Comments on KAOS 14
Below is a selection from the large volume of feedback received about KAOS 14. Further comments in regard to the attempt to suppress KAOS can be read here.
I'm generally an overcritical bastard,
so you can take me seriously when I say this is one of the better web-documents
I have found on related topics. I definitely appreciate that you have
made it freely available!
It is much more in-depth and higher quality than I had anticipated, deals with many fascinating topics, has great artwork, and most importantly, resonates.
Only pabulum in book shops
These days I can no longer walk into a book store or even an occult shop and find anything of intellectual value in 'occult' books. Any remaining illusions I had about the difference between true magickal progress and pabulum published for the enrichment of authors looking for prey have been completely destroyed. Only a very few survive. The original works of Crowley and Spare (I now have all of 'Inferno to Zos', the 3 volume edition – traded some speakers for the set along with some other Spare stuff), the works of Dukes (you and KAOS are mentioned in 'Words Made Flesh', by the way), and KAOS.
It holds up as one of the few valid contributions to magick thought in the last decade Joel, and that is saying a lot. I am very proud to have had a small hand in its evolution.
Wow! just started reading through
your new Kaos. I am impressed!
Just reading through your Kaos and
thought you might be interested in my musical release, Liber Babalon,
a limited 2 CD edition of music for Babalon. I find it satisfying how
so many of the titles and themes pop up in your writings. All info on
the release can be found here: www.geocities.com/thegydja/babalon.html
Rehabilitation of Parsons
Thank you for your kind note. I have literally forgotten more about current dynamics than I currently remember, but the current whirlwind mystery tour of the Pacific Northwest should rectify that. Unfortunately, in the meantime my relative incommunicado swings both ways, leaving me at a temporary loss for a full exegesis of KAOS-BABALON in all their iterations. "More troops will take more time."
What I do remember can fit into a handful of paragraphs....
You have succeeded in KAOS-BABALON in producing a very nearly indigestible document, much as the surrealists busied themselves creating indestructible utterances, language into something like gold. This is a requirement for something like a class A publication.
In rehabilitating the Parsons work, KAOS-BABALON acquires a splendid transatlantic character that the previous iterations of the current, being largely Edwardian echoes tarted up in last year's physics like Lenin's corpse in its glass coffin, failed to achieve. The "Chaos Magick" I remember was largely an English (and Anglophiliac) phenomenon – exactly like the worship of the Sex Pistols to the exclusion of Stooges – and thence a target of my scorn. But a KAOS with two faces regarding each other across the ocean, a KAOS that partakes in our good old Hollywood BABALON, is a two-guitar band to be reckoned with.
This "thing-and-a-half" character of KAOS-BABALON answers many of the questions about whether it "supersedes" or "reiterates" 93. Your current is fundamentally bifurcate to a degree that the tactically monist 93 has swept under the carpet, and allows for some nice accounting tricks that render thelema's solipsistic maunderings and totalitarian collapses beside the point. The other is always present here – whether we identify with KAOS or BABALON, every child of the current has two parents. A world of perpetual benign difference is a world where a theoretically permanent autonomous zone is possible. Call it a hierogamous zone. A tripartite sign.
Nostalgia. We in the States were in an interesting position vis-à-vis punk, which was of course our own teen angst bottled by Brits and sold back to us. This was fair payback for our own invention of the "Absolute Beginners" generation, but the relevant detail is that American Chaos, like American Punk, was put in the awkward position of having to feel nostalgia for an era (London 70s/London 80s) that it could not possibly have experienced first hand. One might even say that anything involving KAOS as an immediate event (and not a buzzword among certain politically vested occultist tribes) occurs in the literary past, and so must be reconstructed through the detective work of nostalgia (or alchemists looking to reincrudate the source, chasing atalanta back to the scene of the crime), and so we always write about not KAOS but its traces. We just missed it. He got on the train that just left. A secret history of a time now past.....
