Author Topic: A vow of monkhood in the chaos magic tradition created by it's founder.  (Read 149 times)

NEMO 93

CHAOS MONASTICISM,
by Peter Carroll

At any time members of the Pact may elect to follow the observances
of the Monks and Nuns of Chaos for as long as it pleases them. These
observances come in three forms, the lesser, greater and extreme.
Their purpose is to renew and strengthen ones dedication to the
Great Work of Magic. The Observances of Monk or Nun of Chaos should
not be undertaken for a period of less than one week. There is no
maximum period but when observances are undertaken for an
unspecified period they should be ended at some later point in a
definite way rather than be allowed to fall into gradual disuse.
Chaoist Monks and Nuns may be fully itinerant and unless otherwise
specified by choice the monastery is notionally defined as the
entire planet although some form of retreat may facilitate the more
rigorous observances. The observances given are to be regarded as a
minimum to which further observances may be added at will. To begin
the observances of a Chaoist Monk or Nun the candidate takes an oath
over a staff dedicated to magic which is then carried throughout the
period of the observances. The staff should not be smaller than a
walking stick and although it may be left in a room or building that
the monk or nun may have entered it should always be close to hand
and carried from place to place.


The general form of the oath and the observances is as follows:

The Oath:

I, Soror/Frater _____ do elect to perform the Lesser/Greater/Extreme
Observances of a Nun/Monk of Chaos, from henceforth, for a period of
____ / for as long as it pleases me, inasmuch that I avow that I
will: (the chosen set of observances plus any personal additions are
then enumerated)

The Lesser Observances:

1, Carry a magical staff at all times.
2, Perform a banishing ritual on awaking and retiring.
3, Keep a full record of dreams.
4, Perform a full magical ritual each day.
5, Dedicate any sexual gnosis to magic.

The Greater Observances:

1, Perform the five Lesser Observances.
2, Perform a second full magical ritual each day.
3, Visualize the Sigil of Chaos at least once during each waking
   hour.

The extreme Observances:

1, Perform the seven Lesser and Greater Observances.
2, Perform a third full magical ritual each day.
3, Visualize the Sigil of Chaos at least once during every hour.


Notes and Observations:

The daily full magical rituals might consist of a Mass of Chaos or
Auto da Fe or some other act of evocation, divination, enchantment,
invocation or illumination of similar length.

By dedicating any sexual gnosis to magic the monk or nun affirms
that any sexual act performed during the period of observances will
be used to cast spells for divination or invocation or similar
magical purpose. The hourly visualisation of the Sigil of Chaos is
facilitated by the use of an alarm watch and a powerful alarm clock
may well be useful for the night time visualisations of the extreme
observances. The considerable inconvenience of bearing a magical
staff serves to increase vigilance and acts as a constant reminder
to complete the other observances. It also serves as a badge of
office and other members of the Pact should accord the monk or nun
whatever assistance they require with their work where possible. If
the work goes poorly and the observances are largely not met then
the staff should be destroyed. If the work proceeds satisfactorily
then the staff should be kept as an object or power. It is customary
to engrave upon the staff a record of the observances performed.
Thus 127 signified the lesser observances for twenty seven days, 333
the extreme observances for thirty three days. The Pact tries to
ensure that the Sigil of Chaos is visualized once an hour somewhere
on earth.

                       

Little Beast

Re: A vow of monkhood in the chaos magic tradition created by it's founder.
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2018, 11:10:31 am »
I've always liked how the "chaos symbol" (whatever the fuck that means) was made by a guy called Moorcock. Hey, I've got a variation of it tattooed on me, not judgin'.
I'll be a thorn in your side,
'Til you die
I'll be a thorn in your side
For All Ways

- Chvrches - We Sink

NEMO 93

Re: A vow of monkhood in the chaos magic tradition created by it's founder.
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2018, 02:41:56 am »
Peter J Carroll's kind of a self proclaimed nerd, especially in his latter writings so there's some nerdy influence from him. Mainly just the moorcock and discworld stuff in his early career.

