Chaos magician. Seems vaguely NT-ish maybe? Pics are hard to come by.
The system loves resistance. Resistance is often creative and it feeds on creativity until the subversive becomes just another pre-packaged lifestyle on special offer. So Cease to Resist. Relax and enjoy the PandaemonAeon. Believe everything and anything. Seek not proof, but take pleasure in your choice of belief. Wipe that superior sneer of your face and try smiling (if only inwardly) at the people/institutions/beliefs that you've waged your personal war against. Wouldn't it be more fun if you didn't run around quite so hard trying to be an individual, or fighting to prove or uphold your chosen belief-system?
Proof then, has retreated in the face of belief. Science, once heralded as the arbiter of truth, has had its facade of objectivity punctured. Intellectuals may point to the uncertainty of Heisenberg, but generally this has more to do with the growing distrust of statistics and the knowledge that scientists in the pay of governments and multi-nationals are no more objective than their masters. Science, once the avowed enemy of religion, now sees books BT Christian physicists and Taoist mathematicians. Science sells washing powders and status symbols and comes in the form of icons of technological nostalgia.
It may sound like a cliché, but love begins at home. No amount of one-night stands will compensate for not feeling okay about yourself. Anyone who tells you that they are still looking for the 'right' partner so that they can practice sexual magic 'properly' still hasn't cottoned on to the basic facts that so-called sex-magic 'power' does not reside in other people, techniques, or in occult 'secret teachings.' All magical 'power' comes from within, and cultivating Self-Love is a first step to unleashing this power. Which is not to say that it is easy—it often isn't, and many people spend years struggling to like themselves. Self-Love requires that you accept yourself—warts and all, rather than trying to live up to a self-image which is unrealistic and unbalanced. Self-Love enables you to relax so that you are not continually flogging yourself with internal criticism, and, significantly, you do not feel an overwhelming need to have other people's approval. Self-Love changes the way we relate to others, so that we no longer use other people as props to support our fantasies, but begin to see them as independent agents. If you do not love yourself, then you will find it difficult to love other people—you will continually use others to prop up parts of your ego.
As the social matrix becomes increasingly subject to rapid fluctuations, throwing out anchors into a collectivised past becomes more prominent than movement into a future. The desire to establish a core identity within the profusion of styles has led to image building becoming an industry in itself—as much reflected by the tactics of political groups and corporate bodies, as in the fetishistic scramble for designer labels and trendy occult symbols. Identity has, therefore, become another commodity to be traded in the marketplace. The gulf between objective icons and the Illusory has widened to such an extent that illusions have come to equal value.
I started swimming in the sea when I was about ten. For a long time it was a very, very powerful force for me. Still is, I just don’t get to go to the sea very often. Whenever I get the chance, I always enjoy looking out at the sea. I actually quite enjoy watching the waves in the sea, I think that comes from those early experiences. I’ve nearly come a cropper a couple of times when I was a kid, swimming in the sea, and I learned to respect it the hard way. It’s one of those things that I think struck me at a fairly early age, about how we’ve got this idealized picture of nature that actually is pretty far away from the reality of nature. I think that’s an awareness that’s stayed with me ever since.
Like a lot of people starting out in magic, I went into all the very heavy symbol systems. A lot of magical systems, you have these ideas for mapping out different elements and things like that, and they’re all kind of really nice and cut-and-dried… And water isn’t like that; to me water is wild and uncontrollable and can kill you if you’re not careful. And I think a lot of magical systems actually take you away from a direct contact with nature, because you’re not dealing with nature, you’re dealing with an idealized picture of it. So I think it’s taken me a long time to recover from all that, and to start to see how my relationship with nature comes into my magic, and comes out of my magic.
