The trouble with a worldview based so heavily on ‘doing’ is… What happens when you stop doing?
Let me explain. Chaos spells -quite rightly- deal overwhelmingly in practical effects. So, like voodoo or any other system of practical magic, they all broadly fall into the ‘SMP Group':
Love, career, luck, prosperity, legal issues, hexing… Even wellness magic can all be grouped accordingly.
So when you find yourself happily partnered, in the career you want to be in, living where you want to live and with enough money to keep you in the kind of wine you like drinking the incentive to stay up all night firing off sigils starts to drop away.
Sure, I could use more money (who couldn’t?) but I am irrationally suspicious of how it would come to me if I am being paid a fair salary and have already claimed my tax return.
If my distant relatives started dropping like flies then I’m probably going to feel a slight twinge of guilt as I flog off all the crap they left me on ebay.
And yes, I could still stand to lose a bit more weight but that is going to be more effectively achieved by laying off the ale and pub food. I know this already. It’s not a magical objective, it’s a life goal. From prior experience, weight loss spells just lead to unexplained diarrhea. (I used to use them to get the day off school.)
The daily energy/cleansing/meditation/LBRP-style thingy has been part of my regular shower routine for more than a decade. That’s not so much what I mean because it applies to any number of branches of occultism rather than just chaos.
All you are really left with is experimental servitor creation of the kind you see used as examples in the fine books of Phil Hine and PJC. And these are fun for a while. But like I mention on the About Page, they feel a bit boring and dated. (Which is no criticism of the books in question, of course. They are quite old now and very much a product of their time.)
“All you are really left with is experimental servitor creation”
Basically, I just wonder if there are any broadly consistent qualities we can attribute to chaos magicians that aren’t based on shared magical practices like sigil creation. Here is what I came up with.
Traits of The Lapsed Chaos Magician
- A certain good-natured nihilsm
- Idiosyncratic media consumption (Tivo-ing Battlestar but also gardening programs)
- Suspicion of blanket statements
- Borderline substance abuse (be honest)
- Able to see the funny side of vacation disasters when they happen (and they always happen)
- Uncontrollable rage whenever someone mentions Stephenie Meyer
Note that I have absolutely no proof of the last one but I choose to believe it as it most definitely applies to me. These are what I came up when I pulled magical practice out of the world view.
Obviously the first one is the most telling and, in fact, used it to recognise a fellow Chaoate I met during the course of business last year. An understanding of the centrality of chaos leads to a kind of political inaction that most normal people mistake for apathy. (The topic was Climate Change.)
Weird, huh? There could possibly be an ideological ‘tell’ that marks us out like common Catholics.