There's of course more to the nostalgia angle but here in the land of slackers and anti-globalists I feel compelled to hit the tactics first and raise the theoretical flags once we've taken the citadel. A practical magic of nostalgia is in the domain of the watery powers, whose role in aeonic struggle is always a delight as you know. Flipping the usual dynamic to allow the waters to fight on the side of the insurrection, rather than against it, is delightful. Hierogamy again.
You should now be well into the Temptations phase, with various forces attempting to steer KAOS-BABALON to tactical advantage. One hopes that bodhi tree is comfortable.
Sadly I must now audition children and view an island or two. I'm told they'll have chowder at least.
Kindest regards and congratulations,
and thank you if you're reading thus far.
Robert Scott Martin
How to make your own McOTO
i came across your article on the 'Ultimate Aim of the OTO' and have three remarks.
a) my book is called "How to make your own McOTO" (you had ... OTO)
b) why do you think that i should have an "obsessive dislike of Breeze and the 'Caliphate'"? please provide evidence.
c) there are three graphological expertises. i cannot release the third one: in short it says that someone tries to give the impression of Grant having faked the document in question. it is neither Grant's or Crowley's handwriting but someone's who is trying to make it look like Grant faked it.
What's wrong with Pete Carroll?
I'm honestly curious. What is it about Carroll that you don't like? Is it his "dogma" in personifying Chaos as "Baphomet"? His tendency to say what he wants to say without adding things like, "of course, it COULD be this..."? His poetry?
I've read most of 'Psychonaut' and just a few pages of 'Liber Null'. I find that the former is interesting, although not extremely important. He's got lots of interesting ideas, and I don't mind reading them. 'Liber Null' is just great. He clearly states the intention and method for each technique, without constantly reminding us that he could be wrong, like some other authors.
Still, I haven't finished either text, so possibly I will learn to hate it. At this point I am only slightly fearful of it, as anyone who is discovering such a dangerous power would be.
I'd really like to know what your complaints are. This is by no means my bible, and I continue to learn as much as I can. Tell me where Carroll goes wrong. Only by understanding your objection will I find any value in it.
–Fallitron the Wise Ass
Liber Null contrasted with KAOS
for your perusal,
1. The methodology of Liber Null
Whether this lack of content is good or bad is the only thing I can possibly see as being the point of contention (being exceedingly generous by presuming no ego games are involved).
Contrast with KAOS:
1. Expected preknowledge of traditional
methodologies + the methodology of methodologies, or anti-methodology,
or the methodology of inspired madness (Juxtapositional, very important,
but should be obvious; after a while, anyway, to careful analysis).
who gives a fuck about the damn authors, anyway?
is it better to be:
–Another Pretentious Ass [gnostic entropy]
The occult and regret
Dear Mr Biroco,
I just downloaded a copy of the new issue of Kaos – incredible! Thank you for deciding to publish a new issue, the result was startling.
I'm a young man (20) who's been interested in the occult since an early age, with some very minor successes in practical magic. Now having gone through all the "woo, magick!" fascination, I'm beginning to wonder if further devoting myself to heavy practice of magick is a good way to spend my life. There are large passages of KAOS where you discuss your own relationship to the occult, often in seeming regret (correct me if I'm wrong), and as one of the few people I've encountered who has expressed a criticism of magick from the perspective of actually having done it and been successful at it, I was wondering if you might have any advice for me on this matter, in straight terms. Thank you for any help you are able to provide, and again, really dug the new KAOS!
Vitality of 156 current
A friend in the Horus Maat Lodge recently brought my attention to your Kaos magazine. Though busy travelling, I was intrigued enough to print the whole thing out and read it all – here is a current which brings together a lot of different magickal foci for me. Indeed, it is a current I have been energising for years, especially recently, though (consciously) unaware of your own similar work.
