trying to take over whom? It was a veritable hurricane in a wine glass. Everyone joined in - Stephen Sennet, um, gerald Suster, and, well everyone even though there were only about six people. By 89 Joel had got bored but has come back again more recently with http://www.biroco.com/kaos/

Hmm. This is taking longer than I thought. Was about to spin off into poastmodern social anthropology and contested 'meanings' of rationalities ... and Paganlink... and acid house.

But I won't. I will just stop here.


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