Chaos Magick is a Dead, Long Live Psych Magick

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Of course in the title there I’m talking about a personal transition as I’m sure chaos magick will live on in some capacity for quite some time. Hell, it’s probably bigger than ever for all I know. I guess the point I’m making is that I’m personally done with it. Jesus, it struck me the other day that I’ve now been fooling around with stoner sigil projection techniques and hermetic philosophy for almost exactly a decade now. Yep, 10 years since I was summoned into this stuff by a shrouded alien sorcerer. It’s been weird to say the least and in typical synchromystic fashion, I unintentionally released my first primarily channeled book right around the 10 year anniversary of this summoning incident (only a $5 download, seriously, it’ll fuck your shit up something proper). I wish I’d written down the exact date I was de-hypnotized for posterity’s sake, but it was somewhere around February-April of 2006. Close enough. It’s funny because I’ve at times referred to what I do as chaos magick for years now, but I’m really someone who was influenced by chaos magick, not a devotee. Hell, I’ve only ever actually read two books about the topic (Liber Null/Psychonaut and Condensed Chaos if you were curious). I guess what influenced me the most about the concepts in those books was the idea that magick could and should be adapted to the personality of the magickian.

Now, to me this has supreme significance in relation to my understanding of the spirit world. It’s funny because the main thing I always point out about magick is that you can’t truly learn this stuff from books or classes. At least this has been my experience. You have to engage it in dream states, in hypnagogic downloads of rapidly vibrating information, in ecstatic spasms of orgiastic mindgasm art. Otherwise you’re missing the point. That being said, the most significant thing I’ve ever learned about spirituality from a book involved the idea that our world is an exercise in fixed perception. On the astral plane, things are far more subjective and seemingly external entities and events are perceived quite differently depending on the collective experience of the observer. I stumbled on this concept in a book about astral projection written by Kurt Leland called Otherwhere, didn’t think too much of it at the time, then started to see the EXACT shit he was talking about continually in my dream states. Entities explaining to me that their appearance was my interpretation of their collective lifecycle in the time stream. Then there were the levels of reality structured on top of another, each less restrictive and more surreal than the last. The concept of heaven and hell essentially, with heaven in the skies and hell the lower realm we inhabit, except that it’s far more complicated than we could ever comprehend in the skin world. Our obsession with the stars and outer space is all a metaphor for this shit I might point out. It’s unbelievable we’re this spiritually ignorant, it really is.

The point being, in my world, this is what you’re reaching for in the hermetic pursuit of godhood, imagination so structured yet simultaneously unbound that it can constitute an entire planet of thought, then a sun, then a galaxy, then a multiverse. I’ve seen it in my lucid dreams. I’m not just a human, I’m a mutating psychic vista. I’m an entire cityscape as I’m flying through it. I’m the character and the surroundings. One is my conscious mind, the other the unconscious. There are metaphors within metaphors (and I write about this sort of thing on Facebook all the time, like my page to keep tabs on that). So it was with this background that I was summoned into magick, and again, what appealed to me about chaos was that it involved catering your magickal approach to your own personality specifically. This is how next level telepathy works. This is what artists do. I have massive respect for a lot of ceremonial magick, but I must confess that I think it’s missing something in that regard. From what I’ve been shown, the primary reason you’re doing rituals in the first place is to demonstrate to the spirits that you know they’re watching. My guess would be that strict ceremonial work would appeal to more technical thinkers, and probably works very well for those types, but John Dee had his Edward Kelley after all and he had him for a reason.

So after doing utterly unexpected shit like summoning my guardian alien and having it explain the nature of the holy trinity to me, I started writing about it more on the internet. That’s when I had to confront the fact that I’d taken chaos magick in such intentionally subjective directions that it essentially wasn’t even chaos anymore for all intents and purposes. I love the story of how Pink Floyd started making psych rock back in the 60’s thinking they were imitating the San Francisco sound. Then they finally heard the Frisco bands and were like, oh shit, we just assumed that’s what acid rock would sound like. Sort of what I ran into with magick. I just assumed there were a bunch of other people trying to summon inner aliens with exotic acid rituals. Knowledge and conversation with your Holy Guardian Angel, everybody’s doing that right? Turns out, not so much. I mean, the acid use is there, but without the continual bouts of coherent telepathy.

And that’s what my magick has always been focused on first and foremost: tweaking the set and setting of the psychedelic experience to maximize its hyper-dimensional potency. I started working on this project with cut up sampler tracks when I was 18 I might point out, a practice I’ve since come to call auditory sorcery. I’d recommend it to anyone. Of course this veers right into shamanism territory, as focusing sound to control stoned consciousness has been going on forever in some circles. We’ve just got so much more auditory firepower at our disposal these days, which is why I think the more traditional stuff is simultaneously useful and painfully dated. This is what’s theoretically cool about chaos. It’s designed to evolve. In my world, magick eventually became entirely about developing a continued and beneficial relationship with the sacred plants marijuana and psilocybin. Transdimensional Psychiatry as I’ve also been known to refer to it. Psych Magick. And that’s the thing, while the occult can maybe draw a couple hundred people into a conference room to listen to lectures a few times a year, people getting fucked up on mushrooms and collectively losing their shit to weird music is a gajillion times more popular and showing exactly zero signs of going away anytime soon. Why is that? It’s the same question I found myself asking when I first started delving into sex magick in the first place. Why do I spend so much of my time smoking weed and obsessing about sex? Why are most hip hop lyrics about this stuff when you get down to brass tacks? They apparently call it chemsex these days. If only we could focus this energy to rewrite the code underlying reality.

Thad McKraken

Thad McKraken

CEO at DMI
Thad McKraken is a psychedelic writer, musician, visual artist, filmmaker, Occultist, and pug enthusiast based out of Seattle. He is the author of the books The Galactic Dialogue: Occult Initiations and Transmissions From Outside of Time, both of which can be picked up on Amazon super cheap.
Thad McKraken