I work primarily with Chaos magick (although agreeing that this floundering current needs new foci to rise from the debris of its initial perhaps premature explosion) and the double current of Horus and Maat; but I see that double current as kind of the bigger picture, and the primary masks of those energies in this particular phase of the aeon, i.e. Now, as being that of Babalon and the Beast, although in much of my magick the forms and names thereof differ – Sekhmet (one of Her titles is 'Lady of Intoxication') being an ancient name of the Sacred Whore, and Hrumachis (glyphed in Egypt as the Sphinx) a nu-aeonic form of the Beast.
Here I have taken Crowley's trump update – of Babalon riding (playing with/celebrating) the Beast rather than just holding its jaws apart (fighting/restraining it) – even further: She has embraced and is One with it, and it with She – the Double Sphinx Hrumachis/Sekhmaat. This is congruent with the formula you mention of Kaos (as secret name of the Beast) and Babalon both equalling 156.
Regardless of names and forms, I certainly see the energies of this aeon as very sexual and as twinned or hermaphroditic, rather than Crowley's one-sided replacing the Father with the Son.
I appreciate your emphasis on magic mutating and evolving – the static hidebound aspects of old aeon hierarchies such as COTO aren't going anywhere much!
Although he doesn't use email yet, I know my friend and frater Kestral would also be interested to know of your work, and have sent the Kaos issue back to Australia (where I also hail from) for him to peruse. An accomplished Enochian and Thelemic magickian, he has been going on about the 156 current for years, although he has yet another name for it also – ThemUsIKa (=156 or 542, depending how you gematricise it), a kind of deification of Music as a magickal menstruum. Interesting that Amodali who apparently helped spawn the current with you is also a musician.
It was a part of a Ritual Opera we performed last year, 'The Choronzon Machine', which featured Babalon and the Beast as major characters: www.crossroads.wild.net.au/chor.htm
I can send you the account of the work we did with the 10th Aethyr (intense energies!) in preparation for the production if you are interested.
A synchronous indication of the vitality of the 156 current came almost immediately after I started engrossing myself in your magazine. Reading it on the train, travelling to meet an actor and writer in Germany – Alex Nym (who now wants to interview you for his great 'PanOptikon' German esoteric magazine, BTW) – I enquired upon arrival as to what was the wondrous music he was playing in his house. Well it turned out to be Amodali's band, 6 Com!
My main magickal work has been the transmission of 'The Book of Going Back by Night' (nothing to do with Aquino's silly 'Book of Coming Forth by Night' which I hadn't heard of at the time) a few years ago, concerning Sekhmaat-Hrumachis /Babalon-Beast as new aeonic forms. The first chapter is at: www.wild.net.au/sss/book_night_1.html
Chapter II – not yet online – goes into a lot more detail and the gist of the matter, but I have sent more than enough links already...
There is however an additional imperative to my communications. In a couple of weeks I am travelling for the first time to London, to meet up with several magickal internet contacts there. I believe that is where you live, so I do hope we may be able to meet and discuss this thriving current in person!
But primarily, Oh Brother Beast, I wish to give thanks for your work and the resonances I have found therein...
Atmosphere of eldritch mystery
A couple of weeks ago, I stayed up for two nights straight and read right through both Kaos and its supplement – the atmosphere of eldritch mystery swirling larger the smaller the hours got. With delight then, I learned from the a5e reviews that someone has gone to the trouble of giving this work the opportunity for a good shot of publicity.
So first, I'd like to give both you and Satyr my support and wishes to make the very best of this gift.
And second, while browsing your site again just now, I noticed mention, on the public opinion page, of your work titled 'Chromatic Assonance in Æthyreal Transport'. Not only the bald ironic academese of that title, but also its ostensible sobriety, titillates me to request a complete bibliography of your work, if you have such a thing handy. And corollary to that, do you have electronic copies of any of this older material that you've considered also publishing? Or, alternatively, could you recommend other sources for it?