Liu

Re: A vow of monkhood in the chaos magic tradition created by it's founder.
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2018, 03:28:16 pm »
The idea of being a monk is right down my alleyway. Y'all might know how much I dig religious submission.
Hell, in many native language the words for monk and human sound almost the same, so turning oneself into a monk in that sense to me has the feeling to it of turning oneself into something not quite human - and I like that notion.

That said, the observances suggested by Carroll are none I'm likely to adhere to for the time being, though. Carrying around a staff would necessitate preparing some explanation for the curious that doesn't entail coming out of the witch closet. Can't think of any better than "I lost a bet" and people would still ask questions. And I'm also not someone they'd assume being into bets like that. Nor am I looking old enough for simply carrying around a walking stick without it looking really strange (27 and people often guess I'd be underage). Seems really impractical, too.

The others are actually quite reasonable, though. Waking up every hour is certainly not healthy in the long term, and I'm already having trouble getting enough rest as things are (sleep apnea :(). But I already had the idea myself of setting an alarm for once per waking hour or so for interrupting what I'm doing to check whether that's actually what I want to be doing or whether I'm just procrastinating or doing something for reasons of media addiction or whatever else. I normally don't permanently carry around any device that could serve as alarm clock, especially none that could do so in a discrete manner and that I'd notice nevertheless.Therefore I haven't tried that out yet. And because I'm lazy.

After having kept a dream diary for over a year I don't feel like doing that again anytime soon.
And if I'd do a full ritual every month it would still be more than I do atm, so directly going for every day might be a bit too much.
But some daily banishing is recommended by many people.
And if I keep to my chastity goals then there won't be any sexual gnosis in the near future anyway.

Nah I prefer to dedicate things that are not that obviously spiritual to my deity. Especially studying and any kinds of self-improvement-related things. But some regular self-reminder of that dedication might come in very handy.

Peter J Carroll's kind of a self proclaimed nerd, especially in his latter writings so there's some nerdy influence from him. Mainly just the moorcock and discworld stuff in his early career.
Chaos magick is nerdy as is  :mrgreen: I first encountered the chaos star in Warhammer 40K long before I knew anything about occultism. I think it was invented by chaos magicians and adopted by Warhammer and not the other way round but it would be no surprise if the latter was true.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2018, 03:31:37 pm by Liu »

Mindmaster

Peter J Carroll's kind of a self proclaimed nerd, especially in his latter writings so there's some nerdy influence from him. Mainly just the moorcock and discworld stuff in his early career.

As much as some of this is a interesting, I find it peculiar in that it seems so regimented. If there is anything I love about the Chaote paradigm it's dynamism. :D

If anything, a regime sounds like something antithetical to the purpose of embracing the methodology. Call me confused. :D

idgo

As much as some of this is a interesting, I find it peculiar in that it seems so regimented. If there is anything I love about the Chaote paradigm it's dynamism. :D

If anything, a regime sounds like something antithetical to the purpose of embracing the methodology. Call me confused. :D

Order is a tiny island and Chaos is the whole sea. I don't think someone can claim to have explored the whole of an ocean without also venturing at least onto the coasts of the lands that it surrounds.

If a Chaos was pinned down like a dead butterfly into predictability by defining itself as "practitioners must always A,B,C and must never X,Y,Z", it would lose its freedom and dynamism, becoming just another stale old dogma.

And, even if monkhood is technically a step "outside of Chaos", it's not without merit -- how but by exiting something can one truly examine that thing from all sides?

Liu

That would be a good explanation if it wouldn't be so ubiquitous in chaos magick to put, often arbitrary, rules on oneself. It seems more like its method is to hop from one island of order to the next and becoming indigenous to each of them during the time one is there.

I very much see the benefits of putting rules upon oneself, though. But where my approach seems to differ from that of chaos magick is that chaos magick considers the psyche to be freely moldable and that one merely needs to practice doing so in order to reach freedom. That island-hopping is training-ground in that sense. Perhaps my will isn't strong enough or rather, perhaps it's not my will to be that moldable, but chaos-magick exercises in the way they are provided seem often nigh impossible.

Well that's at least my impression, it's been a while since I read much about chaos magick.