Well, I think the first notable experience I had was when I was about nineteen or twenty. I was into the Cthulhu Mythos, which I’d got into purely from reading Lovecraft and thinking, "Oooh, this is git ‘ard magic, it’s things with tentacles that don’t go away when you try and banish them." My awareness of the relationship between nature and the Great Old Ones is something that’s only come out since. But the key experience I had with that was that I decided to go and do an invocation of one of the Great Old Ones on top of the highest peak in the area I was living in, which was Huddersfield. I was actually living in a village on the edge of the Pennines. So I went up the top of this mountain—it wasn’t like a hard climb or anything, I could get up it in my walking boots—to do this invocation at the dead of night. I did all the business, shouting and screaming… I think I cut myself, and did symbols on the stones, like you do. And as a result of that I got totally freaked out. I remember seeing—well, ‘seeing’ in inverted commas—seeing this beam of light coming out of the sky, coming down to where I was, so the next minute I was like "Fucking hell! I’m out of here!", and running down the mountain, seeing sheep with red eyes and being really freaked out by it. And I turned up at this friend of mine’s, who knew what I was into, about an hour later, and he said, "Oh, I told you this would happen, blah blah blah, don’t mess with them things."
Well something I would say about Chaos Magic, which I think is related, is that I got over my total fear of talking to strangers through Chaos Magic. Again, these deconditioning techniques. How I did it was that I was very shy and retiring as a kid—I think one of the reasons I got into magic was I had very few social skills, a very low opinion of myself. "Get the bastards!" basically. I was certainly like that in my late teens. By the time I was in my mid-twenties I’d realized that I wasn’t going to have a very nice time of it if I kept this up! So when I moved to York and started at the College of Ripon & York St John, I deliberately put myself in a position where I would have to talk to large groups of people. I remember the first time I stood up in the big college student’s union meeting and said something. I had a prepared speech and my voice was like, "eh-eh-eh-eh," I was so nervous. Then I had to get up again and say something else, and of course by that time I was actually annoyed and all fired up, I found it a lot easier. By putting myself into a position of becoming student union rep for my department, I had to talk to the student’s union, the Academic Board, the lecturers and the staff and the teachers and the students and all that. In the course I was doing in occupational therapy I had to relate to various groups of people.
I think the thing is the word ‘chaos’ which upsets people. Because, as I said earlier, we don’t like to think of nature being chaotic, or our lives being chaotic. We like to think about order, and cycles, and "things happen because… fate, karma, the universe, God makes them happen." Not because they just happen and we can’t explain it… In the eighties there were a lot of people muttering on about Chaos Magicians have no sense of ethics, and being ‘immoral’. And you know that statement ‘Nothing Is True, Everything Is Permitted’—sounds a bit… dodgy, y’know? That’s never been an issue for me because what I’ve always said to people is that the whole issue of magical ethics, or ethics in general, is that you create your own. What is moral for you, rather than relying on what somebody else says.
A lot of these taboos are little things but they’re important. One of my other much-used examples is getting over my fear of maths. I was a ‘maths-shy’ kid when I was at school. In fact my parents actually worked out that I was always ill on Mondays ‘cos I had a triple maths period. I studied statistics when I did psychology… I really liked the theory of statistics, but dealing with the numbers was just hell. How I eventually started to get around this was, by about—we’re talking fairly recently—by about the nineties, when I moved down to London, I got so much into computers, but I had this real ego thing—y’know, gimme a piece of software and I can do it, make it work, doesn’t matter what it is, I can get it to do something. I was given the job of writing some fairly mathematical databases that would work out things like author’s royalties and VAT returns and that sort of shit. I can remember actually dancing around the office because I’d successfully written this piece of code that would automatically work out VAT on a statement. "Yes! I’ve broken through something here…" And OK, it’s not like a really stunning example, but for me, having had that previous twenty-odd years of not wanting to do anything at all related to maths or figures or money, it was a real powerful thing for me. I think often the really powerful taboos are the ones that don’t look really big.
What I did there was use a powerful and positive ego-drive to overcome—like a strength to overcome a weakness, which I think is a good way to do it. I sometimes say to people, try and write down your strengths, write down ten strengths that you’ve got, and write down ten weaknesses. And then see if you can use the strength to deal with the weakness. Not to ‘overcome’ it or to ‘break through’, but to… to undo yourself from it. I really like this idea of Dr Christopher Hyatt’s Undoing Yourself, I think that’s a really nice phrase. It sounds better than overcoming. It’s not really about control, it’s more like shifting the goalposts, and I think shifting the goalposts is a really powerful magical technique. It’s like suddenly you open up the door and go, "Ooh, didn’t know this was here!" Go through it…