With highest regards for your scholarly sensibilities, even in these weird n wacky fields you've chosen,
Babble & Tower of Babel
BBL is also the name of that monolingual Tower thrown down by the jealous god of the Hebrews. After which point, language became "confused" and the people "scattered."
Watch closely and one may begin to see the story of the Angelic Language unfold between the letters of the 156 current.....
If every phenomenon is a direct communication of the divine with the Magister Templi's soul, then his (or her) geas is to make sense of the world, to bring the light of signal to the darkest coils of noise. Thus is the Lord 333 of Noise silenced – thus, the calm at the heart of the whirlwind FROM WHICH A VOICE ISSUETH.
And is BABALON this mark of attainment? If so, then BABALON is, among her many other attributes, the communication that exists without confusion or misinterpretation. Perfectly efficient information. "Order"? Perhaps, but only if it is "order" of a certain sort – an order that transcends the usual structural binaries of everyday language.
On "Encryption as proof", The Demon Biroco writes:
Ferdinand de Saussure, founder of the discipline of linguistics, ended his life in the pursuit of hidden anagrams that he believed were in fact the primary organizing principle behind otherwise banal bits of Latin pastoral poetry. Was he mad, or had he simply seen behind the apparent chaos on the surface of language into some hidden stratum of "order"?
Was he, like some heretical Hiram, piling stones to rebuild a tower for BABALON?
Her beloved burn with ardor....
The Angel Language. All my notes on the Steganographia have been lost, but can easily be reconstructed. Consider, for example, the notion that the book is among other things a study of the deep structures of angelic language – of which the various cryptograms are really only specific cases, like isolated exemplars in a textbook. The mysterious key to the book would then be abstracting back from the examples to the generative algorithms. To write as well as read in the language of BABALON.
I note Enochian weaving through the work like letters weaving across a page. I am not an Enochian scholar, but this appears to me to be not accidental (whether intentional or otherwise). Angelic languages. Universal languages. Infinite signals, zero for noise.
KAOS 14 seems pregnant with questions of interpretation, the uninterpretable (Voynich), Steganographia. Is this one of the indications of the WOMAN riding the BEAST? For riding, as the old grammarians said, is required a horse – the letter (epistle/epistos, the meaning of the text) requires the envelope (the sign). The word makes flesh.
Let the baby current run rich with the wine of herme(neu)tic vocabulary, the better to root in the academy as it likes.
Raise high the roofbeams, carpenters!
Robert Scott Martin
Million mad voices
Yes, this equivalence of BABALON and BABEL was not lost on me, I pondered it for some time. It's interesting that after its literal definition in my dictionary it is "a confused sound of voices", since this is very similar to Crowley's most interesting description of the demon Choronzon, as being full of a million mad voices whose greatest fear is silence. And, of course, Choronzon is silenced by silence and banished "In Nomine Babalon".
By 'calm at the heart of the whirlwind FROM WHICH A VOICE ISSUETH' are you positing a connection between Pazuzu and Choronzon? Interesting, the "eye" of the hurricane, that is indeed the type of silence in which Choronzon is banished, yet in the eye of the storm one knows the storm will return. It doesn't do to take for granted, in other words, that there is merely a single Abyss, something I have been telling people for years, but they, nowhere near to their first one, simply do not understand.
Consider writing me something on de Saussure's folly for the next KAOS. Yes, there will be another one. There was another de Saussure, Léopold, who noticed the spring full moon was in the mouth of the Azure Dragon constellation, and suggested this was the origin of the pearl symbolism associated with the Chinese dragon, brilliant observation I thought. Don't know much about Ferdinand, but I doubt he was as crazy as William Romaine Newbold. If you haven't read his book, it is a delight.
Yes yes yes. Develop an obsession, clue it to its furthest reaches. A "clew", did you know, was originally a thread to find one's way back out of a labyrinth. Of course, "a clue" is what many occultists most sorely lack these dim days.
Raise the roofbeams indeed... but listen for creaks in the nine in the third place of 28.