As I hinted at, my own approach would rather be about using self-imposed rules to get a grip on addictions, procrastination and mindless behavior of any kind. I don't have the impression that my psyche is mature enough to handle freedom, considering how I don't end up doing what I feel I want to do or putting as much effort to reach my goals as seems easily possible when I let myself have free reign. In that sense, rules are more reminders to me of what I want and if I notice that they don't work for me or that I actually want something else then it's the rules that get changed. Self-slavery is freedom ;)
Even with art, or creativity of any kind - as a child I thought I'd be utterly uncreative as I tried to find ideas within my experienceless psyche and thought basing one's art on that of others wouldn't be real art. But inspiration doesn't work within a vacuum, and having some predefined structure to start with makes it much easier to find. So also here order seems like the stepping-stone to freedom.

Olive

Discipline is so so important for developing Will power and focus. I spent the early part of this year travelling to different monasteries and trying to find one which would be suitable for me to retire and focus on the work. Because of where I live this was quite the challenge. On top of that, most of them would require me to shave my head, which was a problem as I had already taken a practice-related vow to keep my hair long (breaking one vow to take another that is meant to achieve the same result is usually a bad move; better to carry out the one and then only take on another austerity when you will it). I thought I'd found a place with some promise, but I had a vision in which I saw (years later) the head monk snapping my wand in two. He was attempting to teach me a lesson -- that my magical practice was a final fetter preventing me from obtaining the end of his path. I knew then that while I would indeed advance dramatically there, it would never lead me to the fulfillment of the path I set before myself, only the fulfillment of some other path. The only option was for me to continue my individual practice with renewed vigor.

I've kept many of these vows for long periods of time in the course of my practice. I don't keep a dream journal, but I work with them in other ways. Instead I try to record all I can of visions received while waking, but I find that the density of information in these experiences make it almost impossible to communicate everything relevant. At some point you have to choose what you spend more time doing: the work or the recording of the work. Of course they're not mutually exclusive but for me it's an easy choice.


I actually love the idea of carrying one's magical staff at all times to keep one's focus directed properly. It is quite inconvenient but I've found that usually the difficult disciplines are the most beneficial ones (that's why one of my favorite asanas is the Ibis - very challenging to master). I do similar things to return my attention to my practice throughout the day, such as never leaving the house without my silver amulet, and wearing white clothing a large portion of the time. But actually keeping a inconvenient magical object at hand at all times is a novel way to up the ante so to speak.

I don't have an appropriate staff but I'm considering keeping that vow with my wand. Although I can't mark it. It remains pure white and unadorned due to theological significance. Besides, that might be a good way to indicate that I am a nun in perpetuo and not only provisionally.

Has anyone else tried some of these vows during a retreat, or on a more long term basis?
    Art thou pale for weariness
Of climbing heaven, and gazing on the earth,
     Wandering companionless
Among the stars that have a different birth, -
And ever-changing, like a joyless eye
That finds no object worth its constancy?

-Percy Bysshe Shelley

Mindmaster

And, even if monkhood is technically a step "outside of Chaos", it's not without merit -- how but by exiting something can one truly examine that thing from all sides?

I guess I'd only find its merit if it appealed to one's individual nature. My nature would see all of this as dull, rote, uninspired, and pedantic. :D

In essence, while I might admit to value of any of the techniques espoused individually I just find this is just a manifestation of mage-itis. It takes something really simple and exceedingly complicates it, but further obscures the value in "if you haven't done it you don't know" kind of presentation.

Why not carry a firearm instead of a staff? It's far more symbolic of chaos. :D

Why not dedicate eating cheeseburgers and defecating to gnosis as well? :D

Sorry, I feel jokey today, but it seems it just illustrates my point. It's arbitrary actions that probably have no value, because those that do pay off immediately. :D However, I do find value in that if it's agreeable to your nature such "submission" might be a pay off, but you'd receive the same pay if you did something far less hokey and customized to your needs.

Anyway, such a comprehensive set of observances just doesn't fit in with a modern life. Got a wife? Kids? Whatever, you certainly have something going on... Who has the time? So, it's just some weird occult dick waving which no one, not even Carroll is likely to partake in. If he does, he's got a far less committal life than I do, power to him, lol, but I doubt it.




Liu



Why not dedicate eating cheeseburgers and defecating to gnosis as well? :D
Because chaos magicians (and lots of others) believe that cumming puts one in a state of mind helpful for casting a spell.
One probably could also use the specific frames of mind the activities you suggested entail, but it might be more difficult, dunno.
(Well you said you were joking, sorry if I'm preaching to the choir)

Quote
However, I do find value in that if it's agreeable to your nature such "submission" might be a pay off, but you'd receive the same pay if you did something far less hokey and customized to your needs.
Pretty much my point.
One can certainly take inspiration from such suggestions but, as difficult as it might be to figure out what exactly would fits one's needs best, no matter what one comes up with, it's likely a better fit than this exercise.

Quote
Anyway, such a comprehensive set of observances just doesn't fit in with a modern life. Got a wife? Kids? Whatever, you certainly have something going on... Who has the time? So, it's just some weird occult dick waving which no one, not even Carroll is likely to partake in. If he does, he's got a far less committal life than I do, power to him, lol, but I doubt it.

I hardly find time to get a normal spiritual practice in between sleep apnea and pursuing my PhD, let alone for something like this.

Nevertheless, one could argue that it would be a spiritual goal to be free from real life commitments - but that's not necessarily the point of the LHP. Even in the Indian vamachara tradition there is the concept of the householder's path, of pursuing one's spiritual goals while still taking care of real life and not becoming a monk. (seems to also be a thing in Buddhism now that I googled for it, but I only had heard that term before in a book on some early historical forms of the vamachara).

Olive

Re: A vow of monkhood in the chaos magic tradition created by it's founder.
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2019, 06:31:43 pm »
I guess I'd only find its merit if it appealed to one's individual nature. My nature would see all of this as dull, rote, uninspired, and pedantic. :D


Would it be novel or inspired to stare at one's hand for an hour straight? Or to sit without moving for extended periods focusing on the breath? Not at all, and the same is true for many magical practices. Even so, these things still have a powerful effect, which was the point.



Why not carry a firearm instead of a staff? It's far more symbolic of chaos. :D

Why not dedicate eating cheeseburgers and defecating to gnosis as well? :D


Do these things, but always unto me.   :D


Quote
Anyway, such a comprehensive set of observances just doesn't fit in with a modern life. Got a wife? Kids? Whatever, you certainly have something going on... Who has the time? So, it's just some weird occult dick waving which no one, not even Carroll is likely to partake in.


Good points, but it seems to me that a lot of the traditional techniques and lifestyles don't fit in with the modern way of doing things - and we suffer for it. Of course we can find new ways to go about this stuff but we can't throw out all the inconvenient parts until we know what we're dealing with. And we won't be able to reach the levels that those who came before us did if nobody has the time to try. Just my perspective, but I suppose I am a bit less committal than most.



I hardly find time to get a normal spiritual practice in between sleep apnea and pursuing my PhD, let alone for something like this.

Nevertheless, one could argue that it would be a spiritual goal to be free from real life commitments - but that's not necessarily the point of the LHP. Even in the Indian vamachara tradition there is the concept of the householder's path, of pursuing one's spiritual goals while still taking care of real life and not becoming a monk. (seems to also be a thing in Buddhism now that I googled for it, but I only had heard that term before in a book on some early historical forms of the vamachara).

Yes, indeed. Buddhism actually has quite a history of lay practitioners. Figures like Layman Pang, Ikkyū Sōjun, the Upāsakas, the Anagarika, and so on.

I'm not recommending that anyone should take on the full list of these observances - certainly we all have to find what works for ourselves. But I do think the concepts behind the observances are a solid starting point to consider deriving from.
    Art thou pale for weariness
Of climbing heaven, and gazing on the earth,
     Wandering companionless
Among the stars that have a different birth, -
And ever-changing, like a joyless eye
That finds no object worth its constancy?

-Percy Bysshe Shelley